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Successful MES brain transplant! Plug and Play replacement controller = Full PID + Cellular contro

daveomak

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Great Thread Tiros !!!! You are really helping out the younger generation to retrofit their smokers...

Iffin I were 30 years younger, I would dive right in... Thanks for your brain power...
 

Telemachus

Fire Starter
38
2
Joined Jan 11, 2018
I have the circuit mostly laid out on a PCB, but I haven't had any fabricated yet. There didn't seem to be too much interest. I might put it up on Github, but it seems like not too many smoking meat guys are into coding. My first idea was to make a kit.

From what I have seen since I designed it, it can probably work with most any of the MES electrics with digital controls. I am using an esp8266 wifi module, some op amps, and a 12 bit Microchip ADC. The PID is implemented within the microcontroller (Thanks to ...Brett Beauregard).
I have etched many a circuit board. I could help with the Eagle layout if you are interested.

Do you use Assemblar with the microchip? I have experience with JAL and C as well.

I am a little suprised by the lack of interest here... maybe just not the right forum, LOL.

I was going to go the heater meter route, but I don't really think we need 12V of power nor a raspberry pi with the cheap esp8226 modules available... some even have the uC built into them with arduino sketch ability:

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If you do get the GitHub going, please let me know.
 
Last edited:

Desjardo

Newbie
13
1
Joined Jun 18, 2018
Hey guys.

I am writing code this week as well, same issue - dead mes 30.

I plan on using Blynk to control it.

Any chance you would share code to date?
 

Desjardo

Newbie
13
1
Joined Jun 18, 2018
I have everything here already and will probably have it coded and running by weekend if you want to work together.
 

tiros

Newbie
25
18
Joined Jun 5, 2017
Did you get it up and working?
Blynk is a nice platform. It makes the GUI development a snap. The real work is the rest of it ;)
 

drawz

Newbie
4
1
Joined May 25, 2020
tiros tiros I registered just to say I would buy this in a heartbeat as a kit or complete unit. You could even offer an upgraded model with an LCD/OLED display and a couple buttons so it could be used without a phone and/or wifi. Seems like a lot of people are buying more expensive PID controllers that require more modding. If this were available, it would be a no-brainer purchase for any MES in the know (and an alternative repair option when stock controllers die).

If you've decided for sure not to pursue offering a product, it sure would be nice to see this on GitHub or elsewhere so we can make our own! :)


My MES40 gen1 temps were allways a good 20 degrees low, oven could not make 275. I was tired of staying tethered to my smoker. I was tired of only having one meat probe. I decided to make a new controller, to replace the old controller completely. It is working and usable right now. I have smoked in excess of 200 lbs of food with it!

Features:
Full PID control with Autotune built in!! Holds within one or two degrees of setpoint.
Full wireless control from anywhwere through my Android device.
8 probe channels, more precise than Heatermeter, thermistor channels are fully buffered.
No modifications to the oven. Remove old controller, replace with this. Easy to switch back to stock.
No separate power supply.
Exports charts and graphs to email.
Uses only about $20 in parts.

Does not require an SSR modification to achieve full PID Control. Just like in the original design, the power is regulated by relay on/off time. My code uses a special anti relay hammering algorithm I developed that insures the relay is not short cycled while still achieving near perfect temp control.

Not real expensive, but a local Rasberry Pi server is recommended somewhere in the home. The Raspi does not have anything to do with controlling the oven. It has no physical connection to the oven. It is used as a wireless bridge from the internet to the new controller. An internet connected always on PC could also be used, but a Pi is cheaper and lower power.

I am using the excellent Thermoworks Pro-Series probes, SKU: #TX-1003X-AP for oven temp and SKU: #TX-1001X-OP for meats. Got them directly from Thermoworks, about $15 each.

In progress right now:
Use two of the 8 channels to buffer and read the built in MES oven and meat probes.
Select any channel as the oven control channel.
Get notification by text or email when a probe reaches set point. (No screenshot yet)

ToDo:
Create some kind of enclosure.

Probably won't generate much smoke when using the chip box. I use an Amazen. I might add some code to allow more temperature swings, (MES mode lol) which translates to more "on" time for the element.

Currently the project exists as a one off bread board. If there seems to be interest, I can lay it out on a pcb. Maybe sell some boards or a kit. I have the MES40 Gen1. From what I have seen, it should be very easy to port the design to another model.

I am trying to monitor the built in MES probes with two of the 8 available channels. I need the Stienharts for those. I have a curve for the meat probe that works ok. That one doesn't work for the oven. If I could remove the oven probe, I could characterize it or replace it. Doesn't seem to be a way to get behind it. It looks like maybe under one of the serial number plates in the back might expose it?
 

Hog

Newbie
3
0
Joined May 4, 2020
Kurt,

I am not sure I understand maybe I confused things in my explanation. I clarify:

There are two boards in each smoker, the power board, located on the bottom and the control board located on the top. My project replaces completely the top control board. The lower board is not affected in any way. The lower board is the ovens +5 volt power supply and the element control relay. It has some wiring that connects it the top control board. The relay on the power board connects to the control board up top by a blue wire. It also sends up +5 volts by the red wire, and ground on the white one. My control board then can control the relay (by blue wire) to provide heat when it needs to (The PID inside my projects CPU calculates how long to put it on based on temps). There is also a yellow wire for the oven light control coming from down there, so I can control the oven light as well :)

So for my MES-Gen1, I remove the two screws that hold the LED control board on top. Disconnect the 5 pin white plug from it, then connect the plug remaining on the oven to my board. That's it! That's all! Take a look at the photo in my first post, That blue colored board on top of my grill is the ONLY mod. If you look carefully you can see it plugged into the factory wiring harness. You don't cut or add any wires. You can put the old one back any time.

I only mentioned the lower board before to explain how to hot wire the oven to be on all the time for some people who are using PIDs from like Amazon or Ebay. It had nothing to do with my project at all.

Tall:

Thanks. Your build inspired me to try this.

As for the case, I don't know what to do. Currently I flip a rectangular plastic container on top of the blue board, like a tent. :)

I don't want the probe jacks to get wet if it rains. They need to be under some kind of a "roof" in the enclosure I think.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to solder those jacks right to PCB, maybe on the edge, then abut the PCB to case somehow so they can poke through.

I am wide open for any Ideas you have!

My MES40 gen1 temps were allways a good 20 degrees low, oven could not make 275. I was tired of staying tethered to my smoker. I was tired of only having one meat probe. I decided to make a new controller, to replace the old controller completely. It is working and usable right now. I have smoked in excess of 200 lbs of food with it!

Features:
Full PID control with Autotune built in!! Holds within one or two degrees of setpoint.
Full wireless control from anywhwere through my Android device.
8 probe channels, more precise than Heatermeter, thermistor channels are fully buffered.
No modifications to the oven. Remove old controller, replace with this. Easy to switch back to stock.
No separate power supply.
Exports charts and graphs to email.
Uses only about $20 in parts.

Does not require an SSR modification to achieve full PID Control. Just like in the original design, the power is regulated by relay on/off time. My code uses a special anti relay hammering algorithm I developed that insures the relay is not short cycled while still achieving near perfect temp control.

Not real expensive, but a local Rasberry Pi server is recommended somewhere in the home. The Raspi does not have anything to do with controlling the oven. It has no physical connection to the oven. It is used as a wireless bridge from the internet to the new controller. An internet connected always on PC could also be used, but a Pi is cheaper and lower power.

I am using the excellent Thermoworks Pro-Series probes, SKU: #TX-1003X-AP for oven temp and SKU: #TX-1001X-OP for meats. Got them directly from Thermoworks, about $15 each.

In progress right now:
Use two of the 8 channels to buffer and read the built in MES oven and meat probes.
Select any channel as the oven control channel.
Get notification by text or email when a probe reaches set point. (No screenshot yet)

ToDo:
Create some kind of enclosure.

Probably won't generate much smoke when using the chip box. I use an Amazen. I might add some code to allow more temperature swings, (MES mode lol) which translates to more "on" time for the element.

Currently the project exists as a one off bread board. If there seems to be interest, I can lay it out on a pcb. Maybe sell some boards or a kit. I have the MES40 Gen1. From what I have seen, it should be very easy to port the design to another model.

I am trying to monitor the built in MES probes with two of the 8 available channels. I need the Stienharts for those. I have a curve for the meat probe that works ok. That one doesn't work for the oven. If I could remove the oven probe, I could characterize it or replace it. Doesn't seem to be a way to get behind it. It looks like maybe under one of the serial number plates in the back might expose it?
I need electronically smart guys oppinions...

I got this idea from ya'll so here goes. I bought an Ink Bird
15917259891315521921975230742380.jpg
ITC-1000F to control the heat in my electric Pt Boss smoker. Then I got online to get ideas for parts and came up with a fully functioning thermo-regulator that looks pretty cool. Problem is I didn't review the details enough to know that the Temperture Set Value -50~210 °F and of course the avg temp in the smoker runs higher than that. My question is can I just switch the temperature sensor out with the one in the smoker to change the Temp Set Value higher?
 

dr k

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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Joined Mar 22, 2013
I need electronically smart guys oppinions...

I got this idea from ya'll so here goes. I bought an Ink Bird View attachment 448778 ITC-1000F to control the heat in my electric Pt Boss smoker. Then I got online to get ideas for parts and came up with a fully functioning thermo-regulator that looks pretty cool. Problem is I didn't review the details enough to know that the Temperture Set Value -50~210 °F and of course the avg temp in the smoker runs higher than that. My question is can I just switch the temperature sensor out with the one in the smoker to change the Temp Set Value higher?
I don't know. I can use a multi meter to figure stuff out but not code or build PCBs. In the description of the controller and sensor the sensor may have a different range than -50~210. The display may be limited to -50~210 so even if the pit boss sensor is compatible the controller may not go higher than 210.
 

drewb0y

Newbie
27
10
Joined Jul 5, 2020
tiros tiros I registered just to say I would buy this in a heartbeat as a kit or complete unit. You could even offer an upgraded model with an LCD/OLED display and a couple buttons so it could be used without a phone and/or wifi. Seems like a lot of people are buying more expensive PID controllers that require more modding. If this were available, it would be a no-brainer purchase for any MES in the know (and an alternative repair option when stock controllers die).

If you've decided for sure not to pursue offering a product, it sure would be nice to see this on GitHub or elsewhere so we can make our own! :)
I second this. If you could post a schematic and the code at least that would be awesome.
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,431
1,548
Joined Dec 30, 2016
I need electronically smart guys oppinions...

I got this idea from ya'll so here goes. I bought an Ink Bird View attachment 448778 ITC-1000F to control the heat in my electric Pt Boss smoker. Then I got online to get ideas for parts and came up with a fully functioning thermo-regulator that looks pretty cool. Problem is I didn't review the details enough to know that the Temperture Set Value -50~210 °F and of course the avg temp in the smoker runs higher than that. My question is can I just switch the temperature sensor out with the one in the smoker to change the Temp Set Value higher?
Hi there and welcome!

I think the unit may not be able to display or handle signal to indicate above 210F.
It sucks but for about $40-50 I bet you could buy a different PID and an SSR (if u are not using one) and just replace the PID you have and u should be ready to rock and roll. You can always use this unit for Sous Vide cooking or beer brewing if u do either of those hobbies.

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I would also buy a different probe that was 6ft long and I'm partial to the ones with an aligator clip so u can move it around easily for more accurate temp readings not these wall mount types.

I hope this info helps :)
 

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