Inkbird ITC-308 Temperature Controller Preview

One of the more popular pages on this site is the instructional on how to build your own temperature controller using a relay type device like the STC-1000 or the Inkbird ITC-1000. The final bulid is used to controll temperature, measured from a probe, by way of turning on/off plugged appliances (for heating or cooling). I know those who brew their own beer use them to control temps during fermentation, or in ‘kegerator’s’ and ‘keezers’. People who cook using the Sous Vide method can also use a DIY temperature controller to maintain cooking water temperature.

I have always been a big advocate for use of a temperature controller for aquariums; it creates a higher level of control and safety than relying on the internal thermostat built into aquarium heaters. The temperature controller can also energize a fan or chiller to keep water temperatures from elevating too high.

For whatever use, going the DIY route has been a great low cost alternative to higher priced specialty equipment. I have used our DIY temperature controller for a few years now and it has never let us down. The temperature in our Spec V aquarium never varies by more than a degree celcius. The only downside to suggesting this installation is I understand, even with detailled instructions, not everyone will want to or be capable of building the device. It involves some fabrication, wiring, and patience to complete. However, there is now a very exciting alternative to having to build and wire your own temperature controller.

Inkbird ITC-308 Heating and Cooling Temperature Controller

I was contacted by a representative of Inkbird recently and they offered to send me one of their new products to test and review, the Inkbird ITC-308. I’m so glad they did, because it is perfect for the use that I recommend (aquarist) and will also work great for the other aformentioned hobbies and uses. Almost anyone that is looking to make a DIY temperature controller can look at this device instead to meet their needs.

inkbird ITC-308 Temperature Controller with Instructions

I will follow up with a full review in the near future that details all of the ins and outs of operation and that gives my opinions of strengths and weaknesses. I have been using it for a few weeks and I can already recommend this device.

It really does everything that my DIY device does. The only items of significant difference are as follows:

  • Unlike the STC-1000 that my DIY temperature controller is based on, it can be programmed to operate in farenheit instead of celcius (with some limitations that I will discuss in the full review).
  • It is generally much smaller than the enclosure of a DIY build.
  • The plugs for heating/cooling are located on a separate ‘dongle’ instead of right on the enclosure.
  • The temperature sensor is different. It is stainless steel instead of plastic coated like the probe that came with my STC-1000.
  • It features a high and low alarm, where the unit will beep (as a warning) if it exceeds programmed temperatures. These high and low limits are separate from your setpoints for cooling/heating
  • It features separate ‘drift’ values for cooling and heating. On the STC-1000 type devices, the drift above or below setpoint (to enable cooling or heating) matches.

Old STC-1000 compared to new ITC-308 temperature controller

Programming the unit is a bit more involved because of the added features, but I had it figured out fairly quickly. I will pass on some tips in the full review to help speed up understanding for new owners.

Final (Preliminary) Thoughts:

For those that like the challenge of DIY, the ITC-308 won’t be that big of a draw. However, I suspect most people will prefer to purchase the ITC-308 being a ready to use product.

calibrating the temperature probe of Inkbird ITC-308 temperature controller

The ITC-308 sells for around $38 on Amazon. I thought this was a bit high, until I realized that the cost of my DIY, when taking into account all the components, cost almost exactly the same. Given the time and effort I put into the DIY version, the new ready to use product is hightly preferable.

I’m still testing into the start of cooling season; a full review will be posted in the near future.

2 thoughts on “Inkbird ITC-308 Temperature Controller Preview

  1. This is a great product. However, have you been having trouble with yours and it’s heating method? I live with a ductless air going, and sometimes when I wake up, the heating component is lit up, but my cobalt 25w heater isn’t on. What I have to then do is unplug the heater from the dingle for about 20 seconds, then plug it back in to make it work again. ( if I plug it in right away, it still doesn’t work. ) does this sound like it is the temperature controller itself, which I have an inkbird 310T (blue version I overspent) or the heater failing after being off for so long? The heater will only kick on when I go to sleep and decrease the temperature in the room to around 74, and I have the tank set up at 78 and to heat if it drops below 77. I’ve only had the heater maybe half a year? I don’t know own if it should buy this device and do some testing to see which it is. This issue only happens randomly too, most days it’ll be working, but then it’ll have these uncommon days where it is off, and my tank is at 75.6!

    • Sorry to hear you are having trouble. I’m having a hard time taking in all the information you present, but have you tried just using the heater for a few days and watching how it works by itself (not using the controller)?

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