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Homemade Smoker! - Page 2

post #21 of 40
Sorry, but that is not how you would utilize the PID loop, the dry contacts maybe.

PID, Proportional Integral Derivative analog input and analog output.
The more the input deviates from the set point, the more the controler with throw at it to bring it back to set point,, Think cruise control

Dry contact closure is like your Right foot, all or nothing.

And does anyone have a Loop calibrater/process meter to tune the PID loop?
post #22 of 40

I was referring ONLY to the use of the relay output as referred to in the data on the webpage link in Cheech's post, NOT the PID mode!...

In looking back at my previous post, I see that I did not state that fact.

It has since been edited to reflect this so there will be no confusion to anyone on this issue.

At that late hour I was thinking more in terms of the rather limited current handling capacity of the onboard relay, rather than in terms of proportional control of power or fuel, etc.

Again, for the sake of clarity, I WAS referring to strictly on/off control.

I WAS NOT referring to proportional control in any manner.

The method I described in my previous post is used from time to time for the purpose of increasing the current handling capacity, while still maintaining digital control.

The heat treating furnace in my shop, which is used in the heat treatment of tool steels, uses this same method because of the limited current handling capacity of the controller alone.

Check in your EEM for the Auber controller, as well as other similar controllers, and perhaps those mgf.'s may have additional PID mode info that could be of use to you.

Proportional control for the heating element(s) in an electric smoker is an interesting concept.

Keep us posted...Looking forward to the results of your tests!...

Sorry for the confusion...

Until Later...
post #23 of 40
Thread Starter 
Wow, you guys lost me. I am pretty disgusted with the whole project. I am not smart enough to get an element that will produce enough heat. The one I bought off e-bay got the smoker up to a whopping 160 degrees. I thought seriously about going with a propane burner when I ran accross a replacement stove top element. It didn't even get red hot, and it dawned on me that both of them are probably designed for 240 volts. I don't want a smoker that has to run on 240 volts. I don't really want to use propane, because I know beyond a doubt I will run out at the most inconvenient time. I didn't want charcoal or wood because I didn't want to tend it all the time.
I give up. If I would have saved all the money trying to get an electric smoker to work the way I want it to, I could have bought a new Bradley, which seems like the top of the line for electric smokers.
I am going to punt, regroup, rethink, make some hard decisions about BBQ and how bad do I really need to make it myself.
Thanks for all the help everyone, I do appreciate it.
post #24 of 40
Engineering!...Gets confusing sometimes doesn't it?...

I get lost in it sometimes too!...And more often than I care to admit, at that!!...lol...PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif

The 'Drop Box' you're making the smoker from has quite a bit of metal to heat up, or in other words, it has a lot of thermal mass...

A possible solution could be to 'Double Wall' the inside of the smoker, or to provide some form of insulation between the smoke chamber and the interior walls of the box, thereby insulating the thermal mass of the box from the heat source...

For the most part, electric stove elements ARE designed to be operated on 240 V, and if operated at 120 V would have a greatly reduced heat output, however...they would be drawing only half as much current...

Just a thought...Do you have natural gas available? If so, that might be an alternative to propane. Cheaper too!...

There are modulating gas valves available which could be used with the Auber (or similar) controllers Cheech spoke of...

These valves would utilize the PID mode of the controller in the manner spoken of by Smokebuzz, thereby offering proportional heat (fuel) control to the burner....

I'm sure that both Cheech and Smokebuzz will have more information available on this application than I do at the present time...

Perhaps they can offer more help on this...

No need to give up!...Have a cup of coffee and relax a bit!...Think it all through...Perhaps there's something you might've missed the first time !...icon_smile.gif

Incidentally...There are some Bradley users here at the SMF, and perhaps they can offer advice on them to help you out...

In your 'Heart of Hearts' you already KNOW the answer to this question!...

You already know that NO other BBQ in the world can even begin compare to your OWN BBQ made by you in your own smoker!...

Don't believe me?...Just ask other smokers here at the SMF!...I think they'll agree with that statement!...PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif

Glad to be of help in whatever small way I can!...PDT_Armataz_01_18.gif

Hang in there Yellowtin!...Don't give up just yet!...We're all here to help!...PDT_Armataz_01_40.gif

Until Later...
post #25 of 40
Surrender is not an option!.......If it were too easy, then there would be no sense of accomplishment...no
reward....no throwing up both arms, flexing your biceps and saying:......."YYYYESSSS, I made this! Not to
mention the smile and the way your chest could be swelling up every time someone asks you about your

Overcomeing the obstacles is what makes anything "worth bulding" worth building. ( Wow! ... I gotta write that down. )

Anyway, let's get on with this smoker heat "obstacle". The way I see it, your smoker is acting like a big wood stove (except it's electric), with all that good heat you're makeing with that 1650w. element just radiating of off that massive heat sink of a steel box. In simple terms; you must stop your heat from excapeing to the great outdoors, and keep it inside where it can build to the temperature you need.

Therein lies the key: Insulation.

Your 1650w. element should provide plenty of power to heat up that box. You just need to keep it inside.

I think ColeySmokinBBQ has given you some good advice.

Try useing some type of temporary wind screen (old plywood, etc.(to stop convection)), and to see if your temps. rise any. You, probably, will not achieve your desired temp. this way, but if they do rise any; it may give you an idea of what you are up against and how much you need to do.

Good luck...

. Bluezman

P.S. I've been working on mine for almost 3 months and I'll be dammed if I quit before I get it working and some good Q out of it!
post #26 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the encouragement! I was really down last night, and I guess I just had to pout a little. I aint givin up yet. After thinking about it all day, I decided to give propane a try. I just don't think I will ever get enough heat out of an electric element at 110 volts. This box is really big, bigger than an oven. If it takes 240 volts to heat an oven then what makes me think I can do it with 110? An oven is insulated and I agree that if I were to insulate this box I would gain on it, but I am just going to bite the bullet and go propane. In fact I am so convinced I stopped at Wal-Mart and bought a turkey fryer kit for $37. That is the last penny I am spending on this thing!!! My smoke pistol came today, so I have everything I need to get this smoker working. I just need some time!
post #27 of 40
Thread Starter 
Latest pics show the 2 inch frame welded around the perimeter of the hole I cut. I then welded 1/2 square tubing to the piece I cut out that will fit inside that frame. I hope that will seal better than just trying to close it. This was all before I had my pouting fit yesterday!
post #28 of 40
For the most part, electric stove elements ARE designed to be operated on 240 V, and if operated at 120 V would have a greatly reduced heat output, however...they would be drawing only half as much current...

Actually your amprage/current will double to maitain the same wattage . WATTS divided by VOLTAGE will give you AMPS.

I | R <Can'nt get that to turn out, basicall y E voltage over I amprage R resistanse,, ohms law.

The PID loop with gas would be cheeper i think and probly be less hassle in the long run, but still have to calibrate the loop with a $700.00 meter. I would love to try this or help someone calibrate/tune a set up, but i'm in Iowa.

Don't give up, we will get something figured out, we have lots thinkers here as you can see.
post #29 of 40
"Never give up...........Never give up..that shippppa..You can do and these guys and dols (whhoopps)girls will help. Since you appear to be decent at welding,,someone must have a good idea for double walling the inside??
post #30 of 40
Thread Starter 
The propane burner is working well. I am on the maiden voyage right now! Two pork roasts and a packer brisket. I wanted to try it the SmokeyOkie way, but I underestimated the size of fire I would need to do that. Mine was too small and I thought it was going to start cooking instead of searing, so I took it off the fire and put it straight on the rack. Man I hope it works!
post #31 of 40
Pics Pics Pics :)
post #32 of 40
Thread Starter 
I bought what I thought was a 5 pound roast, but after I took the netting off it was actually two separate roasts. I smoked them for almost ten hours and could not get the internal temp over 175. I chickened out and took them off, rested them for an hour and cut them open. They were good! I wanted to be able to have pulled pork, but the temp just wouldn't go up.
Same thing with the brisket, about 175 max. Very tasty, but I wanted the temp higher.
I have several thermometers to check the temp of the smoker, and they all read 225, give or take a few degrees.
What am I missing? Those pork roasts shouldn't take over two hours a pound, should they?
The 12 pound brisket was on for 14 hours, so I can see where maybe it could have been left on for a few more hours, but the Huskers were getting creamed, and I wanted to go to bed!
post #33 of 40
Thread Starter 
Final pics of my homemade smoker and of my most successful brisket yet!
Attachment 5632

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post #34 of 40
Looks good to me. You just needed to ride out the time on the temps. If you smoker was 225 then your meat would have gone up... it just takes time.

Sorry you had so many problems with the electric set up. I think with a little bit of local help you would have beat it. Really I believe insulation would have helped out a bunch.

Congrats on the maiden voyage! It's only gonna get better from here.

Keep Smokin
post #35 of 40
Smoke ring looks pretty good..
post #36 of 40
Looks good. I guess you just have to work on getting the temps up. Congrats it works! Just have to fine tune now!
post #37 of 40
Glad to see you're up and smokin'. Congratulations PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif. Looks like you need to get to know your new smoker, so you can tune 'er up biggrin.gif.
Lots of good recipes here. Don't forget pics, lots of pics.

post #38 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody! I've never tried ribs....hmmmmmmmm..maybe this weekend!
post #39 of 40
Looks good, there is never a specific time for some meat, just temp, ride out the plateau and you'll get to temp...looks great, job well accomplished.
post #40 of 40
[quote=smokebuzz;94986]Actually no, the resistance of the heating element is the constant.

If you have a 240 volt, 1000 watt element, it has a resistance of 57.6 ohms, at 120 volts, it will only put out 250 watts. (watts = voltage squared divided by resitance)
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