With the acquisition of a new distillation unit, I decided to transfer and adapt the Arduino control interface from my previous distillation unit to this one. I wanted a redesign that would reduce size and increase functionality. The 120VAC solid state relays, Arduino, and a resistor were the only components that made the cut into the new design. A 16×2 LDC and a rotary encoder with a push button were picked up for input and feedback. The rotary encoder allows unrestricted rotation as well as having a normally open push button. This, in combination with an LCD, seemed to be the simplest interface with the greatest functionality.
I discovered the cheap tabletop distillation unit that I purchased had design flaws beyond mere poor craftsmanship. Further insult was that with the seller’s no refund policy meant it was mine for good. I had been burned, but that didn’t get me down. The flaws were minor, but made proper operation a challenge. However, I like challenges.