Author Topic: Big Daddy is giving me fits  (Read 579 times)

Mrs C

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Big Daddy is giving me fits
« on: May 13, 2022, 12:43:06 PM »
Hey All,
The last time I used my smoker (D-4) it worked like a charm.  Today I tried to use it the exact same way as last time and it's giving me fits.  When I inserted the meat probe I kept getting an H in the right window.  Could never get it to register the internal meat temperature.  So I gave up on that and just inserted a free standing probe to gauge the internal temperature.  Then I had the box temp in the left window set at 235 and before I knew it the temp ran all the way up to 300.  What are the causes that would make it run this hot.  I used less than 8 ounces of chunk wood that I soaked overnight.  It ending up being 2 large chunks and 1 small.  Probably more that what I used on the last smoke, but I weighed it and it was like 7.3 ounces.  I ended up just opening the smoker door to get it to cool down.  Now I'm waiting for to to get back to 235.  (head shake)
Do I need to replace my probe?
Do I need a new thermometer for inside the box?  Mine is placed at the very top of the smoker with a guard around it.   
Please don't give me instructions to check this or that without giving me instructions on how to do so.....lol
I've already checked the PID controller numbers and the P is 45, I is 875 and D is 220.  Does anyone think I need to do an Auto tune and if so why? 
As usual all your help is greatly appreciated.   

old sarge

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Re: Big Daddy is giving me fits
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2022, 10:04:37 PM »
I read through you 9 previous posts.  Seems that except for the seasoning/burn-in, you have had success then a problem. Not sure where to start. As for the temperature rise to 300, your wood may have caught fire.  That sometimes happens. Probes are sensitive to moisture.  More than one person here and elsewhere has ruined a probe with water. So depending how often you have used your smoker the last  3 or 4 years you may need a new probe.  Hard to tell.
As for the "H", this is from Auber:

For SMD-100, SYL-3615/SYL-2615, WS series plug-n-play controllers including WS-
1211GPH, WSD-1200GPH/1510GPH, AW-WST1510-W, WS-1510ELPM/1510DPM

-H-: This is an input error message. The possible reasons are: The sensor is not connected
correctly/firmly; the input setting is wrong type; or the sensor is bad. Please check your sensor
connection first. Simplest way to test is unplug/remove sensor, then plug in/install it back. If your
controller works properly before or you just reset your controller recently, please check sensor
input type parameter (if applicable). In addition, it is unlikely that both two probes go bad at same
time; to check whether your probe is bad or controller is bad, you can simply swap two probes in
different socket. If this problem comes with probe, this probe is bad; if this problem comes with
the socket, the controller is bad
David from Arizona
US Army 70 - 95
SI 3D & Big Red Controller
CS 066
Lodge Sportsman Grill
Weber Kettle
Ducane Meridian 42 inch Grill
LEM MaxVac 1088A
LEM Big Bite #8 Grinder
Chef's Choice 665 and Rival Slicers
Old Hickory Knives
InstantPot Duo80 Plus

Mrs C

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Re: Big Daddy is giving me fits
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2022, 08:59:08 PM »
Thank you.  We took the probe connecting end a part and it had came un-soldered.  We re-soldered it, but have not tried it yet to see if it is working properly, but if it doesn't then we'll purchase a new one.  We've been careful to just wipe the probe down with a damp cloth so unless it absorbed water through humidity I doubt if this contributed to our problem. I suspect the wood did indeed catch on fire, but I had soaked it overnight and didn't the time before when it worked just fine.  I guess we need to buy store bought wood, but we have access to our own wood and just hate the thought of processed wood.  I always wonder what the heck kind of chemicals it is soaked in for it to retain it's moisture. 

Do you know of any other digital controller that is more user friendly than this Auber?  I've never been impressed with this one and apparently the new wifi one is not much easier to program and I've read negative reviews about the wifi ap.  If you or anyone else knows of a better controller please send me the info or a link. 
 
When Big Daddy works he works very well, but when he doesn't it gets very frustrating. By the way the smoke turned out great in the end.  Who says you can't get a smoke ring in an electric smoker.....just catch your wood on fire..... 

Thanks so much for responding!

old sarge

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Re: Big Daddy is giving me fits
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2022, 09:32:39 PM »
Thank you.  We took the probe connecting end a part and it had came un-soldered.  We re-soldered it, but have not tried it yet to see if it is working properly, but if it doesn't then we'll purchase a new one.  We've been careful to just wipe the probe down with a damp cloth so unless it absorbed water through humidity I doubt if this contributed to our problem. I suspect the wood did indeed catch on fire, but I had soaked it overnight and didn't the time before when it worked just fine.  I guess we need to buy store bought wood, but we have access to our own wood and just hate the thought of processed wood.  I always wonder what the heck kind of chemicals it is soaked in for it to retain it's moisture. 
*I am not aware of any wood supplier applying any type f moisture retention substance to their wood.  It is typically cut, dried and shipped. I have an inexpensive General moisture meter that I will use when I suspect the wood is too dry. Any reading I get below 5 % warrants a rinse under the faucet for use within a couple of hours or a good 1 or two hour soak for use 24 plus hours later. Just the way I do it based upon what I have read. The chard below shows 5 to 9 % for cold smoking which is what I consider electric smokers do regarding the wood separate from the heat of the element.  Hope the chart helps.  If the dry wood moisture is high I just ignore the reading and use it.  No issues.  The fact that non-soaked woods gave you a good smoke says it all.  Don't soak. 
*Probes are not robust nor are they overly sensitive.  Just keep them away from water.

Do you know of any other digital controller that is more user friendly than this Auber?  I've never been impressed with this one and apparently the new wifi one is not much easier to program and I've read negative reviews about the wifi ap.  If you or anyone else knows of a better controller please send me the info or a link. 

*I cannot think of any other PID controller that would be easier to use. The problem with the controller is the written instructions. There are some folks who have no problem following the instructions and putting the controller into use and there are some who don't like the way it is writen and have a better idea  but have yet to post their better set of instructions. And there are those who if they won $10 million dollars would complain it is not enough.  Human nature.  To this day, I keep the instructions at the smoker and read them each time I program it. NOTHING digital is easy for me. Minor stroke.  But I adapt and move on.
 
When Big Daddy works he works very well, but when he doesn't it gets very frustrating. By the way the smoke turned out great in the end.  Who says you can't get a smoke ring in an electric smoker.....just catch your wood on fire..... 
*Don't over think the process of smoking.  I smoke to a set time or a set internal temp. No ramp ups, nothing fancy. No high or low alarms, etc. You can make this as detailed/painful as you want or keep it simple.  ALso, I do not set it with my phone.  I refuse to use technology or a particular feature just because it is there. I have no problems. And there is another link regarding smoke so enjoy them both.

Thanks so much for responding!
https://www.smokinlicious.com/moisture-recommendations-and-table.html

https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/grill-and-smoker-setup-and-firing/what-you-need-know-about-wood-smoke-and/
David from Arizona
US Army 70 - 95
SI 3D & Big Red Controller
CS 066
Lodge Sportsman Grill
Weber Kettle
Ducane Meridian 42 inch Grill
LEM MaxVac 1088A
LEM Big Bite #8 Grinder
Chef's Choice 665 and Rival Slicers
Old Hickory Knives
InstantPot Duo80 Plus