The BBQ Guru
Pitminder NanoQ
Temperature Controller


Connections

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

BBQ Guru NanoQ Connections
Connections


The connector on the far left 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 connector in the middle is for the blower.

The connector on the right is for the pit temperature probe. The pit probe provides the input to the NanoQ that allows it to monitor and control your cooker. Always make sure to insert the temperature probe firmly until you feel it click into place. Failure to insert the probe fully can result in intermittent or incorrect readings.


Temperature Probe

The NanoQ comes with a temperature probe for monitoring the cooker temperature:

BBQ Guru NanoQ Temperature Probe Closeup
Pit Probe
BBQ Guru NanoQ Temperature Probe Closeup
Closeup of pit probe clip
BBQ Guru NanoQ Temperature Probe Closeup
Closeup of pit probe plug


The probe is made from stainless steel and contains a thermocouple. The wire has an armor braid and fiberglass insulation which can withstand temperatures up to 1000 degrees. The wire is 6 feet long, but 8 and 10 foot cables can be ordered for a small charge. Be careful not to kink the wire. The probe and the wire should be shielded from direct radiation from a hot fire. Do not let it come into direct contact with flames. If you need to shield the wire, you can place a layer of aluminum foil beneath it, but do not wrap the wire in foil. This can actually make the heat worse and damage the wire. 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 NanoQ into cutting back on the fire.

If a probe does fail, you will be able to tell because when plugged into the NanoQ with no heat applied to the probe, the NanoQ will display the rapidly flashing amber LED indicating an error. The amber LED will also indicate an error if you don't plug the probe into the NanoQ before powering up the unit. The error indicator will go out once you plug the probe in.

You can see in the photo above how the probe has a sturdy metal plug with strain relief. You can also see the famous Curl-Eez doo-dads which can be used to keep the wire organized. Also shown above is a closeup of the cayman clip which you can use to clip the probe to your dome thermometer or the food grid, as you see fit.


Temperature Probe Accuracy

How accurate is the probe? Well, since the NanoQ does not have a display with which to indicate the temperature read by the probe, you can't measure the accuracy directly. However, the probe that comes with the NanoQ is identical to the probes used with the CyberQ II. We measured the accuracy of the CyberQ II probes and obtained the following results:

Food 1 212
Food 2 212
Pit 1 212
Pit 2 210
Temperature probe readings in boiling water.

As you can see the probes were accurate to within 2 degrees or less, way more accuracy than you need for controlling a cooker.


Calibration

You cannot calibrate the NanoQ, but the units are calibrated at the factory. If you notice a large discrepancy between the temperature set on the NanoQ and the actual temperature of your cooker, make sure you have calibrated your cooker's thermometer. If you still have a wide discrepancy, you should probably contact The BBQ Guru for futher advice.


The Blower

Now let's take a look at the blower which feeds air to the fire in the cooker. First off we have photos of the 4 CFM Pit Runner blower:

BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Runner Blower
Pit Runner 4 CFM Blower, top view
BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Runner Blower
Pit Runner 4 CFM Blower, bottom view
BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Runner Blower
Pit Runner 4 CFM Blower, side view
BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Runner Blower
Pit Runner 4 CFM Blower, looking into the nozzle

Next we have the 10 CFM Viper blower:

BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Viper Blower
Pit Viper 10 CFM Blower
BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Viper Blower
Pit Viper 10 CFM Blower
BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Viper Blower
Pit Viper 10 CFM Blower

Finally, we have photos of the door adapters for Medium/Large and Small Big Green Egg cookers, with and without blowers mounted:

BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Runner Blower
Guru Adapter for Medium and Large Big Green Eggs
BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Viper Blower
Pit Viper 10 CFM Blower with Medium/Large BGE Adapter
BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Runner Blower
Guru Adapter for Small Big Green Eggs
BBQ Guru NanoQ Pit Runner Blower
Pit Runner 4 CFM Blower with Small BGE Adapter


As you can see, the blowers are 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 NanoQ 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. When testing the NanoQ, however, we used the 4 CFM Pit Runner blower since we have never tested with one before.


Audible Alarm

The NanoQ is as quiet as a mouse, making no sounds. No beeps, no alarms, no chirps. All communication is via the two LEDs.

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