Author Topic: Smart smoker is not that smart.  (Read 2267 times)

Offline stscholz

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Smart smoker is not that smart.
« on: April 09, 2019, 11:28:33 AM »
I have had a 6 rack bradley smoker for quite sometime and I finally gave up on trying to fix E1 errors. I figured new smoker with updated features what could go wrong. Well less than a week into it I am already waiting on a replacement generator because this once can't go three pucks without jamming. First I ordered new bisquettes to make sure mine were not at fault. Pulled out chute put it back in to make sure it was not out of whack. Even used the old one same results 40 minutes in jammed.

The worse part is this thing is not smart enough to just shut the bisquttes from bing pushed in it shuts down the entire thing. So you have this new smoker that you need to stay within 30 feet of in the case an error happens you dont ruin what you are smoking. Poor design.

The app and software lets just say wow. Really you couldnt put a 30 battery in it so it can remenber what device it is paired to? Everytime you unplug it you have to repair, I guess you dont plan on ever updating what I would consider faulty firmware as it does not appear the app has the ability to do this.

For the price I am very disappointed. I just hope the new generator fixed the jam issue.

Offline vjbutler63

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Re: Smart smoker is not that smart.
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2019, 05:04:55 AM »
Good morning, I am sure this type of is all over this forum but this is the first thread that came up in my search.  Your experience is exactly the same as mine except as mine except my Bradley original 6 rack smoker is still working perfectly to this day.  The "smart" smoker on the other hand is probably one of the worst software embedded devices I have ever used.  I am a 35 year software executive with extensive experience with firmware driven devices so I have some basis for my statement.  The root of the problem with biscuit jamming seems to be created by larger manufacturer tolerances to aid in quick assembly of the biscuit feed device.  I opened the smoke generator and there is so much play in the biscuit feed mechanism I can't imagine this ever working unless the retract and extend distance is considerably longer than necessary.  I shimmed all the linkage and it works as expected now.  I was also surprised by the complete shutdown of the unit when a biscuit jam is detected.  This is a critical flaw (among several) which pretty much makes it unusable in a production environment.  I would have thought that Bradley would have made some improvements to the firmware such as an option to turn off this shutdown feature but in my closer examination I don't think Bradley included a way to upgrade the firmware.  I was shocked by this level of technology arrogance, as only perfection never needs improvement.  So after fixing the biscuit feed I started using the smart smoker again and my next roadblock was the app.  Quite simply it doesn't work reliably enough to bother using at all.  It is now so outdated that it won't even run at all and the new version says it is only for the 240v models.  Where does leave me, one of the first to buy a very expensive Bradley smoker?  As if that wasn't enough to sour my view of Bradley smokers, the heating element is completely under powered for a 10 rack smoker and the element is in the back which creates huge temperature variation throughout the box.  The controller doesn't hold the temp anywhere close to the temp no matter what the ambient conditions are, I typically see the temp drop 40-50 degrees below setpoint before the heating element engages.  If you actually want to load up the box to capacity for something like snack sticks or summer sausage plan on a 36-48 hour cook time where other brands get the job done in under 12 hours.  I know this all sounds like a rant and I guess it is.  I can't believe the premier Bradley smoker is such a failure.  I will reply to this thread shortly with some of the ways I have mitigated these issues so I can use this smoker for some of my small batch production runs.  In short I took all of the smart out of this smoker and replaced it with components that should have been used when this device was designed. 

Offline dubob

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Re: Smart smoker is not that smart.
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2019, 06:55:09 AM »
Good morning, I am sure this type of is all over this forum but this is the first thread that came up in my search.  Your experience is exactly the same as mine except as mine except my Bradley original 6 rack smoker is still working perfectly to this day.  The "smart" smoker on the other hand is probably one of the worst software embedded devices I have ever used.  I am a 35 year software executive with extensive experience with firmware driven devices so I have some basis for my statement.  The root of the problem with biscuit jamming seems to be created by larger manufacturer tolerances to aid in quick assembly of the biscuit feed device.  I opened the smoke generator and there is so much play in the biscuit feed mechanism I can't imagine this ever working unless the retract and extend distance is considerably longer than necessary.  I shimmed all the linkage and it works as expected now.  I was also surprised by the complete shutdown of the unit when a biscuit jam is detected.  This is a critical flaw (among several) which pretty much makes it unusable in a production environment.  I would have thought that Bradley would have made some improvements to the firmware such as an option to turn off this shutdown feature but in my closer examination I don't think Bradley included a way to upgrade the firmware.  I was shocked by this level of technology arrogance, as only perfection never needs improvement.  So after fixing the biscuit feed I started using the smart smoker again and my next roadblock was the app.  Quite simply it doesn't work reliably enough to bother using at all.  It is now so outdated that it won't even run at all and the new version says it is only for the 240v models.  Where does leave me, one of the first to buy a very expensive Bradley smoker?  As if that wasn't enough to sour my view of Bradley smokers, the heating element is completely under powered for a 10 rack smoker and the element is in the back which creates huge temperature variation throughout the box.  The controller doesn't hold the temp anywhere close to the temp no matter what the ambient conditions are, I typically see the temp drop 40-50 degrees below setpoint before the heating element engages.  If you actually want to load up the box to capacity for something like snack sticks or summer sausage plan on a 36-48 hour cook time where other brands get the job done in under 12 hours.  I know this all sounds like a rant and I guess it is.  I can't believe the premier Bradley smoker is such a failure.  I will reply to this thread shortly with some of the ways I have mitigated these issues so I can use this smoker for some of my small batch production runs.  In short I took all of the smart out of this smoker and replaced it with components that should have been used when this device was designed.

Military trained radar technician turned radar systems engineer and I couldn't agree more with your comments.  Bradley totally blew it on this one.  I'll just keep my digital 4-rack with after market PID that works perfectly every time its used.
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I’m 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
“Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” ― Glen Aldrich
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ― Dr. Seuss