I've been reading up on the various mods to add digital temperature control. I've come up with an approach I haven't seen anyone else do, and thought I would explain it and see if anyone sees any hidden flaws. I have a Camp Chef SV24 that I would use for this mod.
1) Automatic temperature control
2) No pilot light - I get enough wind that I am worried about a pilot blowing out, ruining my Q, and maybe my house!
3) Cost - around $100
Split the incoming hose from the tank/regulator into 2 circuits. Circuit 1 will have a needle valve adjusted to the lowest stable flame my smoker burner will hold. Circuit 2 will have a solenoid controlled by a PID controller. The two circuits will rejoin and go into the existing valve on my smoker. Using a few tees, elbows and other fittings, I think this can be kept fairly compact, and sit under my smoker.
Essentially this will create a 2-stage flame. Stage 1 will be low enough to be below the lowest temp I'd want to maintain. Stage 2 will be full power. The PID will turn stage 2 on and off as needed to maintain temp.
Stage 1 will be a much more stable flame than the pilot, and should not have much risk of blowing out. It will also mean that I have less temperature variation, since I won't be switching between full off and full on. Stage 1 should slow down the temperature drop before Stage 2 kicks back in.
The PID goes for about $25 on Amazon, and the solenoid is about $25 as well, so I am at $50, plus some fittings and piping to assemble it. When I add an enclosure for the PID, and power for the solenoid, I may be a bit over $100, but I should be close.
Does anyone see a flaw, particularly safety-related, in this approach?