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Building an RPi3/Arduino Smoker controller

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:36 am
by vagreys
I have been pretty quiet for awhile, dealing with health issues and unemployment, and staying mostly behind the scenes. Last year, I had saved up sausage money to build a smoker and purchase a controller, but had to divert that money to more important things. I have an enthusiastic engineer friend who wants to help me build a controller for my smoker, in exchange for some bacon somewhere down the road - a deal I cannot refuse. So we are starting on the preliminaries for a new project. I'm working on the functional specs.

Almost all of the controllers and projects out there are for hot smoking scenarios for making barbecue. I want to build a controller for doing multi-step ramp/soak programs for smoking and cooking charcuterie to temperatures around 160°F. I don't need a controller to make excellent barbecue, but precise temperature control in a smoker is very necessary for better smoked sausage and other charcuterie. I am aware of the Open Source project Heatermeter/Linkmeter and may leverage it, but it is intended for step programs, not built from the ground up to handle ramp/soak. If I build a ramp/soak PID Controller, with the ability to load and store many programs with as many steps as needed, then I can also support stepped programs. I expect this to take awhile - time and money are at a premium - but the release of the Raspberry Pi 3 with built in wireless and bluetooth is just too good a deal to pass up.

So many projects, so little time! I'll keep you informed.

Re: Building an RPi3/Arduino Smoker controller

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:26 pm
by wheels
I'm following this with interest. My technical abilities are somewhat lacking, but the idea of being able achieve the accurate control needed for smoking sausage/luncheon meats is, to me, a sort of 'holy grail'.


Re: Building an RPi3/Arduino Smoker controller

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:03 pm
by NCPaul
I'm interested in this as well.

Re: Building an RPi3/Arduino Smoker controller

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:02 am
by vagreys
I'm excited about the project. It will take awhile to collect all the parts, but there's a fair amount of prep work to do, anyway. It will be a learning experience, that's for sure.

Re: Building an RPi3/Arduino Smoker controller

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 12:20 pm
by DiggingDogFarm
Please create a tutorial if you can find the time. :)

Re: Building an RPi3/Arduino Smoker controller

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:11 am
by klephtZA
Hi all

+1 to following this. I'm in the industrial control and instrumentation field by occupation so can add some advice if needed. The Pi3 should be more than capable of interfacing well for you using the arduino as the I/O module to control the heating and sequencing.

I'm not that familiar with the process unfortunately. When you say ramp/soak, what exactly do you mean? Is this some sort of sequence?

Tight temperature control is achieved through a solid understanding of the heating volume (size of container), energy transfer from source to surrounds (associated mixing of the air as well) and correct measurement points (called sensible areas/points).

Is the smoker itself controllable or assumed to provide smoke at a constant rate through a constant burn? If controllable, will that be via another electric source?