Pit Boss Pro S4 V2 Controller Change

GeekChef

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Well....I tried to stay with the Pit Boss controller....but the temperature took off on my twice.....and most other times it would never seem to reach temperature. So I took out their controller(until they get an update) and I installed a spare RecTec controller that I had for my RT-340. I used a piece of Lexan and bought and soldered the pins for the proper Molex and ST RTD connectors, so I could make it swappable. I put it in and did a three probe average of temperature and the RecTec controller allows you to add an offset to the RTD measurement, so I took the average of the temperature across the grate where the RTD is located. See pic below the temperature within the cabinet at the 3rd Rack grate where the RTD is located is rock solid at 280 degs. Also this controller has 5 deg increments across the entire span....so that is really nice....AND the app just works and has a graph over the entire cook.

The Controller fired up immediately and got to 225 in about 14 mins at 34 degs outside....and I tested it up and down from 200 to 350 and would get to temps really fast and hold it consistently. I did a Hot and Fast Pork butt in the smoker at 280 and it held there for 6 hours....no movement at all. Pellet usage was noticeably less during that cook. I have to say that mechanically hardware wise...this is the best smoker on the market for the price.....maybe even $200 above this price....but now with the RecTec....the controls are perfect too! To be able to clean out the ash and grease is fantastic...and I just love the clean smoke flavor of a vertical smoker. I bought some black paint to cover the Lexan....called Hammered Black....it is textured, so hopefully it will blend in and you won't even notice the cover.

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david_ski

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I have not purchased a smoker grill. In the market and looking at my options. I am factoring in the extra cost of a 3rd party PID controller (CampChef, SmokeDaddy, GMG, RecTec, possibly others).
I want a WiFi controller so I can monitor from my smartphone. this is also finding a controller that is well supported and a smartphone APP that has company support behind.

I am thinking about a similar mod to a Pit Boss pellet smoker/grill. I like the build quality of the mechanical parts of the Pit Boss, but I am expecting a disappointing experience with their PID controller. They don't support over the air updates, so any Pit Boss controller updates would require a return to the factory. Pit Boss's smartphone app is supported by a 3rd party. Good and bad. Good it is a SW company, bad is that part of PitBoss. There is deniability of taking ownership when something goes wrong (it is not a Pitt Boss problem, no it is the App problem or the other way around).

My current top of the list choices are Pit Boss 850 ($499) + CampChef WiFi controller ($200). Total under $700. Less expensive than a CampChef, GMG, RecTec, ... Waiting for a possible spring sale at Lowes on the Pit Boss products. I am still sorting through possible PID controllers I can choose from.

It is good to see others that have been successful with the controller change to their Pit Boss vertical and/or pellet grills.

The Lexan fit/adjustment shim is a great idea. Easier than cutting sheetmetal and it does not warp.
 

Glock19ftw

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Is it possible to switch out the controller on a 1150 Pro Series to a better one (like Rec Tec)?

Would that solve the temperature fluctuations that I am experiencing with this grill?
 

GeekChef

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I have not purchased a smoker grill. In the market and looking at my options. I am factoring in the extra cost of a 3rd party PID controller (CampChef, SmokeDaddy, GMG, RecTec, possibly others).
I want a WiFi controller so I can monitor from my smartphone. this is also finding a controller that is well supported and a smartphone APP that has company support behind.

I am thinking about a similar mod to a Pit Boss pellet smoker/grill. I like the build quality of the mechanical parts of the Pit Boss, but I am expecting a disappointing experience with their PID controller. They don't support over the air updates, so any Pit Boss controller updates would require a return to the factory. Pit Boss's smartphone app is supported by a 3rd party. Good and bad. Good it is a SW company, bad is that part of PitBoss. There is deniability of taking ownership when something goes wrong (it is not a Pitt Boss problem, no it is the App problem or the other way around).

My current top of the list choices are Pit Boss 850 ($499) + CampChef WiFi controller ($200). Total under $700. Less expensive than a CampChef, GMG, RecTec, ... Waiting for a possible spring sale at Lowes on the Pit Boss products. I am still sorting through possible PID controllers I can choose from.

It is good to see others that have been successful with the controller change to their Pit Boss vertical and/or pellet grills.

The Lexan fit/adjustment shim is a great idea. Easier than cutting sheetmetal and it does not warp.
Just FYI.....there is a guy on Youtube and Facebook who has a lot of followers and that tends to get him insider information.....he stated that the Series 4 Rev 2 Pro is getting a new controller software. They are NOT accepting the current lot back for flashing.....which sucks.....so I am assuming that they will be getting ALOT of returns inside the warranty for ones that "fail"....hint hint.

With my setup above, I can now swap back and forth in about 5 minutes.....so it will be easy to send in my "broken" controller for an updated one and still cook on my Rec Tec unit.

One more note.....I love this smoker.....I had never had a vertical smoker and it is wonderful....way good purchase for just the mechanical bones of the system. Best in the market in my opinion....so when they get the controller issues fixed...this will be the one to get.
 

GeekChef

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Is it possible to switch out the controller on a 1150 Pro Series to a better one (like Rec Tec)?

Would that solve the temperature fluctuations that I am experiencing with this grill?
Yes and No. It would be possible....but there are three items to consider.

1. The 1150 Pro has an issue with heat getting past the deflector shield...and there is a mechanical mod that is cheap for that....so you would need to get that mod first.

2. RecTec will not sell controllers to anyone that does not have a RecTec....so you would have to find another vendor like smoke daddy....or a friend that could buy you one that has a RecTec now.

3. The 1150 Pro has an update that you can send the current controller in for that fixes the issue with the input lag and the 25 deg increments to 10 deg change. There is a youtube video on this change....search for Mr Garage and 1150 firmware.....great easy to understand content.
 

Breeden850

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I have not purchased a smoker grill. In the market and looking at my options. I am factoring in the extra cost of a 3rd party PID controller (CampChef, SmokeDaddy, GMG, RecTec, possibly others).
I want a WiFi controller so I can monitor from my smartphone. this is also finding a controller that is well supported and a smartphone APP that has company support behind.

I am thinking about a similar mod to a Pit Boss pellet smoker/grill. I like the build quality of the mechanical parts of the Pit Boss, but I am expecting a disappointing experience with their PID controller. They don't support over the air updates, so any Pit Boss controller updates would require a return to the factory. Pit Boss's smartphone app is supported by a 3rd party. Good and bad. Good it is a SW company, bad is that part of PitBoss. There is deniability of taking ownership when something goes wrong (it is not a Pitt Boss problem, no it is the App problem or the other way around).

My current top of the list choices are Pit Boss 850 ($499) + CampChef WiFi controller ($200). Total under $700. Less expensive than a CampChef, GMG, RecTec, ... Waiting for a possible spring sale at Lowes on the Pit Boss products. I am still sorting through possible PID controllers I can choose from.

It is good to see others that have been successful with the controller change to their Pit Boss vertical and/or pellet grills.
I have not purchased a smoker grill. In the market and looking at my options. I am factoring in the extra cost of a 3rd party PID controller (CampChef, SmokeDaddy, GMG, RecTec, possibly others).
I want a WiFi controller so I can monitor from my smartphone. this is also finding a controller that is well supported and a smartphone APP that has company support behind.

I am thinking about a similar mod to a Pit Boss pellet smoker/grill. I like the build quality of the mechanical parts of the Pit Boss, but I am expecting a disappointing experience with their PID controller. They don't support over the air updates, so any Pit Boss controller updates would require a return to the factory. Pit Boss's smartphone app is supported by a 3rd party. Good and bad. Good it is a SW company, bad is that part of PitBoss. There is deniability of taking ownership when something goes wrong (it is not a Pitt Boss problem, no it is the App problem or the other way around).

My current top of the list choices are Pit Boss 850 ($499) + CampChef WiFi controller ($200). Total under $700. Less expensive than a CampChef, GMG, RecTec, ... Waiting for a possible spring sale at Lowes on the Pit Boss products. I am still sorting through possible PID controllers I can choose from.

It is good to see others that have been successful with the controller change to their Pit Boss vertical and/or pellet grills.

The Lexan fit/adjustment shim is a great idea. Easier than cutting sheetmetal and it does not warp.
It’s a shame that there is a need to replace the Pit Boss 850 controller with something that actually functions well. I looked at the CampChef wifi controller that you mention. It appears to have the correct connection wires, but I can’t find the Lexan fit/adjustment shim needed. Would you post the information on which one you’re using?

The Lexan fit/adjustment shim is a great idea. Easier than cutting sheetmetal and it does not warp.
 

JOE URSICH

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I’m kinda new with my Navigator 850. What 👁 learned so far it’s like a Motorcycle or a Car!! You always got to do something to make it Better!!
👁 put 2 external thermometers one left & right. Smoking is Old School you got to stay with it. All this High Tech 👁 can’t Trust. Once 👁 got the Temps under control 👁 can move my Meats wear 👁 feel best .
👁 do use a Smoke Tube works great, to keep the Ashes from going all over the place 👁 put the tube in a painters mud tray. Works great ‼️
HarborFreight sells these magnetic trays that I use for my flippers and tools, also works great to keep your cover down during the Windy days.
Just my opinion and where I’m at today .
Tomorrow may be different
 

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spudthegreater

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I’m kinda new with my Navigator 850. What 👁 learned so far it’s like a Motorcycle or a Car!! You always got to do something to make it Better!!
👁 put 2 external thermometers one left & right. Smoking is Old School you got to stay with it. All this High Tech 👁 can’t Trust. Once 👁 got the Temps under control 👁 can move my Meats wear 👁 feel best .
👁 do use a Smoke Tube works great, to keep the Ashes from going all over the place 👁 put the tube in a painters mud tray. Works great ‼️
HarborFreight sells these magnetic trays that I use for my flippers and tools, also works great to keep your cover down during the Windy days.
Just my opinion and where I’m at today .
Tomorrow may be different
Hey, those are excellent tips and mods. I'll try those on my 850. I didn't have the front shelf so I made one. I like it very much. the only problem i have is the side tray has holes in it, not sure what the purpose for it was except maybe to put your food on it, but then it would drip everywhere
 

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GeekChef

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I’m kinda new with my Navigator 850. What 👁 learned so far it’s like a Motorcycle or a Car!! You always got to do something to make it Better!!
👁 put 2 external thermometers one left & right. Smoking is Old School you got to stay with it. All this High Tech 👁 can’t Trust. Once 👁 got the Temps under control 👁 can move my Meats wear 👁 feel best .
👁 do use a Smoke Tube works great, to keep the Ashes from going all over the place 👁 put the tube in a painters mud tray. Works great ‼️
HarborFreight sells these magnetic trays that I use for my flippers and tools, also works great to keep your cover down during the Windy days.
Just my opinion and where I’m at today .
Tomorrow may be different
Dude....I love that Smoke Tube holder using the painter's mud tray.... a wonderful idea. Am going to test this out this weekend...thanks for sharing...!
 

david_ski

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👁 didn’t say, but 👁 drilled 2 holes and put a long bolt through it thinking to let air under it,plus it kept it on a nice angle. See pic .
I noticed the bolt. A great addition to allow airflow around the smoker tube.
 

GeekChef

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Ran another test.....to even out the grating temperature on the 3rd grate from the bottom where the RTD is located. With the ability to Offset the RTD setting on the RecTec controller, you are able to get it spot on with grate temperatures.

I set it to Low which is 180 degs....smoked leg quarters for an hour and then sent it to 350....and it got there in 17 mins....really fast! Skin crisped right up and was amazing.! Until they fix the Pit Boss....if you have a friend that has a RecTec grill....then ask them to get you a controller....it made this smoker as perfect a smoker I have ever owned.

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CoachRed74

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Well....I tried to stay with the Pit Boss controller....but the temperature took off on my twice.....and most other times it would never seem to reach temperature. So I took out their controller(until they get an update) and I installed a spare RecTec controller that I had for my RT-340. I used a piece of Lexan and bought and soldered the pins for the proper Molex and ST RTD connectors, so I could make it swappable. I put it in and did a three probe average of temperature and the RecTec controller allows you to add an offset to the RTD measurement, so I took the average of the temperature across the grate where the RTD is located. See pic below the temperature within the cabinet at the 3rd Rack grate where the RTD is located is rock solid at 280 degs. Also this controller has 5 deg increments across the entire span....so that is really nice....AND the app just works and has a graph over the entire cook.

The Controller fired up immediately and got to 225 in about 14 mins at 34 degs outside....and I tested it up and down from 200 to 350 and would get to temps really fast and hold it consistently. I did a Hot and Fast Pork butt in the smoker at 280 and it held there for 6 hours....no movement at all. Pellet usage was noticeably less during that cook. I have to say that mechanically hardware wise...this is the best smoker on the market for the price.....maybe even $200 above this price....but now with the RecTec....the controls are perfect too! To be able to clean out the ash and grease is fantastic...and I just love the clean smoke flavor of a vertical smoker. I bought some black paint to cover the Lexan....called Hammered Black....it is textured, so hopefully it will blend in and you won't even notice the cover.
Hey GeekChef, do you happen to have any pictures close up of the plugs/wiring that you installed/soldered?...I just bought this smoker and have a RT-590 so I can get the controller...Thanks in advance, Todd
 

GeekChef

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Yes.....here are some pics and links. Note that I bought the connectors and cables, so I could quickly connect the RecTec controller and then swap back to the Pitboss when they fixed the firmware or if I sold the smoker. I didn't want to have to unsolder anything later on. I am going to assume you have nothing, so here is everything I used.....but I had most of it already.

1. Molex Connectors: Molex
2. RTD Cables: RTD Cables
3. Insulated Female Quick Disconnect Spade Terminals: Spade Lugs
4. Multi-color wire: Colored Wire (16 or 18 GA)

You have to lower your pellet level and remove the screws on the outside to get to the wiring inside the pellet hopper. With the lid off, you can see the Pitboss wiring below:
1616519522793.png


I used the new wire and crimped on spade lugs on one end of a White, Black, Yellow, Red and Purple wire cut to about 20" or so. I then proceeded to crimp on the Molex connector pins, but decided to solder the pins to the wire for a better connection. See below how to combine the BLACK/WHITE and RED/YELLOW and PURPLE onto 3 molex connectors. Make sure you get the orientation correct following the point of the Molex....to ensure hot and neutral are aligned correctly. See below

1616519809345.png


1616519845074.png


Then connect the Spade Lug to the RecTec with the following color code and labels. The white goes to the Neutral spade....it was hanging off on this picture. After this....connect the male Molex you just soldered or crimped to the PitBoss Smoker Female Molex connectors. Follow the color code.
1616519994775.png


And Finally....you need to connect up the RTD cable.....which I used Female Spade lugs on one of the RTD cables that were from Amazon above. Orientation or color code does not matter here, because it is a non-polarity based resistor.

1616520217891.png


After drilling, cutting and mounting the RecTec lexan plate, I decided to paint the Lexan and used an enamal paint from Walmart....called "Black Hammered Metal".....two coats and it looks just like it was factory made....at least I think so.

1616520458702.png


btw....the controller is AMAZING on this smoker....heats up fast. MAKE sure that do some initial testing of the grate temperature vs the RecTec Reading.....the RecTec has a Bias Offset for the Main RTD reading.....and so I used 3 probes to measure the left, center and right of the 3rd grate where the RTD is located. I took an average of those readings and used it to "offset" the RTD reading to make it equal the grate temperature. Now my RecTec reads the same as that grate and ensures I am smoking at the correct temperature.

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1616521017436.png


Let me know if you need anything further to help set it up.
 

CoachRed74

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Yes.....here are some pics and links. Note that I bought the connectors and cables, so I could quickly connect the RecTec controller and then swap back to the Pitboss when they fixed the firmware or if I sold the smoker. I didn't want to have to unsolder anything later on. I am going to assume you have nothing, so here is everything I used.....but I had most of it already.

1. Molex Connectors: Molex
2. RTD Cables: RTD Cables
3. Insulated Female Quick Disconnect Spade Terminals: Spade Lugs
4. Multi-color wire: Colored Wire (16 or 18 GA)

You have to lower your pellet level and remove the screws on the outside to get to the wiring inside the pellet hopper. With the lid off, you can see the Pitboss wiring below:
View attachment 965

I used the new wire and crimped on spade lugs on one end of a White, Black, Yellow, Red and Purple wire cut to about 20" or so. I then proceeded to crimp on the Molex connector pins, but decided to solder the pins to the wire for a better connection. See below how to combine the BLACK/WHITE and RED/YELLOW and PURPLE onto 3 molex connectors. Make sure you get the orientation correct following the point of the Molex....to ensure hot and neutral are aligned correctly. See below

View attachment 966

View attachment 967

Then connect the Spade Lug to the RecTec with the following color code and labels. The white goes to the Neutral spade....it was hanging off on this picture. After this....connect the male Molex you just soldered or crimped to the PitBoss Smoker Female Molex connectors. Follow the color code.
View attachment 968

And Finally....you need to connect up the RTD cable.....which I used Female Spade lugs on one of the RTD cables that were from Amazon above. Orientation or color code does not matter here, because it is a non-polarity based resistor.

View attachment 969

After drilling, cutting and mounting the RecTec lexan plate, I decided to paint the Lexan and used an enamal paint from Walmart....called "Black Hammered Metal".....two coats and it looks just like it was factory made....at least I think so.

View attachment 970

btw....the controller is AMAZING on this smoker....heats up fast. MAKE sure that do some initial testing of the grate temperature vs the RecTec Reading.....the RecTec has a Bias Offset for the Main RTD reading.....and so I used 3 probes to measure the left, center and right of the 3rd grate where the RTD is located. I took an average of those readings and used it to "offset" the RTD reading to make it equal the grate temperature. Now my RecTec reads the same as that grate and ensures I am smoking at the correct temperature.

View attachment 971 View attachment 972

Let me know if you need anything further to help set it up.
Thanks!!!...Very good info and details...Much appreciated GeekChef!!!
 

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