HomeRoast Digest


Topic: iRoast2 voltage issues (16 msgs / 505 lines)
1) From: kevin creason
I've been swapping out power bases with the hearthware folks for the passed
couple of months and we aren't getting anywhere. They are probably tired of
shipping these things back and forth-- I know I'm tired of not having my IR2
working.
The issue is that it (and the many different powerbase's they send me) just
stop blowing in the 2nd or 3rd stage but the counter keeps going.
Usually I unplug it because I'm afraid of starting a fire, and dump the
beans out to try and rescue the batch.
Last night I had a revelation-- I was outside in the carport instead of in
the house, so I just left it plugged in and finished up the roasting in a
poppery. When the batch was finished and I unplugged the poppery the IR2
would starting blowing again sometime there after. Once it was still in
stage 3, another time it was halfway through the cool down cycle. I checked
my AC logs (pulled and graphed from a UPS attached to my home server) and
saw that power last night was 114v around that time frame.
I'm thinking that my sucky power is at fault. What do you think-- could that
be it? Would a variac help keep it up (like a little blue pill I get email
about)?
-- 
-Kevin
Find me in Google Earth: 29.517567 -95.059033
Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them. - Andrew V. Mason
aych tee tee pee colon slash slash texascreasons dot homedns dot org

2) From: Larry Johnson
114v is not what I would call sucky power. Products are typically rated for
a nominal of 120 vac +/- 10 % (exact nominal and minimum rating depends
on the manufacturer) so it really should be fine from 108 - 132 vac. What
does the label say for voltage? 120 or 115 or 110?
I can look at mine when I get home, but I'm pretty sure my voltage is around
the same as yours and my iR2 works ok.
On 7/5/07, kevin creason  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Larry J
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do
it.
  - Mahatma Gandhi

3) From: kevin creason
Yeah, I know that 114 is within the accepted limits range-- I'm just trying
to figure out what is happening since March that would effect four or five
power bases the same way.
Here's my power graph-- it's really not that bad. I hadn't heard any bad
reports about the IR2 at all (and I love it when it is working, so much
easier to be exact than popperies) I was just hoping that maybe that the
power was the key.http://texascreasons.homedns.org/stats/mrtg/ups/conext.htmlI've tried other variables in the equation-- length of run, programmed
temperature, etc. Nothing consistent to point at. We're going to try a
replacement pot next (though it never blinks pot).
To be clear-- hearthware's support has been great through this. We will find
the problem....
On 7/5/07, Larry Johnson  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
-Kevin
Find me in Google Earth: 29.517567 -95.059033
Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them. - Andrew V. Mason
aych tee tee pee colon slash slash texascreasons dot homedns dot org

4) From: Larry Johnson
What about the interlock switch that is contacted by the upper part? Could
that be intermittent for some reason? Again, I'll look at mine when I get
home. I'm at work and it'll be later on this evening before I can look at
mine for possiblities.
On 7/5/07, kevin creason  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Larry J
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do
it.
  - Mahatma Gandhi

5) From: Rich
A good variac and attached voltmeter will definitely keep it up....
--Original Message Text---
From: kevin creason
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 13:31:34 -0500
I've been swapping out power bases with the hearthware folks for the passed couple of months and we 
aren't getting anywhere. They are probably tired of shipping these things back and forth-- I know I'm 
tired of not having my IR2 working. 
The issue is that it (and the many different powerbase's they send me) just stop blowing in the 2nd or 
3rd stage but the counter keeps going.
Usually I unplug it because I'm afraid of starting a fire, and dump the beans out to try and rescue the 
batch. 
Last night I had a revelation-- I was outside in the carport instead of in the house, so I just left it 
plugged in and finished up the roasting in a poppery. When the batch was finished and I unplugged the 
poppery the IR2 would starting blowing again sometime there after. Once it was still in stage 3, another 
time it was halfway through the cool down cycle. I checked my AC logs (pulled and graphed from a UPS 
attached to my home server) and saw that power last night was 114v around that time frame. 
I'm thinking that my sucky power is at fault. What do you think-- could that be it? Would a variac help 
keep it up (like a little blue pill I get email about)?
-- 
-Kevin
Find me in Google Earth: 29.517567 -95.059033
Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them. - Andrew V. Mason
aych tee tee pee colon slash slash texascreasons dot homedns dot org 

6) From: Mike Chester
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
  I'm thinking that my sucky power is at fault. What do you think-- =
could that be it? Would a variac help keep it up (like a little blue =
pill I get email about)?
  -- 
  -Kevin
  No, a variac is not a voltage regulator.  It is a variable =
autotransformer that outputs a percentage of whatever is inputted.  =
e.g.. If it is set at 50% voltage and the input varies from 100-120 =
volts, the out will vary from 50-60 volts.  If it is set at 110%, the =
output will vary from 110-132 volts.  
  Mike Chester

7) From: kevin creason
Hmm...
so when the dial is set to 120v it is still within that +/- 10% of the
incoming voltage? If I set a variac to 120v when it is getting 108 and then
the incoming voltage recovers back to 120 the output will be 132v? That does
not sound safe. At least for unattended operation-- but no part of this
hobby is for unattended operation.
On 7/5/07, Mike Chester  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
-Kevin
Find me in Google Earth: 29.517567 -95.059033
Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them. - Andrew V. Mason
aych tee tee pee colon slash slash texascreasons dot homedns dot org

8) From: Rich
A good variac has a voltmeter on the output.  Use eye ball control of the output voltage to maintain 118 
- 122 volts and see if that solves the problem.  Maybe you can borrow a good variac.
--Original Message Text---
From: kevin creason
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 15:23:00 -0500
Hmm...
so when the dial is set to 120v it is still within that +/- 10% of the incoming voltage? If I set a variac 
to 120v when it is getting 108 and then the incoming voltage recovers back to 120 the output will be 
132v? That does not sound safe. At least for unattended operation-- but no part of this hobby is for 
unattended operation.
On 7/5/07, Mike Chester  wrote:  
I'm thinking that my sucky power is at fault. What do you think-- could that be it? Would a variac help keep it up (like a 
little blue pill I get email about)?
-- 
-Kevin
No, a variac is not a voltage regulator.  It is a variable autotransformer that outputs a percentage of whatever is inputted.  
e.g.. If it is set at 50% voltage and the input varies from 100-120 volts, the out will vary from 50-60 volts.  If it is set at 
110%, the output will vary from 110-132 volts.   
Mike Chester 
-- 
-Kevin
Find me in Google Earth: 29.517567 -95.059033
Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them. - Andrew V. Mason
aych tee tee pee colon slash slash texascreasons dot homedns dot org 

9) From: John Moody
If you don’t want to spend money on “things” yet, try this.
Estimate which outlet is the closest to your breaker panel and ensure that
the circuit does not have other things plugged into it that are running.
That should have the highest voltage, and lowest voltage drop.  Try roasting
there.
John

10) From: Ross
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Kevin,
Get a good variac, it will make your I-roast behave much better.  My =
variac, from Sweet Marias has a volt meter on the output so I can set =
it, watch it and adjust it if needed.  I think the I-roast is very =
voltage sensitive, other than that it is a great little roaster.  You =
must have some crazy power if your fan quits in the second or third =
stage with multiple units tested.  I have never had that happen even =
when I dialed the voltage up or down for effect.  What type of program =
are you using?  Maybe you are asking for something the I-Roast just =
can't do and it goes wacko.
Good Luck,
Ross

11) From: miKe mcKoffee
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Any electric heat device is voltage sensitive. Anyone who says otherwise has
never compared/measured heat results varying from 110v to 130v etc. let
alone done the math.
 
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIhttp://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVI.htmKona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/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.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/ 
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Ross
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 1:35 PM
Kevin,
Get a good variac, it will make your I-roast behave much better.  My variac,
from Sweet Marias has a volt meter on the output so I can set it, watch it
and adjust it if needed.  I think the I-roast is very voltage sensitive,
other than that it is a great little roaster.  You must have some crazy
power if your fan quits in the second or third stage with multiple units
tested.  I have never had that happen even when I dialed the voltage up or
down for effect.  What type of program are you using?  Maybe you are asking
for something the I-Roast just can't do and it goes wacko.
Good Luck,
Ross

12) From: John Brown
Electrical power in the home.  basically it is a three wire system two 
phases and a neutral return with a ground.
Phase to Phase Voltage is Nominal at 230 volts but can run from 210 to 
240.  with the lower voltage at 105 to 120 volts.  so if you have 115 
volts you are at optimal  voltage.
the biggest problems with low voltage is current flow.  if you have an 
home older than five years then it might be a good idea to check the 
connections on the outlets you are using.  with time the connections can 
loosen.  most likely you have #14 gage wire on the outlets with a 15 amp 
breaker, and the wire is just stuck in to the back of the outlet. if 
this is so then the best thing is to replace the outlet with a good 
quality new one, and use the screws for the connections.
the hot lead goes on the brass colored screw and the neutral goes on the 
silver colored on by the way white is the color of the neutral lead.
 if you feel comfortable with the idea then you might want to go out to 
the breaker box and check the connections at the outlet breaker.  
another possible problem is the neutral connection on the neutral bar.
 if you have aluminum wiring god help you.   
 commercial power is 208/110 three phase.  Nominal Voltage  plus or 
minus 10%. this makes for quite some variance.
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>

13) From: Aaron
commercial can be 277 as well... or 440 ish.....
If one is electrically competent then they might want to check the 
tightness at the mains too in the cb panel.   More than once Ive gotten 
a good turn on a main lug because it had aluminum wire coming in.  Then 
there are all the breaker connections.  Aluminum wire squishes over time 
and loosens up not to mention aluminum has a greater voltage drop to 
begin with.. so is problematic overall.
*** WARNING***   Unless you are a certified electrician, do NOT play 
with the main power lug coming into your house breaker box, it is live 
and unless you have a disconnect switch outside the house to turn off 
(which many houses do not) it will be live when you touch it or stick 
your wrench into it.   Ok to be honest unless you are electrically 
inclined, you really have no business inside your power box to begin 
with, but an electrician will have a better idea hopefully of what not 
to touch, or be able to yank the meter outside and have the seals to put 
back on it so the power company don't have a fit afterwards.
On the receptacles themselves,  if it's a high use plug that has 
appliances swapped around in it frequently the tongs inside can get 
loose and not make good connection, hence a loss of voltage / power to 
your equipment due to looseness there.  If it's in a moist environment 
(like a laundry room for example) there might be slight corrosion on it 
(yes brass DOES corrode even in fresh water)... and this will cause poor 
connections as well... unfortunately this kind of looseness internally 
or corrosion is nothing really fixable by the average person and if it 
is there you'd be better off just paying the three bucks or whatever for 
a new receptacle plug to put in.
Another thing to keep in mind, what else is on the circuit,  if you are 
roasting in your kitchen for example, is the fridge on as well?  Some 
appliance circuits are fused / breakered at 20 amps.  Therefore you 
won't necessarily pop the breaker but are at that circuits limit and the 
voltage drop is heavy for those last few amps on that wire when you hit 
it with a 1300 watt cooker alongside the fridge / freezer churning away 
because you just opened the door to grab a cold one to drink while roasting.
As mentioned before, a variac will help boost the voltage for you if it 
is low, but if it is low due to heavy loading on the circuit, that boost 
might be enough to trip the breaker with the extra amps.
For what it's worth,... my parents house has low voltage in the room I 
end up roasting in, so I generally end up dialing in the temps on my I 
roast 1 about 15 degrees higher than I normally to do compensate for 
it.  Granted it's not necessarily a very professional way of tackling 
the problem but hey... it works.  Another trick to the I roast if you 
are having problems reaching the heat is putting a piece of tin foil 
inside the lid under the screen and holder to partially block off some 
of the screening and restrict the airflow a tiny bit.
Aaron

14) From: John Brown
actually three phase 480 / 277 if  it is a wye connection  and with a 
transformer stepped down to 208 / 110 three phase with the neutral 
bonded at the entrance with the ground.  this is if everything is nominal.
or a three phase delta connection with a stinger leg that will give you 
110 single phase with the third phase at 190 to 204 approx to neutral or 
ground. that is State Side. 
if i had my way all outlets would be wired with number 12 gage wire on a 
twenty amp breaker.  but almost all houses are wired with 14 gage wire 
on a 15 amp breaker.  houses built before the 70's generally only had a 
60 to a 100 amp
 service.  now all the new housing project where i live in Arizona have 
a 150 to 200 Amp service.
 went to school on this back in the early sixties and it has paid for my 
living ever since. of course this is much more than most want to know 
anyway.
the main reason aluminum is not good is the different heat expansion 
coefficient of copper and aluminum plus aluminum is not as good a 
conductor as copper.
the  springs that hold the plug in the outlet are part of the circuit 
and when the current is high it will cause heat in the connection this 
will cause the tension to be less after time.  most homes were wired as 
cheaply as possible.  for this reason i mentioned replacing the older 
outlet with good quality new ones.  levitown is one i preferred.
for health reasons i had to retire last October or i would still be a 
working Electrician.  i have worked DC, AC industrial, commercial, and 
Marine. just not any where in Europe.  different systems there
Aaron wrote:
<Snip>

15) From: raymanowen
I have three phase power when I want it because I built a rotary phase
converter based on a 7.5hp 3Ø dummy motor and some caps and transformers.=
 I
am not an electrician, but I've made money repairing some of their SNAFU's.
277v exists in a 240v three phase Delta system as the "Wild leg." It is
single phase power, now used mostly for fluorescent lighting ballasts, I
think.
This would be useful if you ever snag a Mazzer Major grinder with a three
phase motor.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
y
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

16) From: Rich
The wall receptacle, outlet, also has a rating.  The vast majority of them are 15A at 125vAC this is  
why there is a 15 amp breaker and #14 wire.  You can find the outlets rated for 20 or 25 amps and 
they clamp #12 wire much better.  The 15 amp outlets will tolerate a 20 amp load for a period of time 
but they will get warm, not recommended.
I also have earned my living in the electricity / electronics field for a very long time.
It is worth considering the option of a dedicated "roaster" circuit with the 20 / 25 outlets if you have a 
low voltage problem.
It is also worth keeping in mind that electrical cooking is a slow and slothful process, be careful.
On Wed, 11 Jul 2007 00:12:54 -0700, John Brown wrote:
<Snip>
<Snip>http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings


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