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DigiQ vs. Flame Boss 200 vs. CyberQ for XL BGE - Reviews/Pros/Cons

Morning all... So I'm probably in same boat many have been.  Have been doing some overnight cooks and I have noticed that I really don't sleep sound.  I have temp probes w/ alerts, but still always find myself checking them randomly and even sometimes having to get up to adjust my XL BGE.  So I'm planning on purchasing Temperature Controller and looking the the DigiQ DX2, Flame Boss 200, and CyberQ.  I've read a lot of posts and everyone usually has great things to say about they're unit, wondering if anyone has had one and switched and their thoughts.  Any info would be greatly appreciated so I can sleep better next cook :)
Northern Jersey
XL BGE  |  XL Adjustable Rig Combo  |  CyberQ  |  Maverick 733

Comments

  • EggzellentEggzellent Posts: 238
    edited April 2016
    I'm waiting for somebody to come out with a simplified version of the above which doesn't run $350 or so yet still works. One boasted industrial style plugs before they disappeared. I don't need to learn my cooks. I don't need 'clouds' or to be notified of anything. The SmoBot? I'd charge $350 for the 'bare bones' version of that upcoming controller as well given the market.

    Please get the price down on these things and they'll sell even more. One or two decent probes (choice)..a simple controller for a quality fan..period. I'm interested to hear who (definitively) uses the highest quality probes and the best quality fan at these price points..yet those comparisons closest to the heat/failure source are rarely discussed (if ever).

    (rant over)
  • The Naked Whiz did full reviews of the controllers you're lookin at:
    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/productreviews.htm#prtempcontrol
    I have an original DigiQ that I still use and love.
    Everyday is Saturday and tomorrow is always Sunday.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,714
    You could always go Mickey's route. Start in the morning, turbo cook it, ready in time for dinner. Sleep soundly, no worries. And it's FREE!

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

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • EggzellentEggzellent Posts: 238
    edited April 2016
    ..'by the way' (ramp-back-up rant).. ;) ..I 'understand' the fact that any of the above will do less than advertised..that one must pay-to-play and that a lesser model would destroy sales of the deluxe versions in any given line sold today.

    I'm simply suggesting quality and simplicity..yet I'm admittedly older/blessed to have grown up with the concept.

    I just feel so much better now... :)
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,343
    edited April 2016
    I'm waiting for somebody to come out with a simplified version of the above which doesn't run $350 or so yet still works.

    Please get the price down on these things and they'll sell even more. One or two decent probes (choice)..a simple controller for a quality fan..period.

    There are several bare bones versions out there (PartyQ, IQ110, Auber, etc)  Back in the day we sold them for $100 locally.  Nothing but a fan and a cheap temp probe.....worked great for what you paid for it.  It was more of a temp maintainer--if the temp got low, the fan kicked on.  But the market wanted remote management via WiFi, a better algorithm, better probes, notifications, etc.  I was fine with my old simple one for seven years until I used the Flameboss--then I was hooked.  As companies are changing their approaches the prices are dropping.  $350 is definitively the highest you are going to see now.
  • bhedges1987bhedges1987 Posts: 3,201
    DigiQ are $219.00. My wife got one for me. I love it.  

    Kansas City, Missouri
    Large Egg
    Mini Egg

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" - Gandalf


  • EggzellentEggzellent Posts: 238
    edited April 2016
    Thanks, stlcharcoal..not knocking your evaluation of the FB or questioning the validity of the accolades that you've received here while servicing them (which I'm certain are well deserved).

    I simply see a market for the 'above' $100 or so products that (already?) last at least 7 years (or longer) as you mentioned..priced a bit higher to cover but one (quality) probe and a fan. The difference between $100 and $350 for what many(?) need would (seemingly) allow that sales pitch to be made. I would also imagine that those willing to actually make these fan/probe quality comparisons could achieve more positive pricing flexibility with nobody else willing to do so and that much money separating their competition on both ends.
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,343
    Thanks, stlcharcoal..not knocking your evaluation of the FB or questioning the validity of the accolades that you've received here while servicing them (which I'm certain are well deserved).

    I simply see a market for the 'above' $100 or so products that (already?) last at least 7 years (or longer) as you mentioned..priced a bit higher to cover but one (quality) probe and a fan. The difference between $100 and $350 for what many(?) need would (seemingly) allow that sales pitch to be made. I would also imagine that those willing to actually make these fan/probe quality comparisons could achieve more positive pricing flexibility with nobody else willing to do so and that much money separating their competition on both ends.

    You kind of lost me in that second paragraph, but anyone could make the argument about the BGE.  "What makes it $700-800 (or 3x) more than a Akorn??!?!?!"  But you, I, and everyone else on this board still spent the money based off of the reputation, warranty, status symbol, whatever.

    My father's BGE was $299 in the mid-90's with the old low-rider nest, cover, and accessories......doesn't look much different than a new one.  The price has gone up at least 3x on that combo and people still buy them.  There was one BGE dealer in STL back then, now there are dozens.  Why drop the price when they don't have to? 

    The CyberQ and Stoker used to be right about $400 with the fan, probe, adapter, shipping.......then Flameboss hit the scene.  Now they're down around $330.  You can only survive on the name and past performance until the new competition gets "street cred"--that has happened.  Who knows.....maybe someone will come in at the $200 price point and go after all of them.
  • EggzellentEggzellent Posts: 238
    edited April 2016
    "...You kind of lost me in that second paragraph..."

    Your $100 simple controller that lasted for 7 years (plus)..YET..with a very simple QUALITY fan and QUALITY single probe (upgrade) adder = what price point between the $100 (lesser quality but lasts at least 7 years 'plus') and the $350 (does everything but serve the food) that is being charged now(?).

    "...Who knows..maybe someone will come in at the $200 price point and go after all of them."

    ...or that price/lower(?) for what I am referring to above in terms of a simple(r) quality controller (all around).

    "...Why drop the price when they don't have to?..."

    I'm all about that and strongly believe that everybody should charge just as much as possible (always).
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,167
    As @stlcharcoal, alluded, I have an original Partyq, very basic, and super reliable.  All I need is temp maintenance, no remote management or wi-fi.
    It is an excellent tool at a reasonable price. 
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • 1move1move Posts: 511
    Good quality and cheap don't go in the same sentence my friend! As you have learned with the BGE, you outta pay to play.
    XLBGE, MMBGE, CyberQ
  • blastingblasting Posts: 6,262

    This thread prompted me to go to look at current prices.

    DigiQ with adapter 219.00

    PartyQ with adapter 145.00

    These prices have come down a lot in the last 6 months or so.  I have a Partyq - not fancy, no online stuff - but it does a reliable job.  I'd kind of wish I had a FB200, but I don't really need it.  I just like new stuff.

    Phoenix 
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,343
    "...You kind of lost me in that second paragraph..."

    Your $100 simple controller that lasted for 7 years (plus)..YET..with a very simple QUALITY fan and QUALITY single probe (upgrade) adder = what price point between the $100 (lesser quality but lasts at least 7 years 'plus') and the $350 (does everything but serve the food) that is being charged now(?).

    "...Who knows..maybe someone will come in at the $200 price point and go after all of them."

    ...or that price/lower(?) for what I am referring to above in terms of a simple(r) quality controller (all around).

    "...Why drop the price when they don't have to?..."

    I'm all about that and strongly believe that everybody should charge just as much as possible (always).

    All of your parenthesis and/or sarcasm makes it really hard to understand your point.

    If you don't want to spend $350 then don't.  I don't sell/charge $350 controllers so that's not what you would be paying anyway.  The $100 unit I had is no longer $100--it's up to $150 and the probes are crap.  At $20 a piece every 6-12 months, they add up quick.  It was a simple unit in a simpler time.  Now people do everything through the internet or apps on their phone and want a controller on WiFi.  If that's not you, then don't buy it. 

    You have to charge a decent amount of money to make a quality product and get people to sell it for you.  You make it sound like they are fleecing everyone.  I don't make much on the units as a dealer, but I have to make SOMETHING in order make it worth my while to stock, support, etc.  My distributor needs to do the same.  And then the company has pay someone to manufacturer all the parts, assemble them, keep the servers going, develop & push new firmware, and still offer immediate and awesome warranty/support.  After all that, they still need to make money.  This is capitalism, not charity.  How do you defend what you spent on a BGE when you could have bought a Akorn for $300?

    If you want a simple functions, ok reliability & control, all with a taillight guarantee, buy a $100 unit......chances are you'll be pretty happy with it.  If you want something with remote monitoring & control, lots of options, and great customer support, then spend $200-300.  Maybe something middle of the road will come along.
  • EggzellentEggzellent Posts: 238
    edited April 2016
    "...You kind of lost me in that second paragraph..."

    Your $100 simple controller that lasted for 7 years (plus)..YET..with a very simple QUALITY fan and QUALITY single probe (upgrade) adder = what price point between the $100 (lesser quality but lasts at least 7 years 'plus') and the $350 (does everything but serve the food) that is being charged now(?).

    "...Who knows..maybe someone will come in at the $200 price point and go after all of them."

    ...or that price/lower(?) for what I am referring to above in terms of a simple(r) quality controller (all around).

    "...Why drop the price when they don't have to?..."

    I'm all about that and strongly believe that everybody should charge just as much as possible (always).

    All of your parenthesis and/or sarcasm makes it really hard to understand your point.

    If you don't want to spend $350 then don't.  I don't sell/charge $350 controllers so that's not what you would be paying anyway.  The $100 unit I had is no longer $100--it's up to $150 and the probes are crap.  At $20 a piece every 6-12 months, they add up quick.  It was a simple unit in a simpler time.  Now people do everything through the internet or apps on their phone and want a controller on WiFi.  If that's not you, then don't buy it. 

    You have to charge a decent amount of money to make a quality product and get people to sell it for you.  You make it sound like they are fleecing everyone.  I don't make much on the units as a dealer, but I have to make SOMETHING in order make it worth my while to stock, support, etc.  My distributor needs to do the same.  And then the company has pay someone to manufacturer all the parts, assemble them, keep the servers going, develop & push new firmware, and still offer immediate and awesome warranty/support.  After all that, they still need to make money.  This is capitalism, not charity.  How do you defend what you spent on a BGE when you could have bought a Akorn for $300?

    If you want a simple functions, ok reliability & control, all with a taillight guarantee, buy a $100 unit......chances are you'll be pretty happy with it.  If you want something with remote monitoring & control, lots of options, and great customer support, then spend $200-300.  Maybe something middle of the road will come along.
    ". All of your parenthesis and/or sarcasm makes it really hard to understand your point..."

    Sarcasm is intent (not a word of it here). Any "Parenthesis" I use may muddle the point (for you) yet the use of this writing tool is unrelated to the former nor commonly used to express such.

    "..If you don't want to spend $350 then don't..."

    Welllll...'alrightee' then. I have no trouble understanding YOUR point right from the beginning of your post. I'll immediately apply same to your offerings from here on out after witnessing your ability to express yourself so clearly as opposed to others such as myself.

    "... I don't sell/charge $350 controllers so that's not what you would be paying anyway..."

    I never referenced "your" controllers ONCE save the cheap $100 controllers that YOU elected to bring in to the conversation. I could care less what YOU sell the higher-priced controllers at and never asked you to quote me one.

    "..The $100 unit I had is no longer $100--it's up to $150 and the probes are crap.  At $20 a piece every 6-12 months, they add up quick.  It was a simple unit in a simpler time..."

    And my previous comment (explained 'how' many times now?) was that I wished somebody made a probe (let alone a fan) that would equal the higher priced probes on a cheaper controller (which seem to last)...period. I followed that up with a challenge to anybody who could come up here and tell us why their fans or probes were better than anybody else's..and why. Example: If the probes in your former unit are (now) junk...then it would be helpful to know who else runs those probes and if they have a different opinion of them than you. The ensuing conversation might educate us all.

    "..Now people do everything through the internet or apps on their phone and want a controller on WiFi. If that's not you, then don't buy it..."

    Again, I'm getting the feeling that if you're one of the "chosen" on here (perhaps related to the hostile takeover mentioned in the past few days?) you may ask any question that you would like, offer any advice whatsoever or even post lewd/nasty photos/comments whenever you so please. Evidently, even (some) vendors live by this attitude when simple questions are asked that have absolutely NOTHING to do with anything that they currently sell.

    "..You have to charge a decent amount of money to make a quality product and get people to sell it for you.  You make it sound like they are fleecing everyone.  I don't make much on the units as a dealer, but I have to make SOMETHING in order make it worth my while to stock, support, etc.  My distributor needs to do the same.  And then the company has pay someone to manufacturer all the parts, assemble them, keep the servers going, develop & push new firmware, and still offer immediate and awesome warranty/support.  After all that, they still need to make money.  This is capitalism, not charity.  How do you defend what you spent on a BGE when you could have bought a Akorn for $300?..."

    Thanks for the Capitalism 101 lesson after my previous statement made very clearly..if you would have chosen to read it (I didn't use parenthesis so as to not confuse):
    "..I'm all about that and strongly believe that everybody should charge just as much as possible (always)."

    For me, it's not hard to determine at all why there was evidently a split in this forum years ago.
  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,879
    Can't tell you about the others, but I've been using the FB 200 for about 4 months and I love it.  I paid list for it and feel it was well worth it. 

    @jeepster47 check this out -- I haven't seen this before, maybe you have.  I'm running a small pork butt, using the controller, not really caring too much what's going on.  temp went out of range (too high) and i got this note from FlameBoss HQ. Very nice!



    cook number is 19725.
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    edited April 2016
    Back to the original question nutshellml asked: The first thing I discovered is that blower based controllers are not simply plug and play as it relates to maintaining a consistent temperature.  Once I figured out how to integrate the unit into the egg "system" the functionality was rock solid.  I wouldn't be without one for overnight cooks, since I love my sleep to be worry free.

    I first bought a DigiQ DX2 and combined it with a Maverick.  The DigiQ is a good solid unit that hasn't caused me any problems.  Others have mentioned poor customer service, but I haven't had to use their support so no direct knowledge there.  The Maverick also has been a solid performer ... although others have complained about reliability.  The Maverick monitored meat and pit temps so that I didn't have to run down to the egg to check on the DigiQ.  The downside to that configuration was the two temp probes from the DigiQ and two more from the Maverick doubled the opportunity for unreliability.

    My son, @Ozzie_Isaac, later bought a FlameBoss 100 and both of us found it to be functionally comparable to the DigiQ ... but, with outstanding customer support.  The only concerns I initially had with the FB was the lack of a dampener and the apparent lower quality of the blower adapter.  Neither has turned out to be a problem. 1) If you think you need one, a dampener is easy to construct with beer can aluminum inside of five minutes ... I don't use a dampener. 2) A machined aluminum adapter is not a necessity, nor a good value ... I'd rather have those manufacturing costs invested into the electronics and temp probes.

    Based on the quality and performance of Ozzie's FB100, I bought the first FB200 that showed up at my local dealer in June.  I love it ... the DigiQ hasn't been used since then.  I'm an IT idiot, so the FB200 is the perfect choice for me.  Hooking it up to wi-fi was as easy as hooking up my iPad.  (That might be a little bit of an exaggeration ... without a QWERTY keyboard on the FB, it's a little harder to input your password ... and you have to remember to end the password with ">" or you start over with entering it.) I have a rather loud and long playing Country song as the ringtone for the alert texts from FB, so the Maverick is not necessary anymore.

    I have no experience with the CyberQ, so will have to defer to other folks for their input.

    Edit: Do check with @stlcharcoal for prices before you buy elsewhere.

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    For nerds only:

    The FB200 is also a poor-man's data collection device.  Stick the meat probe in the next 2" thick steak you roast and you can develop the curve of internal temperature vs time.  Since FB now allows you to download the original raw data, you can develop a curve for various thicknesses, types of cuts, starting temps, etc. and plot them on a single graph.

    How about checking out how your oven really heats ... Ozzie did that when his FB200 arrived.  Turns out that the egg is better at maintaining an even temp.  His oven cycled +/- 30 degrees ... http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1191924/fb-200-and-egg-better-temp-control-than-my-oven#latest

    How about actually performance of your YETI tumbler vs the XXXX tumbler?  Now even a political science major can collect the data and understand it.


    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    edited April 2016
    blind99 said:
    @jeepster47 check this out -- I haven't seen this before, maybe you have.  I'm running a small pork butt, using the controller, not really caring too much what's going on.  temp went out of range (too high) and i got this note from FlameBoss HQ. Very nice!



    cook number is 19725.
    Have not seen that ... that is really cool.  Thanks for sharing!

    I know that Michael & Co. have a wishlist of improvements that they want to incorporate.  This must have been one of the recent ones that someone suggested.

    It looks like your cook ran for two hours over target temp ... time wise, when did the text arrive?

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • bwchefbwchef Posts: 4
    I bought a cyber wifi controller a couple of years ago & had some issues with software/hardware. Their tech support was terrific & didn't make me feel like it was my fault or didn't know what I was doing. After a year & a half the wifi quit working because of a hardware problem. Since it was still under warranty they replaced it free of charge with the newest updated version. It has worked flawlessly & the wifi communication part works perfect with little effort! I once did 29hr continuous burn on a single load of charcoal at 225 in my large egg!
    As has been said before, you get what you pay for! Very pleased with cyber performance.
  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,879
    @jeepster47 I have a 25 degree temp alarm on.  at 1:04, the temp hit 300.  I got an alert about 10 minutes later, 1:13.  I actually closed the vent at that point.  The second alert, telling me to close the vent, came at 1:22.  

    I'm cooking on a small BGE today, and haven't used the FB with it.  turns out vent settings on the DFMT would be pretty analogous to the large BGE.  It's now running 0-15% on the fan and holding within a degree or two.  Not sure how your weather is over there, but in my part of IL it's cold and rainy.  Not exactly weather to drink a beer and mind the BBQ.
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    @blind99 ... My alerts have all come with in a minute or so of exceeding the set point.  Did your alarm limit get bumped to 30 degrees by any chance?

    Looks like the "hint" alert gets sent after 40 minutes above the target temp ... or 40 minutes without the fan running.  Or 40 minutes above target with no downward trend towards target.

    You're right, the rest of your cook looks great.  Took an hour to "learn" the small egg (11~12 o'clock) and then it locked right in to target.  Looks like you threw the meat on as the egg was warming up ... yes/no?

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,752
    DigiQ DX2, Flame Boss 200, and CyberQ - are any of them rainproof?  Seems like any outdoor cooking device should be, but are they?
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 2,948
    I have only used used the Stoker white, Stoker WiFi gen1, and Stoker WiFi gen 2 and all have worked flawlessly and have been plug n play.  Light the lump in small area and turn on Stoker and in less than 30 minutes it is as temp.   
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/  and http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/2006/02/recipes.html
    What am I drinking now?   Woodford....neat
  • bhedges1987bhedges1987 Posts: 3,201
    I wanted a FB200. Now that I was given a digiQ I don't see any reason why I would need to change my temp during a cook with wifi.  not sure I could have justified to my wife for her to spend an extra $100 on something to let me be able to change my low and slow temp. Even she knows I want a steady temp throughout the whole cook. Set it and forget it. 

    Kansas City, Missouri
    Large Egg
    Mini Egg

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" - Gandalf


  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,343
    DigiQ DX2, Flame Boss 200, and CyberQ - are any of them rainproof?  Seems like any outdoor cooking device should be, but are they?
    They're all "weather resistant".  I don't like taking chances, so I'll just set a Pyrex plate over the top or put them under the nest.  You can also crunch up a piece of foil over the fans if you're worried about them. 
  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,879
    @jeepster47 oops i started this reply and left the thread, sorry.  yep!  i have pretty wide alarm range set.  i know the FB will get to the right point so unless it's way out of whack i don't have to get alerts.  I started some coals in a chimney and threw them in the egg with a few lumps of smoking wood.  I installed everything and got it running, then threw in the meat.  I had the opened the petals all the way and let the FB bring it up to temp.  I figured it might go a bit fast and overshoot.  just a pork butt though so no worries.
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    @blind99 ... thanks for the feedback.

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

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