52 is the magic # ? I'm afraid my box will short cycle if I set it that high
I'm not sure if I missed something here, but I believe your unit will be set to cycle over a certain range in degrees, which will remain constant (number of degrees between switching "on" and "off") no matter where you set the desired temp. This differential is called the "deadband." If you get yourself a decent controller you can set the deadband to however many degrees you think is the right compromise between maintaining your temp and going easy on the compressor. Your unit may already have this capability, worth looking into.
One of my other interests is coffee roasting, and I use these controllers to control resistance-based heating elements in DIY coffee roasters and commercial espresso machines. I usually set the deadband to virtually zero as it doesn't matter how fast a heating element cycles in these applications, or more precisely, usually the faster the better. I also use Solid State Relays (SSRs) to control the power because they can take this sort of fast-cycle abuse much longer and better than the (ancient) mechanical relays that are still very common, can, and which are probably in your box. But regardless, for a refrigeration compressor maybe 5 degrees of deadband would be closer to ideal? Exact number would depend on how fast the box warms up when the compressor is off, and the duty cycle of the compressor, but these things can be figured out easily enough.
I have a number of industrial temp controllers and thermocouples, and maybe an acceptable SSR lying around (all ebay scores). If you are handy, can do some basic wiring, and don't mind hacking your walk in a bit you can set up your box to behave exactly how you want it to -- holding desired temperature within an appropriate deadband. If interested let me know I probably have some things I could send you for the cost of shipping.
My brother, an EE, did this for his lagering fridge, so I know it works!