Puck Feed Problem

Started by BuyLowSellHigh, May 29, 2010, 09:14:17 AM

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Ran into this last two smokes but couldn't figure out what was going on, so spent some time this morning trying to figure it out as I MUST smoke this weekend.  The puck Auto feed on my 6-rack DBS is intermittent - sometimes it feeds, sometimes it doesn't.  When it doesn't you can hear what sound like a solenoid click very briefly but there is no arm movement at all.  Manual fed works BUT sometimes it takes 2 or 3 pushes (not always) to get a puck to advance.  When a single push or the second push doesn't feed a puck you hear the same very brief solenoid click.  It always works by the 3rd push.  Sometimes when I first turn the smoke generator on it feeds a puck immediately, others it doesn't.  It appears that the longest it will run in Auto is 3 pucks, then it quits feeding (sometimes it never feeds even even one puck).

I've tried the solution described in the FAQ about Auto no, Manual yes several times (this one) but the problem persists.

Right now I am reduced to being there every 20 minutes to assure puck feed.  I sent an email to Brain at Bradley, but it is the weekend.  So I am open to help / guidance / suggestions on how to get this working again.  Any ideas?
I like animals, they taste good!

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Why don't you PM Bradley direct. Look on page 27 of the members log. You may get a faster responce. I have a OBS so I can't help you.
I like to walk threw life on the path of least resistance. But sometimes the path needs a good kick in the ass.

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Thanks, Q.  I had sent him an email an he sent me a reply already.  Thinks it's a sticking micro switch.
I like animals, they taste good!

Visit the Recipe site here


I have started to encounter the exact same thing with my 4rack DBS. I will be spraying the micro switch with some contact cleaner tomorrow after I get home from work and take a nap.
Bacon is the Crack Cocaine of the Food World.

Be careful about calling yourself and EXPERT! An ex is a has-been, and a spurt is a drip under pressure!


Fixed - at least for now.  Opened the generator and the first challenge was getting the pusher articulation arm off the microwitch so I could clean it.  Figured out a switchable extension cord (like a power strip) would do the job - hook it up, start a Manual feed cycle, hit the switch to kill it.  Used Radio Shack contact cleaner and some nonabrasive lint-free wipes I keep around to thoroughly clean the micro switch and surrounding area.  Played with it for a about three hours worth of feed cycles and all seemed well. Put it back together and today it performed flawlessly for 3 hours of smoke on the ribs that are getting close to done.  All is well.

Now for an important addendum to the FAQ Answer on the Recipe Site referenced/linked in my first post.  In that answer  it is stated, "For the automatic time cycle to operate properly the motor must run counter clockwise"Apparently that IS NOT the case for the digital version.  The direction of rotation on the digital generator alternates directions on successive cycles - CCW then CW then CCW then CW ... until done.

Brian at Bradley was very helpful, even on the weekend (superb, Brian !).  He has several hypotheses and has been trying to duplicate the problem and pin down the origin, but so far no joy.  My own suspicion is that the microswitch becomes "fouled" by micro wood chip particles or dust from the bisquette pieces that fall inside the generator enclosure.  I have no way of proving or disproving that thought.
I like animals, they taste good!

Visit the Recipe site here


Thanks for the update Eric.

Guess I am a lucky guy for all the Smoking I do, haven't really had a problem.

But good info is nice to know if there is a problem.


I have had this same problem off and on for a while.  I called bradley and they had me clean the switch and lubricate the arm and switch as well.  It worked for a while but the last few smokes I have had the same problem.  This morning before I used the smoker I took apart the generator and cleaned the switch and arm and lubricated it hoping that I would have a stress free smoke today.  But no such luck.  I had to manually feed pucks during the whole smoke.  I love my Bradley but this is very frustrating.


I have been havin this same thing off and on on the last couple smokes.

Cleaned the switch and it fixes the problem for a wile then it happens again.

I should have cleaned the switch this weekend.

I had to go out and check every 20 min.

Some times it would work some times not.

The wife thought I was nuts mowin the lawn with a timer strapped to my neck.


I had a similar problem with my DBS.  I took it apart and found that there was a little chunk of wood that was jammed between the "pusher" and the side wall.  This was preventing the "pusher" from moving.  I removed the little chunk and cleaned everything else out.  Haven't had a problem since.  Good luck


I have encountered this problem also.  At first it looked to be pieces of puck (sawdust) jamming the feed mechanism and I cleaned it out which helped a bit but it still stuck occasionally.  Took it apart again and lubricated the mechanism and slide the puck carrier operates along with silicone grease and it has been OK since.


I cleaned the heck out of mine.  I blew it out with an air duster can, then I lubricated it with WD-40.  I lubricated the mechanism and the slide arm.  It has not seemed to help.  I am still having problems with it!  Any suggestions?  I thought about calling bradley and ordering a new generator but I don't want a new one if that one is just going to have problems as well.


Does the arm move?  I had this problem when I took mine apart. The arm was pushed all the way out.  It took some messin around but with a little delicate persuasion, I was able to get the arm to start moving again.  It's been fine ever since. 

Habanero Smoker

A little more information will help us diagnose the problem? And a call to Bradley is very useful, but they will also need some of the following information. What exactly is the problem with your generator? Does it continuously feed; or feed the bisquettes at random times? Is it jamming? Does the motor run when you push the advance button?

Also I would not use an oil based lubricant that leaves a residue. I lubricate with powdered graphite.



I had a similar problem with my OBS.   I think at one time a puck got jammed.   I cleaned and cleaned.   Still did it.    When I had the SG apart I watched the mechanism.  It sort of worked sometime.    Finally decided to put a new motor in it.   $10 later a new motor arrived from Bradley.    Low and behold the wiring was different.   A quick call to Brian straigtened me out.   Seems my OBS is really old.   I guess an original ;).   Anyway it now works properly.


Sometimes, there is a misalignment of the feed tube and the hole the pucks drop through to get to the pusher.  With an empty feed tube, look down into the smoke generator and see if this aligns.
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