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Topic: Hot Top Question... (4 msgs / 109 lines)
1) From: Tim TenClay
I have a bare-bones hot top and can seldom get my roast to go past the
beginning of 2nd crack before it times out on me and auto-ejects (even
after hitting "plus" a number of times).  I don't usually want to go
any further, but occasionally would like to.
So here's what I'm wondering... can I put the beans in BEFORE it's
completely pre-heated and get a little more roast time out of it
(during the preheat cycle)?
Would love to know if it'd work before I waste a half a pound trying it :-)
Grace and Peace,
 `tim
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Rev. Tim TenClay, NATA #253
Dunningville Reformed Church (www.dunningville.org)
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2) From: Mike Koenig
Tim,
Before trying to put the beans in early, I would try adding less beans
than you do currently.
Also try using an outlet that is as close as possible to the
electrical box.  I believe the earlier HotTops were sensitive to
voltage variations.
I have the newer "B" model, which is supposed to have better voltage
regulation, and I still see a difference in roast times between the
front vs. the back of my house (there is a small voltage drop with the
long wire runs to the back outlets in my house).
--mike
On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 10:13 AM, Tim TenClay  wrote:
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3) From: Mike Chester
Tim,
A common problem with low heat on a Hottop is caused by the heating element 
warping and pulling further from the drum.  Take off the front and the 
bearing plate. Pull out the drum and examine the element.  It should run 
parallel to the side and be very near the drum without touching it.  If it 
is on an angle carefully bend it at its base to bring it parallel to the 
wall. Put the drum and the bearing plate on and run it briefly to make sure 
that the drum does not rub.  Keep adjusting it until it just touches and 
back off slightly.  This will make a big difference in its performance.  The 
second possibility is that the thermistor (heat sensor) on the rear wall is 
not reading properly.  When I had a stock Hottop, this happened to mine 
after I attempted to clean it.  I think that pushing in on its surface 
changed something inside the sensor and made it think that it was hotter 
inside than it really was.  You can order this sensor on the Hottop site for 
about $15 and it will quickly be shipped.
A third possibility that many on this list like to point out is that your 
wall voltage may be too low.  While this is possible, it is not very likely. 
The engineers that design electrical devices know that line voltages do vary 
and design devices to work within a range of voltages.  Unless you line was 
very low, the Hottop would simply cycle the heater on longer to make up for 
its reduced output.
A properly functioning stock Hottop should have the capability to roast well 
beyond any reasonable roast all the way to mini charcoal briquettes stage.
I hope that this is helpful.
Mike Chester

4) From: Michael Mccandless
The easiest is Variac.
alternatively, a used not-so-freeflowing filter will cause the drum to heat
a little faster.
Less mass (fewer beans) will heat faster.
McSparky
On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 7:13 AM, Tim TenClay  wrote:
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