Pro 575 Not Achieving Temperatures

wleeb1010

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Thanks for the post. Temperature control on my 575 was greatly improved with FW 1.04. I had to install a repeater to get my Traeger WIFI to work as well. If they are using the ESP32 onboard antenna only version (no IPEX connector), there will be little we can do to improve reception as the controller is mounted directly in the pellet hopper which acts as a Faraday cage.

Hi All.
New Traeger owner here. Just bought my grill a few days back.. and guess what, it was an absolute expletive to get working well at low temps.... I'm an automation engineer so naturally I got dug in to what was actually happening. Control theory is the bread and butter of my day job especially things like PID control loops (
). (old firmware version) Knowing this I discovered a few things... First of it was a bright sunny summer day, my grill was hitting 130 from just the sun alone.... So I thought a bit about what might be happening. WIth the sun adding a lot of energy to the grill what was happening is the grill requires only a tiny amount of pellets to lift the temp from 130 to 160.. so the grill would add pellets VERY VERY slowly. As the pellets burnt and got lighter they got blown into seperate individual pellets in the firepot. This caused them to go out... the temp kept going down so the grill started adding extra pellets faster and faster. until you have a LOT of pellets in the firepot, but because the few burning pellets had cooled down a lot they didn't start right away. instead the temp kept dropping, and the grill keeps adding pellets, about 3 or 4 minutes later the pellets would finally catch fire again... when the large number of pellets caught fire the grill temp would shoot right up again to about 350ish and the unit would panic and shutdown. I solved this with a little trick. I placed one large size charcoal bricquette in the flame pot directly opposite the augur. The charcoal briquette alone doesn't produce much heat. BUT what it does do is ensure as pellets are added they start burning right away. After that the grill held 160 perfectly without any issues.

I upgraded the firmware today (Had to install a second access point so the grill had WiFi access)... right off the bat the temperature control was vastly improved. but I'm still using the one lump of charcoal trick. As testing continues I'll keep people updated here. At some point I intend to tear down the controller and see how it's set up, chances are it's based on one of the common off the shelf WiFi enabled micro-controllers like the ESP32 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESP32 . from a hardware perspective the grill is good, It's the firmware that's a bit iffy, Most likley the tuning of the PID loop. I also suspect at low tempratures the grill should probably re-enable the igniter to stop the situation of too many unlit pellets.

I've seen a lot of people use the word Thermocouple. Just to clarify the Traeger does not use a thermocouple. Thermocouples are pretty inaccurate and tend to drift a lot. The grill uses whats called a PT100 RTD (a platnum resistance temperature detector). RTD's are very accurate and have almost no drift. but they rely on a very well calibrated whetstone bridge https://instrumentationtools.com/rtd-wheatstone-bridge-circuits/ . I suspect there may be some problems during the testing of the PCBs in the factory the bridge may not be calibrated well.... I wonder if Traeger is internally implementing a good lean kaizen process, I suspect they may not be doing their DMAIC well (or at all, or even know what DMAIC is)..

I'll keep y'all posted as my investigation continues.
 

Cheetor

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Yep, That's a thermocouple alright! my bad. I could grumble for ages about how bad thermocouples can be. Back before you could buy home sous vide machines I bullt my own. And boy did that thing drift. but I can see why, the Pro is somewhat of a budget product and RTD's are expensive!

Pretty sure this is a K type exposed air probe thermocouple:

View attachment 762
 

Bbqeh!

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Hey all.
just found this thread and I am sure glad to see most all were fixed with the latest updates to the 575 firmware. I just got my unit. It has been updated to .04. Temps are pretty damn close to the read out, within 6 degrees until about 350 and above. Then the spread seems to be about 6-8 degrees for me.
I can’t tell what it is at 400 because my unit won’t get to 400 on the display. After almost 1.5 hours the best I could get was 390 displayed temp and measured temp on 450 setting.
callee CS. They are telling me it’s my fan. It should never stop. I thought it was a variable speed fan?
Anyone else see this?
I am thinking controller but what do I know. I am not reading a script at a CS job.
 

MaD HuNGaRIaN

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So the new thermocouple is worse than the original. Out of the box, my temps were reading 25° high. With the new part, it’s 30° high, 🤬 Seriously....this shouldn’t be a thing,
 

Bbqeh!

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That’s odd. I would put your old one back in. Try swapping your control board.
 

Bbqeh!

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So for what it’s worth, what has worked for me to get up to high temp is. Yes believe it, vacuuming not just the pot. But also the hopper of all that pellet dust. Apparently that dust causes havoc. I usually just clean the pot and inside of the barrel every few cooks. Worked on my tailgater.
these new d2 units just don’t work well with to much dust and ash.
i emptied the pellets and cleaned out the auger/hopper of all the dust on top of the inside of grill.
fired the unit up and hit 461.
I tested it out for a bit. The dirtier it got the less my high temperature range was. To the point that after about the 4th run of a couple of hours cook ( 4 cooks of 2 hours each). I could not get the grill up past 350.
Cleaned it again including auger and hopper. Back up to high temps and accurate temps.
Also. I found that using non Traeger pellets seemed to cause less time between cooks before cleaning was needed. The other pellets worked fine but cleaning the pellet dust in the auger and hopper and barrels pot etc needed to be done much more often. Best I could get was about 5 plus hours of cook before performance changed on the other pellets. Traeger pellets I could get at least 8 hours before noticing a performance change in temps.
I did have 1 bag of Traeger apple pellets that just did not work. Fire kept going out and access dust in hopper. Found it was an older bag and almost like someone used it for soccer with more than normal dust in the bottom of the bag.
if your pellets are not shiny and dust free going into the hopper. Performance will degrade from there.
odd but true lmao
 
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