The BBQ Guru CyberQ II
Temperature Controller


Connections

In the following photo we have turned the CyberQ II on its back and show the bottom where the connectors are:

BBQ Guru CyberQ II Connections
Connections


The connector on the far right is for power. You can either use the supplied "brick" power supply or you can purchase an optional cigarette lighter power cord that you can then plug into one of the many automobile starter batteries available which have a cigarette lighter outlet on them. There is also an optional second power cord adapter available with clips on the end for use with a 12V battery when you don't have a cigarette lighter outlet available.

The two connectors to the left of the power connector are for the two blowers. The next four connectors, continuing to the left, are for the pit and food temperature probes for up to two cookers. The pit probes provide the input to the CyberQ II that allows it to monitor and control your cookers, while the food probes monitor food temperatures and provides the CyberQ II input for Ramp Mode.

Finally, that last connector on the left is a USB connector which allows you to connect your CyberQ II controller to a computer for control and monitoring. More about that later.


Temperature Probes

The CyberQ II comes with two temperature probes, each with their own connector:

BBQ Guru CyberQ II Temperature Probes
Food Probe
BBQ Guru CyberQ II Temperature Probes Closeup
Pit Probe


You must order a second pair of probes if you intend to control two cookers at the same time.

The probes are made from stainless steel and contain thermocouples. The wires have an armor braid which can withstand temperatures up to 700 degrees. The wires are 6 feet long, versus the 4-foot wires on the Competitor probes. Be careful not to kink the wires. The probes and the wires should be shielded from direct radiation from a hot fire. Do not let them come into direct contact with flames. If you need to shield the wires, you can place a layer of aluminum foil beneath them, but do not wrap the wires in foil. This can actually make the heat worse and damage the wires. Also, having the pit probe exposed to direct radiant heat can cause it to register a temperature which is higher than the air temperature in the cooker, and thus fool the CyberQ II into cutting back on the fire.

If a probe does fail, you will be able to tell because when plugged into the CyberQ II with no heat applied to the probe, the CyberQII will show the three dashes in the display indicating a high temperature.

You can see in the photos how each probe is connected to its own plug which plugs into the CyberQ II system unit. You can also see the famous Curl-Eez doo-dads which can be used to keep your wires organized. Since the probes are now on separate plugs, you have the choice of not plugging the food probe into the system unit if you are only going to use the CyberQ II to control your cooker's temperature and not to monitor food temperatures.

Note that if you do choose not to plug in any particular temperature probe, when you turn the CyberQ II unit on, you will get error alarms for each missing probe. You can clear these alarms by pressing the scroll button to move through the alarms. After that, the alarms should stay off for the missing probes.


Temperature Probe Accuracy

How accurate are the probes? First, we allowed the four probes to come to room temperature, which was 80 degrees as measured by our test thermometer. Once the four probes reached equilibrium, three said 80 degrees while one probe was waffling back and forth between 79 and 80 degrees. We then tested the four probes in boiling water. According to our calculations, the boiling point of water in our kitchen when we conducted the test was 211.0 degrees. Like instructed in the owner's manual, we allowed the unit to "warm up" for 20 minutes (actually, the unit had been on for about 3 hours) before checking the temperature. Here were the results:

Food 1 212
Food 2 212
Pit 1 212
Pit 2 210

Temperature probe readings in boiling water.

No real need for calibration on this unit! But remember, if you are going to check the unit/probes for accuracy, make sure you allow the unit to warm up before you make any decision to calibrate or not. All units get calibrated to a traceable standard before they leave the factory, so you shouldn't find calibration necessary.


Calibration

Should you find it necessary, the unit can be calibrated by the user and the complete instructions are contained in the owner's manual. The instructions are easy to follow and work like a charm. On thing that might puzzle you is that when you calibrate the unit, you do so with the first food probe. However, this also calibrates the pit probe, as you can see in our probe accuracy results above. You see, you aren't really calibrating the probe; you are calibrating the CyberQ II system unit to the probes. The entire procedure takes less than 30 minutes if you follow it to the letter, so it is worthwhile calibrating your unit when you get it, if necessary. But like we said earlier, allow the unit to "warm up" before you check the probes in boiling water for accuracy.


The Blower

Now let's take a look at the blower which feeds air to the fire in the cooker:

BBQ Guru CyberQ II Blower
Pit Viper 10 CFM Blower
BBQ Guru CyberQ II Blower
Closeup of the damper and nozzle
BBQ Guru CyberQ II Blower
Looking into the nozzle
BBQ Guru CyberQ II Blower
Door mount for large Big Green Egg
BBQ Guru CyberQ II Blower
Blower attached to door mount


As you can see, the blower is sheathed in stainless steel. The nozzle is machined from solid aluminum and contains the integrated adjustable damper. Looking down the nozzle you can see how the damper can be used to restrict the airflow from the blower. You can use the damper wide open for quick starting a fire, or shut it part way to restrict airflow for lower-temperature cooking. This restricts not only the airflow produced by the blower, but also the natural draft that occurs when air flows through the blower while the blower is not forcing air into the cooker. (In other words, when the blower is off.) As for mounting, you can see in the photo above how the nozzle of the blower is pressed into the tube on the door mount.

You can purchase blowers in 4, 10 and 25 CFM (cubic feet per minute) sizes. The blowers come with a four-foot wire as standard. A blower extension cord and a splitter cord that allows a single CyberQ II blower port to control 2 blowers are avaible options. Door mounts are available for many popular cookers.

Which blower should you get? Well, the 4 CFM blower will certainly handle cookers up to the size of a large Big Green Egg, for example. However, we think the 10 CFM blower is a good choice because a) it doesn't cost much more than the 4 CFM fan, and b) it can be throttled back with the damper for those times when you want less than the blower's full capacity. The 25 CFM blower is intended for use on larger metal cookers.

Note also the hook on the blower in these photos. This is for attaching a BBQ Guru system unit to the blower. Blowers are also available without the hook. However, if you don't have a table nearby to set your system on, you can attach it to the hook on the blower:


Audible Alarm

The CyberQ II contains an audible alarm which will sound if the pit temperature deviates from the target temperature by more than the value you configure in the setup menu (for example if you were running out of fuel and the temperature were dropping). The alarm will also sound when the meat temperature reaches the target temperature you have set. The audible alarm can be silenced in these circumstances by pressing any of the buttons on the system unit.

The beeper is also used to provide a chirp when you press the buttons as positive feedback.

Unlike the DigiQ II, the CyberQ II does not have an alarm intensity (volume) setting. Instead, you can configure the number of rapid beeps the alarm makes when it goes off. Setting this to 0 disables the keypad chirp. Being able to configure the number beeps for the alarm allows you to distinguish between units if you have two or more CyberQ II units operating in close proximity to each other.

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