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Thread: Homemade ATC from Inkbird PID

  1. #1
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    Homemade ATC from Inkbird PID

    Hi guys,
    Iím looking at building my own ATC from an Inkbird PID, probably an ITC-106VL.
    Does anyone have experience building their own ATC from scratch like this? What size CFM fan do I need for a 22Ē WSM, Iím thinking maybe a 6.5CFM?
    Any input anyone wants to give is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Dave

  2. #2
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    No experience.

    Basic pid controllers and ssrs are abundant though. And cheap from china.

    Some work better than others ive read. Some fail in short time. Dont know anything about inkbird.

    The worst part of cooking, is going repeatedly outside to check temperatures.

    Remote temp monitors solve that.

    The second worst part....is going outside repeatedly to make adjustments every 30 min while lining out smoker temp.

    This is where wifi ability in a controller shines for tuning it to smoker and getting lined out.. It can take a lot of work to get to behave well. In addition to not needing second remote monitoring device.

    It often costs more to put together something than buying a manufactured item. Not always, but often. The incidental little things just drive the price up because you dont get bulk pricing on them, and home depot reams you on them . Not to mention gas and time running repeatedly back to stores. Its enjoyable, but often not efficient or cost effective as initially hoped.
    Last edited by MartinB; 01-20-2019 at 03:44 AM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Martin, some good things to thing about there.
    Iím thinking the build should cost around $100, Iíve not looked into prices too much but I think a BBQ Guru is almost $300.
    This whole thing is still just at the idea phase right now. Iím still planning what I need and looking for prices and parts etc.

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    Iíve just been given a 12.6cfm compture cooling fan from a friend, will that be too large?
    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
    I’ve just been given a 12.6cfm compture cooling fan from a friend, will that be too large?
    Thanks
    If I were you I would look up the flow -pressure curve for that fan and compare it to the others that are normally used. The lower the pressure, the less restricted the flow path has to be.

    Having just completed my first cook with my new heater meter/damper. .... With the Wi-Fi interface...... It's awesome to adjust temperatures and tuning from your couch. Well worth the cost.
    Last edited by MartinB; 01-20-2019 at 05:00 PM.

  6. #6
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    I found the flow pressure curve for the fan I have (I canít see how to attach the picture to this post) where would I find the flow pressure curve for a bbq guru WSM 22.5Ē?
    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Don't know.
    Axial fans don't produce the static pressure that the radial ones do. So they are far more sensitive to pressure drop in the supply piping.

    Most commercial units use a small radial blower. These may or may not be the same as the ones from Delta. In the case of BBQ guru, I believe they adapter only feeds through a single hole, and you plug the other holes with tape or a plug. This hole actually limits flow from the blower somewhat. Were you to install it without variable blower speed and no restriction it would not work exactly the same.

    The micro damper on this site, also uses an axial fan. you can read that when people have tried to hook that up to some distribution pipes they couldn't get enough flow to get their temperature even to 225. That style needs more open supply because it's probably producing half the pressure of the radial one. Half the pressure is 1/4 the flow, roughly, when talking about flowing through the same piping.

    I'd suggest you look at the micro damper threads for some ideas and information.

    None of this is rocket science, but through trial and error some people before you have already worked out systems that perform acceptably, or fantastically, and you can learn from their history if you read the old forum posts.

    Or you can follow their lead and duplicate a system that's already been proven.

    As a brand new owner of the heater meter with a damper, I'm impressed by how well and how long it controls the temperature.

    But here's the thing, the tuning parameters you need can change over 12 hr cook . This is because the ashe builds up , and the ash falls off, and the amount of coals decrease towards the very end of the cook. What worked fine a little while ago might start cycling, especially in that last couple of hours. that's when the temperature control gets touchy even doing it manually. Now a PID might cycle by plus or minus 5-10 F, by hand it might have been plus or minus 25F or more.

    There is no substitute for being able to watch this graph, and change this from your couch or bed . None. going outside in the rain to screw with it will just leave you ready to spend the money you saved in the first place.

    I highly suggest you spend the money for Wi-Fi capability. And the heater meter seems complicated at first, but it's really not. There really ought to be a single sticky explaining the whole thing more concisely. as it stands you have to sort through a lot of forum stickies and postings and read the wiki to get the whole picture of it.

    You can monitor it , and change it, from your phone, it can send you email alarms, or texts, or even push messages. Connect to it directly, or via router, or internet. It's constantly being improved with the large community here that supports it.

    The addition of a damper to shut off the natural convection flow is almost critical to being able to control the temperature well. without it you can have enough air drafting thru the fan, that the overshoot temperature doesn't come down, or at least doesn't come down as fast. Using a lower pressure fan that requires less restriction, I would expect this to be a problem without a damper.
    Last edited by MartinB; 01-21-2019 at 08:49 AM.

  8. #8
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    Martin, thank you very much for your input on my post. You have given me lots of great information and things to think about.
    Thanks

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