Troubleshooting: Signals

Here are answers to the most common technical support questions about Signals.


What power adapter may I use to charge Signals?

We recommend that you always use the power adapter that came with your Signals. It reads “Use only with Signals” on its back.

Signals requires a 12-volt power adapter. Make sure you do not use another type of adapter as other voltages will cause damage. (Voltage information can be found on the back of each power adapter.)

If you use a power adapter without enough voltage (such as a standard 5-volt USB adapter), Signals will not fully charge–or charge at all.

If you need a replacement charger, you may purchase a Signals Replacement AC Adapter here.


How do I set up my Signals?

To set up your Signals, download the free ThermoWorks BBQ app from either the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store. Install and open the app on your smartphone or tablet and follow the onscreen instructions to add your new Signals to the app. Additional important information can be found in the ThermoWorks BBQ app and in the online help file, located here.


How do I update my Signals’ firmware?

Here’s what you need to know to successfully update your Signals’ firmware.

1. Signals needs to be plugged into power to complete the firmware update. Once your Signals is plugged into power, the firmware update will complete when you next open the ThermoWorks BBQ app. Please make sure you use a 12 volt power adapter (preferably the adapter that came with Signals).

2. Signals firmware updates via Bluetooth, so keep your phone or tablet within Bluetooth range of Signals during the update. If your phone or tablet disconnects from Signals, the firmware update will not finish. We recommend leaving your tablet or phone close to Signals until the firmware update has concluded. (The update takes roughly one minute.)

3. Make sure the ThermoWorks BBQ app is authorized to use your phone or tablet’s location services, data and file storage. (Found in your phone or tablet’s app manager.) Close and reopen the app and the firmware update will continue.

Note: If your Signals is plugged in using the correct power adapter and your phone or tablet is connected to Signals via Bluetooth and the firmware still does not update, your Signals may need to be reset.

  1. Close the ThermoWorks BBQ app and unplug Signals from the power source.
  2. Once your Signals’s display reads INPT PWR, plug it back into power and restart the ThermoWorks BBQ app.
  3. Next, go to the Devices page in the app. After a few minutes, you will see a pop-up window that reads, “A Firmware Update is available for one or more devices.”
  4. Click Continue. The firmware process should continue successfully.

If the above solutions do not work, please contact our Tech Support team. They are happy to help.


My Signals doesn’t work after I ran the firmware update. The screen has three dashes in each quadrant.

The dashes on the screen indicate that firmware update did not complete or the update process was interrupted. Here’s what to do:

  1. Close the ThermoWorks BBQ app and remove the power adapter power from your Signals.
  2. Once your Signals reads INPT PWR, plug it back into power and restart the ThermoWorks BBQ app.
  3. Go to the Devices page. After a few minutes, you will get a pop up window that reads, “A Firmware Update is available for one or more devices.”
  4. Click Continue.
  5. The firmware update process will begin again.

How can I tell if my Signals battery needs to be recharged? How long is the battery life?

Signals Battery Icon

Important: The battery icon on the Signals hardware is a status indicator only. It flashes when Signals is charging and is solid when it is not charging. Signals battery charge level information is available in the ThermoWorks BBQ app.

Signals Low Battery Warning

With your Signals connected to your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, look at the list of probe channels. If the battery level is at or below 25%, a red battery icon will appear. If the battery icon is not seen, the battery is more than 25% charged.

To see more information about the battery charge level, tap on one of the probe channels.

Android Settings

Select the probe channel’s settings by choosing the Settings link (iOS) or gear (Android), located at the top, right-hand corner of the screen.

Once you are in the probe’s settings screen, press the Advanced Info button. You will then be able to view your Signals’ battery charge level.

Battery Life

It takes approximately 10-12 hours for Signals to be fully charged after the battery is completely discharged. You may use Signals while it is plugged in and charging. Once Signals is fully charged, the battery life will last approximately 13-16 hours, depending upon the interval update rate you choose. (The more often Signals sends data to the cloud, the more battery life is used.) You have the option of setting the interval update rate to 10, 20, 30, or 60 seconds apart.

Signals uses extra power when its alarms are sounding. Placing Signals directly on a hot surface can also decrease battery life. (Signals thermometer hardware should not directly exposed to temperatures about 122°F or the plastic housing may melt.)

Important: Signals will not fully charge (or charge at all) with a standard 5-volt USB adapter. Please ensure you are using the 12-volt adapter that accompanied your Signals. It reads “Use only with Signals” on its back.

A Recommendation

If you are doing an overnight cook with frequent interval updates, you may want to consider either keeping Signals plugged in or to use a well-charged 12 volt power bank as a backup. This is what our Marketing team does when they are doing long smokes and Signals isn’t close to a power source.


 

How do I know if Signals is fully charged?

Using the power adapter that came with your Signals (it reads, “Use only with Signals” on its back) for a minimum of 16 hours. This should fully charge the Signals battery.  After the Signals has been charging for 16 hours, disconnect the Signals from the charger.

To see if the battery is fully (100%) charged:

  1. Open the ThermoWorks BBQ app.
  2. Select one of the probes.
  3. Click Settings in the top right-hand corner
  4. Select Advanced Info. The battery level should indicate 100% after charging for 16 hours.
  5. If it says it is still charging, exit back to the Main menu. Wait a minute or two for the app to update, and then check the battery level again.

Once the battery is 100% charged, it will last approximately 12-16 hours



I have finished setting up Signals. I connected to a probe, launched the app on my phone and have been waiting for a very long time for the temperature to show up in the app. What can I do?

To fix this, please log out and back into the app. To log out, go to Menu>Profile>Options>Log out.


How do I set up Signals alarms?

Signals includes both High and Low alarms. Both alarms sound on the hardware and on the phone or tablet. You may set the alarms on both the hardware or in the ThermoWorks BBQ app. Additional instructions can be found in the ThermoWorks BBQ app and in the online help file, located here.


Why does Signals keep alarming? I can’t get it to stop going off.

It sounds like at least one Low Alarm is set too high. The High Alarm sounds when the temperature of the food or environment you’re measuring rises to the high alarm set-point. The Low Alarm sounds when the temperature of the food or environment you’re measuring falls to the low alarm set-point. This feature is especially helpful when you want to make sure that the temperature of the food you’re chilling doesn’t fall too far.

 Here’s another example of how the Low Alarm feature can be used:

 If you want to make sure that your smoker or oven temperature stays within a temperature zone (say, between 325° and 350°), set the High Alarm to 350°, put the probe within the pre-heated environment (the temperature must already be between 325° and 350°) and set the Low Alarm to 325°. If the temperature of your smoker or oven falls below 325°, the Low Alarm will sound.

 If you’d prefer, you can set the Low Alarm while the probe is still at room temperature. If you set it this way, remember to disable the alarm until the food or environment measures above the low set-point. Otherwise, the alarm will immediately start to sound.


How do I reset Signals?

If you find it is necessary to reset your Signals, press and hold down the power button on the back of the thermometer for approximately 20 seconds.



How far away can I take my phone from Signals to get a reading?

Signals will communicate with your phone or tablet via Bluetooth up to 95 feet line-of-sight unless other factors are involved.

  • Devices that use 2.4GHz radio frequencies (microwave ovens, cordless phones, remote controls, etc.) may create interference.
  • The Bluetooth signal may be interrupted by walls and building materials, such as tinting on windows.

Signals will communicate with your phone or tablet via Wi-Fi anywhere in the world as long as Signals has access to a strong Wi-Fi connection and your phone or tablet has an internet connection to receive the data (Wi-Fi or cellular)


My Signals is having Bluetooth connectivity issues and the range seems short. What can I try?

Note: We have built a great tool into our ThermoWorks BBQ app to help determine when your Signals last communicated. If you press and hold on a temperature dot, you will see a pop-up window that indicates when your Signals last communicated over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Here is a list of Bluetooth troubleshooting steps that should help:

1. Make sure you have location services turned on.

2. Remove Signals from your phone/tablet and let it be discovered again.

3. Turn Signals and your phone/tablet off and back on again.

4. Switch off your phone/tablet’s Bluetooth, wait for 10 seconds, and switch it on again.

5. Are both devices fully charged? Bluetooth is notorious for affecting battery life and full batteries increase the odds of success.

6. Turn off other Bluetooth devices from the area or disable their Bluetooth functionality.

7. Try removing other Bluetooth connections from your phone/tablet, such as speakers.

8. Are your devices compatible? Make sure you are running the most recent version of your phone/tablet’s operating system.

9. Look at the obstacles that create interference. (Direct line-of-sight is the biggest factor in Bluetooth device performance.) Apple rates the following obstacles according to their level of interference:

  • Low interference potential: wood, glass, and many synthetic materials
  • Medium interference potential: water, bricks, marble
  • High interference potential: plaster, concrete, bulletproof glass
  • Very high interference potential: metal

10. Remove potential sources of interference. Interference can come from a variety of devices, some of which don’t transmit anything. Common sources of interference include a high concentration of Wi-Fi signals, USB 3.0 ports, laptops, microwaves, wireless video cameras, cordless phones, microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, power cables, Direct Satellite Service (DSS), baby monitors, electrical equipment emitting strong RFs (power lines, power stations, and electrical railroad tracks), and other devices that use 2.4 GHz or Bluetooth technology.

11. Try removing your phone/tablet’s Bluetooth cache, which can get corrupted over a period of time. This resets the Bluetooth connection so it starts fresh.

12. Try using your phone/tablet in Safe Mode. If it works correctly in Safe Mode, you will know that another application is interfering.


Shouldn’t I be able to monitor Signals when I am away from home? When I leave home, I can’t track my Signals in the ThermoWorks BBQ App, but when I return, the data returns.

It sounds like your Signals is using a Bluetooth connection rather than Wi-Fi. This would explain why you didn’t receive data when you were away from home, but started receiving it once you returned.

If Signals is connected to your local Wi-Fi network, temperature data is transmitted to the cloud through Wi-Fi. Your phone (through the ThermoWorks BBQ app) connects to the cloud and pulls down the data, no matter where you take it (as long as your photo is connected to the internet). However, if Signals is set up to use a Bluetooth connection, the transmission of data to the cloud is dependent upon your phone being nearby.

If you set up Signals with a Wi-Fi connection and the connection isn’t strong enough or is lost, Signals will automatically try to use Bluetooth as a backup until the Wi-Fi connection is reestablished. It may be that the Wi-Fi connection was lost when you were away from home and because your phone wasn’t there, the Bluetooth backup connection couldn’t be made until you returned.

If you need assistance, our Tech Support team is always happy to help. They are available at techsupport@thermoworks.com or 1-800-393-6434.


My Signals is having a hard time maintaining a Wi-Fi connection. It keeps dropping. What’s wrong?

Note: We have built a great tool into our ThermoWorks BBQ app to help determine when your Signals last communicated. If you press and hold on a temperature dot, you will see a pop-up window that indicates when your Signals last communicated over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Here is a list of Wi-Fi troubleshooting steps you can try.

1. Make sure that your Signals has been set up with a Wi-Fi connection.

Signals Wi-Fi Connection Icon

If it is connected to Wi-Fi, you will see a Wi-Fi connection indicator up in the top-left corner of the screen, next to the battery indicator icon. If it has not been set up with Wi-Fi yet, your Signals may be relying on its Bluetooth connection, which has a limited range. Instructions for setting up Signals with a Wi-Fi connection can be found here.

2.  If you have previously set up your Signals with a Wi-Fi connection, try disconnecting the ThermoWorks BBQ app from your phone’s Bluetooth while you are within a close proximity to Signals. It’s possible that the Bluetooth signal is interfering with Signals’ Wi-Fi connection.

3. It may be that your Wi-Fi network’s 2.4GHz connection isn’t strong enough in that location to remain connected to Signals. You can check the connection strength in the ThermoWorks BBQ App.

In the ThermoWorks BBQ App, tap on one of the probe channels.

Android Settings

Select the probe channel’s settings by choosing the Settings link (iOS) or gear (Android), located at the top, right-hand corner of the screen.

Once you are in the probe’s settings screen, press the Advanced Info button. You will then be able to view your Signals’  Wi-Fi connection strength.

  • If Signals is currently connected to Wi-Fi, you will see the Wi-Fi strength level number.
  • If Signals is not currently connected to Wi-Fi, but has previously been connected, you will see the last connection’s strength level number.
  • If Signals has never been connected to Wi-Fi, the field will be blank.

The next question contains ideas for improving Signals’ Wi-Fi connection.

If you have questions about the strength levels you see and how they are affecting your Signals’ ability to transmit data via its Wi-Fi connection, please contact our Tech Support team at techsupport@thermoworks.com or 1-800-393-6434. They are very happy to help.


 

I’m having trouble connecting my Signals to Wi-Fi. Do you have any ideas?

1. Make sure you are entering network’s login and password correctly. Do not copy and paste the information into the form as extra spaces may occur at the beginning or end if you do.

2. Make sure you have downloaded and installed the latest version of the ThermoWorks BBQ app.

3. Make sure that you have a Wi-Fi or internet connection on your phone or tablet.

4. Make sure that location services are enabled on your phone or tablet and that the ThermoWorks BBQ app is authorized to use location services. (You will find location services in your phone or tablet’s settings.)

5. Make sure you are attempting to a 2.4 GHz (not 5 GHz) network.

6. Make sure you are not using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

7. Try restarting both your Signals and phone or tablet.

8. Try disconnecting and reconnecting your phone or tablet to your network. Afterwards, begin the Signals set up process again.

9. Try disabling your phone’s cellular data during the setup process. You can turn it back on once Smoke Gateway has been set up.

10. A Wi-Fi connection strength test you can easily try is to take your phone next to Signals and disconnect it from its cellular data signal. Then, see if your phone can connect to your local Wi-Fi 2.4GHz network correctly. If your phone has difficulties connecting (or staying connected), you will know that your local Wi-Fi network’s 2.4GHZ signal isn’t strong in that area. Try moving Signals to a different spot. You may also consider using a Wi-Fi booster to increase your network’s Wi-Fi range.

11. If your local network includes both a 5GHz and a 2.4GHz connection, try moving Signal outside of the range of your 5GHz network, but still within the range of your 2.4GHz network. This will prevent your phone or tablet from auto-connecting to the 5GHz network.

12. Some people have issues connecting to a mesh network when there are multiple router devices in a mesh topology. To get your Signals connected, try unplugging all the routers except one. With only one router to communicate with, the Signals should be able to connect to the 2.4 GHz portion of your network. Also with only one router online, the “walk far away” method is more effective because you don’t have to leave the 5 GHz range of multiple devices. Once the Signals is connected, you can turn your other routers back on.

113. Try connecting Signals to another network (such as a friend’s or at work) to determine if the issue is Signals or possibly, your network’s. If you determine that Signals cannot connect to any network, please let our Tech Support team know. Your Signals has a 2-year warranty and we are happy to help.

14. Check your router’s manufacturer’s website to see if there is a firmware update for your router. If there is, install the firmware update, reconnect your phone or tablet to your network, and then, begin the Signals setup process again.

15.  If you have previously connected Signals to your local Wi-Fi network, try logging out of your ThermoWorks BBQ Account by going to Menu>Profile>Options>Log out. While logged out, turn your phone or tablet’s Bluetooth connection off. Then, log back into your ThermoWorks account. If your Signals has been connected to your local Wi-Fi network before, Signals will automatically attempt to reconnect to the network again.

Please remember that it can take up to a minute for the probe’s temperature readings to update and appear in the ThermoWorks BBQ app after the Wi-Fi connection is established. 


I’ve noticed that the range of my Signals isn’t very long. I have to keep my phone close to Signals for it to work.

If you have previously set up your Signals with a Wi-Fi connection, try disconnecting the ThermoWorks BBQ app from your phone’s Bluetooth while you are within a close proximity to Signals. It’s possible that the Bluetooth signal is interfering with Signals’ Wi-Fi connection.


Sometimes, the app has a delay in updating (or doesn’t update at all). When this happens, it doesn’t show that a probe is connected. What is happening?

If your network’s Wi-Fi signal gets interrupted or drops for some reason during the cook, data updates will be delayed while Signals attempts to reconnect to your network. After the reconnection is made, it may take up to 1 minute for probe data to appear in the app, after which updates will occur according to the interval rate you have chosen. You can set the interval update rate to 10, 20, 30, or 60 seconds apart.


I don’t seem to be getting push notifications on my phone or tablet. How do I fix it?

When the ThermoWorks BBQ app isn’t open, it will send a push notification, so you must make sure you have allowed notifications and permissions to occur in your phone/tablet’s notifications settings. Sometimes, people don’t know what their phone/tablet’s default push notification sounds like or they have their phone/tablet on vibrate, so they don’t realize that a notification has occurred. Once the app is opened and is in an alarm state, the alarm will continue to sound until it is muted.

Some phones/tablets have settings that disable apps that are not being used. This will close the app until you reopen it and look at the data. If this is the case with your phone or tablet, we recommend disabling this setting or, at least, be aware that it is the issue.


Where can I find instructions for my Signals?

Download your Signals Operating Instructions here to learn how to adjust the settings, see recommended food safety temperatures, and more. Download the High Temp Probe Rings instructions here.

Instructions for using the ThermoWorks BBQ app (such as recording and graphing temperatures and changing the measurement intervals) are found in the app and in the ThermoWorks BBQ app and in the online help file, located here.


My Signals thermometer is not working. All I seem to get is a flashing “NO PROBE” in one of the channels. The probe is inserted correctly. What’s wrong?

It is possible the probe has failed. If this has happened, a new probe will resolve the issue. The most common reasons for probe failures include:

  • The probe has been used outside of the recommended temperature range. Keep the probe cable away from oven elements, flames, coals, grill or oven racks—all of which can reach temperatures far higher than 700°F (even if an oven/smoker is set lower).

  • The cable got too wet for too long. While the cable is water-resistant, it is not entirely waterproof (the term “waterproof” means that an item is completely impervious to water). When you’re cleaning your probe, you can carefully wipe down the stainless steel cable as long as you don’t submerge it in liquid. You might find it easiest to clean the cable with our probe wipes.

  • Excessive wire kinking.

Pro-Series Probes Percautions

Avoid grilling or broiling with your probes unless you protect your probes, as flare-ups often involve temperatures above your probe’s specifications. We recommend that you use an instant-read thermometer—such as a Thermapen or a ThermoPop.

Important to Know

While our probes are designed to be best of class (each batch is tested to make sure they meet our high-quality standards) and are much heartier than those of our competitors, all cooking probes—no matter what type they are, how expensive they are, or who makes them—are subject to decay over time due to the harsh conditions they are used in. Professional BBQ teams always keep extra probes on hand for this reason. Plus, it never hurts to have more types of probes on hand to handle different kinds of cooks!

As a note: Pro-Series probes come with a 6-month warranty. Please let our Tech Support team know if you need help with yours. 


 

My Signals is displaying an LLL (or HHH) error. What does this mean?

There are several reasons your Signals may display either an LLL or HHH error, the most common being that the probe wire was damaged or broken. If your Pro-Series probe was exposed to temperatures above or below its temperature range (-58 to 572°F  or -50 to 300°C), you will see one of these errors.

LLL means that the probe was exposed to temperatures below its range and HHH means that it was exposed to temperatures above its range.


 

My Signals is not reading food temperatures accurately. What’s wrong?

Judging the accuracy of your Signals in food or air can be difficult. The best way to verify the accuracy of a probe or digital thermometer is with a proper ice bath test. This can be done quickly and easily at home with the instructions found here.

If your Pro-Series probe is accurate, it will read within ± 1.8°F of 32°F (30.2 to 33.8°F). If it is reading accurately in this test, you can rest assured that it is reading accurately in food and at higher temperatures.

Please contact our Tech Support team if you need further assistance. They are always happy to help.


 

Why did my Signals melt?

It is likely that your Signals thermometer (the hardware) was exposed to temperatures above its operating range, which is 32 to 122°F (0 to 50°C). The Signals hardware does not go in the oven when you use it, as high heat will melt it. It should not be attached directly to a smoker or grill.

Instead, insert the Pro-Series probe’s tip into the food you are tracking, connect the other end of the probe to Signals thermometer, and place Signals outside of the oven/smoker (usually on a countertop). Place the food in the oven/smoker and close the door on the cable. Closing the oven door on the probe’s cable won’t hurt it. Because the cable is thin, your oven, grill, or smoker won’t lose any heat

Signals on counter


 

I just received my new Signals. I can’t change the temperatures. What do I do?

Could you check to see if you have removed the screen’s protective film? If you have and your Signals is still not working correctly, please contact our Tech Support team.


 

How should I care for my Signals?

  1. The best way to extend the life of your Signals hardware is to clean it properly after each use. Wipe it off with a damp, soapy cloth or paper towel. Do not submerge it or put it in the dishwasher.
  2. Your Signals should not be affixed directly to a smoker or grill’s lid or left in the smoker or oven. The high heat will melt the plastic housing.
  3. Avoid having the thermometer’s LCD screen in direct sunlight for an extended amount of time as this can damage the display.

 

How should I care for Signals’ probes?

  1. To clean the probe, carefully wipe down the stainless steel cable with a slightly damp, soapy cloth or paper towel. Do not put the probe in the dishwasher or place the entire probe in a sink of water. Submerging the cable can cause damage.
  2. Your Pro Series probe’s operating range is -58 to 572°F. Keep the probe and cable away from oven heating elements, flames, coals, grills, or racks—all of which can reach temperatures far higher than 700°F (even if an oven or smoker is set lower).
  3. The probe should not be attached directly to a rack. The high heat of the rack will cause damage to the probe, transition, and cable. Use a grate clip.
  4. Do not pull on the probe’s cable. Use the molded transition.
  5. While the cable may be closed in an oven door or under a BBQ hood, avoid pinching the probe’s cable between very hot surfaces, such as a cast metal grill hood, without some insulating protection. Use an access hole if available.
  6. Store your Pro-Series® probe with the cable free of kinks and lightly coiled, wrapped, or hung loosely.

 

What is the warranty of the probes that comes with my Signals? I think that one of mine isn’t working correctly.

Pro-Series probes come with a 6-month warranty. Please let our Tech Support team know if you need help with yours.


 

Signals Warranty Terms

Your Signals hardware has a 2-year warranty. You can read more about the warranty terms here.


 

Have more questions?

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact our Tech Support team by calling 1-800-393-6434 or by emailing techsupport@thermoworks.com.

Related Articles