Will the $3 digital temperature controller STC-1000 work? This article exposes the production cost of electronic thermostats and how to identify the quality, so that you will never spend money on fake digital thermostats.
Last updated on August 9th, 2023 at 10:53 am
Due to the STC serial and related temperature controllers’ patent having expired, many manufacturers began making STC1000, and there is an increasing number of low-quality electronic thermostats on the market with unbelievably low prices, you can find these bad copies from Alibaba, Aliexpress, Amazon, eBay, Tokopedia, Lazada, Shopee and everywhere.
These products are installed in fermentation tanks, aquariums, cold storage, refrigerators, freezers, display cabinets, boilers, shady cabinets, and vending machines, unfortunately, inferior thermostats are not only easy to break, but they can even cause a fire.
Why did we publish this article?
- Frankly speaking, we want to sell more products;
- We don’t want to see any more news about bad thermostats causing fires;
- We want to tell everyone: Made in China doesn’t mean shoddy, it’s just that you haven’t found a good product, or you don’t want to pay enough.
Electronic Thermostat Cost Decryption
compact panel temperature controllers with standard dimensions that are to be installed on different panels, Due to the limited space inside, only a limited number of electronic components can be put in.
Let’s take a look at what parts are needed to make a thermostat, and how to make a thermostat at the lowest cost.
The transformer is an important part of electrical appliances. As you learned in the junior high school physics class, the number of coil turns determines its ability to transform voltage. In addition, the type of wire determines its life span. High-quality transformers generally Copper wire will be used, and a poor-quality transformer may use ordinary aluminum wire; the insulating casing determines its safety, As far as the electronic thermostat of the STC series is concerned, the corresponding transformer weighs nearly 80 grams per unit.
The relay is a power supply switch. A high-quality relay can be started repeatedly tens of thousands of times, while a poor-quality relay often gets stuck. If you find that your thermostat often does not start the compressor as you expect, you can use an electric Written test to see if the relay is energized.
- Terminal blocks
Thermostats for compact panels are often equipped with wiring terminals. By default, most manufacturers use copper terminals, while some unscrupulous manufacturers use iron or aluminum terminals. Once the contact is poor, a lot of heat will be generated, which is the cause of the misfire.
- Plastic Shell
The plastic case is not only to protect the motherboard inside the controller and prevent users from getting an electric shock, but it should also be flame retardant; you can use a lighter to ignite the plastic case to see if it will Self-extinguishing after leaving the fire; other than that, inferior The thermostat housing is usually made of recycled plastic, which emits a toxic smell. Although it is small, it will cause long-term damage to the human body.
- Chipset & circuit board
There is no doubt that the motherboard is the most important accessory of all electronic products. Generally speaking, it is normal for a reliable circuit board to have a lifespan of 5 or even 10 years. However, a bad motherboard may age in a few months, or even fail. Disassemble, because once you try to remove the screws, you will find that the motherboard is broken. That is why was the price of the low-quality motherboard as low as 1/4 of the qualified one.
Here’s how anyone can do it. You don’t need any expertise
- You can check the thickness of the chipset, the bad boards are usually very thin;
- You can check the robustness of the circuit board with a screwdriver, and the poor quality of the motherboard is easy to leave scratches and even break.
- soldering tin
Solder is an important raw material for connecting various electronic components, and it will not be used a lot, but you have to understand that solder that is not environmentally friendly is toxic and will emit harmful gases. The solder used by Haswill Electronics complies with EU standards, for which our cost is at least 1/3 higher.
- Electric capacity
Capacitors are important electronic components on the circuit board. Its quality directly determines the life of the entire circuit board. If we use inferior capacitors, it will undoubtedly save at least half of the cost, but the life of the product will also lose at least half. It broke in a few weeks.
- Digital tube
The digital display is the basic component of the electronic thermostat. It intuitively displays the real-time room temperature and necessary parameters and helps users complete parameter configurations such as target temperature settings. However, poor-quality digital tubes not only have a problem with the refresh rate, which makes people’s eyes uncomfortable, but also waste electricity, and will even be damaged quickly due to changes in the ambient temperature.
There are mainly the following types of buttons:
Physical button: Many users do not know that there is a small elastic device behind the button, the quality of this small part determines the life of the button;
Touch buttons: more and more factories are launching thermostats with touch buttons (not touch screens). To ensure the long-term usability of the buttons, gold-plated small parts are needed between the buttons and the motherboard because gold is an inert metal; To save costs, some manufacturers use copper or even iron materials; you can imagine how big the difference in quality is.
There are many other materials that we haven’t mentioned, such as buzzers and chips. In short, if you want to reduce costs, you must sacrifice quality and life.
The secret of 3 USD STC-1000
Let’s take STC-1000 as a case for comparison
The Real Elitech Brand STC-1000
From the above screenshot, you can see that the original Elitech STC-1000 220V English version is 98RMB in China which is nearly 14 USD. Quality is assured but the price is higher.
The Real Good STC-1000 from other Factories
Besides the Elitech brands, there are many other producers/suppliers (like us) that offer high-quality STC-1000,
|Elements/Parts||High quality||Low Quality|
|Transformer||endurable and with an insulated enclosure||without protective shell|
|Relay||HongFa - the 1st brand in the world||others|
|Plastic Shell||fire-retardant||not flame-retardant|
|Chip||endurable||easy to fragile|
|Electric capacity||stable||easy to broken|
|Digital tube||stable||easy to broken|
|Buttons||20,000+ Times||broke in a few months|
|Net Weight||146 gsm/pcs||94 gsm/pcs|
|Thermistor and cable||Soft TPE||bad plastic|
|Terminal Ends Cover (waterproof)||exist||without|
- the EXW price is usually not less than 7 US dollars / PCS, yes! ours STC-1000 is cheaper than Original Elitech, you will save 5 – 6 USD/Unit, and get the same quality;
- the express delivery to your location is usually 1.5-3 US dollars,
- plus import duties and taxes, the full import cost will be close to 11-13 US dollars,
- Then the retail price of a quality-assured STC1000 will not lower than $14.5/PCS;
The Trash STC-1000 from some Factories
On the contrary, the price of the trash quality copycat STC1000, which was 19RMB in China in 2021, is now as low as 11 China Yuan (free shipping), which means 1.6USD per unit, unbelievable but yes, the inferior products are everywhere in China market too, Therefore if you’re paying $10 or less for an STC-1000, it’s most likely an inferior product.
by the way, the hot sale digital temperature controllers like STC-3008, STC-3000, and XH-W3001 are also in the same situation.
Fake STC-1000 Stories
there are many posts related to the fake STC1000, you may read their stories from
- homebrewtalk, We can’t believe it happens in 2014.
- www.marine-aquarium.co.za We found they are selling a fake STC-1000 from their photo, Ironically, they remind users “NOTE !!! There are many very much cheaper STC1000s for sale, beware that these units are not authentic and give many problems”
How to Judge the quality of a digital temperature controller?
We believe that from the above content, you can see which items determine the quality of the product; here we summarize them into a few simple ones so that you can quickly know the quality of a temperature controller.
Please learn that even if your controller with a label shows Elitech but it does not mean it is the original one from Elitech since some small workshops will fake the Elitech trademark.
the best method:
- First, buy a sample;
- Then take it apart.
- Check to see if the transformer has an insulating shell and if the relay is HF brand;
- High-quality terminals should be copper, if it is iron, you can use a magnet to find it.
- Light the plastic case with a lighter to see if it will self-extinguish from the fire.
in summary, if the producer uses a good-quality transformer and relays, and adopts a flame-retardant shell, they usually will not put other low-quality elements in the controller;
the easiest way:
If you can’t disassemble the sample,
- you can choose to measure the weight of the main unit (not including the sensor), usually,
- the weight of the main unit should reach more than 140 grams because high-quality transformers are very heavy;
- but the main part of inferior products is usually less than 100 g.
- use a magnet to test the terminals iron or not;
- Light the plastic case with a lighter to see if it will self-extinguish from the fire.
Finally, we want to say that
- if you want to buy a digital display thermostat with reliable quality and high safety, meanwhile with a reasonable price, Haswill Electronics will not let you down;
- If you only need the original genuine Elitech temperature controller and do not mind the high purchase cost, we also can help you get it.
- however, if your expected quotation is 3 USD or lower than 10 USD/PCS, then please find other digital thermostat suppliers.