HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Gene Cafe Problems (37 msgs / 743 lines)
1) From: Gregg Talton
The Gene Cafe just stopped and gave me an E3 message.  The manual says...
"  Chamber rotation detected - Irregular rotation
 Reed S/W broken" .  Any idea what that means?
Gregg T
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor

2) From: Don Harris
Can you remove the chamber? Make sure the swing arm for the chaff is
not trapped under the lid. Was it hard to install/remove the chamber?
What happens if you remove the chamber and start a cycle?
On 1/11/07, Gregg Talton  wrote:
<Snip>

3) From: Gregg Talton
Thanks!  I checked the chamber and it seems fine.  When starting a cycle
without a chamber the heating element doesn't work.
On 1/11/07, Don Harris  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor

4) From: Gregg Talton
Thanks!  I checked the chamber and it seems fine.  When starting a cycle
without a chamber the heating element doesn't work.
On 1/11/07, Don Harris  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor

5) From: Jeremy DeFranco
Greg,
     Can you give some more info as to what is going on with the unit? What
happens (besides the error message) when you hit start? Does the chamber
turn at all when you hit start? When the machine is off, can you manually
rotate the chamber, or does it remain locked in place when you try to move
it?
---The Gene Cafe just stopped and gave me an E3 message.  The manual says...
"  Chamber rotation detected - Irregular rotation
Reed S/W broken" .  Any idea what that means?

6) From: Fancye9876
Here is what I just found out.  I have been in contact with the  company I 
bought my Gene from as I am thinking it isn't heating at quickly as it  should.  
I was given an address and phone number of where to send it for  repair.  I 
was also given the name of a gentleman to contact.  So I  called and have been 
talking with him about mine.  I mentioned the problem  I just saw about the E3 
error.  He said that means a gear has been damaged  and would have to be 
replaced. Said he had done about 3 like that.  The  cause is usually because the 
chamber is not seated all the way down and  when it rotates around the handle 
on the chamber will hit the machine and  mess that gear up. I don't remember if 
he said the gear had to be replaced  or just realigned.  
 
Susan 

7) From: Gregg Talton
Everything works except for the heating element.  However, I've been out in
the garage inspecting more and have discovered that the (I don't know what
it's called) "disk" on the Right side that turns the chamber is loose and
wabbles when there is no chamber in place.  I don't know how to open it
and tighten this "disk" but it appears to be something simple.  I'm not an
engineer and I don't understand much about electronics other than use of the
on switch...so it may be more difficult that it appears.
 Please forgive me, I jumped a little too fast and came to ask the experts
before getting all the details.
On 1/11/07, Jeremy DeFranco  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor

8) From: Brett Mason
I hate it when equipment fails early in life...  Were it 7 years old and
experienced, I would expect some failures.  Gene looks like a good roaster,
but gee whiz this is a shame...
I just got a warranty on my 25 yr old Hamilton Beach Poppaire II...  Cost me
$3.50 for the warranty.  GoodWill had a Poppery unused for $3.50.  Works as
an in-kind replacement.  I went ahead and executed on the exchange, before
another 25 years go by and my Poppaire II experiences some kind of
problem...  Also did the Soup-Can Chimney - totally rocks...  Woke up this
morning to no coffee - took me 8 minutes to remedy the situation - got me
some Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, roasted FC+...  Had a full pot within 5 more
minutes.  Pressed a FP at work, then a SG1cup after lunch.  Coffee awaits
for tomorrow, and life is good.....  Warranty replacement with no shipping
cost seems to have met the not-yet need...
Then I passed the Poppaire II to a pastor friend who is now roastign
coffee.  I guess he is starting to buy beans from a place called Sweet
Maria's...
Hope you get your Gene Cafe fixed - they ought to pay you for the trouble
too...  Get yerself a popper for when the expensive thing crashes...
Brett
On 1/11/07, Gregg Talton  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

9) From: Gregg Talton
I've only had the Gene Cafe for a few months so I'll admit to being rather
frustrated. I usually use it about twice a week.   I do have three poppers
and an I-Roast2 in the stable so I can still roast.  But after spending a
large amount for a nice roaster I sure want it to last more than three
months without major problems.
On 1/11/07, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor

10) From: Brett Mason
Gregg, I gotta say that the Gene is the first to really beckon me.  I didn't
buy, because I am ultra cheap - but everything about the GC is compelling.
I expect you'll get over this first hump, and get some smooth sailing in.
Others swear by it, so I know it's possible...
Hang in there,
Brett
On 1/11/07, Gregg Talton  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

11) From: Fancye9876
I think you have to be really careful when inserting the chamber.  I  notice 
every once in awhile that mine does not want to slide in real easy  especially 
if I have pulled it to hand cool.   The reason is that the heat  causes it to 
swell some and so I just sit it on the stand and let the machine  finish 
cooling without the chamber. But most of the time a bean or chaff  will be stuck 
up close to the edge and won't allow the lid to close tight  enough.   Just 
don't force it.  It should slide in easily.   Once the chamber cools it slides 
back in real easy.
 
Susan

12) From: Jeremy DeFranco
Greg,
     How do you know the heating element is not working?? My intuition tells
me it's just the gear that slipped out of alignment, and not the heating
element causing the problem. I may be wrong though. If there is no problem
with the heating element, but gear only I can walk you through getting the
gear back in place.
---Everything works except for the heating element.  However, I've been out
in
the garage inspecting more and have discovered that the (I don't know what
it's called) "disk" on the Right side that turns the chamber is loose and
wabbles when there is no chamber in place.  I don't know how to open it
and tighten this "disk" but it appears to be something simple.  I'm not an
engineer and I don't understand much about electronics other than use of the
on switch...so it may be more difficult that it appears.
Please forgive me, I jumped a little too fast and came to ask the experts
before getting all the details.

13) From: Gregg Talton
I guess this means I'm officially out of lurk mode...
On 1/11/07, Fancye9876  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor

14) From: Fancye9876
I would also like to say that so far my request regarding my problem has  
been answered very fast and the gentleman I talked with was very nice  and more 
than willing to have me send it back to have a new heater or board  installed.  
We decided to wait as mine is roasting ok, just not getting up  to temp as 
fast as I thought it should.  Like he said I have a year  warranty and if it 
gets worse I can always contact him for repair.
 
susan  

15) From: Gregg Talton
I can usually see the orange glow from the right side but there was nothing
there - the temperature actually dropped while in operation. I started at 96
degrees and the temperature dropped to 80 withing a minute or so.  Could
there be a safety device that cuts off the heater when something is wrong
with chamber rotation?
On 1/11/07, Fancye9876  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor

16) From: Steve Scigliano
I would add that my GC was not heating as fast as I thought it should so I =
changed outlets that I used. It now heats 1 to 2 minutes faster, so there i=
s a definite line voltage effect.
 
Steve Scigliano
From: Fancye9876: Re: +Gene Cafe ProblemsTo: homeroast=
.sweetmarias.comDate: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 19:14:10 -0500
I would also like to say that so far my request regarding my problem has be=
en answered very fast and the gentleman I talked with was very nice and mor=
e than willing to have me send it back to have a new heater or board instal=
led.  We decided to wait as mine is roasting ok, just not getting up to tem=
p as fast as I thought it should.  Like he said I have a year warranty and =
if it gets worse I can always contact him for repair.
 
susan  =

17) From: Jeremy DeFranco
This is quite possible. Only one way to find out- open her up, and slip the
gear back in place, and see what happens. Here's how to do it:
1. Remove canister and chaff collector
2. Unscrew all bottom screws
3. Unscrew the two screws below where the canister rests (in the reflector
plate)
4. Here comes the tricky part- To pull top off unit, you must first
manipulate heat guards on either side of reflector plate out of the way so
that you can lift the top off without it getting caught up. I used a
flat-head screwdriver to pry underneath each one so I could then begin to
manipulate them. Be careful not to be too rough so as to snap them in half.
They will come loose real easy. It's just a matter of figuring it out that's
the hard part.
5. Once top is off, do not unplug any wires, etc.
6. Plug in cord, and start the unit. You should immediately see where the
gear is out of place
7. You should notice that when you try to immediately put the gear back in
place, it won't push far enough against left side of unit to engage when you
hit start button again. What you need to do is get a pair of pliers, and
very simply push the plastic peice on left side of unit that gear rests
against, to the left, and back into place.
8. Now the gear should be able to engage. Put gear in place, and hit start
to test. Once you see it is working again, take the gear back out of place.
9. Before putting gear back in place, place canister into unit. This will
ensure that the two slots where the canister fits into are aligned properly
before slipping gear back in place.
10. Now, put gear back in placet.
11. Remove canister, and hit start button, and test that everything works.
12. Reassemble unit (trickiest part is getting those heat guards back in
place- once again, real easy, just figuring it out is the hard part)
13. Now see if heater works when you run the machine.
Refer to thispost
for some pointers, and additional info. Let me know if you run into
any
problems. At worst, I could walk you through it over the phone. Good luck!
---I can usually see the orange glow from the right side but there was
nothing
there - the temperature actually dropped while in operation. I started at 96
degrees and the temperature dropped to 80 withing a minute or so.  Could
there be a safety device that cuts off the heater when something is wrong
with chamber rotation?

18) From: Gregg Talton
Thanks for the terrific instructions!  After I hear back from Sweetmarias
I'll decide what to do.
I can't say enough about the Gene Cafe.  Since I received it in mid October
I've gained lots of enjoyment from my roasting sessions.. I guess that's why
I was so frustrated.  But, it will be repaired and I will use it again -
time to start smiling.
On 1/11/07, Jeremy DeFranco  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor

19) From: Aaron
This is exactly why I don't buy the newest niftiest things to hit the 
market.  I'll wait a little while for all the bugs and design flaws to 
be figured out and fixed before I get something of this nature. (unless 
im beta testing of course)  Especially if something is rushed into 
marketing to meet some kind of deadline.  This goes with hardware / 
software / appliances, you name it....
Even with stellar return policies and customer support it's still a pain 
in the ass and disappointing when something tanks out on you especially 
very early on in it's expected lifespan.  Given that this unit might 
have possibly been damaged by the drum not being seated exactly 
properly.  Seems to me this thing is VERY sensitive to user interaction 
and if someone makes a tiny goof (not seating the drum properly) it can 
cause damage.  Given the use of it, this seems a bit 'fragile' for what 
we do with it.  Not saying the thing should be able to withstand a 
dropkick to a brick wall but that seems a bit not user friendly if 
something that minor can mess the unit up.  Maybe a microswitch or some 
other type of 'sensing device' to say, hey dummy, put the drum in 
correctly... is in the future... for those of us who'd do such a thing.
Im sorry you are having prolems with your roaster, i know how bummed i 
was when one of my I roasts threw a bearing finally and shattered the 
fan, especially with the price you paid for that thing.  This is another 
push for me to go with the hot top, as it's been out quite a while now 
and so far seems to be having a better track record in the durability 
department.
Hopefully your issue is solved shortly here.  I do have a spare (used) I 
roast I can lend to you temporarily if you are desperate for a coffee 
roaster.  Let me know.
Aaron

20) From: Fancye9876
I did try different locations also.  Had pretty much the same  thing.  Mine 
was getting up to temp faster when I first got it as I tested  it to compare to 
others.  It was about a minute or so slower than most from  the beginning, 
but it did reach the temp settings in about 10 or 12 minutes when  loaded with 
beans. I just did some Columbian beans, 6ozs at 471 and it took it  14 min to 
reach 465 at which time 1st crack started and then in less than a  minute it 
was at 471 at which time I dialed it back to 456 to finish.
 
susan

21) From: raymanowen
When there is a reference to a reed switch, the switch reeds are usually in
a sealed glass tube positioned close to a moving assembly somewhere. There's
a magnet fastened to the moving assembly, away from heat, and every time it
passes the reeds, they close because of the magnetic field and open as soon
as the [Physicist's B field] moves away.
The reed switch is open in the absence of a magnetic field, and closes once
per revolution, in the case of the drum roaster.
I'm guessing the magnet fell off and the reed switch can't sense any
rotation. If you locate the reed switch, the loose magnet should be
somewhere beneath it, clinging to some ferrous metal object.
If you have no pictorial diagram, call the factory and they should tell you
the location of reed switch and magnet.
I guess the reed switch itself could have come loose from its mounting and
just be out of position to sense the passage of the magnet.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?

22) From: derbyrm
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
And, as we found out the hard way, reed switches that are switched while =
current is flowing have a VERY short life.
Roger
derbyrm http://home.insightbb.com/~derbyrm

23) From: Kevin
Susan,
You can run the GC cooling cycle without the drum in place?  I never
thought of that!  Just assumed there was an interlock of some sort and
the drum needed to be in place...
On 1/11/07, Gregg Talton  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
My home coffee roasting blog:http://homecoffeeroastblog.blogspot.com/Kevin

24) From: Fancye9876
Yes, the machine will keep cooling without the drum.  I just hold the  red 
button when I am ready to cool until it stops turning and I think it  reads an 
E.  I then pull the drum and empty the beans and the machine fan  continues to 
cool and then shuts off.  The info is in the instructions, but  you have to 
hold the red button till you get the E reading, then it turns and  stops. I have 
been stopping the roast a little sooner though and letting the  machine cool 
for a minute or two then do the stop.
 
Susan

25) From: Gregg Talton
I really wish I knew more about electronics.  I'm sure it's something simple
- it's really making me want an RK drum but I don't know if I can convince
the wife after already buying an I roast and GeneCafe within about a year.
I'm packing it up for shipping - haven't heard back from Gene Cafe or
Sweetmarias so I begin the calls and emails again on Monday.  Post holiday
rush probably still in effect.
On 1/12/07, derbyrm  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor

26) From: raymanowen
How old is the thing, Gregg?
If the roaster is in warranty it's Nacho problem and you don't even need to
look at it, although that never stopped me.
Reed switches are always switched while current is flowing, in every
application. If no voltage was present and no current were flowing, the
switch would be ambiguous. It would be just as useful in your pocket, where
there's also no current or voltage. It's all in the amplifiers.
It's just the sensor for the speed controller of the drum's drive motor. I
hope I actually get to see one of these roasters someday. They probably get
thrown away because of little stuff like this. Or the factory refurbs should
be available for cheap.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?

27) From: Brett Mason
I hope you (get a popper) get it solved (get a popper) so you won't (get a
popper) end up with no (get a popper) roaster...
Brett
On 1/12/07, raymanowen  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

28) From: Paul Martin
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Why do I have the sudden urge to go buy get a popper?  :-)

29) From: Eddie Dove
Why do I have the sudden urge to sell my Poppery IIs?
Eddie
-- 
My Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://themeyers.org/On 1/12/07, Paul Martin  wrote:">http://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/Sweet Maria's list searchable archiveshttp://themeyers.org/On 1/12/07, Paul Martin  wrote:
<Snip>

30) From: Gregg Talton
It's not very old at all - received it from Sweetmarias about 12- 14 weeks
ago.  It should be under warranty.  I'm packing it up and getting ready to
send it somewhere  - just waiting to here where yet.  I've really enjoyed
the roaster and hope this fixes it and it runs for years and years.  Using
the I-Roast 2 for now...spoiled after using the Gene Cafe.
On 1/13/07, raymanowen  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor

31) From: Jonathan Morris
I've had the Gene cafe since Christmas and have experienced a problem that I'm quite concerned about.  3 of my last 5 roasts, and probably 10 in the last month, have failed miserably.  I follow the tip sheet provided by SM, starting at 482 until 1st crack and then adjusting temp.  Recently though, at right about the time of 1st crack, the temp begins to freefall and will not recover no matter what steps I take.  It's not going into the cool cycle as there is usually 6-8 minutes left on the timer.  I've made sure my chaff collector is clean, so I'm clueless unless it's a voltage thing.  Has anyone else had this problem?  Anyone know of technical support in the US?  Thanks.
 
---------------------------------
We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love
(and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.

32) From: Eddie Dove
Jonathan,
Contact Tim Skaling at FreshBeans ... see below.  I did experience this and
it was the heater box that failed.  I can't seem to bring up his web site,
but do give him a call ... he is a really nice guy.
Eddie
*Fresh Beans, Inc.* (http://www.freshbeansinc.com) - U.S Warranty Repairs
Tim Skaling
Phone: 435-940-1616
Fax: 435-940-1964
Email: skales
alternate #s: 435-940-1616, (888) 757-2326
Fresh Beans Inc.
6436 Business Park Loop Unit G
Park City, Utah 84098
Ship to address:
Fresh Beans Inc.
PO Box 982410
Park City, Utah 84098
On 7/16/07, Jonathan Morris  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/

33) From: dvarona
I would agree with Eddie, this has got to be a defect. If the temp can ge=
t up to 482, and then craps out, it is some kind of problem either with t=
he thermostat freaking out, or some overheat emergency switch getting tri=
pped, or something. I personally have never had this experience no matter=
 what I did, and I can't imagine that you're doing anything wrong if your=
 chaff collector box is clean. 
The only other possibility that I can imagine is if the chaff outlet insi=
de the cylinder gets so blocked that the air won't circulate properly, ca=
using a large overheat that isn't detected by the temp sensor that drives=
 the display. There is a large chaff output increase around first crack a=
s the beans expand and shed their skin, and this might happen on certain =
chaffy beans.
However, I don't know if the temp sensor is at the cylinder heated air in=
let, or in the outlet of the cylinder (Eddie probably would able to answe=
r), and that might bisect the problem some more. If you have any doubts a=
bout what the problems, "seek professional help" as I've always heard tha=
t they are helpful and eager to solve your problems. If you can resolve i=
t without shipping it somewhere, that would be even better though.
--dv

34) From: Eddie Dove
The behavior described is that same behavior that my Gene Cafe
exhibited on Easter Sunday.  Were you to send the Gene Cafe to Tim
Skaling, he would likely replace the heater box and associated
thermostat.
There are two temperature sensors on the Gene Cafe; one sensor is
located on the right side (before the air enters the drum) and the
other is located on the left side where the air exits the drum and
heads down to the chaff collector.  The LED displays the temperature
reading from the sensor on the right; the air going into the drum.
The sensor on the left side is a safety sensor; if it gets too hot on
the exhaust side (chaff fire, etc) its job is to shut the Gene Cafe
down.
Hope this helps ...
Respectfully,
Eddie
-- 
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On 7/17/07, dvarona  wrote:
<Snip>

35) From: Holly
I did have this same problem with my Gene Cafe. After the 2nd bizarre 
roast, I put a voltmeter on the outlet & found we were getting low V 
from the Electric Co.  I now roast with Gene plugged into one of SM's 
variacs.
Have not had this problem since.
HTH
Holly
Jonathan Morris wrote:
<Snip>

36) From: Jonathan Morris
Thanks to those who replied to my post.  I just roasted in a popcorn pumper and really miss my gene cafe.  I'll be sending it off sometime tomorrow for repairs.
 
---------------------------------
Don't get soaked.  Take a quick peak at the forecast 
 with theYahoo! Search weather shortcut.

37) From: Eddie Dove
Please do let us know the outcome ...
Eddie
-- 
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On 7/17/07, Jonathan Morris  wrote:
<Snip>


HomeRoast Digest