Pellet drive controls

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Gizmo
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Pellet drive controls

Post by Gizmo » May 15th, 2012, 8:20 pm

I'm sure some of you have and use pellet drives like Green Mountain and Traegers. So I'm posting a thread about what I know (short post) to maybe save some of you some unnecessary headaches.

I don't claim to be an expert but I have read a lot about Traegers from some "electronic type" guys that seem to have a handle on it.
I'll post a pic of the control panel in the next post but I've listed the "P" settings below that you can adjust through the front panel.

The "Auger on" time is always 15 seconds and the auger off time varies to change the percentage duty cycle as noted.
The "P Setting" # is what's indicated in the digital display.

Sorry but when I previewed this it doesn't support my spacing to form columns so here's how to read it (DC draw a crayon line on your screen...:D)
P Setting varies from 0 to 9 then Auger Off varies from 45 to 135 and Duty Cycle varies from 25 down to 10%. Maybe you can see the columns if you know how to look at it.

P Setting Auger Off Duty Cycle
0 45 25%
1 55 21.4
2 65 18.8
3 75 16.7
4 85 15
5 95 13.6
6 105 12.5
7 115 11.5
8 125 10.7
9 135 10


If memory serves - factory setting is 4 or a 15% duty cycle. Through experience they've learned what it takes to reliably keep the pellets from going out at a low heat output. The higher the "P" setting the riskier it becomes that the fire might go out.

If you want to better understand it here's my take on it...
Ironically the pellet's tendency to NOT burn is the key to the success of the drive units - I think all of them regardless of brand. But I think old man Traeger started by modifying a pellet stove that you might heat your house with. When he piled up some pellets and put a torch to them and once he removed the torch the best he could get is a smoldering pile of wood pellets - some smoke and hardly any heat. They will not support combustion for very long without going out.

This is the "Brakes" of the system.

Once you introduce them to a confined space such as a fire pot at the end of the auger and blow air into them they take off and burn vigorously - plenty of heat but not much smoke - just like the pellet stove the technology first came from....

This is the accelerator of the system.

When you are at the "Smoke" setting then you are asking the controller for the lowest possible temp so you can get the most possible smoke.

Normally most cooks I've met run in the 225 to 250 range when cooking low and slow and with a single wall cabinet like original Traegers use the cabinet is losing heat (sweating) at a certain rate that requires the use of more auger/fuel/fan to generate the heat to hit the target temp. In the smoke setting you AREN'T running at a target temp at all - you're trying to run a MINIMUM heat to get maximum smoke yield.

On a calm night in the upper 50's or low 60's Edna would run between 145 and 165 and put out an impressive amount of smoke. After all my reading I came to the conclusion that it isn't worth changing it from the factory's original setting. I felt that setting was the best compromise between manageable low heat/max smoke and accidentally going out completely.
I just don't want to wake up during an all night cook to a cold smoker/meat and all that lost time.

Hope this helps ... :)


And on the eighth day God created barbecue …. because he DOES love us and he wants us to be happy. :D
Current smokers: Egor (trailered RF) and Easybake (tabletop pellet drive)

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The Czar
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Re: Pellet drive controls

Post by The Czar » May 15th, 2012, 8:25 pm

:-ss .....Frank will have to be on board for this one...... :-w


If you can't fix it by sheer force or cursing......then it can't be fixed.....


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Gizmo
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Re: Pellet drive controls

Post by Gizmo » May 15th, 2012, 8:26 pm

Image

If you look just to the right of the digital display you'll see a small hole and that is the adjustment port you activate with a paper clip or similar device to set the "P Setting".

This controller is almost 2 years old so there may be some changes I'm not aware of - read your manual first on how to make the adjustment. :)


And on the eighth day God created barbecue …. because he DOES love us and he wants us to be happy. :D
Current smokers: Egor (trailered RF) and Easybake (tabletop pellet drive)

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Re: Pellet drive controls

Post by The Czar » May 15th, 2012, 8:28 pm

Yeah...Frank will be able to take care of this.... :wtf:


If you can't fix it by sheer force or cursing......then it can't be fixed.....


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Re: Pellet drive controls

Post by Frank_Cox » May 15th, 2012, 8:40 pm

haha, Thanks Rick! I asked rick to post this cus he knows a lot about it... come on guys! we need some pellet heads to start talking here! :welcome: :lurkblast:



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Gizmo
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Re: Pellet drive controls

Post by Gizmo » May 15th, 2012, 8:43 pm

Yeah I like Jimmy Buffet ... :D


And on the eighth day God created barbecue …. because he DOES love us and he wants us to be happy. :D
Current smokers: Egor (trailered RF) and Easybake (tabletop pellet drive)

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Re: Pellet drive controls

Post by Smokeone » May 15th, 2012, 8:59 pm

I think that is Parrot Head! =))


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Usually more beers than smoke.

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Gizmo
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Re: Pellet drive controls

Post by Gizmo » May 15th, 2012, 9:08 pm

HEY! - IT'S GOT A LOT OF THE SAME LETTERS ! :D


And on the eighth day God created barbecue …. because he DOES love us and he wants us to be happy. :D
Current smokers: Egor (trailered RF) and Easybake (tabletop pellet drive)

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