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Heater Meter - Where to Start


psych
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Just wondering if there are others around here that can help me figure out exactly what's needed for the Heater Meter and give tips on how to connect it to the KJ Classic 2 when the time comes. I've scoured their website and get the basics. I plan on purchasing the following:

 

Heater Meter Soldered w/ fan

12 volt power

Case

 

I already own a Raspberry PI 3B and SD Card. I need to do more research on probes since it seems the Maverick 733 probes I own won't cut it, but that should be easy. I also feel pretty confident in my ability to set up the PI and configure it.

 

Here's where I'm not so sure:

 

1. Servos/Dampers - What are they and do I need one? *Edit* I think I answered this question myself. See here: https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?54072-Kamado-Joe-Classic-Do-I-need-a-damper

 

2. If I do need one - is there one kind that works best for my use on the Classic. Between "Adapt a Damper", "Roto Damper", and others I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

 

3. Finally, how do I connect this mess to the Classic

 

I'm not opposed to putting in a bit of work to get this up and running, but I'm not mechanically inclined so soldering anything is a bit beyond my comfort level.

 

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Welcome to the Heatermeter set.

 

Since you already have a Raspberry Pi 3B, the Heatermeter 4.3 is the right choice.

 

Next decision is pit probe type.  There are pros and cons listed on the Heatermeter store site. I went with the thermocouple type and I highly recommend that type.

 

Next comes damper / blower choice.  If you buy the standard blower then chose a damper that uses that same blower. A damper is the best way to go in the long run and while there are many choices, they all work well so don't feel like you will make a mistake one way or another. Your damper choice will influence how you connect it to the kamado. Most dampers will connect to a BBQ guru adapter plate:

 

https://www.bbqguru.com/storenav?CategoryId=2&ProductId=14

 

If you can make the equivalent yourself out of sheet metal then feel free.

 

Some dampers are sold "complete" just like the Heatermeter. If that's what you want then that will help make your decision. If you chose to "print and build" or "buy and build" the damper then that will also affect which design you chose.

 

If it seems overwhelming that's because there are lots of choices.  Choices = freedom so that's a good thing. There are people here and on the Heatermeter forum that will be glad to help.

 

I hope that helps get you started.

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Pretty much agree with all of the above. 

 

Looks like the HM you are getting has the Type K connector. I bought a thermocouple Type K connectors off of Amazon and made the connection myself. 

 

I use thermoworks probes and got the BBQ Guru plate.

 

The micro damper wasn't around when I built mine, so I went with the roto damper and haven't had any issues with it. I had Ralph (over on the tvwbb site) print the roto damper and sliding case for me.

 

I've since purchased a 3D printer and have printed some of these to hold my probes. They work great. 

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1962968 

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Hey gang, thanks for all the tips. I went ahead and purchased the pre-soldered boards, case, and PS as mentioned in the OP. I had emailed the guy who makes the MicroDamper but I noticed he seems to have slowed down posting on the forums and I haven't received a response in a few days so I just asked Ralph to make up a RotoDamper for me (thanks @cschaaf)


I still have to do a little more investigation into probes, but I was thinking of something like this (same as cschaaf again) for a food probe and this for a pit probe. They're straight off the HeaterMeter GitHub wiki so they should work, but I'm open to other compatible options if anyone wants to share.

 

The hardest part of this journey is the damper/servo, I think. Ralph suggested Tower Pro MG90s servo for the RotoDamper but I'm having trouble finding it from someone.. reputable. Hobby King has this but it says "Turnigy", not Tower Pro on it. AdaFruit has one called the MG90D, not MG90S. Amazon has some but they get poor reviews and I'm wary of buying from them because of counterfeits. Anyone got a suggestion on where to get this thing?    @cschaaf

 

Finally, after I get the servo I'll have to "punch" the wires into the jack. Does anyone know if there's an accurate wiring diagram out there to help guide me. Ralph suggested it was as simple as matching colors, and it may be, but heck if I know. I've read the GitHub guide and I'll admit I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with it. Not much seems to make sense.

 

Once again, thanks for the help.

 

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@psychI checked my Amazon history and the servo I ordered shows as currently unavailable. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D812NFS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

 

I don't remember what the connection was like for the servo, but I don't think it was difficult. I do have a phone/ethernet wiring background, though.

 

Once you get everything in hand, it will probably all make sense. If not, don't hesitate to reach out here, on the tvwbb, or PM me on here. There's no point in guessing or struggling through, there are plenty of people that can give you solid advice.

 

If I remember, which has been a personal struggle of late, I will take a look at my damper to see what the wiring looked like to refresh my memory.

 

 

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On 12/2/2018 at 10:35 PM, psych said:

Hey gang, thanks for all the tips. I went ahead and purchased the pre-soldered boards, case, and PS as mentioned in the OP. I had emailed the guy who makes the MicroDamper but I noticed he seems to have slowed down posting on the forums and I haven't received a response in a few days so I just asked Ralph to make up a RotoDamper for me (thanks @cschaaf)


I still have to do a little more investigation into probes, but I was thinking of something like this (same as cschaaf again) for a food probe and this for a pit probe. They're straight off the HeaterMeter GitHub wiki so they should work, but I'm open to other compatible options if anyone wants to share.

 

The hardest part of this journey is the damper/servo, I think. Ralph suggested Tower Pro MG90s servo for the RotoDamper but I'm having trouble finding it from someone.. reputable. Hobby King has this but it says "Turnigy", not Tower Pro on it. AdaFruit has one called the MG90D, not MG90S. Amazon has some but they get poor reviews and I'm wary of buying from them because of counterfeits. Anyone got a suggestion on where to get this thing?    @cschaaf

 

Finally, after I get the servo I'll have to "punch" the wires into the jack. Does anyone know if there's an accurate wiring diagram out there to help guide me. Ralph suggested it was as simple as matching colors, and it may be, but heck if I know. I've read the GitHub guide and I'll admit I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with it. Not much seems to make sense.

 

Once again, thanks for the help.

 

 

I bought a 3 or 4 pack from Amazon so that I would have some spares just in case. Sure, they might be counterfeit but they work fine.

 

Tons of guides to help with the wiring as well. It should be clearer once you have the parts in hand.

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Appreciate the feedback once again. I ended up picking two @ 9:95 from Digikey. Shipping was cheap to. Definitely more expensive than Amazon/eBay, but perhaps worth it. Time will tell, anyway. 

 

Still awaiting RD in the mail. Servo's should be here next week, I would assume. All I need to do is order probe and, if I choose, adapter. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/28/2018 at 9:47 PM, cschaaf said:

Pretty much agree with all of the above. 

 

Looks like the HM you are getting has the Type K connector. I bought a thermocouple Type K connectors off of Amazon and made the connection myself. 

 

I use thermoworks probes and got the BBQ Guru plate.

 

The micro damper wasn't around when I built mine, so I went with the roto damper and haven't had any issues with it. I had Ralph (over on the tvwbb site) print the roto damper and sliding case for me.

 

I've since purchased a 3D printer and have printed some of these to hold my probes. They work great. 

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1962968 

I just got the Roto Damper 3 in and started putting humpty dumpty together as a dry fit before I wire or do anything else. Any tips on securing the RJ45 into the adapter itself. It doesn't seem to fit flush with the exterior, but every other pictures shows that it does.

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On 12/17/2018 at 11:27 PM, psych said:

I just got the Roto Damper 3 in and started putting humpty dumpty together as a dry fit before I wire or do anything else. Any tips on securing the RJ45 into the adapter itself. It doesn't seem to fit flush with the exterior, but every other pictures shows that it does.

Sorry for the delayed response.

 

My RJ45 isn't flush, either. It's friction fitted in there and sits back about 1/4". It works fine. It's a bit harder to push the little tab to get the cable out, but it's still doable. 

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On 12/23/2018 at 10:31 AM, cschaaf said:

Sorry for the delayed response.

 

My RJ45 isn't flush, either. It's friction fitted in there and sits back about 1/4". It works fine. It's a bit harder to push the little tab to get the cable out, but it's still doable. 

Thanks for the response. Any chance you can share a picture of the correct orientation in the control box? I feel like I've nailed it down but I'd like to make sure. 

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I don't have that model of damper so unfortunately I can't help you with that. Do you have the other items yet? I wonder if you have plugged in the heatermeter hardware and probes and such. If you have the main unit and probes then you can use it to monitor your cooks while you figure out the damper.

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21 hours ago, cschaaf said:

Does this help?

D54E63E2-6CA8-4074-AF7A-646DD1CFFFA9.thumb.jpeg.44b31ff4a6263a8470bb1dc0376534db.jpegE8C858C4-34ED-4BB5-B68C-6E702D626265.thumb.jpeg.13a81dec1e411f4a98d92cc385114da7.jpeg

Yes! Absolute legend. Thank you! I'm going to try and get everything wired up this weekend. It looks decently doable even for someone with few DIY skills. After that I'll test blower and servo outside of the grill. The probes are on order and I'm evaluating possibilities to mount to the grill.

 

Many thanks.

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