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KJTerp

Hi, I'm KJTerp, and I would like to know more about Temp Controllers

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Yes the Ubiquiti Amplifi is indeed a very capable plug 'n play product and looks gorgeous. The mesh points (wands) are on magnetic ball joints so are immune from kids, pets and vacuum cleaners. The cube router and the wands form a mesh wi-fi network so you get 100% coverage and high speeds. They are so confident about that they constantly display the current up/down speeds on the screen. Being a bit of a geek I have four Ubiquiti wired Access points, their Security Gateway and Controller with rock solid seamless wifi throughout the house and gardens. If I was going to do it again though I would opt for the Amplifi.

https://store.amplifi.com/products/amplifi-mesh-system

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This has been an amazing and informative thread.  Thank you all contributors... I hope I can keep reading about other temp control systems people are using and the pros and cons of each.  Being in Canada, I'm sort of limited in my options (FB being the easiest to find up North), but I do visit the States quite often so I am open to others.

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19 hours ago, John Setzler said:

 

The OP also said he had sketchy wifi connectivity.  You just can't have all the bells and whistles when you have a marginal setup.

 

This is the reason many temp controllers offer a direct wi-fi connection. Instead of relying on your ISP supplied router the controller creates its own wi-fi hub so you can tell your smartphone to link to it rather than the router. Basically it works like a walkie-talkie and allows the user to have all the "bells and whistles". Downside is you will not be connected to your home wi-fi if you rely on it for surfing/emails etc.

 

Pretty much all ISP supplied routers are given away free so are built down to a price thus marginalising performance. The fix was to use wi-fi repeaters but each of these halve your download/upload speeds hence the rise of 'mesh' wifi systems which maintain speeds and increase coverage. There is a choice of the Ubiquity Amplifi, Google Whole Home, TP-Link Deco, Netgear Orbi, Linksys Velop, Tenda Nova amongst others all of which will give seamless wi-fi roaming throughout your house, maximum speeds, dozens of users and extended range. Highly recommended if only to be able to get all the benefits from your temp controller!

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I really appreciate the mesh setup info. It's just not in the cards right now to drop 200-300 bucks on a controller, and 200-300 bucks on a good mesh setup when i'll probably need to spend that money on things like diapers, bottle nipples, and coffee.

Perhaps in a few years when that tech has leaped forward again i'll get fully connected.

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1 hour ago, Heuer said:

This is the reason many temp controllers offer a direct wi-fi connection. Instead of relying on your ISP supplied router the controller creates its own wi-fi hub so you can tell your smartphone to link to it rather than the router. Basically it works like a walkie-talkie and allows the user to have all the "bells and whistles". Downside is you will not be connected to your home wi-fi if you rely on it for surfing/emails etc.

 

Pretty much all ISP supplied routers are given away free so are built down to a price thus marginalising performance. The fix was to use wi-fi repeaters but each of these halve your download/upload speeds hence the rise of 'mesh' wifi systems which maintain speeds and increase coverage. There is a choice of the Ubiquity Amplifi, Google Whole Home, TP-Link Deco, Netgear Orbi, Linksys Velop, Tenda Nova amongst others all of which will give seamless wi-fi roaming throughout your house, maximum speeds, dozens of users and extended range. Highly recommended if only to be able to get all the benefits from your temp controller!

 

I recently installed the Velop here but once again, I was just answering the original question as presented.  When the original poster said he had sketchy wifi, he didn't say he was willing to go spend $400-500 to fix that.  Any problem can be fixed when you throw enough money at it.  I didn't offer to fix his problems.  I just offered the best solution for his existing situation.

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And just a word about Bluetooth.  Bluetooth is up to version 5 now and it ain't yer old Bluetooth with zero range guys.  My lowly Inkbird has (I think) one of the version 4 iterations (4.2 I think) and gets more than 150 feet.  Bluetooth is now up to version 5 with even longer ranges. 

 

Here is my Inkbird transmitting entirely through my house, across the front yard and across the street.  The grill (and unit) are on a patio behind the house in the photo.  I took the photo just as the connection got sketchy and was finally lost.  Not too shabby for Bluetooth, eh?  (I speak fluent Canadian :) )

 

So before saying ALL Bluetooth is very short range, check which version the equipment you are thinking of buying is using.

 

Tom

IMG_20190820_180726518.jpg

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Bluetooth range is determined by the class of device (radio chip) rather than the Bluetooth version. The various software iterations (latest is V5.1 January 2019) seek to increase speeds and reduce power along with many other usability improvements for the Internet of Things. Range is radio power-class-dependent. 

 

Class 3 radios found in headphones (1 mW power) have a range of up to 3 ft

Class 2 radios found in mobile devices (maximum allowed power of 2.5mW) a range of up to 33 ft

Class 1 radios are primarily for industrial use and mains powered (max power of 100mW) a range of up to 300 ft. 

 

Having different classes of device in a link will not improve range, with the lower class device determining the effective range.

 

Bluetooth Marketing says Class 1 range is  usually 66–98 ft, and Class 2 is 16–33 ft. The actual range achieved depends on the qualities of the devices at either end of the link, the air conditions and any physical obstructions. Lots of intervening factors.

 

Bluetooth 5.1 does have options that can quadruple the range at the expense of data rates and vice versa but that is the choice of the device supplier. It is designed for IoT devices like door/window switches where there is a simple open or closed signal to be transmitted.

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Look at the photo I posted.  Whatever chipset that is, I am happy with the range.  And it is WAY longer than 33 feet.  WAY, WAY longer.


Tom

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12 minutes ago, T_om said:

Look at the photo I posted.  Whatever chipset that is, I am happy with the range.  And it is WAY longer than 33 feet.  WAY, WAY longer.


Tom

Looks like you're using EasyBBQ app the cheap 2 probe thermometer I have uses that app and it's range way out distances my BBQube temp controller.

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6 hours ago, T_om said:

Look at the photo I posted.  Whatever chipset that is, I am happy with the range.  And it is WAY longer than 33 feet.  WAY, WAY longer.


Tom

Try doing the test again but this time turn Bluetooth off on your phone before leaving the house. Walk the distance, switch Bluetooth back on and try connecting to your temp controller.

 

What you saw before was latency in the app and the temp update delay. All Bluetooth does is establish a 2.4Ghz radio link between two devices with a published maximum range of 33 feet. Very similar to Wi-Fi but without the power output (100mW vs 2.5wM). 

 

Nothing to do with Bluetooth software version or make of app, just simple physics. If you had been in line of sight of the temp controller then maybe the signal would have reached but with a house, windows, furnishings, insulation, pipework, and wiring in the way it seems improbable. As a guide even the more powerful 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi signal is reflected and blocked by a simple mirror.

 

David

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Thanks @Heuer for all the great info.  I think I am going to get the FB400.  It’s $299 CAD, readily available in the north parts and pretty much the least expensive/good quality option in this neck of the woods.

 

Now the only question is how I sneak it into the house without the warden (aka wifey) knowing. :-D

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13 hours ago, Struja said:

Thanks @Heuer for all the great info.  I think I am going to get the FB400.  It’s $299 CAD, readily available in the north parts and pretty much the least expensive/good quality option in this neck of the woods.

 

You are more than welcome Struja and I am sure you will be delighted with the Fire Boss. I carefully researched all the various products and came to the conclusion that it offers the best cost/performance/support ratio of any of them. The two owner brothers are dedicated BBQ enthusiasts and they are nimble and smart enough to out-pace big brand companies in terms of development without bloat. It always brings a smile  to my face when I plug the FB in and there is a firmware update to what I thought was a perfect product. These are rarely bug fixes but rather improvements and tweaks to their temperature tracking algorithms. 

 

I should add that I have no financial interest in the company, just that after 25 years in the software industry I know a good product when I see it!

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3 minutes ago, Heuer said:

You are more than welcome Struja and I am sure you will be delighted with the Fire Boss. I carefully researched all the various products and came to the conclusion that it offers the best cost/performance/support ratio of any of them. The two owner brothers are dedicated BBQ enthusiasts and they are nimble and smart enough to out-pace big brand companies in terms of development without bloat. It always brings a smile  to my face when I plug the FB in and there is a firmware update to what I thought was a perfect product. These are rarely bug fixes but rather improvements and tweaks to their temperature tracking algorithms. 

 

I should add that I have no financial interest in the company, just that after 25 years in the software industry I know a good product when I see it!

I am planning on doing a Prime Rib Roast in my KJ on Saturday, so that will hopefully be the test run for the FB400!!!

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I got my FB400 and it took me a firmware upgrade before I got it working but it works like a charm.  I absolutely love it and it is perfect for my needs.

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I have a fireboard thermometer and temp controller and I'm a big fan of it. It works off of bluetooth and wifi and has been a great improvement for me. I also have a RecTec Stampede pellet pooper and my fireboard is just about as steady as my rec tec.

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