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First run with the Fireboard 2 Drive


loki
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Waiting, waiting, waiting for the Kamado Big Joe to arrive. Nothing.

 

Welp, expecting friends from out of town this weekend and can wait no longer. So, I picked up a Weber Summit Charcoal grill (kamado style) along with a Pit Viper fan. Once the Big Joe arrives I'll have two Kamados!

 

Anyhow, I tried the new Fireboard 2 Drive on this grill along with a Pit Viper fan for a hot smoked pork belly session.

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I was in a bit of a rush to get things going so I used the fan to stoke the coals up to temperature with a target of 225F. With the Weber bottom vent fully closed and the top vent 1/4 open, the temperature initially overshot about 15 degrees. I brought the temperature down by opening the lid briefly when adding the belly and to make other adjustments (the dips in the graph).

 

Once things were settled in, though, the temperature was regulated on the order of tenths of a degree around the 225F target :-o. That's pretty awesome.

 

Sitting at the computer typing emails and monitoring the temperatures on a browser. With the Fireboard 2 Drive and the kamado, this set-up has better performance and regulation than our kitchen oven.

 

 

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That graph says it all.  That sort of temperature tracking is excellent news Loki.  Thanks for posting.

 

I see that there were 3 temp overshoots.  Is there a setting to adjust / control the fan activity when the ambient air within the grill is below the set point. I'm thinking that while the grill is coming up to temp, I wouldn't want to use the fan to artifically expand the surface area of the fire, as it will probably "naturally" grow to be enough without increasing the airflow (volume of inbound oxygen (fuel)).

 

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Loki, re-reading your comments, I see that you mention you had the lower vent closed, and were using a Pit Viper fan.  So does that mean you effectively have a second source airflow pathway into your Weber (through the port where your Pit Viper was mounted)? Or does the Pit Viper mount on, or in lieu of, the "regular" lower vent?  In which case the fan was cycling as it was the only source of oxygen for the burning charcoal?

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6 hours ago, Dogstar said:

So does that mean you effectively have a second source airflow pathway into your Weber (through the port where your Pit Viper was mounted)

 

Correct, on the Summit Charcoal there is a small circular hole with a pop-out metal cover close to the firebox. Pop it out and mount the fan with the proper adapter. Close the bottom vent. Fan was the only source of oxygen beyond any leaks for this run.

 

7 hours ago, Dogstar said:

I'm thinking that while the grill is coming up to temp, I wouldn't want to use the fan to artifically expand the surface area of the fire, as it will probably "naturally" grow to be enough without increasing the airflow

 

Yes, that's probably the correct way to do it.

 

I was in a 'rush' and was on a work conference call at the time. So I tried to stoke it with the fan without cluing my colleagues into that I was BBQ'ing with a margarita in hand. It only overshot ~15 degrees which I wasn't too concerned with. Happened to help get it closer by opening the cover. It was also the first time I've ever tried this method of temp. control.

 

6 hours ago, John Setzler said:

I have one of these on order... dunno when it will arrive

 

It seems like a very nice unit. And, remote monitoring is great.

 

I even dropped mine onto asphalt without apparent damage (not recommended).

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1 minute ago, loki said:

 

Correct, on the Summit Charcoal there is a small circular hole with a pop-out metal cover close to the firebox. Pop it out and mount the fan with the proper adapter. Close the bottom vent. 

 

 

Yes, that's probably the correct way to do it.

 

I was in a 'rush' and was on a work conference call at the time. So I tried to stoke it with the fan without cluing my colleagues into that I was BBQ'ing with a margarita in hand. It only overshot ~15 degrees which I wasn't too concerned with. Happened to help get it closer by opening the cover. It was also the first time I've ever tried this method of temp. control.

 

 

It seems like a very nice unit. And, remote monitoring is great.

 

I even dropped mine onto asphalt without apparent damage (not recommended).

 

There are two things I specifically DO NOT Like about the Fireboard...

 

1 - you can't control the device from the device.  A smart device is required to operate it.

 

2 - it doesn't come with any way to stand it up or stick it to something where you can see it easily.  They sell you an expensive add-on for that functionality.

 

I have the original fireboard.  I'm really not sure if this fireboard is giving me anything that the original doesn't.  The graph on the device screen may have a 'cool' factor but what is that really worth?

 

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10 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

you can't control the device from the device.  A smart device is required to operate it.

 

The new version allows you to set both automatic temperature settings or manual fan speed from the device. You don't really need the 'cloud' to utilize it although the cloud interface looks nice.

 

Also, as soon as you plug in a probe, it is recognized and begins recording. You can set the fan temperature control to use a specific probe, as well.

 

And, it has a fairly hefty battery. For the three hours or so, it ran the fan and used maybe 15% of the battery.

 

10 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

it doesn't come with any way to stand it up or stick it to something where you can see it easily.

 

Agree, I knock mine off where it was sitting onto the asphalt. They supposedly are going to have a magnetic mount for this in the future.

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53 minutes ago, loki said:

 

The new version allows you to set both automatic temperature settings or manual fan speed from the device. You don't really need the 'cloud' to utilize it although the cloud interface looks nice.

 

Also, as soon as you plug in a probe, it is recognized and begins recording. You can set the fan temperature control to use a specific probe, as well.

 

And, it has a fairly hefty battery. For the three hours or so, it ran the fan and used maybe 15% of the battery.

 

 

Agree, I knock mine off where it was sitting onto the asphalt. They supposedly are going to have a magnetic mount for this in the future.

 

I don't understand the manual control you describe here... can you tell me a little more about that?  I know you don't need the cloud because I think it allows you to connect your phone to it via bluetooth of you want to but it still requires the phone.  Is there any way to set a target temperature for the pit from the device itself without the phone?

 

The mag mount case option for the first version was $55....

 

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On 6/25/2020 at 8:35 PM, John Setzler said:

Is there any way to set a target temperature for the pit from the device itself without the phone?

 

The target temperature can be set from the device. I'll get some photos of the set-up in the next day or so.

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1 hour ago, John Setzler said:

Mine will be here tomorrow so i'll get to look at it first hand... thanks!

Just took some photos, so here is the info on operating it stand-alone.

 

The device may need a smart device (bluetooth/Android) to initially set-up (and get sw updates) but I have confirmed that you do not need either to operate the device afterwards (disconnected the WIFI and Bluetooth). It's a bit more clunky to do so but here are some photos illustrating the menus for the "Drive" fan:

 

Press the "Drive" Button:

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There are three modes: "Off", "Manual", and "Automatic":

WP_20200627_006.thumb.jpg.756b5ee7f44bcf5343aea8f4d2415b01.jpg

 

Manual mode allows you to set the fan speed but has no connection to the temperature probes:

WP_20200627_005.thumb.jpg.b7627564f3694d3ea131ae214fb1e911.jpg

 

Automatic mode allows you to set the target temperature along with which probe to utilize as the reference:

WP_20200627_008.thumb.jpg.c5c1c7ca9a6a2fa6dc3fe05c215fe764.jpg

 

You can change the set-point and the channel from the device buttons.

 

There are a bunch of settings for the fan including the type of PID that may only be available from a connected device. Maybe the alerts, too. So, to do some advanced tuning, you'll likely need to do that from a connected smart device. Hope this is helpful.

 

 

 

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how do you like it? close to pulling trigger on a control device. I dont like the idea of a device that is only controlled by phone (so no to Flameboss 400). i like the idea of seeing the temperature on the device. But its also nice to be able to see the temps on the phone (so no to DigiQ). does it do any text or alerts when you hit pit or food temperature? i like that it can all run on the battery, i dont have an outlet close to where my KJ is

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2 hours ago, TrentR said:

how do you like it?

 

I like it so far, surpasses my expectations. Keeping in mind, this is the first controller for me. Basic function can be controlled directly on the device. Accessing advanced/more-thorough set of functions are from the 'cloud' or 'app'.

 

Yes, you can set-up alerts. In order to do so for that feature though, I think you'll need the 'cloud' connection. Or, I haven't seen that setting on the device yet. It'll do emails, local alerts, and SMS (text messages). If using the 'app' on a smart device (and without internet connectivity), I'd imagine you'd loose the SMS and email alerts but retain the local alerts.

 

One thing I don't like about the alerts is that they appears to be a 'global' channel setting as opposed to a 'session' setting. So, you have to update it depending on your target for a particular cook. I'd rather have seen it as a per session alert but it really doesn't matter, I suppose.

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12 minutes ago, loki said:

 

I like it so far, surpasses my expectations. Keeping in mind, this is the first controller for me. Basic function can be controlled directly on the device. Accessing advanced/more-thorough set of functions are from the 'cloud' or 'app'.

 

Yes, you can set-up alerts. In order to do so for that feature though, I think you'll need the 'cloud' connection. Or, I haven't seen that setting on the device yet. It'll do emails, local alerts, and SMS (text messages). If using the 'app' on a smart device (and without internet connectivity), I'd imagine you'd loose the SMS and email alerts but retain the local alerts.

 

One thing I don't like about the alerts is that they appears to be a 'global' channel setting as opposed to a 'session' setting. So, you have to update it depending on your target for a particular cook. I'd rather have seen it as a per session alert but it really doesn't matter, I suppose.

thanks for the info. Im in the tech business, so internet connection around my house is not a problem. cloud connection would not be an issue.

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