Designing wireless Pellet hopper level/temp system

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by backyardsmokin, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Hey all,

    I am starting to get the parts to build myself a wireless thermometer probe for my GMG. It is going to have somewhere between 4 and 12 probes available (depending on which circuit board I buy), wifi, SD card for data logging, web page for probe temp status, ability to calibrate probes and ability to send emails either at regular intervals or when specific temps are reached.

    I am also looking into near realtime graphing via a web browser.

    I have two questions.
    1. Does this cover everything that is pellet smokers need?

    2. One of the probes I am going to set up is a sonar to test emptiness of the hopper. On my GMG if I put the probe on the bottom of the lid, there is about a 1/2inch between sensor and a full hopper and abot 5 inches at the time I need to put more pellets in. Would these thresholds be the same for a Yoder, Traeger or RecTec?

    Sorry for the long windedness, I am thinking of making a few extras to sell if this comes out ok.

    Thanks all for your help.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I don't know enough about Pellet Smokers to comment other than...Sounds like a great set up. Other that monitoring Pellet level, it sounds like it could be used to monitor Smoker and multiple Meat Temps for any smoker...JJ
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The only problems I have experienced with sonar units is echoing ......  Do not know if that applies to your application....  we were monitoring water level in a concrete cistern ....   Switched to a pressure sensor....    That was a Loooooong time ago....   I'm sure sonars have evolved....

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  4. My hope is to make something that can do the same as the Stoker (except the airflow) but a little more cost effective.  Parts right now are estimated at about $150.  Only down side is there is no easy way to say I want 3 temps probes and a pellet sonar or 4 temp probes, or to even change the address for text alerts.  Each change requires the code to be recompiled on your computer, then uploaded to the unit.
    This is going to be the toughest sensor.  I talked with GMG and they used to use a light sensor for their grills, but if the pellets were a certain then the light sensor would go off prematurely.  Since then they switched to sonar.

    I am hoping to really start cracking on this in the next few weeks.  
  5. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Something a little more practical might be some type of pressure switch or a something like a garage door sensor (when the photo cell is unblocked it then connects the circuit)
  6. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013

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