The BBQ Guru DigiQ II
Temperature Controller, Cont'd

Good Neighbor Feature

You may remember that the original Competitor had a "Good Neighbor Feature" which allowed you to disable the alarm so as not to disturb your neighbors. This feature is implemented on the DigiQ II be means of the Beeper Intensity setting in the main menu. Set the intensity to "0" and the unit will not beep.

Visible Blower Feature

Whether or not you liked the Audible Blower feature (the alarm sounds when the blower is actually running) on the original Competitor, it is gone on the DigiQ II. Instead, blower operation is indicated in two ways. First, while the blower is operating, the dot in the right-most digit will rapidly flash on and off. Also, the temperature display (the numbers) will alternate between a bright and a dim setting, indicating the percentage of the time that the blower is operating. If the digits blink 3 times then pause, then blink 3 times, then pause, etc., this indicates that the blower is operating 30% of the time. If the digits are blinking all the time, this indicates that the blower is running 100% of the time.

Power Interruption Feature

Hooray! The DigiQ II has an internal memory which retains all settings during a power loss. When power is returned to the unit, it will continue to operate as it did before the power loss, with all target temperatures and menu settings retained.

Ramp Mode Feature

Ok, now we come to Ramp Mode! What is Ramp Mode? It is a clever mode in which the DigiQ II will lower the cooker temperature once the meat is within 30 degrees of being done. As the meat temperature rises closer and closer to the target temperature, the DigiQ II will continue to lower the cooker temperature. Ultimately, when the meat temperature reaches the target temperature, the cooker will also be at the meat target temperature. As a result, you can hold your meat at your target temperature as long as the cooker has fuel left to burn. Here are two graphs taken from the DigiQ II owner's manual that should make Ramp Mode clearer:

BBQ DigiQ II Ramp mode off graph
Graph showing how pit temperature stays constant as
food temperature rises when Ramp Mode is off

BBQ DigiQ II Ramp mode off graph
Graph showing how pit temperature is lowered to match
meat temperature using Ramp Mode

You activate and deactivate Ramp Mode through the DigiQ II's setup menu.

Cold Smoking

The DigiQ II can control your cooker down to a temperature of 32 degrees. Therefore, there is no need anymore for the foil-wrapped-probe-in-ramp-mode trick that you could use on the original Competitor get it to control the cooker at temperatures below 175 degrees. Just remember, though, that in order for the DigiQ II to control the cooker at lower temperatures a good seal on your cooker is very important. Too much ambient airflow will prevent the DigiQ II from keeping the fire low enough to maintain a low temperature.

Adaptive Control

The DigiQ II has a new feature called "Adaptive Control". The BBQ Guru describes it as an "All new full-time adaptive control algorithm learns your pit to control better stability/accuracy." If we understood Shotgun Fred correctly, over time, the unit learns how much effect the blower has so that it can more accurately and intelligently decide how long to run the blower when it needs to adjust or maintain the cooker's temperature. So for example, if the unit signals the blower to operate at 30% and it sees that the temperature overshoots a bit, it will gradually learn to run the blower at 20% instead.

This "learning" is done on every use of the DigiQ II and it does not get "remembered" from one use to the other. If you turn the unit off, it will start the learning cycle over again. This is goodness, obviously, as you might wish to use the unit on different cookers, and of course, circumstances can change from cook to cook. The "learning" process can take up to an hour depending on different factors. Suffice it to say that if you are using the DigiQ II on a long term cook, the unit works well initially and improves its control over time. Once again, we'll point out that your average kitchen oven will vary up to 50 degrees or more, so there's no reason to sweat over a few degrees. The DigiQ II will do the job.

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