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Anyone used a remote BBQ thermometer to monitor stove and flue temperature?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by John Ackerly, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. John Ackerly

    John Ackerly Member

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    I'm thinking about buying one of those BBQ thermometers that has a probe and wireless signal to monitor temps coming out my stack - and possibly on the stove itself. I was having breakfast this morning and thought I had built perfect fire, but found that it was smoking like hell and the alarm on a BBQ probe could have told me that the temperature was too low. But also thought it would be interesting to monitor temp coming out the stack with my current non-cat stove and then with my new cat stove that I'm getting next week. A friend has, or jerry rigged, a BBQ thermometer on his green egg so he can monitor temp on his computer or handheld. Anyone have a advice on an affordable thermometer probe that goes up to say, 800 degrees?

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  2. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    [quote="John Ackerly, post: 1254626, member: 11490"]I'm thinking about buying one of those BBQ thermometers that has a probe and wireless signal to monitor temps coming out my stack - and possibly on the stove itself. I was having breakfast this morning and thought I had built perfect fire, but found that it was smoking like hell and the alarm on a BBQ probe could have told me that the temperature was too low. But also thought it would be interesting to monitor temp coming out the stack with my current non-cat stove and then with my new cat stove that I'm getting next week. A friend has, or jerry rigged, a BBQ thermometer on his green egg so he can monitor temp on his computer or handheld. Anyone have a advice on an affordable thermometer probe that goes up to say, 800 degrees?[/quote]

    never seen one..but I'm interested..any links to one?
  3. northernontario

    northernontario Member

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    I have yet to find a wireless option. Right now I've got a 2000F thermocouple mounted in my flue, hooked up to a digital PID temperature controller... I got that instead of a temperature gauge because I wanted to be able to trip an alarm and possibly control a motorized damper (someday in the future).

    I know some temperature monitors have outputs... 4-20ma, 0-25v, etc... you can, with some knowhow, hook that up to a computer and write a program to convert the input signal to a temperature.

    But I agree, I'd love to have a unit attached to the stove, with a box that sends a signal to a remote (or pushes it out over wifi and possibly internet) so I can monitor flue temps on a remote device. Like if I step outside, or I'm out of earshot of my over-temp alarm.

    Keep in mind the internal temps of a flue get HOT. My stove pipe thermometer will be in the 400-500F range, and the center of the flue is cooking around 1000F.
  4. John Ackerly

    John Ackerly Member

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  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Most BBQ thermometers don't have the temperature range needed for stoves. A pizza oven thermometer should work if you can find one with a remote probe. Or just get a decent digital thermometer with a high-tem probe.
  6. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Find out it's temp range first. I strongly suspect it is not for the kind of temps a stove sees.
  8. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    A BBQ thermometer does not have anywhere near the max temp required to measure flue temp, you need 1200::F-1500::F.

    As far as I know there is not a commercially available wood stove temp/alarm.

    I have built my own.

    My stove has two, one monitor/alarm to measure stove top temp, and one to measure flue temp.
    The stove top monitor/alarm will sound an alarm at 700::F and automatically turn the blower on high.
    The flue temp monitor/alarm will sound an alarm at 875::F, and automatically close the air control 1/3.
    If the flue temp is still above 875::F after one minute the air control will close ti 2/3.

    I also have an Omega wireless temperature data logger. It will plot stove top temp and ambient temp on

    Picture 170.jpg Picture 169.jpg PDR_0005.JPG
    burn time1.JPG
    a graph. View attachment 82188 View attachment 82188
    Soundchasm, chazcarr, DTrain and 4 others like this.
  9. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Real cool Wes!
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    If I had all that crap hanging out of my stove my wife would think I'm nuts! It's pretty cool to know all that info but not really needed as far as I'm concerned.
  11. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Very nice now that is a setup.

    Were i am on the computer a lot i would like to one day install cameras in the stove room along with a temp logger on my computer.

    It also would be nice to have mine set up to have a pop up come up on my computer when temps reach like 700. Or have all the temps showing up on my computer not just a pop up
  12. thetraindork

    thetraindork Member

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    i have the temp monitor built by wes999. the BBQ thermo won't do it. have him build you one, worth every penny.

    wes999, nice set up. when did you come up with that? kinda wanting to do the same thing here.
  13. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    That is a really cool system Wes!!
  14. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I might try to do something like the manual Nestor Martin remotes for primary air control.

    I'm thinking maybe using this servo mounted underneath stove and connected to air rod in a way that I could bypass if power went out. I haven't measure full movement on my Lopi but I think the 1.2" of total movement would be sufficient.

    [​IMG]


    If anyone has any less expensive servo recommendations let me know.

    Thanks!
  15. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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  16. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    I was going to say that the RAC servo might be a little short on travel, (1.2 in) the air control on my stove needs 3.25 in of travel.
    I used a Honeywell HVAC damper actuator, a new one is quite expensive but I was able to find a used one on Ebay for about $35.00.

    I was considering a linear actuator but they were a bit expensive. Also the one in the pic is 12 VDC, I wanted 120VAC, they seemed to be less common.

    I got the idea for my system from a you tube vid, , his set up is not bad but there are some things
    I don't like, his is only full open or full closed, and I am not sure closing the air by the room air temp thermostat is a good idea either, seems like his flue temps are on the low side.

    My system used a timer and a solenoid to close the air in 3 or 4 stages, it also does not affect manual operation of the air control.
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Geez... Wes has me beat. I use a custom 3" K-type probe (1/16" diameter) from Omega as my remote cat temp probe. Rather than just sticking it thru the refractory, I put the access port bolts for both stoves in a lathe, and drilled a 1/16" pilot hole thru each, and inserted the probes thru them. A handheld dual K-type thermocouple meter from Amprobe does the monitoring, and also has data logging for min/max/ave, but my control is still manual (my finger on the primary air lever).

    Someone once gave me one of those remote BBK sensors, which went straight in the trash (un-opened) the following day. Barbequeing should not be a scientific endeavor.

    Big question for Wes... if you want automatic control, why not just buy a BK? The rig is cool, and no doubt a conversation piece, but I'd be nervous leaving any one-off prototype burning unattended until the bugs and potential break-downs were worked out over many years of burning.
  18. DTrain

    DTrain Member

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  19. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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  20. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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  21. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    This is where having a tube stove shines, only 1 lever to fiddle with, makes hooking up the Smart Stove or another type system "easier".
  22. NW Walker

    NW Walker Member

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    Wow, cool set ups guys.

    Not sure how hot you would need to monitor but the wireless Maverick ET-732 will monitor just over 700*F with both probes. Still probably not enough, but maybe good enough for the top of the stack just for peace of mind while having breakfast.
  23. DTrain

    DTrain Member

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    Nice product. But, I think a lot of us are burning stoves cause we like ins and outs of the whole thing. If we wanted one touch we'd flip on the furnace, eh. At the same time, I can see why some would want these anti "pucker" devices
  24. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I looked at those looks very helpful but one thing that crossed my mind what if the CPU had a glitch or something still interest me.
  25. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Old thread resurrection.. I've been playing with Raspberry Pi and thinking about working on something that could control the linear actuator based on flue temps from a thermocouple. Anyone doing anything similar with Windows or OS X? I need to look again at what Wes has done.

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