Auber PID alternatives

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deora68

Newbie
Original poster
Jan 15, 2018
15
4
Madison Mississippi
I'm pretty sure most old timers here on SMF use Auber PID's on there MES's, but I was wondering if there's anyone using an alternative that may be much more cost effective and similarly as effective as an Auber? Either home built or ready to run, lets see what you got and how much it cost to get into the PID smoking on the MES. I have had my MES for over 10 years, and am ready to take it to the next level.
 
The only plug and play I’ve seen is Auber. Inkbird is the better of the discount line of PID…. I just put together a Auber ramping PID SSR heat treat oven controller and i’m into it about 150 (a bit more than 1/2 the Auber plug in play version) but to be honest it would have only saved me about 30 to 40 going with the discount stuff but I wanted UL listed switches and SSR since my oven will be running up to 1975 deg.
 
I'm pretty sure most old timers here on SMF use Auber PID's on there MES's, but I was wondering if there's anyone using an alternative that may be much more cost effective and similarly as effective as an Auber? Either home built or ready to run, lets see what you got and how much it cost to get into the PID smoking on the MES. I have had my MES for over 10 years, and am ready to take it to the next level.
Hi there and welcome!

Buying all of the tools, materials, proper switches and components that WON'T melt down (cheap China crap melts down on you), etc. Will cost more than an Auber PID.
Also fabricating on the stupid enclosures is not easy and finding good sized enclosures is not a simple thing unless you have the tooling to do it more easily.

If you have all that then you save about $20-40 vs buying an Auber and spend 1-3 days building one.

An SMF member JC in GB JC in GB makes some for sell so you can speak to him about them. Hit him up and see what he can do for you :)

Lessons Learned building PIDs:
If you want to put in the extra money and like to do the project then feel free to give it a shot but you won't save money on the initial 2 builds. I've built a couple before and learned a few things like don't use project box outlets, instead canabilize 12-16AWG extension cord male and female ends for your plugs.
Buy a super heavy duty on/off switch like a 25-40A marine breaker box switch because all Chinese rocker switches I bought melted down. Buy a humana bussman fuse holder because other chinese ones will melt down
Drill as many holes as possible and use relief glands to fasten cables to the project box/enclosure.

Buy a large enough project box and enclosure and make sure you can ground in it.

You have to cut rectangles for the PID itself so have tooling to easily do it. I use a dremel roating cutting tool and its not great for cutting squares but gets the job done.
 
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I have built 4 types of PID controllers for my smokers and they are still running strong. I have built for electric and charcoal smokers and am currently working on a design for a gas fired smoker. I have built a few for forum members. I am not a company but will build units for forum members. I am using the REX C-100 controller presently (Black Cat 2 controller) but have used the XMT-100 on my Black Cat 1 controller. I like the dual display on the REX C-100.

All components are easily replaceable save the enclosure and custom control circuit board. All components can be purchased from Newark, Amazon, or other electronics distributors.

If you want to build your own, I can provide a parts kit if you like. I am not looking to profit only to further the passion for outdoor cooking.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

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deora68, unless you are into making your own controller, I would not consider anything but the AUBER. The amount of work we all put into smoking meats, deserves the best. Auber is such an easy plug n play.
Ie it’s about the same as one prime packer brisket……just saying
 
The Auber 1510 ELPM sells for $160.00 . Get the multi use probe .
You're going to get a lot of features with the Auber , some of which you may not use .

Some other brands won't heat as high as the Auber .
some other brands are set to read Celsius only .
Auber has ramping ability and is programable .
Controls other things besides your smoker with the multi use probe
Hot plates
Electric roaster
Crock pot
Refrigerator

I'm currently working on putting a 1500 watt element in a 22 " kettle .
Added a grommet yesterday to run my Auber probe to the cook grate .
Gonna grab the 1510 from the MES today and see how it runs .
 
Hi there and welcome!

Buying all of the tools, materials, proper switches and components that WON'T melt down (cheap China crap melts down on you), etc. Will cost more than an Auber PID.
Also fabricating on the stupid enclosures is not easy and finding good sized enclosures is not a simple thing unless you have the tooling to do it more easily.

If you have all that then you save about $20-40 vs buying an Auber and spend 1-3 days building one.

An SMF member JC in GB JC in GB makes some for sell so you can speak to him about them. Hit him up and see what he can do for you :)

Lessons Learned building PIDs:
If you want to put in the extra money and like to do the project then feel free to give it a shot but you won't save money on the initial 2 builds. I've built a couple before and learned a few things like don't use project box outlets, instead canabilize 12-16AWG extension cord male and female ends for your plugs.
Buy a super heavy duty on/off switch like a 25-40A marine breaker box switch because all Chinese rocker switches I bought melted down. Buy a humana bussman fuse holder because other chinese ones will melt down
Drill as many holes as possible and use relief glands to fasten cables to the project box/enclosure.

Buy a large enough project box and enclosure and make sure you can ground in it.

You have to cut rectangles for the PID itself so have tooling to easily do it. I use a dremel roating cutting tool and its not great for cutting squares but gets the job done.
I did some research to find out Auber is made in China, which was another reason I wanted to see what else was available. I may end up with Auber, but wanted to see if there was something comparable that would preform (and not catch fire!) and be cost effective. Thank you for your expertise!
 
  • Like
Reactions: JC in GB
I have built 4 types of PID controllers for my smokers and they are still running strong. I have built for electric and charcoal smokers and am currently working on a design for a gas fired smoker. I have built a few for forum members. I am not a company but will build units for forum members. I am using the REX C-100 controller presently (Black Cat 2 controller) but have used the XMT-100 on my Black Cat 1 controller. I like the dual display on the REX C-100.

All components are easily replaceable save the enclosure and custom control circuit board. All components can be purchased from Newark, Amazon, or other electronics distributors.

If you want to build your own, I can provide a parts kit if you like. I am not looking to profit only to further the passion for outdoor cooking.

JC :emoji_cat:
Thanks JC! Generally speaking what would it cost to build your designs?
 
  • Like
Reactions: JC in GB
deora68, unless you are into making your own controller, I would not consider anything but the AUBER. The amount of work we all put into smoking meats, deserves the best. Auber is such an easy plug n play.
it seems to be the easiest way to go for sure..
 
Thanks JC! Generally speaking what would it cost to build your designs?

If you want to do you own wiring from a part kit, that would be about $80.

The kit would include:

Enclosure cut and drilled with screws
TRIAC Module or DC power supply
REXC100 PID controller
DC jack (if applicable)
AC SWITCH
Thermocouple
Power Cord
AC OUTLET

Are you planning on controlling a heater or a fan? (Electric smoker or charcoal?)

I also saw someone point out that Auber is made in China. Most electronics currently are so finding a 100% American made controller will be a challenge if not impossible.

JC :emoji_cat:
 
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Came real close to going DIY but on a whim I saw Auber ran like 10% off around TG and just bit the bullet. Was pretty surprised how well built it is and that is not easy to do to me. It's definitely worth the money and not a toy. I went WIFI and LOVE that. Connectivity has some quirks but tis life.
 
I just built a unit with Rex C-100 controller with SSR and it worked first time in plugged it in. Now trying to figure out the manual for Rex C100 is another project. I am overshooting my set temp by 18 decrees and dropping below by about 12. How to set the temperature swing to about 5 degrees is my goal. This is running a good old MES30. I figured if I was going to try this PID stuff out for the first time not to spend a lot, which I didn't. The PID, SSR, heat sink, and thermocouple ran about $25. Now does anyone know how to control the REX C100 to get the desired temp swings taken care of? What wealth of knowledge on here, I sure appreciate everyones input.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JC in GB
I just built a unit with Rex C-100 controller with SSR and it worked first time in plugged it in. Now trying to figure out the manual for Rex C100 is another project. I am overshooting my set temp by 18 decrees and dropping below by about 12. How to set the temperature swing to about 5 degrees is my goal. This is running a good old MES30. I figured if I was going to try this PID stuff out for the first time not to spend a lot, which I didn't. The PID, SSR, heat sink, and thermocouple ran about $25. Now does anyone know how to control the REX C100 to get the desired temp swings taken care of? What wealth of knowledge on here, I sure appreciate everyones input.
Hi there and welcome!
I think JC in GB JC in GB might be able to give some insight on the REX C100 P-I-D values that might do the trick for you :)
 
I just built a unit with Rex C-100 controller with SSR and it worked first time in plugged it in. Now trying to figure out the manual for Rex C100 is another project. I am overshooting my set temp by 18 decrees and dropping below by about 12. How to set the temperature swing to about 5 degrees is my goal. This is running a good old MES30. I figured if I was going to try this PID stuff out for the first time not to spend a lot, which I didn't. The PID, SSR, heat sink, and thermocouple ran about $25. Now does anyone know how to control the REX C100 to get the desired temp swings taken care of? What wealth of knowledge on here, I sure appreciate everyones input.

Do you know how to get into the menu to set it to auto tune?

JC :emoji_cat:
 
I've been advised my circuit board needs replacing (MB130) but reading all about the PID options here. Struggling to find a source for an Auber PID in the UK - anyone had any success this side of the pond - or a replacement circuit board?
 
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