Author Topic: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems  (Read 10544 times)

Offline tskeeter

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Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« on: February 10, 2015, 04:01:11 PM »
Guys, I need some diagnosis help on the puck feeder for my six rack digital.

The problem:  Will feed a couple of pucks, then not feed for a puck or two or three, then will start to feed again.  Tried to manually feed pucks when I started a smoke on Sunday.  One fed, then the pucks wouldn't feed when I pressed the manual feed button.  I removed the bubba pucks, pressed down on the stack of pucks and rotated pucks.  Then tried the manual feed one more time.  A puck fed, then a second puck would not feed.  You could hear the motor run and see the pucks shift as the shuttle moved, but it was like the shuttle wasn't retracting far enough.

Repairs I tried before Sunday:  Cleaned puck burner, in-feed chute, and inside of smoke generator.  Replaced micro switch.  Re-clocked motor so that it turns in the proper direction (observed rotation to confirm).

Is it possible that there is a problem with the motor?  I've got a new spare, so to give it a try would only involve the work to remove the old motor and replace it with the new one.  But, I'm hoping that someone can tell me that they had a similar problem and swapping out the motor is the answer.  Otherwise, the only answer I know to to strip the good parts off the the smoker generator for spares and spend $150 on a new smoker generator. 

Note:  the smoker is about three years old and has seen moderately heavy use,
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 04:02:42 PM by tskeeter »

Offline RAF128

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2015, 04:33:58 AM »
I don't know if swapping the motor will cure your problem but it did mine.   Had the same problem with an older 4 rack original.  New motor from Bradley cured it and it was easy to change.  I now have a 6 rack and no problems for years,.

Offline renoman

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2015, 05:58:13 AM »
I am betting microswitch. Mine has started doing this again the past two smokes. I am hoping it had something to do with the minus 15 degree weather I was smoking in but somehow I doubt it.

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Offline TedEbear

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2015, 06:33:56 AM »
  Replaced micro switch.

I am betting microswitch.

He already replaced the micro switch.


Offline renoman

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2015, 06:39:48 AM »
  Replaced micro switch.

I am betting microswitch.

He already replaced the micro switch.

I see that now. I'm still betting the micro switch. Can't see how the motor would could be the issue with how he is describing what is happening. My "brand new" micro switch was faulty.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2015, 01:41:58 PM »
Check to see if there are wear marks on the side of the push plate and rail. If there are marks, something is out of alignment or bent. I recently discovered that one of my generators was not consistently feeding bisquettes, if the motor ran counter clockwise. I discovered one side of the push plate was rubbing against the rail. At that time, I also discovered that the direction the motor turns will put more pressure on the push plate on one side then it does on the other. This problem may have been going on for some while, before I caught it. If the motor traveled counter clockwise, the push plate would bind, and the motor would self correct by turning in the opposite direction, but at the time I caught the problem the motor was not always correcting itself. As long as it ran clockwise, it would feed bisquettes regularly.

I realigned the rail that was the problem. That helped somewhat, but I found if I fully retighten the rails the same problem would occur. So I had to back the screws off one or two turns on the railing that was giving me the problem. Now it feeds bisquettes regularly whether it runs clockwise or counter clockwise. Since I can not tighten the screws all the way, I feel that rail is bent.
Why won’t my bisquettes advance automatically or when I push the Advance button?


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Offline Gafala

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2015, 03:40:08 PM »
I agree with you, sounds like the rail is bent.


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Bradley 4 rack Digital, 900 watt, Auber PID
Bradley cold smoke adapter
Char-Griller Smoking Pro BBQ Smoker with rotisserie
Brinkman Bullet Smoker
Weber 24”
Custom Hard Cure Cabinet for Salami
One Auber Master Temp monitor and two remotes with probes, up to ten remotes can be used.

Offline renoman

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2015, 04:05:58 PM »
How does pushing wood chip pucks bend the rail?

Offline Gafala

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2015, 05:11:42 PM »
That's a heat problem, heat metal and you will have problems like that.
Bradley 4 rack Digital, 900 watt, Auber PID
Bradley cold smoke adapter
Char-Griller Smoking Pro BBQ Smoker with rotisserie
Brinkman Bullet Smoker
Weber 24”
Custom Hard Cure Cabinet for Salami
One Auber Master Temp monitor and two remotes with probes, up to ten remotes can be used.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 01:41:26 AM »
How does pushing wood chip pucks bend the rail?

As mentioned; if it is bent, it could be caused by heat, or occurred during the manufacturing process. I should mention, the information in the link about adjusting the push plate and the rails, because it may be out of alignment or bent was provided by Bradley.


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Offline tskeeter

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 09:05:24 AM »
Thanks for the suggestion about the rails.  I had checked the rails for wear marks when I cleaned the smoke generator, and didn't see anything that looked like it should be a problem.  I also didn't notice any distortion or irregularities in the the rails, such as heat distortion, or anything else that might cause the shuttle to bind.  Everything looked straight, true, and sparkling clean.

I also went through the process to make sure that the motor was turning in the correct direction and verified that it is, so that shouldn't be the problem.

At this point, I'm going to swap out the motor and see how it goes.  If that doesn't work, I guess I'll try replacing the micro switch again.  Just in case the new switch is bad.  After that, I'll order a new smoke generator.  Ain't no way I'm giving up my Bradley.

Offline tskeeter

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2015, 09:00:39 AM »
Well, replaced the drive motor in the smoke generator yesterday.  Reinstalled the SG on the smoker and fired it up for a little testing.  Dang, this thing is now throwing an E error.  Something that it has not done before.

Reseat the control cable from the temp sensor.  No dice. Still an E.

Disconnect the control cable and install an OEM bypass plug.  Still no dice.

I surrender.

A new smoker generator and a couple of other odds and ends are now on order from our friends at Y&P.  And I've got this fine collection of spare parts, to boot.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2015, 01:02:35 PM »
 An “E” error is letting you know that there is something wrong with the advance system.
What is an “E” message?

Double check to make sure the motor arm is not binding, or striking the housing of the micro switch. Also double check to make sure nothing is interfering with the movement of the push plate. It could also be a bad micro switch.


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Offline tskeeter

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2015, 04:05:03 PM »
Unlikely that it's the microswitch.  It's a new switch and it seemed to operate fine (no E code) during the only smoke that it's been used for.

Will check clearance on the microswitch/motor arm interface, though.  Could be that's the issue since I just replaced the motor.

Offline murmur

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Re: Intermittent Puck Feed Problems
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2015, 06:06:34 PM »
 :)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 04:20:51 PM by murmur »