mes controller removal

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by daddio, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. daddio

    daddio Meat Mopper

    i saw in another thread where it's recommended to remove the mes controller if the unit stays outside, when it's raining or really cold. mine is under a covered deck and i keep a cover over it as well. what is involved in taking this controller off and unhooking it,and does anyone actually do this?
  2. pitrow

    pitrow Smoking Fanatic

    I haven't started taking mine off yet, but I might this winter. It does exhibit problems starting up in cold weather. BTW, mine sits uncovered under a patio.

    If I remember right, it's just two screws and an electrical connection to take it off.
  3. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is correct.

    Mine is under an upper deck and it doesn't get wet or very cold here so I don't bother.
  4. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My MES is 2 feet from a double entrance door. So I put it on a piece of plywood, added 4 wheels for easy mobility. I take it in during cold weather prior to a smoke. Once the smoke is underway I lay a towel over the top of the controller which keeps it warm as toast during the smoke.

    Mine has two screws and a connection for removal.
  5. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    For me and my MES, I will not be taking the controller off.
    • I don't live in a humid climate.
    • Seasonal changes are mild here in Sacramento so parts can acclimate.
    • I keep my MES covered when not in use, and stored under a eve, where there is not much wind, and rain generally can't blow toward the MES, except if it really is blowing, it is shaded all day. I have a secondary plastic tarp to cover both the MES and the Weber gas, if winter weather is severe. I stored and used the MES (as listed above) during last winter with no problems.
    MAIN REASON, the connector between Controller and wiring harness, is NOT built for repeated connects and disconnects.

    When I use the MES I have a card board box cut so it covers the controller and protects the controller from direct sunlight, but I still can read the display and operate it.
  6. mnbike

    mnbike Fire Starter

    Delta's advice is right on the money in that plugging and unplugging will soon give you troubles. Best bet is to keep it in a dry area, second best is under some type of a cover.

  7. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    I posted the original. The people at MES advised me to do this. I have since recieved another contoller which does not work any more, the electronic sensor is the culprit.
    SO-they are sending me another smoker, sans grates, water pan, and controller. I have examined all the wiring fixes and determined this is too much work for this unit. Honestly-why not upgrade? Why screw around remanufactuing some China product when there are more efficient units around (albeit, $700.00 each)
    For the record, MES is sending another-will see if it measures up.
  8. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just left the screws in the back off. It's a quick disconnect electrical connector. I did as they advised, and keep the controller inside while not in use during the winter. I have had zero problems with my MES. Sometimes people get lemons. Sorry to see that.
  9. reichl

    reichl Meat Mopper

    I'm with Fourthwind, I don't screw in the back in and I take the controller inside after every use. I figure it's best to protect it from the midwest weather. I haven't had a problem yet and the connection seems solid enough on mine that I feel comfortable removing it after every smoke and snapping it back on for the next use.
  10. daddio

    daddio Meat Mopper

    thanks for the replies it is a covere deck and i keep a cover over the smoker as well, really it's the freezing or near freezing temps i was worried about in the winter..i may look at removel for those times.
  11. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

    I take mine off and keep it in the kitchen drawer, I don't even attach it to the screws, just plug and unplug
    insight likes this.
  12. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I have not been able to make it disconnect.  Probably, I am not pushing on it in the right spots.  There are two black parts which have slid together, and three wedges that are holding them together.  Two on the side and one on the top.  I've pushed, prodded and pulled all sorts of ways and cannot get the two parts to budge apart from each other.
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I see no reason to take them off, if you have them under roof & covered. I would think the on & of & on & off & on & off would do more damage than any humidity would, unless you live on the banks of the Amazon. As for freezing--It gets really cold here in PA, and mine went right through last Winter without any problem.
  14. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I need to take it off because it has gone spastic on me.  I've ordered a new one from MES Customer Service.  Hopefully, their instructions will say how to disconnect that connector -- but I have tried and could not do it.  I can see how it snaps into place, but not how to get it apart.
  15. athabaskar

    athabaskar Smoking Fanatic

    Both connections have the release on the control side of the connection. They are the long, flat pieces on the top of each. Hold both ends of the connectors near the wires and squeeze the release between your thumb and forefinger. Slide it apart without touching the "two on the side". Be sure not to hold them too close to the actual junction or you'll be holding the two together. Also, don't hold by the wires or you'll risk loosening them.

    I keep mine covered, but not under cover. I have taken it off probably 25 times without any problems (yet?). During the procedure, I've found it helps a lot to stick your tongue out of the corner of your mouth, side optional.
  16. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    The connection on mine is not quite the same as I read your description, but what you said helped me to get it apart. 

    Here are two pictures that show mine -- just in case any others have the same problem.

    First is a top view.  In that view you can see what looks like a sleeve around the connection.  That is actually part of the control side connection.  To open, you have to press on the lever and hold the box side closer to the wires so as to not hold that sleeve.

    Next is a side view which shows one long flat piece.  It is connected to the control side of connection.  Pressing on the end nearest the control pivots it up and allows it to pass over a small latch on the box side of the connection.  That view is washed out because of flash, but it does show the lever hinge that needs to be pressed.

  17. texacajun

    texacajun Meat Mopper

    My  40'' haves 2 connectors to the controller that look like this.

  18. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I see -- looks like the same connector, but you have two of them.  My MES30 only has the one. 

    My initial problem was that I thought that the raised part you can see on both of them was connected to the bottom wire going into the body.  It is not, it is connected to the top wire going into the connector.   I was holding onto it while trying to pull open ---  No joy on that.  Once I held the bottom part near the wire (but not on the wire) it came apart without any problem.

    Now all I need to do is to wait for my new controller box to get here from Masterbuilt.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  19. vernski

    vernski Fire Starter

    The problem is not the unit on top, I tried the take the unit off routine and didn't work for me. Inside of the smoker top left at the back of the smoker is a little dime size sensor just warm it up with a hair dryer and it will cure the problem. I believe it's a fluke and it got past them in production it only shows up when it's cold. The temp here in N. Idaho has been 20's to 40's. Anyway these should work in any temp and the mfg's need to offer a fix for the ones sold already and make sure all the new ones being mfg now are fixed. Recall,recall ! anyway that's my quarters worth...Vernski

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