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Smobot keeps turning off - any ideas?

TheToastTheToast Posts: 253
edited October 2017 in EggHead Forum
Trying out Smobot for first time. I'm using an Anker USB battery to power the controller - it's a good quality one. But it seems the controller goes into standby after a few minutes which makes the battery think it's turned off and doesn't need power, so it stops sending power, resulting in the controller turning off completely. 

Anyone know if there's a controller setting I can change to prevent it going into standby? I've changed brightness to strong, hoping that might do it. Thanks 
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Comments

  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,939
    Does it do the same thing when powered up by line voltage (wall outlet) as it does with UPS er power pack or your Anker USB power?  
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • TheToastTheToast Posts: 253
    Does it do the same thing when powered up by line voltage (wall outlet) as it does with UPS er power pack or your Anker USB power?  
    I haven't tested. Now I've switched to full brightness the controller has only switched itself off once in the past hour which is an improvement. Means I can at least have a shower! 

    Sadly connecting to the mains isn't an option while cooking, but I could test after this cook. 

    I *think* the problem is that the controller is drawing so little power OR is programmed to go into standby, so that the battery presumes it's switched off, so stops sending power. 

    If anyone has had better luck with a different brand of USB battery please let me know. The one I have has double the capacity of the one that was included in the kickstarter so capacity isn't the issue. 

    Ive also sent Smobot a support ticket.  Ta
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,939
    edited October 2017
    Exactly why I was saying to do a "test" with SMOBOT plugged into line voltage wall outlet. 
    If it responds normal, which it likely will, then SMOBOT isn't the problem. That's the simplest troubleshooting/process of elimination. Short of using a multimeter and checking to read what is actually going on.  SMOBOT would seem to be designed for low power usage which could cause the sine to be irregular and make your device (likely digital circuitry) think there is no load thus shutting down power being supplied to SMOBOT. 
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • TheToastTheToast Posts: 253
    @NPHuskerFL Yeah, I think that's it. I didn't think there would be a problem because Smobot is designed to use a USB battery, but it could just be the battery I'm using, which is more tuned to supplying power to smart phones / other devices that are more power-hungry.

    If there's a battery brand that people have had success with when using their Smobot, then I'll get one of those.
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 6,192
    edited October 2017
    I have a similar high capacity battery that turns itself off when there's no power draw. If your battery has more than one charging port and you also have an old cell phone that'll keep drawing power even after fully charged ... you can plug both the phone and Smobot into the charger, the phone should prevent the battery shut down. 
    canuckland
  • I have the Anker PowerCore 10000 USB battery pack and it worked with my Smobot. No shutdowns. Are you connected to wifi?  That might draw more power and prevent a standby condition. 
    Joliet, IL
    Large, Mini, Stoker, Smobot
  • TheToastTheToast Posts: 253
    @Grillinois Yes - also on wifi. 

    Ive had to switch to mains power. Tried two different USB chargers but the controlller wouldn't stay awake with either. Thanks for the recommendation - was hoping to find a cheaper one (that one is £25) if anyone else knows of one that works. 

    Thanks
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,000
    Have you contacted the guy who built it? Perhaps he could help. @reinhart36

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • TheToastTheToast Posts: 253
    @Carolina Q I'm in an email conversation with him now. They were very quick to respond to my support email, I'll give them that!
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 4,936
    When they were sending out the early units they had originally planned on using a battery pack that they actually had the SmoBot logo printed on them. However, shortly before sending those out they discovered that there was a problem with those battery packs that did cause the SmoBot to occasionally shutdown. They decided to include a different battery pack and told us to use the "SmoBot batteries" for some other purpose. 

    I didn't like the second battery they included so I use one of the many other USB packs I had on hand. The one I use most often is an Anker and it has been just fine. I have a few Anker batteries and chargers and they have all been trouble free so I tend to stick with them. I have found that the quality control of many of the other lesser known brands can be rather spotty.

    This is the one I use with my SmoBot most often: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B005X1Y7I2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I see it is also available in the UK for £10 - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anker-PowerCore-Aluminum-Portable-Lipstick-Sized-Black/dp/B005QI1A8C/ref=sr_1_9?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1507218912&sr=1-9&keywords=anker+powercore

    I like that one as it has a power button that you need to push to turn on the battery pack - it doesn't just rely on sensing current draw to "turn on".
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • What HeavyG said. I think they learned that certain battery packs don't work very well and my guess is that is what is leading to your issues. I'm sure they will be able to let you know which battery packs work and which ones won't.
    Stillwater, MN
  • TheToastTheToast Posts: 253
    @HeavyG Thanks. I appreciate the detailed reply. Do you find that with that Anker battery it keeps the unit light and text on screen? I presume the Smobot controller is designed to always have the display on - ie doesn't turn off after not being touched for a while. 

    Do yoy have to select max brightness / use any other particular settings?

    Useful to know Smobot has these problems during beta. 


    The two I've tried are: (both have a 'wake up' button that I was having to press to boot up the controller again):



    I think I'll buy the model you recommend and hopefully that works. Otherwise my final option is to buy a 5 metre USB Micro B cable and run that out through a window. Not ideal but still better than getting up in the night / ruining a cook. 
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 4,936
    I really have no idea if the display stays lit as the only time I look at the display is when I initially start it and set the desired temp. I haven't adjusted any of the settings.

    My unit is one from their Kickstarter not a beta unit.
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • TheToastTheToast Posts: 253
    @HeavyG How many long cooks have you done with it btw?
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 4,936
    TheToast said:
    @HeavyG How many long cooks have you done with it btw?

    Only one long run - I think it ran for 10 hours.

    A few four or five hour runs. I don't use a controller that often as I normally do longer smokes on my KBQ and it doesn't need/use an external controller.


    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • reinhart36reinhart36 Posts: 186
    edited October 2017
    Howdy,

    I think we're mixing some apples and oranges here, so I'll try to clarify a little.

    The battery pack that was the kickstarter reward (branded with SMOBOT logo) was problematic, but in an entirely different way than @TheToast is experiencing.

    These rechargeable batteries we're all talking about have circuitry in them which regulate the output voltage (among other things).  There are many batteries sold from China and elsewhere that can look exactly the same, but have very different "guts," incidentally.

    We've found that the quality of the voltage output on the SMOBOT branded battery from the kickstarter was very poor.  Specifically, the voltage would periodically drop _way_ down, and cause the smobot to reboot (not turn off).  If you're charging a cell phone, that's fine, because the phone is running off of its own integral battery.

    However, we haven't seen another battery that bad, and haven't had any problems with any reputable batteries commonly available for recharging phones, etc.

    Something to note:  SMOBOT can't "turn off."  It also doesn't go into any kind of "sleep mode." 

    If your battery is shutting off because the SMOBOT current draw is so low it's triggering some kind of smarts in the battery which shut it off, I'm afraid we really can't help that.  We purposefully designed smobot for low current draw..

    Perhaps try more of a "dumb" power bank...?  As a rule of thumb, every 1000 mah of capacity should get you upwards of 10 hours of SMOBOT run time (with WiFi and backlight both on)

    Kind regards,
    Eric
  • TheToastTheToast Posts: 253
    @reinhart36 ;Hi Eric. The intention of this thread wasn't to knock your product - I bought the Smobot because I thought it looked better than the competition and I wanted to support you as a new business. I just genuinely want to find a solution, because I bought it on the basis that the product description says it works with USB battery packs. 

    I'd gladly buy any charger that is confirmed as working with Smobot, that's available in the UK. If you've tested with a range of batteries, could you provide a list? With the two I used it was turning off after only 10-20mins Thanks. 
  • reinhart36reinhart36 Posts: 186
    edited October 2017
    TheToast said:
    @reinhart36 ;Hi Eric. The intention of this thread wasn't to knock your product - I bought the Smobot because I thought it looked better than the competition and I wanted to support you as a new business.

    I understand, and very much appreciate your support and business!  I've only responded here to clear up the apparent confusion - no offense taken at all.  If you could have heard me speak my post, you would have heard a calm, friendly, and un-offended tone of voice.  ;)

    I'll post a list of the batteries that we've personally used shortly.  I could create a smobot blog post for people to comment on, actually, and then other users can add makes/models they've verified play nice as well.
  • TheToastTheToast Posts: 253
    @reinhart36 Sounds great.  Thanks
  • reinhart36reinhart36 Posts: 186
    edited October 2017
    You bet!  It's a big compliment that SMOBOT has such a low current consumption that "smart" battery banks can decide to shutoff while running it.  :)

    That said, I'm sincerely sorry you're having challenges.  We'll find you a battery.

    Kind regards,
    Eric
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 4,936
    TheToast said:
    @reinhart36 ;Hi Eric. The intention of this thread wasn't to knock your product - I bought the Smobot because I thought it looked better than the competition and I wanted to support you as a new business. I just genuinely want to find a solution, because I bought it on the basis that the product description says it works with USB battery packs. 

    I'd gladly buy any charger that is confirmed as working with Smobot, that's available in the UK. If you've tested with a range of batteries, could you provide a list? With the two I used it was turning off after only 10-20mins Thanks. 
    As mentioned I run mine with that little Anker sans problems.

    If you would like I can plug it in and let it ride for however many hours it would take for the battery to run out of juice.
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • This is why I like my Egg au naturel.

    Not trying to diminish the obvious benefits of some great aftermarket tools out there. Just relaying that for my purposes, I appreciate the simplicity of an unmodified Egg - at least for now. 
  • dsleightdsleight Posts: 101
    I have been operating my smobot off of a give away battery (some companies advertising give away).  It is 2600 mah and I have used it on at least one 16 hour cook, the battery still had power left after the cook.  I can guarantee that this free give away battery is as cheap as they come, I would suggest buying the simplest battery you can find.
  • TheToastTheToast Posts: 253
    @HeavyG Thanks. Just thought if Smobot had tested on 10s of cooks I'd hear what they recommend. Also the one you have - although I believe you! - is similar to mine which doesn't work. 

    @GrateEggspectations  I'm with you. And I'm generally able to set it up so it's consistent if I'm away for a few hours and may now lose that skill but I wanted a device that would do the work for me overnight or if I'm out all day. 

    Heres the graph. You can see where it stopped receiving power and turned off - the 6 sharp drops are me opening the lid to spritz, and I also tested how it would handle a temp adjusted drop at 15.30, but every other time on the graph where  it went off the rails I had to manually wake it up. 



    Ribs turned out fine - bit dryer than usual on top. But so juicey below that it wobbled like a jelly. 



  • StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,228
    I like 'em wobbly. :D :D :D

    Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
    Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------


  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,025
    Exactly why I was saying to do a "test" with SMOBOT plugged into line voltage wall outlet. 
    If it responds normal, which it likely will, then SMOBOT isn't the problem. That's the simplest troubleshooting/process of elimination. Short of using a multimeter and checking to read what is actually going on.  SMOBOT would seem to be designed for low power usage which could cause the sine to be irregular and make your device (likely digital circuitry) think there is no load thus shutting down power being supplied to SMOBOT. 
    Yeah....what Blake said.
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

  • TheToast said:
    Just thought if Smobot had tested on 10s of cooks I'd hear what they recommend.
    The cheap one I recommended to you via email, as you pointed out, is unfortunately not available on amazon.uk ..  However, I did find one on there that I've used extensively for a couple years, but it's a touch more expensive:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Portable-RAVPower-16750mAh-External-Technology-Black/dp/B00OJXVDAU/ref=sr_1_32?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1507294927&sr=1-32&keywords=battery+bank

    That should run SMOBOT for north of 150 hours straight! =)

    I very, very rarely charge mine, and I use it to power my controller for development testing, etc..

    I hope that helps!

    Rib cook looks fantastic, BTW.

    Eric
  • StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,228
    TheToast said:
    Just thought if Smobot had tested on 10s of cooks I'd hear what they recommend.
    The cheap one I recommended to you via email, as you pointed out, is unfortunately not available on amazon.uk ..  However, I did find one on there that I've used extensively for a couple years, but it's a touch more expensive:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Portable-RAVPower-16750mAh-External-Technology-Black/dp/B00OJXVDAU/ref=sr_1_32?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1507294927&sr=1-32&keywords=battery+bank

    That should run SMOBOT for north of 150 hours straight! =)

    I very, very rarely charge mine, and I use it to power my controller for development testing, etc..

    I hope that helps!

    Rib cook looks fantastic, BTW.

    Eric
    I use that, have two of them. They irregularly come up on Amazon's deal of the day for under £20.
    Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
    Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------


  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,860
    The jiggly beef ribs look great. I had to do this.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,228
    edited October 2017
    The jiggly beef ribs look great. I had to do this.  
    Image result for omg thats awesome meme

    SWMBO is in hysterics ... :D
    Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
    Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------


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