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View Full Version : Lion Wifi PID Thermostat and Akorn Grill Review


thegizzard
07-27-2012, 12:50 PM
I will post my review of the Lion + Akorn here.

Let's start with a picture of my initial setup.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7tusm4d5Y1rct7y3o2_1280.jpg

Here is what the graphing looks like on my PC.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7tvtlgAZu1rct7y3o1_1280.png

I can access it remotely on my Galaxy Nexus Android Phone

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7tvvjnKFp1rct7y3o1_1280.png


More to come...

BluesDaddy
07-28-2012, 08:35 AM
Looking forward to the rest of the review. I'm getting a Tiger to use with my Akorn, so this should be interesting.

thegizzard
08-01-2012, 11:38 AM
My review is still coming. There is some more testing and pictures I want to take before I post it. My plan is to cover internet port forwarding as well for those that have asked some good questions.

In the mean time if you have any questions that are not answered elsewhere, ask away.

The bottom line for me is I think this is a great product with good value for the cost.

BluesDaddy
08-02-2012, 11:01 AM
What are you using to power the unit?

thegizzard
08-02-2012, 03:23 PM
2 ways.

1. I have a 12v sealed lead acid battery 5a.h.

2. I have an old 12vdc 2amp wall wort.

I ordered a Lithium Ion 9ah battery that will be my permanent power source. $28 with charger.



Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

caliking
08-02-2012, 08:59 PM
Cool. I was interested in trying to build a wifi PID controller, but the more I look into that project the more I realize I'm getting in way over my head. Can I ask how much you paid for your system?

woodpelletsmoker
08-02-2012, 09:03 PM
2 ways.

1. I have a 12v sealed lead acid battery 5a.h.

2. I have an old 12vdc 2amp wall wort.

I ordered a Lithium Ion 9ah battery that will be my permanent power source. $28 with charger.



Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

Lithium Ion 9ah battery with charger US$28, it is even cheaper than what I bought in China. I paid US$30 for 4 ah with charger

woodpelletsmoker
08-02-2012, 09:08 PM
Cool. I was interested in trying to build a wifi PID controller, but the more I look into that project the more I realize I'm getting in way over my head. Can I ask how much you paid for your system?
Power Draft Controller with WIFI, the LION US$198.Package offer of the LION Fan and Adapter A of fan US$228, Plus SAL mail cost US$30, total package price US$258
The controller is much more than a thermostat.

BluesDaddy
08-03-2012, 04:48 PM
2 ways.

1. I have a 12v sealed lead acid battery 5a.h.

2. I have an old 12vdc 2amp wall wort.

I ordered a Lithium Ion 9ah battery that will be my permanent power source. $28 with charger.

Do you perhaps have a link to the battery and charger that you ordered?

Thanks!

thegizzard
08-04-2012, 11:29 AM
This is the battery I purchased.

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/e11401.m1842.l3160/7?euid=589b99a4aedc4934afd5b9c9618e5a0a&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2Fws%2FeBayISAPI.dll %3FViewItem%26item%3D170794794136%26ssPageName%3DA DME%3AL%3AOU%3AUS%3A3160


Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

BluesDaddy
08-04-2012, 01:29 PM
This is the battery I purchased.

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/e11401.m1842.l3160/7?euid=589b99a4aedc4934afd5b9c9618e5a0a&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2Fws%2FeBayISAPI.dll %3FViewItem%26item%3D170794794136%26ssPageName%3DA DME%3AL%3AOU%3AUS%3A3160


Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2You da man! Thanks! :clap:

thegizzard
08-06-2012, 08:51 AM
More info on Power sources in this post:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=2165534&postcount=7

jetfxr27
08-11-2012, 11:40 AM
Beautiful post, cant wait for the review. Would love to upgrade to a wifi version.

thegizzard
08-15-2012, 12:07 PM
For those patiently waiting... I have not forgotten.

I am waiting on a replacement probe which should arrive within a week then I will complete the write up.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

BluesDaddy
08-15-2012, 03:45 PM
Hey Giz, regarding the power supply, did you attach a connector to the power wires of the Lion or did you just splice wires together? I assume white is hot and black is ground on the Lion side, but just want to be sure. Am still waiting on a battery/charger to make it to me from China.

Chocolatesoupcan
08-15-2012, 06:24 PM
Is the blue line on the first graph the fan? So at its max its running as fast as it can, and in the lower parts there is voltage drop reducing fan speed?

Am I interpreting this right? I am just really curious to see how often the fan runs in varying cooking environments. I am a ways out from setting mine up in to cook with, I need to go buy some metal and draw up my plans still.

FYI- I saw in another forum, kamado guru, that Kroger, marked down the Char Griller Akorn to around $99 in some places a week ago. Happy hunting, I have my family and friends checking at Krogers around Atlanta, we don't have them in New Orleans.

thegizzard
08-15-2012, 07:07 PM
Is the blue line on the first graph the fan? So at its max its running as fast as it can, and in the lower parts there is voltage drop reducing fan speed?

Absolutely correct.

The Blue Line is Fan Output. Depending on some pre-defined settings, the output will range from 0 - 100%. In my case, I have max output at 97%. I currently have min output at 60% although I cannot confirm that was the setting when I took this snapshot.

But as voltage to the fan was regulated by the PID, fan speed was adjusted.

I am in the process of performing several air-sealing mods on my kamado while I wait for a replacement pit probe, as soon as I return I will update my posts with new images and more detailed explanations.

One of the things I am looking forward to is more variation in the fan output levels. I would like to see the fan blow at more intermediate speeds to regulate the temperature more finely. I believe I will achieve this when I seal up my kamado better.

thegizzard
08-15-2012, 07:15 PM
Hey Giz, regarding the power supply, did you attach a connector to the power wires of the Lion or did you just splice wires together? I assume white is hot and black is ground on the Lion side, but just want to be sure. Am still waiting on a battery/charger to make it to me from China.

I connected the fan to lion as normal. The fan indicates that the black wire is negative, so I assumed the white was positive. I connected the power to the lion as normal. I connected the white wire from the power to the positive battery terminal and the black to negative. No splicing.

http://img.tapatalk.com/a6f980db-2ca8-642a.jpg

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

BluesDaddy
08-25-2012, 10:39 AM
Gizzard, how did you connect the flange to the Akorn? Did you have to remove the Akorn's lower sliding vent? And what adapter did you get? I'm guessing it was NOT the adapter A, was it the B or did you roll your own?

thegizzard
08-25-2012, 12:02 PM
Gizzard, how did you connect the flange to the Akorn? Did you have to remove the Akorn's lower sliding vent? And what adapter did you get? I'm guessing it was NOT the adapter A, was it the B or did you roll your own?

Wang custom made an adapter B for me. And Yes I had to remove the Kamado's sliding vent. Not hard to do.

See the pic below from today and my Boston Butt cook.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9bj58TVDT1rct7y3o1_1280.jpg

BluesDaddy
08-25-2012, 05:19 PM
Wang custom made an adapter B for me. And Yes I had to remove the Kamado's sliding vent. Not hard to do.

See the pic below from today and my Boston Butt cook.


Well, stupid me, I just thought adapter A would work on the Akorn. :icon_blush: I guess I'll have to check with Wang about making me one as well.

thegizzard
08-25-2012, 05:47 PM
Well, stupid me, I just thought adapter A would work on the Akorn. :icon_blush: I guess I'll have to check with Wang about making me one as well.

Maybe I can sell you mine. I have a SS Box coming which is supposed to replace my Adapter B.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Xparent Blue Tapatalk 2

BluesDaddy
08-26-2012, 12:03 PM
Maybe I can sell you mine. I have a SS Box coming which is supposed to replace my Adapter B.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Xparent Blue Tapatalk 2

Thanks, but I just ordered mine from Wang. No problems, it will probably be a while till I get a chance to do a long cook again.

thegizzard
08-29-2012, 06:39 AM
Link to the water boil test.

Golden Lion Water Boil Test - YouTube

thegizzard
09-22-2012, 02:08 PM
Using the Lion to control my cook of 20lbs of pulled pork.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_marj11xQ7K1rct7y3o1_1280.png

Rock solid control for 7 hours so far

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_marj11xQ7K1rct7y3o2_1280.png

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_marj11xQ7K1rct7y3o3_1280.png

Looking good so far

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mariw6ULVb1rct7y3o2_1280.jpg

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mariw6ULVb1rct7y3o3_1280.jpg

BluesDaddy
09-22-2012, 04:46 PM
Gizzard, finally got my adapter for the Akorn. Now I'm just waiting on that manual!! :-P

thegizzard
09-25-2012, 10:04 PM
I am loving my SS Box

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_maxpnlCVLb1rct7y3o1_500.jpg

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_maxpnlCVLb1rct7y3o2_1280.jpg

thegizzard
09-25-2012, 10:07 PM
Gizzard, finally got my adapter for the Akorn. Now I'm just waiting on that manual!! :-P

i know i know i know...

I gotta tell you. part of the delay is just me taking a while to really understand how to use the Lion. I finally think I have it understood. I have completed a whole bunch of cooks and the Lion has come through like a champ.

jetfxr27
09-26-2012, 08:02 AM
Wow that thing looks cool and crazy all at the same time.

Toronto
09-26-2012, 10:34 AM
Wow that thing looks cool and crazy all at the same time.

I agree, it looks a lot cleaner in the box, hides a lot of the wires and makes it look more like a finished product.

Maybe a plexiglass window on the top so you can check temps at a glance?

Might be a bit redundant since you can check on it through WIFI.

woodpelletsmoker
09-26-2012, 11:32 AM
I am planning a transparent plastic box to hold fan, battery, or AC/DC adapter and the controller. A corrugated pipe will connect the fan and the smoker. It will be fully rainproof

woodpelletsmoker
09-26-2012, 11:41 AM
I am loving my SS Box

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_maxpnlCVLb1rct7y3o1_500.jpg

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_maxpnlCVLb1rct7y3o2_1280.jpg
that server must be blocked by our government

Toronto
09-26-2012, 12:42 PM
that server must be blocked by our government

How bout now?

http://i46.tinypic.com/2mwsbgm.jpg

http://i45.tinypic.com/10htvef.jpg

woodpelletsmoker
09-27-2012, 12:25 AM
Thanks I can see now.
antenna shall go through holes on the bottom

thegizzard
09-27-2012, 06:35 AM
Thanks I can see now.
antenna shall go through holes on the bottom

Ok. I am cooking now, so I will try that.

thegizzard
09-27-2012, 09:03 AM
Smoking in the rain

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mb0ev3taxp1rct7y3o1_1280.jpg

Toronto
09-27-2012, 09:55 AM
It kinda looks like a hat for your Acorn, lol.

BluesDaddy
09-29-2012, 06:40 AM
Gizzard, what do you set your top vent at? Is it different during the initial light or do you just set it and leave it?

thegizzard
09-29-2012, 09:06 AM
Gizzard, what do you set your top vent at? Is it different during the initial light or do you just set it and leave it?

That's a great question. The answer to that one is what really got me going with success with the Lion.

I pulled together a couple of techniques from the Akorn forum and modified them for use with the Lion.

Before you do any of this you need to set the UDC and HDC for the Lion.

Lion Parameters:

HDC is Max Fan %. I set this at 80%. I learned this recently. If the fan is too high it will blow out the fire when you use this method of starting the fire.
UDC is Min Output. It is not a %. I use 60.

With these values, you will see the Lion modulate the fan output.. not just on and off, but variable speed depending on how much air is needed. Pretty cool.

Temperature Settings:

I set STAGE 1 of the Lion for 20 minutes and a target temperature of 160*. I set up the coals using the volcano method and light the middle with a cotton ball soaked with alcohol. During STAGE 1 I have the top vent 100% open.

I set STAGE 2 for 190* and reduce the top vent to just a very small sliver. The point is to allow for enough airflow for the heat/smoke to escape but not enough air to hold the fire without the Lion's fan. If it's too open then the Lion cannot bring down the temp. If it's too closed then the fire will go out. A little experimentation is needed here. One of the best tips I read is that you need to give any adjustments to the vents at least 10 minutes to work.

I set the duration for STAGE 2 and all of the values depending on what I am cooking.

Let me know how that works for you.

BluesDaddy
09-29-2012, 01:55 PM
That's a great question. The answer to that one is what really got me going with success with the Lion.

I pulled together a couple of techniques from the Akorn forum and modified them for use with the Lion.

Before you do any of this you need to set the UDC and HDC for the Lion.

Lion Parameters:

HDC is Max Fan %. I set this at 80%. I learned this recently. If the fan is too high it will blow out the fire when you use this method of starting the fire.
UDC is Min Output. It is not a %. I use 60.

With these values, you will see the Lion modulate the fan output.. not just on and off, but variable speed depending on how much air is needed. Pretty cool.

Temperature Settings:

I set STAGE 1 of the Lion for 20 minutes and a target temperature of 160*. I set up the coals using the volcano method and light the middle with a cotton ball soaked with alcohol. During STAGE 1 I have the top vent 100% open.

I set STAGE 2 for 190* and reduce the top vent to just a very small sliver. The point is to allow for enough airflow for the heat/smoke to escape but not enough air to hold the fire without the Lion's fan. If it's too open then the Lion cannot bring down the temp. If it's too closed then the fire will go out. A little experimentation is needed here. One of the best tips I read is that you need to give any adjustments to the vents at least 10 minutes to work.

I set the duration for STAGE 2 and all of the values depending on what I am cooking.

Let me know how that works for you.


Great stuff, takes a lot of guess work out of it. I've been using my Tiger for the first time today. I didn't see this until just now, so I've been pretty much doing trial and error. I just set one stage for 235, but it has pretty much wanted to stay at 250 (which is not a bad temp for smoking a pork picnic). I hit manual periodically and the temp will come down, but even before it gets down to 235 if I put it back on auto the fan comes back on and drives the temp up. I'm guessing I don't have it set quite right.

woodpelletsmoker
09-29-2012, 07:45 PM
leave enough time, the controller will stay around 235. It needs taught by itsself
Fine tuing P,I,D will shorten this learning period

woodpelletsmoker
09-29-2012, 10:55 PM
Great stuff, takes a lot of guess work out of it. I've been using my Tiger for the first time today. I didn't see this until just now, so I've been pretty much doing trial and error. I just set one stage for 235°, but it has pretty much wanted to stay at 250° (which is not a bad temp for smoking a pork picnic). I hit manual periodically and the temp will come down, but even before it gets down to 235° if I put it back on auto the fan comes back on and drives the temp up. I'm guessing I don't have it set quite right.
I am using reverse flow offset, REVERSE 282 at www.allchinas.com, grilling size 282" square inches, lining by stove mud, gravity feed burner, and Tiger.
When warming up the grill this morning, I did extensive test.
I set I=0 and D=0
The Bigger the P, the SLOWER the temperature rising.
The smaller the P, the FASTER the temperature rising.
Finally I set P=5 (default is 30)
As my gravity feed burner is also reverse flow, when the fan stops running, the hot air/smoke will stop entering the grill immediately. So it is hard to overshoot.
I set target temperature at 200C,(not F), It varied between 198C to 200C,
Occassionally 201C.
In your common sense offset firebox, If you set P=5 and I=0.D=0, it may overshooting.
But you can tuning P,I,D by set I=0 and D=0.
Try different P, say 5,10,30,50,100, find the best P for you.
When you find P, set P there and try Different I, say I=10,30,60,100
and finally try D.
Then You can use P, or PI, Or PID, whichever behvoirs best in your smoker.

ASLO PLEASE SET UDC=90

But if you use my Gravity Feed Burner, it is very easy to tune P,I,D.
Even the PID is not correct, it will keep temperature much more stable
Also my burner can burn automatically for 10+ hours
Also my burner can burn broken charcoal, chips,chunks. These are cheaper than pellet. Or you can mix a small portion of pellet with charcoal.

With my burner and controller, temperature swing will be under 3F.
But for a warranty promise, I guarantee 5F.(leave a small safe room for me)

I am going to do beef jerky.
I set it at 60C or 140F
As I first did test by 200C or 392F on my grill.
I do not open the cover.
It has been two hours and the pit temperature is still 77C or 170F
How great the lining by stove mud is!
It must be agreat help to do low and slow smoking

BluesDaddy
10-06-2012, 09:41 AM
leave enough time, the controller will stay around 235. It needs taught by itsself
Fine tuing P,I,D will shorten this learning period You know, writing "fine tuning P,I,D" is really pretty meaningless. Over a 12 hour cook, I gave the Tiger a lot of time, and it pretty much stayed at 250 to 265. Now, some of that may be the nature of the Akorn and not bringing the temp up slow enough. But that still doesn't tell me why with the temp set for 235 the fan comes on when it is 250 or more.

BluesDaddy
10-06-2012, 09:56 AM
You know, writing "fine tuning P,I,D" is really pretty meaningless. Over a 12 hour cook, I gave the Tiger a lot of time, and it pretty much stayed at 250 to 265. Now, some of that may be the nature of the Akorn and not bringing the temp up slow enough. But that still doesn't tell me why with the temp set for 235 the fan comes on when it is 250 or more.
For example: In the "manual" under Setting Parameter(sic) you write:

press "SET1", it will show "F-C>SL1>SL2>HDC - Set data accordingly

Define what the parameters "SL1" and "SL2" are

Under "Set 1" you write:

P Default 30
I Default 240
D Default 60

Define what "P", "I" and "D" are in this context.

Nothing makes much sense without knowing what these are and I don't have time for trial and error figuring it.

Thanks!

BluesDaddy
10-06-2012, 10:12 AM
Also, the display on the remote has gotten so dim I can barely read it. And, yes, I've put new batteries in it.

woodpelletsmoker
10-06-2012, 10:48 AM
please set I=0, D=0
and try P=5,10,30,60.
Try one data for one hour. pay attention to how fast the temerature rising, and how big the temperature swing. You will find the best P easily
It is an easy job

woodpelletsmoker
10-06-2012, 10:49 AM
SL1 and SL2 define the mode of alarm.
As an user, you can forget SL1 and SL2

woodpelletsmoker
10-06-2012, 11:24 AM
Also please set HDC=90

thegizzard
10-09-2012, 07:34 AM
SL1 and SL2 define the mode of alarm.
As an user, you can forget SL1 and SL2

what does sl1 and sl2 do? What are the values and what do they do?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

woodpelletsmoker
10-09-2012, 09:46 AM
what does sl1 and sl2 do? What are the values and what do they do?
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

By default value, when temperture is above HDC, or below UDC it will alarm.
If you change value, it may alarm when temperature is below HDC or above UDC.
Anyway there are different alarm modes which are defined by SL value,

BluesDaddy
10-09-2012, 10:56 AM
please set I=0, D=0
and try P=5,10,30,60.
Try one data for one hour. pay attention to how fast the temerature rising, and how big the temperature swing. You will find the best P easily
It is an easy job
I appreciate the suggestions, but would like to understand more about what these variables control and what are the options for setting them. Is there a maximum setting for each? Based on what you've posted, P seems to determine the margin of difference from the set pit temp the fan kicks on or off. What do I and D control?

I've really only used this twice for a cook, and was more satisfied this second time.

Thanks!

woodpelletsmoker
10-09-2012, 11:23 AM
I appreciate the suggestions, but would like to understand more about what these variables control and what are the options for setting them. Is there a maximum setting for each? Based on what you've posted, P seems to determine the margin of difference from the set pit temp the fan kicks on or off. What do I and D control?

I've really only used this twice for a cook, and was more satisfied this second time.

Thanks!
Different applications may need different modes, Say PID,PI, PD, or P only.
I have extensive test on rice cooker when doing sous vide on controller FOX, 80-260VAC, 15A.
PID math. is same in FoX and Wolf Tiger Lion and DOG
Followings are result on rice cooker
http://allchinas.com/probe/pid1.jpg
http://allchinas.com/probe/pid2.jpg
http://allchinas.com/probe/pid3.jpg

woodpelletsmoker
10-09-2012, 11:38 AM
I am using Tiger on my offset with my gravity feed burner. Grill size 280" square inches, reverse flow, 1" lining by stove mud.
It takes less than 15 minutes to stable the temperature, swing under 3 F, occassionally 4 F.
I use default values of PID.

pixcolor
10-09-2012, 12:11 PM
what does sl1 and sl2 do? What are the values and what do they do?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
If you go to the manual for the Auber
http://auberins.com/images/Manual/SYL-1614%20manual.pdf
you will get some explanation of this.

woodpelletsmoker
10-09-2012, 08:07 PM
If you go to the manual for the Auber
http://auberins.com/images/Manual/SYL-1614%20manual.pdf
you will get some explanation of this.
Basically you can compare my DOG package with Auber.
Small differences are
1.DOG uses a big AC/DC addapter, in turn a big fan
2.DOG's output is variable voltage, in turn variable speed of fan. This way a big fan can suit small, medium and large smoker. If you have a 50 CFM fan, but you have a Web 18.5" smoker, you can define HDC as 60, then maximium output of a 50 CFM fan is indeed 10 CFM. The speed of fan will run at maximium or run slower depending on PID math result. The fan will deliver 10 CFM then 8 CFM then 1 CFM.
Auber output is solid state relay. If you have a 10 CFM fan, the fan simply delivers 10 CFM constantly, only on or off.
3.DOG has 4 temperature stages. Say you can program smoker temperature at 225F for 10 hours, then lower to 200F for half hours, then 180F for half hours, and finally 140F as keeping temperature for ever

woodpelletsmoker
10-09-2012, 08:19 PM
even Auber does not explain them.
If you are a developer, and use the chip to other application, you may need to know them.
But for BBQ you must use default value