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Make or Repair your Stoker Pit Probes

bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346

I've had my Stokers for over 2 years now. The pit and meat probes have taken a bit of a beating over the years and I figure I better learn how to make my own.

All the temp probes are is a K-wire with the end twisted together and shoved down a stainless tube. Below I have a temp probe that the wire was melted on. All I did was pulled the wire out of the tube, cut the burnt end off, re-twisted the wire and shoved back down the tube. 2 minutes. So if you are ordering probes, get them longer and you can cut them a few times as they get melted.

I also wanted to make my own so I bought some hi-temp k-wire for my pit probes and bulk silicone k-wire for my meat probes. I used to wrap foil around my pit probe and it would give me a bad signal every now and again but the wire was protected. With the hi-temp wire (900° F), I run my pit at 400° and my pit probe doesn't have a mark on it after 4 months.

Below are a few images. Sorry they are in reverse order of how I selected them. Any questions, let me know.

Big Lake, Minnesota

2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

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Comments

  • UncleFredUncleFred Posts: 458
    O.K. ...this gets bookmarked and saved for future reference! :triumph: 
    San Diego, CA - Where I've mastered Curmudgeon..working on Recluse.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 23,747
    OK! You win my "HELLUVA LOT SMARTER THAN I AM AWARD"! 
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 23,747
    RRP said:
    OK! You win my "HELLUVA LOT SMARTER THAN I AM AWARD"! 
    Do you think I have the right tools assembled to do this? LOL

    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • DMWDMW Posts: 13,782
    edited May 2015
    Nice work, good to know.

    Also, Rock's has K-type adapters available if you have a favorite K-type thermocouple you want to use without modifying an existing probe.

    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr - BS SS36" Griddle
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346
    DMW said:
    Nice work, good to know.

    Also, Rock's has K-type adapters available if you have a favorite K-type thermocouple you want to use without modifying an existing probe.


    That is the connector that got me looking into everything. After buying one and taking it apart, all it is a k-style adapter, 12" of wire and connected to stokers end. If you have an old temp probe that is too short, buy one of the k-type adapters and screw it to your wire and you are done.

    www.omega.com is a great source for all wires and stainless probes. Cheap too.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346
    RRP said:
    RRP said:
    OK! You win my "HELLUVA LOT SMARTER THAN I AM AWARD"! 
    Do you think I have the right tools assembled to do this? LOL


    Ron,

    I hope you have a very steady hand and a lot of patience. You are a far better man than I am.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • UncleFredUncleFred Posts: 458
    bigguy136 said:
    ....I bought some hi-temp k-wire for my pit probes and bulk silicone k-wire for my meat probes. I used to wrap foil around my pit probe and it would give me a bad signal every now and again but the wire was protected. With the hi-temp wire (900° F), I run my pit at 400° and my pit probe doesn't have a mark on it after 4 months.
    For those of us that understand the concept but not the particulars... could you tell us specifically which wire to order from omega.com?


    San Diego, CA - Where I've mastered Curmudgeon..working on Recluse.
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346
    UncleFred said:
    bigguy136 said:
    ....I bought some hi-temp k-wire for my pit probes and bulk silicone k-wire for my meat probes. I used to wrap foil around my pit probe and it would give me a bad signal every now and again but the wire was protected. With the hi-temp wire (900° F), I run my pit at 400° and my pit probe doesn't have a mark on it after 4 months.
    For those of us that understand the concept but not the particulars... could you tell us specifically which wire to order from omega.com?


    My computer is off but I will get you the details tomorrow

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • RRPRRP Posts: 23,747
    bigguy136 said:
    RRP said:
    RRP said:
    OK! You win my "HELLUVA LOT SMARTER THAN I AM AWARD"! 
    Do you think I have the right tools assembled to do this? LOL


    Ron,

    I hope you have a very steady hand and a lot of patience. You are a far better man than I am.

    Huh? I was making French toast in this picture! Why do I need patience? Isn't every bodys bread rather green before they make toast? 
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346

    Sorry for the delay. I bought my stainless tubes in both Ø.125" and Ø.187" x 6" long from this page. If you are using your metal tubes over, you won't need any. I also went with a larger diameter so I can have several sets of wires inside of one tube. This way, I have one probe with several temp samplings.

    http://www.omega.com/pptst/SS_INC_TUBES.html

    I went to the bottom of the page to the "build your part number" select what you want from the drop downs. I did SS and closed end.

    SS-18-6closed Ø.125" x 6" stainless tube for $8.50

    SS-316-6closed Ø.187" x 6" stainless tube for $8.50

    EXPP-K-24S-25 24 gage stranded, polyvinyl (food probe wire) 25' for $28.00

    My pit probe wire came from Midwest Thermo www.mwthermo.com

    They gave me a 20' sample for free. I was asking about coated (food probe wire) and he got me a price of $20.00 for a 380' roll. This is crazy cheap but it's also solid wire and I want stranded. I will be talking to them more and getting pricing for stranded wire but they are much easier to work with than Omega. If they won't sell 10' and 20' lengths, maybe I'll do a group buy?

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • Fireman_JoeFireman_Joe Posts: 298
    Following
    Gambrills,Maryland

  • UncleFredUncleFred Posts: 458
    bigguy136 said:

    ...If they won't sell 10' and 20' lengths, maybe I'll do a group buy?

    Thanks for the info.  If you do a group buy on the stranded pit probe wire, I'm in.  Also, if the sell the 24 gage stranded, polyvinyl (food probe wire) in bulk, I'm in for that too.
    San Diego, CA - Where I've mastered Curmudgeon..working on Recluse.
  • mahenryakmahenryak Posts: 1,324
    edited May 2015
    I am interested in learning more about this, as well.
    LG BGE, KJ Jr, Smokin Bros. Premier 36 and Pizza Party Bollore



  • FlashkaBobFlashkaBob Posts: 373
    Is it really that simple? Are they accurate? Please give more details. @bigguy136 I sent you a PM

    1 large BGE, 2 small BGE, 3 Plate setters, 1 large cast iron grid, 1 pizza stone, 1 Stoker II Wifi, 1 BBQ Guru Digi-Q II, 1 Amaze N pellet smoker and 1 empty wallet.      Seaforth, On. Ca.

  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346
    Is it really that simple? Are they accurate? Please give more details. @bigguy136 I sent you a PM


    I could get into a lot of big words if I knew them but your temp probes are just two bi-metal wires of whatever length and the last 1/4" of the shielding removed and the two wires are twisted together. Nothing new or invented here and no increase or decrease in accuracy.  

    All temp probes need to be calibrated but after my 1st calibration, I never found the need to recalibrate after cutting a wire shorter or replacing the wire with a new one.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • FlashkaBobFlashkaBob Posts: 373
    Check your inbox.

    1 large BGE, 2 small BGE, 3 Plate setters, 1 large cast iron grid, 1 pizza stone, 1 Stoker II Wifi, 1 BBQ Guru Digi-Q II, 1 Amaze N pellet smoker and 1 empty wallet.      Seaforth, On. Ca.

  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346
    I saw your message and thanks but I'm just trying to get info to those who have a Stokers that there are other options than buying a new probe every time when nothing but the wire is bad.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • stompboxstompbox Posts: 729
    Following too!
  • ToxarchToxarch Posts: 1,892
    Any updates on the stranded wire or a group buy?
    Aledo, Texas
    Large BGE
    KJ Jr.

    Exodus 12:9 KJV
    Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346

    Sorry, it fell off my radar. The last I worked on this I want to find a thinner K-wire so I can have 2 or 3 sets inside of a metal probe that are spaces 1" from each other. Then when I use the probe, I will have 3 different locations of temp being monitored in a single probe.

    Maybe after Labor day?? Thanks for the nudge to start thinking about it again.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • ToxarchToxarch Posts: 1,892
    I've got a shorted food probe wire (melted when it touched the grate) and a grill sensor wire partly melted from heat. I tried to pull the wire out of the metal tube so I could cut it and redo it but I can't seem to get the wire out. Is there some trick to it that I should try?
    Aledo, Texas
    Large BGE
    KJ Jr.

    Exodus 12:9 KJV
    Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346
    There is a small amount of glue in the tube. After enough use, the glue is gone but if your probe is newer, the glue is still holding. Wave the mapp gas torch over your probe and pull it off with a glove.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 8,814
    @bigguy136 I ran into your post yesterday when looking into probes on the Internet. I was going to email you last night but softball ran late. I've probably read and re-read you post 15 times. What I gathered is that I'll still have to buy their probes because they have some type of chip in them that sends signals to the stoker? I'm guessing they must make their own chip so you have to buy their probes? Your work is very impressive! If you have a chance I'd be interested to know if their is someway to bypass the chip but I'm thinking they have me locked into buying their stuff....Thanks!
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346
    WeberWho? said:
    @bigguy136 I ran into your post yesterday when looking into probes on the Internet. I was going to email you last night but softball ran late. I've probably read and re-read you post 15 times. What I gathered is that I'll still have to buy their probes because they have some type of chip in them that sends signals to the stoker? I'm guessing they must make their own chip so you have to buy their probes? Your work is very impressive! If you have a chance I'd be interested to know if their is someway to bypass the chip but I'm thinking they have me locked into buying their stuff....Thanks!
    Yes, you need your probe ends. After you own them, you can make everything else. Also, pit and meat probes are the same. I want to try the fan probe as that might also be the same but that's a project for after we have snow on the ground.
    Enjoy your new toy. If you want to test your stokers before buying some probes, let me know and I can meet up somewhere or I can mail you one.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 8,814
    bigguy136 said:
    WeberWho? said:
    @bigguy136 I ran into your post yesterday when looking into probes on the Internet. I was going to email you last night but softball ran late. I've probably read and re-read you post 15 times. What I gathered is that I'll still have to buy their probes because they have some type of chip in them that sends signals to the stoker? I'm guessing they must make their own chip so you have to buy their probes? Your work is very impressive! If you have a chance I'd be interested to know if their is someway to bypass the chip but I'm thinking they have me locked into buying their stuff....Thanks!
    Yes, you need your probe ends. After you own them, you can make everything else. Also, pit and meat probes are the same. I want to try the fan probe as that might also be the same but that's a project for after we have snow on the ground.
    Enjoy your new toy. If you want to test your stokers before buying some probes, let me know and I can meet up somewhere or I can mail you one.
    @bigguy136 Very much appreciated! I'll probably put my Auber Instrument controller and my Maverick et-735 to cover some of the cost of the probes and blower. Hopefully someone has some interest in them especially before Thanksgiving. I'm hoping the Stoker works like normal. The seller had 100% rating but I suppose that only means so much... :s
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • tinker3433tinker3433 Posts: 1
    edited May 2017
    Did you ever get anywhere with the group buy? I am looking to rebuild a few probes. 

    In looking to protect the probes a bit more so I was looking at EXPP-K-24S-TCB-P-25 from omega for $55.
    It is the same as "EXPP-K-24S-25 24 gage stranded, polyvinyl (food probe wire) 25' for $28.00" but with Tinned Copper Overbraid

    I also looked at  EXTT-K-24-SB-T-25 , Stainless Steel Overbraid, PFA insulation, and solid instead of stranded




  • LDRLDR Posts: 398

    First  of all - thanks for saving me some cash!


    My question is: what do you recommend for fixing the wires in place within the tubes?  I wasn't paying attention at 6:00 in the morning and grabbed the wire instead of the probe.  Of course, the probe finished falling off mid-air and rolled between the decking and into the gravel underneath.

  • LDRLDR Posts: 398

    Also, it appears the 24 stranded high-temp is available at omega now at less-than-spool quantities, using the part number builder at the bottom.
    http://www.omega.com/pptst/XC_K_TC_WIRE.html

    GG-K-24S is:
    88.00 for 100'
    50.50 for 50'
    31.50 for 25'

  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,346
    LDR said:

    First  of all - thanks for saving me some cash!


    My question is: what do you recommend for fixing the wires in place within the tubes?  I wasn't paying attention at 6:00 in the morning and grabbed the wire instead of the probe.  Of course, the probe finished falling off mid-air and rolled between the decking and into the gravel underneath.


    Great! I also use a silicone fuel tubing (the same that Stokers uses) from my nitro model airplanes. I'm not sure of the size other than just knowing what it looks like. It would be something like the link below from Amazon. If you put that over the wire and tube, it should hold it together. If not, a spot of epoxy on the end of the wires and glue them in like Stokers does will also work. https://www.amazon.com/Du-Bro-Medium-Super-Silicone-Tubing/dp/B0006MZKJ8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1499745250&sr=8-2&keywords=silicone+fuel+line 


    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • brentmbrentm Posts: 422
    edited February 2020
    I learned something today that might be relevant to this thermocouple repair tutorial.  The thermocouples tip needs to be electrically isolated from the metal tip of the probe.  Otherwise, you end up with a potentially "grounded" thermocouple.  The symptom of that is inconsistent/flaky temperature readings.

    It appears that magnesium oxide is used in the probe tip to before the welded bead of metal is inserted into the tip.

    It's just something to keep in mind.  You can probably back off the TC wire in the tube, but air is a good insulator too and it will impede probe response time.

    Any instrumentation or electrical folks in the house that can expand on this?   https://blog.wika.us/products/temperature-products/faqs-thermocouple-selection-grounded-vs-ungrounded/

    I have one sensor at that gives me false "Food Ready" alarms.  This is probably the reason.
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