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Author Topic: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?  (Read 9499 times)

Offline Rider14

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BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« on: October 10, 2014, 02:22:14 pm »
Reading someone else's post (someone clearly more knowledgeable than myself), houlster, who checked out the internals of the BS611, it appears they can handle the increased power/resistance associated with a 900W element or 2 element (1000W) heat source: see http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=33649.msg392032#msg392032

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On the 611, the control is just a pot.  The power for the element is a TO-220 packaged device.  Looking up the numbers on it, it's a triac capable of handling 12 amps.

From what I've read, it will handle a dual / 900w element just fine, but I'm not sure how the dial pot works with the gate on the triac.  I don't know enough yet if the pot will have to change for the higher current of the upgraded element.  It might be that even on 'hi', the triac still won't pass full current.  It'll be something to test out anyways.  Not doing the element upgrade right off.  Thought I'd try it out a few times first.

Can anyone confirm this? If this is the case, I plan to replace the heating element with the finned 900W as opposed to wiring in a second, and wiring in a switch and an additional safety temp sensor thingamajig.

I just bought a PID, but I'd like the smoker to still work without it.

Any help appreciated. Still looking into an easy fan mod...

 -Dan

Offline tskeeter

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2014, 02:59:28 pm »
I believe the short answer is no.

I'm not familiar with the wiring in a 611.  But, as I've followed discussions about how heavy a load the Bradley circuitry can handle, one seemingly knowledgeable poster identified a 10 amp fuse in the smoke generator as the weak link in the Bradley wiring.  10 amp fuse, 9 amp draw with a 900 watt mod; sounds just fine, doesn't it.  But, it's not just fine.  One of the things I learned from my brother, the electrician and electrical engineer, is that the operating load for a circuit is supposed to be limited to 80% of the circuit's rated capacity.  So, if you've got a 10 amp fuse, the operating load on the circuit should be no more than 8 amps.  So, the 900 watt heating element would exceed the safe operating capacity of the circuit.


beefmann

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2014, 03:11:25 pm »
I believe the short answer is no.

I'm not familiar with the wiring in a 611.  But, as I've followed discussions about how heavy a load the Bradley circuitry can handle, one seemingly knowledgeable poster identified a 10 amp fuse in the smoke generator as the weak link in the Bradley wiring.  10 amp fuse, 9 amp draw with a 900 watt mod; sounds just fine, doesn't it.  But, it's not just fine.  One of the things I learned from my brother, the electrician and electrical engineer, is that the operating load for a circuit is supposed to be limited to 80% of the circuit's rated capacity.  So, if you've got a 10 amp fuse, the operating load on the circuit should be no more than 8 amps.  So, the 900 watt heating element would exceed the safe operating capacity of the circuit.

while i agree with above the more precise numbers are"

10 amps at 120 volts = 1200 watt

load

900 watt element = 900 watt / 120 volts =7.5 amps
125 watt puck burner = 125 / 120 =          1.05 amp
total amps 8.5 amps

so 1/2 amp will not make a   whole lot of  difference,,  while code does say 80 % of  capacity a 5 % difference from  8 amp to  8. 5 amp under this  condition is still safe and  reasonable... now if you  were closer to the  10 amps,,,  then  that is  a  different  story
 

Offline tskeeter

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2014, 03:47:31 pm »
Thanks for the detailed calcs, Beefmann.  I agree with your assessment that installing a 900 watt element would slightly overload the circuit, but that you can probably get away with it. 

I'm just afraid of SWMBO.  And I don't want to take the chance that I'll have to explain that when I modified the smoker I took a calculated risk, lost, and burned the house down. 

I know the risk is pretty limited, but I'm still a coward.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 03:50:45 pm by tskeeter »

Offline Rider14

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2014, 10:14:17 pm »
Won't the temp sensor shut down part on the back of the smoker shut it down before that occurs?

I'd rather it quit on me as opposed to burn to a crisp...

I'll use my PID anyway, but I'd like to know it could work without it for simple pork butts and brisket and whatnot.

Thanks again for the educated comments.

- Dan

Offline TNRockyraccoon

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2014, 01:42:32 pm »
I ran my modified (900 watt) smoker without a PID for a few smokes this past year.

I was in a crunch for my lunch so I rolled the dice while I was waiting on my PID to return from service.

The Bradley wiring and fuse handled the situation fine, but I can't say that I wasn't worried. I'd do it again if I had to on a short term basis. But for the long term I feel much better with the PID handling the load.

Like mentioned....it's probably not the best idea to run it without a PID though.


Offline RedJada

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2014, 03:01:42 pm »
 I have seen a lot of post here about this issue. Couldn't one upgrade the wiring (guage) and fuse and be ok?

Offline GusRobin

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2014, 05:54:15 pm »
The original question was "BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?"

In my opinion I don't think a PID makes a difference in that if you add the new element it will draw XX load with or without the PID.

Where the PID comes in is for safety and control of the elements. If you run the element directly to the plug on the OBS, you have nothing controlling the element and it will keeping running until the temp gets hot enough to  (1) trip the heat sensor, (2) burn out something or (3) start a fire. So the PID shuts off the element when the desired temp is reached.

You could run it through the slider control, but there is no guarantee that it won't burn out. Yes, the various calculations show it should handle it ( or at least is borderline). But this is made with commercial parts and most of today's electronics come from the low Chinese bidder. Even with good quality control, the parts will be all over the tolerance band. So if the manufacturer rates it at a certain level I usually pay attention. So I use the PID for safety and control reasons.

So to me it all boils down to how much risk you are willing to take. For me, the PID cost is less than the deductible on my Home Owner's insurance. :D
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 06:46:15 pm by GusRobin »
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Offline TNRockyraccoon

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 06:13:26 pm »

So to me it all boils down to how much risk you are willing to take. For me, the PID cost is less than the deductible on my Home Owner's insurance. :D

That probably says it best.

To address what Red asked. I did upgrade my wiring to 12 gauge that's heat rated to 800. It's much better insulated than that of the original wiring. I replaced it because I did have some problems with the original wirings (not PID related) insulation melting and eventually causing a short. This didn't happen during the brief timeframe I ran without the PID. When it happened it blew both the fuse in the bradley and the 15 amp fuse in the PID.

Offline Rider14

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2014, 12:29:52 pm »
Thanks everyone. I installed the 900W element, tested it out and 'auto-tuned' my PID to account for the new variables in speed of heating and cooling.  If I use the smoker without the PID, I'll let you know what happens! ALthough I don't see that happening unless the PID is for some reason out of commission.

Definitely heats up faster. Now I need to add a fan!

 Dan

Offline Rider14

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2014, 12:46:07 pm »
now the controller won't send power to the smoker, just the smoke generator!!! Tested the 900W element with just the smoke generator...seems OK, hope it lasts!  4 turkeys to smoke!!!!

- Dan

Offline Rider14

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2014, 09:06:27 am »
So smoked 2 thanksgiving turkeys at once in the NEW OBS (remember, controller in the smoke generator, controlled by a knob on the front - there is no slider on the smoker itself) and even with the 900W element, it worked just fine.

Still feel like I'm taking a risk, but until I fix the PID, I'll use it this way.

 -Dan

Offline trevorandlori

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2015, 02:23:27 pm »
Looks like we are both doings some R&D. I got the 750 watt. Not because I was concerned about the controller capacity, I figured the temp swings would be too great with 900 watts.
http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=36220.0

Offline dave01

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2015, 03:18:31 pm »
It will work just fine with the 900 watt element, the PID is only there to tighten up the temperture swings when cooking

Offline TedEbear

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Re: BS611 can handle 2 elements (or 900 watt element) without PID?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2015, 06:37:39 pm »
It will work just fine with the 900 watt element, the PID is only there to tighten up the temperture swings when cooking

Not really.  The electronics in the Bradley were not designed or tested to handle a load greater than the 500W factory element.  Modifying the smoker to something greater than that should include a PID controller for safety.