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Maverick ET-73 HELP!

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by tjohnson, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I got my replacement Maverick ET-73 in the mail yesterday, and gave it a trial run.

    100' Range?....ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!!!

    I registered the units per instructions and placed (1) probe in ice water and the other on top my smoker.  At 20' with the overhead garage door wide open, I got a good signal, but at 25', the signal was hit and miss.  Walk forward  a few feet and the temps were updated.  I even walked to the end of the driveway, about 35' away, and my signal died.

    This is my 2nd ET-73 and not happy with it's performance.  It does not have enough power to shoot thru a steel skinned, foam filled  garage door, and there is absolutely no way it can shoot thru the steel service door.

    Customer service at Maverick was good, and they told me it should receive beyond it's 20' range I'm experiencing.

    Am I the only one experiencing this short range?

    Is there another remote thermometer that will actually shoot thru a wall and into the house?


  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Dan,

    I knew about the antenna upgrade, but have a hard time paying for something and having to modify it, just to operate as the MFG. advertises.

    Cool Mod.  The ones i found were on the receiver, and this one is on the transmitter....Interesting!!!

    Did you just use a wire, or did you use a RC Antenna?

    Was it as easy as they say?


    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Todd I used a wire that I got from my wife's jewelry making stash, It was the same diameter as called for but after much abuse it did break off and I had to replace it,

    I bet it took longer to take the unit apart then it did to do the mod. maybe 20 minutes tops for the first try. It really is simple.

    If you try it PM me and let me know if you need help.

  5. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    No radio waves will penetrate a metal shield. Not unless you're putting out enough power to melt though the steel that is. LOL  It's called a Farady shield and you can form an effective shield for radio waves with something as thin and simple as screen wire like that used for screen doors window screens.

    I have a Maverick ET 73 that was purchased recently and it covers my whole house and small yard.

    If your requirements are for a lot more range than you have, there are mods posted on the Internet to add antennas to both the transmiter end and the receiver. Doing both would of course add even more range and sensitivity. But not enough to penetrate a sheet of steel, nothing will.  
  6. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    The diameter of the wire doesn't matter, only the length does.
  7. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    My first unit did not have enough power to shoot across the 24' deep garage, and could not even pick up a signal at the end of the driveway, about 35' away.  All had a clear view and batteries had 1.6 volts each.  The seller exchanged it without any trouble.  The second unit has about the same range, but the audible alarms work.

    Which modification would be more beneficial, transmitter mod or receiver mod?

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  8. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Todd, I've been in possession of 5 '73's.  I've given 1 to my son, 1 to my SIL, and I have 3 (two smokers and a backup for just in case).  Out of all those, I've had one not work correctly.  Same problem as yours, beyond 10 feet, nada.  Sent them an email with my mailing address,  got another one and it works fine.  If I were you, I'd call them for a new one and keep trying for a good one.  As you know, the Company is backing their product by a no questions asked return policy.  I recently took one of mine on a camping trip with about 12 RV's.  I couldn't get a signal with all the RV's, lotts metal in the way, but get a good line of site, it worked just fine.  You're just having a run of bad '73's.  Get a new one.  Mine all work just fine through wood doors and walls.

  9. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    THANKS Dave!

    I don't don't want to hack into a brand new ET-73.

    Is there anything else on the market that does have enough power to shoot into the house?

  10. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    My house is all wood--Logs about 6" thick. No problem shooting through that.

    My exterior doors are steel fire rated doors. Not much good shooting through the steel doors.

    I doubt there is much out there that shoots through steel clad house parts, other than my Model #88, or a 30.06, 30.40 Krag, etc, etc.....

    I agree with Dave---Email them or call them. They are unbelievable in customer service.

  11. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    Something is wrong.  But that being the case I think they are both about equally effective really. I'd probably start with the transmitter as that would be less clumsy as the receiver is the more portable of the two. If that doesn't do the trick for you, then add the receiver mod.

    I was looking forward to doing both mods as soon as I got it, but as luck would have it, I didn't need to do either one.  Go figure, ain't that just the way life is.

    I'm a retired EE and started as a technician as a kid and began with radio to boot. Back when I started in electronics (tubes), radio was most of what electronics was about as most of this digital stuff wasn't around back then.

    I can't figure why there is so much variance out there with these things. I thought the existing antenna was a trace on a PCB so I can't figure why the variance unless they get good and bad components too. Something doesn't smell so good with this situation however. This is not normal for electronic equipment today, not even consumer stuff made in China.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  12. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've read many posts to figure this thing out, and there are many disappointed ET-73 users out there.  Yes, customer service is very good, but if they have a product that can't be trusted, I won't use it.  The range seems to be very erratic on my ET-73.  I moved my smoker away from anything steel, but shooting thru a wood wall is even tough.

  13. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit


    I've used mine for maybe a couple months and haven't had much trouble receiving single through the wood frame and cedar siding.  Until recently that is, and lately I am beginning to wonder if the transmitter is transmitting updates sometimes.  I haven't been able to figure out how often it transmits, at times it seems to repeatedly send updates and then other times it doesn't.  Different issue I guess, but I'm wondering if it could be related to the lack of signal being sent.  (Definitely not an electronics guy...lol)

    I really like the concept and the ability to set the alarms and nap during an all nighter etc, but I've become a little less confident lately.
  14. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Man I don't understand what happens with these things. I have had mine for over a year. I have abused the crap out of it leaving it out in the 100+ sun for a few days when I forgot it and in rain another time and it just works like a charm yet others like you can't get one to work. Makes no sense unless they are getting the same parts from multiple suppliers and one is a bad supplier  
  15. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sometimes they will miss a couple of updates, and then pick it up on their own a few minutes later.

    Mine used to work different in different seasons. [​IMG]

    Then I found out why:

    Mrs Bear changes freakin' decorations by the seasons.

    Like right now she just has a big candle ring assembly on the glass coffee table I put my receiver on when smoking.

    The one season gets a whole bunch of metal figurines around a circle, surrounding a silver thing with a candle in it.

    The clear shot to the smoker was right through that arrangement!

    I moved the receiver about a foot to the left.

    Still didn't work, because my steel front door was in line with that shot.

    moved it back plus another foot to the right----Then it worked fine!

    Now I know right where to put it.[​IMG]

    They do not like any kind of metal.

  16. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    That's a real short coming of the units design IMHO.

    It should really have some sort of an indication that the receiver is actually receiving something from the transmitter. Like a warning with the beeper if the receiver hasn't received an update from the transmitter after a defined period of time has elapsedm say two or three times the normal update interval. It's ridiculously easy to code and implement this sort of a timing loop in the microprocessor that is no doubt a part of the receiver circuit so it's omission is truly a gross oversight.
  17. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    It's called quality control and the Chinese really do suck at it if it exits at all. They would also sell their souls for a nickle.

    Eventually they will learn QC just like the Japanese did. 

    After the war the Japanese started with high volume manufacturing for low prices first just like China is doing now, then they brought in the quality control and really started kicking ass, mostly ours.

    It's over for the Japanese now and China will soon stomp them into total oblivion. It's not that they don't have it coming, especially from the Chinese. However the Chinese have one thing that Japan never did and that is the ability to innovate. Japan borrowed and improved everything they ever made but the Chinese can invent from scratch just like we can. The list of firsts in China is a long one. China also has a wealth of natural resources and Japan is an island with nothing, including enough arable land to sustain their population.

    However, we still have our secret weapon so we will ultimately prevail over all.
  18. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    Another seasonal variation could be caused by the weather. If for example you had cedar shingle siding and that siding got good and saturated with rain, that would then attenuate the signal propagated though that wall.

    A signal strength indicator on the LCD dispaly of the receiver like that bar dispaly on your cell phone would be a real plus and a very nice addition wouldn't it?
  19. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Man, you sure leave a guy hanging.......  P-s-s-s-t, you can tell me, nobody else is listening....[​IMG]
  20. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have the same thermometer. Mine has worked great for over a year and I had decent range but all of a sudden my range is gone. I can't even go 20' now. I thought it was dead batteries but I put new ones in both the transmitter and the receiver but the range is still horrible. It doesn't make any sense why my range just went away.