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Pit Boss 700 FB upgrade to WIFI success!

2
3
Joined Sep 21, 2018
This post will show you how to upgrade a standard smoker to Wifi.
I am new to this forum, but have done some reading here in the past year to learn how to use my Pit Boss smoker. I am very appreciative of the time people spend on here, helping others enjoy their smokers, and making some EXCELLENT eats!
This post will hopefully pay it forward, and help some others to upgrade their smokers for a pretty reasonable cost (IMO). The cost to do this is around $200.00, so if that sounds good keep reading...
Below is a link to the WIFI control board (with the meat probe included), and the low pellet alarm.

https://greenmountaingrills.com/products/new-parts/wifi-digital-control-board-wlpa-db-2/

Below is the new temp sensor you need to install in the fire box (I put it below the grates where I could drill into the open area of the control box, so the wire connects to the board easily). Drill from inside the grill - there is not a lot of room to get it in the right spot, so use a small pilot bit 1st to make sure you hit the right spot. Note: I tried using the original grill probe with the new control board, and it did NOT work (creates an error message).
https://greenmountaingrills.com/products/new-parts/thermal-sensor-db-2/
20180911_193632.jpg
Screenshot_20180921-151526_Gallery.jpg

In the picture with the wiring above, this shows the NEW wifi control attached to the PB wires that were cut. It is a little confusing because unfortunately the old control is laying on the deck under it and the cut wires that show to the left shouldn't even be in the pic.
Also: I don't have pics of the low pellet alarm install, or the new temp sensor install. I had to drill holes for both, but the plug right in to the new wifi board, so it's very easy. I put the temp sensor under the grates and shield (position is a little tricky -- drill from fire box side into the control box, near the front panel, pretty much as high as you can and still be in the control box, so the wire is hidden inside and can plug into the back of the board). The pellet alarm -- drilled about 3/4 the way down the sloping left panel, so the wire is inside the control box and easily plugs into the back of the board. If you are a handyman, its all pretty easy!
Once you are done:
You download the app to your phone and use the 8 digit serial number on the wifi control board to get it linked to your phone app.
This is the page for the Green Mountain Grill that seems to most closely match what we are using, and the control board and other parts I used fit this grill. If you have any trouble linking up, go to GMG website and look for the help video (they have a lot of info on their site!).
https://greenmountaingrills.com/support/daniel-boone/
It is awesome! Some or all of these items is available at other retailers, but where you find them is up to you.
I have only used it once since the install (for St. Louise style Ribs), and the temperature seemed to be fairly consistent during my approx 4.5 hr cook. They came out excellent!!!

Good luck guys! Hope this helps a few guys out there
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Screenshot_20180921-151526_Gallery.jpg
 

esin25

Newbie
4
2
Joined Jul 7, 2019
I'm currently running my first cook and thought I'd share comments.
1) The setup worked, and I love the wifi control and monitoring.
2) I wouldn't recommend the low pellet alarm, it's not required and it has a loud alarm that goes off continuously when the pellets are low. I often load just what I need for a cook so I can easily change pellet flavors on my next cook, so I don't mind low pellets. However, I can't stand the screeching sound the low pellet alarm makes.
3) The temperature remains very steady and accurate, but this actually produces a lot less smoke than the PID controller from Pit Boss, which fluctuates to produce additional smoke.
4) I had many issues getting the grill to start up and it took about 20 minutes to reach the proper temperature. I'll continue to monitor this and provide feedback.

I will reserve final judgement until I've used the GMG board in my Pit Boss a few times. Hopefully this will be the best cook I've had to date. The app works great, but I question if the improvements are really worth spending a few hundred bucks on.
 

Kylejohn83

Newbie
2
1
Joined Jul 19, 2019
I just did this retrofit also. Everything worked and functioned properly. I would agree about not using the low pellet alarm. I also found that the temp sensor location is important.
I have the PB 820fb and was able to fish the new temp sensor to the hole where the old temp wire ran through without drilling. Which is located under the rack down and to the left of the old temp sensor. I did a test run to see how the new temp sensor acted. I placed a stand alone temp sensor about 1” above the grill grates in the left side close to the new temp sensor. The new sensor held the temp within 5 degrees. I did find my others sensor was running about 50-70 degrees hotter. I relocated my other temp sensor to center of grill and same thing. I put another sensor in to make sure my stand alone was not faulty and was getting the same readings. Now I know you can get hot spots and the temp can very on the location of the grill. But just something to keep in mind if you set the new controls to 250 you may be 300+ at 1” above the grate.
I going to play it it a little more and may adjust the sensor. I will also hold judgement until I smoke with it.
I’m not too impressed with the app that it works with. I was getting disconnected a lot.
 

Kylejohn83

Newbie
2
1
Joined Jul 19, 2019
Update
I would not do this! GMG app sucks a lump of coal! Save your Money!! Maybe there are better aftermarket PID controls with WiFi? I will be putting my PB controls back in.
 

SlowmotionQue

Smoking Fanatic
521
175
Joined Feb 6, 2019
Update
I would not do this! GMG app sucks a lump of coal! Save your Money!! Maybe there are better aftermarket PID controls with WiFi? I will be putting my PB controls back in.
You’ve definitely made a compelling argument against going this route.
 

esin25

Newbie
4
2
Joined Jul 7, 2019
I'm currently running my first cook and thought I'd share comments.
1) The setup worked, and I love the wifi control and monitoring.
2) I wouldn't recommend the low pellet alarm, it's not required and it has a loud alarm that goes off continuously when the pellets are low. I often load just what I need for a cook so I can easily change pellet flavors on my next cook, so I don't mind low pellets. However, I can't stand the screeching sound the low pellet alarm makes.
3) The temperature remains very steady and accurate, but this actually produces a lot less smoke than the PID controller from Pit Boss, which fluctuates to produce additional smoke.
4) I had many issues getting the grill to start up and it took about 20 minutes to reach the proper temperature. I'll continue to monitor this and provide feedback.

I will reserve final judgement until I've used the GMG board in my Pit Boss a few times. Hopefully this will be the best cook I've had to date. The app works great, but I question if the improvements are really worth spending a few hundred bucks on.
After many cooks, I'm happy with the upgrade. The heat has stayed consistent and I've worked out the issues. My grill still takes longer to heat up than it used to, but I am okay with the time.

In regards to wifi, I was also experiencing many issues staying connected in the app. It turns out the control board puts out a very weak signal and despite being connected to my router, it wasn't strong enough to work properly. I relocated my router and updated the grills firmware, and I haven't had issues over the last few cooks.

Is it worth $200? Probably not, but it is nice to be able to leave the house without asking my wife to check the grill for me. If you like modding your grill and don't mind spending the money, it's nice to have.
 

SlowmotionQue

Smoking Fanatic
521
175
Joined Feb 6, 2019
I have a question. Even if you're away somewhere, say across town on a beer run and the grill needs tending doesn't someone have to be there in order to tend it?
I presume that your question is open to anyone willing to answer it.

The answer is; "Not necessarily, if the grill has a WiFi connected PID controller in it."

If it has a PID controller in it, why would it need "tending"? What would one do if they were standing right next to the grill that they can't do if absent with a WiFi PID controlled grill?

What? Open it? Why would I need to open it?

I regularly light my Rec Tec Stampede on my way back from the local supermarket so that it is heated up and ready to go when I get home.

I have ribs on as I type this...just put them on

IMG_2455.JPG


and I would have no problem nor reservations about leaving the house right now and going to Home Depot which is about 5 miles away from where I sit, and shopping there until I picked up whatever I needed to pick up. Could also stop off and pick up a case of beer, and observe whenever I wanted regarding the grill, what the grill was doing temp wise. Could observe the rib's internal temp too, were I to plug in one of my meat temp probes.

Of course, I wouldn't try this without a WiFi connected PID controlled grill either, but that goes without saying.

IMG_2457 2.JPG


That's where it is now, and that's about where it will be when I return from Home Depot if I decide to go and pick up those things that I need before these ribs are ready to wrap.

That's the advantage of PID and WiFi.

That's why I settled for a simple wireless meat thermometer instead of one of the wifi jobs. I didn't see the need for internet connectivity. Just enough range to get to my easy chair and around the house was sufficient for me.
Each to his own.

But part of why I chose a PID controlled grill was so that I would not have to be chained to it.

True set it and forget it. I can cook low and slow and go about my business and not stay here at the house if I need to run out and pick up a few things.

And again, I reiterate, if I were just settling for "a simple wireless meat thermometer instead of one of the wifi jobs" and had a non PID controlled grill, I would not even consider leaving off of my property while running that slab of ribs you just saw above.
 
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SlowmotionQue

Smoking Fanatic
521
175
Joined Feb 6, 2019
I understand the part about seeing that something
is amiss
Such as???

What are you concerned about which could be "amiss"?

but doing something about it requires hands on.
Doing something about what?

I light my grill for smoking. From my Smartphone if I like. Don't even have to go outside to do it if I don't want to. Season my meat. Put my meat on it when it reaches the temperature that I have set it for, and if I need to leave the house during the cook, I have no problem leaving my smoker running and monitoring the cook remotely, if I desire to.

Furthermore, if I'm on my way home and decide that I want to pick up something from the local Supermarket, which is on my way home, I can light my Rec Tec up as I load things into my car and before leaving the supermarket, set the temperature, again remotely, and it will be heading towards that temperature, if not already there and holding that temperature, when I pull into my driveway.

I can then unpackaged whatever it is I wanted to cook, season it, and put it on the preheated grill.

I see that as an advantage. I also see my ability to get up and leave the house right now with these ribs on, if I need or want to as an advantage. However I understand that others may not.

Mine takes 15 to 20 minutes to reach temperature and once set I dont adjust it anymore.
Typically, neither do I. But I have to option to do so should I desire. And do that remotely should I desire.

If I want, I can start at 200°, run it there for a couple of hours, leave the house, and then turn it up to 225° on my way back home, right from my Smartphone.

This is why I love WiFi and PID controllers in pellet grills. They are the future of pellet cooking and it's easy to see why.

Well I do if I'm doing something like post sear steaks or something , rarely for me, but I have to be there for that too.
Personally, I would never consider searing a steak on any pellet grill.

I have other cookers for searing steaks.

Furthermore, searing a steak is a quick procedure taking minutes at best.

You don't even have time to go to the bathroom, let alone leave the grill, if you're searing steaks at the temps that I like to sear them at. The beam is hitting the cast iron grate. The reading displayed is at the grate.

IMG_2373.JPG


IMG_2375 2.jpg


IMG_2377 2.jpg


These are given about one minute per side for the searing stage of their cook.

Searing a steak is not something that anyone is going to leave the grill for anyway. Pellet grill or whatever they're using. Searing a steak is a procedure taking minutes.

Nobody is talking about leaving the house while searing a steak.

I'm talking about low and slow smoking.

Beyond the gadget factor I see no advantage perhaps even a small disadvantage but that gets into the internet of things bit and paranoia.
I have no doubts that you don't see the advantage. No problems that you do not see it. Nor any intentions to make or persuade you to see the advantages.

However myself and many others do. And readily so. This was why I bristled at the comment that you made about PID control not being "needed" for pellet grills

It's not my or your place to tell anyone else what they "need".

For example, if I "need" to go to Home Depot right now, I can leave these ribs running right where they are and still holding my set 250° plus or minus 5°.
 
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Tewharaunz

Newbie
1
0
Joined Dec 22, 2019
After reading your article I bought a GMG controller and I’m waiting for the GMG temp sensor to arrive. I’d like to convert my Traeger Pro34 and I’m hoping the wiring is similar to your pit boss.
Do you happen to know what each pin in the GMG controller does? You didn’t use all of them in your conversion, but I’m wondering if you figured out what they did.

Cheers, David
 

Mark Krenn

Fire Starter
47
10
Joined Jan 20, 2019
I have done this conversion on several pellet grills. GMG controllers are the ticket hands down. These are a proven controller. My first conversion was on a homemade pellet smoker and that was 2years ago. I asked a seller of the gmg controller on eBay if he thought it would work. He said "probably not". Since then, I've done 5 more. Correct you do have to install the thermo probe, but that's not too difficult. Also, watch for specials on eBay. I have found these for$130 or less. Thermocouples around $15. Very reasonable for the conversion compared to a new gmg or Revtec grill. Btw, I do own a gmg Jim Bowie I got off of Craigslist
If anyone has questions, PM me
 

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