Author Topic: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)  (Read 3762 times)

Offline Zerolimits

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PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« on: February 01, 2008, 01:15:57 pm »
Hello all,

I built a PID to add on to my OBS a few months ago, and followed the suggestions on this board for constructing it (thanks for sharing the knowledge):

http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?t=315

Also, thanks to Arcs_n_Sparks for helping with my newbie questions.

The Auber PID that I used doesn't work so well when it gets pretty cold outside.  I think it's lower limit for outside temp is 32F.

I did some smoking last weekend, when it was hovering near 0 F, and wanted to share my solution...

I 'gently' wrapped the project box, containing the PID, in an electric blanket (drugstore for $12), and set it to medium.  This allowed me to use the PID in these freezing temps for 28 hours.




I never noticed any electrical interference from the blanket, but I'm not too smart on electrical stuff, I just know that the PID held my set temp within 2-3 degrees for the duration.


Also, to help the OBS out a little, I wrapped it with a doubled-over moving blanket (leaving the top of the cabinet exposed), and secured it with a bungee cord.  This wasn't much of a hindrance at all when I needed to change the water pan.  I think it helped, but who knows!

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       }=)))))))'>

Offline bigredsmoker

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2008, 08:54:21 am »
Now that's using the old noggin!  How cold was it when you were using the blanket, and what box temp were you at? I was smoking a couple of days ago in 20 degree weather and could barely reach 200 with the smoker behind a wind break.

Terry

Offline Zerolimits

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2008, 12:50:20 pm »
Big Red,

It was a high of 9 degrees in the afternoon, with a pretty steady 8-12mph wind.  At night, the wind died off to being non-existent, but the ambient temperature got to -6 F.  PID was set at 215 F, and stayed pretty well within 2-3 degrees when I would check it.

ZL

PS - dropping a brisket in a half hour to go low and slow overnight.  It's a balmy 29 now, so no blanket wrap on the OBS, but I am using the electic blanket on the PID.

ZL
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~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~
             

       }=)))))))'>

Offline more smoke

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2008, 08:07:10 pm »
I see you are using the electic blanket on the your PID. Have you ever had any trouble with the PID in cold temps before you started using the electic blanket on the PID?

Offline Zerolimits

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2008, 08:21:13 am »
I see you are using the electic blanket on the your PID. Have you ever had any trouble with the PID in cold temps before you started using the electic blanket on the PID?



Yes, I believe the paperwork that came with the PID (Auber) indicated that it would only work if the outside temp was above 32 F.  Now, I'm not sure if it has an internal temp sensor, or if it depends on the reading from the TC...but from my experience, after wrapping the project box with the electric blanket for a few minutes, the PID will kick on.   ???

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       }=)))))))'>

Offline Patience

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2008, 03:56:36 pm »
I don't think the Auber PID will shutoff in cold weather, atleast I havn't had this happen yet, has it with your set up?  I've used my PID in windy single digit temps, it turns on and goes to work, even after being stored outside in a shed until used.  I havn't noticed any variation in outcome during the smoke whether the weather is below 32 or not.

 I housed mine in a RS project box with using the aluminum mounting plate inside for the SSR.  Perhaps this creates enough heat for the PID in temps below 32 deg, I don't know.  I have never used a blanket, though last week I threw together a 4x2x4 foot box made from the pink 2 inch thick foam from Home Depot.  I punched a 4 inch vent top for gas heaters through the roof over the BS and raised the bottom to give about an inch of space from the ground creating the draft.  It worked well, the temp outside was 9 degrees with 15MPH winds, the thermometer on the inside of my foam fortress was 27 deg. when the box was at 210 deg. for the duration of the cook.  I never noticed the operating temp limits of the PID until this post.  Out of sight out of mind I guess, but I have never had a problem yet. 

Hey zerolimits, from your pics,  I think I do the same thing you do.  I aim my PID readout to the bedroom window, and whenever I wake during the am hours, I squint through the window from bed and make note of the temps.  I love to see the smoke whisp out of the BS and the temp holding steady from the comforts of the bed.  I have to make a window in my new pink foam house so I can still see the readout during the cold months. 
A well used minimum suffices for everything -- Phileas Fogg

Offline MRH

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2008, 04:31:10 pm »
I have used mine in the cold too, without any troubles.  I had it in my shed and it was 20 deg and it worked fine the other day.  Wind seems to be one of the bigger problems when it is cold  to get the temp up.  That blanket looks like it would help!

Mark

Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2008, 10:10:22 pm »
was 51 over night low ... does that count  ???

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Offline iceman

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 01:53:56 pm »
was 51 over night low ... does that count  ???

Minus 45 F at work and minus 25 at the house. Plus 60 in the new smoke house. YES!!!! Smoke on!
I think the only reason Auber is worried about the operating temp is due to the risk of condensation. The SSR heats up and causes moisture in the enclosure if your not careful. On my larger smokers I draw 15 / 20 amps and the 50 amp SSR cooling fins get real hot so I can see how condensation could ruin the PID. I used to use solid state thermostats on the old smokers all winter and it seemed they would crap out once a year do to fried circuit boards that got corroded due to moisture on them in cold spells.

Offline Gizmo

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 08:19:18 pm »
Ice,
Fried is what you do in hot oil.
Don't you mean "smoked circuit boards".   :-\
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Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 09:31:33 pm »
 :D na giz I think he is saying it is all a result of when they ...crap out... lots of moisture and heat in crap  8)

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Offline Zerolimits

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2008, 07:17:34 pm »


I don't think the Auber PID will shutoff in cold weather, atleast I havn't had this happen yet, has it with your set up?  I've used my PID in windy single digit temps, it turns on and goes to work, even after being stored outside in a shed until used.  I havn't noticed any variation in outcome during the smoke whether the weather is below 32 or not.

I never noticed the operating temp limits of the PID until this post.  Out of sight out of mind I guess, but I have never had a problem yet.

Hey zerolimits, from your pics,  I think I do the same thing you do.  I aim my PID readout to the bedroom window, and whenever I wake during the am hours, I squint through the window from bed and make note of the temps.  I love to see the smoke whisp out of the BS and the temp holding steady from the comforts of the bed.  I have to make a window in my new pink foam house so I can still see the readout during the cold months. 


Sorry for the tardy response...new job keeping me hopping.

I too store my OBS/PID out in the frigid garage, and when I plug everything in, I don't get a readout on the PID, and the power light for the OBS doesn't come on.  The smoke/puck unit does get power though.

So, this is why I decided to rig the electric blanket and heat up the project box.  It works, so I ain't a fixin it!!  Glad to hear that others aren't having the same problem with their PID though in cold temps.



Quote
Hey zerolimits, from your pics,  I think I do the same thing you do.  I aim my PID readout to the bedroom window, and whenever I wake during the am hours, I squint through the window from bed and make note of the temps.  I love to see the smoke whisp out of the BS and the temp holding steady from the comforts of the bed.  I have to make a window in my new pink foam house so I can still see the readout during the cold months.

Yeah, I feel like a little kid sometimes, just marveling at the temps on my PID, and wondering how things are going inside the box.  let me know if you figure out a way to rig something up to see the meat inside, without opening the door!   ;D
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       }=)))))))'>

Offline nodak

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Re: PID & OBS - Smoking In Cold Weather (pics)
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2008, 09:23:45 pm »
Zero limits I had the same concern of the minimum temperature. For my PID I bought a probe from Omega and had them make me up a 10' extension cord for it as well (as they say your supposed to use the same wire).  I did this so I could set PID in the garage/house and run the cord to the probe through the door/window in the winter.