HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Hottop fan problem (13 msgs / 609 lines)
1) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
Hottop fan problem
Yesterday, February 16, 2007 afternoon, we used our old analog Hottop,  
just converted to the KN-8828P programmable version, for its first 
programmable roasting.
I think that programmable roasting will be a great experience and that 
the results, after I learn how to select the profile,  will be excellent. 
However, during the first roasting, using the built-in Standard profile, 
we ran into a *fan problem.*  At the low fan speed, it seems that the 
fan does get the power, but does not turn.
It is the original fan, which came with the original Hottop in the 
summer  2002, before Sweet Maria’s and others started to sell the Hottop 
I would like to replace the fan, which seems to be a regular PC fan.  As 
our old Hottop uses the self taping screws (which I do not like), I 
hesitate to remove and reuse those screws more often, than absolutely 
necessary.  Therefore, I do not want to take the Hottop unit apart only 
to look at the fan number.
Please tell me soon: s it a regular PC fan which I can buy at a store 
such as CompUSA or in a PC / electronics supplies store? If yes, what is 
the model number? If yes, please tell me as soon as possible (by an 
email note to PAL (at) IEEE (dot) org ) as I would like to replace the 
fan as soon as possible.
Another related, but less urgent subject:
How does the fan and fan speed affect the profile and the resulting 
aroma and taste of the coffee made using the roasted beans?
Regards, Lubos
Below are some data from my notes I took during our first programmable 
roasting using the old Hottop converted to the KN-8828P; the times in 
m:ss (minutes:seconds) measured by a timer.
0:00     17°C unit on
4:01     50°C
4:45     70°C
4:48                beeps
5:20     91°C   green beans in
7:00     106°C in 1 time segment
8:00     120°C  in mid 2^nd segment
                        fan indicator ON, but fan does not turn!
14:00   182°C  in 6^th segment
                        fan indicator ON but fan not turning!
15:42               1^st FC 
17:xx                fan makes noise and starts to turn!
18:51               2^nd crack
19:22               beeps
The beans are roasted too dark to our taste.  Next time, we will either 
change the profile, or manually eject the beans at the start of the 2^nd 

2) From: Coffeenut
I don't know if you were just looking for help from HotTop owners and I
don't own the product.  To help you as a non-owner, it would be helpful if
you could provide some details about your fan.  It would help to know the
fan's case dimensions (LxWxH usually measured in millimeters on fans), how
the fan's case is mounted (holes in corners, clips, etc) and any fan
manufacturer spec information that may be on the fan's label.
All the fans I use to build PC's at home are the self-tap variety and I
wouldn't think you need to worry about removing the fan.  You can even buy
more of the self tap screws from the same sites that sell PC fans.  I've had
no problem removing and replacing my fans with regard to those screws.  The
fan has gotta come out of there anyway to be replaced assuming you are
willing to do the repair.

3) From: Michael Wade
Having recently gone through a search for a similar type fan I agree with 
Coffeenut that these fans are generally categorized by the outside 
measurement in millimeters; by voltage and current type (AC or DC) and by 
bearing type (sleeve or ball bearing).
You can spend a lot of time looking through fans at places like Fry's 
electronics, or you can bite the bullet and pull the fan, get the 
manufacturer and part number from the label and Google it.  I don't know why 
you would want to reassemble it with the dead fan, but as long as you don't 
overtorque the screws they'll be fine for several removals-installations.
Personally, I would just call Hottop and order one.  What's your time worth?
Michael Wade

4) From: MichaelB
I don't have the upgrade but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night=
so take this for what it's worth.
From what I read of the instructions, you can program the fan as well as th=
temperature. That's the first place I'd look. IIRC the literature said
something about not turning on the fan early in the cycle to allow it to
heat faster. So maybe it is working the way it is programmed. To be sure yo=
could test the fan function by creating a profile that just ran the fan at
different speeds in the different segments to see if there is a problem or =
pattern of not working at one setting but working at another.
But if you are going to replace the fan, I can't see why you wouldn't go to
the hottop folks and ask them for the latest and greatest one to fit your
machine. Even knowing the one currently in your machine, wouldn't you want
to replace it with one they're using today, just in case there has been an
One more thing - can you get the temp output in fahrenheit for us celsiusly
challenged folks?
Hope you get your problems worked out soon and get back to enjoying your ne=
On 2/17/07, Irene and Lubos Palounek  wrote:

5) From: DJ Garcia
Well, my programmable upgrade is on its way, so as soon as I install it =
let you know if I run into the same problem. I was going to wait until =
feedback came out, but then figured I'll just be on the feedback-giving =
this time around ... more exciting that way :-).

6) From: raymanowen
Just as a note- for the Worldwide Consortium of Sheet Metal Screw Haters,
there are *Pop-Nut Sheet Metal
are installed about like blind rivets ("Pop Rivets(r)") and put a
nut behind the sheet metal, so you can use straight threaded screws as your
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

7) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
Hottop’s customer support is excellent, second to none.  I wish other 
manufacturers and distributors learn from them how to really care for 
their customers.
Michael of Hottop USA is sending me a free replacement fan; I have not 
asked for it, he just wrote me an email asking for our street address 
and next day (during the weekend!) wrote:
    A new rear fan is being shipped via USPS priority mail 
I do not think that many other people upgrading their old Hottop will 
have similar problem with the fan. Our unit is one of the first 30 
“early adopter” units sold in the USA in the summer of 2002. Perhaps the 
newer units use different fans, I just do not know. I do not know if 
Michael’s “free replacement” offer is just a special favor for “early 
adaptors” or if they will extend that policy to others who’s fan will 
have a problem turning at low speeds.Remember, our original Hottop unit 
is long out of the warranty and PC fans are known for failing after few 
years of use.Let me use this occasion and thank Michael and other Hottop 
people for their excellent support!
DJ, thanks for telling us about your programmable upgrade which is on 
its way. I am sure you will like the upgraded unit and I am eager to 
hear about your experiences and your profiles.
RayO, aka Opa, thanks for the information about the “Pop-Nut Sheet Metal 
Inserts”. When using them, what do you do with the old hole for the 
sheet metal screw? And how do you handle the self taping screws used in 
plastic, such as in many places in the very old Hottops?
Michael B, thanks for your answers and tips. I will try to give you “the 
temp output in Fahrenheit for celsiusly challenged folks” soon. I like 
the °C (centigrade) as it is easy to remember:
0 °C water freezes
36 to 37 °C typical human body temperature
100 °C water boils
The lowest possible temperature is -273.15°C, if I remember it correctly.
Lubos in the Texas Hill Country part of Austin.

8) From:
Hello Irene and Lubos:
I have an original Hot Top; I love it.
I am curious why you did the upgrade and if you feel the upgrade will make =
your roasted coffee better then it has been?
I missed some earlier posting; if you already went through this question, s=
Thanks in advance,
---- Irene and Lubos Palounek  wrote: 
02. Perhaps the 
ial favor for “early 
™s fan will 
t Metal 
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

9) From: P. Sunde
On 2/18/07, pchforever  wrote:

10) From: raymanowen
A. - I hate converting units between °C and °F. The conversion generate=
false precision- at least it does for the Congregation of the Digital
Calculator. Water boils in this suburb of Denver town at 94°C.
Even in Peoria, in the High School chem labs, I thought somebody was lying
about the bp of H2O.
Dad had a photographic darkroom and would occasionally bring home an Hg
Thermometer from the Cat research department. I took it to school once to
check my homework because I was seeing H2O boil in the Vaculator pot much
closer to 99° than the fabled 100°C. (210°F)
In most of this country, water does not boil at 212°F or 100°C. Only at=
B. - For the most part, companies act like they have a bigger obligation to
their stockholders than to their customers. Customer service gets pretty
dicey when the factory is on the other side of the planet! Maybe we can cas=
in on that with some Custom Roasting. That's where we deal our own cards- w=
that can control every minute detail of the coffee beverage.
It blows my mind that so many eagerly seek to give away part of that
control, or most of it, to a button that summons a genie strung out on some
substance other than coffee to do the bidding on our coffee.
Some proudly announce they "roast their own coffee," when they just push a
button and summon some Electronic Lackey to do it for them.
C. - "the "Pop-Nut Sheet Metal Inserts."
When using them, what do you do with the old hole for the sheet metal screw=
[Use the old holes to locate the new holes you drill to accommodate the
"Pop-Nuts" before you collapse the new Pop-Nut to swage it in place.]
If the smallest Pop-Nuts you can get are too big, call the distributor and
get the smallest you can . Redrill the holes in the fan if you must, to
match larger screws. Put a lock washer and a flat washer on each screw
before you put it back together.
-And how do you handle the self tapping screws used in plastic,
such as in many places in the very old Hottops?"
For fasteners screwed directly into plastic, forming their own threads,
that's real Poor.
For starters, the quick and dirty fix might be to use your hot melt glue gu=
and some steel wool.
Tear off a tuft of steel wool, and plug the hole in the plastic with it.
Add a  hot melt glue to the steel wool plug, and gingerly reassembl=
it using self- tapping sheet metal screws. Use the smallest size screws you
can. Fat ones will split the plastic.
A better repair for the stripped plastic threads would be to drill out the
plastic (slowly) and tap it to take a HeliCoil thread repair insert.
Complete repair kits are available. Google search and a few phone calls
should get you going.
Similar to that, specifically for plastic repairs, is a Dodge
A Pop-Nut could work here too- careful!
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
*Disclaimer:* Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the
SCAA. This free advice is worth every penny and is not intended to diagnose=
treat, cure or ameliorate any roasting SNAFU. Always consult your
professional cupper to see if it's right for you. Discontinue use and tell
your Cupper if the cup develops off-flavors. Side effects are mild...

11) From: Floyd Lozano
I'd proudly proclaim I roast my own coffee if I could afford a machine to do
it with precision for me.  Why not?  I proudly make my own toast, warm my
own shower water, and wash my own dishes and do my own laundry too!
Sometimes I want to wave a gun at a dogbowl in 10 degree weather and taste
the difference the care makes.  And sometimes, I just want to taste great
coffee while sitting on my butt on the couch watching TiVo ;)

12) From: Robert Joslin
    Well said!!  One of the reasons I often recommend a basic Hot Top to
persons who express an interest in "good" coffee but have neither the
time, inclination or interest in the roasting process itself is that, like a
good toaster or any other semi-automated appliance, the ordinary guy or gal
can have extraordinary coffee with only minimal interaction with the
machine.  Turn it on, load it, when the coffee looks about right, dump the
load, and when the cooling cycle ends, enjoy!  And if the interest grows
there are a lot of possibilities for "fiddling" with the process.
On 2/19/07, Floyd Lozano  wrote:

13) From:
If one hasn't used a Hottop, or any other roasting "appliance", they may not realize that there are still alot of variables that apply when determining that the coffee "looks about right."  Roasting coffee is both an art and a science regardless of what method one employs.  Perhaps I would exclude the automated coffee roasters used by the huge companies.
---- Robert Joslin  wrote: 

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