Author Topic: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY  (Read 21406 times)

DivotMaker

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10665
  • Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D!
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2015, 07:38:47 PM »
It's definitely coming along, Tony!  Curious - how many "steps" can you program into it, and how are they triggered? 
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

TmanEater

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 493
  • Model #2 Owner
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2015, 09:40:55 PM »
Thanks guys. I'm loving the toy and I'll be continuing to use and learn about it in the months/years to come.


Tony-


The HM don't necessarily have the concept of "steps" as you are accustom with the Auber. HM uses "alarms" and shell scripts to manage a wide range of programming options. These scripts are usually 5-15 lines of commands (called recipes) that do whatever you want them to do. For example, I could set an alarm that triggers when internal meat probe1 reaches 190 degrees. I could have that alarm to send me a text message or email letting me know the event happened and then have it reduce the smoker setpoint to 140 degrees for a holding temperature if I wanted. Some more complicated alarms could be set by using "cron" job timers that manage time based events and settings.


Basically, if a user wants to dream up a crazy smoking profile and they don't know how to make it happen they could post a question to this forum or the heatermeter forum and we could try to give them the "recipe" to achieve what they are looking for. For the simpler minded folks they could use basic alarms to make a single change to setpoint on triggering event (such as moving to smoker holding temp when internal meat reaches cooked temp range). Once you get a complex recipe it should be saved so you can just tweak the values (time/temp/etc...) and activate the recipe later.


Basic recipe examples are halfway down the webpage here (under the recipes section). I know you found this page intimidating at first but once you tried a few recipes I think you'd find it not that hard to use and tweak for repeat cooking later.


Alternatively, because this setup is web page enabled you can literally control everything by clicking on webpage links. For example, if you are remotely monitoring the cooking session (i.e. from work) and find that the meat is getting very close to done and you want to change the setpoint temperature right then and there you can do so. It's like being at the smoker and moving the analog dials but you can do it remotely from anywhere! You can set the setpoint to zero which should effectively shut off the smoker!


If I get my second unit up and running this weekend I'll try to create a weblink for you guys to log into and play around with the settings to see how the web interface and configuration works (just don't mess with the network settings or you'll lose connectivity with it) :-). I have my current HM locked down with a password so folks don't screw up my configuration. The "Alarms", "Archive", and "Configuration" links can be seen at the bottom of the webpage when you visit my HM webpage.


Dream me up a brisket "recipe" and I'll try to figure it out before I smoke later this week. If you get really complex I'll probably need to consult experts on the other forum and I don't know if that'll keep up with my timeline for this particular smoking session. I'm making my brine tonight, inject tomorrow, and probably throw in smoker early wednesday morning. That's tentative plans anyway.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 09:47:42 PM by TmanEater »
Smokin Newbie starting Dec. 2014... Learning Lazy-Q As Fast as I can!
Smokin-It 2, HeaterMeter PID
Monitor my live smokes at http://bbq.tonylyne.com

Tony from Marion, IA

DivotMaker

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10665
  • Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D!
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2015, 08:32:27 PM »
Wow, Tony!  Makes it look like I'm flying a Piper Cub, and you're piloting the Space Shuttle!   :o
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

TmanEater

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 493
  • Model #2 Owner
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2015, 08:50:03 PM »
Well, flying the shuttle is easy since they don't leave the ground anymore.  ;)
Smokin Newbie starting Dec. 2014... Learning Lazy-Q As Fast as I can!
Smokin-It 2, HeaterMeter PID
Monitor my live smokes at http://bbq.tonylyne.com

Tony from Marion, IA

DivotMaker

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10665
  • Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D!
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2015, 11:12:12 PM »
Hehe...great point! ;)
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

BedouinBob

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1232
  • Let's Smoke Meat!
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2015, 09:43:23 AM »
Dude! Heavy programming here! Not sure us mere mortals have a chance.  :)
Bob - Colorado Springs
NRA & USN

TmanEater

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 493
  • Model #2 Owner
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2015, 05:56:30 PM »
I haven't done a single line of code for programming this project so far. Everything you guys have witnessed is "out of the box" capabilities.

I did copy 5 lines of code from another forum to enable my cell phone notifications but that was it! I wish we could all get together and have a party for live demonstrations. I'd have you all converted in no time flat!  ;)

Literally, 99% of what I've done is just reading and following instructions to make this beauty work. I should have better known what I was getting myself into here. Showing a group of folks who take pride in calling themselves "Lazy-Q'ers" and have vested interests in drinking beers, perfecting the art of smoking, and keeping things simple! I have those same aspirations, but apparently I'm breaking some of the rules.  ;)  I'm bringing Lazy-Q to the next level for visualizing the parameters of perfection and hopefully helping make them consistently repeatable!

It may seem daunting to watch right now but I think eventually some of you will come around and see the light.
Smokin Newbie starting Dec. 2014... Learning Lazy-Q As Fast as I can!
Smokin-It 2, HeaterMeter PID
Monitor my live smokes at http://bbq.tonylyne.com

Tony from Marion, IA

NDKoze

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2732
  • Gregg - Fargo, ND
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2015, 06:01:56 PM »
Maybe a YouTube video of a setup and configuration for a smoke?
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

TmanEater

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 493
  • Model #2 Owner
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2015, 06:15:32 PM »
I'll think about that Gregg. My setup for this brisket was literally plug in the cables, click 4-way switch on the box to change the setpoint to 225 and that was pretty much all I really needed to do. I optionally went into the configuration and put an alarm on one of the food probes so that when the point reaches 190, the setpoint will drop to a holding temperature of 140. I did this just in case I wasn't around to pull and wrap the brisket at 190.

I did take lots of photos of my setup in the kitchen last night. I'll size them and upload them tonight to the live smoke thread I started. I might also add a few of them to this thread for adding clarity.
Smokin Newbie starting Dec. 2014... Learning Lazy-Q As Fast as I can!
Smokin-It 2, HeaterMeter PID
Monitor my live smokes at http://bbq.tonylyne.com

Tony from Marion, IA

TmanEater

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 493
  • Model #2 Owner
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2015, 10:00:10 PM »
Here are some pics to get a better idea of what the HeaterMeter PID controller looks like while connected to the smoker. The only two cables I permanently wired out of the smoker are the Cat5 Ethernet cable and the Thermocouple probe for the pit temperatures. These are seen in the first image below (not connected). The HeaterMeter (HM) is the blue case device on top of the smoker and it has a power cable plugged into it (AC wall socket power supply which converts to 12VDC for powering the HM). The HM supports 1 thermocouple and 3 additional thermistor probes for reading simultaneous temperatures (at least for the model I built here). It also supports a Wi-Fi adapter for viewing its advanced graphing and configuration features with a webpage browser.



On this next picture I show a cheap battery holder I bought from Amazon which holds 8 - AA batteries and can be used to power the HeaterMeter if you don't want to use the AC/DC power supply. I tested this battery pack with 8 NiMH batteries and it worked great for an 8 hour rib smoke. Not sure how useful this is but I wanted to show the device can run on a battery option.



HM powered up with nothing connected shows on the backlit LCD that the thermocouple is not connected "- No Pit Probe -" and the "Ambient" air (option I installed) thermistor shows "69". The labels that show up on the LCD can be named whatever you want and I just chose "Ambient" for this identifier. The thermistor that gives ambient temperatures is installed on the port for probe #3 and can be configured to disabled if you want to use port #3 for an additional thermistor probe sensor. The ambient air thermistor isn't all that accurate because it's inside the HM box which allows for heat build-up and other variations in its readings.



The LCD on the HM is backlit and its brightness level can be controlled with the 4 way button switch on the front or through the webpage configuration interface. This picture is currently 50% brightness



Plugging in the thermocouple and Cat5 cable, the HM will start reading the pit probe and display it on the LCD (and webpage if you had a web browser navigating to your HM). You'll notice it also has 3 Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on the front of the HM. These lights can be configured for various trigger events. I currently have mine configured for:
  • Green = (Output > 0%) -> lit when HM is commanding power to the heating element
  • Yellow = (Pit Temp Reached) -> lit when the current setpoint temperature has been achieved
  • Red = (Lid Open) -> lit when someone has the door open and the pit has dropped 6% from its setpoint


The picture below is just a clearer picture showing the Power, Cat5 Ethernet, and Thermocouple connections made to the HM.



Below I show the two ThermoWorks TX-1001X-OP food probes for providing my meat internal temps.




When I plug the food probes into the HM the LCD begins to show the values they are providing. Again, note that the labels for the probes are configurable. At the time of this photo I labeled them "Meat Probe1" and "Meat Probe2". During my brisket smoke I changed these to "Point" and "Flat" for location I probed them into the meat.



Below I show the configurable options from the physical HM unit itself.







Here it is all hooked up and controlling the smoker. You can see the smoker light on also showing that the SI2 is heating up the electric element.



And finally here is a current picture of the webpage showing my live smoke 21 hours into when it started. This is taking MUCH longer than I anticipated so waiting for this thing to get done tonight looks like it's going to keep me up for a while.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 10:06:09 PM by TmanEater »
Smokin Newbie starting Dec. 2014... Learning Lazy-Q As Fast as I can!
Smokin-It 2, HeaterMeter PID
Monitor my live smokes at http://bbq.tonylyne.com

Tony from Marion, IA

DivotMaker

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10665
  • Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D!
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2015, 08:36:04 PM »
Nice, Tony!  Sure seems to hold a tight temp!
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

TmanEater

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 493
  • Model #2 Owner
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2015, 10:26:51 PM »
Yeah... it was off by 0.2... I think I could tell it was off after trying it tonight. I'm gonna have to do something to get it calibrated and fix it for the next smoke.   ;)
Smokin Newbie starting Dec. 2014... Learning Lazy-Q As Fast as I can!
Smokin-It 2, HeaterMeter PID
Monitor my live smokes at http://bbq.tonylyne.com

Tony from Marion, IA

SuperDave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2470
  • Officially Retired
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2015, 10:30:30 AM »
It's starting to look like the back of my entertainment center with all those wires.  LOL!!!

Model 4, Harrisville, Utah

TmanEater

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 493
  • Model #2 Owner
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2015, 02:21:10 AM »
Hey... I just found the HeaterMeter also has an Android application called PitDroid... Check it out here:


https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bonstead.pitdroid
Smokin Newbie starting Dec. 2014... Learning Lazy-Q As Fast as I can!
Smokin-It 2, HeaterMeter PID
Monitor my live smokes at http://bbq.tonylyne.com

Tony from Marion, IA

TmanEater

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 493
  • Model #2 Owner
    • View Profile
Re: Building HeaterMeter PID - DIY
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2015, 03:25:04 AM »
Well, my PID control died in the middle of my spatchcock chicken smoke tonight. I caught it within 30 mins and flipped my switch to finish the smoke on stock controller. After dinner I took apart the smoker and found that I should NOT have mounted the solid state relay right next to the heating element inside the unit. I was controlling my smoker to go near the 325 temperature and on the climb in temperature it got hot, melted my PID control wires together (low voltage short) and warped the Solid State Relay (SSR). So, I took it out of there and prepared to setup the SSR and heatsink for mounting outside and under the smoker. I fixed the shorted control wires and have now placed another SSR on order.


I feel this new installation area will work out but only time will truely tell.
Smokin Newbie starting Dec. 2014... Learning Lazy-Q As Fast as I can!
Smokin-It 2, HeaterMeter PID
Monitor my live smokes at http://bbq.tonylyne.com

Tony from Marion, IA