Author Topic: Feeder unit runs when powered off  (Read 216 times)

Offline paul888

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Feeder unit runs when powered off
« on: December 05, 2018, 05:07:11 pm »
Hi Guys,
My brother inherited a BTDS108P from his father in law.  This unit was in a flood and I have spent 12 hours so far disassembling, cleaning, testing and replacing resistors on the control panel board and board that is under the motor/feeder arm.  Since I have a background in electronics and work with computers, I was fortunate enough to be tasked with trying to bring this thing back to life :)

The original issue was an "E" error.  As soon as the feeder was plugged in, it would rotate the arm until it pressed the micro switch and then stop.  If you would manually move the arm past the switch, unplug and then plug back in, it would move again until it hit the switch and stop.  I took the unit apart having seen a video on youtube and after searching google to see disassembly instructions and other information.  Once I had the unit open, I saw that there were a bunch of resistors that had one leg rusted and some that were even deteriorated to the point of not making contact.  I ordered replacement resistors of the correct values and wattages.  The oven side of the unit would work, but not the feeder side (nothing at all when pressing the on/off switch on that side).

After replacing all of the damaged resistors, I reassembled everything.  The smoker on/off works now and all buttons respond.  The wood button advances the bisquettes and everything seems fine until... you turn the unit OFF!  At that point, it just runs and runs trying to advance bisquettes until you unplug it.  There is nothing on the screen during this time.

Does anyone have any ideas here?  I checked continuity and function of the micro switch with a digital multimeter and it seems fine.  Thanks for any posts!

Offline paul888

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Re: Feeder unit runs when powered off
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 07:12:57 pm »
Update: I cleaned the micro switch but no luck.  With it plugged in and powered on (both oven and feeder), it clicks like a solenoid or something is triggering.  I can press the wood button and it will feed, but acts very erratically.  If left alone it feeds randomly and the solenoid sound comes and goes.  The end of the feeder does get hot and the oven element gets hot so those parts appear to be functioning.  Occasionally the "E" error appears on the screen but then clears automatically.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Feeder unit runs when powered off
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 02:25:41 am »
Hi;
Welcome to the forum.

If the generator shows water damage on the circuit baord the micro switch may have had some water damage and corrosion that is causing the switch to act erractically. It may be worth the money to replace it.

In your original discription:

"As soon as the feeder was plugged in, it would rotate the arm until it pressed the micro switch and then stop.  If you would manually move the arm past the switch, unplug and then plug back in, it would move again until it hit the switch and stop. "

If I'm interpreting this correctly, that is how it should work, but without the "E" error. :) The arm rotates to release the switch, then returns to the switch, depressing it to turn it off. After 20 minutes the arm will autotmactically move, to advance another bisquette. If it doesn't come to a stop and rest on that button the generator will continuously cycle the bisquettes through, with out them stopping on the burner plate to burn.  Most of the time it will cycle when the power is turned on, other times you have to push the advance button, if you want it to cycle right away.





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Offline paul888

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Re: Feeder unit runs when powered off
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2018, 03:51:23 am »
Thanks for the welcome and the reply :)  Yeah, it seems I've experienced some different situations and I was thinking the same thing about the switch.  I had the unit apart again and made the following observation: with the micro switch unplugged from it's harness, the arm rotates non stop.  Even if I short the pins going back to the circuit boar it does not seem to affect the operation of the arm.  Would that be normal, or may a component on the board be damaged?  Also, is there a particular place you can order the replacement switch online?

Offline paul888

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Re: Feeder unit runs when powered off
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 05:51:46 am »
Replying to my own post.  I looked at several places online and the switch was out of stock everywhere ( part number ADVSTP12009).  I am at work so cannot check the actual switch for a manufacturer number.  I'm sure it's a standard micro switch that could be bought from electronic supply companies.  Tonight, I may open the switch fully to inspect the contacts and see what I can find out.  It tested fine with my multimeter, but it could just be intermittently failing.  What concerns me more though is that when I short the pins to the board with the switch out of the equation, the arm still continues running.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Feeder unit runs when powered off
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 01:08:24 pm »
The only other place I know that may have the part is Bradley. Give them a call, their customer service is very good.
1-866-508-7514

With the safeguards built into the generator, I'm surprise it would operate with the micro switch unplugged without showing an E error. But since it is running, the continuous rotation of the arm would be expected, since the switch is unplugged and not operating.

There may be some other component of the board that may be damaged, but I feel it will just be one of those things you will not know until you replace the micro switch.


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         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline paul888

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Re: Feeder unit runs when powered off
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 09:01:20 pm »
Just giving the group an update... I have returned the unit to my brother and talked to the original owner (his father in law).  It seems that he has dealt with some erratic behavior since the unit was new.  Of course, it was not feeding with the unit turned off, but he said that it definitely used to have feed issues...mostly not pushing the briquette out enough so he had to press the "wood" button often while checking on it during a session.  I disassembled the micro switch and it was excellent, nice shiny copper contacts, not burnt or worn at all.  I believe that during the flood, possibly the 3 solenoids on the board that is in the bottom of the unit were damaged.  After it has been plugged in and gone through a couple pressed of the "wood" button... the solenoids start clicking erratically and it will feed partially then stop then do the same thing at random intervals.  They both agreed that at least I put it back to a "usable" state with the work I did.  I'm going to look up that board online just to see if replacing may be a possibility.  There's no way I'm going to start trying to troubleshoot individual electronic components on that board though.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Feeder unit runs when powered off
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2018, 02:32:47 am »
From your description, the problem could also be caused by a few mechanical functions.

1- Make sure your feeder tube is straight, and/or not inserted too far into the feeder tube.

2- If you still have the same problem, check the drive guide (the area the bisquettes travel on to the burner), and clear all loose wood chips so the push plate is free of any obstacles. By regularly cleaning the smoke generator, bisquette jamming and undue wear and tear can be avoided.

3- The problem could be a worn motor, and/or worn linkage. To test this, remove any bisquettes and the feeder tube. From the top of the generator, place a finger down the feeder tube opening; making sure your finger is in front of the push plate. Now push the wood advance button let the plate push up against your finger. If the motor is good, it should put enough pressure on your finger to give you the impression of its going to squish my finger, before it will retract. If the plate stops instantly or turns around with very little pressure against your finger then the motor is worn out and should be replaced. Before ordering a new motor, check to see if the linkage is worn. Inspect the brass colored arms and pin on the motor to make sure they do not have excessive play in them.

4- A less common cause could be the push plate rails may need to be realigned. Dethatch the generator from the cabinet. Check the sides of the pusher plate, and rails. If you see wear marks on the side of the push plate and rail something is out of alignment or bent. On the side you see the wear marks, loosen the two screws that mount the motor mounting bracket to the black plate do not remove them just loosen them. If the wear is on the left side loosen the two screws on the left side of the push plate. If the wear is on the right loosen the two screws on the right side. Make sure the railing is loose enough to move. This may require some cleaning and removing built up smoke residue. Then push the wood advance button a few times this will let the motor align the push plate find its own center line. Carefully tighten the screws, without moving the rail. Push the wood advance button to make sure the alignment is correct.

NOTE: Another sign that there is a misalignment problem, is that the generator will work fine for a while or for the whole smoke, then suddenly start having problems with the advance system. The motor runs both clockwise and counter clockwise. Whichever way it turns it puts more pressure on one rail than it does the other. So if it turns in the direction that puts more pressure on the misaligned rail, it will travel partway then retract. If the motor turns in the direction that puts more pressure on the properly aligned rail, it will fully cycle without problem.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)