Perferred controller for Stanfield Heat Pads??

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Texastravis

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About to order me one of these pads but have never used one so not sure what to go with on the controller.

Background: 4'X8'x2'T wooden enclosure, insulated, 3 large sulcatas, and ordering a 3'x3' pad. Going to be their source of heat all winter long down here in East Texas.

OK, so is this F920A controller worth the $300+ price tag?? Seems nice/convenient especially since the temps outside vary but man its expensivee. Also, is there a potential for these mats to get too hot for the tortoise? I guess what I am saying is could the controller potentially register a too cold temp in their house and bump that pad up so high as to damage the tortoise.

OS could I/Should I, simply just get away with using one of their other simple Rheostat controllers that are essentially just a dimmer switch for the pad?

I was really hoping to get a 3x3 pad to be able to keep the temp in their 4x8x2 house (4" walls all around) at around 80 degrees, EVEN when the temps outside may be 15 degrees (about the coldest I have seen it around here). Is this realistic?
 

Turtulas-Len

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Being only 2 ft high it is is very possible if you insulate it well, the F911(dimmer switch) should work fine. but make sure you get some ventilation when it is all closed up, I use a small computer fan on a dimmer switch to control the fan speed. Len
 

Tony the tank

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Could you convert the wattage to btu...then calculate the btu needed to heat your enclosure

200 watts = 682 BTU
8longx4widex8 high requires 384btu min and 768btu max

So should work..doing the math..Operating at full blast on coldest of days...

But wonder were the temp reading are taken from for the thermostat?? If recorded at ambient air temp ..At full blast it might be too hot for the torts...and they might get burnt..

If recorded at pad...I don't believe it would raise ambient air temp that much...but the torts laying on it will act like large heats sinks and absorb the heat so they in theory should be warm..

I just read Len's post ..if you use a small fan to transfer the heat off the pad it should help considerably
 

jackrat

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From what I've heard,you should use the expensive controller with it. Air temperature can be regulated with a small oil filled radiator.
 

Laura

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i got the cheap controller that came with the pad.. Osborn-industries... best prices i found as well..
 

Tony the tank

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If your handy you could wire a dimmer switch into a outlet to controll temp/wattage..then epoxy a remote thermometer sensor to the pad..That way you can monitor temps and adjust it all from inside the house..

Everything you need will be less than 20 bucks and a few hrs work ...Just an option..
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I have used the F911 on Bob's pad for 5 years and it has done exactly what I needed it for. However, Bob lives in a 12 X 20' shed using an oil filled radiator type heater for ambient heat. We live in Oregon where it freezes and snows regularly. Bob sleeps in a box inside the shed and his pad is a triangle in the corner. The heater keeps the ambient temp at 85 all winter. However, the only thing I use the pad to keep warm is Bob. Could you hang a heat light thru a hole in the roof? I just don't think the pad will do what you need it to do if I am understanding correctly. I do believe the pad has the capability to burn the tortoises. I think if you are trying to use the pad to keep the ambient temperature warm in your enclosure it will need to be hot enough to hurt the tortoises...
 

EricIvins

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Texastravis said:
About to order me one of these pads but have never used one so not sure what to go with on the controller.

Background: 4'X8'x2'T wooden enclosure, insulated, 3 large sulcatas, and ordering a 3'x3' pad. Going to be their source of heat all winter long down here in East Texas.

OK, so is this F920A controller worth the $300+ price tag?? Seems nice/convenient especially since the temps outside vary but man its expensivee. Also, is there a potential for these mats to get too hot for the tortoise? I guess what I am saying is could the controller potentially register a too cold temp in their house and bump that pad up so high as to damage the tortoise.

OS could I/Should I, simply just get away with using one of their other simple Rheostat controllers that are essentially just a dimmer switch for the pad?

I was really hoping to get a 3x3 pad to be able to keep the temp in their 4x8x2 house (4" walls all around) at around 80 degrees, EVEN when the temps outside may be 15 degrees (about the coldest I have seen it around here). Is this realistic?

It won't be realistic.......If you're trying to heat a space I would suggest Radiant Heat Panels or some other type of heat source......A heat mat will not do what you're wanting it to do unless you have another source to heat the air.......Something a heat mat will NOT do......Even with a warm heat mat, the animals will not be able to get up to operating temperatures with cold air around them.......

Think two or more sources of heat when trying to heat anything like this.....Also, you have to be careful using a thermostat that isn't associated with the mat itself.......I've never had the temperature probe stay in the same place with Tortoises, which can cause serious issues........I always used Kane heat mats, and they always stayed cool enough to use without a Thermostat.......
 

Texastravis

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Welllllllll Crap. I was hoping this warm/hot element in a 4'x8'x2'T box would keep that confined space at high temps. What would be the best heat source to do this? I think I would be leaning toward heat panels. I see the oil filled radiaters are popular but dont think it will fit appropriately in my small height enclosure.

Hmmm, wellllll my next question is why even buy/use one of these expensive heat mats if it doesnt heat the ambient air up? Thus having to use other means to heat the ambient air temp to 85 degrees?

I guess what I am saying is why is there a reason to have a heat pad if they are in a room with ambient air temp of 85 degrees?
 

bfmorris

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Background: 4'X8'x2'T wooden enclosure, insulated, 3 large sulcatas, and ordering a 3'x3' pad. Going to be their source of heat all winter long down here in East Texas.[/quote]


3' x3' pad for three large torti is too small, in my opinion.
Were it me, I would go with two larger pads, ie the 3' x 4' single cord Stanfield pads. I would use the F920A controller and place the controller probe two feet above the floor of the house. I would also coat the underside of the pads with a tough two part epoxy paint, before installing. Hope this helps!
 

Tony the tank

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This would fit your design... More than enough heat... With thermostat and off on timer..
Put it on a shelf or strap it off the ground to the wall...

http://www.sylvane.com/honeywell-hz519-baseboard-heater.html?s_cid=cse_apa





Texastravis said:
Welllllllll Crap. I was hoping this warm/hot element in a 4'x8'x2'T box would keep that confined space at high temps. What would be the best heat source to do this? I think I would be leaning toward heat panels. I see the oil filled radiaters are popular but dont think it will fit appropriately in my small height enclosure.

Hmmm, wellllll my next question is why even buy/use one of these expensive heat mats if it doesnt heat the ambient air up? Thus having to use other means to heat the ambient air temp to 85 degrees?

I guess what I am saying is why is there a reason to have a heat pad if they are in a room with ambient air temp of 85 degrees?



Another option..I forgot to mention is Flexwatt heat tape..you can sandwich it between two sheets of peg board and line the walls...could get pricey at 5 bucks a foot(20watts a ft)but makes a nice hidden heat source
 

EricIvins

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Texastravis said:
Welllllllll Crap. I was hoping this warm/hot element in a 4'x8'x2'T box would keep that confined space at high temps. What would be the best heat source to do this? I think I would be leaning toward heat panels. I see the oil filled radiaters are popular but dont think it will fit appropriately in my small height enclosure.

Hmmm, wellllll my next question is why even buy/use one of these expensive heat mats if it doesnt heat the ambient air up? Thus having to use other means to heat the ambient air temp to 85 degrees?

I guess what I am saying is why is there a reason to have a heat pad if they are in a room with ambient air temp of 85 degrees?

Because you need it to balance everything out.......No sense in heating an Ectothermic animal from the bottom just to have it lose temperature from the top.........These Heat pads are not designed to do that - They are designed for Mammals/Livestock who can produce their own heat in addition to the heat they are provided from the mat........

The best thing for you to do is use something designed to warm the ambient air, along with a heat mat or panel designed to provide a warm spot......( Like an oil filled Radiator used in combination with a heat Panel )



Tony the tank said:
This would fit your design... More than enough heat... With thermostat and off on timer..
Put it on a shelf or strap it off the ground to the wall...

http://www.sylvane.com/honeywell-hz519-baseboard-heater.html?s_cid=cse_apa





Texastravis said:
Welllllllll Crap. I was hoping this warm/hot element in a 4'x8'x2'T box would keep that confined space at high temps. What would be the best heat source to do this? I think I would be leaning toward heat panels. I see the oil filled radiaters are popular but dont think it will fit appropriately in my small height enclosure.

Hmmm, wellllll my next question is why even buy/use one of these expensive heat mats if it doesnt heat the ambient air up? Thus having to use other means to heat the ambient air temp to 85 degrees?

I guess what I am saying is why is there a reason to have a heat pad if they are in a room with ambient air temp of 85 degrees?



Another option..I forgot to mention is Flexwatt heat tape..you can sandwich it between two sheets of peg board and line the walls...could get pricey at 5 bucks a foot(20watts a ft)but makes a nice hidden heat source




Flex Watt would be way too dangerous to do what you're suggesting, and again, it is only designed for a contact heat spot - It doesn't warm the air around it.........
 
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Maggie Cummings

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Because 85 degrees is not hot enough for the tortoise. Bob gets on his mat and sleeps on it all night. A tortoise doesn't want the ambient air hot. He wants hot in a small area like a basking light or the mat. Then he moves in and out of the light or on and off the mat to regulate his body heat. I suppose I could heat the ambient air to 100 and then the torts would simply climb into the hay and sleep. So to answer your question, I do it that way because that's how I was taught...
 

Yvonne G

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In my experience, tortoises like to sleep in a corner. So for more than one tortoise, you would need more than one pad...for each corner:

10-28-11pigblanket-3.jpg


10-28-11pigblanket-4.jpg


And if we're talking about sulcatas, you must MUST protect the cord:

10-28-11pigblanket-1.jpg


10-28-11pigblanket-2.jpg


I use the F911 controller. It works best. The cheap one they sell doesn't do a good job and the pads were either too hot or too cold.

I use a pig blanket on the floor and two light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. One for a black bulb for night time and the other with a regular 60 or 100 watt incandescent bulb for days when the sun isn't shining. My tortoises have access to outside all the time. In my case, with sheds and dog house type shelters (Dudley), I have no need of the oil-filled electric radiator. My lights and pig blankets heat the air just fine.
 

Tom

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Everyone must come up with something that works for them. There are lots of ways to do it. You have gotten all good advice above.

Key points:
1. The mats will not heat the air.
2. Heated air alone will not warm the tortoise up enough on cold winter days and this is what mats are good for on days like that.
3. Often the floor of a box like that is cold even though the air is heated. Mats keep them warmer.
4. Mats work best in combination with some other heat source, like an oil-filled heater, or Yvonne's bulbs. I used to use CHE's on a thermostat over mine.
5. I too think you will need more than one mat. I used three 18x28" Kane heat mats in a similarly sized enclosure for my three large(ish) sulcatas.
6. Kane heat mats now all come with an embedded thermostat that acts as a failsafe to prevent the mat from ever overheating. They also come with a dial that lets you set the temp wherever you want it. I was pleasantly surprised that the dial is actually very accurate.

Good luck and let us all know what you choose and how it works out for you.
 

Turtulas-Len

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I have to disagree about the mats not heating the air. I just went out to check the temps in Walkers house. The mat temp is 85 and the air temp is 74 the outside temp is 44 and rain, there is no other heat source turned on at this time. His house is 8ft by 8ft and the mat is a 3x4 ft, and the house is insulated on all six surfaces. Len
 

Tom

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Duly noted Len.

Allow me to rephrase: In most cases the heat mats do not heat the air sufficiently.

When I used them in a rubbermade shed, they did not heat the air at all. Of course your box is sealed and insulated much better than that shed was.

Also, in my 4x4x2' boxes, my 18x28" mats don't heat the air more than a few degrees.
 

Texastravis

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I ordered a heat panel from Pro Products. According to the specs it should be the best panel on the market. Directly beneath the panel I will shoot for 95 degrees. Out from under the panel I would like it to be 80. It will be on a temperature controller but analog version not proportional.

What do yall think about this? My floor is 100% insulated with plywood and then covered with linoleum so I hope it doesnt get cold. Been thinking about putting down some of those heavy duty rubber mats down and then covering in sand/dirt to absorb urine.

Any thoughts?

Also, what are thoughts on ventalation/air exchange? I went through a lot of trouble to make it 100% insulated including caulking cracks etc. Seems counter productive to install air vents even though I see people doing this and suggesting it.
 

tortoisestew

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Texastravis said:
I ordered a heat panel from Pro Products. According to the specs it should be the best panel on the market. Directly beneath the panel I will shoot for 95 degrees. Out from under the panel I would like it to be 80. It will be on a temperature controller but analog version not proportional.

I use Pro Product heat panels for my snakes. You can't go wrong. Better than heat pads or Flexwatt Tape. Just make sure you hook it up to some kinda of thermostat, they do get extremely hot if not regulated. I have mine hooked up to a HerpstatII. It's a little pricey but better in the long run. Been running for 5 yrs without any issues. Just make sure you use a temp gun also. You could get these at Lowes or Home Depot. Good luck.
 
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