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New Mak 2-Star, need help!

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    New Mak 2-Star, need help!

    Greetings to all!
    Recently got rid of an ollllld Traeger, in favor of a shiny new 2-Star General. I have to say, so far my experience has been miserable. The grill won't stop at the set temp, and just keeps getting hotter and hotter until the Fire Alarm goes off. I've contacted MAK support 3 times, and nothing is helping. Has anyone seen this kind of thing before? Have any suggestions? This is supposed to be a top of the line pellet smoker, and after 3 weeks, I haven't cooked on it once. I'd really appreciate any help you folks are willing to share.

    #2
    Paging glitchy ...

    Comment


      #3
      The first thing that comes to mind is did you go into the maintenance menu and turn the auger to always on somehow? When I first got mine I used that menu to turn auger, fan and igniter off to setup WiFi. Then I turned the auger to on for a while to prime it until pellets where most the way down the tube. Anyway, would be easy to leave set to on versus automatic.

      rwalters Always recommends unplugging the grill, the. opening up the side panel and disconnecting all the connections on the board. Each connector is unique, so easy to do with little worry.

      What temperature are you trying to run? I’m not sure that matter that much with the fire alarm trigger. To me it says the auger just isn’t stopping at all. I’m very surprised after 3 calls it’s not resolved. I’m sure there’s more possibilities but the first three things that come to mind after maintenance mode are the connection, the controller, and the auger motor itself, and I’m not that sure how it would be the motor.

      I’ll call in some others to see if they’ve heard of this. ItsAllGoneToTheDogs GolfGeezer Skip
      Last edited by glitchy; August 31, 2021, 10:02 PM.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks, glitchy. I didn't even know about the maintenance menu until I called Tech Support the first time, and I only changed the settings the support guy told me to. That doesn't rule out that the setting wasn't set as you describe when I got the unit, so I'll check and see what it looks like. It really feels to me as though the auger isn't stopping, even when the 'A' indicator on the display panel is off. The most recent changes that were recommended by support did slow down the temperature rise, but it never once dropped in temperature, just continues to rise and rise.

        I have to admit, I'm a bit reluctant to disconnect and reconnect all of the connections on the controller board, because I don't want to break a connector or something. That said, my last resort is to request a different controller board from MAK, and at that point I obviously won't have a choice.

        At first I was setting the grill to 450 to do the initial burn-in as is recommended in the instructions. Lately I've been setting it to 350.

        I'll look at the auger settings on the controller, and see what it says.

        Thanks for all the suggestions! You've already suggested more than MAK support has, which is a little depressing!

        Comment


        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          That’s surprising about support. Have you been talking to Dennis? I do know that a couple people had some important life things come up and it has probably put them in a bit of a support bind. It’s frustrating when you just dropped that kinda dough, but hang in there, I’m sure they’ll get you taken care of. Don’t worry about breaking the connectors unless you’re trying to use a hammer or pliers, they’re strong plastic connectors.

        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          glitchy they've been dealt a few hard blows, I don't know but I suspect they may be training up some new employees. Coupled with material shortages and a massive backlog mistakes can happen. Not giving them a free pass, but does help add a little patience. Also Dennis is still the only one I've been dealing with for my issues and he's been absolutely amazing as always.

        #5
        heraldstorm sorry to hear of your problems. I got my MAK 2 Star about 16 months ago and It has been without fail so far. I'm not much help other than read what other MAK Owners on this site have to say and talk to MAK reps. IMO the MAK is a very good product and yours just has a demon inside. Good luck.

        Comment


          #6
          heraldstorm Wow, that Support response sounds so "Un-MAK" from my experience. I usually communicate with Dennis Ogg, and have even had responses from Bob Tucker, the patriarch/owner of MAK Metals. I would ask to speak with Dennis, Bob or his son.

          Regardless, I can think of only two things that would cause this other than what glitchy suggested. You did not say whether you went into maintenance mode to setup the WiFi connection, a step would possibly or inadvertently let you set the auger to always on, although that seems unlikely.

          A bad Pellet Boss controller or a bad thermocouple. I think you have every right to ask MAK for a new controller and new thermocouple/RTD. I cannot see how the issue is the auger motor - they are pretty much a power on/power off setup. The fan is similar although the controller does vary the fan speed based on setpoint temp (slower speed at lower temps - if they haven't changed it, the fan runs slow when set to below 250* to encourage smoke. That's why I cook at 245* for most cooks).

          I have swapped out the controller on mine several times (firmware updates and then when I upgraded to the latest version for my 2018 MAK 2 Star). While the potential to break a connection is possible, it is very unlikely given the design of the connections. I have even removed and replaced my WiFi module (a large computer chip) without smashing any of the pins on it, although that possibility is greater than breaking a connector for the wires. Easy to remove the side panel for access, then remove the controller, then unplug connectors. They are all clearly labeled. The thermocouple connection is the most susceptible to damage given the connector is very small with only 2 prongs, but even with my fat fingers, I haven't broken it yet! )

          Comment


          • IFindZeroBadCooks
            IFindZeroBadCooks commented
            Editing a comment
            How much did the new MAK controllers cost?

          • GolfGeezer
            GolfGeezer commented
            Editing a comment
            IFindZeroBadCooks I believe it was $250 as my system was, at the time, still under full warranty. I have just learned from folks that I do not have the most current controller, as I still have a separate WiFi module, not an integrated one. Maybe a blessing in disguise as my MAK performs without issues.

          #7
          I've been working with Dennis. I've been practicing my meditation and breathing, and resisting the urge to act like a spoiled brat, so hopefully I haven't offended anyone at MAK. Dennis will be sending me a controller he's verified to work and I'll swap out my controller for that one. It's frustrating, and I'll likely miss out on both 4th of July (because of steel shortages, the grill wasn't delivered on time, and without the front shelf and front door accessories I ordered) and Labor Day, but if the grill is a durable as everyone says, I'll have plenty of those to look forward to in the future. Thanks for everyone's advice! Apparently my horrible experience is an anomaly, and I'll just have to suck it up. If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!

          Comment


          • GolfGeezer
            GolfGeezer commented
            Editing a comment
            By the way, you can setup the new controller for WiFi without having to install it into the MAK. All you need is the antenna and the WiFi module from the old one. At least with mine, a new power cord came with the controller so I could plug in the controller sitting at my desk, program the connection and then proceed to install it. Makes it very easy to handle that step. MAK's method is pretty much "Dark Ages" for its WiFi, although once setup, it has worked flawlessly for me.

          • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
            ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
            Editing a comment
            GolfGeezer the 2021 pellet boss is a completely different chunk of silicone, and the wifi module is built in to it Still same Nokia phone arrow input to set it up though lol.

          • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
            ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
            Editing a comment
            heraldstorm if it helps I've only seen 2 totally unhappy MAK owners on the FB group. There's maybe a small handful with legit gremlins like you and I have per year. Most of the problems folks have are bad pellets or wear items like the ignitor, bad wiring at their house, or improper use on the owners part. The majority of MAKs you will see for sale are because the owner is upgrading to another MAK OR pellet smoking just isn't for them.

          #8
          So I've been keeping kind of quiet but I have been having issues with my new Stainless 2 Star. However, I have the luxury of still having my 2018 2 star on the deck next to it, I've been kinda bored lately so offered to mess around and do some testing. I think we are close to solving it, but I also have a few suspicions.

          So 1st, is yours a standard or all stainless 2 star? The only other issues like mine and some of what yours was doing were on a very small number of newer grills.

          I too am now on my second controller for the new SS.

          My suspicion is that because the 2021 MAKs have the WiFi built into the controller, there may be some manufacturing hiccups on a minute number of controllers.

          First controller had wild temp swings and even with programming changes we couldn't get it to stay below 220 on smoke mode. It was running 40-60 degrees above set temp and it had wild swings.

          New controller and we are close, got it running near 200 on smoke mode and when it does run higher than set temp, it is generally 10-20 over holding steady within 5 degrees of whatever it decides to run at. So the old controller definitely had something going on.

          Another thing was that the lid was not closing all the way, smoke should not come out of the front of the lid by the handle. It seems minor, but I swapped lids between grills and that also helped stabilize temps.

          I'm working on a few other tests with Dennis, and I think we are really close to figuring out my SS 2 star issue. He's been an absolute champ.

          Bottom line, it's frustrating to spend this sort of cash and have a non-enjoyable experience. I got ya. I have the benefit of having a 2018 2 star that works flawlessly, so I know what lies ahead when I get the stuff sorted on the new MAK.

          Additionally, you can tell that MAK cares about their product. They STOPPED production and sales until 2022 because they can't get the quality US made steel they want. They could have cheaped out and got Canadian, Mexican, or even Chinese 304 stainless and kept pumping out grills, but they didn't.

          They may have you do some things you feel you shouldn't have to do for the price you paid. And I get it, but they are doing those tests to absolutely verify they need to send you an expensive part. Sometimes turning things off and on again is the correct answer.

          Hang in there, once this is sorted you're gonna be glad you stuck it out.

          Comment


            #9
            Thank you, ItsAllGoneToTheDogs. I appreciate your candid response. I have the standard 2-Star, and it is the newest build, seemingly one of the last for some time, until, hopefully, the supply chain woes are eliminated and some form of normality returns to the Business world.

            Seeing the tremendous support for MAK grills, even in the face of the indisputable issues I'm having, gives me hope that I haven't wasted my money. Someday, I hope that my wife will no longer be shaking her head every time she steps out on the patio and looks at the culmination of the most money we've ever spent on a grill in our lives. I cannot fault Dennis Ogg, as he has absolutely spent a lot of time working on trying to find the correct settings for the controller to make the grill behave properly.

            I am indeed trying to maintain the confidence that all of you seem to have in the company. So far, they are trying to do everything they can to fix the issue. While everyone is here telling me that MAK takes great care with their product and spends a lot of time and resources to produce the best product, I remain in a situation where I have yet to receive my full order, and the core aspect of what I have received is not useable. I've got problems with the Makgrillsmobile website that have gone unaddressed for over a week. I get that it's freakishly bad luck, and that this normally doesn't happen. It is my hope that the delays and frustration I've endured through this provide information to the company so that they can resolve these issues, and that someone else down the road doesn't have to go through what I have. In the mean time, I'll keep stoking my patience, since I can't stoke my grill, and hope for the complete resolution of all my concerns.

            I do appreciate everyone's advice and reassurance. Most especially, I appreciate everyone tolerating my complaints since this is such a highly reputed company and line of products. It does make me feel better about the situation, and I'll report back once I've made some progress.

            Comment


            • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
              ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
              Editing a comment
              heraldstorm from my experience you don't want more BM pellets anyway, I applaud MAK for trying to support a company local to them, but if things don't change with quality control they should probably part ways. If you look at glitchy 's post history you will find the frustration he had with his MAK and it turned out to be the pellets. BM has a serious QC issue lately according to complaints I've seen over the last year. Having said that, the bag that came with my new MAK was fine.

            • heraldstorm
              heraldstorm commented
              Editing a comment
              ItsAllGoneToTheDogs Hmmm. I'll have to muscle my way through 160 lbs of the stuff I just bought, and then I can consider alternatives. I remember reading that you had to use the right pellets to prevent them from jamming in the auger tube, so I bought a bunch of what came with the grill. I really don't think that's what's causing my runaway temps, but I'll keep an eye on it. Thanks for the warning!

            • glitchy
              glitchy commented
              Editing a comment
              heraldstorm You should be able to run any pellets through a MAK, the only grill I’ve seen particular about pellets is the SmokeFire. Bear Mountain is definitely my last choice ever going forward, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad, just that I got a bad bag. I’ve been running Weber and CookinPellets both just fine since.The real key is most brands single species pellets are really 70-80% oak or alder and not the species labeled on the bag.

            #10
            Maybe I missed it, but what is your issue with the mobile website?

            Comment


              #11
              I'm waiting for them to reset my password. When I try to click the reset password button, I never receive an email with a temporary password, or a link to reset it myself. So, I have to wait for them to do it manually. Until then, I can't use the mobile app website.

              Comment


              • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                Editing a comment
                Haven't heard that one before... congratulations on being first? Seriously though, when you get it up and running, it's not flashy, but it works pretty reliably. One thing people don't get is you have to click your profile and set alerts. It can email you or text your when things happen. That's handy. Hopefully in the future you can select what alerts it sends but right now it sends all of them, I don't care about the set temp reached ones.

              • heraldstorm
                heraldstorm commented
                Editing a comment
                LOL, as I said, I'm willing to blaze trails so that others can benefit from watching me fall in the pit traps (pun not intended). The day that I was able to use it, I didn't have any problems with it, but trying to get back in again hasn't happened yet. So much to look forward to!

              #12
              Well, I have an update. Amazingly, Fed Ex delivered on a Sunday! So, I received the replacement controller from MAK Grills (supposedly a verified and validated controller). Now, however, the grill won't heat beyond 255. I also notice that smoke pours out of the pellet hopper, and nothing in the grill or smoke box. If they had this controller working at 100% in their office and they send it to me and it doesn't get above 255, then there's something else wrong with my grill. That, or they're blowing smoke (heh) and they didn't test this controller before they sent it.

              This sounds a lot more like the stuff ItsAllGoneToTheDogs is seeing. So now, at least, I have something that can smoke meat, but if I can't get up to between 425 and 450 for Pizza, I just can't see myself sticking with this device.

              I'll write in to support on Tuesday and we'll see what happens next.

              Comment


              • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                Editing a comment
                heraldstorm you never removed the fan? Pellets are dropping into the firepot?

              • GolfGeezer
                GolfGeezer commented
                Editing a comment
                But this sounds like the fan running in reverse, if that is even possible.

              • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                Editing a comment
                GolfGeezer I don't see how it could, you can't plug it in wrong I don't think. But if he took it off and installed it backwards I guess that's possible.

              #13
              heraldstorm I know you’re very frustrated at this point and just want to get your grill working like you expected it to work day one when you spent that kind of money. Please see comments above to your last post and let us know if we can help you at all. I’m sure once you get past these issues your going to love this grill, but we need to get you past them before you lose it…only saying because I’ve been there too and much faster than you. Maybe we can figure out how to get you working ASAP, maybe we fail and let the real experts take over on Tuesday, but several of us are happy to try.
              Last edited by glitchy; September 5, 2021, 11:51 PM.

              Comment


              • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                Editing a comment
                Also remember glitchy has a very rough start to his journey so he more than most can emphasize with your frustrations

              #14
              What a horror story! Sorry for your troubles. But when you spent this amount of money especially, you expect to have a properly operating product and not have to be put through so much aggravation. I was impressed with MAK's website where they are supporting US businesses in their home area and dismissing poorer suppliers such as from China. As one that's built products in the US and all over Asia, they've put themselves in a box.. Sometimes you need to go to China for some parts to stay in business. If it were me I'd insist the company takes the product back and be done with all this aggravation.

              Comment


                #15
                I wish I could help but I totally understand your frustration at this point. Again, your experiences are uncommon so just keep working with MAK and they will make it right.

                Comment

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