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MES Rewire Simple Guide - No Back Removal Needed!!!

tallbm

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I was thinking about the wires I saw terminated to the light bulb socket a couple years ago and finding that size/color in the bottom access area but I don't see extra wires unless they are behind the circuit board. Then cutting them and running a continuity check from the wires through the light bulb. If I get to the wires and get continuity I can unscrew the bulb to see if I loose continuity. Or with the light bulb housing off and socket in hand, drill a pilot hole from the inside out only needing to go through the outside ss panel and fish the wires out if I can get enough lead.
They all sound like decent ideas.
I'm not sure how well you will be able to fish the wires, but if you could put an eyeball on them then that may work.
When I did a Gen 2 rewire all of the wires were underneath the foam insulation and had to basically be carved out. Without carving up the insulation it was pretty much impossible to pull the wiring loose or get any slack going.
 

dr k

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I finally got to auto tune the Mes Gen 1 40 with the Auber WS-1510ELPM at 275*F. It got my parameters to P= 34, I=282 and D=70 in 53 minutes. This resulted in the controller coming out of full power way too early. I auto tuned again and same results. The instructions said this unit operates in these modes:
on/off mode is P=0
PID mode is P=>0, I=>0, D=>0
PI mode is P=>0, I=>0, D=0
PD mode is P=>0, I=0, D=>0
P mode is P=>0, I=0, D=0
My smoker interior setup is an open design inside for unrestricted air circulation for even heating left to right on the top three racks: Open/exposed heating element. water pan on bottom rack with perforated stainless steel underneath it butt up against length of back wall. This I'll never change because the results are too good and may differentiate my smoker from all others and how I need to use my Auber controller.

In P mode if P=7, then 7 degrees below set temp: output=100%, 5 degrees below set temp: output=71% and set temp: output=0%.
Then if P=2, then 2 degrees below set temp: output=100%, 1 degree below set temp: output=50% and set temp=0%.
The lowest setting P=1 with this mode keeps my smoker within 2 degrees of my set temp. This is the same as a Mes controller that you can ramp down (if you have lower air flow than mine) as it approaches the set temp with the sensor next to your food to get any temp you want. Now that is BEAUTIFUL! Having max output to a specific degree you choose, then it ramps down to your set temp.

Since this is full throttle output to your degree of choice, setting temp to 15*F below your desired cooking temp is done on preheating. It'll coast up after the controller shuts off and as it slows then reset the temp to your desired cooking temp (Bear's manual no/low over shoot solution) ie. if you want to cook at 275*F preheat to 260*F. When the controller shuts off at 260*F the heating momentum will coast up to around 275*F in a minute or two, then reset the controller to 275*F. This will need to be done after opening the door as well. Just having the probe in open air at your food level makes all the difference with this mode. I need more full power for my smoker and I'm really liking this mode. I smoked salmon on the second rack from the top starting at 150*F for a couple hours without having to change the P value from when it was running at 275*F.
20180120_114709.jpg

Barely see the perf ss butt against back wall behind water pan.

20180120_163144.jpg

Can't see perf ss in this pic. Not much of it is really used because the water pan is on top of the part that comes to the center of the rack and none of it infront. Rib pic from the past but shows open area below water pan. Moves heat left with air flow from chip loader hole.

20180223_120652.jpg

Today's Salmon.

20180223_120625.jpg

Numbers don't show on PID in pics.

20180223_121647.jpg

145*f left and right. To me even temps and getting to 275+*f is what I needed. The tighter offset is just a bonus with the PID.
 

tallbm

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I finally got to auto tune the Mes Gen 1 40 with the Auber WS-1510ELPM at 275*F. It got my parameters to P= 34, I=282 and D=70 in 53 minutes. This resulted in the controller coming out of full power way too early. I auto tuned again and same results. The instructions said this unit operates in these modes:
on/off mode is P=0
PID mode is P=>0, I=>0, D=>0
PI mode is P=>0, I=>0, D=0
PD mode is P=>0, I=0, D=>0
P mode is P=>0, I=0, D=0
My smoker interior setup is an open design inside for unrestricted air circulation for even heating left to right on the top three racks: Open/exposed heating element. water pan on bottom rack with perforated stainless steel underneath it butt up against length of back wall. This I'll never change because the results are too good and may differentiate my smoker from all others and how I need to use my Auber controller.

In P mode if P=7, then 7 degrees below set temp: output=100%, 5 degrees below set temp: output=71% and set temp: output=0%.
Then if P=2, then 2 degrees below set temp: output=100%, 1 degree below set temp: output=50% and set temp=0%.
The lowest setting P=1 with this mode keeps my smoker within 2 degrees of my set temp. This is the same as a Mes controller that you can ramp down (if you have lower air flow than mine) as it approaches the set temp with the sensor next to your food to get any temp you want. Now that is BEAUTIFUL! Having max output to a specific degree you choose, then it ramps down to your set temp.

Since this is full throttle output to your degree of choice, setting temp to 15*F below your desired cooking temp is done on preheating. It'll coast up after the controller shuts off and as it slows then reset the temp to your desired cooking temp (Bear's manual no/low over shoot solution) ie. if you want to cook at 275*F preheat to 260*F. When the controller shuts off at 260*F the heating momentum will coast up to around 275*F in a minute or two, then reset the controller to 275*F. This will need to be done after opening the door as well. Just having the probe in open air at your food level makes all the difference with this mode. I need more full power for my smoker and I'm really liking this mode. I smoked salmon on the second rack from the top starting at 150*F for a couple hours without having to change the P value from when it was running at 275*F.
View attachment 354995
Barely see the perf ss butt against back wall behind water pan.

View attachment 354996
Can't see perf ss in this pic. Not much of it is really used because the water pan is on top of the part that comes to the center of the rack and none of it infront. Rib pic from the past but shows open area below water pan. Moves heat left with air flow from chip loader hole.

View attachment 354998
Today's Salmon.

View attachment 354999
Numbers don't show on PID in pics.

View attachment 355000
145*f left and right. To me even temps and getting to 275+*f is what I needed. The tighter offset is just a bonus with the PID.
Man Kurt looks like you are rockin and rollin!
So did you decide to just go pure P mode over PID?

I know I did my auto tunes with and without simulated load where I put each rack in the smoker and pans and stuff on each rack and as well as having the water pan in. The behavior with PID autotune values from the simulated load was better then behavior of the PID values without the simulated load.

In any case if you have yours working the way you want don't touch it. I just figured I would serve up that little bit of info.
I'm happy to see you are getting good results and now you are set to do any type of smoked meat item you like in your MES. Nothing is off limits now you have a smoker with basically no limitations (other than going too hot).

Congrats!!! :)
 

dr k

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Man Kurt looks like you are rockin and rollin!
So did you decide to just go pure P mode over PID?

I know I did my auto tunes with and without simulated load where I put each rack in the smoker and pans and stuff on each rack and as well as having the water pan in. The behavior with PID autotune values from the simulated load was better then behavior of the PID values without the simulated load.

In any case if you have yours working the way you want don't touch it. I just figured I would serve up that little bit of info.
I'm happy to see you are getting good results and now you are set to do any type of smoked meat item you like in your MES. Nothing is off limits now you have a smoker with basically no limitations (other than going too hot).

Congrats!!! :)
A shorter insulated smoker that has less air flow like the SI seems like full PID mode is good. The Mes needs airflow for the Amnps so it cools more quickly so it needs a quicker response of full power to keep it within a couple degrees. When I auto tuned the slow cooker for a SV it would come off full power way too soon as well. Auber sent me a chart on slow response cookers and the Bradley Auber PID had a setting of P=40, I=0 and D=40 which is the same as P=4, I=0 and D=40 for the WS-1510ELPM for low/no over shoot which is PD mode. I fill the slow cooker with warm water so I've done the preheat work for the controller and it just has to maintain the temp but with a smoker it does it all. One guy with a PID I googled preheated his smoker five degrees below his desired set temp then auto tuned it. I'm going to smoke in P mode (P=1) and play with auto tune (preheat first) to see what parameter values I get. When outside temps are 70*F+warmer P maybe 2, 3 or 4.
 

dr k

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They all sound like decent ideas.
I'm not sure how well you will be able to fish the wires, but if you could put an eyeball on them then that may work.
When I did a Gen 2 rewire all of the wires were underneath the foam insulation and had to basically be carved out. Without carving up the insulation it was pretty much impossible to pull the wiring loose or get any slack going.
Two screws and the light housig is just hanging by the wires with lead I can work with. I don't see the two smaller black wires coming off the socket in your pick of the bottom access for the Gen1 40. Cutting the wires flush to the left wall and drilling into a block of wood on the outside of the smoker and done. Only one panel of the insulated wall to drill through. Solder and shrink tube some 14 guage wire, get a plug end and put a little RTV Silicone in the hole and I can plug into an extension cord. The light socket reads 250v / 75watt. Out the side light bulb bypass.
20180228_105045.jpg
 

tallbm

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Nice! Looks like you got it whipped!
I expect pictures of a lit up bulb are soon to follow :)
 

dr k

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Nice! Looks like you got it whipped!
I expect pictures of a lit up bulb are soon to follow :)
I spent too much time overthinking the short lead of wire on the socket and which way I wanted to solder on a cord. Awesome, the socket has screw terminals that accepts a standard household extension cord. So I grabbed a brown 12ftr. cut off the female end, stripped 1/4" off each end and tested the socket /bulb. All's good.

  • Then drilled about a 5/16" hole through the wire hole from the inside of the smoker out into a piece of wood. Had to take off the socket to double shrink tube the wires and thread through the hole from the outside and terminate to the socket again. I spent time to think it through and it was simple and better wiring than what was originally there. I'll add a pic I don't have my phone with me.
 

tallbm

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Oooh can't wait! I'm such a nerd with this stuff hahaha :)
 

dr k

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I spent too much time overthinking the short lead of wire on the socket and which way I wanted to solder on a cord. Awesome, the socket has screw terminals that accepts a standard household extension cord. So I grabbed a brown 12ftr. cut off the female end, stripped 1/4" off each end and tested the socket /bulb. All's good.

  • Then drilled about a 5/16" hole through the wire hole from the inside of the smoker out into a piece of wood. Had to take off the socket to double shrink tube the wires and thread through the hole from the outside and terminate to the socket again. I spent time to think it through and it was simple and better wiring than what was originally there. I'll add a pic I don't have my phone with me.
My modding is done. Just need to put in a little RTV Silicone to seal but it'll have to wait till after the salmon is done. PID temp never shows on camera.
20180302_132615.jpg



20180302_101855.jpg
 

tallbm

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Nice! Looks like you are all set!
 

tallbm

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I recently picked up a gen 1.5 MES40 that I would love to add the WS-1510ELPM to. Before i pull the trigger on the PID, do you know if it would wire up like the GEN 1? here is the version I have https://masterbuilt.com/product/mb20072618-digital-electric-smoker
Hi sm0kin, I took a look at the link you sent. You should be able to wire it up very similarly to Gen 1 in this thread.
I have also rewired a Gen 2 before and it was still very similar.

UNDERSTAND, that the model you show is kind of a hybrid and will likely look a little different than the Gen 1 images you see here in my post. That is OK because all the same general parts exist... they didn't change their approach just some of the way the components look and the way they may be connecting the wires but in the end the wires still go to all the same types of components (circuit boards, heating element, rollout limit switch, etc.).

Also know that when you rewire you will lose your native MES features like Bluetooth (which doesn't really work at the moment anyhow), the meat probe (which is always off anyhow, the internal light, etc. The rewire makes the MES dumb so that when it receives electricity it simply feeds it to the heating element and heats up.
Trust me you basically just lose the lightbulb but what you gain is very tight temp control.
As you can see dr k dr k figured out a simple way to rig his light back up. You can get fancier if you like but his approach works as well :)

Let me know if you have any further questions and if you want to take lots of pics of your hybrid wiring as rewire we can post them in the original post next to the Gen 1 pics :)

Finally, I highly recommend you get hi temp stainless steel connectors to replace the crappy ones on your heating element connections. You will save yourself the headache of replacing them in the future as those MES connectors are a well known failure point :) :
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Let us know if you have any questions :)
 

sm0kin

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Thanks for the reply! Regarding the loss of features, this model doesn’t have Bluetooth, the meat probe wasn’t a deal breaker, but I was excited about the light lol. I usually have an LED flashlight or headband for overnight smokes though. I don’t think there’s a way to get more consistent heating without this or a similar controller. I seriously considered a PI zero w and an arduino but it costs more than the auberin. I’m going to try a few smokes and see where it takes me before I jump in on this. I primarily smoke ribs, pork butts, briskets, and chicken. I have had incredible success over the last several years with a couple gen 1 mes 30’s that were utilizing my fan mod and amnps. I don’t even know that I really NEED to change anything yet lol.
 

tallbm

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Thanks for the reply! Regarding the loss of features, this model doesn’t have Bluetooth, the meat probe wasn’t a deal breaker, but I was excited about the light lol. I usually have an LED flashlight or headband for overnight smokes though. I don’t think there’s a way to get more consistent heating without this or a similar controller. I seriously considered a PI zero w and an arduino but it costs more than the auberin. I’m going to try a few smokes and see where it takes me before I jump in on this. I primarily smoke ribs, pork butts, briskets, and chicken. I have had incredible success over the last several years with a couple gen 1 mes 30’s that were utilizing my fan mod and amnps. I don’t even know that I really NEED to change anything yet lol.
I run the HeaterMeter (Pi3) that I bought from Auber. I had to still wire up an SSR and everything to control my MES40.
Someone here on the forums did a HeaterMeter wire job to the MES where it uses the onboard MES relay to control the heat but I don't recall where it is and I think there is still some info missing... but maybe it's all there to replicate. If so it would be much easier then the approach I took with the SSR and such :)
 

dr k

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Oooh can't wait! I'm such a nerd with this stuff hahaha :)
Just an update. I used my PID/Mes cold smoking for the first time since the rewire. Since I can set the PID below 100° when It was 53° yesterday morning a setting at 63° was enough for a constant draft. This is awesome.
 

dr k

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When hot smoking I have been leaving the I=0 and D=0 for P mode and using P= 1 or 2. If P=0 It's on/off mode like the Mes stock controllers but the PID sensor is where the food is so that's many times better than a fixed sensor on the back wall just for that reason. Running in P mode at 1 or 2 keeps the full output light on till one or two degrees before getting to set point then flashes and over shoots five degrees on first preheat. Then holds within a degree or two. Then when heat drops to set point it flashes. When it drops to one degree lower it flashes more on and a degree lower even more on flashing till a degree lower for full on. For Mes 3" intake/exhaust vents and mailbox mods this is my favorite PID mode for the PID model in my signature.
 

tallbm

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That sounds awesome Kurt. It seems like you are in set and forget smoker heaven! :)
I did a 16 pound brisket 2 weekends ago and I slept like a baby until the alarm went off around 6am for the initial tenderness check. I ended up pulling it around 8am and rested until lunch time. Talk about carefree perfect bbq!!!
 

48Fan

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Lately I've seen a number of posts about guys wanting to rewire their MES. I had wanted to post a quick and simple guide for those out there that are curious or those that simply need to rewire but need a little assistance. Well here goes.

Disclaimer: When messing with electrical equipment it is best to consult a local electrical professional to ensure things are done correctly. Be safe and use caution. I am not an electrician and with many things you hear or read, it is your responsibility to verify the information's validity and ensure you and others are safe.

Ok now on to rewiring info
Smoker Referenced Below:
  • MES 40 Gen1
Tools and Equipment (at a Minimum):
  • A strong back or a 2nd body to help pick up the smoker and set on a table to be worked on
  • Waist High Table - to put the smoker onto
  • Needle Nose Plyers
  • Wire Crimping Tool - one that crimps, strips, and cuts wires
  • 14-16 AWG Butt Connectors, or Wire Nuts
  • Drill
  • 1/8" Drill Bit that can drill metal - to drill out circuit board rivets
  • #12 - 1" self tapping Sheet Metal Screws/Fastener to refasten circuit board panel back on after rivets are removed. 3/4" long may also be good for this one panel but MAY be a little short. I used 3/4" because that is what I used when pulled the back off my MES
  • Drill Bit to drive the sheet metal screws (I used hex head fasteners but you may find hex + phillips head)
  • Masking Tape/Electrical Tape - some kind of tape that can be used to mark a wire. U need no more than 1 inch worth

Quick Explanation of the Process:

The rewire is actually very simple and does NOT require removing the back of the MES. What is being done is the following:
  • Take existing MES wiring and disconnecting it from the MES circuit board the controller is connected to
  • Connect Hot wire that comes from MES plug, to Hot wire that leads to the safety Roll out Limit Switch & Heating Element
  • Connect the Neutral wire that comes from the MES plug, to the Neutral wire that leads to the Heating element
  • Done!
When done, the MES controller will be bypassed and will receive no electricity. Also the safety mechanism (safety roll out limit switch) will still do it's job and cut off power to the heating element should the heat limit be exceeded. The switch will auto reset after a while and when it does electricity will again be able to flow to the heating element.

IMPORTANT: If you plug the rewired MES into the wall there is NOTHING to control the electricity to the element. If plugged in, the MES will simply just suck electricity and heat up as a dumb circuit. This is why a 3rd party controller like a PID controller is needed.

The PID controller will control the on/off flow of electricity to the heating element according to the set temperature and the temp the PID controller is reading with a probe from within the smoker.

Simple Rewire Steps:

The process should really take between 30 minutes and 2 hours based on how you work, preperation, and confidence/comfort level with the tools and the process.
  1. UNPLUG the MES!!!!
  2. Get the MES up on a table laying flat on it's back or on the front. If you lay it on the front (what I did) be sure not to break the glass window in the door... just use caution
  3. Using the 1/8" drill bit and a drill, drill out the rivets on the bottom panel of the MES.

    The bottom panel is identified by the green square, everything outside of the green square is irrelevant for this step.
    The red arrows identify some rivets on the PANEL. ONLY drill out the panel rivets inside the green square, NOT the rivets outside the green square.

  4. You should see an image similar to the one below but it may be slightly different. Don't worry if it is slightly different because we will be able to easily identify the wires.

  5. Use your hand or the Needle Nose Plyers to disconnect the wires listed below:
    1. Plug Hot Wire - Smooth Black color wire
    2. Plug Neutral Wire - Smooth White color wire
    3. Rollout Limit Switch & Heating Element Hot Wire - Black Braided wire
    4. Heating Element Neutral Wire - Black Braided wire - yes looks just like wire #3

  6. IMPORTANT: Ignore any other tiny wires that may come out of the upper right hole of the compartment. These can be any color (black, green, white, white braided wire, etc.). They will be noticeably thinner than the real wires!

  7. Identify and use a piece of tape Label the black braided wires:
    1. Heating Element NEUTRAL Black Braided wire - Comes out of upper LEFT hole
    2. Rollout Limit Switch & Heating Element HOT Black Braided wire comes out of the upper RIGHT hole

      The key here is to identify the hole that the wire comes out of. Use a piece of tape to flag the wires for quick identification. If you accidentally splice the wires it should be OK and all should still work safely and fine. The thing is the wiring is not TECHNICALLY accurate which may lead to some confusion about which wire goes where.


  8. Cut and splice wires together. Use butt connectors, wire nuts, or any electrical connectors to splice the wires. JUST BE SURE that the connections are tight!!! You want no wiggle between the connection because that causes resistance and resistance causes heat and that will burn up the wire, wiring, etc. which is bad!
    1. Connect wires #1 and #3. Notice they should both come out of the upper right hole/port.

    2. Connect wires #2 and #4. Notice the white wire comes out of the upper right hole/port and the black braided wire comes out of the upper left hole/port. The pic is bad so I tried to erase extra wires and used a Green line to trace the wire and connections. I hope it gives the proper visual.




  9. When all wired up it should look like the image below:

  10. Use the sheet metal screws to fasten the panel back on through the rivet holes.
  11. Safely put the smoker back on the ground
  12. Open the smoker door and plug in the MES to the wall outlet. You should feel that it is heating and if you leave it on long enough you will see the element start turning color showing heat.
Well that is it. This approach is about as simple as it gets to rewire a Gen1 MES. Now every MES generation and model may be a little different but the idea for rewiring is still the same.

Additional Rewire Considerations:

This post is simply showing how to rewire for a 3d party controller to be used, BUT it does not address some week points of the MES wiring. I will note some improvements that should be considered because they are common issues with the MES that you will likely run into an need to fix at some point.
  1. Replace the Heating Element connectors with Hi Temp Stainless Steel female spade connectors - the MES uses poor electrical connectors on the wires that connect to the heating element. They don't seem to be able to stand up to the heat of the element very well and corrode easily. Mine showed signs of corrosion after 3 months of use!!! Google the following connectors as good replacement options:
    Supco T1111c (typical female spade), or Supco T1113c (flag style female spade)

    Again, be sure the connectors are on completely and are crimped complete! You want NO wiggle. Keep working until you get the proper connection.
  2. Replace the Safety Rollout Limit Switch connectors with Hi Temp Stainless Steel female spade connectors - as stated above the connectors that MES uses are poor and corrode easily. The connectors here suffere the same issue.
    The big issue is that most MES smokers do not have a panel to access the rollout limit switch. In this case, you must remove the back of the MES to get to the rollout limit switch
    1. Consider cutting and creating a panel to access this switch in the future
    2. The rollout limit switch is a little delicate so if you happen to damage it go to Amazon and search for: KSD301 for replacement switches should you knock a tab loose or bend it or damage it in any way.


      Again, be sure the connectors are on completely and are crimped complete! You want NO wiggle. Keep working until you get the proper connection.
Best of luck guys and remember to be safe and enjoy smoking! :)
 

48Fan

Newbie
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Joined May 9, 2018
When hot smoking I have been leaving the I=0 and D=0 for P mode and using P= 1 or 2. If P=0 It's on/off mode like the Mes stock controllers but the PID sensor is where the food is so that's many times better than a fixed sensor on the back wall just for that reason. Running in P mode at 1 or 2 keeps the full output light on till one or two degrees before getting to set point then flashes and over shoots five degrees on first preheat. Then holds within a degree or two. Then when heat drops to set point it flashes. When it drops to one degree lower it flashes more on and a degree lower even more on flashing till a degree lower for full on. For Mes 3" intake/exhaust vents and mailbox mods this is my favorite PID mode for the PID model in my signature.
 

48Fan

Newbie
8
0
Joined May 9, 2018
Lately I've seen a number of posts about guys wanting to rewire their MES. I had wanted to post a quick and simple guide for those out there that are curious or those that simply need to rewire but need a little assistance. Well here goes.

Disclaimer: When messing with electrical equipment it is best to consult a local electrical professional to ensure things are done correctly. Be safe and use caution. I am not an electrician and with many things you hear or read, it is your responsibility to verify the information's validity and ensure you and others are safe.

Ok now on to rewiring info :)

Smoker Referenced Below:
  • MES 40 Gen1
Tools and Equipment (at a Minimum):
  • A strong back or a 2nd body to help pick up the smoker and set on a table to be worked on
  • Waist High Table - to put the smoker onto
  • Needle Nose Plyers
  • Wire Crimping Tool - one that crimps, strips, and cuts wires
  • 14-16 AWG Butt Connectors, or Wire Nuts
  • Drill
  • 1/8" Drill Bit that can drill metal - to drill out circuit board rivets
  • #12 - 1" self tapping Sheet Metal Screws/Fastener to refasten circuit board panel back on after rivets are removed. 3/4" long may also be good for this one panel but MAY be a little short. I used 3/4" because that is what I used when pulled the back off my MES
  • Drill Bit to drive the sheet metal screws (I used hex head fasteners but you may find hex + phillips head)
  • Masking Tape/Electrical Tape - some kind of tape that can be used to mark a wire. U need no more than 1 inch worth

Quick Explanation of the Process:

The rewire is actually very simple and does NOT require removing the back of the MES. What is being done is the following:
  • Take existing MES wiring and disconnecting it from the MES circuit board the controller is connected to
  • Connect Hot wire that comes from MES plug, to Hot wire that leads to the safety Roll out Limit Switch & Heating Element
  • Connect the Neutral wire that comes from the MES plug, to the Neutral wire that leads to the Heating element
  • Done!
When done, the MES controller will be bypassed and will receive no electricity. Also the safety mechanism (safety roll out limit switch) will still do it's job and cut off power to the heating element should the heat limit be exceeded. The switch will auto reset after a while and when it does electricity will again be able to flow to the heating element.

IMPORTANT: If you plug the rewired MES into the wall there is NOTHING to control the electricity to the element. If plugged in, the MES will simply just suck electricity and heat up as a dumb circuit. This is why a 3rd party controller like a PID controller is needed.

The PID controller will control the on/off flow of electricity to the heating element according to the set temperature and the temp the PID controller is reading with a probe from within the smoker.

Simple Rewire Steps:

The process should really take between 30 minutes and 2 hours based on how you work, preperation, and confidence/comfort level with the tools and the process.
  1. UNPLUG the MES!!!!
  2. Get the MES up on a table laying flat on it's back or on the front. If you lay it on the front (what I did) be sure not to break the glass window in the door... just use caution
  3. Using the 1/8" drill bit and a drill, drill out the rivets on the bottom panel of the MES.

    The bottom panel is identified by the green square, everything outside of the green square is irrelevant for this step.
    The red arrows identify some rivets on the PANEL. ONLY drill out the panel rivets inside the green square, NOT the rivets outside the green square.

  4. You should see an image similar to the one below but it may be slightly different. Don't worry if it is slightly different because we will be able to easily identify the wires.

  5. Use your hand or the Needle Nose Plyers to disconnect the wires listed below:
    1. Plug Hot Wire - Smooth Black color wire
    2. Plug Neutral Wire - Smooth White color wire
    3. Rollout Limit Switch & Heating Element Hot Wire - Black Braided wire
    4. Heating Element Neutral Wire - Black Braided wire - yes looks just like wire #3

  6. IMPORTANT: Ignore any other tiny wires that may come out of the upper right hole of the compartment. These can be any color (black, green, white, white braided wire, etc.). They will be noticeably thinner than the real wires!

  7. Identify and use a piece of tape Label the black braided wires:
    1. Heating Element NEUTRAL Black Braided wire - Comes out of upper LEFT hole
    2. Rollout Limit Switch & Heating Element HOT Black Braided wire comes out of the upper RIGHT hole

      The key here is to identify the hole that the wire comes out of. Use a piece of tape to flag the wires for quick identification. If you accidentally splice the wires it should be OK and all should still work safely and fine. The thing is the wiring is not TECHNICALLY accurate which may lead to some confusion about which wire goes where.


  8. Cut and splice wires together. Use butt connectors, wire nuts, or any electrical connectors to splice the wires. JUST BE SURE that the connections are tight!!! You want no wiggle between the connection because that causes resistance and resistance causes heat and that will burn up the wire, wiring, etc. which is bad!
    1. Connect wires #1 and #3. Notice they should both come out of the upper right hole/port.

    2. Connect wires #2 and #4. Notice the white wire comes out of the upper right hole/port and the black braided wire comes out of the upper left hole/port. The pic is bad so I tried to erase extra wires and used a Green line to trace the wire and connections. I hope it gives the proper visual.




  9. When all wired up it should look like the image below:

  10. Use the sheet metal screws to fasten the panel back on through the rivet holes.
  11. Safely put the smoker back on the ground
  12. Open the smoker door and plug in the MES to the wall outlet. You should feel that it is heating and if you leave it on long enough you will see the element start turning color showing heat.
Well that is it. This approach is about as simple as it gets to rewire a Gen1 MES. Now every MES generation and model may be a little different but the idea for rewiring is still the same.

Additional Rewire Considerations:

This post is simply showing how to rewire for a 3d party controller to be used, BUT it does not address some week points of the MES wiring. I will note some improvements that should be considered because they are common issues with the MES that you will likely run into an need to fix at some point.
  1. Replace the Heating Element connectors with Hi Temp Stainless Steel female spade connectors - the MES uses poor electrical connectors on the wires that connect to the heating element. They don't seem to be able to stand up to the heat of the element very well and corrode easily. Mine showed signs of corrosion after 3 months of use!!! Google the following connectors as good replacement options:
    Supco T1111c (typical female spade), or Supco T1113c (flag style female spade)

    Again, be sure the connectors are on completely and are crimped complete! You want NO wiggle. Keep working until you get the proper connection.
  2. Replace the Safety Rollout Limit Switch connectors with Hi Temp Stainless Steel female spade connectors - as stated above the connectors that MES uses are poor and corrode easily. The connectors here suffere the same issue.
    The big issue is that most MES smokers do not have a panel to access the rollout limit switch. In this case, you must remove the back of the MES to get to the rollout limit switch
    1. Consider cutting and creating a panel to access this switch in the future
    2. The rollout limit switch is a little delicate so if you happen to damage it go to Amazon and search for: KSD301 for replacement switches should you knock a tab loose or bend it or damage it in any way.


      Again, be sure the connectors are on completely and are crimped complete! You want NO wiggle. Keep working until you get the proper connection.
Best of luck guys and remember to be safe and enjoy smoking! :)
does the pid wire into the smoker to control turning the element on and off and if so how do you wire it in
 

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