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Gadget Freak Case #218: Finally A Decent Space Heater Thermostat
6/29/2012

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Wall mounting is more convenient to use and gets a better sense of the room temperature.
Wall mounting is more convenient to use and gets a better sense of the room temperature.

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Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Winter will get here before you know it.
Rob Spiegel   7/3/2012 12:46:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point, Gafisher. Everybody in product development seems to be suing and getting sued these days -- Sony, Apple, MS, Amazon, Samsung. They all have one thing in common -- $$$. I don't believe the small inventor is going to get sued simply because there is no possibility of a big payday.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Heater thermostat
Rob Spiegel   7/3/2012 12:04:14 PM
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Good point, J-allen. I don't think Andrew has anything to be concerned about here. People build gadgets at their own risk, even if they come from a published source.

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Heater thermostat
Cadman-LT   7/3/2012 11:43:41 AM
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I really like your idea, all the best luck on your next project!

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Heater thermostat
armorris   7/3/2012 9:58:06 AM
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Thank you all so much for your kind words. They make me feel a lot better. Fortunately, my next project does not operate directly off the power line. I don't know when it will be published.

j-allen
User Rank
Gold
Re: Heater thermostat
j-allen   7/3/2012 8:13:50 AM
NO RATINGS
 

Challenge to the paranoid! 

Getting sued?   Magizines (hobby and professional) have been publishing plans for projects for well over a century.   Can anyone name a single case where an author has suffered any civil or criminal judgment because someone attempted to replicate the published design and got into trouble?  

 

j-allen
User Rank
Gold
Re: Winter will get here before you know it.
j-allen   7/3/2012 8:06:32 AM
NO RATINGS
Line voltage safety:  We have been using electricity for well over 100 years.  If anyone is doing electrical and electronic work and still  doesn't know you can get a shock from line voltages, then he pretty much deserves to get zapped. 

mlewus
User Rank
Iron
Re: Winter will get here before you know it.
mlewus   7/3/2012 3:48:23 AM
NO RATINGS
Andrew,

I am not an attorney but I am almost certain you won't get sued for giving this kind of information away. Otherwise hobby electronics magazines, who actually sell the information, would have long ago ceased to exist as they depend on people like you for their projects. They print stuff like this with a simple warning that high voltages are accessible so use your own "good judgement".

Take a look at the July 2012 projects issue of Elektor USA and you will find four or five line operated projects that are not transformer isolated, usually powered by a resistor/capacitor direct to the power line. And since these have to operate in Europe as well as the US, they expose as much as 230V.

So don't sweat it.

gafisher
User Rank
Gold
Re: Winter will get here before you know it.
gafisher   7/2/2012 9:03:26 PM
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IANAL either, but I'd say no liability for what someone does by their own choice.

The whole liability issue is fodder for another day, but I have to wonder how many inventions have been suppressed by their inventors over the simple fear that some idiot is going to barbeque himself while misusing the product.  Would Edison, Ford, Bell have brought their ideas to market in today's litigious toxic atmosphere?

John Duffy
User Rank
Gold
Very cool
John Duffy   7/2/2012 6:23:41 PM
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I like it, I could use something like this for my gazebo in the winter.  Also, if anyone has not already said so, you can probably use a power switch tail from sparkfun.  I used one to automatically switch off my soldering iron if it falls off of my workbench. 

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Winter will get here before you know it.
armorris   7/2/2012 4:07:05 PM
NO RATINGS
The thermostat mentioned earlier in this blog http://www.amazon.com/Lux-Heating-Cooling-Programmable-Thermostat/dp/B000E7NYY8

is available at Amazon for less than it would cost to make mine. It also has a digital readout. You can solve the temperature issue by setting its temperature a couple degrees cooler that you want the eye-level temperature to be. Just keep it well away from the heater. I don't want the liability of someone building a faulty version of my gadget. 

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