Cheap electric smoker control - Analog

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by punter9, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Hey I am building up an easy smoker control for my buddy.  He has a plug in on/off only type smoker and it has no temp control.  He has expressed that he would like something analog and simple (which is a bummer because I have a pid on mine and it is great).  So I am looking to build a rotary knob type controller.  This will be for 110V US power.  

    I am used to the pid control which goes pid to ssr to smoker element.

    I have been looking at these.

    DROK® Micro AC 110V 3000W Voltage Regulator SCR 110VAC Dimmer Speed Controller Temperature Governor Power Monitor Dimming Monitor





    It seems like this could really be the ticket to an easy control here.  I do have a question though

    1.) Could I use this to directly power a 1500W element? You know, without it bursting into flames. 
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I am guessing this is for an electric ECB. If that is the case I don't see why it wouldn't work. 
     
  3. sure is!  I wanted to just check that it would in fact regulate the temperature correctly and I was not missing something basic here.  I'll have him mount it in an enclosure with an on/off switch and ac fan to keep it cool
     
  4. lamar

    lamar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Looking at the specs on the website, looks like the output voltage is DC.
     
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Some application:
    Electric furnace, water heater, lamps, small motor, electric iron etc.

    I think it would work....
     
  6. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    I am working through the details of modding my electric ECB right now....it's a pretty long read.

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/236416/electric-ecb-mods-looking-for-help-advice

    This is something I hadn't thought of in my search for temperature control. If your buddy ends up going this route could you post details and pics? I might want to do this myself, but I don't have much experience working with electronics and connections.

    I don't want to hi-jack your thread, but if you would like to share knowledge on your PID I would greatly appreciate it. I started a thread if you want to post there.

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/236596/pid-advice-and-help
    I have noticed in your signature that you have a PID on your E-ECB also. If you would like to share information too that would be awesome! You have already helped more than others and I thank you sir!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  7. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    The only advice I have on PID controllers is buy one from a reputable source like Auber. I built mine with random parts I got online. It works but is not nearly as accurate as it should be. I haven't had much time to dedicate to it lately so I can probably fix it but at the end of the day I have $75 in parts plus my time when I could have bought a plug and play one for $150. 
     
  8. I have a diy right here.

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/...or-pid-if-i-blow-up-raspberry-pi#post_1008684

    There is a wiring diagram in that thread down towards the end I put together in cad.

    EDIT - HERE IT IS

    PLEASE NOTE - THERE IS A 3RD WIRE COMING OUT OF THE PLUG IN THAT GOES TO THE TERMINAL BLOCK THIRD FROM TOP AC POWER INPUT.  THIS WIRE IS YELLOW IN THE DIAGRAM AND DOES NOT SHOW UP WELL ON THE MONITOR.  REPEAT THE PLUG IN IS NOT ONLY ONE WIRE FOR AC AND ONE WIRE FOR GROUND.  


     This will give you a pid with a plug in.  Also, here is a list of amazon parts (not the same parts but similar).







    Get those and buy a project box/enclosure to mount it all in (non metal - electrical enclosure) and it is set.  I'd be happy to walk you through it if you post pictures.  Feel free to use this thread.  
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  9. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    Oh man, lol. I just got done talking with bmaddox and figured an analog control, like you posted above, or an element, like the one below, would be the best bet for me, for right now.



    That decision was based primarily on the fact that PID's are too costly. However......you make it sounds relatively inexpensive with the parts you posted. Now I am torn. 

    Can you give me an estimate on what it would cost for all the parts I need to build this? That is really the deciding factor in this. It would definitely be nicer than an analog control but since I have no control right now, some is better than none!
     
  10. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Mine is very similar to that one. I have about $75 in parts by the time you add in an outlet, wire, an enclosure, power cord, etc. 
     
  11. I'd say you'd come in around $60 bucks total parts by the time you add a heavy duty plug in cord, a case, and a plug in.  
     
  12. also make sure no matter what you do you go oversize on all wires, pwm boards ssr etc.  You are running 1500W at 110V for hours on end.  That is a continuous 14 amp draw.  You'll want about 50% overhead capacty (20A). 
     
  13. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    Dang it! lol
    Thank you very much for the information. I will probably still stick with the analog controls. At this time I just can't justify spending $60-75 for heat control. It would be very nice to have, but I would also probably need you to hold my hand through EVERY part of this build including all parts needed. Electronics really aren't my thing. Thank you though for your willingness to help out! Maybe someday I will go that route.
     
  14. anytime.  Make sure you oversize that controller and share some pics of the tasty Q
     
  15. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

  16. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic

    Punter

    You can just use a dial light dimmer switch. Just be sure it's for resistive load and fat enough on power/current ratings. That SCR controller will need cooling and has more likelihood of failure. Chinese solid state...not so solid.

    Good luck

    RG
     
  17. timleo

    timleo Smoke Blower

    I'm really interested to see how that works out for you.  I use an Auber to control air flow to my charcoal burner and it works OK.  I've been thinking to switch to electric or propane just for the ease of set-it-and-forget-it use.
     
  18. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    RG, do you have an example of what you mentioned? As you may have read above, I don't know much about this stuff and more details are my friend! [​IMG]  Thanks
     
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is the incandescent Dimmer Switch I used.... 1500 watt.... been in use for over 4 years...

     
  20. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic

    Dave has it covered. Cheap reliable. I have an electric with a "frypan" adjustable control. It needs constant attention. Will replace it with a PID when it burns out. Let your buddy know this, maybe he'll want to spend the $$ for a PID.

    RG
     

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