I'm looking at latest gen ATCs. What is state of the ATC art?

J Grotz

TVWBB Super Fan
I'm looking into replacing my Stoker system.

Three ATC systems get a platinum rating from AmazingRibs: Auber SYL-2615, BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud, and Fireboard FBX11 with Drive. After looking at all three, I am most interested in the Auber, but I would love to hear from users of all three.

I'm not interested in Heatermeter. I have great admiration for the developers and user base of Heatermeter. However, I want something that is turnkey instead of something that requires tinkering. I can barely get a 2d printer to work, let alone a 3d one.

The reviews of the Thermoworks Signals/Billows are that it's a bit on the basic side. For instance, it doesn't have an open lid sensing capability like the others. My old white box Stoker did not have that and I had to turn it off every time I opened the WSM and wait a few minutes after I closed the WSM before turning it back on. I would like a new system with open lid sensing, so I think the Signals/Billows is off the list.

Are there any others I should be considering?
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB All-Star
I had the first Auber and it was excellent. Nothing fancy such as wifi with it but it got the job done. I now have the Signals/Billows and a software update will give me open lid detection.
 

J Grotz

TVWBB Super Fan
Thank you, Lew. That is good to know. I have other Thermoworks products and have been happy with them. Have you had any ash issues with the Billows fan? At 46CFM it is considerably more powerful than any of the others deigned for a WSM.

Reviewers seem to love the Auber, but users less so.
 

Cliff Bartlett

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I use the CyberQ Cloud and have really enjoyed it. Excellent customer support from BBQ Guru also. I have the 10 CFM Pit Viper fan and it works fine with all the WSM's. I put a fan adapter on one of my 22" kettles also and that has proved handy as well.
 

J Grotz

TVWBB Super Fan
Thank you, Cliff. How was the setup? Did you have any problems connecting it to your wifi and monitoring it remotely? BBQ Guru seems to have been around the longest and backs up their products. That's another reason why I'm moving on from Stoker. At this point, all my Stoker equipment still has value to some people and it can help defray the cost of a new system.
 

Cliff Bartlett

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
The set up wasn't bad. They provide excellent instructions and some very helpful Q&A's. It easily picks up my wifi and provides the capability to raise and lower smoker temps remotely. I did have a problem early on with a firmware update. I called and spoke to "Chuck" at BBQ Guru and he was great. He probably spent an hour with me on the firmware problem. He was unsure of why my updates weren't loading so he just sent me a new controller, next day shipping. That's been a couple of years ago and I've never had a problem since.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB All-Star
Thank you, Lew. That is good to know. I have other Thermoworks products and have been happy with them. Have you had any ash issues with the Billows fan? At 46CFM it is considerably more powerful than any of the others deigned for a WSM.

Reviewers seem to love the Auber, but users less so.
I haven't had an ash problem and the fan doesn't seem to blow as strongly as I expected. Just a gut feeling. That said, I eventually did get a cheap stainless steel dog bowl and attach Billows to that. I'm happy with the Billows direct connected but love to fiddle with stuff and Chris raised the possibility of using a dog bowl so I'm trying that. Seems to work fine.
 

J Grotz

TVWBB Super Fan
That said, I eventually did get a cheap stainless steel dog bowl and attach Billows to that.
I've read where some users are doing that. I have a dog bowl and mounting hardware from my Stoker. At one point, I wanted to get rid of the dog bowl and direct mount the blower for a cleaner look. I think the dog bowl does perform an important function, diffusing the flow of air into the cooker, that promotes a more even burn and is less likely to blow ash around.
 

Pat G

TVWBB Gold Member
I'll be watching this thread. I was thinking about getting a SmokeFire but with all the issues I think I'll just get an ATC for my WSM's.
 

J Grotz

TVWBB Super Fan
I looked into the Fireboard last night. It has the most impressive app. It has a passionate user base. The quality of the product looks excellent as far as I can tell from what I read. But Fireboard is a startup that has only been around 3.5 years since their kickstarter campaign. If they go under, there goes all the cloud capability and cook history data with it. Auber has been around for 14 years. BBQ Guru is just a brand of the much larger and older (35+ years) ThermOmegaTech. And Thermoworks has been around for 23 years. All three of those companies are diversified into related products and markets. I'm taking Fireboard of the list and reconsidering Thermoworks Signals/Billows.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
.

I'm not interested in Heatermeter. I have great admiration for the developers and user base of Heatermeter. However, I want something that is turnkey instead of something that requires tinkering. I can barely get a 2d printer to work, let alone a 3d one.
I started where you are
I ended up with a heatermeter, and am glad i did
Theres no magic here
Simple truth, no single set of tuning and control parameters works well across range of temperatures, amount of ash built up, and size of coal bed.

If you are happy with temp swing 5-25f, any will work. But swings are bad especially eith a blower
It creates creosote by ramping up high and igniting new coals.

Being able to watch everything on your phone make tuning and blower range adjustments to quiet down a oscillating temperature......is the real value.
 

ChrisFitz

TVWBB Member
I'll be watching this thread. I was thinking about getting a SmokeFire but with all the issues I think I'll just get an ATC for my WSM's.
I have the same thinking as you do. I was also considering a Kamado, either a Kamado Joe or a Slow n Sear Kamado.
 

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