The Finished Fridge

September 21, 2004

It was a lengthy project, but I finally finished the fridge while on vacation in September, 2004. Here's a link to the source code, in case you're interested in it. Unfortunately, I also decided that I really don't trust my electrical engineering skills enough to bring a home-brew appliance into the office and leave it running all the time. Sure, there probably wouldn't be any problems... but the potential downside (e.g., burning the office down) is significant. So... my lovely fridge will probably not be good for much more than bragging rights. :-) I ended up taking some shortcuts towards the end... some of them I'm not really thrilled about, but given it's "not actually going to be used daily" status, I think they're acceptable. Plus, this allowed me to get started on my next project before the end of my vacation.

Here's a "shortcut list":

  • The fan is really noisy, get a quieter one.
  • The fan is on all the time. It should be temperature controlled.
  • The LCD trim isn't square.
  • The interior is a little ugly with all the visible insulation.
  • The seal around the door is pretty crappy. Add weather stripping.
  • The peltier is running at 12V instead of the more efficient 15V.
  • There are only two display screens. Make more.
  • The hinge mounting is sort of a hack. Functional, but ugly.
  • The temp measurements are flakey due to noise and power supply issues.
  • It runs off of an external PC power supply, which is sort of ugly.
  • All in all, however, it works quite well and I am very pleased with it. It will at least make a nice decoration for my office, and be usable for demos and the occasional cooling job. Here are a couple of final shots: One of me placing the first drink inside the finished refrigerator, and another of the fridge doing it's job.

    [CoolingDrink] [FinalFridge]

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