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my first offset build
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06 14 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave up years ago on specialty thermometers for home use, and went the pro way with a plug in type that will take any K type thermocouple. The thermocouples are cheap enough you can wire them directly into the smoker and just plug in your controller to check. There are tons of these out there, with just as many different probe types. I'd suggest buying a good measurement unit then a bunch of different probe types. Here's a google link to get an idea:

LINK!
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06 14 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JLCBBQ wrote:
Thinking about pulling the trigger on two 3" Tel-Tru thermometers to install on the left and right hand side of the cooking chamber door. I know having the stem closer to the grate is always better, but I'm leaning towards the 2.5" stems. I worry about a longer stem hitting my food and losing some usable cooking space. I also plan on using some oven thermometers inside and getting a digital maverick for more accurate readings. What do y'all think? Will these be a good enough ball park reference, or will I be wasting my time/money?
Also, the best deal I have found online for two 3" Tel-Trus and the mounting hardware is $85.46, shipped, does this sound reasonable or is there a better place to get them? And is the "mounting hardware" absolutely necessary, or is it something that can be found at the hardware store? Dont mind paying for quality thermos, but 10 bucks for some nuts and washers seems steep.
I know there are cheaper thermos out there that probably work just as good, but I am prone to buyers remorse and I try to stick with American made products if I can. Any advice is appreciated as always. Thanks in advance.


JLCBBQ, I have a couple of the short stem Tel-Tru thermometers mounted in the door of my offset and grate high. They consistently run 25° cooler than what is happening at the grate in that respective area of the cooker. Once I bench marked the door temperature reading to some remote thermos at center grate then I can now rely on the door thermo readings knowing that I should offset the temperature reading +25°. You should be able to use the same approach, I would think.

Don't buy their overly priced mounting kit. Just get a 1/2" half coupling and drill a hole then weld the coupling to the door... screw the thermometer right in. I chose to put the coupling on the inside of the door to get the probe a little closer to the action and it makes the thermos on the outside appear flusher to the door.




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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06 14 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike, that's exactly what I was looking for. I can deal with a 25° difference, no big deal. Thanks for the pictures, too. I'm gonna go ahead and order the tel trus.
Rodinbangkok, I checked out the link you sent me, that stuff looks cool, but its a little to high tech for me at the moment, definitely something to look into in the future though. Thanks
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07 14 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This place might save you a few $$$ on 3" dial Tel-tru pit therms. It's where I ordered my two 5" dial Tel-Tru pit therms from.

http://kck.com/tel-tru_grill_smoker_thermometer.html

3" dial, 2½" stem Tel-Tru's are $32.75 each plus shipping.

If you wind up needing the installation kit, pm me with your address. They sent the kit parts with my 5" dial Tel-Tru's even though I didn't order those parts. I don't need them since my pit therm fittings are all ½" NPT. I'd be happy to send them to someone who can make use of them if needed.
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07 14 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Necron, thanks man, I actually ended up ordering them from the site you recommended a couple minutes ago. If you are not going to use those parts, I will gladly put them to good use, I will pm you.Thanks again.
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07 14 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodinBangkok wrote:
I gave up years ago on specialty thermometers for home use, and went the pro way with a plug in type that will take any K type thermocouple. The thermocouples are cheap enough you can wire them directly into the smoker and just plug in your controller to check. There are tons of these out there, with just as many different probe types. I'd suggest buying a good measurement unit then a bunch of different probe types. Here's a google link to get an idea:

LINK!


If I ever go that route, I'm going to see if I can get a quote from Gayesco. I have experience with their large industrial applications in chemical reactor vessels, and I see they now make a mini-multipoint TC assembly.

http://www.gayesco.com/Prod_Mini_Multipoint.htm

You only need one point of penetration to enable multiple TC's.

It might wind up being cost prohibitive, but I'll never know unless I ask.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07 14 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JLCBBQ, if you are thinking of using digital therms you might consider the ports and trays like on my comp cooker.



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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07 14 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks k.a.m, I think I'm just gonna keep it simple for now, but I'll keep those in mind if I ever upgrade.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07 14 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

necron 99 wrote:
RodinBangkok wrote:
I gave up years ago on specialty thermometers for home use, and went the pro way with a plug in type that will take any K type thermocouple. The thermocouples are cheap enough you can wire them directly into the smoker and just plug in your controller to check. There are tons of these out there, with just as many different probe types. I'd suggest buying a good measurement unit then a bunch of different probe types. Here's a google link to get an idea:

LINK!


If I ever go that route, I'm going to see if I can get a quote from Gayesco. I have experience with their large industrial applications in chemical reactor vessels, and I see they now make a mini-multipoint TC assembly.

http://www.gayesco.com/Prod_Mini_Multipoint.htm

You only need one point of penetration to enable multiple TC's.

It might wind up being cost prohibitive, but I'll never know unless I ask.


It's really not expensive once you get into the terminology and have a bit of understanding about thermocouples and how they work. There's a company called Omega thats been around for years, and they have a very nice web site with all the technical details here:
http://www.omega.com/section/thermocouples.html

They can be a bit more expensive sometimes, so like anything else shop around. I get all my stuff from a local company that specializes in temp control for plastic injection molds, they make them for me to order, and it costs me about $10-15 for a shielded thermocouple, I use a small controller that cost about $45 about 10 years ago, we have some PID controllers that we use for constant monitoring, they run about $25 for the cheap ones.
Use Omega site as a reference there's a ton of info on there and a lot of neat wireless products also.
Hope that helps anyone get over the initial fear of going pro with temp control, its really not hard once you get the basics down.
I've never installed a dial type bi metal, for me they are just not accurate enough and never seem to be able to measure where I want to check. Ok off my soap box now.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07 14 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodinBangkok wrote:
I've never installed a dial type bi metal, for me they are just not accurate enough and never seem to be able to measure where I want to check.

Door therms once you know your temp differences are very handy and accurate.
I love my digital probes as much as I do my Tel-Tru door therms. I also know if my electronic world takes a dump on me during a cook I know exactly what my grates are doing because I have mapped my cooker and know the temp differences between grate and door.
I use 6" stems on my cooker door, once my cooker is up to temp and stable there is only 10° difference in door and grate. There is no reason to get more accurate than that when BBQ'ing.
These are just my thoughts I hope it helps. Very Happy
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07 14 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate everyone's input on this, the Tel-Trus I ordered should work just fine for what I plan to do with my cooker. I'm not going to be doing any competitions, I just need a general idea of what the heat is doing. Hopefully I'll have some more progress pictures later in the week. Thanks again
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08 14 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodinBangkok wrote:

It's really not expensive once you get into the terminology and have a bit of understanding about thermocouples and how they work. There's a company called Omega thats been around for years, and they have a very nice web site with all the technical details here:
http://www.omega.com/section/thermocouples.html

They can be a bit more expensive sometimes, so like anything else shop around. I get all my stuff from a local company that specializes in temp control for plastic injection molds, they make them for me to order, and it costs me about $10-15 for a shielded thermocouple, I use a small controller that cost about $45 about 10 years ago, we have some PID controllers that we use for constant monitoring, they run about $25 for the cheap ones.
Use Omega site as a reference there's a ton of info on there and a lot of neat wireless products also.
Hope that helps anyone get over the initial fear of going pro with temp control, its really not hard once you get the basics down.
I've never installed a dial type bi metal, for me they are just not accurate enough and never seem to be able to measure where I want to check. Ok off my soap box now.


Gayesco's claim to fame is having multiple flexible armored TC's using only one point of vessel penetration. This is important when dealing with chemical reactor systems especially older reactors and in particular thick walled reactors (6" to 12" wall thickness) high pressure reactors where every wall penetration is not only expensive whether in initial fabrication or to add to an existing reactor, it's also a potential point of leakage. The most I've seen from other companies are dual TC's which are in the same sheath so it's only a way to add redundancy, not additional monitoring points, from a single penetration.

I have some hard bound Omega catalogs from my industrial days before I retired and before all such things went to on-line searchable format. The only thing I can remember buying from them were handheld IR guns 23 years or so ago. The companies I worked for always had better preferred provider pricing agreements with large industrial instrumentation and controls suppliers for the day to day stuff.

If I decide to add pit TC's and the Gayesco system for small applications (which they include food processing as one) is cost-prohibitive, I'll probably stick with Automation Direct (they used to be PLC Direct when I dealt with them pre-Y2K). They're significantly less expensive than Omega on TC's with standard plugs for example - very close to the cost you're getting in Bangkok, and they have a wide array of inexpensive display devices and controllers.

And I wouldn't completely do away with my bi-metal dial pit therms. Like Kevin said, I'd need something for when the electronics don't want to cooperate and to help let me know when the electronics are outright lying to me like they sometimes do. YMMV.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08 14 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I referenced Omega as a valuable source for technical information about using thermocouples. Today with all the internet sources Omega will be up there in price definitely, but some of their bulk supplies like thermocouple wire and such are sometimes not easy to find at other suppliers. I also have only one entry point on our equipment, with permanently wire TC's and just labeled connectors sticking out. We use a fine wire TC for internal temp checking. Its just a very thin flexible SS wire that leaves a very small puncture hole in the meat. I've found that using this type allows for much less moisture loss from the punctures as they are so small, especially for higher end products and sausage.
I also had the Omega reference catalogs, a half a shelf on my bookcase years ago. What a fantastic tool the internet is when it comes to finding stuff now. I can remember searching thru catalog after catalog for electronic parts nothing like today just type a part number and everything is at your fingertips...but going off topic here.
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12 14 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got my door therms in place. I rolled some thin flat bar to cover the one on the right, I need to make another for the left one and get them both welded in place. I also got my fire grate built and my wood shelf brackets welded in. I'm not using the board in this picture for my shelf, I've stained another board and am currently putting several coats of spar polyurethane on it. I just need to get this thing wire wheeled, sanded and painted and it'll be ready to rock.


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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12 14 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's looking pretty darn good there JLCBBQ. You're down to the finishing touches and it won't be long now. Smile
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01 14 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a long delay, I finally finished my pit yesterday (except for painting). Got it moved to the back porch, lit a test fire and started seasoning. Works pretty good, I am happy with it. Took a while to come up to temp, but held it very well once I got it there. I will post another pic once I paint it.
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18 14 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its done! Finally got some paint on it. Thanks again to everyone that helped me with ideas along the way. First big cook going down on Sunday. How bout them Cowboys!

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[URL=http://s1272.photobucket.com/user/jimmiec82/media/20141017_100335_zpse44a0547.jpg.html]


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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18 14 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about dem Cowboys, but the cooker cleaned up real purty. Laughing Nice job and wishing you luck on your first cook.
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19 14 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike, glad to have it done.
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JLCBBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28 14 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sealed the door up with some Permatex high heat RTV earlier in the week. Smoked some stuffed burgers tonight to test it out. Worked great and the burgers came out awesome.

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