First post here and I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. I'm looking to build a Sous Vide cooker for home use (if you don't know what that is, its a temperature controlled water bath used to cook vacuum sealed food). Typically they are made with PID controllers, but (more as an experiment) I'd like to make one with my computer...write a little program (LabView or C++, or other suggestions?) to control a heater based on temperature input and manually entered set-point, with some data logging along the way. I'm sure there are easier ways to do this, but this is a bit of an experiment before I try more complex projects (beer brewing, home automation, world domination, etc).
So the question; what are my best IO options on the cheap? I'd need a little input (temperature probe - ideally ability to work with a TC or maybe off-the-shelf meet probe) and output to open and close a relay (in this case, probably solid state). I'm working on a mac most of the time, but I also have windows 7 running if needed. Any thoughts for LabJack or other products that fit these needs? I really would like to keep this as low cost as possible.