HeaterMeter vs. ThermoWorks Signals + Billows

ChrisB in Miami

New member
ThermoWorks’ Signals is on sale for 20% off and it looks like if you call in they’ll give you 20% off a Billows fan too. That makes the bundle ~$230, which includes the controller, fan, 1 pit probe, and 3 meat probes. At that price point, it’s pretty competitive with a HeaterMeter, and looks to have a pretty nice / durable build quality. Has anyone here tried both? Pros and cons?
 

Steve_M

TVWBB Guru
The signals + billows combo looks pretty neat. No thermocouple option, so you'll be limited to pit temps of about about 600F max. Not sure if you have to use the app to view/set the parameters of if you can use a browser. Also no option for a servo driven damper, which is one of the things I personally love about the HM. The servo + fan combo, in my opinion, gives you the best control over air flow. HM also has the ability to store and recall cook graphs.

That said, for $230 USD, it looks pretty feature rich and the folks at thermoworks aren't known for making junk.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Pretty sure they arent equal in functionality
But the average person would be inundated with functionality of HM.
But....its not superfluous
To get best results, at different temps, you need to be able to change fan settings, tuning parameters, use a damper,
Doing all on phone over internet while lying in bed is nice too.



Blower is way oversized on billows too for our size cookers
 

Matt B.

TVWBB Super Fan
I've got the signals+billows setup. It may be oversized but it works perfectly well on a 14.5" WSM. That little guy moves air! The hardware really is typical Thermoworks quality (battleship).
 

Jesse C

New member
Anyone know if you could use the billows with the heatermeter? I may need a new fan and housing anyway and 20% off the billows is tempting.
 

Steve_M

TVWBB Guru
Anyone know if you could use the billows with the heatermeter? I may need a new fan and housing anyway and 20% off the billows is tempting.
The ThermoWorks website suggests that it only works with the ThermoWorks gear.
 

JIves

TVWBB Member
I have one Signals and Billows. Bought to see if I could use it to replace a HM I'd built probably 7 years ago that just now started to get a little finicky.

After heatermeter I totally hate it, and I love all things thermoworks. The app is basic and horrible, settings dont always save right. The open lid detection is awful and the device alarms more than seems logical. My first Billows croaked half way through its second cook. They replaced it but what a pain.

The Billows fan is too large and has no damper. Allows a lot of air through even not running. For me that means almost completely shutting the top vent on my Primo Oval XL which I don't like. It also cranks so hard that when the top vent is clamped down like it has to be it forces smoke out the gasket. Oh and the backlight turns off way too fast and you can't change that so far as I have found.

I want to like it. It's just not great a decent amount could be fixed with firmware and a redesigned app. Unfortunately a lot is hardware design - especially the Billows
 

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