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Question about converting ECB mod to electric (smoking sausage)

SherryT

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Seems like I recall there was an ECB mod forum, but I couldn't find it, so here I am.

A couple of years ago, I modded (mod-ded???) a bullet smoker a couple of years ago...

ECM-mods.png


...but I got frustrated with it, walked away for a couple of years, and recently purchased a propane smoker (with which I'm VERY happy so far even though I'm still "getting to know" it, so to speak).

NOW, since I already HAVE the mod and wish to be able to smoke sausages at temps lower than my propane can go without MORE mods, I'm thinking I'll convert the bullet mod from charcoal to electric.

I've been scouring the forum looking for info and "think" I have a handle (albeit a LOOSE handle) on how I can do this without breaking the bank, so I ordered a 1200W adjustable hot plate that says it doesn't cycle.

Considering the design of my mod (see pic above), I'll place it in the bucket base, but in order to AVOID having to lift everything ABOVE the bucket off to adjust the temp, I'll need some way to either mount it so the control is accessible from the outside or some sort of temperature controller wiring ran through to the INSIDE.

So, I'm wondering if this is a way to go...

Inkbird Controller

1607447469345.png


Thoughts? I'm quite handy as far as mad scientist/crazy inventor stuff goes, but I'm NOT very knowledgeable about electricity, volts, wattage, etc.
 
Last edited:

Steve H

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That is what I used to make a PID controller. They work very well. And wiring them up is straight forward.
 

JC in GB

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You can get the same controller through AliExpress for less $$. Delivery takes significantly longer though.

I buy all my electronic controls through AliExpress or Alibaba

Your idea is sound. Make sure all is grounded properly and you should be golden.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

SherryT

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Joined Dec 23, 2017
That is what I used to make a PID controller. They work very well. And wiring them up is straight forward.
So is that (the Inkbird I linked to) all I need to control the element or is there more to it?
 

SherryT

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Joined Dec 23, 2017

zwiller

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See if you can score a used MES on FB marketplace cheap. Then maybe later convert to PID.
 

Steve H

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So is that (the Inkbird I linked to) all I need to control the element or is there more to it?
That's basically it. You'll need an enclosure and items like wire, plug, and recepticle to complete the build. But that is the main parts.
 

tallbm

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Seems like I recall there was an ECB mod forum, but I couldn't find it, so here I am.

A couple of years ago, I modded (mod-ded???) a bullet smoker a couple of years ago...

View attachment 474315

...but I got frustrated with it, walked away for a couple of years, and recently purchased a propane smoker (with which I'm VERY happy so far even though I'm still "getting to know" it, so to speak).

NOW, since I already HAVE the mod and wish to be able to smoke sausages at temps lower than my propane can go without MORE mods, I'm thinking I'll convert the bullet mod from charcoal to electric.

I've been scouring the forum looking for info and "think" I have a handle (albeit a LOOSE handle) on how I can do this without breaking the bank, so I ordered a 1200W adjustable hot plate that says it doesn't cycle.

Considering the design of my mod (see pic above), I'll place it in the bucket base, but in order to AVOID having to lift everything ABOVE the bucket off to adjust the temp, I'll need some way to either mount it so the control is accessible from the outside or some sort of temperature controller wiring ran through to the INSIDE.

So, I'm wondering if this is a way to go...

Inkbird Controller

View attachment 474349

Thoughts? I'm quite handy as far as mad scientist/crazy inventor stuff goes, but I'm NOT very knowledgeable about electricity, volts, wattage, etc.
As the others have pointed out that should do it!

Project Box
I don't know what size project box you will need to house all of that PID stuff but anyone that fits it should work. I find that picking the project box for the size of the stuff you want to put in it the most annoying part but with this setup of yours any one big enough should work.
Now you need to figure out the design of your project box.
I would suggest you make a box you can easily disconnect and take inside with you but you may be assuming to leave your box permanently attached to your smoker so knowing your requirements helps.
I'm assuming you don't plan to wire in an on/off switch and simply you plug it into the wall to be on/off which makes things simpler. I'm also assuming you aren't going to wire in a fuse to protect against electrical surges but if you want one that can be done too.

I think a simplistic design like this would be what you want to start with:
1607456054203.png


Grommets
Just some extra info, you may want to get a longer temp probe then the one that comes with that unit. You may want to get some grommets to feed your wires through so the metal holes you make don't tear up your wires. I found these but have never used them and may stand up
to the heat .
amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Cable Glands (see the white ones securing cords in the picture above)
These will allow you to have cables go in and out of your project box nicely and there is a variety to use.
amazon" style="max-width:120px">

Power Cords
It is likely you want a mail plug coming out from your project box so you can run a good extension cord to it. Also I would high suggest that you go with a cord for the outlet (female side) your project box that the hot plate plug can plug into. Those Chinese built outlets you mount on project box simply melt down, I had 3 melt down and gave up on them.
My foolproof solution is simply to buy an inexpensive 16AWG extension cord and cut it in half to cannibalize it for your plug out and plug in for your project box much like the project box picture with cords above:

amazon" style="max-width:120px">

K Type Extension Plugs
If you want to go a step further and make it so you can take your controller in the house with you instead of leaving it hooked to the smoker (could use with a crock pot to do sous vide) you can buy a K Type extension cord and cannibalize it as well. You take the female end and wire it to the PID and project box and have it come out of the project box just like the picture does with cords above.
You take the male end and wire it to your K Type thermocouple temp probe. So now you can connect and disconnect the probe from the controller. The power cords are already there to connect and disconnect to heating element and to an extension cord to the home wall outlet for power.
amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Conclusion
As you can see the PID unit you are looking at is to me straight forward. It's the freakin project box and building of the controller housing unit that gets more complex and expensive hahaha.
It is a fun and satisfying project though and the good thing is that once you build this PID controller and you build it in a modular fashion it has usage forever even if you decide to move to a different smoker, or want to do a crockpot sous vide, or you decide to brew beer, etc.!

I didnt cover electrical connectors or heat shrink wrap or tools for electrical wire stripping, crimping, cutting and project box hole cutting so there is still more you may need if you don't already have it

Let me know if this helps and if you have any questions so we can help you plan best for this exciting project :)
 

Steve H

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Usually the hardest part is finding the right size enclosure.
That is a nice one there tallbm tallbm
 

tallbm

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Usually the hardest part is finding the right size enclosure.
That is a nice one there tallbm tallbm
Hahahaha yeah. You couldn't believe how long I looked to find one I could "wire to ground" inside the box AND fit all my PID crap + a variable speed fan controller with a dial.
My HeaterMeater PID controller box taught me a lot. Mainly NEVER EVER EVER trust any electrical component from China unless it's a last resort hahha. Fuse holders, plug outlets, switches, etc. all come in like 5 packs.... because they all meltdown on you in short time haha.
 

SherryT

Meat Mopper
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136
Joined Dec 23, 2017
Well, after searching, scouring, and scrounging around the internet for the past couple of days, I've come to the conclusion that I am apparently NOT "handy enough" to attempt the PID I linked to earlier. If I could find a step-by-step tutorial where someone is trying to control a hotplate rather than a kiln or a moonshine still, perhaps so.

I guess I'll rig up the hotplate and see what I can do with that alone for now as I don't "really" wish to spend over $100 bucks for a plug-n-play PID to use on a $40 smoker (I paid only $19 for the smoker plus the mod parts).
 

SherryT

Meat Mopper
263
136
Joined Dec 23, 2017
UPDATE...

I finally got around to trying the hotplate in the ECB...it worked flawlessly (well, all things considered), so it "will" work.

As I sat there contemplating what was the best way to insert/mount the hotplate and be able to get to the control without having to lift the body off the base, it occurred to me that I "could" try it in my propane smoker (MB 40xl...without the propane turned on, of course). :emoji_upside_down:

Test 1 - inserted my cabinet temp probe, placed the HP on the bracket that holds the chip pan in the bottom compartment of the smoker, plugged it up and began to walk the temp up (hit 120, allowed to stabilize, turned it up until I heard the "click", went to 130, etc).

The problem arose when I hit about 150...the cabinet temp would go no higher. I guess it was a combination of issues...I couldn't completely close the bottom door of the smoker because of the HP cord, there was too much heat escaping the BOTTOM compartment, and the overall mass of the bottom plus the cabinet.

Test 2 - removed the water pan, replaced the water pan rack with a regular rack, sat the HP in the center of that rack in the cabinet, dropped the cord down through the grease trap, and proceeded as before...SUCCESS!

This time, it went like clockwork...every time I'd turn the temp knob until the click, it would heat an addition 10 - 12 degrees. At all stages, the temps would stabilize and hold.

Now, I assume it'll go a bit different once I add mass to the cabinet (meat) AND the pellet tube/tray (additional heat, even if it's a small amount), but I should be able to make adjustments and have a successful smoke (I hope, anyway).

Thanks for taking the time to read my ridiculously-long rambling...smoked sausage, here I come!
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,903
1,952
Joined Dec 30, 2016
UPDATE...

I finally got around to trying the hotplate in the ECB...it worked flawlessly (well, all things considered), so it "will" work.

As I sat there contemplating what was the best way to insert/mount the hotplate and be able to get to the control without having to lift the body off the base, it occurred to me that I "could" try it in my propane smoker (MB 40xl...without the propane turned on, of course). :emoji_upside_down:

Test 1 - inserted my cabinet temp probe, placed the HP on the bracket that holds the chip pan in the bottom compartment of the smoker, plugged it up and began to walk the temp up (hit 120, allowed to stabilize, turned it up until I heard the "click", went to 130, etc).

The problem arose when I hit about 150...the cabinet temp would go no higher. I guess it was a combination of issues...I couldn't completely close the bottom door of the smoker because of the HP cord, there was too much heat escaping the BOTTOM compartment, and the overall mass of the bottom plus the cabinet.

Test 2 - removed the water pan, replaced the water pan rack with a regular rack, sat the HP in the center of that rack in the cabinet, dropped the cord down through the grease trap, and proceeded as before...SUCCESS!

This time, it went like clockwork...every time I'd turn the temp knob until the click, it would heat an addition 10 - 12 degrees. At all stages, the temps would stabilize and hold.

Now, I assume it'll go a bit different once I add mass to the cabinet (meat) AND the pellet tube/tray (additional heat, even if it's a small amount), but I should be able to make adjustments and have a successful smoke (I hope, anyway).

Thanks for taking the time to read my ridiculously-long rambling...smoked sausage, here I come!
Congrats!!! It sounds like u are getting closer.
Time to run a load of cheap meat (chicken is always my test meat) and see what it does :)
 

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