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Help with a Major Electronic Upgrade

10
10
Joined Feb 23, 2012
Hi smokers, I’m thinking of automating my natural gas fridge smoke. I have been reading this older post and wondering if the electronics have become better or easier to install. A PID-Digital-Temperature-Control-Controller-Thermocouple I would also like to instal. I would definitely like your ideas or opinions on how to convert and connect a controller to a gas valve. Maybe someone has a parts list on what’s needed for the conversion?
Any help is greatly appreciated! 06842929-1E81-4090-B2AF-A191317A11A7.jpeg
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
1,102
429
Joined Apr 25, 2015
It's hard to control a gas burner, although someone here had a large burner that burned constant and a smaller one that would cycle on and off as you dropped below or above low and high setpoints. I think it would be easier however to combine a ~300W electrical element off to the side of a larger gas burner. Then the thermostat (with suitable relay) just controls the electrical element. If you go over temp, you need to cut back a bit on the gas since the element is off the entire time. If you're under temp, increase the gas because your element is always on but still can't keep up. Soon you'll find the set&forget point.
 

olaf

Meat Mopper
277
196
Joined Sep 4, 2017
I did that with a friends smoker about 23 years ago and he is still using it. His setup used a pilot light and the gas valve was controlled by the digital controller. If using a pid it may be best to set it up for on-off control.
 
10
10
Joined Feb 23, 2012
I did that with a friends smoker about 23 years ago and he is still using it. His setup used a pilot light and the gas valve was controlled by the digital controller. If using a pid it may be best to set it up for on-off control.
Do you know what the gas valve was off from or remember where he bought it from? do you know anything about a pid controller, I don’t know where to start? I just want to set it and forget about it. Maybe put a flame sensor on it to watch the pilot light. I do not want electric elements.
 

olaf

Meat Mopper
277
196
Joined Sep 4, 2017
I just can't remember where it came from. I do know it did not have an attached thermostat like you would see on a hot water heater or commercial deep fryer. Just a valve with terminals for a thermostat, tube, burner, pilot light, and thermocouple. It was a long time ago. I'll see what I can do.
 

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