Setting up a DIY PID, Inkbird MYPIN etc Anyone done it? I'm doing it today, may need some help.

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kilohertz

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Dec 29, 2022
261
329
Vernon, BC Canada
Good day all,

My first post here, having been a stick/charcoal smoking guy for years, I decided to get a pellet smoker before Christmas so I could smoke a brisket without too much fuss monitoring temps etc. I had already built a dual probe Arduino temp monitor so I could watch smoker and meat temp inside on my phone or computer, that part worked great! The smoker however was another story. I bought a clean used Pit Boss PB820 a week before Christmas and played around with it smoking ribs a few times, it seemed to work fine but once in a while I would get wild temp swings. Then came the Christmas brisket and I was outside every 20 minutes trying to control the temps in the smoker. Long story short, I think a combo of faulty control board and temp probe were the cause and a call to Pit Boss and I have new parts on the way, but in the meantime, I want to play with a PID.

My idea is to use the stock controller for all functions but the auger, which will be driven by my Inkbird ITC-106 and K type TC. I'm thinking of leaving the PB controller on smoke to get the fire started and fan operating and using the PID for temp control to drive the auger.

In theory, this should work. Has anyone here ever done something similar? If so I would love some feedback. Do you see any problems with my thinking?

I'm heading out to shovel the deck shortly and start wiring it up for first tests. I want to cook some wings and ribs tonight, should be a fun day of experimenting.

Cheers
 
Good day all,

My first post here, having been a stick/charcoal smoking guy for years, I decided to get a pellet smoker before Christmas so I could smoke a brisket without too much fuss monitoring temps etc. I had already built a dual probe Arduino temp monitor so I could watch smoker and meat temp inside on my phone or computer, that part worked great! The smoker however was another story. I bought a clean used Pit Boss PB820 a week before Christmas and played around with it smoking ribs a few times, it seemed to work fine but once in a while I would get wild temp swings. Then came the Christmas brisket and I was outside every 20 minutes trying to control the temps in the smoker. Long story short, I think a combo of faulty control board and temp probe were the cause and a call to Pit Boss and I have new parts on the way, but in the meantime, I want to play with a PID.

My idea is to use the stock controller for all functions but the auger, which will be driven by my Inkbird ITC-106 and K type TC. I'm thinking of leaving the PB controller on smoke to get the fire started and fan operating and using the PID for temp control to drive the auger.

In theory, this should work. Has anyone here ever done something similar? If so I would love some feedback. Do you see any problems with my thinking?

I'm heading out to shovel the deck shortly and start wiring it up for first tests. I want to cook some wings and ribs tonight, should be a fun day of experimenting.

Cheers

From my experience with pellet smokers, is it’s not possible to operate a pellet smokers auger tube with two separate devices at the same time. The pellet smoker’s controller, controls the auger tubes functions at all times. Your idea of having the PB controller control the smoke and fan functions, while the Inkbird ITC-106 controls the auger tubes functions is not possible. If you’re unhappy with the temp swings being produced by the stock PB Controller, then do a search for either the SmokeDaddy PID Controller or the Savannah Stoker PID Controller. I have the SmokeDaddy’s PID Controller on my PB Austin XL going on 4 plus years with stable and consistent temperature control. Using a top quality PID Controller will eliminate most of the temp control issues many people have with pellet smokers. Another thing that will cause temperature issues with pellet smokers is not cleaning out the burn pot from ash accumulation from prior cooks. .02.. Are the stock PB Controllers perfect? No. The ones mentioned above will give you far better temperature control over the stock ones from Pit Boss. I hope the info helps. I’m sure others will chime in as well. Good luck.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
Thanks for the reply, appreciate your input.

I don't want to disagree with you on my first thread here, but why would it not work?

I just got in from connecting everything together and turned on the PB controller and simultaneously turned on the PID, temp probe right near the PB probe, the PB controller started the fan and igniter and the PID started turning the auger motor, which BTW I obviously disconnected from the PB controller as it is just a simple 120VAC motor, and connected it to the SSR of the PID. So to explain how I wired it, I disconnected the auger motor plug and connected one of the white neural wires back to one of the pins on the motor plug, the other motor plug pin I connected to one side of the SSR, the other side of the SSR goes to the hot wire of the fan, it was easy to get to, no other reason. I spent about a half hour running it in "AT" tune mode then decided rather than wasting time/pellets on a brick in the smoker (simulating some meat for mass) I'll continue tuning tonight with wings and ribs on it. It worked just fine and overshot some but once tuned it should work as well as any other PID. (I hope) :emoji_thinking:

I'll update later today.

Cheers

PS this is all just "proof of concept" as I had everything on hand, just wanted to prove to myself it would work. I may someday join the PID with an Arduino, or write some "PID" code for the Arduino. I would like to have control of the igniter to prevent flameouts on low smoke settings, or at least be able to re-ignite.
 

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That is a novel idea. Kudos for the proof of concept.

I have a Masterbuilt that is basically a Traeger body with a PB style controller. Temp swings? Sometimes it behaves itself and other times it is on a binge to ruin my cooks.
I think $50 for an Inkbird kit will help me decide if the basic structure is sound enough to warrant a full up PID control. A SmokeDaddy or Savannah Stoker will cost more than I paid for the grill.

I'm thinking higher end poopers that can get low temperature smoke must have an igniter cycle during pellet stoking.

Good luck on the new parts. SIL has a Cabela's (rebranded Pit Boss) and is on his 3rd controller and second auger drive motor. After the 2nd controller he found the connectors were not staying latched. He used cable ties to keep them latched.
He replaces the auger drive coupling screw about every other smoke/cook. Auger turns freely while cold but something ...?

For cooler to cold temp operation or even in windy conditions, I put a HF welder blanket over the cook chamber.

BTW, welcome to Smoking Meat Forum (SMF) from MN but FL for the winter.
Stick around and post more. Appears you have knowledge to share.
 
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Also, if anyone here has used a PID on a charcoal or stick burner to control the fan, I would be interested in the PID parameters you settled on, I imagine the response times would be similar to pellet burns.

Cheers
 
Thanks Fueling Around, appreciate the comment and compliments.

I have been an electronics tech my whole life, (way longer than I would like to admit) and in the last 5 years have discovered how much fun it is to program code, I'm using Arduino's and have made some cool projects. This is my first exposure to PIDs but I am getting a pretty good handle on them now that I have spent a few days reading, studying and playing. I also have a BGE that I want to put a PID fan control on, was going to do that before Christmas then found this good deal on the PB820 and thought it would be a quicker way for me to do a brisket on Christmas day.

I built an Arduino circuit and code to monitor smoker and meat temps during the cook...here is a shared link. It's just around freezing here now so that's why they read 32. :emoji_laughing:

My meat/temp web monitor

Ya, I had 1 flameout on my PID as the overshoot took 5 minutes to come down and by then the fire had gone out. Once I get the PID tuned it should be fine. I am thinking now that I need to get the fire going before turning auger control over to the PID, I'm planning to use the 4 minute PB auger run time on smoke startup for this, working on latching relays right now.

Inkbird make some decent items, I have 2 of their PIDs.

It was -32C here last week for a few days, once it warmed up to -10 I started playing and I use an old moving blanket for insulation, again, what I had laying around.

Hopefully another update tomorrow.

Cheers
 
I thought I should update this thread. While electrically the smoker works perfect, but trying to tune the PID is turning out to be quite difficult. I just can't get a stable temp and I keep getting flameouts. My plan now is to build an Ardunio PID controller to have complete control of the smoker, including igniter. That way I can have it feed pellets every 2 minutes to keep the fire from going out.

More updates when I get some code written.

cheers
 
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