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    #46
    The biggest downer for me is that I've pretty much missed the season for this year, and I likely won't get to do much with it until next year. I'll just have to have something to look forward to in the spring!
    ALL GRILL ALL YEAR!

    Comment


    • heraldstorm
      heraldstorm commented
      Editing a comment
      I'll be grilling but winter smoking around here isn't good for much else than COLD smoking =-)

    #47
    What are ya talking about? 12 months year I smoke and grill!
    Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; October 3, 2021, 07:07 PM.

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      #48
      We have my 2 star rock solid 225 and up, and for the most part it's holding 175-180 on smoke mode except in random weather situations. Not as solid as my old 2 star which would do 165-175 year round regardless or wind or ambient. So yeah something changed mechanically or software or a combination...

      BUT, I use my MAK year round, and we have folks nation wide who do too. No blankets, wind breaks, etc... the MAK body design handles 20f-110f ambient very well. Thats my average temps, people in colder climates haven't posted blankets or anything that I've seen.

      Comment


        #49
        So strange. You’d think a product that’s been shipped for an extended time has already been fully tested.

        Comment


        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          They recently updated their controller and I’m wondering with the chip shortages if the ran out of old early and got new late limiting the testing they were able to do without delaying shipments even longer.

        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          The supply chain stuff hit just as they cancelled their old controller and made wifi standard. The standard wifi is actually a whole new board not just their old board with the wifi module. I don't know it that has anything to do with it, but I suspect it might. Good news is, if it's solely something to do with firmware, they will nail it down. If it's something else, it's gonna be a big hiccup for them to overcome.

        #50
        An exciting update! I expect to be receiving a controller tomorrow that has tested well at all temperature ranges, except for around 250. I will be testing the controller in my current grill, to validate the tests done by MAK. This won't be my permanent controller, and MAK has reported that they have found a potential cause of the problems they're seeing in the recently redesigned controllers.

        Out of respect for the employees of MAK and their partners, I'm not going to publicly share the issue as told to me. This is my decision, and I have not been asked to withhold this information by MAK. They have worked very hard to get to the bottom of this problem, and they deserve a chance to fix this and develop a plan to remediate any problematic controllers on their own. I have certainly been candid about my experience, and this particular detail doesn't add much of anything to the conversation.

        I will also be receiving the front shelf I ordered. This leaves only the front door pending delivery, and the final controller, fully working at all temperatures. I'm hopeful that this can be done without having to ship entire grill assemblies, and that it truly is a problem in the controller.

        By sending me this controller, if it does work as they claim, MAK will give me the use of the grill immediately, at all the temperatures that I would currently be interested in operating at. I will send a message tomorrow to MAK asking for help with the company hosting the Web Application, so that I can get my password reset and test the web control functionality. I have certainly informed MAK of the problems I've had with that application, and more specifically, the company hosting the application, as it appears that MAK doesn't administer the system themselves.

        I'm impressed by the dedication and diligence that MAK has shown in getting to the bottom of the issues they've had, and I hope this period of "downtime" restores MAK to the kingly position they previously held in the industry. While my experience has not been what would be considered "good", they have worked very hard to rectify the situation.

        I'll post more once I've been able to test the replacement controller. Maybe, just maybe, the end of this mess is in sight!
        Last edited by heraldstorm; October 7, 2021, 09:05 PM.

        Comment


        • willxfmr
          willxfmr commented
          Editing a comment
          This has certainly been a saga. Thanks for sharing it with us. It's good to hear that MAK has stepped up to make things right.

        • DavidNorcross
          DavidNorcross commented
          Editing a comment
          This is good news. They should be commended for their efforts and you should be commended for your patience!

        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          I had communications with Dennis yesterday and also decided not to post the "what" about the controller, but I also had a high suspicion that the entire new PCB layout and built in wi-fi MIGHT have something to do with the issues I was having. I'm just glad that I'm not crazy. For the most part my MAK is currently running like it's supposed to 165-600+ but every once in a while on the smoke setting it doesn't want to play nice.

        #51
        I only have a minute, so I'll keep this short, but I wanted to fill in those following the thread on the results of my testing over the weekend. I did find this controller's behavior much better. I will also say that there is a lot of room for improvement. The grill no longer goes into runaway heat mode. Neither does it run up to 250 and stop. It does take about 45 minutes to settle in at a temperature, and most of the temperatures are off by around 20 degrees (low) when compared to what my Tappecue says. I took a bunch of pictures and logs, and emailed them in to MAK. They are still working on it, and I was told Dennis has a dedicated grill continuously set up and running outside their shop, and they are working on getting thing right.

        Gotta run, but I wanted to mention there is progress!!

        Comment


        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          I would give you the settings I have that stopped the overshoot, but it will be slightly different for you since the all stainless 2 start has it's own setting. Dennis will likely provide you the normal 2 star settings that worked for another customer.

        #52
        Hi friends!! It's actually been two updates from MAK since I've posted. They believe they have found the root cause of what's causing the temp craziness. This, in addition to fine tuning some of the other settings in the firmware seem to have resulted in a much more stable Pit Boss controller module. Dennis has been testing it all week, and it seems to be running smoothly. They are sending me the updated module for testing today, and if I can get it on Saturday, I will test with it

        Halloween is a big deal at our house, so I won't be able to cook on the grill until next weekend (as long as the test goes well), but I absolutely will post the test results, and hopefully I'll have a first cook to show everyone next weekend.

        Comment


        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          Redwng when they integrated the wifi, the entire PCB on the controller changed... but the problems haven't been with every controller, or at least with every owner, so they weren't sure it was a problem with the controller. I don't blame them, they went through normal trouble shooting with other owners, and those owners were happy with results, so why investigate further?

        • heraldstorm
          heraldstorm commented
          Editing a comment
          Redwng Suffice it to say that it was a problem with the build of the controller board. Basically it impacts the base fan speed. If I remember correctly, the fan was operating at too high of an RPM. They were able to write the firmware to detect if the board is one of the "problem" boards, and adjust the programming accordingly. I don't feel comfortable giving out all the details as they were given to me, but that's the gist of the issue.

        • heraldstorm
          heraldstorm commented
          Editing a comment
          $15 for a 2 lb package of cubed chuck roast today, ItsAllGoneToTheDogs. Prices are starting to hurt!! I sure hope the producers and processors can hang in there until things even off!

        #53
        Great news!

        Comment


          #54
          Awesome!

          Comment


            #55
            Ooops, I responded too soon to your latest update. Dennis had messaged me today (I missed the email) and they already sent me a firmware update module. So hopefully I'll be posting results of that soon. Might be a software issue after all.

            Comment


              #56
              Welllllll, It seems they are actually still finalizing things after all. I jumped on to give my update, and a few hours later I got a note saying that the new firmware code package is a bit too large to fit in the production controllers. They're working on compressing it and will then need to run further tests to verify that the controller still does work as planned. I may get mine sent out tomorrow, after all, but I definitely won't be able to test it until next weekend.

              Comment


                #57
                @heraldstorm not sure how many update units they have, but mine was sent out yesterday. My guess the new controller had different memory requirements than the old one. I've never upgraded the firmware at home, my old MAK got the newest firmware by default when I upgraded to the k-probe unit. So we'll be on this adventure together

                I'd keep my fingers crossed that I might be posting fireboard confirmed results by this weekend, but shiping has been iffy to my neck of the woods lately.

                Comment


                • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                  ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Just remember to put the probe wherever you have the thermocouple or it's gonna be off. Keeping my fingers crossed this works out for us

                • heraldstorm
                  heraldstorm commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hopefully I'm understanding you @ItsAllGoneToTheDogs...You're talking about putting the probe connected to the Tappecue in the same place that the built-in Temp probe on the grill is?

                • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                  ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  heraldstorm correct. Some people will put their probe on the grate then be mad at the temp difference, but if you put the probe near wherever you have the thermocouple it should be really close. The only difference will be the MAK thermocouple reads an average over a certain time vs near live updates if your tappacue is like my fireboard. On the fireboard the MAK was within 2 degrees over time so more than good enough for me.

                #58
                OK well I had a nice, detail post all prepared, with pictures and explanations, and praise and gripes. That ended horribly. Long story short:

                I swapped out the PelletBoss controller, and I saw a tremendous improvement. Unfortunately, things are still not what I would consider to be "market-ready". The grill takes almost exactly 1 hour to ignite and reach a set temp of 350. I did not test at high temps or low temps, because I ran out of time. I didn't expect it to take an hour to reach a middle of the road temp.

                As alluded to by ItsAllGoneToTheDogs, I still have some serious questions about temp skew. I'd notice wide variances in sensed temperature...40-50 degrees in some cases, higher and lower than what the PelletBoss is displaying.

                That said, I applaud MAK for the tremendous and good-faith effort they have put into getting to the bottom of the problem. The grill behaves much more smoothly now, and I can tell that the logic is a lot more reliable. Unfortunately, it just takes forever for the darn thing to heat up.

                Another problem I'm having is that smoke vents out of the pellet hopper rather than the back or side of the cooking chamber. This ultimately generates a great deal of condensate in the pellet hopper. You guys all know what happens to pellets when they get wet. So, in addition to the 1 hour of burning pellets to get the grill up to temp, if there are any pellets remaining in the hopper when I turn it off, I can kiss a large portion of those pellets goodbye too. All this for the price of $3000? Nope, not quite ready for primetime, yet.

                Anyhow, sorry about blowing the first post with pics. I may try again later, but that's a summary of what my tests found today.
                Hope y'all had a great weekend!

                Comment


                • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                  ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've had 0 problems going hot, and the only time I ever had smoke out of the hopper was when I forgot to empty the firepot after 2 days of very long cooks. MAKs very rarely suffer burn back, something seriously weird is going on. Definitely check your firepot like Glitchy said, there's a chance something might be screwy with it.

                #59
                It seems like something else has to be wrong with your grill in addition to the issues with the controller/firmware. I’ve never seen even a puff of smoke come through my hopper, nor has it taken more than 20-30 mins to get to 350. This is a really silly question, but did they somehow forget to drill the holes in the fire pot?

                Comment


                • heraldstorm
                  heraldstorm commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yep. Hopefully MAK will agree and have some recommendations. The firepot is cleaned out entirely (and even brushed out) prior to each test I run. It does indeed have holes in it. It's the darndest thing...I can't figure it out, but hopefully they can.
                  Last edited by heraldstorm; November 10, 2021, 04:32 PM.

                #60
                Dunno, and we are not there to help diagnose, but it sure reads like a problem with the fan. Maybe either the connector to the controller (Pellet Boss) is not secure, or broken or connected to the wrong prongs (unlikely to be sure) or somethin'. Since the fan runs continuously, it is hard to understand how smoke would come out through the hopper if the fan is running. But, heck, my input is just a WAG.

                Comment


                • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                  ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If the pellets are up to the auger, it can cause burnback. Also if the grill is dirty (vents, etc...) it can blow smoke out there (though this is a new grill so can't be that). Somone accidently installed their fan backwards on the facebook group once too.

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