thats expensive for the guru blower but if it means I can walk away for hours and hours it may be worth it cause it's a pain having to open n shut vents every so often when my temps spike. I am pretty good for being a beginner and having smoked about 5-6 times now. I fill 3/4 lit chimney and use minion method and my temps are usually about 235-250ish for at least like 3-4 hours without having to do anything other then close vents a tad to drop temp when it spikes . I can't believe So many people are for dry smoking. I haven't tried it but figure maybe I will why not . I even heard put sand in the water pan, where exactly does the blower go now that I think about it
The DigiQDX2 is the top of their line and the $270 was a complete kit that included everything you needed like blower, controller, cables, vent adapter, vent connector, vent sealing tape, food probe, chamber probe, yada yada yada. If interested in a controller, don't buy one now when you are just getting started. Put "blower kit" on your Christmas list and do the research on all the different types of blower kits out there. Save that for later Nick.
For now, learn your WSM. Get the food tasting like you want it. Experiment with times, temps, techniques, wet and dry smoking, etc. Once it comes natural to you, then add a blower. You'll have the experience to understand how drastically easy it just became. Heck, you may decide you don't want a controller at all because the WSM works absolutely fine without one.
I dry smoke with a completely empty water pan; no water, sand, clay, glass beads, etc, but all those things work.
Keep on smoking.