Brand New Damper Design - "The Micro Damper"

SteveCK

TVWBB Pro
Got the new fan today, Delta ASB0412VHA-AF00 rated at 9.5CFM and 6.3mmAq. I also bought the BBQGuru adapter for my Akorn, plan on testing with the older fan soon as well. I don't think the Akorn will require as much pressure to function well, so we'll see how it works with the older fan. I installed the new fan in the MicroDamper and decided to cook a butt overnight. It started out looking good, a little too good. At around 20:15 I had to dial down the fan output because it was a bit much. Here is how it looks so far, hopefully everything stays good overnight:
 

John Bostwick

TVWBB Wizard
That looks much better. Where did you settle on the fan max speed. From all my years of using a blower on my UDS, 8.4cfm seems to be the magic amount of air into the smoker.
 

SteveCK

TVWBB Pro
John I dialed it down to 75%, which is roughly 7.1CFM. You can see in the graph it did pretty well until when the ambient temp started to drop. I began the cook at about 78-80 and it dipped down to 53 according to my home's outdoor thermometer. Now I'll know roughly how much to boost the fan according to the air temp. Not sure why I have those blips in the middle, but it worked itself out. I woke up just in time as you can see the coals dying off at the end. This run was never intended to be a cook, just another test so I didn't fill my basket like I normally would. Not a problem though, I put the butt in a foil pan, poured a little Dr Pepper in it, covered it and threw it in the oven @215. Should be good by the time I get home a bit later. Overall I'm pretty happy with the performance. BPID: 0,9,0.008,4. Here are some pics:


 
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RWilloughby

TVWBB Member
Let me know if you need anymore testing stateside! I'm in the market of choosing a fan damper design and like what you have to say about your design.
 

Benjamin Thibault

TVWBB Member
I too would like to test this out. I don't need a freebie, I'm willing pay for it, including shipping. Let me know if you can, I'm in Illinois.

Just built my first hetermeater, and this looks like a perfect choice.
 

SteveCK

TVWBB Pro
PMs sent. You, soldier, have officially taken the last prototype.

Update on Kamado testing using the cheaper Bi-Sonic fan... I've run a couple low slow tests, so far it looks like this setup should work just fine. Playing around with some PID settings and fan speed settings to get it dialed in. The real test is going to be if this fan can achieve high heat.
 
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SteveCK

TVWBB Pro
I did some more testing today on the Akorn. I ran 4 tests today and couldn't get it dialed in. The results I was getting from small changes to the PID didnt seem to make sense. Turns out all day i had been running tests with the servo orientations setup for a prototype MicroDamper I had shipped to someone. Facepalm! So today was a total waste!

I noticed today (thanks to this forum) that Walmart is starting to discount their 14.5 WSM, so if my local one drops it to $100, I'll pick one up and getting playing with that as well.
 
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Aaron Morris

TVWBB Member
My walmart has them down to $150. I've been testing out a Mini WSM I built this weekend. Cost was less than $100, and is more versatile than the weber 14.5" WSM. I now have a portable smoker and grill so I can BBQ and smoke both while camping, and it busts down small enough to fit in the trunk of my BRZ. I've been testing it with a rotodamper, but am curious to see how the Microdamper does!
 

SteveCK

TVWBB Pro
Testing on the Akorn with the el cheapo (and el weako) Bi-Sonic fan. Looks pretty decent, a couple small ups and downs. BPID running on 5,4,0.008,5. Fan on at max only, max fan = 40%.

 
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SteveCK

TVWBB Pro
For the hell of it I wanted to see how it did going from 225 to 250. It took a while (boosted the fan to 100% for the last 3rd of the climb)! As expected though really. This cheap-o fan wasn't designed to be in any enclosure, it's supposed to be an open air fan and thus doesn't produce much pressure. Tonight will probably be the last of my testing with this fan in the MicroDamper, it works (which is nearly a miracle) but the performance isn't there. I'll ramp it back down to 225 and see how it does, though I'm not expecting great results. There are a few prototypes out there with this fan in them, so we will see how they fair with it. I believe one person has it on a kettle, and another has it on a mini-wsm.

 
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SteveCK

TVWBB Pro
I was starting some testing with the Delta fan on the Akorn, looking to figure out what percentage of fan output would be required to start it appropriately for a low and slow. Not too long into it the wife-to-be interjected that she was hungry. Well, it was flat iron steak night so I figured I'd just ramp it up to 550 and grill from there. So I opened up the top vent and set the HeaterMeter to 550. The PID settings I used above did a pretty good job. I adjusted the top vent just before the hump when it was at 550 and it smoothed right out. I almost didn't want to grill on it and see how far it would go but it was time for dinner.
 

SteveCK

TVWBB Pro
Update about a beta tester:

The tester decided they wanted to test the MicroDamper out on a large custom built offset. To do so they wanted to utilize a 40x40x20 fan capable of 20CFM. So I printed a Fan Body Extension for them. Stay tuned, I'm certainly anxious to see it work! Here is an assembled MicroDamper with the extension. Not much bigger, huh?

 

Benjamin Thibault

TVWBB Member
I'm live at the moment with a test run of my Heatermeter and Microdamper. I'm running on a 22.5" Weber kettle with a Slow n Sear inside (pictures of the whole setup are in the "how are you attaching your damper" thread) I have nomex gasket between the top and bottom halves, and it's bungee corded tight.



Http://bbq.tizzle.net

I have a water pan in there to fake a cook. Haha. It's cold and windy out, but she's holding good.
 

SteveCK

TVWBB Pro
That looks like a pretty good performance in the wind you're seeing out there. Would've been a great cook for some spares on that test load! Few bumps, but you can't complain much about plus/minus 1.5* in those Chicago winds this time of year. Can't wait to see it go on an full load of charcoal ...and perhaps maybe some brisket ;)
 

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