Author Topic: OBS not auto feeding every 20 min  (Read 775 times)

Offline black feather

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OBS not auto feeding every 20 min
« on: April 30, 2020, 02:53:06 PM »
Hey folks,

I am having trouble with the auto feeder on a new to me original Bradley smoker. My buddy gave it to me and told me up front it doesn't autoload, and according to him never did. He just set timers every 20 min instead of fixing it. I have opened it up, but I have no idea what I'm doing. I have read just about every relevant thread here and still am not sure where to start. I have uploaded a video to YouTube to show you the process -- it appears that the motor is running fine, no bends, no issues loading a puck when I hit the button manually. However, to me it doesn't even look like there is a switch that the loading arm can hit in the back? It's just a black piece of plastic with a space in it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiadREJ-bmY

I have emailed Bradley but with Covid who knows when I'll hear back.

Thanks for your time


Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: OBS not auto feeding every 20 min
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2020, 03:23:02 AM »
Hi black feather;

Welcome to the forum.

I'm not familiar with this model. The microswitch that stops the rotation of the motor looks a lot different from mine. But this is what I'm observing. At the start of the cycle the motor arm is in the correct position. As the motor completes it's first rotation, there is a distinct click. That is the end of the motor arm glancing off the bottom of what I believe is part of the microswitch housing. So for some reason, the end of the arm dropped a hair, at the beginning of the cycle. On the second rotation, the arm has dropped even further, and what causes the motor to stop is that the end or the arm strikes bottom of the switch, and cannot travel any further. Also it does not stop in the correct position.

The first problem is that the arm shouldn't have dropped. Second,  it should only make one full turn per cycle, then reset. Your third problem is that on the second rotation, when the arm hit the bottom of the microswitch, it should have reversed rotation when it met that resistance. Do one more test, and if the motor stops because it is hitting the bottom of the switch, push the button and see if the motor will reverse, and end up in the correct position.

Check the guide rails that guide the bisquettes to the burner. If you see any wear, you rails need to be adjusted. If you see any wear, I find the instructions on how to align them. Also check to make sure there are not obstructions that could interfere with the motor, and that there is no debris build up on the assembly that the bisquettes slide on.


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         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline spencedr

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Re: OBS not auto feeding every 20 min
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2020, 08:04:43 AM »
we have a 6 year old BS611   only used about 20 times ,

the auto advance seldom  works , manual advance works but usually advances 2 pucks. have had to remove the water bowl so we don't waste pucks.

have had this apart twice  but issue continues. any suggestion on possible fix would be great.

 

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: OBS not auto feeding every 20 min
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2020, 01:13:11 PM »
Hi spencedr,

Welcome to the forum.

I understand your frustration about wasting bisquettes, but operating the Bradley without a water bowl can be a fire hazard. Grease dripping down on smoldering bisquettes is not safe.

Has it been this way since it was new? If it is feeding multiple bisquettes, it is most likely a micro switch problem. When the arm makes a rotation, it is probably not returning to the correct position and striking the micro switch; which turns the motor off. Or your micro switch could have gone bad.

When you had it apart was the arm performing the same way as black feather described in his post?


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline spencedr

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Re: OBS not auto feeding every 20 min
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2020, 01:29:13 PM »
i when i check and  manually advance the puck , i take out the old puck , if you leave the old ones in without water,  food just tastes like ash ,  ( darn that was a  waste of good ribs )

just took it apart again  , i do not see a micro switch  there is a IR sensor . today the push button seemed fine and only advanced the one puck as intended. and while i was bench testing ( had heater disconnected ) it seemed to work fine . but i have seen this before, the first time i had it all apart it seemed to work for about  half a 3 hour smoke. i'm suspecting a intermittent power control .

the power control unit  has a flashing  red led , it blinks  4 times  about a sec  each time , then pauses for 2 secs.
not sure if that is normal or sign of a onboard trouble with the power control ?

the smoker worked normally the first 3 years we have had it , but this problem has been around for a while now.


Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: OBS not auto feeding every 20 min
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2020, 03:39:57 AM »
Thanks for the information. I don't have the BS611. I just learned that they replaced the micro switch with an IR sensor. If the arm is not being obstructed and returning to the correct position, first I would make sure that the sensor receiver and the surface it bounces off are clean. Isopropyl alcohol works great for cleaning off smoke residue, just make sure you wipe the surface dry after cleaning, to ensure the residue has been removed of the surfaces.

The blinking light does sound like a error code. You should send Bradley an email about that. Usually calling them is the fastest method, but with this pandemic they don't have many people manning the phones.

Just incase you have two problems going on, check the rail guides for any sign of wear. If you see any wear the guides need to be adjusted, in addition to any other issue that may be going on.



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         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline spencedr

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Re: OBS not auto feeding every 20 min
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2020, 05:14:56 AM »
thanks     have sent message to Bradley regarding the light .honestly the unit is pretty darn clean ( sadly due to lack of use) but will  give the sensor a wipe down,  will advise once  feedback received.

Offline spencedr

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Re: OBS not auto feeding every 20 min
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2020, 06:28:42 AM »
still haven't heard from Bradley however took the unit apart again .

observations smoker model bs611

when the controller was working correctly the led that is inside the control box blinked as described above(  4 short one sec blinks with a sec between each blink followed by a 2 sec period of led off, then repeat )

when the unit was not working correctly  the led  was 2 short one sec blinks with a sec between each blink, followed by 2 very quick blinks followed by a 2 sec period of led off, then repeat .  also when the led was doing this blink pattern no pucks would auto advance AND if you pressed the manual advance button the unit would advance 2 pucks then stop.


 i took the IR sensor off the unit ( originally to clean it but as noted in previous post it was very clean so didn't bother) the IR sensor was poorly mounted, i say that as the IR cct board has a piece of insulation plastic between the cct board and the bracket, the plastic was slightly melted and warped, ( suspect this moved it enough to cause issue)   i re-enforced the bracket which moved the IR sensor about a 1/16 th of an inch closer  towards the motor

after re-enforcing the IR sensor bracket i ran the unit on the bench ( heating element disconnected) for approx 7 hrs with no issues.

fingers crossed this may be resolved. time will tell.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: OBS not auto feeding every 20 min
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2020, 01:02:53 PM »
Glad you are up and running. Thanks for the update. Great troubleshooting. I'm sure you posts will help others.

I just want to add, just a slight film of smoke may cause problems. Even with the proper vent opening, I've found that when I close the door this forces a back draft into the generator.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline spencedr

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Re: OBS not auto feeding every 20 min
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2020, 01:17:33 PM »
good point  and as we were opening the door  every 20 mins to check it may have added to the issue.

will post again if the issue  doesn't  stay fixed .