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Cyberq Cloud and Pitmaker Safe....is it worth the upgrade?

levithan9

Fire Starter
33
26
Joined Nov 7, 2016
I've got a Pitmaker safe that I really like. Spend that last 8 months really getting to know this thing. I've had some problems with way too much moisture in the cooking chamber, so i've cut back on the amount of water in the lower pan.

I've tried to smoke at 250, but this smoker just doesn't seem to like that temp.

I tried again this past weekend, and all i got was billowing white smoke coming out of the top.
I had started my charcoal, added 3 chunks of Pecan wood, and left it all in the charcoal started until the wood and charcoal turned to ash. Preheated the Safe with a propane weed burner torch. I went up to 300, because i know it'll drop as soon as i close the door. I setup the charcoal in the firebox in a UPSIDE DOWN U shape.

It seemed that trying to smoke at 250 just chokes the fire.

So, i'm wondering if i should invest in a Cyber Q Cloud for me Pitmaker safe. Its about $350 for the fullsetup, but is it going to do what I'd like it to do ?

Any responses would be welcome. Thanks in advance.
 

i6quer

Meat Mopper
163
87
Joined Feb 22, 2014
How important is it to you that you leave your smoker unattended for a long time?

I have stopped trying to use the snake or minion method in my insulated vertical cabinet in favor of small hot fires that I start in a chimney about every hour (about 2/3 of a chimney of briquettes and chunks, dump once smoke stops after 7 or 8 minutes).

I use my DigiQ and fan to keep the temp in a relatively tight range, but I don't really care if it's up/down 25 degrees for a little while from my usual target of 250*.

This is my version of the old burn barrel approach and I have almost no white smoke ever now. I can't leave the house for long stretches now, but I really don't mind for the cleaner smoke and better meat. I also usually finish my butts and briskets in the oven for simplicity after 4-6 hours of smoke.

I've always wanted a Safe built into an outdoor kitchen... love the looks of them... someday maybe! Good luck dialing it in!
 

JC in GB

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,648
1,635
Joined Sep 28, 2018
The commercial pit controllers out are good products and would probably help with your temp issues. If you are more of a DIY kind of person, you can cobble together your own PID controller set-up for under $100. That is what I am currently using on my smoker and it holds temp fine.
 

levithan9

Fire Starter
33
26
Joined Nov 7, 2016
I'm absolutely a DIY person. I've been an auto tech for over 20 years. So if i can get plans on how to build one vs spending $350+ bucks, i'm all ears !!

And i also started doing the burn barrel method, but doing it in a neighborhood, i feel that sometimes i might piss off some of the neighbors with all the smoke. They've seen me out there in my garage at 3-4 in the morning. I had a small 20 gallon drum that i made into a burn barrel, but it made so much smoke, i was afraid that someone would call the fire dept.
I also use my masterbuild 40 inch smoker to put my briskets and pork butts/shoulders in when they've reached 170 temp, or have the color and bark formation that I want. I set it at 225, and off to bed i go. So while leaving the smoker alone for extend periods of time is not that important, i do like sleeping. I also what to see what can be done at lower temps with my Safe smoker. It purrs right along at 275-290. But i'd like to try for a longer time in the Safe vs 170 and move to different smoker.
 

JC in GB

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,648
1,635
Joined Sep 28, 2018
low side driver.jpg
low side driver.jpg


Circuit board for MOSFET low side driver



Okay, the only thing you may need to get this done is a few inexpensive electronic parts and the ability to solder.

Go to aliexpress dot com and find the following:

12VDC SSR output PID controller. (rex c-100)

k type thermocouple or a PT100 sensor. (2 meter length)

120VAC to 12VDC 2A power supply. (wall wart type is fine)

Use the SSR output to drive a low side driver. The low side driver will drive the fan.

You can use any N channel MOSFET to drive the fan as long as the voltage and current ratings are adequate.

RFD14N05L MOSFET is overkill but will work fine and will be easier to solder. You can use an FDS 4470 if you don't mind surface mount soldering.

Resistor values are not that critical for this application. R1 controls how fast the MOSFET turns on and R2 controls how fast the MOSFET turns off. R2 must be a large enough value to generate the gate drive voltage needed to turn on the MOSFET at the divider created by R1 and R2. V = (R2/(R1 + R2)*VCC) In my example above, a 12V gate signal would be reduced to 11.9 at the voltage divider. Still more than sufficient to drive the MOSFET gate to on.

I purchased the pit viper fan and adapter flange from BBQ guru because I didn't want to reinvent the wheel for the air delivery hardware.

Wire up the PID controller as shown on the label.

Use the instruction manual to set up your controller performance and output.

This controller only displays in degrees C so you will need a conversion chart handy unless you know your Celsius equivalents....

JC
 

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