The BBQ Guru CyberQ II
Temperature Controller


The BBQ Guru CyberQ II is the latest member of what has become an ever-growing family of barbecue temperature controllers from the folks at The BBQ Guru. It is a companion to the very popular DigiQ II model that now introduces the ability to control two cookers at the same time. The CyberQ II also introduces computer control with the ability to connect a computer via USB to your controller. The BBQ Guru has become a household word amongst the BBQ community, but if you haven't heard of them, they make devices that monitor the temperature of your cooker and then adjust it and control it by controlling the airflow through the cooker. Airflow is controlled by means of a blower attached to your cooker. By turning the blower on and off as required, the CyberQ II can keep your cooker within a few degrees of a set temperature as long as there is fuel to keep the fire going. In addition, the CyberQ II monitors the temperature of your food and alerts you when the food is done. But as we stated, the CyberQ II can now do this for two cookers simultaneously, and now under computer control.


Features

Here is the list of features as listed in the CyberQ II owner's manual:

  • Super compact control allows you to control up to two pits simultaneously
  • Four thermocouple probes allow you to monitor two pits and two food items
  • USB interface allows monitoring and control from your PC or over the Internet
  • Digital alphanumeric 8 character x 2 line LCD display with user-selectable backlight time
  • Audible alarm sounds on over/under temp, food done, timeout and other user-settable conditions
  • Real-time fan status and percent output indication helps you to measure fuel use
  • Open Lid Detect
  • Adaptive Control Algorithm
  • Super User menu for advanced users
  • User-settable “low and slow” ramp down feature
  • User-settable cook timer gives alarm, shuts down your pit, or will hold the pit at the temperature you specify
  • Battery power indicator
  • Adjustable proportional band, cycle time, and deviation alarms (Super User menu)
  • Display temperature in degrees C or F
  • Alarms settable to on or off (good neighbor feature)
  • Adjustable display contrast
  • 32 to 475 deg F range with +/- 2 deg F accuracy

Plus we'll add a few more of our own:

  • User adjustable alarm setting
  • Runs on 100-240VAC (for worldwide use) or 12VDC for automotive supply use
  • Rugged, armored high-temperature pit and food (meat) probes
  • Available in an array of colors (helps to distinguish units and of course, can match your bag and shoes)


The Basic System

Here's what makes up a basic system:

  • The CyberQ II system unit and stand
  • 4, 10 or 25 CFM blower
  • Pit/food temperature sensors
  • Blower adapter door
  • Power supply
  • A piece of foil tape for sealing leaks
  • A small probe cleaning pad
  • A kill plug so you can remove the fan and plug the door adapter
  • A package of over 20 Curl-Eez for organizing probe wires
  • A kit for attaching the unit to a blower with hook
  • CD containing software and Users's Guide
When you order your system, you specify the size of the blower that you want, the type of door adapter you need and the color of your system unit. And of course, if you wish to control two cookers at once, you would also order a second blower and adapter, as well as a second set of temperature probes.

BBQ Guru CyberQ II basic system
The basic BBQ Guru CyberQ II system major components.


The System Unit and Stand

The system unit is a small box about 2.75" x 5.125" x 0.75" in size which weighs in at about 9.5 ounces. It is housed in a rugged metal case and it feels solid in your hand. We can attest to the ruggedness of the housing as the very first thing we did when we opened the box was to drop the unit on the floor from about four feet. Doh! The unit is still working just fine. The housing is water resistant, and it appears that as long as the unit is kept upright, it should survive pretty wet weather. Here we show various views of it:

Front view of BBQ Guru CyberQ II
Front view
Side view of BBQ Guru CyberQ II
Side view
Back view of BBQ Guru CyberQ II
Back view
Bottom view of BBQ Guru CyberQ II
Bottom view


All the controls are on the front panel, while all the plugs for power, blower, probes and the USB connector are on the bottom. We are pretty sure that the picture of Shotgun Fred is mandatory.

The stand which comes with the CyberQ II is the same stand which was introduced with the DigiQ II. It comes as a flat sheet of stainless steel which you can then bend to suit your needs. Here are photos of the sheet before bending and then after we bent it the configuration we prefer:

The BBQ Guru CyberQ II stand before bending
The stand before bending
The BBQ Guru CyberQ II stand after bending
The stand after bending
The BBQ Guru CyberQ II stand after bending
The system unit affixed to the stand

Notice that the two tabs on the back of the system unit can slide into any of the slots cut into the stand, depending on the configuration you choose.


Controls and Display

Let's look at the front panel details. In the photo below, you can see that the CyberQ II has a 2 x 8 character LCD display and four buttons:


The user can adjust the brightness and contrast of the display through the setup menus. The following photos show the display at various brightness and contrast settings. Note that if you set the contrast to 100%, the letters disappear. (Makes using the unit a bit challenging!):

BBQ Guru CyberQ II Display The CyberQ II display with 0% contrast. BBQ Guru CyberQ II Display The CyberQ II display with 65% contrast. BBQ Guru CyberQ II Display The CyberQ II display with 85% contrast.
BBQ Guru CyberQ II Display The CyberQ II display with 100% backlight. BBQ Guru CyberQ II Display The CyberQ II display with 30% backlight. BBQ Guru CyberQ II Display The CyberQ II display with 0% backlight.


As for the buttons, the power button is, well, the power button. Pressing it for two seconds turns the unit off and on.

The up and down buttons are used to scroll through the 5 main screens on the system. They are also used to change values when setting options on the unit such as the target pit temperature. Also, if you press both up and down simultaneously, the display returns to the main display screen.

The Scroll button is used to scroll through all the sub-screens that are available via each of the 5 main screens.

The display system seems a bit complex at first, but refer to the CyberQ II manual for a flow-chart that shows you how to go through all the screens. Once you see the big picture, it all falls into place. Like we mentioned before, there are 5 top-level displays, the Main Display Screen, two screens for cooker 1 and two screens for cooker 2.

Scrolling through the options on the Main Display Screen gives you access to:

  • Battery power level
  • Backlight brightness option
  • Backlight contrast option
  • Backlight duration option
  • Alarm beep option

Scrolling through any of the cooker display screens then gives you access to:

  • Fan percentage display
  • Pit set point
  • Pit hold point
  • Food set point
  • Timer set and display
  • Timeout action option
  • Alarms on/off option
  • Ramp on/off option
  • Open lid detect on/off option

Finally there is a super user screen that lets you set:

  • Proportional band option
  • Ramp offset option
  • Cycle time option
  • Alarm deviation option
  • Temperature units option
  • Reset all option
You should refer to the CyberQ II manual for more information about these super user options.

Next Page....


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