Author Topic: Puck feed problem -- only feeding 10%-20% of time.  (Read 564 times)

Offline manowell

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Puck feed problem -- only feeding 10%-20% of time.
« on: February 07, 2017, 03:01:47 pm »
Have taken it apart and cleaned it twice.  Have let it run overnight with heating element unplugged.

For proper operation, the drive arm seems to swing clockwise one revolution until it hits the micro-switch and stop. Next feed, COUNTER-clockwise until it hits the switch and stops.

When it fails, it does NOT reverse, but feeds only the distance of the other side of the micro-switch and stop.  What controls the direction logic for each feed action?

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Puck feed problem -- only feeding 10%-20% of time.
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 02:14:22 am »
It may be the micro switch, that when the arm strikes it, it may stay stuck in the "off" position. Sometimes you can adjust the micro switch back a hair so that the arm doesn't push it in so far. Also if it only works when you hit the advance button, it could be something to due with the circuitry that operates the timing cycle. If adjusting the micro switch doesn't work, you may want to call Bradley.


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Offline Olev

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Re: Puck feed problem -- only feeding 10%-20% of time.
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 06:55:24 am »
Hi Manowell, you are right, the motor sometimes alternates between the directions since it has mechanical switching gear reducer.

If it feeds only half of the bisquettes ( turning only quarter turn ) it may be that:
 
a) swing arm is getting stuck on the cables
b) bisquette is swollen from moisture and gets stuck in the outfeed
c) it is very cold and the mechanical switching gear reducer reverses due to broken gear or thickened lubricant inside. 

If it is the reducer, try to bring it inside and warm it up to see if it works. If not, give us a call and we send you a new motor assy.

Hope it helps,
Olev
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 07:12:47 am by Olev »

Offline manowell

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Re: Puck feed problem -- only feeding 10%-20% of time.
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2017, 12:12:08 pm »
It may be the micro switch, that when the arm strikes it, it may stay stuck in the "off" position. Sometimes you can adjust the micro switch back a hair so that the arm doesn't push it in so far. Also if it only works when you hit the advance button, it could be something to due with the circuitry that operates the timing cycle. If adjusting the micro switch doesn't work, you may want to call Bradley.

It seems to work somewhat more reliably when I manually hit the advance button, but it's not unique either way.  I'll toy with the switch position and wee what I get.  Thanks!

Offline manowell

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Re: Puck feed problem -- only feeding 10%-20% of time.
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2017, 12:16:39 pm »
Hi Manowell, you are right, the motor sometimes alternates between the directions since it has mechanical switching gear reducer.

If it feeds only half of the bisquettes ( turning only quarter turn ) it may be that:
 
a) swing arm is getting stuck on the cables
b) bisquette is swollen from moisture and gets stuck in the outfeed
c) it is very cold and the mechanical switching gear reducer reverses due to broken gear or thickened lubricant inside. 

If it is the reducer, try to bring it inside and warm it up to see if it works. If not, give us a call and we send you a new motor assy.

Hope it helps,
Olev

Olev, thanks for the tips.  I have no knowledge of a mechanical switching gear reducer, is that inside the motor?  Does it make it reverse every cycle, or only some?

it's not (a), I have the case off and am watching it, all parts unencumbered.
It's not (b), even though I may have experienced it before, it's not even pulling back to drop another puck when the mis-movement occurs.
It's not (c), not cold at all, although last year I may have seen this once on an overnight smoke when it was very cold.  70 degrees today.

Offline dwtrees

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Re: Puck feed problem -- only feeding 10%-20% of time.
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2017, 05:19:35 pm »
I seem to have the same problem. I was making some summer sausage today and the smoke worked for the first two pucks (I left one off the plate to start with so it would warm up). I came back two hours later and only the first two pucks had been used up. I tried to manually advance one to the burner and I could see the pucks moving in the tube but they wouldn't drop down. I took all the pucks out of the tube and manually advanced it to watch the pusher plate. It looks to be moving all the way back to let the puck drop down. Put the tube and the pucks back in and hit the button and the same thing happened. Looked like the puck was tipped to the front of the pusher but the back wouldn't drop down. I then put a 1 pound lead weight on top of the pucks and then it would feed so I could finish this smoke job.

Question is - Do I need some type of weight to get the pucks to feed properly. A friend of mine is using the Bradley smoke generator on his custom made smoker and he doesn't have any extra weights on top of the pucks and told me it works all the time for him.

What is the bubba puck for? Extra weight to get them to feed properly?

I am using the Bradley brand pucks also. Just opened a fresh box so the pucks aren't swollen and look to be ok.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Puck feed problem -- only feeding 10%-20% of time.
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 02:04:35 am »
The bisquettes feed freely without any additional weight. The Bubba Puck - aka bisquette savers; do two things. If you use two, they advance the last two bisquettes on the tray to the burner. If you use three, they advance the last two bisquettes, and then push the last bisquette off the burner. Bradley claims that burning the bisquettes longer than 20 minutes will produce a bitter smoker.

If your bisquettes have been exposed to too much humidity, they can swell and that may cause a problem in feeding. Try using some other bisquettes from a different box; newly opened if you have any that are still sealed.

From what you describe it could be that your tube (chute) may be improperly installed. Make sure that the tube is straight. Also where the tube is inserted into the generator, there should be very thin lip. The end of the tube should be resting on that lip and it should not be inserted past that lip.

Other things to check, is to make sure there are not dents in the tube, and that the inside of the tube is free of debris and/or manufacturer's defects.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
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Offline Olev

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Re: Puck feed problem -- only feeding 10%-20% of time.
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2017, 06:31:36 am »
Hi Manowell, you are right, the motor sometimes alternates between the directions since it has mechanical switching gear reducer.

If it feeds only half of the bisquettes ( turning only quarter turn ) it may be that:
 
a) swing arm is getting stuck on the cables
b) bisquette is swollen from moisture and gets stuck in the outfeed
c) it is very cold and the mechanical switching gear reducer reverses due to broken gear or thickened lubricant inside. 

If it is the reducer, try to bring it inside and warm it up to see if it works. If not, give us a call and we send you a new motor assy.

Hope it helps,
Olev

Olev, thanks for the tips.  I have no knowledge of a mechanical switching gear reducer, is that inside the motor?  Does it make it reverse every cycle, or only some?

it's not (a), I have the case off and am watching it, all parts unencumbered.
It's not (b), even though I may have experienced it before, it's not even pulling back to drop another puck when the mis-movement occurs.
It's not (c), not cold at all, although last year I may have seen this once on an overnight smoke when it was very cold.  70 degrees today.

Gear reducer is built into the motor.
if it moves freely when empty and bisquettes are in normal size, it may be that motor is defective.  Give the customer service a call. they will help you out.

Offline Olev

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Re: Puck feed problem -- only feeding 10%-20% of time.
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2017, 06:39:37 am »
I seem to have the same problem. I was making some summer sausage today and the smoke worked for the first two pucks (I left one off the plate to start with so it would warm up). I came back two hours later and only the first two pucks had been used up. I tried to manually advance one to the burner and I could see the pucks moving in the tube but they wouldn't drop down. I took all the pucks out of the tube and manually advanced it to watch the pusher plate. It looks to be moving all the way back to let the puck drop down. Put the tube and the pucks back in and hit the button and the same thing happened. Looked like the puck was tipped to the front of the pusher but the back wouldn't drop down. I then put a 1 pound lead weight on top of the pucks and then it would feed so I could finish this smoke job.

Question is - Do I need some type of weight to get the pucks to feed properly. A friend of mine is using the Bradley smoke generator on his custom made smoker and he doesn't have any extra weights on top of the pucks and told me it works all the time for him.

What is the bubba puck for? Extra weight to get them to feed properly?

I am using the Bradley brand pucks also. Just opened a fresh box so the pucks aren't swollen and look to be ok.

Have a look if bisquette moves freely in the tube and does not get stuck. Definitely do not use any weights since it is hard on the motor and also generates extra sawdust when pushing the bisquette. How old is your smoker? Maybe it is a worn out linkage issue. When pusher is retracting it should move far enough back for the bisquette freely drop down.