So yeah, I got up at 3am to start up my smoker for my pork butt tonight!. Let me just say, lying in bed, connecting via bluetooth, setting the temp & time and powering it on, what a pleasure!! All while lying in bed. How cool is that???????????? For some reason, my phone connects via BT on my nightstand. If I move it a couple of feet away, the connection is lost. But on my nightstand it gets maybe 45 feet range. Downstairs near the smoker, it maybe has 20 feet range. Weird.
Anyway, of course I couldnt go back to bed as I wanted to record my temps after the discussion in Bear's thread about MES temp swings. Yeah........ I need to set my smoker to 175F on startup (there is a 50F temp difference on startup WTF...................). I then need to set it to 210F about 30min later, once the smoker display temp has coasted past 210F, to get my Mav to be around 225F. I then need to bump up the temps by 5F every 30min, until my temps are +-18F of 225F. This process takes a FULL TWO HOURS. Not good guys. Not good at all. If you want to get the temps in your MES right, then the smoker needs to be baby'ied. No way around it.
Also, I had issues starting up my AMPS again. This is actually becoming a problem. Luckily my wife went downstairs about 45min after I put in the AMPS and saw there was no smoke. I had to restart it. It think its failed now 4 out of 6 smokes. This is a trend. Once it gets going its fine. It doesnt go out. But to get it started is failure at this point. Last night I didnt want to mess around given that I was going back to bed. I nuked the pellets for 2min in the micro. I torched it for 30 seconds. I let it burn a flame for 10min. But BAM, it died out, again.......
I then left it in smoker, quickly opened the door for 10 seconds, torched it again, and it INSTANTLY flamed up. The pellets were obviously nice and hot. The flame was so strong I couldnt blow it out. I had to remove the tray and blow on it really hard to extinguish the flame. Quickly put it back in, and I could immediately see nice smoke coming out the vent. I watched it for 30min and went back to bed. No further issues. It did not go out from that point onwards.
So in short, there is nothing I can do about the temp swings for the first 2 hours. This will be a big disappointment to the "set it and forget it" crowd, one of the main reason we go all MES (and Im not talking about being lazy, just that I cant go back to bed, or leave the house to go to the store etc). Big bummer.
But, with the AMPS, there are a lot of you guys that are having success and I could really use some help. I've watched Wade's vid and read up on everything. I know the basics and what to do. The key variable here that I cant explain is that why if I light the AMPS in the smoker after 1.5 hours in the smoker does it instantly light up and not go out from that point onwards, yet when I put it in the smoker at the start, it dies out after 30min. This has happened on all 4 failures. I cant explain it. Thoughts?
Looking at TBS smoke outside in the dark is different than looking at TBS from the inside of your house, with the light on, into the dark (it had to be smoking if it burst into flames with a small flame put to it.) You need a deflector for your model like bear has for the 40" Gen 1 for temp stability with his coasting/adjusting method, which is without out a doubt the best MES advice other than how to keep an AMNPS going. The size and model are very important. It's all about the temp sensor and deflecting heat (not holding heat around the heating element to over heat that area.) This is my deflector for the 40" Gen 1. I am keeping the heat from go up the wall in the area of the sensor and out the top vent. I want the heat to go anywhere else ( to the middle and up all other walls.) I made it longer and cut it back from the middle as I tested it during each smoke on the second rack from the top. The two boil tested therms, the controller therm and the unused mes meat therm in the holder are within 2 degrees at my 225*F set temp. They are < 10*F either way on cycling to average the 225*F. You may need a 2" by 6" piece depending on the location of your heat sensor, vent and heating element. If Bear is deflecting heat and no one else is, then everyone has the perfect MES that no one has started a thread on yet LOL.
I have cut the template back 1.5 inches on both sides from the middle of the water pan in this pic to get the results above.