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DIY pit controller - auto shop version

Note: I'm building a one trick pony. I still will get an electronically controlled pit someday when I grow up.

I went to AutoZone to pick up some hi temp silicon for my new gasket (thanks @rrp). Ended up starting my diy pit controller project. I've been interested in the original pitminder. From my other thread, folks(to be named once I'm on a pc), pointed out it looked like a thermostatic piston from a automotive thermostat.

The automotive thermostat I got opens when hot, closes when cool. I need the reverse. Bought some sheet metal at home depot(from an egger) and got to work.

This is prototype #1, just to test the theory. I know I need to replace my threaded guide with a circular post that is threaded female.

Operation:
Fixed pieces are the thermostat housing bolted to the "drain plug".
The thermostat piston will push the middle piece of sheet metal flush with the drain plug when hot, closing off airflow. It will retract with the piston due to gravity when cool, opening up for airflow. I need a smoother guide for this middle piece so it doesn't catch. Also will let it get fully flush. Right now you can see nuts in the way. (Swmbo comment - nuts are always in the way!)

My thermostat active temp is 195f. I'm not sure how this will work out to pit temp yet. I assume the pit will run higher, but I don't know by how much until I test.

I plan on using this in conjunction with my maverick.

Total cost so far:
$7 for the 1978 s10 thermo (195f)
$2 for sheet metal.
I need to spend about 2 on posts.

Unfortunately, I travel for the next week. I hope to test on Saturday or I'm gone again for a week.

If this works out, might get better metal, tweak the thermo, etc. If not, it's been fun.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.

Comments

  • RRPRRP Posts: 20,014
    I really like your ingenuity! I do have to wonder out loud though...an automotive thermostat opens and closes due to the heat of the liquid flowing through the closed system in which it is sealed. That liquid is circulating through the tubing to a radiator where it is then cooled thus regulating the heat and keeping the temperature below boiling temperatures. Now, with your application and it's position on top of the dome with the hot exhausting air I believe much higher than say 225 or more if that thermostat will withstand that intense heat. Just wondering...not trying to be bad!
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • RRPRRP Posts: 20,014
    BTW - I see in your first picture you bought Permatex Ultra Red instead of Ultra Copper. I just always recommend the Copper over the Red since it is rated for a higher temperature.
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 1,249
    Thanks, and ugh. I still have the receipt. :)

    On the thermostat, I'll find out if it's ok.. I agree it's a 'interesting' application.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 8,879
    Is that the PitMaster IQ100?
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • I'm pretty sure its going to gum up from the residue.
  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 1,249
    I'll need to leave the guide loose. That will help, but I agree gumming needs to be addressed. The power/close stroke of the piston is rated at 35lbs, so it will close without issue, even gummed up. The retracting/open stroke is where it would catch. I may need a spring to help push it open.

    I'm sitting in the airport wishing I was egging!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 8,956
    Pretty neat. I always thought the pitminder was nifty.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 1,249
    cazzy said:
    Is that the PitMaster IQ100?
    :) 
    It will freaking rock!  It may be more like the IQ001
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
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