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Unread 04-05-2013, 03:14 PM   #1
bo_gator
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Default Help, I don't know what I'm doing wrong with temp controller

I recently purchased two Auber temp controllers for use with my WSMs, and both times I have tried using them the fire got too hot too fast, and I couldn't cool it back down. I am a firm believer that "you have to be smarter than what you're working with", and apparently I'm not. Can someone help me out here




My procedure:

Fill the charcoal ring with a mix of Kingsford blue, and Royal Oak red, at a ratio of about 1.5:1.

I light between 9 and 15 briquettes of Kingsford with a chimney starter. Then dump it in the middle of the charcoal ring.

I open all three vents all the way, except the two holes I taped over on the blower vent. The top vent is also open all the way.

Once the grate temp gets to about 185-190 I close two of the vents completely, and turn on the Auber, set for 250 or so. I am measuring the grate temp with two calibrated digital thermometers.

I keep checking every hour or so, and it will do good for about 2 or 2 1/2 hours, and then it is 300, and then it's 350, and so on.

I close the top vent on the WSM and it doesn't cool it off at all. Usually at this time I have been getting frustrated and putting the meat in the oven at 250 or 275.

I need help bad
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Unread 04-05-2013, 03:18 PM   #2
Neonnblack
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I dont use a TC, but should you be letting the TC control it from the beginning? I.e. having everything closed and the auber on when you dump the lit charcoal in it?
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Unread 04-05-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
El Ropo
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obvious question would be "does this happen when you aren't using a temp controller? To eliminate the controller.

If the runaway temps just started happening when you added the controller, then you know what to concentrate on.
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Unread 04-05-2013, 04:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bo_gator View Post


My procedure:

Fill the charcoal ring with a mix of Kingsford blue, and Royal Oak red, at a ratio of about 1.5:1.

I light between 9 and 15 briquettes of Kingsford with a chimney starter. Then dump it in the middle of the charcoal ring.

I open all three vents all the way, except the two holes I taped over on the blower vent. The top vent is also open all the way.

Once the grate temp gets to about 185-190 I close two of the vents completely, and turn on the Auber, set for 250 or so. I am measuring the grate temp with two calibrated digital thermometers.

I keep checking every hour or so, and it will do good for about 2 or 2 1/2 hours, and then it is 300, and then it's 350, and so on.

I close the top vent on the WSM and it doesn't cool it off at all. Usually at this time I have been getting frustrated and putting the meat in the oven at 250 or 275.

I need help bad
I open all three vents all the way, except the two holes I taped over on the blower vent. The top vent is also open all the way.

Do not bring the temp up too fast, it's almost impossable to get it back down.

Once the grate temp gets to about 185-190 I close two of the vents completely, and turn on the Auber, set for 250 or so. I am measuring the grate temp with two calibrated digital thermometers

I would get the temp a little closer to the target temp before turning on the blower. Also start closing the top a little, remember slow as she goes. Once you are close to the target temp close off the lower vent and plug the blower in. Also you'll want to close the top vent a good bit.

Nowhere did you mention which blower you have. I do know if you have the 20cfm blower and use the auber to bring it up to temp that you will over shoot your target temp by 100* or so.

Maybe there's something in what I've said that you can use.
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Unread 04-05-2013, 05:28 PM   #5
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I think you may be lighting too many coals to start with. Try lighting a half-dozen. But then, I don't really see the need for a temp controller on something like a WSM or kamado-style cooker to begin with-they hold temps pretty damn good by themselves.
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Unread 04-05-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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I think there is an air leak somewhere. Just guessing off the wall but the Auber fan has a built in damper, do you have it positioned properly so the damper closes by gravity ??

I would also suggest letting the auber run the show the whole time....not manually starting the smoker then kicking the auber into gear once the process is started.

Bill
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:41 PM   #7
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I would suggest making a mountain of charcoal in the ring, and lighting only about 4 or 5 coals at the top with a small propane torch. Open the top vent on the WSM all the way, and DO NOT touch the other two bottom vents that are not utilized by the controller. Leave them closed. Also, you MAY need to place foil around the door if you suspect it leaking. Try this with standard Kingsford charcoal until you get a hang of it. Remember, do not try and outsmart the controller and let it do its work. Hope this helps you.

Last edited by yakdung; 04-05-2013 at 10:19 PM..
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:51 PM   #8
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First off, you need to get your temp dead nut set on 250 manually, then close off all Intake vents except the auber vent. Scroll through the menu till you see "At"
Move it to 2 or 1 and give it 10 seconds. It will start doing a Auto tune. Make sure before you start the auto tune your outl is 0 and your outH is 100. After a few cycles, the controller will have the parameters needed to control the pit. Let the controller do all the work from the get go, my guru does. I have a auber I retrofitted Into my traeger years ago. Once the controller is set, I Reccomend you set the outh-50 just to minimize overshoots on such a low cook temp.
If you don't feel like messing with none of the auto tune #'s try these and lemme know how thy work for ya. I-647 P-20 D-140 outL-0 outH-50 t-10. Let the auber control the pit from the very start so it learns the pit. As like with all PID controllers you will occasionally get a pretty decent temp spike from" integral windup" but just let the controller do its thing. Good luck, feel free to pm me if you need more guidance.
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Unread 04-05-2013, 10:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
First off, you need to get your temp dead nut set on 250 manually, then close off all Intake vents except the auber vent. Scroll through the menu till you see "At"
Move it to 2 or 1 and give it 10 seconds. It will start doing a Auto tune. Make sure before you start the auto tune your outl is 0 and your outH is 100. After a few cycles, the controller will have the parameters needed to control the pit. Let the controller do all the work from the get go, my guru does. I have a auber I retrofitted Into my traeger years ago. Once the controller is set, I Reccomend you set the outh-50 just to minimize overshoots on such a low cook temp.
If you don't feel like messing with none of the auto tune #'s try these and lemme know how thy work for ya. I-647 P-20 D-140 outL-0 outH-50 t-10. Let the auber control the pit from the very start so it learns the pit. As like with all PID controllers you will occasionally get a pretty decent temp spike from" integral windup" but just let the controller do its thing. Good luck, feel free to pm me if you need more guidance.
J$ is right. The AT should get you close, but if your conditions are similar, he can get you closer.

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Unread 04-05-2013, 11:41 PM   #10
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"and then it is 300, and then it's 350, and so on."
You should check the fan is running or not.
if the fan is running, it means the controller is wrong.
if the fan is not running, you must check seal and vent on your smoker
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Unread 04-06-2013, 07:46 AM   #11
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Really dumb question. What is the temperature reading on the Auber?

I mixed up the polarity on the temp probe the first time I used it, giving negative numbers. This would cause the fan to kick up, I suppose.
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Unread 04-06-2013, 09:14 AM   #12
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Wow, good catch! Never crossed my mind. +1, it can happen. I forgot thermocouples have a specific polarity where as RTD's don't
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Unread 04-06-2013, 09:14 AM   #13
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When your WSM temperature overshoots, is the ATC fan running?
If it is, it's something with your ATC.
If it is not, you have a leak somewhere.

Auber fans have a shutter in them. The fan has to be installed inlet side down, or it will not function correctly, which could cause a temperature over run.

When I set up my ATC, I try to manually bring the pit temperature as close to my target temperature as possible before turning the ATC on.

Good luck.
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