BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Consumables and Accessories => Accessories => Topic started by: Mr Walleye on January 11, 2009, 01:35:41 pm

Title: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 11, 2009, 01:35:41 pm
Well... I came across this brain wave...  ::)

You know me... just can't leave things alone!  ::)

Anyway, I've always wanted to add something to provide additional heat. With the PID controlling things it's more for getting up to temp and recovering temp faster, especially when doing large loads. Last summer when I was ordering a number of things from Bryan at Yard & Pool I also ordered an additional heater element and reflector. So here is my plan...

In this photo you can see how I ground a notch in the ceramic cap for the existing heater element. My plan is to run high temp wire directly from the element to the plug on the back of the DBS. The wire will be run parallel to the original wiring and come out the notch I created in the cap for the original heater, then connected to the 2nd heater.  You can also see where I drilled a hole through the reflector to mount the 2nd heating element. The hole is 5/8", just large enough for the insulator on the end of the heating element to fit into, it sits nicely up against lip of the insulator.

Click to enlarge...
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/th_IMGP0569_800x598.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/IMGP0569_800x598.jpg)


Here's another picture of the reflector with the 2nd heating element mounted into it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/th_IMGP0570_800x598.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/IMGP0570_800x598.jpg)


I will post updates to this thread once I have it finished and once I've done some testing. Providing this works, which I don't see why it won't, it is a very economical heating mod. The heater element was $12.00 and the new reflector was $4.00

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: FLBentRider on January 11, 2009, 01:42:28 pm
Mike,
That looks cool.

If I send you a reflector.....
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 11, 2009, 01:47:12 pm
Interesting project. I can't wait to see the finished product.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Smoking Duck on January 11, 2009, 01:56:13 pm
Looking good, Mike.  I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this update.

SD
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Caneyscud on January 11, 2009, 02:25:19 pm
Et Tu!

Shakespeare
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 12, 2009, 08:28:51 pm
Ok... I picked up some high temp wire and high temp connectors today at an appliance repair shop so I got at it tonight.

I used 14 gauge wire and ran it from the new 2nd heater right back to the plug in the back of the DBS. It was a little more work to remove the back off the DBS because I have a circulation fan installed as well.

In this photo you can see where I cut off the female spade connectors on the plug and installed new female spade connectors on the new wire and original wire.

Click to enlarge...
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/th_IMGP0572_800x598.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/IMGP0572_800x598.jpg)


In this photo you can see I have the new wiring with the ring connectors installed along side the original wires.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/th_IMGP0573_800x598.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/IMGP0573_800x598.jpg)


In this photo you can see I have the original heater, reflector and 2nd heater all mounted and wired.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/th_IMGP0574_800x598.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/IMGP0574_800x598.jpg)


This is just a little bit of a close up to see how I ran the wires. It is high temp wire but I wanted it to not be touching anything metal. The reflector should shield the wires as well.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/th_IMGP0575_800x598.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/IMGP0575_800x598.jpg)


Here it is all complete.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/th_IMGP0577_800x598.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/IMGP0577_800x598.jpg)


One last photo of it running (no flash).

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/th_IMGP0579_800x598.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/IMGP0579_800x598.jpg)


I played around with it for a while taking photos but I had the door open and the PID read 80 degrees. I closed the door and in 11 minutes it was at 210 degrees.  :o If this is any indication of how this baby will work I'll be a happy camper.  ;)

I clearly have to rerun the auto-tune on the PID as this has changed the heating and recovery times dramatically. Hopefully I will get a chance this weekend to smoke a big batch of ribs and rerun the auto-tune as well.

The nice thing about this mod is everything is original parts and the total cost is about $20.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Gizmo on January 12, 2009, 09:38:43 pm
He Mike,
The glow of the two heaters appear to be different.  Are they the same rating and the color difference is an optical illusion or possible the older element is worn down a bit compared to a spanking clean new element?
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 13, 2009, 01:38:42 am
Looks good Mike. After you do more testing do you think this can go up on the recipe site.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: FLBentRider on January 13, 2009, 03:31:27 am
Looks good Mike, but the airfare to come down here for some warm weather wilst installing it in mine might blow the budget fuse on the project.

 ;D ;D
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Consiglieri on January 13, 2009, 06:15:45 am
Now I want to see your car.

That upgrade looks awesome!
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 13, 2009, 06:57:12 am
Thanks guys

Giz
It is somewhat of an illusion but the new element is brighter. I'm not sure if it because it is new as opposed to the old one having so much discoloration from the gazillion smokes I've done or what. I think if I was doing it again I would replace the old one with a new one as well, especially with a new element only being $12 but the old one does seem to work properly though.

Habs
Not a problem. Once I've done some actual smokes with it I can add the information and reformat it a bit if you like.

If the preliminary tests are any indication this sucker should rock! I'll keep you guys posted on how well this baby performs.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: westexasmoker on January 13, 2009, 08:10:17 am
Nice job Mike!

Can't wait to hear the how your pre-lim smokes goes!  This is moving to the to do list!

C
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 13, 2009, 02:19:56 pm
Thanks guys

Giz
It is somewhat of an illusion but the new element is brighter. I'm not sure if it because it is new as opposed to the old one having so much discoloration from the gazillion smokes I've done or what. I think if I was doing it again I would replace the old one with a new one as well, especially with a new element only being $12 but the old one does seem to work properly though.

Habs
Not a problem. Once I've done some actual smokes with it I can add the information and reformat it a bit if you like.

If the preliminary tests are any indication this sucker should rock! I'll keep you guys posted on how well this baby performs.

Mike

That will be great.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Smoking Duck on January 15, 2009, 05:10:46 pm
You are definitely Tim the Toolman.  It occurred to me that one would want something like that up there in Canada where it's so bitterly cold and the Bradley could use some extra help in coming up to temp.  Then, it dawned on me that you have your Bradley set up in the heated garage and I figured the reason you did this modification was because you could  ;D

I smoked yesterday, outside where it was a balmy single digits weather and a wind chill well below zero and the good ol' Bradley had no trouble getting to temp and actually climbed back pretty good even after opening the door.  I can't imagine what my Bradley will do when you come to visit and fix mine up that good  ;D

Real nice job, Mike!

SD
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: smokeitall on January 15, 2009, 06:27:22 pm
I think I will have to do this mod also....even if I don't need it.  More power is always better....Go Tim the tool man Taylor, wait I mean Mike the tool man Walleye.  You are an engineer right???
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 15, 2009, 06:57:57 pm
 :D  :D  ;D

You guys are killing me!  :D

SD... your pretty much right... I just gotta play!  ::)

Smokeitall... definitely not an engineer. The last 25 years I've owned a general insurance brokerage. Prior to that I was a service mechanic and before that I was in construction. I've always enjoyed working with my hands from building furnature to cars and boats. A few winters ago I tore into my sons Jeep YJ. I put 8 inches of lift in it, 33 inch tires, 411 gears front and back, disc brakes all around, rear diff our of an explorer, GM HEI ignition, carb mods.......................................

........................................................................................... then he sold it!  ::)

Ahhh kids!... Ya gotta love em!  :D

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: smokeitall on January 15, 2009, 07:35:32 pm
I wish I lived next door to you, we would have some fun. :)
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 17, 2009, 01:26:28 pm
Ok... initial tests are under way!  ;)

First some back ground and parameters for the test...

My Bradley is a 4 rack digital unit. It is controlled by a PID and I have a circulation fan installed. I also have the unit installed in my heated garage and vented so the ambient temp is 65 degrees ( with no wind  :D ). I have my TC for the PID mounted to the back of the cabinet between the 2nd and 3rd rack (counting from the bottom). The TC bracket holds the TC off the back wall by about 3/4". I also have my smoke generator in a permanent offset installation.

Ok... I turned the unit on and preheated to 200 degrees, vent wide open, while I got 6 racks of ribs ready. I removed the membrane, cut each rack in half and applied my rub. This fills 4 Bradley racks with 3 half racks of ribs on each Bradley rack.

I took my time putting them into the smoker and setting up the Maverick temp probes for the test so by the time I got the door shut I was down to 131 degrees on the PID. I put the Maverick temp probe directly below the very bottom rack because I wanted to track the temps the lowest rack was being exposed to during this test. I left the vent wide open. Within 5 minutes the temps were climbing.

15 minute mark... PID at 150, Bradley at 170, Maverick at 210.

30 minute mark... PID at 174, Bradley at 194, Maverick at 237.

45 minute mark... PID at 190, Bradley at 207, Maverick at 244.

1 hour mark... PID at 200, Bradley at 210, Maverick at 250.


As the temps stabilized in the cabinet and the ribs started to gain some temp the deference between the Maverick under the lowest rack and the PID became a lot closer, typically around 10 degree difference.

Certainly doing a higher preheat would have also helped. I typically do preheat to about 260 but during the test I just wanted to see how it would recover without a higher preheat.

I tried twice to run the auto tune on the PID and I now have it close (2 degree temp swings each side of set point) but I will continue to try to get it dialled in a little closer.

I haven't decided yet but I may move my TC between the lowest rack and the second rack. This would further close the gap between the Maverick and the PID. I could even put it just below the lowest rack but I would like to have a happy medium of keeping the temp of the upper racks close to the target temp as well with a full load.

Just as a disclaimer...
I have been speaking with Bradley about this. More specifically about the rating of the insulation in the Bradley. They are going to get back to me on the specifics and I will let you know. My thought on the "risk" of higher temps are... the only part of the tower that will be exposed to higher heat will be the rear of the cabinet directly behind the elements. In addition the only time it will be exposed to higher heat is when you are trying to bring the cabinet back up to temp after loading. Once the set temp has been achieved the cabinet really isn't exposed to any higher heat than with a single element. Depending on the ratings of the factory insulation a possible solution would be to re-insulation the rear of the cabinet with the same insulation (Roxul Mineral Wool) that I used in the smoker I built. The Mineral Wool is rated at 2100 degrees so using it in a smoker is not a problem.

I know Beefman has been operating with the 900 watt finned strip heater mod for over a year now with no problems so I will wait to see what I hear from Bradley, then make a decision on it.

Overall the test went very well. To say the least the temp recovery is "extremely" improved. I'll keep you all posted.

Mike

PS - I'm whispering this...
I used mesquite on the ribs, In fact I tried it on some Canadian bacon last week and loved it... go figure!  ::)
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: IKnowWood on January 17, 2009, 04:50:29 pm
this sounds like a very good mod.  any chance chance you measure the Amp addition to this.  I have a 10 amp switch on my system that I want to be careful about.

But as far as the element brightness.  I had to replace my original a few weeks ago due to a power fried issue on the previous one.  The new one burned much brighter than the original.  And actually the heat was much nicer than the original.  My cost was a but more for the replacement, I did the ceramic items, heat shield and bulb.  Just over $20 but got my issues resolved.

Good mod.  I am interested in the amps.


Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Wild_Man on January 17, 2009, 05:39:32 pm
 To figure the amps you divide the wattage of the burner by the supply voltage and this gives you the amps. With this mod you have two 500 watt burners wired in parallel/1000watts divided by 120 volts
= 8.33 amps.

    Bill
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: drano on January 17, 2009, 06:31:43 pm
Mike,

Quote
between the 2nd and 3rd rack (counting from the bottom).

OK, just gotta ask--on a 4 rack, wouldn't the probe be in the same place counting from top or bottom? ;D

Seriously, this looks like a great mod.  When I put a few sticks of summer sausage in mine, the temp takes a while to come up.  And to make things worse, in a few years I'll be living in the upper midwest, so more heat will be nice.  I'll keep track of this idea for sure. 
get smokin
drano
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 17, 2009, 10:44:07 pm
IknowWood

Wild_man is exactly right... 8.33 amps... I was running an 8 amp fuse in my PID and I switched it to a 10 amp fuse and had no problems.

Drano

I'm not sure but I think you are referring to my placement of my TC for my PID as compared to the placement of the temp probe from the factory on the DBS.  If so you are correct, it is in a similar location but I'm considering relocating it to balance temps better.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 18, 2009, 02:33:26 am
Mike;

It looks good. I also have one question. Is there a way to setup a switch on the second element, so that you can turn it on/off on demand? For example if I'm smoking sausage or fish and I don't need the extra heat; can a toggle switch be added to turn on/off the second element?
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 18, 2009, 08:05:37 am
Habs

I certainly don't see why you couldn't wire a switch into it. It would just require a little more wiring and a decision on where you want the switch.

Having said that I'm not sure it would be any advantage because the PID is controlling it anyway. Having more heat available (larger heater) just means at lower temps the PID will not run the heaters as long and probably not at full power. The other thing you would have to do is change the PID parameters if you were using the 2nd heater or not.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 18, 2009, 08:27:35 am
Here is another thought on this....

DBS or OBS

As you know I have a DBS. The heating element in the DBS is wired directly to the plug in the back of the tower, except there is a high temp fusable link in it.

The OBS, to my knowledge, is wired to the slider control. In my mind this mod will require taking the temp slider out of the circuit or at least thats how I would do it because there is no way to tell if the slider control would take the added draw of the 2nd heater. Mind you, if you took the power for the 2nd heater directly off the plug on the back of the OBS you would end up with the 2nd heater being powered direct and the original heater still running through the slider control. Personally, on the OBS I would just rewire both heating elements direct from the plug on the back of the tower and eliminate the temp slider from the circuit altogether.

Just thinking out loud here as I've never had an OBS pulled apart.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 18, 2009, 10:43:06 am
OK, just gotta ask--on a 4 rack, wouldn't the probe be in the same place counting from top or bottom? ;D

I missed this on the first read...

Good catch Drano!  :D  ;D

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 18, 2009, 02:32:07 pm
Habs

I certainly don't see why you couldn't wire a switch into it. It would just require a little more wiring and a decision on where you want the switch.

Having said that I'm not sure it would be any advantage because the PID is controlling it anyway. Having more heat available (larger heater) just means at lower temps the PID will not run the heaters as long and probably not at full power. The other thing you would have to do is change the PID parameters if you were using the 2nd heater or not.

Mike

Good point about the temperature controller. I have the DigiQ II, so switching from one to two elements wouldn't be a problem.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: ChefJosh6382 on January 18, 2009, 03:54:55 pm
I gotta be stupid since I'm new to all this and your advice helped greatly for my first smoke.  What is a PID and a TC (temperature control?)?

Also the second heating element is a great idea.  My brother fixes restaurant equipment for a living.  Looks like i got a job for him...
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 18, 2009, 04:04:33 pm
Josh

The PID is a very accurate temperature controller that lots of people here are using with their Bradley. TC stands for thermocouple, it's the sensor that goes into the tower to sense the temps.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Wild_Man on January 18, 2009, 05:41:38 pm
Ok... initial tests are under way!  ;)


I tried twice to run the auto tune on the PID and I now have it close (2 degree temp swings each side of set point) but I will continue to try to get it dialled in a little closer.

I haven't decided yet but I may move my TC between the lowest rack and the second rack. This would further close the gap between the Maverick and the PID. I could even put it just below the lowest rack but I would like to have a happy medium of keeping the temp of the upper racks close to the target temp as well with a full load.


Could you post your new PID settings when you are done. I have a 6 rack digital with a PID, so before i do the Auto Tune do I need to have all 6 racks loaded or does it not have to be that big of load?

  Thanks
   Bill
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 18, 2009, 06:30:32 pm
Hi Bill

I have always had my best luck running the auto tune while I have a load in the smoker. I don't think it has to be full, just something that is absorbing heat. I usually don't start the auto tune until I'm a couple of hours into the smoke. This is what has worked for me.

I could post my numbers but we tried posting them before and I'm not sure they would help. There seems to be a lot of variables that influence each individuals smoker which in turn effects the numbers. When we tried posting them before they were miles from each others.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Wild_Man on January 18, 2009, 08:05:43 pm
   Mike,

  I have my spare burner coming in on Tuesday to do the same thing you did. I just thought
if there was a big change in PID numbers it would give me a place to start with mine, so that
hopefully I won't mess up whatever I put in to load the smoker. I will load at least 4 racks, were you
running your fan when you were testing? I haven't made that mod to mine yet. What level would you recommend putting the temp sensor, mine is not the wall mount unit.

    Thanks
      Bill
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 18, 2009, 08:32:13 pm
Bill

I just used my existing PID numbers and it worked ok. It would over shoot and under shoot a bit but it did work ok.

I was running my circulation fan during my testing. Sometime down the road if you add the fan you will want to run the auto tune again. As far as where to put the TC for the PID... Technically it should go just below the lowest rack. This way it will regulate the temps that the meat is exposed to. Now the only problem with this is a rack or two up from there, the temp is lower because it has been influenced by the meat itself. A circulation fan will help this some but this is why I put my TC where I did to try to balance this out. My TC is not the wall mount either but I did make a bracket. Here is a link (it's a little ways down the page)
 http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=6843.0


Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Wild_Man on January 19, 2009, 06:26:16 am
  Mike,

Thanks for the info, I will go with my original PID numbers and 4 racks loaded for auto tune and see how it goes.

    Thanks
      Bill
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 19, 2009, 07:02:47 am
Wild_Man

I'm interested how you make out so keep us posted.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: drano on January 19, 2009, 07:25:18 pm
Mike,
I was just harassing you on this one ;D.  Once again proof that simple communication is never simple--but me saying probe when it was a TC threw you off. 
Quote
Quote from: drano on January 17, 2009, 08:31:43 pm
OK, just gotta ask--on a 4 rack, wouldn't the probe be in the same place counting from top or bottom?


I missed this on the first read...

Good catch Drano!   

Mike

I'll keep an eye on this great idea, and may use it some day. 
drano
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Wild_Man on January 28, 2009, 11:17:30 am
Wild_Man

I'm interested how you make out so keep us posted.

Mike
   Hi Mike,
  Saturday I was able to get the burner mod done, man what a difference. Started with a box temp of 59 and in 13 minutes I was at
a box temp of 320. I put a load in and set my PID at 222, don't know why I picked that temp but it never varied over 1 degree either
way, so there was no need to retune the PID. Every time I would open the door It would drop to somewhere around 160 and within 5 minutes I was back at 222. This mod is well worth the cost of another burner element and a little time. ;D

    Thanks for all your advice
          Bill
 
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 28, 2009, 11:59:19 am
Glad to hear it worked out good for you Bill.

If I remember correctly you have a DBS... If you do you will want to be careful letting it run to high of a temp because the original element is wired to a "temperature link" (kinda like a fusable link). You may have seen it when you had the back off. It's located directly on top of the temperature sensor that is mounted about 2/3 of the way up on the back of the cabinet. It is a "one time use" type of link. So if the temp is exceeded and the link blows you will loose the original heater.

I just thought I would throw that out there for you in case you suddenly see one element not working.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Wild_Man on January 28, 2009, 12:57:43 pm
  Mike,

I saw the link and was aware of its function, I shut temp down and opened door right as it hit 320.
Yes you remembered correctly I do have a DBS 6 rack. Thanks for letting me know about the link, I would have
really been puzzled if one burner would have quit working and I didn't know about the link.


  Bill
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Wild_Man on February 21, 2009, 08:58:40 pm
  Mike,
 
   Were you pleased with the mod? I never saw a reply to how your testing came out.

I was very pleased with the performance after adding the second burner. I would rec

comend this mod. It made a big difference in recovery time and temp stabilization.

   Bill
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on February 22, 2009, 05:30:07 am
Bill

I'm glad you like it. For me I love it, I've now done a fair number of smokes and I have absolutely no problems with maintaining temps or temp recovery. I'm going to do a write up on it for the recipe site and Habs is going to put it up there once I get all the information together. It really is a simple inexpensive mod to solve any problems maintaining  or recovering temps especially in a cold climate or with large loads.

I should have updated this thread and I certainly will again once I have the write up posted on Olds Recipe Site.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: btsgemini on March 19, 2009, 10:30:17 am
This is the mod i used it is AWASOME it is an easy install and the cost is nothing and it looks much cleaner than the 900W mod. Anyone looking to up grade should look at this mod.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on March 19, 2009, 11:06:49 am
This is the mod i used it is AWASOME it is an easy install and the cost is nothing and it looks much cleaner than the 900W mod. Anyone looking to up grade should look at this mod.

Hi BTS and welcome to the forum.

I'm glad it worked out good for you. It really is a simple and inexpensive mod.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: NePaSmoKer on March 21, 2009, 06:23:46 am
Another mod looks to be in the works again.     DOH

nepas
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Brisket Lover on March 31, 2009, 07:17:13 pm
Anyone with an OBS do this mod yet?
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on March 31, 2009, 07:56:19 pm
Brisket Lover

I haven't heard from anybody with an OBS that has done this yet but I know Habs is going to do his shortly.

If I understand the OBS correctly the element is wired to a self resetting high temp cutoff switch that is mounted in the back of the tower. In addition the slider control is also wired into it.

My thoughts are I would rewire both elements directly to the plug on the back of the tower, I would however keep the self resetting switch wired into one of the elements. The reason is, it would provide a certain level of safety if the unit overheated by shutting down one of the elements and would certainly limit the remaining element's ability to continue to over heat the tower. Also by wiring it this way you would eliminate the slide control.

Of course you would have to control the unit with a PID or a BBQ Guru controller.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 01, 2009, 01:30:37 am
I'm doing mine right after Easter. I don't want to take any chances until I smoke my ham. :)

I was thinking about having both being controlled by the slide controller; and possibly adding an on/off switch for the second element. At this time I am not sure which route I will go.

Also for those with the older version of the heating element that are glass, the newer elements are metal so you may want to purchase two elements. I have a glass one, so at this time I'm going to put the metal one in the rear, and the glass one in front. This way it will be easier to change out the glass one latter.

Mike;

I was just getting ready to ask you a question on this. Is it possible to just splice into the wires that are going to the existing element? That way if it gets too hot both elements will shut off. Though I have the DigiQ II I still like to have the ability to occasionally use the slider control.

Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: aha638 on April 01, 2009, 08:27:10 am
I would be concerned that the slider can not handle the current of two heaters?

Al
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on April 01, 2009, 10:35:54 am
Mike;

I was just getting ready to ask you a question on this. Is it possible to just splice into the wires that are going to the existing element? That way if it gets too hot both elements will shut off. Though I have the DigiQ II I still like to have the ability to occasionally use the slider control.



I think where the problem lies is the factory wiring is approximately 18 gauge which would be too light considering it will be supplying power for 1000 watts of elements. For the same reason I would bypass the temp slider and wire both elements like I said in my last comment. Even the high temp sensor wiring may not be heavy enough for both elements and is why I would just leave it wired into one element.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 01, 2009, 02:01:43 pm
Mike & Al;

Thanks for the information. I'm back to Plan A; Mike's design. I still may hook an off/on switch for the second element.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 10, 2009, 01:51:29 pm
This modification is now on the recipe site.

Additional Heating Element (http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?t=572)

I would like to thank Mike for sharing his idea, and putting extra work into this some it could be posted on the recipe site.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: car54 on April 10, 2009, 01:58:13 pm
Thank you Mike and Habs,

It is an excellent mod.

brad
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 22, 2009, 01:39:04 am
My high temperature wire arrived yesterday. It may take me a few days to figure out how I want to do this.

I have the OBS, and will be following Mike's directions. I'm also trying to add an on/off switch for the second element, and I have an extra power indicator from an old face plate that I want to use to indicate when the second element is in use. Once I get it apart it may take a few days, because I know I will need some more connectors and wire.

Mike;
If you don't mind I'll probably be pestering you again if I come up against a brick wall.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 22, 2009, 07:51:05 am
Hi Mike or anyone who knows the answer;

The pestering has started already.

I’m looking to install a switch so that I can turn on/off the extra heating element. I currently have two switches. I have an illuminated rocker spst switch that has 3 terminals. This switch lights up when the power is connected. I would prefer putting in this switch instead of a 2 terminal spst. The two terminal spst it is not illuminated, and if I use the two terminal switch I will have to install a power indicator light; which would require a lot more wire and too small connectors. The three terminal switch is rated at 20 amps, and the two terminal switch is rated at 15 amps, so either switch will handle the power source.

On the illuminated switch the terminals are marked 1, 2 &3. I know that #1 is hot and goes to the electrical source, and #2 goes to the appliance (in this case the additional heating element). The problem is with #3. From what I could learn doing some internet searches this seems to be a ground wire terminal. If this is true, can I ground this to the cabinet frame, or do I have to run the wire to the ground at the plug in the back of the cabinet?

If it is not for the ground wire, does anyone know what it is for, and what wire must be hooked up to it?

3 Terminal SPST Illuminated ROCKER SWITCH
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Misc/SPSTSwitcha.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on April 22, 2009, 11:32:27 am
Habs

Here is a link to a SPST wiring diagram from Radio Shack for AC current.

http://support.radioshack.com/support_supplies/doc51/51418.pdf

Based on this I would think you need the neutral wire connected to #3.

I think what is confusing is the difference between AC and DC current. With DC current you would probably need the ground.

I'm definitely no expert on this. I'll let you know if I come up with anything else on this.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on April 22, 2009, 01:03:29 pm
Habs

Here is another discussion on how to figure out which teminals are which using an ohm meter.

http://sci.tech-archive.net/Archive/sci.electronics.basics/2008-01/msg00129.html

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 22, 2009, 02:06:16 pm
Mike;

Thanks for those links. I know it must have taken a while to find them. I was doing a lot of searching and came up with very little information. I'll have to read and study the information a little more. I also have to locate my ohm meter, but I believe if I can't locate it, I can talk the people at Radio Shack to test the switch for me. I need to purchase some stuff from them anyway.

Another thought, though I didn't buy the switch there, I may as well ask them how it hooks up.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: oldsmoker on April 23, 2009, 04:44:45 pm
Mike just a question ? can i run the mod with just   the bradley gen ? i have a bs6. or do i have to use my pid .
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on April 23, 2009, 04:51:56 pm
Mike just a question ? can i run the mod with just   the bradley gen ? i have a bs6. or do i have to use my pid .

OldSmoker

No, you would have to use the PID because the digital generator's wiring and control panel may not be able to handle the doubled electrical load of the two heating elements.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Roadking on April 23, 2009, 08:16:11 pm
Mike just a question ? can i run the mod with just   the bradley gen ? i have a bs6. or do i have to use my pid .

OldSmoker

No, you would have to use the PID because the digital generator's wiring and control panel may not be able to handle the doubled electrical load of the two heating elements.

Mike
Oh yes you can. Hate to burst your bubble. But you can use the the Bradley to control any size heater. Just use the 110 volt output from the Bradley digital controler to operater a SSR with a 110 volt input. You can control any output amperage from the correct sized SSR you want and for under $50.00. If you want a SSR that will last a life time get an Allen-Bradley SSR. I believe they are the 700 series.


Here's a CRYDOM INC. SSR 40 amp. for $38.24     110v input/110 volt output 40 A.
http://www.galco.com/scripts/cgiip.exe/wa/wcat/itemdtl.r?listtype=Catalog&pnum=A1240-CRDM
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on April 24, 2009, 07:23:18 am
Mike just a question ? can i run the mod with just   the bradley gen ? i have a bs6. or do i have to use my pid .

OldSmoker

No, you would have to use the PID because the digital generator's wiring and control panel may not be able to handle the doubled electrical load of the two heating elements.

Mike
Oh yes you can. Hate to burst your bubble. But you can use the the Bradley to control any size heater. Just use the 110 volt output from the Bradley digital controler to operater a SSR with a 110 volt input. You can control any output amperage from the correct sized SSR you want and for under $50.00. If you want a SSR that will last a life time get an Allen-Bradley SSR. I believe they are the 700 series.


Here's a CRYDOM INC. SSR 40 amp. for $38.24     110v input/110 volt output 40 A.
http://www.galco.com/scripts/cgiip.exe/wa/wcat/itemdtl.r?listtype=Catalog&pnum=A1240-CRDM

Your absolutely right RoadKing... and no bubbles were burst.  ;)

I think his question was more geared towards running 2 heating elements using the digital generator to control it (without modification) or at least that's how I interpreted his question. He says he already has a PID so I would think he would just use it. The key point I was trying to make was, when doubling the draw of the heating elements, the digital generator's wiring and control panel may not be able to handle the load. Your point is taken that you could modify it by using the Bradley controls to control an SSR that could handle the higher draw.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Roadking on April 24, 2009, 10:24:15 am
Mike just a question ? can i run the mod with just   the bradley gen ? i have a bs6. or do i have to use my pid .

OldSmoker

No, you would have to use the PID because the digital generator's wiring and control panel may not be able to handle the doubled electrical load of the two heating elements.

Mike
Oh yes you can. Hate to burst your bubble. But you can use the the Bradley to control any size heater. Just use the 110 volt output from the Bradley digital controler to operater a SSR with a 110 volt input. You can control any output amperage from the correct sized SSR you want and for under $50.00. If you want a SSR that will last a life time get an Allen-Bradley SSR. I believe they are the 700 series.


Here's a CRYDOM INC. SSR 40 amp. for $38.24     110v input/110 volt output 40 A.
http://www.galco.com/scripts/cgiip.exe/wa/wcat/itemdtl.r?listtype=Catalog&pnum=A1240-CRDM

Your absolutely right RoadKing... and no bubbles were burst.  ;)

I think his question was more geared towards running 2 heating elements using the digital generator to control it (without modification) or at least that's how I interpreted his question. He says he already has a PID so I would think he would just use it. The key point I was trying to make was, when doubling the draw of the heating elements, the digital generator's wiring and control panel may not be able to handle the load. Your point is taken that you could modify it by using the Bradley controls to control an SSR that could handle the higher draw.

Mike
I was under the impression he didn't know what way to go, thinking he didn't have a PID. If your going to modify the cabinet, why not just use what you have and just add the heaters and SSR.  I really think the best thing Bradley could do for the 6 rack is install a 1000w. heater They are probably the only company I know that doesn't. The thing that sold me on the Bradley was the low heat capabilties of it for smoking. As far as using it to roast a butt, brisket or ribs my "Cookshack" blows the Bradley away.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: oldsmoker on April 24, 2009, 03:35:18 pm
thanks mike and road king.  going to do the mod and will be using my pid. just want extra heat for mrecovery. low and slow is the way to go when smoking.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 27, 2009, 02:34:10 pm
Well I finally got this mod completed on my OBS. Finished up this morning. This is a very easy mod to do. Just be careful drilling the holes in the reflector so that you don't ruin it. The drill bit tends to tear the thin stainless steel instead of cutting it. Start with a small bit, gradually increase in size, and use a slow speed. I stopped at 3/8” and use my Dremel with a grinding wheel to make the hole large enough for the ends to fit.

With a lot of assistance from Mike, I was able to figure out the wiring and install an illuminated on/off switch to control the second element. The switch I used is the same switch Bradley uses for the OBS smoke generator.

If you intend to install the switch you needed 9 feet of wire, without the switch you will need 4.5 - 5 feet. I have tested it for three 5 minute intervals and will fully test it either this evening or tomorrow morning using my DigiQ II to control the temperatures.

For those who have the OBS, and want to install a switch; I'll post more photos later. Here are a couple of photos of the front of the smoker showing the location of the switch. When I get a chance I’ll post more pictures of how I installed the switch.

Click on photos to enlarge:
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0833.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0833.jpg)     (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0834.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0834.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on April 27, 2009, 02:41:53 pm
Nicely done Habs!  8)

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: NePaSmoKer on April 27, 2009, 05:49:18 pm
Very nice Habs.

nepas
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Tenpoint5 on April 27, 2009, 07:11:00 pm
Looks Great Hab's like the switch has been there since you bought it. Now to do some smoking, since you knocked all the flavoring off the walls and door!! :D
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Smokin Soon on April 27, 2009, 08:29:09 pm
Speaking of knocking all of the flavoring off the walls, Mine is shedding it's skin leaving shiny virgin stainless spots. Normal?  ???
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 28, 2009, 01:51:07 am
Mike, NePas, 10.5; thanks

Here is how I installed the switch. I have to post this in two parts. I have exceeded the 600 character limit. Sorry I generally overly explain directions.


PART 1

Step #1

This shows the wiring that goes to the faceplate. This is an old photo that was taken when I had replaced my faceplate a few years back. To take the face plate off; first remove the three small screws on the top, and the three larger screws on the bottom. Note two of the bottom screws are located inside the feet that are a part of the faceplate. Make sure you mark down how the wiring is connected, and if you have a camera also take a picture for reference. Note: don’t set the faceplate out in the sun, it will warp.
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0806.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0806.jpg)


Step #2
Here is a photo of the back of my OBS. The wire code is BLUE=hot; WHITE=neutral; and GREEN=ground.
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0807.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0807.jpg)

Here is a second picture of the back with the new wiring. There is one extra wire attached to the blue (hot). That extra wire leads to the switch, if you don’t have a switch it goes directly to the element. Because I am adding a switch, there are two extra wires attached to the white (neutral). One wire goes to the element for the first element; the second wire goes to the second element, and the third goes to the switch to operate the bulb in the switch. Again the third wire is only needed if you are installing a switch. It may look like a mess, but I have marked the wires to indicate which is hot, which go to the elements, and which neutral is for the switch.

(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0817.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0817.jpg)


Step #3

This is the bottom of the cabinet where the wires will run to the switch located on the faceplate. The first photo shows the original wiring; the second photo shows the three additional wires for the switch. About three years ago the smoker took a dive of the stand. You can see some of the damage to the frame that occurred when the smoker dropped about four feet from its stand. There was also minor damage to the door.

(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0808.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0808.jpg)     (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0826.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0826.jpg)


Step #4
This picture shows the wiring coming out of the front. Four wires are for the original element, the other three are for the second element that will be controlled by a switch. Again, it looks like a mess, but I used a couple of sharpies to make distinct marks to identify with wire was hot, which went to the element, and which went to the neutral

(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0827.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0827.jpg)

Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 28, 2009, 01:57:17 am
Part 2

Step #5

For the switch I decided to go with is a SPST Illuminated Rocker Switch. The switch is the same switch that Bradley uses for the generator on the OBS. It is rated at 15 amps 250VAC, and there is a bulb which lights to indicate it is in the “ON” position. The easiest place to obtain this switch is from Yard & Pool. They have a well stocked parts inventory, and fast service. Communicating with Mike, I learned that a 5 amp AC switch would be plenty. So if you choose to use another switch just make sure it is at least 5 amps.

First you need to determine which terminal controls what. The switch I have, the terminals were marked 1, 2, & 3, with no instructions. With Mikes assistance, he determined with terminal control what, how to test it with an Ohm meter, and how to test the swith without a load prior to installation.

Here is a diagram of the wiring.
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Misc/th_SPSTSwitchDiagram3a.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Misc/SPSTSwitchDiagram3a.jpg)

For the switch I was installing, the hole size is approximately 1 1/8” x 3/8”. To cut the hole for the switch I first made a paper template. I located and area in the front that would have the most space for ventilation. I tried using different color markers, but I could not see the lines well. I also tried scribing the lines, but I had difficulty seeing those lines also (note to self; get new glasses). So I opted to use paint; which had its draw backs because the line edges were fuzzy. Well anyway, I got the area marked off good enough to cut the hole

(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0828.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0828.jpg)

Mounting the switch vertically does not give you too much room for error in placement; so be careful in placing the template. When the hole is cut to the final size, you will need at least an 1/8” lip both top and bottom. It is difficult to measure the location from the front, due to the shape and design of the faceplate. It may be helpful to judge the distance from the back of the faceplate. From the back of the faceplate drill a 1/16” hole at the location the top right corner of the template will be, and used that as a guide when you position the template on the front. 

The first photo is a picture looking at the hole from the inside. Look closely and you can see that there is space left at the top and bottom. To cut the hole I first drilled a 1/4” pilot hole and used a coping saw with a fine tooth blade. I made sure I stayed inside the lines, and then used a small file to file the hole to the correct size. You need to be careful not to make the hole too big, the switch should fit snug. The second photo shows the hole from the front. That white grid on the bottom of the faceplate is a template for drilling the ventilation holes.

(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0831-1.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0831-1.jpg)     (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0829.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0829.jpg)

Ventilation holes for switch:
The area covers 1 1/8 square inch, and the drill bit size is 1/8”
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0832.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0832.jpg)


Step #6
I forgot to take pictures of the final wiring to the faceplate. Note: it is easier to hook up the switch if you run the wires through the hole you cut for the switch, and then connect the wires. Once the wires are connected install the switch with the wires hooked up.

The finished product:
First picture shows one element on, and the second shows two elements on. Though it is difficult to see, the third photo show the power indicator light, and the illuminated switch both lit up. This was after 3 and 5 minutes of operation.

(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0838.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0838.jpg)     (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0837.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0837.jpg)     (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/th_IMG_0835.jpg) (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/Formatted/Bradley%20Additional%20Element/IMG_0835.jpg)

Just a couple of other notes, as I mentioned in an earlier post be careful drilling the holes in the reflector. Don’t put the back of the smoker on until after you have installed the heating element. Leaving the back open make is easier to adjust the wire length. If you have trouble pushing the wire back in, you can easily pull it from the back. Measure twice and cut once.


Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 28, 2009, 01:59:27 am
Speaking of knocking all of the flavoring off the walls, Mine is shedding it's skin leaving shiny virgin stainless spots. Normal?  ???

If it is flaking off in large pieces, that has happened to me in the past. I usually happens after I have smoked a lot of food that has a high moisture content.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 28, 2009, 05:30:27 am
I did a preliminary test this morning to see how long it would take to preheat the smoker. I'm impressed. The second element really shortens the time. Here are the results

Weather conditions – sunny, 74°F, wind steady 5 – 10 mph, gusting to 20 mph. Smoker set in the shade; unprotected from the wind. Starting cabinet temperature 68°F.

8:00 AM     68°F
8:05 AM     97°F
8:10 AM    172°F
8:15 AM    228°F
8:17 AM    250°F

At 8:15 the temperature was rising about 1°F every 6 - 8 seconds and was showing no signs of slowing down.

I’m going to run the same test tomorrow with just using one element on full power.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Tenpoint5 on April 28, 2009, 05:44:22 am
Outstanding write up there Habs!! Even the electrically challenged like myself could probably do a Mod like this. I'm hoping this will end up in the recipe section for future reference.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: smokeitall on April 28, 2009, 07:44:04 am
Speaking of knocking all of the flavoring off the walls, Mine is shedding it's skin leaving shiny virgin stainless spots. Normal?  ???

If it is flaking off in large pieces, that has happened to me in the past. I usually happens after I have smoked a lot of food that has a high moisture content.

Mine just did the same thing a couple of smokes ago, its almost like paint peeling.  I took my air hose my compressor and blew out all the loose pieces.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: smokeitall on April 28, 2009, 07:54:19 am
Habs, that is a great write up, after I am done with my big boy bradley I am sure I will need something to tinker with and this looks like a good next project.  Thanks for the write up, it looks pretty easy with your directions, and relatively low cost.

I'm with 10.5 it would be nice to see this on the recipe site.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 28, 2009, 01:59:45 pm
Outstanding write up there Habs!! Even the electrically challenged like myself could probably do a Mod like this. I'm hoping this will end up in the recipe section for future reference.

I tell you at first I was clueless, but Mike spent a lot of time working me through this.

I'll tinker around with it a bit to see if I can shorten it up without removing any details. I'll probably append it to Mike's write up, since mine is basically a write up for the switch.

Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on April 28, 2009, 05:02:26 pm
You did an excellent job Habs!  8)

Two thumbs up!  ;)

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: backstrap on May 08, 2009, 07:27:00 am
Mike-
Thanks for all your work & willingness to share.  I'm gonna upgrade mine before fall gets here.  I do have a couple of questions...I can't tell from your pictures how you used the 2nd reflector and, I am assuming the power cord is capable of handling the extra load.  Have you noticed if the cord is getting hot while in use?
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on May 08, 2009, 02:43:25 pm
Backstrap;

I did this mod and it is easy. The optional reflector is a suggestion to replace you existing one while you have it off, you do not add an additional reflector.

I smoke/cooked a Tur-Duc-Hen on Wednesday. I smoke/cooked at 275°F for 5.5 hours. I use the DigiQ II to control my temperatures. The plug from the cabinet to the power raptor (part of the temperature controlling devise) never even got warm.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on May 08, 2009, 05:11:03 pm
Hi Backstrap

Habs nailed it. I just used a new reflector simply because they are inexpensive and I was experimenting. You really don't have to get a new one.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: backstrap on May 09, 2009, 07:16:55 am
Thanks Habs & Mike.  Can't wait to upgrade mine.  I think a faster recovery time will help a bunch.  BTW, when a recipe calls for multiple temp stages, is the time recommended at each stage after the smoker has reached that temp or when it makes the change?  Mine has quite a bit of lag time before it actually reaches the next temp set.  I think that could be why I seem to be undercooking things but I really don't know.
Backstrap
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: kiyotei on May 09, 2009, 10:28:41 am
Has anyone done this mod on a 4 rack smoker (Either OBS or the digital BS)?  I have the 4 rack OBS.  I think it does a good job but it took me a long time to accept that it was working properly because the door thermometer shows it takes a long time to hit 200+.  I did a lot of experiments with a digital thermometer to see what the real temp was inside while smoking.  I did have to replace the internal temp sensor (was causing the heating element to shut off at too low a temp).  I've never seen mine ever come close 300 degrees even empty with vents closed (I tried once to see how high the temp would go).  I know you would never smoke meats at that temp but I think its a good measure of how well the heating element works.  I added a fan which I'm not convinced helped any to even out the temp in the cabin.  FYI I would recommend mounting the fan below the drip tray.  I mounted mine above it and over time it gets heavily soiled with grease splash.  This of course kills its ability to move air properly.  Oh well live and learn.  I'm currently having no problems smoking with it per se.  I just set the temp to max and let it run.  I live in Seattle so we never have hot days.  Most of the year its below 60 degrees.  I find that whens its especially cold out that if I place my charcoal starter chimney on top of the OBS it acts like a chimney and helps the OBS heat up better by helping keep the temp right outside the vent hole warmer thus the cabinet stays warmer as well.  I mainly do brisket which is fine in this mode (hard to over cook it).  Yes it takes a few hours to get back to 200 degrees after putting the meat in but its probably running at 170+.  I use a cast iron muffin pan as a heat sink in my OBS.  I preheat the cast iron muffin pan in my oven set at 400 degrees.  I then transfer it to my OBS right before I put the meat in.  Anyhow the meat is obviously cooking so the meat is just absorbing a lot of heat.  Once it gets to certain point in cooking the smoker then will get to 200+ degrees, usually after say 3 hours (that's a wild guess time wise but I smoke my briskets for 5 hours and transfer to my oven where I can really control the temp).  I've seen it climb to about 250 as I get close to 5h ours in the smoker.  Now normally I would never want the meat smoking at such a high temp but it is just so hard to control the temp on an OBS that I just leave it at max.  I gave up on salmon though because I just cannot figure out low temps on the OBS.  Perhaps the digital units work better for controlling low temps.  Is it better to buy the digital controls from Bradley and add them to my OBS?  Or does that require modifying the electronics inside the cabinet as well?  I've been using my smoker for 3 years now I think.  I use it a lot.  I've thought about buying another smoker but hate to spend the money.  I have a friend who uses the Cook Shack brand.  I've been tempted to get one of those as well.  Though it has the same power heating element as the OBS.  Though its cabinet looks to have a smaller volume which would help it heat better, in theory at least.  My buddy loves his cook shack.  He moved back east so I cannot go over and play with his smoker to see how it works regarding temp controlling.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Mr Walleye on May 09, 2009, 11:05:33 am
kiyotei

If you look back one page on this thread you will see a post by Habs doing this mod to his 4 rack OBS. Also if you look back to the first page you will see that mine is a 4 rack DBS which I control with a PID and not the DBS's own controls.

As far as temp control on your OBS goes the best thing to do is to add a PID and certainly if you are going to do this mod some sort of temp control is a "must". With this mod the unit will be capable of gaining temps fast so you need to have control.

I too have added a circulation fan a couple of years ago. Originally when I installed it I had it running CCW (pulling the air to the back of the cabinet). I found this was not as effective as running it CW (blowing towards the door). I did add a half shield above it to prevent it from blowing on the lowest rack. Here's a link to the bracket I made http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=6843.0  I find it works more effectively this way and if I remember correctly your's is installed the same way (blowing towards the door).

I certainly believe if you mounted the circulation fan below the V-pan you would have problems with the pucks burning up too rapidly and therefore don't think that is the place to put it. If you are having heat problems you may also want to open up your vents in the V-pan somewhat. I use a large screwdiver on a regular basis to keep my vents open as much as possible to allow more effective heat flow.

Mike
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on May 09, 2009, 02:16:32 pm
As Mike stated, I did the mod and I would highly recommend that you have a PID or other temperature control device to control the temperatures. I control mine with the DigiQ II, during my first empty cabinet pretrial, and it reached 275°F within 15 minutes. The other day I smoke/cooked a 15 pound Tur-Duc-Hen, preheated to 290°F and easily cooked at 275°F.

PS.
It may be my old age. I do have a good monitor, but never liked reading from the screen. It makes it harder to read post if not enough white space is used. Could I suggest that you break your post into paragraphs, and leave an extra line in between paragraphs. It would make it easier for an old man like me to get through the day. :)
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Rtasma on March 28, 2018, 09:59:47 pm
Well... I came across this brain wave...  ::)

You know me... just can't leave things alone!  ::)

Anyway, I've always wanted to add something to provide additional heat. With the PID controlling things it's more for getting up to temp and recovering temp faster, especially when doing large loads. Last summer when I was ordering a number of things from Bryan at Yard & Pool I also ordered an additional heater element and reflector. So here is my plan...

In this photo you can see how I ground a notch in the ceramic cap for the existing heater element. My plan is to run high temp wire directly from the element to the plug on the back of the DBS. The wire will be run parallel to the original wiring and come out the notch I created in the cap for the original heater, then connected to the 2nd heater.  You can also see where I drilled a hole through the reflector to mount the 2nd heating element. The hole is 5/8", just large enough for the insulator on the end of the heating element to fit into, it sits nicely up against lip of the insulator.

Click to enlarge...
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/th_IMGP0569_800x598.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/IMGP0569_800x598.jpg)


Here's another picture of the reflector with the 2nd heating element mounted into it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/th_IMGP0570_800x598.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/mmike/Fishing%20Photos/IMGP0570_800x598.jpg)


I will post updates to this thread once I have it finished and once I've done some testing. Providing this works, which I don't see why it won't, it is a very economical heating mod. The heater element was $12.00 and the new reflector was $4.00

Mike

I need help! Are you available?
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: TedEbear on March 29, 2018, 11:51:26 am

I need help! Are you available?

What do you need help with?  Many of us have done that mod.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Rtasma on March 29, 2018, 12:19:21 pm

I need help! Are you available?

What do you need help with?  Many of us have done that mod.

Well, I was having trouble getting element into holes of reflector. I couldn’t spread the ends far enough apart. I tried making hole a little bigger. But the end snapped off when I tried the next time! I was just about to order a new one and then saw another solution. The break was clean, so I just drilled 2 holes and reattached with bolts. It’s stronger than it was before, haha! I just got done making notches in ceramic. The quickest thing I found was a diamond saw blade on a grinder. It notched all 4 in less than a minute.

Anyway, TedEbear, thanks for the quick response! The amount of support on this page is incredible.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: TedEbear on March 29, 2018, 04:29:04 pm
Well, I was having trouble getting element into holes of reflector. I couldn’t spread the ends far enough apart. I tried making hole a little bigger. But the end snapped off when I tried the next time! I was just about to order a new one and then saw another solution. The break was clean, so I just drilled 2 holes and reattached with bolts. It’s stronger than it was before, haha! I just got done making notches in ceramic. The quickest thing I found was a diamond saw blade on a grinder. It notched all 4 in less than a minute.

Anyway, TedEbear, thanks for the quick response! The amount of support on this page is incredible.

Glad you got it working.  When I made the holes in the reflector for mine I found that the thin metal tears easily with a large drill bit.  Thus, I drilled each hole out to around 3/8" and then used a grinding tip on a hand drill to enlarge each hole for the end of the element to fit.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: ghosttown on April 13, 2018, 04:25:13 pm
Any difference if one runs the second element in parallel to the first vs running the wires for the second one all the way to the back?

I heard in the digital version the PID might beep on you so some people disable or bypass I think they said the sensor? Not sure if anybody had this issue.

Thanks

Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 14, 2018, 02:01:22 am
I don't have a digital, so I can't answer the question on the sensor.

I may be wrong, but I believe running the wires from the second element back to he source of the power is a parallel circuit. Connecting both elements together with a short wire (piggybacking) is a series circuit. The main difference, in this case, is that in a series circuit, if one element fails, both will not work. In a parallel circuit, if one element fails the other will still work.

Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: ghosttown on April 14, 2018, 03:34:03 am
And the onboard temperature controller either non digital or digital can handle the load of two 500w elements?

Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 14, 2018, 01:18:52 pm
I don't know if it is safe to run a modified Bradley without a PID. I've always used some type of temperature controller when running two 500 watts. There are at least a few on this forum that are running 1000w or 900w without a PID. I have the old original Bradley. Besides the issue of the Bradley controller handling the extra load I mainly use my third party temperature controller as an extra insurance to prevent the cabinet from getting too hot, and possibly causing a fire.
Title: Re: Another Mod...
Post by: TedEbear on May 11, 2018, 03:24:08 pm
Actually, they are both parallel circuits.  I think the how-to in the mods section ran the wires for both elements all the way to the back because he wasn't sure if the 14 ga wire could handle the 1000W load. To be in series the power would have to go to the first element, pass through it and out to the second element, pass through it and back to the source from the second element.  Think of the "R" below as a 500W element.

(https://sub.allaboutcircuits.com/images/00082.png)

(https://sub.allaboutcircuits.com/images/00083.png)