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Thread: New Pit Boss blue egg smoker - need to get adapter to mount Micro Damper

  1. #11
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    Yikes, now I can't get anything above 250F. The blower's been on 100% for a while but the temp has been holding steady at just about 250.
    I have the top vent about 1/2 open.
    Is the Micro Damper just under-powered for this smoker?

    As a test, at 4:13pm today (after this snapshot was taken, below), I removed the Micro Damper and just left the bottom and top vents wide open. I'll see what happens in about 15 minutes and post another graph.

    Last edited by RKHanso; 04-25-2018 at 02:14 PM.

  2. #12
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    You can see where I removed the Micro Damper at about 4:13 and the temp dipped, then rose a little bit - and then the fluctuation from no temp control.

    I must be operating this new ceramic cooker incorrectly.....


  3. #13
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    I put the Micro Damper back on. Added some hardwood to the firebox and it's now up to 275F, but climbing very slowly. The top damper is open wide open (on 3).
    This thing is supposed to get up to 625F according to the instructions.


  4. #14
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    You should probaly pack the controller away in a closet for a bit and learn to use the kamado without it so you better know how to use it with the controller. I also would suggest reading some of the Pit Boss forum over at kamadoguru, especially the 2016-17 threads.

    If I had to guess, you don't have nearly enough charcoal in it, and you probably have the top vent open too far. The fan is blowing out heat faster than it is stoking the fire. You may need to dial back the max fan output and delay when any fan comes on at all. You really shouldn't need any fan to hit and hold 260, or to recover near instantly when the lid is closed.

    The Pit Boss will hold 650 no problem, and I have had mine up well over 900. It takes a full load of charcoal to do that and you need to have the charcoal lit from bottom to top to get the extreme temps. A full load of charcoal only partially lit and with the air controlled WAY back will run 250-275 for 12+ hours. If you get too much lit it will be hard to keep it from overshooting and very hard to cool once it gets too hot. A ceramic grill is like a freight train with undersized brakes. It is slow to build momentum and REALLY slow to shed it. Running under 300 means the top vent open well less than the "1" setting, just a bunch of slivers of maybe 1/16" to 1/32" in each opening. With no servo/controller, the bottom vent only needs to be open about 1/8" as well. It takes very little air to hold the low and slow temps but you do want plenty of excess fuel to hold temps steadily. If you have a good seal on the top and bottom (often not the case out of the box) you don't need to worry about wasting charcoal because you should be able to shut the vents and put the fire out when the cook is over. You may need to add some felt gasket material to get it to seal well. If so look for the original review thread on KG and a couple pages in there are some good descriptions and photos.

  5. #15
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    I did a bunch of traditional "grills" on the Pit Boss without the Heatermeter.
    Today, I did low/slow smoke of some ribs and used the heatermeter. The results were not pretty according to the graphs. Here are a couple screenshots.
    I have a Micro Damper connected as shown in the fifth post. I did use aluminum duct tape to seal all around where the pipe/aluminum insert into the grill - so the bottom vent should have been sealed off very well. I am using the heat deflector plate and the pit temp probe is above the heat deflector plate, not directly above the coals.
    The top vent was closed off completely, or some times, just barely open (like moved 1mm is all).

    What do I need to do to get this more stable?



    Last edited by RKHanso; 07-08-2018 at 02:27 PM.

  6. #16
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    I think I tamed it a bit.
    Changed PID to 10, .01, 10
    Changed Max fan speed to 80% for the chart below. I later changed it to max of 50% and will see if that helps.


  7. #17
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    Those are some pretty solid oscillations you've got going on there. Looking at where the temperature is dropping, the output is barely on as it is passing the setpoint which would be the easiest thing to tackle. The output on the downslope is the I sum (which appears to be almost nothing, so I'd leave the I constant at 0.02), the P value (which is retarding the output), and the D value (which is trying to stop the value from continuing down). The P and the D are working against each other, so a higher P reduces the effectiveness of the D. I'd take P down to 5, and try a D of maybe 8.

    You're almost definitely going to need a max fan of 50% or higher though, the microdamper fan is pretty wee. It does the job but at 20% output, that's 20% of 50% max power and trying to suck air through a 20% wide open damper, it's not a lot of air.

    Once you get most of the oscillation out, you might bump up the I constant to 0.03 if you're still seeing it bottoming out to 0% output between the oscillations.
    I'm that HeaterMeter guy what ruins everybody's free time.

  8. #18
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    I'm going to get a Roto-Damper from Ralph for the new Kamado grill instead. I think it'll be better suited.
    The Micro Damper works well with the Weber kettle grill OK though.

    I suppose when I get the Roto-Damper, the PID numbers will need to be changed up anyway.

    Thanks Bryan, for those numbers and explanation. I tried reading the Wiki to help understand how this whole PID thing works.

  9. #19
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    Doing a test-run with the RD3 instead of the Micro-Damper.
    I have to look for leaks because I'm having a hard time keeping the temp down to 225F. Even with the top damper completely closed, and a couple heat-proof gloves sitting on the vents to help it seal a little better - and the RD3 is closed off at the bottom, the temps are dropping really slower than I hoped (I do know that the ceramic smokers will retain heat for a long time and will drop temps slow).

    I'll post some more screenshots after the temp settles down.



    And my current PID settings:

  10. #20
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    I'm futzing with some settings.
    I'm online at: heat-makarios.ddns.net

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