Inkbird ITC-308 WIFI Temperature Controller review

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Having been lucky enough to have won an Inkbird ITC-308-WIFI smart controller in the giveaways thread on this website, I thought the least I could do was provide a review of it.

I already have an ITC-308, so setting it up with my fridge and tube heater was no problem - it simply replaced what was already there.

The first thing was to download the app - 'InkbirdSmart' onto my phone. The phone then has to be paired with the controller which was a case of entering my country of origin and e-mail address and then pressing on the 'Add Home' button to create a 'home'. You then click 'Add Device' and when the ITC-308-WIFI shows on the screen, select it. The controller has to be in the 'configuration state' (indicated by a flashing light) and you then select your wifi network and are asked to enter your network password. And that's it! All connected and I could immediately open the app on my phone and see the exact temperature of the fridge at that point.

One thing that did worry me slightly, was that the app appeared to require me to allow it to access my location, my camera and photos, my microphone and my phone storage. This actually applies to many apps and I often question why they would need access to everything on my phone. It is possible on the InkbirdSmart app, however, to turn off the permissions by going to Settings>Apps>InkbirdSmart>Permissions and switching them off. As far as I can see, it hasn't affected the operation of the controller in any way, which begs the question as to why it asks for access in the first place, but I'm not going to quibble - everything is fine now.

Setting the parameters is the same as for the ITC-308 and I won't go into it here. The screengrabs below are taken from my phone while in my office, which proves that the device is working exactly as it should. The current temperature is shown in the large circular window, while the set temperature is shown towards the bottom of the screen - next to the thermometer icon.

Inkbird1.jpg

If the fridge comes on (or if the fridge was the last heating/cooling element used), the screen shows blue, if the heater comes on, the screen turns red and the word 'Heating' appears below the current temperature.

Inkbird2.jpg


Clicking on 'Temp trend diagram' at the bottom left of the screen, shows a graph which depicts your set temperature. As mine has been set a 20.5C for the 6 days it's been in use, I just get a straight line. I'm struggling to see how this could be useful to anyone, but it certainly seems to work. Clicking on 'Settings' at the bottom right of the screen takes you to your set parameters.

Inkbird3.jpg


You can click on any of the parameters and make changes from your remote location. It's not something I've needed to do and I'm not sure that I ever would, but I can confirm that I've tried it and it works perfectly. I guess if you wanted to cold crash after fermentation you could drop the set temperature without having to be there, but given it would probably take around 24 hours for the fridge to reach the desired temperature anyway, it's never going to be a 'cold crash' in the true sense.

For me, this is something of a novelty at the moment - I like the fact that wherever I am in the world I can check on the temperature of my brew fridge, but could I live without it? Without question, yes. It does exactly what it sets out to do and does it extremely well, but I'm still struggling to see how it might benefit my home brewing. I know Inkbird controllers are used for other things besides brew fridges, so it might be that having wi-fi capability would be a huge advantage in certain other situations. It may also be that as I go along (I'm only 6 days in), I find increasing benefits to having a wi-fi controller.

None of this detracts from the fact that I was very grateful to Inkbird for the giveaway and I can report that the controller is made to exactly the same high standards as other Inkbird products and does exactly what it sets out to do, brilliantly. Set-up is a breeze, the app is very nicely designed and the information within the app is highly accessible and easy to understand. A really nice piece of kit.
 

kelper

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Can you see a trendline of measured value? It would be more useful. I just wondered if there is a choice buried in a sub menu?
 
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Can you see a trendline of measured value? It would be more useful. I just wondered if there is a choice buried in a sub menu?

I've just had a closer look at the 'Temp trend diagram' and I should have looked closer before. It appears to save a graph for each day of use. As you follow the graph line (and it does deviate slightly), if you touch the line at any point, it shows you the time of that reading and the temperature. I really should have looked at the graph for day one, as that's much more erratic as the temp struggled to stabilise. So you can see exactly how the temperature controller has performed on a daily basis and whether or not you've had any extremes of temperature.

I'm not sure exactly what you meant but hopefully this answers your question.
 
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These screengrabs show what you get. As I've scrolled along the graph line, I can touch the line at any point and it gives me the time of the reading and the temperature at that point. I have a graph for every day I used it so far but I'm not sure how long the information is saved for.

Temp1.jpg
Temp2.jpg
Temp3.jpg
 

Mike_302

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Sorry, just to confirm -- this unit does allow you to review historic temperatures it has recorded? Or not?
 

F00b4r

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One thing that did worry me slightly, was that the app appeared to require me to allow it to access my location, my camera and photos, my microphone and my phone storage. This actually applies to many apps and I often question why they would need access to everything on my phone. It is possible on the InkbirdSmart app, however, to turn off the permissions by going to Settings>Apps>InkbirdSmart>Permissions and switching them off. As far as I can see, it hasn't affected the operation of the controller in any way, which begs the question as to why it asks for access in the first place, but I'm not going to quibble - everything is fine now.

Thank you very much for your review!athumb..

Well this probably breaches both Android/iOS app store guidelines and EU data protection laws, the former could lead to having the app removed and the latter to some extremely large fines (8 figures). As the firm seen to be active in this thread maybe they can explain what is going on?
 

Chippy_Tea

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Many well known apps ask you to give permission for them to access your camera, photos, microphone and phone storage and as you have the choice whether to allow them or not in the settings I don't see how they can be in breach of data protection laws.
 

F00b4r

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Many well known apps ask you to give permission for them to access your camera, photos, microphone and phone storage and as you have the choice whether to allow them or not in the settings I don't see how they can be in breach of data protection laws.

A fundamental part of data protection in the EU is based around the fact that you cannot just harvest data from people without any business reason for it, that and the fact that there have been numbers instances where companies or employees of these companies have then abused data that they should never have access to, e.g. a rogue employee having the application scan all your personal photos and videos looking for naked pictures and then uploading them to a server or text files with passwords in them is another example. I cannot see in this case why the application would need access to all the private files, photos and videos stored on a person's phone, maybe Inkbird can explain why or if it was sloppy copy and paste programming on their part.
 

Trom-man76

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Just asking same as Mike_302 - does this store the recorded data and for how long. Was just about to buy 2 temp data loggers for the cooler and ferm cabinet to collect data to keep the Health and Saftey police of my back. But, if this does the business will be buying one or two.

Thanks in advance for the info - great review
 

Inkbird

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Hello, sorry for delay reply.
The location permission is based on google policy. Besides, this app has weather function, GPS can help get weather information.
Camera and photos permission is for the new product we are working on. If you do not need it, please turn if off.
Since this controller can save temperture data, and connect to Alexa via wifi, it requires microphone and phone storage permission.
We promise that we will not collect your information.
Please kindly understand.
 

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