Had my first Real run at my Golden tiger ATC.
After a little bit (lot a bit)
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.
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..
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
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.
Bare bones kit to fit projects
4 pit programs
1 meat program
Alarms on controller and remote
Fit and finish
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
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.
Here it all is. Packed tight.
HUGE 50 CFM Fan for large or small cookers
All laid out
Compared to my Digi Q 2
Notice no documentation or power supply in the Golden tiger mix.
Getting ready for the first run. Half bag of Kblue, 1 chunk of hickory.
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....
Close Up. My nipple fittings are 3/4" and the c adapter sent with my controller threads right in.
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.
The sun set on the ATC just chugging along and getting in the groove.
Thanks for Tuning In
Wet weather mod
A couple misc. videos of the run:
Holding 225* Strong
The whole setup, coming up to temp:
Run through of the Menu's