Flame Boss 500 vs. BBQ Guru Cyber Cloud

Bill Hall

New member
Fellow BBQers,

I am looking to purchase an ATCU for the purpose of overnight cooks. I do not use water in the pan so my temp can swing a little bit in the 18.5 WSM. I do not mind a little 20-30 degree shift but not quite comfortable with going to sleep and leaving it. Would also like to use lump in the smoker so I figured an ATCU would help stabilize temps better because lump can be more unpredictable. I am specifically looking into the FlameBoss 500 and BBQ Guru Cyber Cloud. The two units both have really good reviews on the WSM but the FlameBoss is $30 more. Anyone used either one of these units or better yet both? I am leaning towards the BBQ Guru but would love some insight from the more experienced.
 

BobJ

TVWBB Fan
Not that it helps, but I've been looking for one for the same reason. Another to look at is the Fireboard? Comes sort of a la cart.
 

BFletcher

TVWBB All-Star
This won't be very helpful but I have the CyberQ (purchased a couple months before the Cloud was introduced) and the Fireboard. I rarely use an ATC but that's because I rarely do overnight cooks. When I smoke during daytime hours I kinda enjoy a little human intervention. On the few occasions I used the CQ it worked; however, while it isn't a huge deal I'd prefer that it have an internal battery rather than requiring a DC power source that requires household AC. The Fireboard does have an internal battery and I use this unit often just to monitor temps. I LOVE the Fireboard cloud functionality because I can fully document and log my cooks, and the temp graph is always available from each log. The CQ Cloud may have as good as or better cloud capability; I have not researched it. The Flame Boss 500 may be better than both units but, again, I have not looked at it.

Here is my main concern: what happens if someone like Fireboard goes out of business. If that were to happen then I'd no longer have cloud functionality. If someone huge like Thermoworks had offered an ATC back then I very likely would have considered their solution for greater peace of mind.
 

BobJ

TVWBB Fan
It's not like they won't work, they still have WIFI and maybe Bluetooth for local connection, granted the internet access would be gone.
 

BFletcher

TVWBB All-Star
It's not like they won't work, they still have WIFI and maybe Bluetooth for local connection, granted the internet access would be gone.
The cook history would be gone and at some point in time the app would no longer function due to Apple's and Android's upgrade policy, so there would be much at stake.
 

Bill Hall

New member
Bob,
There are quite a few people that recommend the Fireboard on a facebook group I'm in. I am currently looking at that as well as the Thermoworks Signals/Billows device. There is more units with the same capabilities than I thought.
 

Bill Hall

New member
BFletcher,
I never thought about a company going out and not having functionality anymore. Thats a pretty good point. To be honest, I thought BBQ Guru was a pretty big company. Alot of people have actually been recommending the Thermoworks Signals/Billows combination so I will be looking into that. The only complaint I have heard about the Thermoworks is no open lid detection to temporarily disable fan and no damper with the fan unit itself like the pit viper on the Guru. This allows the fan to ramp up and overshoot the temp. I'll definitely have to do some more research before I drop hundreds of dollars on a unit. Thanks for the advice.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Super Fan
Fellow BBQers,

I am looking to purchase an ATCU for the purpose of overnight cooks. I do not use water in the pan so my temp can swing a little bit in the 18.5 WSM. I do not mind a little 20-30 degree shift but not quite comfortable with going to sleep and leaving it. Would also like to use lump in the smoker so I figured an ATCU would help stabilize temps better because lump can be more unpredictable. I am specifically looking into the FlameBoss 500 and BBQ Guru Cyber Cloud. The two units both have really good reviews on the WSM but the FlameBoss is $30 more. Anyone used either one of these units or better yet both? I am leaning towards the BBQ Guru but would love some insight from the more experienced.
I been using heatermeter with blower/damper for better part this yr.

5 bbq chicken cooks (350F) 1.75-2 hrs
2 turkeys, 3 turkey breasts (250-300 f) 2.5-6 hrs
33 lb smoke bacon in 5 smokes (140-180F) up to 14 hrs
2 pork butts (250) 13-14 hrs
3 briskets (250-275) 14-20 hrs
Couple pounds jerky (150)
4 pork loins (300-325 )2-3 hrs

If you want best functionality of your wsm, at low temp, to high, using ATC:

1. You need damper
2. You need to be able to adjust blower speed range
3. You need to be able to change tuning parameters
4. Need to do wirelessly, seeing graph of temp control

The same tuning doesnt work at 350 and 150
 
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Bill Hall

New member
MartinB,
The Heatermeter looks awesome but I don't know if I possess the skills to piece a unit together. I have heard of the Raspberry Pi but have never experimented with it. Did you build yours from one of the kits and the accessories on their site?
 

MartinB

TVWBB Super Fan
MartinB,
The Heatermeter looks awesome but I don't know if I possess the skills to piece a unit together. I have heard of the Raspberry Pi but have never experimented with it. Did you build yours from one of the kits and the accessories on their site?
You can buy everything assembled , for very fair prices.
Bryan will put together heatermeter for you....assembled, tested, in case for small premium...well worth it imo.

https://store.heatermeter.com/

Blower/damper from wbegg is as cheap as you could construct yourself. Maybe be cheaper.

Being 3d printed, its not as slick looking as commercially available. But nothing will outperform it that i know of

It seems intimidating.....its not really....theres just a little reading/understanding that you have to do. Mostly to flash latest firmware, and open port in your home firewall for internet acess if want that.

I'm not trying to slight anybody, Other people will provide files and parts for their dampers but I don't know that anybody else provides an assembled damper/ blower at essentially their cost.
 
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Bill Hall

New member
You can buy everything assembled , for very fair prices.
Bryan will put together heatermeter for you....assembled, tested, in case for small premium...well worth it imo.

https://store.heatermeter.com/

Blower/damper from wbegg is as cheap as you could construct yourself. Maybe be cheaper.

Being 3d printed, its not as slick looking as commercially available. But nothing will outperform it that i know of

It seems intimidating.....its not really....theres just a little reading/understanding that you have to do. Mostly to flash latest firmware, and open port in your home firewall for internet acess if want that.

I'm not trying to slight anybody, Other people will provide files and parts for their dampers but I don't know that anybody else provides an assembled damper/ blower at essentially their cost.
Thanks for all of the info MartinB. This seems like a great way to get a custom system at a low cost. I will definitely look into it more.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Super Fan
Thanks for all of the info MartinB. This seems like a great way to get a custom system at a low cost. I will definitely look into it more.
Id encourage that.

I started by looking at cheapest controllers, frustrated by tending overnight cooks.

I too discounted heatermeter at first due to build it yourself. I wanted simple plug and play device.

But eventually i ended up wanting wifi ability. Got hollered at by wife tracking mud all over floor with frequent trips out to adjust in wet winter confitions.

One leading brands worked thru their internet website, and overloaded on holidays, preventing people from cooking! Unbelievable...second yr in row too. They promised fixes...that hadnt come months later......so i went with heatermeter. Very happy i did. Bought pre-assembled, tested heatermeter and blower/damper.

What i learned is....its a tool, takes a bit of practice and effort to get best results. Several people spent years developing blower/damper assemblies , and the necessary software with variables to manipulate to give excellent control....+/- 1 f control for hours. Maybe 0.5 F. Large community that supports and keeps improving it too.

Commercial units....honestly, vary a lot by comparison, and dont have near the features. I suspect i eould have been frustrayed by level of performance received after spending $300 on them. From first hand experience, i know you have to be able to make adjustments for different rates of fuel burning, if you want decent control. Ive run down to 125F , and as high as 365.

It ended up more than i had anticipated spending. But it makes cooking so ez....not much harder than oven. Maybe that takes something away from bbq for some, for me...it means i use it all the time
 
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