Pellet Vibrator

rexster314

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I've tried the UHMV slick tape mod, I've polished the pellet feed ramp with 0000 steel wool, and I still have problems with the pellets not sliding/dropping down to the auger chute. The grill is level checked with a bubble level.
I've read several posts on several groups about placing some type of vibrator on the pellet hopper to shake the pellets down to the auger chute.
I ordered a small concrete vibrator from Amazon and it came in a couple of days ago. My plan is to mount it as close to the auger chute as I can, run an intermittent timer connected to the vibrator, and not have to worry about checking on the pellets every hour or so on long cooks. I tested it out just by holding the device tight to the outside wall of the hopper and it worked as I hoped, and am sure it will work better when permanently mounted.
See Video Here
 

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NUbrewer

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Curious how your vibrate method works out. My EX4 will stop feeding after 15 mins especially at +450F. Yes, guard removed with lumberjack pellets. My idea is to use a small gear motor 2rpm on a timer circuit. Have not built anything yet, I have 2 more months to decide if I keep it or send it back. So far the feeding of pellets is the only problem I have had with the SF.
 

JpsBBQ

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Yeah, I’m curious about this as well. My buddy and I have had this similar idea for years. All pellet grills could use a small intermittent vibration in the hopper to help move the pellets along their way. Good luck.
 

abmet

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Interested to see how this works.
 

bbqking

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Sounds interesting
 
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rexster314

rexster314

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The installation hardware will arrive tomorrow. Hopefully I can get to shaking tomorrow afternoon
 
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rexster314

rexster314

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Installed the shaker today. It looks very promising just by running a test. I have it connected to a timer that I've set for a 2 minute runtime with a 30 minute delay. It will continue that program until I shut it off.
Video Here
 

Goneincognito

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Nice! Probably won't need to run that long or often though.
Might be worth making sure that everything has Loctite on it too. I can see Things coming loose with all that vibration.
 

Mr. X

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I thought about this a while back too. I wonder why the manufacturers have not put these in any of the pellet smokers. There is enough room down below the hopper as well. It would be very easily mounted inside and just added to the software to give herA nudge every once in a while.
 

Craig Lares

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I've tried the UHMV slick tape mod, I've polished the pellet feed ramp with 0000 steel wool, and I still have problems with the pellets not sliding/dropping down to the auger chute. The grill is level checked with a bubble level.
I've read several posts on several groups about placing some type of vibrator on the pellet hopper to shake the pellets down to the auger chute.
I ordered a small concrete vibrator from Amazon and it came in a couple of days ago. My plan is to mount it as close to the auger chute as I can, run an intermittent timer connected to the vibrator, and not have to worry about checking on the pellets every hour or so on long cooks. I tested it out just by holding the device tight to the outside wall of the hopper and it worked as I hoped, and am sure it will work better when permanently mounted.
See Video Here
I think a vibrator could do the trick. Please keep us posted. I believe the fundamental flaw in the Smokefire design is that the pellet hopper is wide and shallow instead of narrow and deep like all the other brands. You experience the same thing with toilets- the ones with tall , narrow tanks flush way better than the short wide tank models- like day and night!
 

NUbrewer

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This is my answer to pellet lodging on cooks over 450F. Went shopping on ebay for the following, digital timer relay 110 v $12 , 2.5rpm 110v motor $25 , $6 at walmart for a extension cord and plastic box. The base is a piece of sheet metal and a 3/8 wood dowel as the shaft. To fasten the shaft to the motor a 1/4" pc of plastic tubing and the bearing sleeve is 1/2" plastic tubing. I set the timer relay for 1 min off and 45 sec on. This is a super easy build, watched a youtube video on how to set the timer. Just put this in the hopper with the stirrer above auger. I know a $800 grill should not have this problem. This an easy solution to prevent flameouts at 450F-600F range, cooks like pizzas. I'm going to add another $12 digital temp gauge to the box just for the heck of it. I really like the SF EX4, it has been a pleasure to cook with.
 

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