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-   -   Review of my latest ATC- Automatic Temp Controller. Golden Tiger. On my UDS Pron Heavy (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=144705)

jetfxr27 09-24-2012 12:45 PM

Review of my latest ATC- Automatic Temp Controller. Golden Tiger. On my UDS Pron Heavy
 
Had my first Real run at my Golden tiger ATC. :-D

After a little bit (lot a bit) :crazy: of a learning curve and a few weeks of casually tweaking, tinkering and learning, I felt confident enough to do my real test run with my ATC controller from allchinas.com. My model is the golden-tiger with the rf remote for controlling and monitoring.


My previous experience with ATC's is with a BBQ Guru Digiq 2. Let me first start out by saying the comparison is apples to oranges, or should i say Weber smokey mountains to UDS'.

Both do the same thing just one requires a lot more initial work to create and use while the other works out of the box, and can be bought ready to go, has a great set of manuals and product support. While the other takes time to build, modify and learn to tweak. Its all in what your intent is. If you like the idea of a feature rich controller that you have to learn and this doesn't frighten you, go all in. Just like building a UDS from scratch.

FULL DISCLOSURE:
I bought the controller at a special promo price offered for the good folks here who would do honest reviews. This is my honest review; good and bad, pros and cons etc..
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=134078

First of all I am a backyard bbq tinkerer and occasional pit-b*!^# for competition cooking teams. I like to build my own cookers, UDS', mUDS' modify my COS etc. This is what drove me to the golden tiger as I feel Wang (seller) is also an authentic bbq tinkerer / enthusiast first and an Intl. entrepreneur second. Both of which I can relate. It was that spirit first and the value of the features for the money second that drove me to the product.

My first real run went great. After getting everything hooked up and plugged in, I started with about 15 lit coals dumped minion style on my UDS. I first tried 275*. it ramped up overshot, then corrected and ran for a few hours. I then dialed in 225*. It took about 30 minutes to bring down the cooker ( I think this is more my cooker leaking air). Once there, it held as long as I wanted it too. Through on some meat and the probes showed temps perfectly. There was about a 5* difference between probes when both were laying on the grate side by side. Don't know what else to say other than it does what it was intended to do. Deliver calculated volumes of fresh air to the fire to maintain desired temp.

I did have to set the UDC to 60 as others had suggested. Which is actually marked something else in the menu, but basically it means max. fan output. My UDS doesn't require the full 50 cfm blasts so this setting throttles it just for my cooker.

I drove my UDS as high as 375* and as low as 150*, cooker hit all temps within 30 minutes, all while I was in the house controlling remotely sans the few times the controller didn't receive my commands. Don't know whats up with that but occasionally I would have to go go into manual on the remote then back into automatic before my settings would sync outside on the controller.

At the end of the day I ramped it down to 150* and woke up to it still holding strong!

Initially when I first began tinkering with my purchase I was somewhat frustrated as it took me a while to understand that I had to learn basic PID comands, trials and tribulations with adequate power supply's and to understand how to control the controller and remote. But once I understood these things and realized it was easier to make all the changes at the remote, it was somewhat smooth sailing. Special thanks to "Thegizzard" and "woodpelletsmoker" for all the fast responses to my posts for help.

Another frustrating lacking feature is an alarm silencer. Once it begins to go of its is very loud at the controller and at the remote. The remote loses the ability somewhat to make changes because the hi/ low alarm message keeps popping up. All while having the screaming alarm beeper going off. Same story outside at the main controller. Loud alarm, no message but the controller is always in a bit of an awkward place to make changes especially while being deafened :mad2: by the beeper. Also the battery low message at the remote is confusing. It actually is telling you the main controller doesn't have adequate power. This misunderstanding made me keep changing the aaa batteries in the remote, when it was my weak power supply at the main unit that was the culprit.

So if you understand that there is a learning curve and don't mind it Go For It! If you want to open the box that afternoon and cook that evening, look elsewhere, pitmaser IQ, PartyQ, Auber etc.


Pros:
Bare bones kit to fit projects
Price
Remote
Solid connectors
Long probes
Dual probes
50cfm fan
4 pit programs
1 meat program
Alarms on controller and remote


Cons:
Fit and finish
Technical manual
learning curve
controlling can be crytpic until you learn the language
understanding controller needs 4a 12vdc power source (included now)
remote menus are confusing
NO ALARM SILENCER
rf interference
controller does not receive changes made at remote sometimes
and no feedback is provided telling you
No polarity marked on wires (black is ground - White is hot +)



Controller showed up in about 2 weeks. Not to bad for Beijing to the states.
http://i.imgur.com/T86eLl.jpg?1

Here it all is. Packed tight.
http://i.imgur.com/BoYsvl.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/kDYcQl.jpg

Front
http://i.imgur.com/kjxG2l.jpg

Back
http://i.imgur.com/PvaC3l.jpg

Side
http://i.imgur.com/uniOal.jpg

Side
http://i.imgur.com/Fkeyol.jpg

Remote
http://i.imgur.com/eeRPal.jpg

HUGE 50 CFM Fan for large or small cookers
http://i.imgur.com/yRxdXl.jpg

All laid out
http://i.imgur.com/Rzppxl.jpg

Compared to my Digi Q 2 :boxing:
Notice no documentation or power supply in the Golden tiger mix.
http://i.imgur.com/B20oWl.jpg

Getting ready for the first run. Half bag of Kblue, 1 chunk of hickory.
http://i.imgur.com/TCenJl.jpg

All installed on the UDS. Its quite a bit messy with all the wires. I plan to somehow clean all this up and going battery powered. Stay tuned....
http://i.imgur.com/9gcSol.jpg

Close Up. My nipple fittings are 3/4" and the c adapter sent with my controller threads right in.
http://i.imgur.com/HjVIil.jpg


This run also doubled as my re-season of my cooker after a deep cleaning.
Grabbed all the meat that's been living in the freezer for over a year and some old balonga for my test.
http://i.imgur.com/eTdNol.jpg

The sun set on the ATC just chugging along and getting in the groove.
http://i.imgur.com/IOjktl.jpg

Thanks for Tuning In :thumb:

Wet weather mod
http://i.imgur.com/xHuzql.jpg

A couple misc. videos of the run:
Holding 225* Strong
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34PyT...ature=youtu.be

The whole setup, coming up to temp:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vjuqo...ature=youtu.be

Run through of the Menu's

criffaaa1 09-24-2012 12:58 PM

great review thanks. I've been reading all I can about this unit. Woodpellet said he's changing the design to make it prettier and more user friendly.

---k--- 09-24-2012 01:08 PM

Nice review. Thanks for sharing.

Sent from my DROID2 GLOBAL using Tapatalk 2

jetfxr27 09-24-2012 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by criffaaa1 (Post 2223406)
great review thanks. I've been reading all I can about this unit. Woodpellet said he's changing the design to make it prettier and more user friendly.

Go for it!

jetfxr27 10-18-2012 10:43 AM

Ordered up this battery today as the first piece to my stealth/ weather mod.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/350585953725...84.m1423.l2649

colonel00 10-18-2012 10:53 AM

Have you tested running at hotter temps with your wet weather mod? I found that it just couldn't push enough air through the tube when I had a setup similar to your's. It wasn't the fan's fault but rather a restriction by the tube.

deguerre 10-18-2012 11:05 AM

So what is the full price factoring in the power supply and mods needed? The original price with shipping is pretty reasonable otherwise.

NorthwestBBQ 10-18-2012 09:12 PM

Thanks for posting the great review!

huntin smoke 10-18-2012 09:45 PM

How did you order? I don't see anyway to purchase on the website.

Panthers65 10-19-2012 10:20 AM

I believe he's exclusively through eBay. He's got some auctions there.

jetfxr27 10-20-2012 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by colonel00 (Post 2247460)
Have you tested running at hotter temps with your wet weather mod? I found that it just couldn't push enough air through the tube when I had a setup similar to your's. It wasn't the fan's fault but rather a restriction by the tube.

No I have not. I definitely could see the tube restricting flow. Mine whistles like a kids slide whistle when its full bore.

I am hoping I have my permanent weather/ sleek mod done by then. It includes 1" gas pipe. That will be plenty.

Dr_KY 10-20-2012 11:50 AM

Nice review. Love the honesty.

jetfxr27 10-20-2012 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by deguerre (Post 2247478)
So what is the full price factoring in the power supply and mods needed? The original price with shipping is pretty reasonable otherwise.

I believe he adds the power supply in the package now. I had one laying around from an old laptop computer. The mods I did were for wet weather and the only piece I bought was the dishwasher discharge hose for $10. Any hose would work.

I believe the price for the golden tiger is $188. My better supported/ quality and better documented BBQ Guru was close to $300 and less features.The Golden was $99 promotional and a lot more frustrating but rewarding and feature rich. I use them both for different things.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NorthwestBBQ (Post 2248343)
Thanks for posting the great review!

You're welcome!
Quote:

Originally Posted by huntin smoke (Post 2248379)
How did you order? I don't see anyway to purchase on the website.

The builder has a sub forum here and is active in it. He also always runs some type of BBQ Brethren only deals.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=95

Heres his eBay page.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Charcoal-Bur...6&cmd=ViewItem

He knows his website and ebay page are difficult to navigate and is trying to work on them. Definitely a language and social culture barrier. However he admits hes a BBQ guy and inventor first and marketer and salesman last.


Hers my current dual butt cook. I slept like a baby knowing this thing was pegged at 225* all night. Only woke up twice, looked at the remote to a solid 225* and just rolled back over!

http://i.imgur.com/gAyJtl.jpg

woodpelletsmoker 10-20-2012 09:49 PM

1.I just find this post and reply some question here
2.You can disable alarm. Say target temp. at 225F, simply set AH=235 or 240F, AL=215 to 210F
3.I am supplying AC/DC adapter 12 VDC 5 AMPS. now
4.I have rainproof SS box. The full system can be placed inside this SS box. Looks neat,
5.In 2 weeks I will have a plastic box to hold full system. a 3' feet SS corrugated pipe will connect fan and pit air inlet.

woodpelletsmoker 10-22-2012 06:31 AM

Both pit and meat temp. can be calibrated by parameters of pb1 and pb2


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