This is a multi-part message in MIME format. I have the impression that the total number of people that subscribe to = this list is relatively small. Despite this, I am struck by the = impression that hardly a week goes by without a post about a dedicated = consumer roasting appliance with a significant problem or failure. = Heat+beans: how hard can that be? I posted a query just a few weeks ago = asking if *anyone* had ever actually worn out a P1 or original Wear-ever = Pumper. The only responses I got were along the lines of Les' = testamonial below. What is it with these appliances? It doesn't seem = like it would be that hard to get it right. Doug, who will be sticking with his vintage poppers for the foreseeable = future.
This is a multi-part message in MIME format. When something breaks it's common to get posted. OTH how often do you see a post out of the blue like "just thought I say my HotTop/Caffe' Rosto/Fresh Roast etc. is still working fine 2 years after I bought it"? So actual rates of failure likely appear worse than what they are in reality. OTH stuff does seemingly break prematurely all too often! Cost cutting at the expense of quality does seem all to often the norm. But then, there could be reasons why small commercial sample roasters last virtually forever but cost many many times the price of home appliance roasters yet don't roast much bigger batches. In reality it seems it 'taint as cheap as people think it is to build an appliance that will easily and reliably hold up to the demands of roasting coffee. Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc: http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before. From: homeroast-admin [mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Douglas Strait Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2006 4:29 PM I have the impression that the total number of people that subscribe to this list is relatively small. Despite this, I am struck by the impression that hardly a week goes by without a post about a dedicated consumer roasting appliance with a significant problem or failure. Heat+beans: how hard can that be? I posted a query just a few weeks ago asking if *anyone* had ever actually worn out a P1 or original Wear-ever Pumper. The only responses I got were along the lines of Les' testamonial below. What is it with these appliances? It doesn't seem like it would be that hard to get it right. Doug, who will be sticking with his vintage poppers for the foreseeable future.
Doug, You are spot on with your assessment! I did a rant about 2 years ago and then made the decision I wouldn't talk about it anymore. I have a Poppery1 and a Wearever 1400. I also had a Hearthware product. When I took the hood off all three, it was easy to see why the first two keep on running and running and running. Les On 9/30/06, Douglas Strait wrote: <Snip>
--Apple-Mail-4-967990661 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Type: text/plain; charset -ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed On Sep 30, 2006, at 6:28 PM, Douglas Strait wrote: <Snip> Doug, This has been one of my most enduring impressions from the list. This has been one of the reasons I have stuck to roasting with such things as a wok on wood or gas fires, Androck over the fire popcorn poppers over pecan wood fires, and HG/wok. In addition I much prefer to be in control of the roasting. I started with a hot air popcorn popper many years ago but I doubt if I will ever go back to them. Pecan Jim --Apple-Mail-4-967990661 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset O-8859-1 On Sep 30, = 2006, at 6:28 PM, Douglas Strait wrote:
My Revereware skillet has yet to blow a circuit, although sometimes it runs out of propane. $18 and a 3 minute car trip seems to remedy this on any day that K-Mart is open... Brett On 9/30/06, Douglas Strait wrote: <Snip> -- Cheers, Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com
Doug et al, If you're happy with poppers, skillets, woks, or whatever, that's very nice. My temperament is such that I don't get consistency with methods of that ilk, so I try the dedicated consumer roasting appliances in the hope that I can get somewhat repeatable results without having to establish the necessary manual dexterity required for the former methods. A couple of the responses to my message are on the right track, though, in that I think it is not easy, i.e. not inexpensive, to create electronics that can withstand the rigors of regular coffee roasting, specifically the heat of the nearby chambers. Perhaps a roaster that moves the controls away from the roasting chamber would handle that problem. But a major problem is simply that the market for these machines isn't very large and can't support many false starts by entrepreneurs. Someone (Aaron, I think) claims that the iRoast1 is superior to iRoast2 with regard to reliability, and that is consistent with the first comment in this paragraph. I was hoping that the stored profile capability of the iR2 would work out - didn't, at least for me. I'll probably move to the Gene Cafe - but that's another new (in this country, anyway) dedicated consumer roasting appliance, and an expensive one at that. Sure hope it holds up. In the meantime, I'm back to my FreshRoast Plus-8 dedicated consumer roasting appliance (it roasts coffee, not consumers, of course, unlike my defunct iR2) which lets me control the roast by twisting a knob - takes all night to roast half a pound and roasts way too fast, but it's quiet, I can hear the cracks, and my wife and I both enjoy the results. G'nite ... Larry P.S. Ray has suggested I lift the hood and check the wiring - I'll do that but am skeptical. On 9/30/06, Douglas Strait wrote: <Snip>
Troubleshooting consists of testing, inspecting and eliminating possible causes of errant operation. You might think the problem cause will be in the last place you look. With these intermittent duty light use consumer appliances, when you find one fault and eliminate the cause, keep checking. From the moment you first turned it On, every part started going downhill. Some parts are failing faster than others. Find and fix the one then look for the next incipient malfunction and correct that too. Keeps you roasting rather than stopping for conversation with machines. I am quite happy with my popper- I got a Stir Crazy 8. 35# of Nubraska popcorn from a concession supplier. The Stir Crazy turns out gobs of Kettle Corn. A "Continental Dinner" might include coffee and some Kettle Corn or Irish Soda Bread. All three need to be fresh, but then they're unbeatable diet foods. Cheers -RayO, aka Opa! Got Grinder? On 9/30/06, Larry English wrote: <Snip> -- "When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
Larry, You may be right about cost of *creation*. By and large society allocates resourses based upon economics. If you have limited engineering resources you apply the best to products that may sell in the millions [think iPod] rather than a niche item that may sell in the thousands if you are lucky. That said, I can say as an electrical engineer that designing electronics that reliably operate in the environment of a coffee roaster is far from rocket science. The roaster enviroment is actually pretty benign compared to some equipment. In the case of air roasters, you already have a blower system in place that can be used to cool wherever the electronics is located. Once designed, the production cost of reliable electronics is negligible compared to the typical appliance list price even at production volumes in the low 1000's. Doug
Doug, True to a point. Much of the engineering work expended on consumer items is spent on cost reduction. When you sell millions you can expend a few man years of effort to save $1 a unit. Many years ago I met a mechanical engineer whose first job was working on a commercial aircraft. He spent 2 years designing the latch on the restroom doors. He'd meet the weight, performance & safety specs, and they'd tell him to shave a few more grams of weight off of it. A few grams translated into a huge fuel savings over decades of service life. So, for items such as home coffee roasters, you do a single pass design using wide design margins. Then build it low volume at higher cost. Fewer design/test cycles so it is possible that you'd have a few glitches that make it to the consumer. --MikeW On 10/1/06, Douglas Strait wrote: <Snip> -- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley
Alchemist John wrote: I have a memory of a triangle "rule" in marketing/business. A product can have 2 of 3 options; Low price, high quality, high complexity. Obviously consumers want all three, ... Actually, John, I can think of many instances where complexity is a negative attribute. I once returned a digital watch because it was simply too complicated to operate; and I have a degree in engineering! I have several PID controllers but found that I do not like the user interface for an application such as a coffee roaster. My PID controllers are instead employed in applications such as my vegetable dryer, sweet potato curing enclosure, and for maintaining seedbed temperature when starting sweet potato slips for Spring planting. I suppose that it may be that because I was among the last generation of slide rule engineers that I prefer control via turning the knobs of analog controls rather than the incessant button pushing of digital controllers with seemingly endless menus. Doug