HomeRoast Digest


Topic: HotTop and Variac (9 msgs / 172 lines)
1) From: John Haley
Having JUST purchased a new HotTop from SM (it's already on the way tonight)
I've read conflicting reports on whether a Variac is needed for best
results. I had originally heard they didn't, but have since seen graphed
results with and without one showing quite a difference. If the best results
require one, I want to order it right away. What's the consensus from owners
on this list.
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2) From: Barry Luterman
Been using a Hottop for 3 years and have not needed a Variac. My roasts are
consistent. However, I am retired and always roast on weekday afternoons.
There is usually  not a terribly large load on the lines then. No
air-conditioners running or washing machines etc.
On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 3:08 PM, John Haley  wrote:
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3) From: miKe mcKoffee
Depends on your actual voltage under load whether variac needed/beneficial
or not.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL 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.
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4) From: Bob Brashear
John Haley wrote:
<Snip>
Depends on your electrical service. I'm using one and am grateful for 
it. We've had some interesting problems with our electric company and 
their infrastructure over the past two years.
Give me peace of mind.
Bob
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5) From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Claus_Th=F8gersen?=
HI,
It will also depend on wich of the new models you have. As I understand it 
the most expensive model  the one with most control over fanspeed and heat, 
will not need it. The same may apply for the other digital model. Again as I 
remember it the original analog model is not available anymore.
Claus

6) From: John Haley
To answer the replies on Variac necessity for the HotTop that I've received
so far. The model is the KN-8828P fully programmable model. I've checked my
voltage a few times so far this morning and found it 119.3V to 120.2V, but
of course it's very early in the day. If it stays as consistant as this
there would be no problem.
On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 8:08 PM, John Haley  wrote:
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7) From: Mike Chester
The Hottop site claims that the main board that comes with the new models (=
B =
and P) does not need a variac as it comes with a voltage stabilization =
device inside.  I don't know how effective it is as, fortunately, my line =
voltage is very consistent.
Mike

8) From: Barry Luterman
That answers it I use the P and my back to back roasts are as stable as can
be. Even roasts a week apart are stable and require only a few seconds
modification usually in the less than 30 sec. range, To play safe I always
roasted about the same time of day but probably do not have to do that if I
don't want to.It's a great machine. Been using it since before it's release
to the public.
On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 4:19 AM, John Haley  wrote:
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9) From: MichaelB
John,
The variac can be used in different ways. Most of the entries below are
referring to using it to stabilize voltage especially in circumstances where
it may be too low to run the machine as designed. That is possible in some
circumstances, perhaps if you live in brownout country, but for most of us
it is not a necessity.
The other way to use the variac is to control heat or fan to speed up or
slow down a roast. IMO this is where the conflicts on reports of variac with
hottop arise. If you use the variac to boost hottop voltage you are probably
not going to boost temperature, at least not directly. Since the machine is
responding to a built-in or programmed profile you will be hard pressed to
change anything and may actually make the operation more unpredictable. The
only way to use the variac to change heat output or fan speed would be to
hack it. Some people on this list have separated the heater and fan from the
control board and can control them with a variac, or in the case of the CCR
hottop, with sensor and computer control.
BTW, what are these graphed results you mention? What exactly were
they measuring and what did they find?
On 2/27/08, John Haley  wrote:
<Snip>
--
MichaelB
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