There seems to be some big misconceptions as to how the new 180 Traeger digital controller works. Let's see if I can shed some light on the subject. It's very simple and if you know the facts, you don't have to guess what's going on.NOTE:
Always start your grill in SMOKE mode with lid open and if you are going to use SMOKE mode, don't even think about shutting it for at least 10 minutes, unless you want a huge temperature overshoot from your target. Give it time to burn the excess fuel from the firepot.
There are 3 modes the controller operates in:
1. Start-up mode.
2. Smoke mode.
3. Thermostat mode.
Start-up Mode - This occurs every time the switch is turned away from OFF. The controller goes through a start-up cycle routine which lasts 4 minutes. The igniter, fan and auger are energized, for 4 minutes continuously.
At the end of this 4 minute start-up cycle, the controller goes into SMOKE mode (with auger at rest), as that is where you started it. Of course the igniter shuts off, the auger shuts off for an adjustable period, depending on P-setting and of course the fan continues to run until the unit is shut off.
Smoke mode. The auger runs 15 seconds (always) and is at rest for a period determined by your P-setting. Default is P-2. P-2 results in auger running for 15 seconds and resting for 65 seconds, on for 15 seconds, resting for 65 ........... Increasing the P-setting to P-3 will change the rest time to 75 seconds, P-4 to 85 seconds.........P-9 to 135 seconds. P-1 yields rest period of 55 seconds and P-0, 45 seconds. This is what determines the temperature of the pit. The thermometer and DTR do not
come into play in smoke mode. Control of the unit is controlled by the timing routine only. To lower the pit temperature, raise the P-setting and of course to raise the pit temperature, lower the P-setting. You're simply changing the fuel rate the auger delivers.
Thermostat mode - This is where the thermometer and DTR probe enter into the equation. One thing you must keep in mind is that the smoke mode timing routine is running in the background and operating at the same timing as running in smoke mode.
Control works the same at any temperature setting. Let's use 225* to explain how it works there. Your pit is running in smoke mode at ~170*. You turn the dial to 225*, at that point the auger starts to run and runs continuously until the display indicates 225*. At that point the auger ceases, and the controller returns to it's smoke routine, starting with the auger resting. As long as the temperature on the display remains above 222*, the controller continues to run in the smoke mode. Think of it as being in maintenance mode, in other words keeping the fire alive.
When the temperature drops to 222* (target minus 3*), smoke mode is deactivated and the auger energizes and runs until the target temperature is reached (225*). At this point the controller returns to smoke mode (auger in rest mode initially) to maintain the fire. And the process continues.
It's that simple boys and girls, no magic at all.
BTW, the current production auger motors are 1.67 RPM, with a rotational time of 36 seconds (non variable)
The auger motor has no controls on it. It is solely controlled by the controller, on or off, and always runs at 1.67 RPM.
If you want to observe the auger timing, lay on your back and look up into the hopper bottom and watch the fan on the auger motor.
High setting equates to 450*.