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

tallbm

Master of the Pit
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does the pid wire into the smoker to control turning the element on and off and if so how do you wire it in
Hi there and welcome!

With this rewire job the PID does NOT wire into the MES smoker, BUT the idea is not far off.

This rewire job makes it so that the MES is dumb and when fed power will bypass the factory electronics and go straight to heating the element. Simply if the MES is receiving power it is heating up, no other behavior.

This is how it all works together:
  • The PID Controller is plugged into the wall and the MES cord plugs into the PID Controller.
  • The PID Controller has a target set temp entered (like 225F)
  • The PID Controller has a temp probe/thermometer placed inside the MES to measure the temp of the smoker
  • The PID Controller will switch power on/off to the MES to reach the set temp and hold the temp inside the smoker within a couple of degrees of the set temp
So again, this rewire makes the MES dumb and behave so that when it is fed power the heating element heats up. The PID controller will then control the power on/off to the MES based on the set temperature.

Let me know if all this gibberish makes some sense :)
 

48Fan

Newbie
8
0
Joined May 9, 2018
Hi there and welcome!

With this rewire job the PID does NOT wire into the MES smoker, BUT the idea is not far off.

This rewire job makes it so that the MES is dumb and when fed power will bypass the factory electronics and go straight to heating the element. Simply if the MES is receiving power it is heating up, no other behavior.

This is how it all works together:
  • The PID Controller is plugged into the wall and the MES cord plugs into the PID Controller.
  • The PID Controller has a target set temp entered (like 225F)
  • The PID Controller has a temp probe/thermometer placed inside the MES to measure the temp of the smoker
  • The PID Controller will switch power on/off to the MES to reach the set temp and hold the temp inside the smoker within a couple of degrees of the set temp
So again, this rewire makes the MES dumb and behave so that when it is fed power the heating element heats up. The PID controller will then control the power on/off to the MES based on the set temperature.

Let me know if all this gibberish makes some sense :)
thank you it makes sense
 

48Fan

Newbie
8
0
Joined May 9, 2018
Hi there and welcome!

With this rewire job the PID does NOT wire into the MES smoker, BUT the idea is not far off.

This rewire job makes it so that the MES is dumb and when fed power will bypass the factory electronics and go straight to heating the element. Simply if the MES is receiving power it is heating up, no other behavior.

This is how it all works together:
  • The PID Controller is plugged into the wall and the MES cord plugs into the PID Controller.
  • The PID Controller has a target set temp entered (like 225F)
  • The PID Controller has a temp probe/thermometer placed inside the MES to measure the temp of the smoker
  • The PID Controller will switch power on/off to the MES to reach the set temp and hold the temp inside the smoker within a couple of degrees of the set temp
So again, this rewire makes the MES dumb and behave so that when it is fed power the heating element heats up. The PID controller will then control the power on/off to the MES based on the set temperature.

Let me know if all this gibberish makes some sense :)
I just bought my smoker used it 2 times haven't had any issues wanted to know what to do if it happens to me
 

tallbm

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I just bought my smoker used it 2 times haven't had any issues wanted to know what to do if it happens to me
It's good to be knowledgeable and prepared :)
If/when the day comes you need or want to make the change, you know where you can go to get the info :D
 

Braz

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jun 25, 2017
Just a quick "thanks" to tallbm for this tutorial. Did the rewire yesterday with just one trip to the hardware store (wire nuts & pop rivets). Hooked up the Auber and tested it. This is going to make my MES so much better.

Auber's Operation Manual really sucks, by the way. I wish someone would do a tutorial in normal person English instead of engineer speak.
 

dr k

Master of the Pit
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Joined Mar 22, 2013
Just a quick "thanks" to tallbm for this tutorial. Did the rewire yesterday with just one trip to the hardware store (wire nuts & pop rivets). Hooked up the Auber and tested it. This is going to make my MES so much better.

Auber's Operation Manual really sucks, by the way. I wish someone would do a tutorial in normal person English instead of engineer speak.
Which Auber did you get?
 

tallbm

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Just a quick "thanks" to tallbm for this tutorial. Did the rewire yesterday with just one trip to the hardware store (wire nuts & pop rivets). Hooked up the Auber and tested it. This is going to make my MES so much better.

Auber's Operation Manual really sucks, by the way. I wish someone would do a tutorial in normal person English instead of engineer speak.
I'm glad it helped! :)

Heres a bit of info that may help you or others with Auber PIDs so please bare with the long post :)

Yeah their documentation takes a little bit of mental adjustment to get to.
It's flow and order doesn't make much sense, most sections seem to be written like a school paper/essay, and then their diagrams are not initially intuitive and the diagrams are suppose to take the place of explaining out steps to operate the device.

Once you absorb the documentation as whole then the 2nd or 3rd pass starts to make sense... some :)

When in doubt remember the SET button simply takes you to the next setting.
If you hold SET for 3 seconds the next setting is to go into programming menus like (I think):
-SET 3 seconds
-Enter 166 to enter PID settings menu
-Hit SET to move to next setting
-Use +- buttons to adjust settings
-Again hit SET to move to next setting
-This is how you can get to the AutoTune setting and set the value to what the documentation says to start AutoTune if you want to do that


You generally have 6 steps with the Auber. Each step contains a Cooking Temp (C for cooking temp ) and Time (t for time) setting.
So you have:
  • C1 & t1 for step 1
  • C2 & t2 for step 2
  • etc. etc. down to C6 & t6
To set a step you do the following:

-Hit SET button and C1 will flash for a moment
-Use +- button to enter a Cooking Temp
-Hit SET button again and t1 will flash for a moment
-Use +- button to enter the time for the C1 cooking temp to be held for step 1 (see my tip for setting time below)
-Hit Set button again to move on from t1 and you should see C2 flash for setting temp on step 2

For simple folks like me who may not want/care to use all the step features, I recommend you simply Zero out all of the values for all steps C (Cooking time) and t (time to hold cooking temp for that step).

Zero'ed out means:

-C1 = 0, t1 =0
-C2 =0, t1 =0
- do this for every step

Now set C1 to your most commonly used cooking temp (225, 250, 275, etc.)
-C1 = 250
Now set t1 to 1200 (which is 1200 minutes or 20 hours)
-t1 - 1200

At this point you are only using step 1 (C1 &t1).
Setting t1 to 1200min/20hours means that you don't have to worry about the Auber turning off the power on any cooks/smokes shorter than 20 hours.

Finally, you can simply just turn on the Auber and if you want/need to adjust the cooking temp you:

-Hit SET and C1 will flash
-Use +- to adjust the Cooking Temp for C1 (225, 250, 275, 160, etc etc. whatever you need)
-Hit SET again to lock in the C1 value and it will move to t1
-DO NOTHING here as all you intended to do was change the cooking temp which is done. After about 5-10 seconds the auber screen will flash back to showing you the current temp and you are locked in to cook!

Following these steps should make it so that your Auber utilizes only 1 step and makes setting the Cooking Temp easy and carefree for any cooks/smokes that finish within 20 hours :)

I hope this info helps!
 
Last edited:

Braz

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Which Auber did you get?
Same as yours I think. WS-1510ELPM. Since I already use a Smoke temp probe I don't need the dual probe PID to monitor the internal temps, and this unit is cheaper than the dual probe one.
 

Braz

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jun 25, 2017
I'm glad it helped! :)

Heres a bit of info that may help you or others with Auber PIDs so please bare with the long post :)....
Thanks again. That clears some things up. Printed it out and added it to the Auber instructions. I think I will just stay with the factory default settings and not try to get into the auto tuning weeds for now. In my testing yesterday it seemed to get to the set temp and hold there (+/- about 2*) without overshooting the mark on warmup. That's close enough for me. I tested it at 150* and 250*.
 

dr k

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Same as yours I think. WS-1510ELPM. Since I already use a Smoke temp probe I don't need the dual probe PID to monitor the internal temps, and this unit is cheaper than the dual probe one.
It's great that the default parameters work well for you. I tried that then wrote down the default and autotuned and both came out of full power way before the set point so I followed the P mode in the instructions and set P=1, I=0 and D=0. This gives full power to one degree below set point and flash for 50% power then off at set point so less waiting to get to set point and fastest recovery when opening the door and when food is in the smoker. It's easy to remember and worth a try if your find the PID starts flashing 10° or more before set point. With smokers like the Smoken It or MB analog with a 1/2" intake and exhaust hole full PID mode should be fine but the Mes breathes easier and equal flashes on and off for 50% power keeps up with heat loss from more air flow. IMO with the Mes full power or 50% power is the key for keeping the set temp with the sensor at food level.
 

vgene

Fire Starter
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Joined Sep 27, 2012
Still a great post!!! Super useful tallbm!!!
 

tallbm

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Still a great post!!! Super useful tallbm!!!
I put together the info after having to scrounge bits and pieces of the info from various posts and such.
I'm glad you found it helpful and I hope it continues to be helpful for more people in the future :)
 

REC TEC DEX

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Joined Dec 27, 2018
Thanks much Tallbm! I just about threw away my MES after the controller bit the dust. Glad I didn't as the Rec Tec i got to replace it doesn't allow me do a low temp smoke. Followed your directions and it all worked just as advertised. Looking forward to smoking some sausages and cheese in the reborn MES later this winter.
 

tallbm

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Joined Dec 30, 2016
Thanks much Tallbm! I just about threw away my MES after the controller bit the dust. Glad I didn't as the Rec Tec i got to replace it doesn't allow me do a low temp smoke. Followed your directions and it all worked just as advertised. Looking forward to smoking some sausages and cheese in the reborn MES later this winter.
Hi there and welcome!
I'm glad it all worked out for you! What PID did you go with after the rewire?
 

lovethemeats

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Yeah that WS-1510ELPM is a great unit. Been great ever since I rewired my MES40 in the early spring. Like the fact that you can store temp/time programs in the unit. More companies need to look at that feature and add it into their smoker units. It is no big deal having to write them down to remember what each one is. The fact that you customize it to your needs is awesome.
 

PAS

Meat Mopper
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62
Joined Feb 7, 2018
I'm confused, so it takes a$170. controller to make a $120 smoker to work correctly?? What did I miss. Sorry for being the dumb guy on the block.
 

solman

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Joined Nov 13, 2015
I'm confused, so it takes a$170. controller to make a $120 smoker to work correctly?? What did I miss. Sorry for being the dumb guy on the block.
i don't have an electric smoker, but i'm guessing it works "good enough" for most people. for the others, the fun is customizing and making it do things it wasn't intended to do.

at first i admit i kind of struggled to understand the need for this mod (why not just set the smoker on the highest temp setting, and let the PID control the temperature, no need to rewire anything) then i realized it would be handy for control units that are dead and no longer working. and even if it's not dead, it's fun to tinker!
 

tallbm

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I'm confused, so it takes a$170. controller to make a $120 smoker to work correctly?? What did I miss. Sorry for being the dumb guy on the block.
No problem :)

When an MES breaks down or someone is not happy with the it's performance there is the option to rewire it and buy a much better PID controller to use with it.

The strength of the MES is it's physical construction and it is very good in that regard. The weakness is in it's controller and some of the cheap wiring connectors that masterbuilt uses.

If you rewire and use a PID controller you have an electrical smoker that can't be beat!
You will be hard pressed to find electrical smokers under $300 with the same features so you actually come out better and less expensive going this route rather than buying one of the few electric smokers with these features like the SmokinIT 2D, 3D or better.

Now what I have done and what I suggest is for people to buy a used MES on Craigslist for like $40-$50. Rewire and put a PID controller on it and BAM you made out like a bandit! I've done this and gifted the smoker to my mother. I also got my brother to get get an MES the same way and he has been rolling with it as is but I'm ready for the day I get the call that we should rewire and add a PID :)

Yes it sounds very silly on the surface but once you get a set and forget smoker that holds within 2 degrees of the set temp (no 30F degree temp swings) the entire world of meat smoking is open to you. You can cold smoke with no heat, or do low temp smokes like bacon or sausage and still not be restricted you from doing pork butts and brisket and other big hot and fast meats. Heck I rewired mine and I do fast chicken smokes at 325F (I don't exceed this temp ever) so I get edible chicken skin! No doing that with a stock MES.

I hope this info helps shed some light on the topic :)
 

lovethemeats

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Good units. Just crappy controllers. When it dies or goes bad. Why throw it out. Mine would stick on and go way over temp. I caught it the 1st time when it hit 350+. The unit to stop the power to the heater also faulted out and did not blow. The second time it faulted out and the heater stayed on I was right there. So No trust with the controller. Now this was a brand new unit I bought. So it was get in touch with masterbuilt and fight and get new parts plus really never trust it again. or just spend the money. Get a kick butt controller. Replace parts with better ones. And away I go. I even replaced the crappy wiring they have in the unit. Now its more robust. Now its a MASTERBUILT MES40. By Rob and help from here.
Oh and I'd like to know where you can get one for 120 bucks. MES40 Bluetooth is a little more than that. I'd buy 2 more then.
 

lovethemeats

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I'm with tallbm. His words are true. And when you add the New PID - It makes the unit great. And he's exactly right about the temp swing on the new PID. All I can say is awesome. I'd never get rid of it.
 

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