The Stoker Temperature Controller, Cont'd

Connecting The Stoker To The Internet

The Stoker has an Ethernet connection and you can put it to good use! In order to connect The Stoker to your PC, you need to have a router. If you have high speed internet service, then you have a cable modem or a DSL modem. If you can connect more than one PC to your high speed connection, you must have bought a router! If not, then you can buy routers for around $50 to $80. The secret here is that a router allows you to connect multiple devices to one high speed connection. It does this by assigning a network IP address to each device you connect to it. That is the magic that you need to hook The Stoker up to your PC. When you plug your Stoker into your router, The Stoker will obtain an IP address that you can use to communicate with it. Once you have connected your Stoker to the network, you can

  • Set up and monitor your Stoker from your PC
  • Update the software on your Stoker from your PC
  • With some black magic that we won't be able to explain here, you should be able to control and monitor your Stoker from any web browser on any device connected to the Internet.
Plug your Stoker into your router using a regular ethernet cable. Turn on the Stoker and wait 30 seconds or so to give The Stoker a chance to get an IP address. Then you can navigate to a system function on The Stoker that will display the IP address it was assigned:

Copy this IP address down and you can then enter it into a web browser on your PC. The Stoker will serve up web pages to the browser on your PC that you can then use to set up The Stoker. You can see below how we have entered The Stoker's IP address into our browser to display its current status:


Updating The Software

You can update the software on your Stoker if there is ever an update made available. We tested several levels of the software during this review and updating it is easy. You just need to connect your Stoker to your LAN, open a DOS window, run the update program, enter the IP address of The Stoker and within a few seconds, the software will be updated. Any fixes or new features will now be available for use in your Stoker.

We should also add that this is a very important feature because at the time of this review, there are already several significant new functions that are being developed for The Stoker.


Summary

The Stoker offers a new alternative in the field of barbecue temperature control with new features and capabilities. The two biggest innovations are obviously the ability to control multiple cookers from a single unit and the ability to control The Stoker from an internet connection. While this may add a little complexity to using the unit, the user who wants and needs these additional functions should find The Stoker to be a great choice. But even users with just the basic need to control a single cooker will find The Stoker a worthy addition to their barbecue toolkit.


Contact Information

If you are interested in The Stoker, you can contact Rock's Bar-B-Que as follows:

Rock's Bar-B-Que
35367 Fircrest St. Unit I
Newark, CA 94560

Tel: 510-792-7700
Fax: 510-792-7701
email: rock@rocksbarbque.com
web: www.rocksbarbque.com

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