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WARNING! DO NOT USE HARBOR FREIGHT ROUTER CONTROLLER AS TEMP CONTROLLER!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

The harbor freight router control is definitely not safe to use as a temperature controller.  I just used one to smoke a chicken and it was on for only 5 hours.  Breaker blew, and I finished the chicken in the oven.  Took the router controller apart and it has melted wires, and has blown the transistor (I think that's what it was).  Maybe there are mods a person can do to this, but stock it is definitely not safe.  

post #2 of 8
You must have got a bad one. Most that I've read about worked fine. As a matter of fact, yours is the first failure I've heard about. I've used one for pork butt 12 hour smokes before, no problem. Yes, it gets hot. Basically, the way they work is, you got a 1500 Watt element, 1500 watts of heat goes between 2 different places: your heating element or the heat sink of the controller. Basically. This isn't EXACTLY how it works, but close enough for this discussion. Make sure you have good air circulation around the back of the controller, as that is the heat sink. Or, attach a bigger better heat sink to it, usually aluminum. Maybe a fan blowing on it too.

Hope this helped!
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

 

Not sure if you can see in the pics, but even the plug on my extension cord is melted.  Also,  I unscrewed the transistor thing from the back plate for the pictures, it was attached during the smoke.  I guess I could try another one....

post #4 of 8
OK, something different. The problem's not with the controller, it's with your extension cord! Not big enough wires for the current you're pulling. To help, can we get either how many watts your element is using or brand and model smoker? Also, size and length of extension cord?

Thanks!!

We'll get this figured out yet!
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

The extension cord is 20 or 25ft 14ga, and its the 1500watt brinkmann element.

post #6 of 8
You're right on the edge of capacity. Most people recommend you don't go over 80% rated capacity. If it were me, I'd get at 12 gauge cord. I bet it will solve your problems. I have a 12 gauge cord that I have used in the past for my Brinkmann electric smoker. Right now I have it where I can plug my smoker directly into an outdoor socket. Worse case scenario, I have a 10 gauge 50 foot cord I made myself for my MIG welder. It does weigh about 25 pounds though.....
post #7 of 8

You kinda lost me at "only 5 hours" for a chicken....What the heck???   What's your smoker?    You need to learn that without using a controller.    Not to  go off topic as to your post but the controller is the least of your problems. 

 

I'm assuming you have an electric smoker?   

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by FWIsmoker View Post
 

You kinda lost me at "only 5 hours" for a chicken....What the heck???   What's your smoker?    You need to learn that without using a controller.    Not to  go off topic as to your post but the controller is the least of your problems. 

 

I'm assuming you have an electric smoker?   

 

I agree!!!   Never had a chicken take longer than 3 hours and that was a big one!!  

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