HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Hottop help needed! (21 msgs / 714 lines)
1) From: Josh Schwartz
I just moved from a brand-new apartment in Chicago to an older building in
Cambridge, MA, and I'm having problems roasting on my Hottop here.
Basically, the power on the lines seems to be low and, possibly worse, very
inconsistent.  In Chicago, City roasts were typically taking about 14
minutes.  Here, on good days I'm hitting first crack at about 17:00 and on
bad days not until 19:30 or so.  Is my best solution buying a variac (if so,
are there certain specs to look for when buying?), or is there a cheaper way
to deal with this?
Thanks!
-Josh

2) From:
Josh:
First you need to check the plug on the Hot Top to make sure is was not damaged in the move.
Check your watts coming in from several outlets in the older building. I would call the city power company and ask them to check your lines; they can most likely boost them up a bit but don't unless someone asks.
You say older building Josh, are we talking nob and tube or romax into the house?
ginny
---- Josh Schwartz  wrote: 
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3) From: Leo Zick
its broke.. if you send it to me ill ensure that its properly recycled..
On 7/26/07, Josh Schwartz  wrote:
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4) From: Jim Whitesell
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With my hottop, I achieved 1st crack between 16 and 17 minutes,  
depending on the coffee. When I upgraded to the programable model,  
time increase about 1 minute. My voltage is about 112 which is a  
little low. Never considered this a problem.
As to a variac, it is all in the power. Look at the wattage demand on  
your hottop name plate and be sure to get one with a bit over that.  
Search Sweet Maria for variac and you will be led to a page of  
obsolete stuff with a discussion on the variac they used to carry.
Jim Whitesell
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With my hottop, I achieved 1st crack between 16 and 17 minutes, depending on the coffee. When I upgraded to the programable model, time increase about 1 minute. My voltage is about 112 which is a little low. Never considered this a problem.
As to a variac, it is all in the power. Look at the wattage demand on your hottop name plate and be sure to get one with a bit over that. Search Sweet Maria for variac and you will be led to a page of obsolete stuff with a discussion on the variac they used to carry.

Jim Whitesell

--Apple-Mail-1-1014185921--

5) From: miKe mcKoffee
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Variac wise you could get by with a 5A model if only do a batch an hour or
so. Remember, variac ratings are for 24/7 continuous use. (Specific
calculations to determine designed duty cycle for a given rating given load
previously posted) 10A model will work fine for back to back batches all day
long with variac cooling same time as roast cooling. (Frankie built with
10A) 15A or greater rated model advised for back to back roasting while
cooling roast currently to roasting, no variac cooling time between roasts.
Also be sure and get a variac with 10 or better yet 20% boost capability,
some designed to only attenuate incoming voltage without any potential
boost. (I went with a 10% max boost model on Frankie's heater side and
sometimes wish had a bit more.)
 
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIhttp://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVI.htmKona Konnaisseur 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 Jim Whitesell
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 12:57 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: +RE: Hottop help needed!
With my hottop, I achieved 1st crack between 16 and 17 minutes, depending on
the coffee. When I upgraded to the programable model, time increase about 1
minute. My voltage is about 112 which is a little low. Never considered this
a problem. 
As to a variac, it is all in the power. Look at the wattage demand on your
hottop name plate and be sure to get one with a bit over that. Search Sweet
Maria for variac and you will be led to a page of obsolete stuff with a
discussion on the variac they used to carry.
Jim Whitesell

6) From: Robert Avery
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Its all in the math ... just remember, you don't get something for =
nothing. Your thinking is sort of right. Peak to peak voltage for 120 =
volts for example can be demonstrated making one believe that that they =
have adequate voltage. One has to understand that the other piece of the =
pie is the current usage. The Variac controls that to some extent and =
manages fluctuations in pick to pick voltage, one still has to have =
adequate current handling capability of the circuit. That is managed by =
supply, wire size to the receptacle, and other drains on current on the =
same circuit. Variacs can cost a lot of money when you start handling =
large amperage .... If you can I would look for a 220 volt supply and =
reduce it to the 110/120 volts ... that sometimes is not available in =
the kitchen though. Hope this helps, Later, Bob

7) From: DJ Garcia
Variac is the only way I'm aware of, outside of doing mods to the HT =
power
supply :-). And it should be used to keep the voltage in a reasonable =
level,
not for profile control while it feeds all various components including
motors & fans.
DJ

8) From: miKe mcKoffee
Unless you did something like I did yesterday with the Behmor and wired for
separate voltage inputs to the roast heaters and rest of the unit:-) 
miKe
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9) From: DJ Garcia
I actually programmed mine to reach 1st around 14 minutes for a 300gm =
load.
That's the nice thing about programmables :-).
DJ
Profile clueless but having fun

10) From: miKe mcKoffee
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
There is zero need what so ever to confuse the issue with 220v supply for
off the shelf home roasting appliances. A very many people have been using
110/120v variacs for many years controlling their roast voltages. Theory is
great but nothing demonstrates like actually doing it, over and over and
over again.
 
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 Robert Avery
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 3:47 PM
Its all in the math ... just remember, you don't get something for nothing.
Your thinking is sort of right. Peak to peak voltage for 120 volts for
example can be demonstrated making one believe that that they have adequate
voltage. One has to understand that the other piece of the pie is the
current usage. The Variac controls that to some extent and manages
fluctuations in pick to pick voltage, one still has to have adequate current
handling capability of the circuit. That is managed by supply, wire size to
the receptacle, and other drains on current on the same circuit. Variacs can
cost a lot of money when you start handling large amperage .... If you can I
would look for a 220 volt supply and reduce it to the 110/120 volts ... that
sometimes is not available in the kitchen though. Hope this helps, Later,
Bob

11) From: Rich
For power line problems you need a line conditioner not a variac.  A line conditioner is an autiomatic 
device, a variac is a manual device.  This is one source of the device, but not the only.http://www.provantage.com/tripp-lite-conditioners-transformers~110TRPC.htmOn Thu, 26 Jul 2007 19:03:15 -0400, DJ Garcia wrote:
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<Snip>http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

12) From: Larry Johnson
On 7/26/07, Robert Avery  wrote (among other things):
<Snip>
It's available where the stove plugs in.
-- 
Larry J
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.  -
Walter Bagehot

13) From: Robert Avery
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Not sure if that is a good code option. I would think that you could do =
it though. If you do it on your own .. just make sure you use the proper =
plug configuration so no one plugs a conventional plug into it. The plug =
looks like two horizontal primary blades and only one socket that is =
usually round. Then you have to use a step down transformer. Here is a =
site   =http://www.voltage-converter-transformers.com/Just make sure you wire the 220 volt outlet properly for the step down =
transformer. If it were me ... that's the way I would go. Solves a lot =
of issues. Later, Bob

14) From: Rich
If you are not real careful you will loose the ground / neutral connection on the secondary side of the 
transformer and end up with a balanced 125vAC secondary with 62.5v each side of the line to ground 
/ neutral.  This can be a real death trap.  Make sure that you know what you are doing with this.  It 
will work and it can be done safely.
--Original Message Text---
From: Robert Avery
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 08:37:49 -0400
Not sure if that is a good code option. I would think that you could do it though. If you do it on your 
own .. just make sure you use the proper plug configuration so no one plugs a conventional plug into 
it. The plug looks like two horizontal primary blades and only one socket that is usually round. Then 
you have to use a step down transformer. Here is a site  http://www.voltage-converter-transformers.com/
Just make sure you wire the 220 volt outlet properly for the step down transformer. If it were me ... 
thats the way I would go. Solves a lot of issues. Later, Bob

15) From: Robert Avery
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
If you are taking the two 125 vac lines  off of the stove feed it wont =
be unbalanced. The supply to the stove is usually broken down inside of =
the stove to supply the neutral for the application of the 125 volt =
requirements of the clock, light, ect on the oven. My experience has =
been that your supply is always slightly unbalanced due to other loads =
on the service. One tries to maintain this on the panel, but it doesn't =
always happen. One other thing ... I did see a site that had the adapter =
plug to go with the transformer unit to plug into 220v plug from the =
transformer. Saves having to rewire the plug end on the converter. Oh by =
the way ... 12/3 wire should be fine for the feed from the Stove =
connection. My recommendation would be to get an electrician or someone =
that is knowledgeable for the hookup, could save you a lot of grief.   http://www.starkelectronic.com/st500.htmAlso ... you have to make sure the transformer suits the load rating for =
the device .. not sure what the Hottop has but you have to get the watts =
rating from the Hottop. I have a Hottop and haven't had any problem yet. =
Take care and be Safe ... later, Bob

16) From: raymanowen
 The Pk-Pk voltage of a 120v rms sinewave is about 340vac, and means
nothing. It's a graphical error, just like the head-on collision of two car=
s
doing 50mph. It's not like either of them hitting a brick wall at 100mph.
(Empirical solution not recommended)
The average of that sinewave is Øv. Another Dorky proclivity I have is to
use the full primary and secondary of any variable transformer, at less tha=
n
70% of its rated current limit.
Obviously, a variable transformer can have a completely separate secondary,
as in full isolation, or  an autotransformer (Variac), that absolutely has
to be connected with correct polarity observed. never use a three prong
"adapter."
The current draw of the heating element is brutal when it is fed by a step
up transformer to "correct" the voltage. It may correct the voltage, but
amplifies the primary problem. Plus, the moving contact can be set to
contact two adjacent turns simultaneously, which creates a shorted turn  =
=
heat, even if no power is being handled.
To state the obvious, operate electrical equipment in an overloaded
condition at your own peril.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
"Assume" is a well-known conjunction...

17) From: DJ Garcia
I must say that I was deeply disappointed to find out that the brick =
wall
had no crumple zones, unlike the other two cars - it's a very different
profile to first crack, let alone second crack ...
DJ
Convalescing a wicked whiplash ...

18) From: Floyd Lozano
Welcome to Cambridge!  Sorry you're having that trouble with your power.  I
know in my old house here I used to blow the breakers every time we ran the
microwave and washing machine at the same time, even though they were on the
opposite sides of the house.  Upgraded to 200A service and problem
disappeared!   Unfortunately you don't have that option.  You could try
moving to a different circuit in your residence (not the one with the fridge
or microwave or dishwasher or air conditioner on it) and if that doesn't
work, the line conditioner thing sounds like your solution.  If you need
someone to test your hot top for a couple weeks to make sure it still works
ok, just let me know ;)
-F
On 7/26/07, Josh Schwartz  wrote:
<Snip>

19) From: raymanowen
This problem cannot be solved by using a Variac. Whatever problem exists to
cause your "current" symptoms will almost certainly instantly fail under the
heavy load of a Variac.
The cost of dialing more voltage out of a Variac is supplying proportionally
higher current to it. If your circuit has trouble supplying enough power
now, note that Variacs and Line Conditioners don't supply increased power.
You'll be installing a disaster.
"Upgraded to 200A service and problem disappeared! "
Yeah- and how many thousand dollars disappeared too? I hope the electrician-
electric magician- also made sure the supply lines can easily handle the
200A load, along with the line transformer.
Of course, everybody knows you can ignore the line transformer's ratings.
Just make your appeal to the Deity that it blows for somebody else.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
On 7/30/07, Floyd Lozano  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

20) From: Floyd Lozano
Well, obviously our electrician didn't do diddly with the supply lines to
the house.   The NStar owns that.  We had our house gutted and rewired too,
which brought it up to code at any rate and sure increased our peace of
mind.  The upgrade cost 1200, so maybe I got ripped off, maybe I didn't, but
we didn't blow circuit breakers any more, so my problem was solved.  We have
had a few brownouts in the decade since that happened, but i attribute that
to more ACs and global warming, not my selfishness and hogginess with the
electrons.  But I do apologize for giving advice that may not be sound.  How
about this:  buy a windmill.  Then you can sell surplus power back to the
grid.
-F
On 7/31/07, raymanowen  wrote:
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21) From: Lynne Biziewski
Boy, do we ever need windmills - only problem, residents can't possibly get
their own in a city like Cambridge. Too congested. Of course, if they ever
get the windmills placed near Cape Cod (and can successfully battle the $$
powers-that-be, of course), Massachusetts could have a good source of
windmill power.
 But I do apologize for giving advice that may not be sound.  How about
<Snip>
-F
<Snip>
I feel the need for the windmills all the more after yesterday - we were
without power ALL day, as were many, many cities in MA. Ours was for a
different reason than the rest, of course. Ours is a constant problem that
won't go away for years. Great. Lots of fun.
I just moved from a brand-new apartment in Chicago to an older building in
<Snip>
Josh, I would contact the electric company and ask for an energy audit, to
start. This may be a fixable problem.
Good luck, and welcome to Massachusetts!
Lynne


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