Jump to content

Recommended Posts

22 hours ago, moloch16 said:

Anyone use one on their Akorn?  If so what did you do to make it fit?

 

With the new Smoke X release, I'm starting to think it's time...

 

Same here, watching this thread. 

 

PS I'm so pissed I bot the Smoke a year ago along with the wifi etc... I also JUST got a Pitmaster IQ110 :banghead:

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I had already modified my lower slider with a flat piece of sheetmetal, just didn't like that curved end for accurate adjustments and for shutting down. I don't see much of a way to mount it with the stock slider, plus the mounting plates I ordered weren't even close to the groove size.

Got my Signals and Billows last Thursday and did 2 meatless burns to get it dialed in while using my TTT. Figured out to just initially set it where I normally do and the Billows takes good care of the fire. I would guess that if you are still using the daisy wheel, it would be the same.

Start a small fire in the lump, open the bottom wide open, get the Signals and Billows rigged up with the grate probe, put the deflector on, then the grate and close the lid. Let the temperature come up to @160 and then close the bottom til it's about the size of the Billows opening and mount it. Plug the fan wire in and away it goes. The fan shuts off @20 degrees before the target and cycles in short bursts til it gets there.

Mine overshoots the set temp by about 8 degrees for about the first hour of cycling and then settles in. Did a chuck roast first and was I ever impressed! As I type this, I have a rack of baby backs on and it's been holding within 2 degrees for about 4 hours.

 

Edited by Tenkiller Lakerat
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Tenkiller Lakerat said:

I had already modified my lower slider with a flat piece of sheetmetal, just didn't like that curved end for accurate adjustments and for shutting down. I don't see much of a way to mount it with the stock slider, plus the mounting plates I ordered weren't even close to the groove size.

Got my Signals and Billows last Thursday and did 2 meatless burns to get it dialed in while using my TTT. 

 

Pushing and pulling! 

I like it.I would think that would be ideal for an Akorn, to keep it from running away. Mine still wants to climb at the end of long cooks if you open the lid at all. 

I have an older Smoke, myself. I use a cheap pid and the TTT, lately at the same time. I have stabilised at lower temperatures than before. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lnarngr said:

Pushing and pulling! 

I like it.I would think that would be ideal for an Akorn, to keep it from running away. Mine still wants to climb at the end of long cooks if you open the lid at all. 

I have an older Smoke, myself. I use a cheap pid and the TTT, lately at the same time. I have stabilised at lower temperatures than before. 

The latest Signals has the open lid sensing feature that works rather well. Yesterday while smoking the ribs, I opened the lid twice. the fan came on for just a second or two, then shut off. Apparently it reads the sudden temp drop. Chamber temp dropped to @ 160 while doing my thing and after closing the lid again the fan didn't come back on and climbed past my target of 225 to 232. Signals then took back over and continued the cook at 225.

The Smoke I have is what convinced me to upgrade to the Signals and Billows combo because of it's quality and ease of use. The Smoke has now been stored away.

. BTW. I took the whole daisy wheel assembly off and just jam the TTT into the hole. I didn't permanently seal it off so that when the flapper gets gummed up I can remove the dial and soak the rest of it it in carburetor cleaner overnight.

Edited by Tenkiller Lakerat
Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Tenkiller Lakerat said:

The latest Signals has the open lid sensing feature that works rather well. Yesterday while smoking the ribs, I opened the lid twice. the fan came on for just a second or two, then shut off. Apparently it reads the sudden temp drop. Chamber temp dropped to @ 160 while doing my thing and after closing the lid again the fan didn't come back on and climbed past my target of 225 to 232. Signals then took back over and continued the cook at 225.

The Smoke I have is what convinced me to upgrade to the Signals and Billows combo because of it's quality and ease of use. The Smoke has now been stored away.

. BTW. I took the whole daisy wheel assembly off and just jam the TTT into the hole. I didn't permanently seal it off so that when the flapper gets gummed up I can remove the dial and soak the rest of it it in carburetor cleaner overnight.

 

Tenkiller, thanks for the great info!  Waiting for the Smoke X to go on sale and will probably pick it up with a Billows.  This all assume the economy doesn't leave me jobless six months from now when the Smoke X finally goes on sale :P

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, moloch16 said:

 

Tenkiller, thanks for the great info!  Waiting for the Smoke X to go on sale and will probably pick it up with a Billows.  This all assume the economy doesn't leave me jobless six months from now when the Smoke X finally goes on sale :P

If you are interested, the Signals is on sale now.https://www.thermoworks.com/Signals

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I am convinced that Signals is great! But, I have a Char-griller Akorn kamado and I am yet to be convinced billows is going to work.

As of right now, I have it in the lower vent just kind of sandwiched between the slider and the spring clip has tension on the static edge. It is mostly sealed and I feel like there is a solution to this. Maybe I could cut a piece a sheet metal that I can slid into the slider grooves. I don't want anything permanent because I do more than smoke on this sucker.

Anyways, I overshot my temp by at least 50 degrees my first time around. Still learning this thing.

But, maybe I could get some advice about how to fab and mount the billows unit?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Resurrecting this thread!

 

So I finally bought the Smoke X and Billows to give it a try.  Well, it doesn't work well at all.  In my opinion, the problem is the Akorn is too well insulated and the Billows control logic is not programmed to handle how the Akorn works.

 

First attempt with Billows, I just plugged everything in and lit a little charcoal.  I knew this wouldn't work but just wanted to see what happened.  Billows started blowing like crazy so I knew it would overshoot the temp by a wide margin.  Sure enough by the time Billows decided to stop blowing it was too late.  Was aiming for 275 it went to 375.

 

Second try I decided I would babysit billows by slowing raising the temp on the Smoke X.  This seemed to be working and I had hope.  I slowly raised the temps a little at a time so that Billows was only puffing at the fire, not blowing full-force.  As the temp got closer to 275 I raised it slower and slower.

 

I thought I had it steady but for some reason after hitting 275 and no more output from Billows, the temp kept rising slowly until it was close to 300.  After thinking for a bit why this would be happening, I settled on the the theory that although the Billows fan isn't blowing, it still allows more air in through the hole than needed to keep steady at 275.

 

So I closed the top vent a little more to solve the mystery air problem, and waited.  Well, it seems the fire essentially snuffed out waiting for the temperature to fall enough for Billows to start puffing again.

 

So summing up, I don't think the Akorn needs as much air as Billows wants to give it, and when it reaches the target temp, it holds it for so long the fire is starved of oxygen.

 

That concludes my Billows experiment, I'm selling the Smoke X and Billows on Ebay and will be content to just use the TTT going foward.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang! Works great on my Akorn. I start my fire with my vent and TTT settings as I normally would without the Billows and when it gets to my target temp I mount the Billows. If it overshoots the target consistently, I adjust the TTT a little. I made an adjustable air inlet for the Billows (some folks just use masking tape). Makes the fan cycle longer and it seems to make very little difference so I don't even bother with it now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/23/2020 at 9:52 PM, Tenkiller Lakerat said:

Dang! Works great on my Akorn. I start my fire with my vent and TTT settings as I normally would without the Billows and when it gets to my target temp I mount the Billows. If it overshoots the target consistently, I adjust the TTT a little. I made an adjustable air inlet for the Billows (some folks just use masking tape). Makes the fan cycle longer and it seems to make very little difference so I don't even bother with it now.

 

Glad it's working for you!  I've found with the TTT the temps are stable enough that the fan isn't really needed.  My TTT went missing, took it off with plans to clean it and it just disappeared.  I assumed I must have accidentally thrown it away somehow, so that gave me a good excuse to try out Billows.  Just this weekend I was cleaning the garage and the TTT reappeared, I'll be glad to see it back on the Akorn.  Wish I had had it to try with Billows like you're doing, but oh well.  I've found with the TTT the temps are very stable, so the fan is just a fun toy but not necessary, especially when you look at the cost of the TTT vs fan controller.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I mounted billows by simply drilling a 1.25” hole in the stock slider. If I don’t want to use billows, I can cover the hole with high-temp tape or a magnet.

 

Havent had time to test it out yet but I’ll do so this weekend and report back.
 

Also - ThermoWorks now sells a plastic damper that you put over top of the fan and you can reduce the cfm, which is probably necessary for the Akorn since the Billows seems like it was built for bigger cookers that need more air.

 

you can also see my Nomex gasket and a little of my copper rtv.   
 

 

765C3B94-C5AF-4487-A66F-88927C08FCC9.jpeg

71CFF015-AC37-457A-8A22-7CF8976A6FC8.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Finally got a chance to try this out.  Definitely going to take some trial/error.  I used the plastic demper jawn that they sell which allows you to restrict the air flow as much as you want.  I think this accessory is a necessary addition.

 

For reference - when smoking without Billows, I usually hold my temp when I have the intake just barely open.  You can't even see air - it's at the left-most screw.  The top is also just barely open - just the little half-moon shaped ones are open - so basically like 1 or 2mm.  I have never gotten it to hold temps with either intake or exhaust more open.  I've also done a full gasket replacement with nomex, and have RTVd around the intake - and the whole thing is air tight.

 

Filled firebox with kJ lump.  Dug a little divett in the middle and inserted half a wax starter.  Let it burn with lid open for 5-10 mins, scattered the lit coals a little bit, then inserted deflector and grate, and closed the lid.

 

Set Billows to 225 via Signals.  Left top damper open while it came up to temp.  Initial fire was very low, so it took around 20 mins just to creep up to even 150.  Here's where things went awry.  I reduced the top damper to half so as to slow the rise, but with the fan, it didn't matter.  It blew past 200 before I could even close the top more, and then even once I closed it to just barely cracked, it still continued up to 290.  Once the fire got going it really got going and couldn't be stopped.

 

Next time I'm going to start with the top damper mostly closed to begin with, and just let it take however long it takes to get up to temp.  My fear is that even when the fan on Billows isn't on, it's still going to let too much air in (hence why I got the adjustable plastic thingamabob for it).  I have a feeling I'll end up running it with the Billows intake practically shut, which will certainly make the fan work harder, but once it gets to temp, the fan shouldn't have to work too much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...