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Author Topic: Product Review - Fireboard ( FBX11 )  (Read 1335 times)

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LowSlowJoe

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Product Review - Fireboard ( FBX11 )
« on: September 21, 2017, 08:53:21 PM »

Purpose of device:
Fireboard FBX11 is a remote temperature monitoring and logging device that supports up to 6 temperature sensing probes at once. Temperature readings can be seen from a small LCD, from a smart phone, and/or web interface. It’s capable of alerting via email and SMS ( text messages )

MSRP Info:

 Standard configuration $189 -  FireBoard FBX11 Thermometer, Charger, Ambient Probe with grill clip, 2 Food Probes.
 Extreme BBQ Configuration: $249 - FireBoard FBX11 Thermometer, Charger, 2 Ambient Probes with grill clips, 6 Food Probes.
 Water resistant case: $55 - Provides water resistance and adds some mounting options too
 Additional Probes:  $15 ~ $18

Pros of the Fireboard FBX11:
1.   The main unit is compact (about the size of a deck of cards)
2.   Records data from up to 6 probes at once
3.   It utilizes a simple to use two button user interface.
4.   Remote monitoring can be done without a internet connection, via Bluetooth on a smart phone or tablet ( Android and Apple systems are supported ).
5.    Data can be transferred to the ‘cloud’ directly by WiFi, or by using Bluetooth and your smartphone as a proxy to send the data.
6.   Data stored to the ‘cloud’ can be seen and shared through a web interface.
7.   Alerts can be configured separately on each probe, high , low… and loss of data
8.   Alerts can be sent via text, email, and via the App itslef.
9.   Patent-Pending auto-sync insures all data gets sent to the cloud when connection is intermittent
10.   Probes are waterproof, rated up to 712F, and have a 6 foot chord


Cons of the Fireboard:
1.   The base unit is not water proof.
2.   The price of the base system is a bit higher than many might wish to spend
3.   The device does not come with any carrying case.


My impressions and thoughts about the Fireboard:

What sold me on the Fireboard, vs some similar products on the market?  Features and functions…

Fireboard is capable of reading temperatures over 700F on 6 probes at once, I’ve seen it record temperature of 792F ( the probes are rated to 712F ). I know many people have very little need to record temperatures that high, but for me, a person who often cooks pizza at temperatures over 600F, this capability was important to me.

The other thing that sold me, was how the device can work with Bluetooth and WiFi and was capable of working even when a internet connection wasn’t present. After researching this a bit further I came to understand that this device doesn’t just send data to the cloud, it actually stores the data in internal memory and when it has the opportunity, it syncs the data to the cloud… so even if your internet connection is intermittent your data won’t be lost.   

But wait… there’s more…   well, potential for more…   The Fireboard has an auxiliary port that will someday allow control of other devices. Currently there are no accessories that are available for purchase that make use of this auxiliary port, however… Fireboard says they are very close to releasing the ‘Fireboard Drive’… This device is  apparently intended to supply DC voltage to a ‘fan’ control is intended to be used to drive a fan that could control combustion in a Charcoal/Wood burning grill.  I did inquire with Fireboard and was told they have “quite a bit in the works for the pellet world”, but could not get any further information about that… 

OK, enough about why I personally chose to buy the Fireboard…  How does it work?

 The Fireboard truly is a remarkably well designed product from a technical prespective.  The probes work as advertised… I’ve actually recorded temperatures over 792F, when I accidentally let my grill get a bit hotter then I intended.

When the device is configured to use WiFi to communicate directly to the internet, it works more or less flawlessly… not to say that it never drops a connection, but it can go for days without incident and when it does get back connected, the auto-sync feature fills in gaps with any data that may not yet have made it to the Fireboard servers.

With Bluetooth 4.0 ( Bluetooth Low Energy ), you don’t have to ‘pair’ the device to your smartphone, that is done automatically…   The Fireboard App will communicate directly to the Fireboard device, without the use of WiFi, you can read temperatures and graph data… Not only can you view the data, but if you do have data available on your phone, but the Fireboard doesn’t have WiFi, your phone can act as a proxy and send data from the Fireboard to the cloud by way of your phone. 

I did notice that with the Android App, you are forced to logon to Fireboard before the app will run, so at this time, with Android, you have to have internet access from your phone at least long enough to login… once you are logged in, you can operate without internet being present, and view data that’s on the Fireboard.  I’ve been told that soon the App will have a true standalone mode that doesn’t require that login each time you start the app.  Apparently the Apple version of the App is capable staring up without having to login to Fireboard servers now.

Now, I’m a geek, so the Fireboard really is a wonderful product, and satisfies nearly every need I have for recording and viewing temperatures remotely.   It may be more complex than many people really need or want to pay for. However, it really is a wonderful product.   

For me, the product is quite easy to use, I could maybe see that some less tech savvy people might find it more difficult to use than I personally do.    However, I do think it’s reasonably user friendly. 

I suppose I should mention the ‘cons’..  While the Fireboard itself is not waterproof, I found that placing in in a zip-lock bag, and sitting it in a position such that rain would not easily go inside the bag, I was able to use it in the rain, without incident.  They do have a waterproof case that can be purchased separately, but I do not have one at this time.   Since it seems like I’m always using the Fireboard for something, I haven’t missed the fact that it doesn’t come with a storage/carrying case.  Bottom line for me, the pros of the Fireboard far outweigh the cons.

I could go on and on about little details about ways I’ve found to work through a few things that were confusing to me the first time I encountered them, however many of  you would just get bored ( if you’re not already bored).   So, I’m going to wrap this up for now.  I’d be more than willing to share little tips and such that I’ve learned about it’s operation in other discussions, so feel free to ask if you should have further questions.

Would You Recommend This Product:
I would HIGHLY recommend the Fireboard to anyone who has a strong need or desire to be able to remotely monitor temperature on up to 6 probes, from virtually anywhere in the world.  It may be overkill for many backyard BBQers, but for anyone who wants more than the basics of remote temperature reading… The Fireboard is perhaps the best product of it’s kind right now. If you really analyze the cost per probe port, and look at it’s feature set, the Fireboard is priced accordingly.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 08:04:02 AM by LowSlowJoe »
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LowSlowJoe

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 08:54:04 PM »

This space reserved for further clarifications on the product.

'live view' of my Fireboard with two probes sitting in my living room ( for now )

https://share.fireboard.io/9A9A0C

at 9:26, I placed the tip of the food probe between my thumb and finger for a few moments. Earlier in the day the product took a ride to work with me, was in my back pack some of the time, in a enclosed box... didn't have internet access during that time, but because of the Auto-sync feature, never lost any recorded data... I'm told the Fireboard has 4 gig of internal memory, that it could record data for two probes , for over a year before data would start to be over written.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 09:29:59 PM by LowSlowJoe »
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Bar-B-Lew

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 09:04:19 PM »

Nice review and it looks like a very nice product.  Thanks for sharing some of the screen shots.  Looks like better interfaces than its competitors including grill manufacturers.  Glad someone did a great job with the review.  Thanks again to Bentley to allowing members to be part of the product review team.
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LowSlowJoe

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 09:40:11 PM »

Nice review and it looks like a very nice product.  Thanks for sharing some of the screen shots.  Looks like better interfaces than its competitors including grill manufacturers.  Glad someone did a great job with the review.  Thanks again to Bentley to allowing members to be part of the product review team.

Thanks... you set the bar pretty high with your review of the Thermoworks Smoke...  I'm just trying to keep up .

 I do really like the Fireboard App interface.  The only other product I personally have used with similar App, is for the iGrill... I felt that was a pretty good App too, but recently have heard that the iGrill App took a turn for the worse after a recent re-do to that interface, I hope Fireboard doesn't do something like that. :)

  There only two things that currently I can't do on the smartphone app that can be done on the web interface... one is to set an alarm that sends alerts when a channel fails to report data ( fail safe alert )... the other is that on the Android App, there doesn't appear to be any way to leave a 'session' as open ended, on the web interface, you can clear the end date and time completely to leave that session open ended. 

   Yes, I think the Member Review section here, has great potential... I worked harder then I normally do to write it.  Lot of spell checking, and even a bit of grammar checking ( although I suspect there's still plenty wrong with the grammar, it's not my strong suit)  I reasonably happy with how it worked out.
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Bar-B-Lew

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 09:48:58 PM »

You did a mighty fine job and I hope you post more reviews of other products in the future.
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Bentley

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 11:13:14 PM »

Thank you for taking the time to do this.  It will be nice to have it and the Tappecue Reviewed.
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Kristin Meredith

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 11:17:57 PM »

Excellent review.  Thanks for the thoughtfulness and thoroughness.  It is an asset to the readers and the forum.
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GREG-B

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2017, 12:53:24 AM »

Not sure I could afford to buy 6 probes. :rotf:  But it is a very good review.
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Skyking

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard ( FBX11 )
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2017, 05:03:57 PM »

I have the FireBoard and love it. I also have the Blazn WIFI on my Grid Iron. The two are a great combination, I can pretty much control and monitor my cooks from anywhere. Very good review from LSJ and I would agree with everything he said. It was very intuitive and easy to set up.  :clap:

One other thing is that I made a waterproof case to protect it while in use and also use it to store the probes and everything in. Go on YouTube and look up Tappecue Waterproof Case, I patterned it off that build. It works very well.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 05:15:04 PM by Skyking »
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Maineac

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard ( FBX11 )
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2017, 10:17:22 AM »

To those interested, the FireBoard Drive Fan Control Cable is now available on the Fireboard site.  It makes me want to get a fan for my Performer.

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pmillen

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard ( FBX11 )
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2017, 10:44:59 AM »

Here are the fan control components.  (Photos from their recent announcement)
     
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ArborAgent

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard ( FBX11 )
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2017, 02:09:57 PM »

They also just announced they're switching probe types. I don't think there's much of a difference in practice. I think this means I can switch to a common probe type between my Smoke and my Fireboard.
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BeachBlues

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Re: Product Review - Fireboard ( FBX11 )
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 07:44:33 AM »

I too, have a Fireboard and love it.  I want to add, also, that there are two types of ambient probes available.  I think they're pretty reasonable at $15.  First is the standard probe, short and blunt, maybe 3" long, paired with the standard grate clip.  Second type is a smoker probe, with the 1/2" NPT threaded connection.  It also fits into the grate clip if you need it to work in that way.  But, if you have a main exterior (1/2") thermometer threaded into the door of your smoker, that you use as the basis for fire/temp control, then this probe can replace it and be monitored by the Fireboard. 

I'm a data geek, and I've downloaded the data file from Fireboard's servers, pushed it into Office/Excel, and have charted the results there.  Much easier to read.  I'll be documenting that process soon, and will post a new thread for anybody who may be interested.
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