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KBQ - Automatic Log Feeder?

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  • joshh
    Former Member
    • Jul 2018
    • 6

    #16
    Would it be very difficult to make a small conveyor belt and prop it on a shelf, higher than the firebox, and it can drop it down a steel slide, into the fire. It can be programmed with an arduino to move every half hour or so...

    Comment

    • BBQ_Bill
      Club Member
      • Jun 2017
      • 409
      • Phoenix, Arizona

      #17
      Howdy and welcome to "The Pit" joshh
      The idea you have of a timed auto-feeder would work, however, sooner or later a problem would occur.
      This is due to the varying burn times of various logs.
      A log with more moisture as well as one that is more dense (heavier) would burn slower.
      A log with less moisture as well as one that is less dense (lighter) would burn faster.
      It would simply be a matter of time before the firebox would become either overloaded or under filled.
      -
      This is what KBQ is referring to in his post HERE.
      -
      Happy to have you join us in this "exploration" of possibilities

      Comment

      • BBQ_Bill
        Club Member
        • Jun 2017
        • 409
        • Phoenix, Arizona

        #18
        To get an idea of what a basic yet successful auto-log-feeder is, please view this video on YouTube HERE.

        Comment

        • sos2979
          Club Member
          • Jan 2017
          • 125
          • Lubbock, TX
          • Deep in the MCS zone.
            Currently have
            Gas: Weber Genesis 330
            Charcoal: Weber 22 Premium
            Smoker: PBC
            Toys: DigiQ, Thermapen thermometer, Lodge Griddle/Grill
            Looking to acquire: SNS, and one of everything else

          #19
          I would think about trying something along the lines of a gravity feed. Similar to the gravity fed charcoal smokers. Would mean a tall extension above the KBQ. You could have a small section open for the fire and have the top sealed to prevent the fire from spreading up all the logs. Problem I see is the irregular shape of the logs. Unless you could get your logs squared and uniform eventually one would get stuck. Just my two cents.

          Comment

          • Henrik
            Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
            • Jul 2014
            • 4552
            • Stockholm, Sweden

            #20
            My only issue with the KBQ (without having used one) is that I would have to shorten all logs. That just doesn’t make sense to me. I would like for the firebox to be longer so I could fit regular length logs in there.

            As for the baby sitting? No issue there, that’s just quality time!

            Comment


            • BBQ_Bill
              BBQ_Bill commented
              Editing a comment
              I personally enjoy sitting out near the smokers with family and friends, however, with my nights hotter than your days, the "quality" of that time is somewhat diminished right now.

            • KBQ
              KBQ commented
              Editing a comment
              Sadly, the only result would be increased fuel consumption.
          • RonB
            Club Member
            • Apr 2016
            • 14124
            • Near Richmond VA
            • Weber Performer Deluxe
              SNS
              Pizza insert
              Rotisserie
              Smokenator 1000
              Cookshack Smokette Elite
              2 Thermapens
              Chefalarm
              Dot
              lots of probes.
              CyberQ

            #21
            Just cut a 3" or 4" sapling around 10' long. Once you have your coal bed, place the sapling in the hopper and prop it up. It will self feed - no automation necessary. Then go watch the game...

            Comment


            • customtrim
              customtrim commented
              Editing a comment
              KBQ If you tie the sapling to a block and tackle and connect the other end to a cone drive with a reducer to it it would work, but not only expensive but would be rather boring.

            • RonB
              RonB commented
              Editing a comment
              customtrim - all you would need would be a 5' or 6' section of gutter to hold and guide the sapling. Rig some way to hold it in place. Make sure it's high enough above the firebox to prevent melting and you would be set. My original post was in jest, but why wouldn't this work?

            • KBQ
              KBQ commented
              Editing a comment
              The main issue is that the geometry of a 1-log fire does not create enough heat to sustain the reaction.
          • joshh
            Former Member
            • Jul 2018
            • 6

            #22
            @ kbq. Proves which method works?

            Comment


            • KBQ
              KBQ commented
              Editing a comment
              The ten foot sapling method. Careful not to let it fall over and take the Firebox with it!

            • BBQ_Bill
              BBQ_Bill commented
              Editing a comment
              Prior to attempting this method,, I also strongly suggest a 30 foot (minimum) clear circle around the KBQ to prevent fire or impact damage to other property.
          • BBQ_Bill
            Club Member
            • Jun 2017
            • 409
            • Phoenix, Arizona

            #23
            Most of us have read the instruction as to the size of the logs to be placed into the KBQ firebox.
            There is the "Red Bull Can" description, which is THE most popular and repeated instruction that I have seen as it originated from the manufacturer himself.
            (I believe it is in the original instruction set?)
            -
            After a solid coal bed has been established, have any of you fellow KBQ owners/users ever added a few chunks and had it result in any adverse effects?
            -
            I know that after I have a thick coal bed, I personally have added whatever will fit into the firebox without noticing any problems, including adding a few wood chips.
            -
            So with that said, one plan for an auto-feed device is to add wood that has been "processed" down in size to where it "flows" nicely into the firebox without any "hanging up" occurring.
            -
            First, the power would be interrupted, and after a short delay to allow the draw fan to coast to a stop, this processed wood would be fed into the firebox until any one of the wood level sensors tell the feed mechanism to stop.
            After the flow has ceased, power would then be restored to the draw fan.
            This auto-feeder would have an insert that slides into the existing firebox and locks firmly in place.
            It could be operated with an included lid, or without.
            -
            So with all of that said...
            Let the prototype experiments begin!
            Last edited by BBQ_Bill; August 29, 2018, 09:31 AM. Reason: Typo fix...

            Comment


            • RonB
              RonB commented
              Editing a comment
              Your solution sounds like a pellet hopper.

            • BBQ_Bill
              BBQ_Bill commented
              Editing a comment
              Sort of RonB but this 1st proposal is to go with chips and small chunks and without a binder holding sawdust together into a pellet form. Also, no auger to feed the system.
          • BBQ_Bill
            Club Member
            • Jun 2017
            • 409
            • Phoenix, Arizona

            #24
            Remembering that the KBQ is a true stick burner, and wanting that real wood flavor to be maintained, chips and small chunks of actual Oak or Mesquite would do just that, AND feed much easier in my opinion.
            -
            We all know that logs are non-uniform, and therefore more difficult to feed without hanging up.
            My second proposal, being a log feeder will require a larger and more complicated 'top end' to work without a "hitch".
            It too, will need to have sensors to tell it when to feed the next log.

            Comment


            • customtrim
              customtrim commented
              Editing a comment
              Could the sensors be on the firebox to detect the temperature drop to kick in. Set to load so it has time to start burning before the others have been to far spent

            • BBQ_Bill
              BBQ_Bill commented
              Editing a comment
              Am thinking that many methods may work.
              I was leaning towards a few fulcrum type switches that would be mechanical in nature. The weight of the wood on each would hold them in the "Off" position. As the wood burns, it becomes lighter and the switches would lift, and turn on. When all say "yes" then wood is added.

            • KBQ
              KBQ commented
              Editing a comment
              The weight method makes more sense. If you wait for a temperature drop, it's too late.
          • TSloniker
            Trial Member
            • Jun 2021
            • 1

            #25
            Did this log loader idea go anywhere? Is it available?

            Comment


            • ComfortablyNumb
              ComfortablyNumb commented
              Editing a comment
              I haven't heard anything. My guess it's still in the dream stage.
          • leol2
            Club Member
            • Jun 2017
            • 102
            • Maine

            #26
            I think an easier way would have the logs burning and some sort of feeder system that only pushes the ashes in instead of the log. Seems like heat control could be had by controlling the time and speed of the ashes since they would be somewhat the same and not dependent on the size of the logs and how well they burned

            Comment

            • Santamarina
              Club Member
              • Aug 2018
              • 1020
              • Wildomar, CA

              #27
              As someone who’s been running a stickburner for many years I love the idea of the KBQ. I’m used to waking up every 30 mins to feed my smoker, but with the KBQ I could toss a log and go back to sleep…and NOT spend an extra 15 mins making sure the temp settles right. Def would get more sleep on overnight cooks than I do now!

              Comment

              • kmuoio
                Club Member
                • Jul 2017
                • 20

                #28
                KBQ
                Has anyone explored a KBQ drone that picks up a single "red bull can sized" log and drops it into the KBQ every 15 minutes? This would be Jetsons level smoking technology!

                Comment

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                This summer's 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis IS OFFICIALLY RESCHEDULED FOR March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info here!
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