Thursday, February 10, 2011


First real test run done.
Yesterday evening before going to bed I set up the system with temp setting 85C and full magazine of smoke pucks. Oh, and one brisket.

Unfortunately last night was a bit cold. System could not get temperature higher than 70C and due to a software bug (what was I thinking? Probaply nothing, as usual) feeder spent five hours worth of pucks in about two hours before getting jammed due to too low stepper motor current limiter setting.

Anyhow... Brisket turned out tender, moist and delicious:

This morning I changed the setting to cold smoking, put piece of salmon there, loaded magazine, set the temperature to 7C, started the system and slipped and slided to work.

Soon (relatively soon, in a day or two) to be cold smoked salmon:

After about 2hrs, I got message from home saying there is no more smoke!
Went home during lunchbreak and checked the system.

Again I built something with too tight tolerances. Apparently about 2% of smoke pucks are 3mm thicker than "normal" pucks. That caused puck to jam in feeding system.
Fixed by checking all remaining pucks and discarding too fat ones.
Since then system has been running flawlessly about seven hours. Two more hours and salmon will move from smoker to fridge overnight and from there to tomorrows lunch.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Smoke on the wat....

Well. Technically yes because it was next to pool.

First 2hrs test run went perfectly (after minor tweaking of limit switch).

Oh, and the smoking evidence:

Yes. It is not image manipulation. It really smokes.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Flux capacitor is working!

Yesterday I finally got the new flux capacitor working. Unfortunately the subspace resonance field distorted the reality field of my cameras image cell so no video of first test run. Sorry.
Here is a picture of it powered up but not running in full power.

Another milestone on my way to world dominance was achieved today when I finally got the infinite improbability drive working. Does not look much but took some time to get it running.

Depleted trilithium waste port in action:

First real life test nears. Yesterday evening I already converted some fresh fish to delicious dinner with my new flux capacitor.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Heat controller...

Almost done. Everything else works but the heat controlling does not...

Why not?
Well.... After connecting everything, I realized this eBay-based Sestos PID heat controller outputs 12V for SSR. SSR? Solid state relay.
Few minutes with google gave me the specifications of this controller and there they say it is 12V/30mA! I don't have any relays that operate with less than 80mA.

Time to go to Tanner Electronics...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Smoker electronics and sw done!

Yesterday, between rolling blackouts, I finally finished the final finalization of the brainbox of the smoker.

Parts from top:
Come 1x16 LCD with LCD#117 serialization piggyback module from P. Anderson
(Red) Easydriver stepper motor driver from Sparkfun
Microchip PIC 18F2580 programmed with CCS C.
In the end of ribbon cable on left: DS18B20 temperature sensor from Sparkfun.

Next: smoking puck magazine installation, connecting wires and first test run.