Thanks a lot, I'm having a lot of fun with this project.
I won't really know until I do some test burns, but I have a feeling it will be capable of getting the smoker hotter than I would ever need to use it. Even for hot smoking and roasting I only want about 350 degrees. I hooked it up today and ran it for a while in the open air to burn off the oil. I'm glad I did because it put off a lot of smoke.
I'm still contemplating about what type of heating element I want to put in.
I know people keep talking about hot plates, but the only thing wrong with that suggestion is that hot plates have built-in sensors meant to automatically shut down the plate as soon as it reaches a certain set-temp. Something I really dont like about that.
I am thinking about putting in something like yours that would be able to give me the constant heat I need without having to worry about it sending me through a bunch of crap like that.
perhaps I should start a thread on heating elements and get some general ideas and then move on.
What made you ever come to the conclusion of deciding on yours?
Hi Joel, I plan to mount the element to the back of the box using stainless lag bolts and nuts to suspend it above the bottom with enough space for some fire bricks below. I got the idea from SMF user omahasmoker. Here is a photo of his mounted element.
I got tired of searching for the right used element from something to retrofit and decided to just buy a big powerful element that can easily be mounted and wired in my smoker. I got the idea for this specific type element when I saw the build that omahasmoker did.
Nice idea with the heater mounting. I am thinking about extending my smoke input pipe across the whole unit and having it thread into a floor flange on the far side. There would be a series of holes in it to diffuse the smoke and I could hang the heater right off it. This way it would be centered and radiate heat evenly. A creased sheet of steel over the pipe will function as a difusser of heat and smoke and protect from drips.
Which wire did you go with the TGGT that is ok up to 482 or the MGT which is good to 1000. Right next to that heater it might get real hot.
Great project you have here, and excellent documentation of the process so far. I plan on making one someday down the road, kegerator is coming first though. Keep up the great work, cant wait to see the TBS and qview that will result from it!!
The only reason I added the switch is to act as a neutral line circuit interrupter, to protect the electronics of the controller during plugging and unplugging. I'm no electrician by any means, so if this idea is flawed and I should change it I will certainly do so. All input and opinions on this subject is welcome.
Probably doesn't matter in this case, just wondering. I do agree on using the switch. I got one today to install in my unit.
By the way have you been using your controller set to the on/off mode? That would be At set to zero. I find there is not alot of cycling when using it this way. I set Hy to 3 which give a 6 degree swing but I felt like that was fine. I really will only need the electric element when smoking above 150 anyway. My "smoke generator" uses charcoal and hardwood chunks which keep my smokehouse up in the 130-150 degree range with no additional heat.
I have not finished the build yet, so I've never actually set the controller except to test the element. I read the paperwork that came with it, but I'm still a little unclear on how to program it other than simply punching in a temperature. It sounds like you know a lot more about it than I do. Would you consider making a new post with instructions for proper PID setup?