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Brinkman with Mod.s and pics.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Initially, I was going to build an UDS with PID control, but found this in my mother's shed. I had forgotten I had it.


Wanted to make it electric. Here's a pic with the element mounted.




Added a Weber smoke box. It sits directly above the element and gets quite warm.




here it is with the grates and thermocouple mounted




The controller box is an old fishing tackle box with the tray taken out. On the far left is the PID controller and SSR. Middle front is a toggle switch to manually control the element. Middle rear is an outlet to distribute power. Right is a temp panel with a meat probe for internal meat temps.




Another view of da gutz.




How it'll look when it's cookn'




I know it's small, but I'm a noob smoker and wanted to throw something together to smoke some butts. I'm just learning and hope to use some of these same parts in other builds.

Thanks for looking


post #2 of 12

that's pretty cool lookin. Looking forward to you first run and who it performs.

post #3 of 12

What an ingenious use of materials!  I am truly impressed.  Now on to cooking on that puppy!

post #4 of 12

Good job! How well does it cook?

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the kind words, gents.


Believe me, no one wants to cook on this thing more than me.


I ran into an issue last eve when testing it.  The temp would not go above 220F.  The element is 1650W.  I think I'm bleeding too much heat out of the bottom.  Tonight I'm going to wrap the bottom of the smoker with flashing.  I'll also set the smoker on the left over flashing for some heat reflection.  I'm hoping this will resolve the heat issue. 


Any other suggestions, comments, or criticisms welcome.



post #6 of 12

Now thats a high tech ecb!!!

post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by HughJass View Post


Any other suggestions, comments, or criticisms welcome.


Do it out of the wind or with some sort of wind brake

post #8 of 12

Great design, I am so envious of that kinda skills!

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Pandemonium:  I'm such a noob, I had to google "ECB".    It's really not that high tech, though.  I'm just using a new fangled thermostat to turn on and off the element.


Dan:  I have a few places that are sheltered from the elements.  When firing it up, it'll be placed in one of those areas.  Thanks


Chainsaw:  There's really no skill involved.  If you can change an outlet, you can wire a PID in a simple set up like this one.


Going to mod and test this thing tonight.  I've a pork butt ordered from the butcher to be picked up this afternoon.  One way or the other, I'm having pulled pork sandwiches this weekend, dammit.


post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, I had an epic failure over the weekend.

The SSR output remained open and kept the element engaged. I decided to roll with it and try to adjust the temps by venting more heat from the smoker. Things were going along well. The smoke box was filled with cherry. It was giving off plenty o' smoke. I was able to keep the temps ~235F for about 2 hrs. That's when the SSR decided it had done enough work and let all of the smoke out of it's lil body. It's fried. With the relay remaining open, the heat from the current melted the SSR and the tackle box's bottom where the SSR was mounted.

Either the SSR was faulty (probably not)or I had the PID settings wrong(I vote this one). When I put a voltage meter to the SSR, no voltage was apparent. I changed an output setting on the PID and voila, the voltage meter read in the proper range. It also cycled on and off when the temps fluctuated above and below the PID's set point. Gonna give it another test, this time with some kind o' fattie, after the next SSR arrives.

As for the pork butt, it was moved to the oven, cooked til internal temps read 200F, wrapped in foil and allowed to rest for another hour, then pulled and served on a toasted roll with Q sauce on the side. The meat was good, but the day, all in all, was a disappointment.

Stay tuned.

post #11 of 12



The day wasn't wasted, you had a good dinner and you learned what not to do, in my book not a disappointment, just a minor setback because of a design malfunction, you're attempting something new, there will be problems, but you have learned how to correct them.


I'm a newb to the PID game and I'm certainly not an expert, but looking at your tackle box photo it looks like you have a white wire coming off of the + terminal of the SSR hooked to the PID and a red wire coming from the - of the SSR and hooked to a toggle switch (to manually control the temps). I'm wondering why you would want to manually control the temps, isn't that the purpose of the PID?


On mine I attached the SSR to a heat sink and everything is inside of a metal box.


Looking forward to see you succeed with this.



post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 


The white wire was from the PID (-) to the SSR (-) and the red was from the PID (+) through a toggle switch to the (+) on the SSR.  The reason for the toggle is I want the ability to by pass PID and manually shut off PID.


Yes, I've learned a few things with this build.  I'm completely re-doing the box.  I'll post some pic.s when it's done.


Thanks for looking.  Stay tuned.



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