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Q-Control Build w/MicroDa...
Forum: Q-Control Discussions
Last Post: JohnW
12-19-2017, 08:58 PM
» Replies: 15
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Huzzah Feather ESP8266
Forum: Q-Control Discussions
Last Post: JohnW
12-19-2017, 08:56 PM
» Replies: 6
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All-In-One Mini Q-Control...
Forum: Q-Control Mini-All-In-One Project
Last Post: BourneToRide
12-14-2017, 07:02 AM
» Replies: 24
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Ramps new build
Forum: Q-Control Ramps Controller Project
Last Post: mlogsdon
07-09-2017, 07:46 PM
» Replies: 9
» Views: 10,385
Q-Control RAMPS Install
Forum: Q-Control Ramps Controller Project
Last Post: NailBuster
07-09-2017, 04:16 PM
» Replies: 0
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Q-Control Install & Hooku...
Forum: Q-Control Discussions
Last Post: mlogsdon
07-09-2017, 04:11 PM
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Ramps Version of Q-Contro...
Forum: Q-Control Ramps Controller Project
Last Post: mlogsdon
07-08-2017, 09:23 PM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 4,713
Welcome to new forums and...
Forum: Q-Control Discussions
Last Post: mlogsdon
06-18-2017, 03:39 AM
» Replies: 11
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Using Fan with PWM built ...
Forum: Dampers/Fans
Last Post: NailBuster
04-25-2017, 03:53 PM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 13,921
PID Function Code
Forum: Q-Control Mini-All-In-One Project
Last Post: NailBuster
04-07-2017, 08:55 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 2,641

  Mini Q-Control Circuit Board
Posted by: wbegg - 03-24-2017, 11:32 PM - Forum: Q-Control Mini-All-In-One Project - Replies (4)

In response through discussions with David, and my great enthusiasm for this project, I am currently working on a board layout for the Q-Control Mini that I can send off to fabrication to a service such as OSH Park. If I can get this done, it will be available to anyone to use.

Currently, I'm still working on component layout to miniaturize as much as possible, and the goal is to have it small enough to fit into a fan/damper unit and will include fan/damper control with 4 probe (TC's or TR's) capability. 

Here's what I have so far ... 

[Image: L9PpvuS.jpg]

Still a bit limited with only 2 probes, but was able to save a bit of space by stacking the WeMos and Arduino Pro Mini. Still to add, also, is the fan driving section. As is, the board is about 2.6" x 1.7" which should give enough room to add a few more components (2 more TC amp boards and fan controller).

Also to add is a seperate USB connector to power the unit instead of powering through the limited current capability of the WeMos 5V regulator. 

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions, and I'll get off my lazy duff and try to get something done.

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  Barrel or Blower fan/damper
Posted by: JohnW - 03-23-2017, 12:38 AM - Forum: Dampers/Fans - Replies (4)

Wanted to start a discussion as to which is better or more appropriate for which type of smoker.

As far as I know, there are two types of fan/damper designs being used;
1) barrel type case with a computer type fan like these
2) blower type case with fans like these

Please provide any pros/cons, other input and/or experiences.

No flames please (ha, did you see that, I made a pun)

First let me state, I have only used the barrel type with a computer fan in it and I have only smoked with a UDS.

I have configured my temp controller to do most of the air control via the damper before adding any fan input to stoke the fire. Therefore I believe the barrel type to be better as it has the least amount of air flow resistance through the case & fan as compared to the blower design.

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  Board question
Posted by: jchiar - 03-03-2017, 07:19 PM - Forum: Q-Control Discussions - Replies (3)

In the Gallery pics, there is a RED board sitting on to of the Arduino board. Does this board hold the max6675s?

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  New build thread for an Electric Smoker Controller
Posted by: JeremyM - 03-03-2017, 05:19 AM - Forum: Q-Control Mini-All-In-One Project - Replies (22)

After having a few issues with my electric smokers' wiring and controls I started researching how I could bypass all the built in controls and devise a way to control the smokers temperature as well as monitor temperature of both the cabinet and the meat. I wanted to be able to control and monitor tempuratures, as well as get notifications of when food reaches the desired IT. After an extensive google search I came across the Heatermeter which with some minor tweaks would work but was going to cost way more than I really wanted to spend. While going through some of the forums I ran across NB's thread which got me here.

I was able to order all the major components for this project from Ali Express. Shipping takes a few weeks to a month but you can't beat the prices.

Here is the parts list:

1x 2PCS micro USB Interface power switch interface Bread Board 5V power supply module exploitation Board  
3x Type Thermocouple K 6 "(150mm) with Probe 90 Pointed & Tip for BBQ Smoker Bend
1x D1 mini - Mini NodeMcu 4M bytes Lua WIFI Internet of Things development board based ESP8266 by WeMos
1x 1pcs solid state relay SSR-25DA 25A 5-24VDC TO 24-380V AC SSR 25DA,6-20mA
1x New Pro Mini Atmega328 3.3V 8Mhz Replace ATmega128 For Arduino Compatible Nano ATMEGA328P-AU Module
1x MAX6675 K-type Thermocouple Temperature Sensor Temperature 0-800 Degrees Module

I already had a breadboard and jumper wires so it was just a matter of wiring everything up and following NB's instructions.

Here is a picture of the components wired up. I am just testing as of now so I'm only using 1 thermocouple module. 

[Image: 20170302_221252_zpsu1sz72k6.jpg]

And a screenshot of the interface on my phone:
[Image: Screenshot_2017-03-02-22-14-37-1_zpsjtbvndcr.png]

My plan is to mount the solid state relay to the smoker and use a 1/8" headphone style jack to connect it to the controller. All thermocouples will be able to be unplugged via surface mount mini connectors and the controller itself will be powered via a standard micro usb phone charger.

Now that everything works on the board the next challenge will be to mount everything in a box. I'll post more on that soon.

To be continued....

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  Q-Control Install & Hookup Instructions
Posted by: NailBuster - 03-02-2017, 04:28 PM - Forum: Q-Control Discussions - Replies (3)


This is a thread to help get through install and setup:  Brand new files and documentation so I'm sure it'll be busy at first:

Get latest install/documents :   Q-Control Install and Documentation v0.9

Hardware requirements for this file is :  

esp8266 type device (with 4 MB flash size)
arduino type nano 3.3v 8Mhz 
support Analog and/or MAX6675 type temperature controllers.

[Image: allinone_sch.png]

here's a sample hookup diagram:  ...I'm new to kicad so it will not be a 'standard' doc Smile

Note:  important if you are using a fan that you put in a diode(which diode is dependant on fan)!!

also,  haven't decided on exact MOSFET for fan control.  Difficult because many don't like to be driven by 3.3v .   I'm in process of testing this one:  FQP30N06L  

Ask away,  any questions are good questions because others may run into them as well!!

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  New bootstrap theme
Posted by: NailBuster - 12-19-2016, 10:03 PM - Forum: Q-Control Discussions - Replies (2)

I've been 'playing' with adding bootstrap theme to the config/local QControl files.

They look pretty good compared to the 'plain-html' before.  The only drawback is that the QControl module must be connected to the internet since the required files are downloaded via internet.  So I'll have to think of link for 'older' files if the QControl Module is started off-line...

Here's some screenshots....

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  All-In-One Mini Q-Control Unit
Posted by: NailBuster - 12-14-2016, 05:28 PM - Forum: Q-Control Mini-All-In-One Project - Replies (24)

Here's version 1 of my MINI Q-Control Unit:  

Here's a quick run-down.  I'll have complete build info soon for people that want to try it out....

[Image: IMG_20161119_184017.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20161031_152942%20-%20Copy.jpg]

More photos here:

You'll see that it is using basic complete boards that you can get from anywhere:    What's included:

WeMos Esp8266   ($4)
atmega pro mini 3.3v 8mhz ($3)

for temperature control I'm using 2x MAX6675 ($3/each)

diode, mosfet for fan control and a connector for micro usb (5v power)

for the damper part there's just a simple cheap servo and 5v fan/blower....

I'll be testing this out once I get it connected to my Kamado.....works on my desk though Smile

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  Ramps Version of Q-Control
Posted by: NailBuster - 12-14-2016, 05:26 PM - Forum: Q-Control Ramps Controller Project - Replies (3)

Here's a neat idea.....It's probably the cheapest and easiest way to build a computer/wifi controller for your smoker....and I mean easy!!

Ramps is an open source hardware platform to control 3d printers (for the DIY market types).  

It is designed to do a lot more than I need to control a BBQ smoker but it comes preassembled and cheap...er...inexpensive.  (ramps board is like $5 and atmega 2560 is like $8)

add an esp8266 and you got yourself a wifi/controlled BBQ Smoker controller!!

Here's the photo of my test build:

[Image: IMG_20161118_103357%20-%20Copy.jpg]

size of the case:
[Image: IMG_20161118_110930%20-%20Copy.jpg]

You Can See full album here:

I've done a few cooks with it....I'm just trying a few different PIDs control code I've found online to see which one will work better....it's cold here in Toronto so BBQ testing is a little 'lite' these days.

I'll update the progress soon...

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  Q-Control BBQ Smoker FAQ
Posted by: NailBuster - 12-14-2016, 05:23 PM - Forum: Q-Control Discussions - No Replies

What is a Q-Control BBQ Controller Project?

Well if you're asking what a Charcoal BBQ Controller can do for you then you can get some basic info from some of the commercial products websites.  I have no ties to any commercial products but if you find you don't want to build your own Controller then feel free to buy a commercial product.  Here's a beginners link, and another link at what commercial products can do to help with your cooking.

What is the status of the project?Still early on, but its usable at this point....I'm sure lots of things may change as I build a few more for friends/family and such...but here is where it's at:

  • Start and access local wifi (if it cannot connect, then it will start a local AP and serve webconfig pages to phone/tablet via wireless). It does captive DNS so you don't need to know the ip once you connect to the esp-wifi device....just type any url and it will hit the config page(neat!)
  • configuration via webpages for all of Q-Control parameters(probes,lcd,fan,pid..etc), as well as configuration of your thingspeak account(free) and of course wifi settings to connect to your internet router.
  • every 15 seconds it will update thingspeak servers so you can view/react to BBQ Cooking Data (4 probe temperatures, real-time graphs).
  • It will also check every 5 seconds for remote temperature set....this allows you to input a setpoint on the thingspeak site and have the temperature set on your Grill at home!
  • Works with internet cloud services (thingspeak & mqtt). You do NOT require any port forwarding or open ports on your router for it to work from the outside.  MQTT support allows it to work with many existing home automation systems....
  • You can update the unit via-WiFi.  Don't have to connect the unit to your computer to patch or update with new version!! 
  • ScreenShots?Sure,  checkout this album...Also,  try the online demo dashboard....  I'll update as I take more screen shots.

Cool...so how is Q-Control different?

Well First, it's a open source/free/hobby project I'm working on in my spare time....but on the plus side it can be really fun DIY build and learning experience, and can be a huge money saver using standard chips and hardware!!

It's designed to be an Internet-of-things (iOT) type of device.  Which means once initally setup, Q-Control will work with the internet/cloud to update near real-time graphs and get commands like to set temperatures remotely and even send you alarms and such when things are out-of-whack(or just finished).

Do I have to be a rocket-scientist to build one?

That would help Smile ....seriously,  I'm a software guy that 'plays' a bit with hardware so I know it may seem complicated at first but it really isn't too difficult.  That said, you should have some computer/network knowledge and have some basic soldering skills....if you're a totally newbie like I was, just watch some youtube videos and you'll be an expert in a few hours!

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  Welcome to new forums and Project! Getting Started....Introduce Yourself!
Posted by: NailBuster - 12-14-2016, 05:21 PM - Forum: Q-Control Discussions - Replies (11)

Hello,  glad you're stopping by.....I'm starting the forums to get the Project moving along....

I'm pretty sure things will be slow at first (I don't know how much interest there is in the project yet since it's new)....

Some basic rules:  Don't be 'that person'....you know,  this is all hobby/fun/no sales type forum so just be kind and pleasant....

Feel free to introduce yourself here to the board and let us know a bit about yourself:

Don't be shy....show us your grills Smile  no matter how 'decked' out they look or 'junkyard' homemade smokers Smile  

let us know what (if any) tech you've used and what you're planning on doing....

bye for now....

NailBuster (David)

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