Build the Controller

Prepare the Sensor.

Most sous vide cooking is done in sealed plastic bags. One exception to this is eggs, which are cooked in their shells. Other recipes (such as butter-poached lobster tails) call for the food to be immersed directly in the cooking liquid. To make the sensor safe for contact with food, cut a length of food-safe heat shrink tubing and shrink it around the sensor as below.

Build the RGB LCD Shield

Follow the instruction in this tutorial to build and test the shield.

Build the Wing Shield

Follow the instructions in this tutorial to build the wing shield.

Note that the switch, leds and resistors are not used for the sous vide controller and don't need to be installed. You can save these parts for your next project.

Prepare the sensor


Our waterproof DS18B20 sensors are great for immersing in liquid and measuring temperature, but they are not food safe on their own. If you are only going to be cooking food in a plastic bag, this doesn't matter so much but it will matter if you cook food straight in the water like eggs. We strongly suggest going the extra step and using some food safe heat-shrink to cover everything but the stainless-steel tip of the sensor. Use a hot-air gun to shrink the sleeve water-tight over the sensor.

Install the Sensor

Drill or enlarge the steam vent opening so that the sensor wire can be routed through the lid. Position the sensor so that it extends about midway down into the cooking vessel when the lid is closed.

If it is a loose fit. Put a cable-tie around the sensor wire where it exits the lid to prevent it from sliding deeper into the cooker.

Add additional cable ties every 4-6" to fasten the sensor wire to the power cord.

Terminate the Sensor Wires

We'll use a servo extension cable as a way of making a detachable sensor. Its not a requirement but it makes it easier to set up and clean up.

  • Strip and prepare some lengths of heat-shrink.
  • Cut a servo extension cable in half.
  • Solder the male end to the sensor wires.
  • Heat-shrink to insulate.
The sensor wire color coding (on the right) is a little strange, so we'll connect them up to use a more standard color coding for the servo connector (right).

  • Black <- White (ground)
  • Red <- Orange Stripe (+5v)
  • White <- Blue Stripe (Signal)

Add the Resistor

With the female half of the servo extension:
  • Strip and tin the ends
  • Solder the 4.7K ohm resistor that came with your sensor between the 5v (Red) and signal (White) wires.
  • Heat shrink to insulate and trim.

Stack them up!

Plug the Wing Shield into the Uno and the RGB LCD Shield into the Wing Shield. Attach the stack on top of the PowerSwitch Tail and add some cable ties for security.

Attach the cables

Connect male JST power cable to pins 7 and ground of the wing shield.

Connect the female JST cable to the PowerSwitch Tail terminal screws. Be sure that the polarity is the same as it is on the other end.

Connect the male half of the servo extension cable:
  • White -> Pin 2 (Signal)
  • Red -> Pin 3 (5v)
  • Black -> Pin 4 (Ground)

Put it all together:

  • Connect the male and female ends of the servo extension cable.
  • Connect the male and female JST cables together.
  • Plug the cooker into the PowerSwitch Tail
  • Plug the PowerSwitch Tail into a wall outlet.

Now you are ready to load some software!
This guide was first published on Jun 10, 2013. It was last updated on Jun 10, 2013. This page (Build the Controller) was last updated on May 04, 2015.