Heater meter questions before jumping in


 

Tom Morgan

New member
Hey guys, been lurking for a while now. Finally signed up for an account. I’ve got a 22 kettle (and a genesis 330) today, likey getting a 22 WSM this year too. Been on the fence about going Smokefire but the reviews aren’t wowing me. Anyways....

I like the idea I’d a fan based controller as it looks as easy as a pellet system and I am weary of the big names still being in business in a few years. Thermoworks is great but the billows reviews seem to make it kind of blah so I went down this rabbit hole on the internet.

I am not a hardware guy but can splice some wires and slap a board in a case. I’ve got a good handle on the software side, setup a retro pie and a Pihole in the past. Currently using a tilt pi for home brewing so the concepts are not lost on me. My burning questions are:

1. I’d buy an assembled kit, case and power supply from the official site and put either a pi zero or 3b in it. Is it as simple as attaching the pi to the heatermeter plug and play style, or am I going to have to solder? When do I need the header? and is it more complicated than setting some jumpers or dip switches if I do need a header.?

2. as for a fan, I’m thinking of getting the pit viper because I like how it mounts and I found a heatermeter fan cable on Auber’s site that looks like it will work. I am assuming I can just plug it all together and it will work? Is that right or do I need to make other tweaks along the way?

thanks!!
 

Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Hey Tom, sorry about the slow reply but I've been on other projects this week.

1. The assembled HeaterMeter covers all the soldering of the device itself. You can just plug in a Pi 3B, micro SD, and power supply and it will be up and running. The Pi Zero W does not come with the headers installed though so if you get one of those, then you'll need to add your own headers. Luckily, they make a Pi Zero WH which has the headers already installed which would eliminate that step. They're a bit more difficult to find, but the $2 added cost is certainly worth it to be solder-free.

What that does leave is how the blower and optional servo is connected. The HeaterMeter output is just a RJ45 jack and the fan just has bare wires, so what you need here varies based on what attachment mechanism you'd use. RotoDamper3 and Adapt-A-Damper use RJ45 keystones so you'd need to strip the end of the wires and punch them down into the connector. Others use an adapter to convert the RJ45 to a barrel jack used by a pre-made blower from Auber or BBQ Guru or others.

2. I've never used the Auber adapter but from what I read, that's the idea. It would just plug in with the converter and it's good to go. Just make sure you also get their blower adapter that attaches to the WSM as well.
 

Andrew F

TVWBB Super Fan
Honestly Id go with a 3 over a zero. I haven’t used a zero as a Heatermeter, but I have used them in other projects and they do not perform as well. Besides the limited computing power (which really might not be a problem here) ive found the WiFi to be sub-par, and with the meter outside, you need all the WiFi robustness you can get. At least I do with my aluminum siding!
I’d also go with a RotoDamp, or an Adapt-a-Damp. The plug and play are just too easy.
 

James_Brouillette

New member
I'll confirm the one i just put together (i got presoldered) Works fantastically so far (just testing ) Used a Pie 3 b+ , and it "just works" , got the RotoDampv3 preprinted also .
 

Larry Naylor

TVWBB Member
I've assembled one of Bryans kits and it was an easy kit to do except for some eye strain ( I'm a senior) had a software problem ( I'm a senior) and found a lot of help here. I have to commend Bryan for his patience and is a pleasure to work with . Everything plugs together and follow the instructions and you'll have no problem. I use a pi zero wh on mine with zero (pun intended ) trouble
 

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