HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Death of an iRoast2 (16 msgs / 400 lines)
1) From: Larry English
  My iRoast2 has died - it runs, but it no longer wishes to function
correctly - this started only a day or two ago.  Onboard temp reading never
exceeds 350F, and my "bean-mass" temps peak at just under 400F using the
preset #2 profile (my own profiles yield similar results).  This machine is
about 6 months old and is used regularly but carefully - for example, I
always allow it to cool completely (minimum 2 hours) between roasts and I
never move it while still warm.  My first one (purchased from Sweet Maria's,
of course) expired in a similar manner after 3 weeks (!?#!) and was replaced
by Maria (she said they prefer to handle problems for the first month rather
than have us have to deal with Hearthware).  I've really liked the results I
had been getting with the iRoast2 but am not too happy with reliability
  Has anyone else encountered this kind of problem with the iRoast machines?
  I  had been thinking of getting a new roaster or possibly a 2nd iRoast2,
so I could get more roasting done in less elapsed time.  The Gene Cafe is
now looking like a real winner, but of course it hasn't been out there long
enough to know about reliability.
  What a bummer!  Fortunately, I still have my original FreshRoast2 that I
will use until a new machine arrives.

2) From: raymanowen
Larry- if everything is functioning correctly except for the temperature
developed, the fix is child's play. But dig it apart and quickly fixit. It
won't improve itself- just get worse.
-- You already sent it back- seemingly a fruitless adventure. Wish I
could buy one of the Early Mortality machines like that - for the right
[image: Click to
[image: Nesco CB-1000PRP Professional Coffee Bean Roaster]
Advanced Patented Catalytic Technology Significantly Reduces Smoke & Odors
Craft Your Own Signature Coffees from Your Favorite Bean Combinations
Roasts Coffee Beans in Your Own Home
Fun & Easy -- Takes 20 to 30 Minutes
Achieve Wide Range of Distinct Flavors
Underwriters Laboratories Listed Appliance
Roasts Up to 1/3 lb. of Beans -- 36 Cups of Coffee
Beans are Freshest When Used Within 10 Days
Length: 14.5"
Width: 10.5"
Height: 14"
Cube: 1.23 cu.ft.
Weight: 9lbs.
watts: 770
Volts/HZ: 120/60
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
On 9/30/06, Larry English  wrote:
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

3) From: Les
I am sorry to hear about your I-Roast problems.  One of my problems with so
many of these machines is there lack of durability.  I used a Poppery I for
18 years 2-4 times a week regularly and more often when I needed more coffee
for presents or an event.  It never wavered in its performance!  One of the
reasons I went to an RK drum is reliability.  About the only thing that
could break is the pin that hold the door on!  The BBQ is a dedicated 99
dollar Charbroil that has worked great for two years.  If I have a problem
there, I am sure it is going to be the burner valves that go, and they can
be replaced for about $30.00.  I don't know about the Gene, but I know folks
have been happy with their Hottop roasters.  It is too bad about the I-Roast
as I hear they do make a nice roaster that can have profile control.
On 9/30/06, Larry English  wrote:

4) From: Aaron
I have an I roast 1 and well, havent taken pristine care of it.  I have 
roasted 3 , 4 sometimes 5 batches in a single day with an hour or so 
between them.  I have done 15 in one week...   It's about two years old 
and still running like a champ.
 From what I hear of folks saying of the 1 and 2... id get an I roast 
1.  seems better than the 2.... while the 2 has a non volatile memory I 
hear there are other issues (like the initial temp you can't control 
really) and some other issues that make the 1 look more appealing to me 
at least.
I just recently ordered a new I roast 1 base from them and it works just 
as good as the origonal one I have does.

5) From: Larry English
Ray - ummmm, whatcha saying here?  I wouldn't mind taking it down if I knew
how to fix it - rather do that than ship it to mfgr - but what do you have
in mind?  I'm suspecting that it isn't a failed heating element but rather
something related to the "controller" that interprets programs - for
example, at the times when the program changes, I'm no longer getting
fan-speed downshifts or upshifts and the temp just stays at 350F.  I'll call
Hearthware/i-roast Monday but in the meantime I'm pretty sure I need to
upgrade to Gene Cafe or Hottop or ??? anyway.  Les suggests the RK drum and
that might actually be the best, especially in this very moderate climate -
I prefer to roast outdoors anyway :-)
On 9/30/06, raymanowen  wrote:

6) From: Larry English
Well, Les, the RK drum might well be my best choice.  I don't want something
that is too hands-on, like the HGDB approaches.  I do like roasting outdoors
and I'm semi-retired so have lots of daylight hours in which to roast.
iRoast2 has been great until this failure, and the stored program capability
is nice.  The Gene Cafe is probably my best upgrade choice for
semi-automated operation but $500 is a hunk'o'change.  Gotta think on it -
hadn't planned on making a decision quite this soon.
On 9/30/06, Les  wrote:

7) From: Larry English
Well, that's an interesting possibility, Aaron (the iR1 rather than iR2).
Sure would save me a few bucks.  I've been using the stored program
capability on the iR2 and that saves time and aggravation - but without
feedback as to what each program contains it is not the ideal solution. But
I'd been looking to upgrade and the Gene Cafe is tempting.  And Les's
suggestion of the RK drum has me thinking some more.  Hmmmm ...
On 9/30/06, Aaron  wrote:

8) From: Aaron
Larry, I am not entirely sure if the glass and top unit on the I roast 2 
is the same as the one on the I roast 1 or not.
another possibility is, they are warrantied from hearthware for a year I 
believe.  Tell them you have had nothing but bad luck with the IR2 you 
think it's a POS and you want your free warranty replacement, but have 
them send you the I roast 1 base instead of the 2.  That way the top 
hardware still fits and you are good to go on it and can give the I 1 a 
try ... and it won't cost you a ton either.
might be worth the phone call and/or e mail if it works.

9) From: Ed Needham
(same stuff, different machine)
Hearthware has been notorious for putting out roasters with flaky 
electronics.  I've gone through at least 3 Precisions, and two Gourmets. 
The one I use now from time to time gets flaky, and if I have the bathroom 
dimmer lights on it won't work properly.
Hearthware has been pretty good about replacing things when they go bad, but 
they seem to replace them with the same faulty parts.
Call Hearthware and get them to fix it or replace it.
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)

10) From: Les
I wasn't trying to push any one type of roaster.  I am happy with my RK.  I
have a Poppery as a backup and sample roaster.  I think you really have to
weigh the factors.  The RK is much more intuitive than other roasters.  I
don't know much about the Gene, but in my experience the best "push and
play" roaster is the Hottop.  I live in a mild climate too (southern Oregon)
and roast in the garage.  I would think if you are  burning out I-Roasts you
may have a voltage problem and my need a variac to smooth out your juice.
The problem is if you are having this problem with the I-Roast you are going
to have it with the other electric roasters as well.
On 9/30/06, Aaron  wrote:

11) From: Michael Wascher
Some dimmers put out a lot of electrical noise. Perhaps the Hearthenware
electronics are susceptible and would benefit from a line conditioner?
Has anybody tried this?
On 9/30/06, Ed Needham  wrote:
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
  - Aldous Huxley

12) From: Larry English
  Yeah, I understood your comments as info rather than recommendations -
perhaps I misstated.  I haven't thought I had voltage issues - have done a
bit of monitoring but nothing ongoing.  Have had no other problems here with
electronics (and have a lot of gadgets - am a Ham (AA6VZ)).  It's been
suggested that the iRoasts have flaky electronics - perhaps.  I do monitor
my roasts so don't mind that aspect of hands-on, so the ability of Gene Cafe
to respond to real-time changes is appealing.  Decisions, decisions ...
On 9/30/06, Les  wrote:

13) From: raymanowen
Just take off the bottom cover and look at the wiring. The temperature is
actually controlled by the fan speed. That means the controller has to
handle far less power than a brute force heater controller.
You're right- the heater hasn't suffered an early demise. It still makes a
fair amount of heat. It still has to be connected solidly to the incoming
power or it suffers from a cold shoulder.
All I'm saying is that a little power lost in wiring and loose or corroded
connections can exact a Terrible power and heat penalty in the heater
itself. Remember, this little bit of power loss can occur totally external
to the roaster.
Play Sherlock Ohms.
Are you using an extension cord now?
Did you recently install Central Air Conditioning or other heavy current
Measure the voltage at the outlet when the iRoast is plugged in and set to
roast. A minimum of 115vac would be nice, and you might measure as much as
If you have at least 120vac when the roaster is making heat, the trouble's
under the hood- probably not parts, just connections.
People like formulas. Power = i²r, also P=v²/r. The current is not =
handy to
measure, and it's a result of the voltage anyway.
Look at the formula- if the voltage drops 5%, the power drops by 10%. (0.95=
= 0.90. If that happens it would probably be unable to make enough heat t=
maintain roasting temperatures.
Every poor connection, electric switch or wire run, Chops Power- whether
it's internal to the roaster or external.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Inspector Watson, -inspect!
On 9/30/06, Larry English  wrote:
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14) From: Larry English
Yeah, Ray, good point on the connections - I'll take a look.  My impression=
though, is that there are multiple heaters that switch on and off, as well
as the fan speed - but I'll see if that is the case.
On 9/30/06, raymanowen  wrote:
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15) From: Howellite
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I recently had the identical issue with my I-roast 1.  The unit would
not produce the heat to roast the beans past a light tan color.  And the
onboard temperature never got above 350.  I e-mailed Hearthware but did
not receive a response.  I then called Hearthware and had a replacement
base in about a week.  I would definitely recommend calling them!
Paul Andres

16) From: Larry English
Yes, Paul, that's my plan.  I'm assuming they just want the base - I'd hate
to risk sending that glass via UPS!  Anyway, I'll chat with them tomorrow -
er, today, guess it's Monday already.
On 10/1/06, Howellite  wrote:

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