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Author Topic: My first Arduino - Grill Mod  (Read 1305 times)
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Melbourne, FL
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I have this grill / smoker that uses an auger to push wood pellets (saw dust pressed into what looks like rabbit food) into a fire bowl.  It takes very little electricity and give fantastic flavor to everything!  The trick is that it only has 3 settings: Smoke, Med, and High.  They work by turning the auger on and off for certain amounts of time.  Smoke is 1 min on 3 off, Med is 2 on 2 off, and High is always on.  Different woods burn at different temperatures, and I have enough control issues to want finer tuning.  They sell an add on unit that will let you control this more finely, but its 180 bucks!  So i built my own!



LED tells me when the auger is on, display shows what percentage of the time the auger will be on, and knob is your control.  Small oops, don't use MEK to clean stuff off of those cheap radio shack project boxes.  It uses a solid state relay to do the actual switching



4511 display ICs driving a 2 digit 7-seg display.  



Arduino Pro 5v and a 5v voltage regulator I made after another oops with the arduino on board regulator.  

No schematic because I only started using eagle yesterday, and my code is probably a long messy path around a short fence so I won't damage the coders out there with it.  

Also a very special thank you to RuggedCircuits and SuperCow for helping me figure out my power issues.  Next time Ill use multiplexing!

-Chase
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Palmetto, FL USA
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Very cool. I have a smoker (completely manually powered) and have been thinking about doing something to log / control the temp and humidity during the long smokes (typically 10-15 hours).
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« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 06:41:07 pm by DojoDave » Logged

Melbourne, FL
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@Robert Lee, oh cool, another Fl boy!  I am over in Melbourne.  If it will stop raining here for a day I'll be able to give my new creation a try.  I left enough room in the thing so I could expand with temp sensors for the meat and or chamber and maybe even some wireless capabilities.  The grill I have is a traeger.  Expensive, but well built and it provides good results!

-Chase
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Very nice smoker! Yea, I'm hoping the rain will hold off here as well, I'm prepping some ribs and a brisket to start smoking first thing in the morning. I have a cheap Brinkman cube, but it does the job.

I have an Ethernet module that I haven't had time to play with yet, and was kind of thinking the same thing, meat probe(s), temp sensors, maybe even a couple of steppers to open / close the dampers to help with the temp. And of course logging it all on the pc.

If you are into smoking you might check out http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/. You'll find a real nice, helpful group of people there, and enough knowledge to keep you going for a long time.
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Weather is holding, so I got it attached and am about to go do some chicken.  Thanks for the meats forum, seems like a good place!

-Chase
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So awesome! and practical too
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I'm planning to do a similar mod to my Traeger.  I think I will try to do one step further and add a profile function, so that it will change temp after a preset time, since i often get busy and forget to switch from high to smoke or some other fail.  A couple questions, could you share code you used for on/off control?  the standard traeger control is a little unusual, so i'm curious how you did it or did you just make it variable speed.

What are you using for a temp sensor?

Do you do anything special to start the grill?

I woke up this morning planning this in my head and am now inspired by your success.

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