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Billows on a kettle

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    Billows on a kettle

    Sorry if this is a repeat post but that open box Signals deal has me thinking about biting...
    Have any of you figured out a good way to hook up the billows fan to a kettle? I’m not opposed to drilling a hole because I’d have to do that if I got the pit Viper anyways but I don’t know that there’s a good way of sealing it back up when I’m done? The WSM is easy enough to make work but with the kettle the sweeper/vent presents its own challenges.

    Edit: learn to proofread!
    Last edited by Andrrr; February 25, 2020, 03:50 PM.

    #2
    I bought a cheap, old kettle just so I could drill a hole in it and not have to drill in one of my "good" kettles. There are some silicone stoppers on Amazon that seem to do the trick. But I don't really need to seal up that hole since it is my dedicated "Billows" kettle.

    There is enough room near the top of the sweepers and below the grate to drill a hole that the Billows will fit in.

    Comment


    • Andrrr
      Andrrr commented
      Editing a comment
      I love the thought process but I don't think a second kettle is in my future. I realize I'm saying this in the presence of people with double digits kettles

    #3
    You could always re-seal with some sheet magnets. Otherwise can't help much, I'm not a drill my cookers kinda guy. I find using a Slow 'N Sear makes my kettles pretty much self sufficient, but I do see how more devices is fun and appealing as well.

    Comment


    • Andrrr
      Andrrr commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh don't get me wrong, there is no reasonable justification for needing this thing! You're absolutely right that they're self sufficient and realistically I get my vents set and temps stay within 10-15 degrees the whole time. Honestly I probably won't get the fan right away anyways but I have wanted to upgrade my single food probe Mav 732 to multiple probes. And the fireboard, while awesome seems like total overkill. I dont know. I've gone back and forth on this more times than I care to count

    • ofelles
      ofelles commented
      Editing a comment
      Andrrr I have the Maverick works great but simgle probe. Got the Signals again works great with 4 probes. I have found that the remote works well if I can see the back yard and cooker, which in the kitchen is fine. But if I move to another part of the house not so much.
      Have ordered the FireBoard more as a fan controller but I'm sure I will use it to watch and record temps.

    #4
    Check this out:

    https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...-and-fan-combo

    Comment


      #5
      About those sweeper vents...

      Check this out.
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=2s&v=Da0gHrkINSo

      Comment


        #6
        Thanks for the link klflowers. Right now I’m torn because no setup is really exactly what I want and I’m trying to figure out what I’m willing to sacrifice. I should note I’d use it to run my kettle with SnS or my 22” WSM.
        In a perfect world I get 3+ food probes, easy attachment and detachment and clean plugging of where the fan goes. I’m not afraid of putting a hole in the grill so Pit Viper still applies, in fact I think it’s my favorite option. I don’t need any graphing functionality but I’m not opposed to it. App connectivity is basically a must since it’s really the only option for remote viewing anymore and I don’t want to have to log into a website to do so. A WiFi signal will not be an issue with my current setup.
        I know what you’re probably thinking: THERE’S ONLY ONE CLEAR CHOICE YOU NEED THE FIREBOARD PIT VIPER COMBO!!!! I know, and honestly I do like it. I know I’ll love it actually. But there’s one thing there... that friggin cable. That $80 bend-you-over-a-barrel cable. It is so hard for me to accept that, enough for me to continually balk. In almost every other aspect of my life I subscribe to “spend the money and you only cry once”, but that one. That one chaps me.

        Comment


          #7
          Andrrr When I installed the BBQguru adapter on my Performer 22” kettle, I ran the ash sweeps and found a spot that for me was on the front side, just below the level of the charcoal grate, and in the gap that the ash sweeps don’t reach. It was super easy to find the spot with the kettle dirty to start with! I then drilled through from the inside with a 1” step bit.

          I think you can do the same thing with the Billows, you just won’t have the adapter I use with my PartyQ. You just need to find a high temp silicone kill plug that fits the size hole you make, for grilling without the Billows. The BBQguru adapter came with one of course, but I know someone else surely makes one.

          If you need a picture of where I made the hole, let me know. It’s on a thread here somewhere, but it would be quicker for me to take a new photo than to try and search from a post from 2 years ago.

          Comment


          • Andrrr
            Andrrr commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks but no picture needed. I already know exactly where it needs to go thanks to the good folks here.

          #8
          Alright, I’m thinking if I parts this thing out I can do this.
          I know signals uses usb C and the Pitviper fan uses a 5.5x2.1 mm jack. So, I could buy the signals open box and a replacement billows cable which has the female usb C port on it for the fan. If I use this adapter I think that would make the connection between the signals cable and the pitviper fan.

          https://www.amazon.com/AAOTOKK-5-5x2...g-goods&sr=8-2

          does this look legit? If so I’m looking at $277 for everything including the Weber adapter and shipping as long as you’re a prime member and I buy the open box deal.

          Comment


            #9
            If you are going to do that, why not just go with the billows fan instead of the pit viper? Looks like you could get everything you need from Thermoworks instead of getting the 3rd party cable. here is a diagram from the Thermoworks page:

            Click image for larger version

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            Comment


            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              I think he wants the Pitviper because you can use the BBQGuru adapter, which installs permanently in the kettle and has a kill plug included. With the Billows, you gotta make a hole in the body of your kettle, and then hunt for a kill plug of some sort to cover it up when not using the fan.

            • surfdog
              surfdog commented
              Editing a comment
              Given the price of a Billows fan...I agree. It's not like it's way out there compared to others.

            • Andrrr
              Andrrr commented
              Editing a comment
              I hear ya, I was just trying to make this as cheap as possible without giving up too much functionality. It's just going to be expensive no matter which way I slice it.

            #10
            Originally posted by Andrrr View Post
            Alright, I’m thinking if I parts this thing out I can do this.
            I know signals uses usb C and the Pitviper fan uses a 5.5x2.1 mm jack. So, I could buy the signals open box and a replacement billows cable which has the female usb C port on it for the fan. If I use this adapter I think that would make the connection between the signals cable and the pitviper fan.

            https://www.amazon.com/AAOTOKK-5-5x2...g-goods&sr=8-2

            does this look legit? If so I’m looking at $277 for everything including the Weber adapter and shipping as long as you’re a prime member and I buy the open box deal.

            I don't think its that simple. The fan is likely variable speed, and while it uses a USB-C connector, and a 12Vdc power source, I am thinking that Thermoworks is doing some magic in the cable up to the Signals to control the fan, using something that is not a standard USB signal. Or, they are communicating with data to a microprocessor inside the fan itself. I might be wrong, and they are just turning power to the fan off and on, in which case what you describe might work.... unless you found someone on the Internet saying they've done this, I would be hesitant to try it myself, and I would just get the Billows fan.

            At $277.... you are getting up into Fireboard territory. The basic Fireboard is $189, plus $79 for their drive cable, then the fan and adapter. So probably $300ish for the Fireboard setup with the fan.
            Last edited by jfmorris; February 26, 2020, 11:48 AM.

            Comment


            • klflowers
              klflowers commented
              Editing a comment
              Andrrr, I am talking, but I balked at the Fireboard price too. So I have a party q that works great, except it runs on 4 AA batteries. On long overnight cooks when it is cold, if I forget to put fresh batteries in at the start of the cook, they always run out of juice. I am going to invest in a fireboard to replace it as soon as I can.

            • Andrrr
              Andrrr commented
              Editing a comment
              klflowers I initially thought to PartyQ was perfect but when I heard it flies through batteries I knew that wasn't a desireable option.
              And honestly I question my need for an app and all the bells and whistles. The digiQ does what it needs to do and it doesn't really need monitoring. I have an idea how many hours most things will take to cook and if I want remote viewing and alarms I have a Maverick for that, just not an all in one system.
              But that’s how it starts....

            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              Andrrr I use a Smoke, and the Smoke Gateway (so I can see it on my phone), and have the PartyQ, which I bought for like $115 on Cyber Monday 2018. I get about 2 overnight cooks from a set of 4 AA batteries, but folk on the Internet have shown how you can use a 6V DC adapter and a couple of wooden dowels the length of an AA battery to make the PartyQ run from AC power, and I will do that at some point. I've got a box in the garage of old AC adapters, and am certain at least one of them is 6V.

            #11
            Andrrr if you don't have a good remote thermometer, the Signals on sale is a good deal. Get the fan later, since it isn't on sale. Or if you don't need a thermometer because you have a Maverick, spend your money on something like the PartyQ or DigiQ. I have no complaints with my PartyQ, and monitor it with my Smoke. I started with the Smoke, later added the Smoke Gateway when it was on sale, then later still the PartyQ when it was on sale (for $115 on Cyber Monday 2 years ago).

            You can mod the PartyQ to run on AC. Here's where a guy shows the mod for an older version of the PartyQ:

            https://tvwbb.com/threads/partyq-ac-...0-bucks.47825/

            Basically just two wooden dowels, a 6V AC to DC adapter, and some tape. You do have to make a hole for the wire to leave the battery compartment, but you could easily switch back to. the AA batteries at any time, if you needed to use the PartyQ away from a power source.

            Comment


            • klflowers
              klflowers commented
              Editing a comment
              Get the heck out of here!!! I am going to do that. Thanks.

            #12
            At that open-box price I couldn't resist...picked one up along with the billows...for only $6 more than the regular priced Signals alone.

            Regular price: $229
            Open box WITH Billows: $235 O_o No WAY I could pass that up.
            Last edited by surfdog; February 26, 2020, 01:45 PM. Reason: clarity

            Comment


              #13
              Oh for crying out loud, man up, drill the hole and mount the Billows. It's that easy. I've done all four of my Weber's for my Pit Viper fan, it's the exact same procedure.

              Comment


              • Andrrr
                Andrrr commented
                Editing a comment
                Oh I’m not afraid of drilling the hole, I’ve already done it for the silicone probe grommet. I just much prefer the clean look and functionality of the pit viper adapter than putting some makeshift plug in there. All these videos address the installation but never what you’re gonna do with the hole once you’re done smoking something.
                I realize I’m splitting hairs here but I’m kinda picky that way.

              #14
              Here’s my “device. Click image for larger version

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              Comment


              • Andrrr
                Andrrr commented
                Editing a comment
                FireMan That works well but after about the 6hr mark I get a little tired of blowing

              • FireMan
                FireMan commented
                Editing a comment
                Andrrr it’s only hot air. 🕶

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