Temperature Controller

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by bmaddox, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. IQ110

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  2. Auber Instruments

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  3. DIY Controller

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  4. Save the money for more meat to smoke

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  1. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Who is using a temperature controller on their UDS? What make and model are you using? Even though controlling the temps on my UDS is pretty easy, I am a gadget nerd and a temp controller sounds really appealing. I am considering one of these two or building my own.

    http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14_27&products_id=351



    I think I can build my own for around $90 but the $150 to get a real one might be the way to go.
     
  2. I use the BBQ Guru Digi-Q DX-2 with the pit viper 10cfm fan. It is perfect for the UDS and has a lot of really cool features but a little pricy. You are correct in that the UDS is really easy to control but with mine the temps are usually either slowly creeping up or slowly creeping down if I try to stay around 225*. It will level off for a while but not long enough for me to trust if overnight which is where I do my big smokes. With one ball valve wide open it will hold between 245-265 for a long time but that is a little higher that I usually run it at. 
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I was trying to run it at 300 but it kept wanting to jump up to 330. I am thinking that I can add a controller and close off all the other intakes to help keep it closer to 300.
     
  4. Yes, definitely. I have an adapter that screws into one of my ball valves. I leave that one wide open with the fan and the other closed. It will keep it anywhere from 200 or so to 400+ if you really get it cranking.
     
  5. threemuch

    threemuch Fire Starter

    A friend built mine for me with a Sestos D1S-2R-220 and put it in a acrylic box with an outlet panel. I'll post a pic up tomorrow.  $50ish.
     
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    What fan do you use with it?
     
  7. threemuch

    threemuch Fire Starter

    No fan.  It's connected to the electric burners.  AMNPS for smoke, two electric burners connected to the PID controller for temp, I can leave it overnight without more than 2-3 degrees of temperature excursion.

    I am sure you could use it on a wood burner with a fan, kicking the fan on to cool, but I chose electric.  I don't need 20 pounds of wood for 12 hours of smoke, I need a pound of pellets in the AMNPS.

    Biggest problem is that with an uninsulated barrel, I need about 2kW to get 240F, which means I either need to supplement with a small fire, or put an insulation blanket over it, or power the second burner from another circuit. Because 20A at 110 is about 2kW   But I can get about 220F out of the single burner, and if I need higher temp, I add a small burner from a metal hot plate and run the power to another circuit.  I rarely need hotter than 220, so I just run the one burner.  

    If I was only hot smoking and didn't want tight temp control (I do because I smoke a lot of sausage) I would forgo the PID controller completely, because 1500W in a UDS gets you pretty a pretty good smoking temp of 220F.

    Cool part is I can use the same dang controller connected to my 5 gallon bucket and hot water heater element Sous Vide cooker.
     
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Sorry but 20 pounds of wood for 12 hours of smoke?
     
  9. threemuch

    threemuch Fire Starter

    Just basing it on what most people said about their non-electric UDS.  Stuff like "I can put 20 pounds in my fire basket and it will go for 12 hours!" 

    I am not and won't ever be hung up on the need for the burning wood to be the heat source.  I like that I can do 15-30 cooks out of a bag of pellets and get the exact temp that I want.  I have used chip pans too, but they only last about 4 hours, so the AMNPS get's me nice blue smoke all night long.
     
  10. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I have two electric smokers so my UDS will stay a charcoal unit. I am leaning towards a PID that can power an element as well so I can convert my E-ECB to a cold smoker. I will most likely use the fan from Auber as it seems to be the most versatile pit fan and I could easily move it to another smoker at a later date.
     
  11. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Well I get 12 hours out of 10 pounds of charcoal in mine and if it's warm out maybe 8 pounds. Pretty cheap if you ask me. Electricity is expensive where I live and I don't like to be tied to the grid in case the power is out. I also like to take the smoker to hunting camp where there is no electricity. To each his own I guess.
     

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