Anyone use the Auber BL-6.5 blower on their WSM? I have questions!

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by m00se, May 1, 2016.

  1. m00se

    m00se Fire Starter

    Hi folks. A few months ago I bought the Auber Dual-Probe PID Controller for Bradley Smoker  for my Masterbuilt 40" Electric smoker. This thing works like a charm and through the 3 smokes I've used it for it has kept temps within +/- 2F which I think is pretty remarkable!

    So of course, I see the utility in this little box and want to see how well it would work on my 18.5" WSM. I bought the Snap-on Blower for Charcoal Smoker 6.5CFM with the 110v adapter  and attached it per instructions. 

    This little thing is cute! No bigger than a pack of 100mm cigarettes. Last night I did a pastrami (Yo chef Willie!) and hooked this thing up without any adjustments to the PID. I set the temp to 250 and sat back and had a beer while watching the temp rise slowly. I used the snake method for the charcoal, lighting the one end that I had positioned close to the opening of the blower, thinking it would get things moving a little quicker. Here's what I observed:

    When the blower is running at full speed, it actually drops the temp in the smoker below the target quite a bit. Like 30-60F below at the grate. Then when the temp gets close to the target the PID shuts off the blower, and the temp rises, FAST. The temp might be 220 at that point, the PID shuts off the blower, and the temp will rise past 250 and settle around 280 or higher, and then drift back to the target 250, where the PID starts it's magic and pulses for a while, then 2-3 degrees below target, turns on full time again and the temp drops back to well below the target (see 30-60F above) and then repeats. Shuts off, temp shoots way up past target, settles, PID turns on full time, etc...

    I really want to like this little bugger and as soon as I figure out it's mysteries I think it will be a great way to ignore the smoker while I do other things like lawn darts and chasing kids out of the trees. Anybody have any insight with these things? I'll be calling Kane at Auber and chewing his ear to see if he has any ideas too.

    The one thing I want to avoid is having to "learn" this thing for the electric and the charcoal if I can help it. That would be a PITA because I'd really like to use the PID on both depending on the type of cook I'm doing and I don't think there's a "save" for more than one learned profile.

    Do you CyberQ, HeaterMeter, PitMaster users experience this with your charcoal smokers too?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    just wondering.. does it have a damper on the end of it... maybe to close it down so it isn't wide open ??
  3. m00se

    m00se Fire Starter

    Yes it has a little damper flap inside to completely close off the airflow.

    What I think is happening is that the blower is moving so much air through the smoker body (the thing looks like a house fire when it's running LOL - OK that's an exaggeration but it moves a lot of air/smoke) and that air is cooler just due to its volume.

    MODS: I see that I put this post in Wood Smokers without realizing there's a Charcoal Smokers forum. Any chance of moving it over there for me? Thanks!
  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I'm assuming you have tried it with this damper closed down half way or more ??
  5. m00se

    m00se Fire Starter

    Which damper is that? The damper in the blower is inaccessible and not designed to be manually adjusted. It opens and closes depending on whether the blower is on or off. All the bottom dampers on the WSM are closed and the 2 holes in the damper that the blower is attached to are aluminum taped closed so that the only air available to the charcoal is via the blower. The vent on the cover is open all the way.
  6. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    I bet if you go with a standard minion method vs a snake method you will get better results.  I run an Aubers set up on my WSM ( granted, not that one ) and have enjoyed it very much as it works quite well.

    remember that the shutter is gravity assisted, so don't put the fan in wrong.  Also you need to close off all lower air vents including the three on the vent where the blower is mounted.  

    The fan is to "inject" air into the smoker to support combustion, not to "fan the flames"
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  7. I would really appreciate seeing a photo or two of the shutter in this type of fan. My Flame Boss 200 came with what looks like about the same fan without a shutter. I made one and am running a test right now. Seems to be doing much better than it ever has using the factory recommended method of nearly closing the exhaust and better than the gate shutter that I have been using. Just would like to see how what I cobbled up compares with a factory job. The plenum of my fan already had the holes for the shutter axel, just no flapper. Using it on the UDS55.
  8. m00se

    m00se Fire Starter

    Thanks Drewed - I just saw this post (I never got email notification that you posted). Yes, the blower is installed with the shutter correctly oriented. And the all lower vents are closed and the 2 other vent holes in the vent where the blower is installed are closed off with aluminum HVAC tape.

    Thanks for your insight!
  9. m00se

    m00se Fire Starter

    damascusmaker: I'll grab the blower and attempt to get a picture of that shutter. It's tiny so I don't know how successful I'll be but I'll give it a shot! I'll get to it later this evening.
  10. Thanks m00se,

    My test went great for a while then it started swinging up and down. Just asked it to go to 400 because I'm going to throw hamburger on it for supper. Here is the graph

    I might ask for 500 before I put the burgers on.

    Max is 450 for the FB.

    I think when the porpoising started my diy flapper was hung. Back to the shop to make a smoother operating one.
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  11. m00se

    m00se Fire Starter

    I emailed Auber and asked them about the wild swings, and they replied with the settings for their charcoal PID controller. They told me that they didn't make the WSD-1200GPH for charcoal but that the settings they sent me should work with it. I have 2 tri-tips I'm going to smoke on Sunday so I'll try it again with the new settings. Here are the pix I promised. I hope they show you what you needed. Like I said this thing is so small it's hard to get good macro shots inside the throat of the air tunnel.

    Here it is closed:

    And here it's open:

    Here's the device for perspective:

    I will report on how the new settings work as soon as I have data. Thanks for looking!
  12. Thanks for the photos m00se, 

    On closer inspection, I believe my flapper hung on the inside of the tunnel. I have re-filed it so that it can only touch at the hinge barrel, and enlarged the hinge holes for no binding on the pin. If this works as well as the first part of my test I'll be very happy.

    Good luck with the Tri's

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