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Topic: Requium for a Gourmet? (16 msgs / 322 lines)
1) From: The Scarlet Wombat
I think my Gourmet has died, but maybe someone can advise me.  I fired it 
up today to roast some Yirgacheffe I just got from SM, and the fan started, 
but it was wildly varying in speed between the speed when it is in cool 
down and the speed when the heating element is active, the speed does 
vary.  After a few seconds of this, the speed stabilized, at the faster 
rate.  There was no heat coming from the machine, lots of wind, no heat.
I thought to take it apart, but cannot find even a screw to do so.  I am 
not sure I could do anything, anyway.  Is it dead?
Since I assume it is, next question.  Do the Gourmets that Tom is currently 
selling resemble the one I have that is a year old?  Operation is important 
as I can't see and the Gourmet is simplicity, itself for blind use.
How about the Fresh Roast Plus, is it as simple to operate?  What size 
batch does it handle?  The idea of having to buy already roasted beans when 
my supply runs out in a day or two is frightening, but enough Scotch will 
cover up anything. [grin]
I'd consider the Alp, but I am very fond of those tiny beans from Ethiopia 
and Yemen and a roaster that can't handle them is useless to me.  I guess a 
Hot Top would do very well, but I'm unsure of how to get one and must use 
it inside, so it may not be the right unit.
How used we get to the best coffee in just under a year.
Thanks for all thoughts,
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2) From: Al Raden
Dan, if it's still in warranty, you may want to contact Hearthware. 
 sounds like it might be a bad circuit board.  The replacement is easy, 
but there are several plug in connections on the board.  The screws are 
on the bottom, under the rubber feet.
- al r.
The Scarlet Wombat wrote:
- Al Raden
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3) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Hi Al, I did not purchase the Gourmet, it was a gift and I do not know when 
it was first purchased.  I could not handle replacing the circuit board, I 
suspect.  I can do a lot of things a sighted person can, but something that 
delicate might be a problem, still, it is worth trying if they will send me 
the board.  The worst thing that can happen is that it does not work.
Thanks, anyone have Hearthware's number?
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4) From: Al Raden
You could e-mail customer service at customerservice , or 
you could call them at (888) 287-0763 ex. 229.
Perhaps you could get someone to give you a hand for a few minutes - 
that's about all it takes to replace it.  I'm becoming a pro at it, 
having replaced mine 4 times in the last 13 months.
- al r. 
The Scarlet Wombat wrote:
- Al Raden
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5) From: Sharon Allsup
On 20 Oct 2002, at 14:51, The Scarlet Wombat wrote:
The no-heat is indicative of a bad PC board.  My gourmet is on its 
3rd PC board (in less than a dozen roasts total) - that seems to be 
a delicate part.  Hearthware has great warranty service, give them a 
There are four screws, one in the bottom of each of the 'feet'.  You'll 
have to remove the little rubber covers of each foot to get to the 
screws.  The screws are all Phillips head so you won't have to 
switch screwdrivers over and over again.
I'm not sure.  If you give Hearthware the serial number of the unit 
they'll be able to tell you.
If it is a PC board, there's a bit of fiddly work getting five connectors 
off the old board and onto the new, and one of the screws securing 
the PC board can take several tries to get positioned.  You *may* 
need sighted assistance for that part.
I had a Precision before and found it even more convenient than the 
Gourmet in loading and cleaning.  The dial for setting roast 
time/strength is not the same, as It also lasted a bit over a year 
before dying.  I bought a Gourmet only because Hearthware was no 
longer selling the Precision.  Now Hearthware has about 100 
Precisions available, which will be the last, I am told.  It's much 
easier to load and empty beans, clean the chaff collector, and hear 
the cracks with the Precision (it's quieter than the Gourmet).  If my 
budget allowed I'd get one of those final Precisions.
It's so frustrating - Hearthware makes products that are top of the 
curve for convenience, but they are at the very low end of the curve 
for reliability! 
Amen.  The time between the Precision's first death and the 
Gourmet's arrival was torture.
Good luck
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6) From: TFisher511
The Gourmets that Tom is currently selling would be very familiar compared to 
the one you have. The Fresh Roast Plus should be equally easy to use but the 
beans wanting to bunch up and stick in the top could be a problem. I would be 
glad to send you a Campbell's soup can chimney but it is sharp and it does 
leave a lot of chaff behind. 
Too bad Tom sold out the HW Precisions so fast because I think you would have 
liked the quieter roasting.
Terry F
Maybe the new Hearthware will be the answer when it is released!
coconut writes:

7) From: Dan Bollinger
Sharon, before jumping to considering the PC board is bad, consider first
what an old appliance repairman told me.  "90% of the time, it is a bad
electrical connection/switch/contact."

8) From: TFisher511
The past failure history indicates that with this unit, 90% of the time when 
the roaster just blows cold air it is the circuit board. They have a well 
documented history of this problem.
Actually it is probably only one or two components on the board with a 
reliability problem but they are not user replaceable at the component level. 
I did have an exception and after the third board Hearthware did replace the 
Terry F
danbollinger writes:

9) From: Sharon Allsup
On 20 Oct 2002, at 17:00, Dan Bollinger wrote:
True.  I did sort of just assume it was the PC board, because that 
was the exact symptom of my two PC board failures.
So, let me revise my diagnosis to read:  "It might be bad electrical 
connection/switch/contact; both times my Gourmet exhibited those 
symptoms it was a PC Board failure."
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10) From: Al Raden
And the 3 times my Gourmet exhibited those symptoms, it was a PC board 
- al r.
Sharon Allsup wrote:
- Al Raden

11) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Given the symptoms, I suspect the pc board, frankly.  About six months ago, 
the machine started acting strangely.  The heating element would cut out 
during the roast for a second or two, I can easily tell this because the 
fan speeds up when the load of the heating element is not 
present.  However, the problem never kept the Gourmet from roasting just fine.
Today, it sounded like it was trying to play the Star Spangled Banner, the 
fan speed was all over the place.  When I removed the glass container to 
feel the air output with my hand, I could feel unheated air, then a moment 
of heat, then much more unheated air.  Soon, it was all unheated air.
Given that there is a pc board and others have had trouble with theirs, I 
suspect we are dealing with an errant circuit.  The thermal conditions are 
rather extreme in there, I should think, so it is quite surprising they 
last at all.
Thanks to all, I'll call Hearthware tomorrow.
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12) From: Mike McGinness
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Caffe' Rosto is a tough
roaster. I've been using mine for over a year and a half. I never let it
rest (cool) between batches, usually doing a half dozen back to back and as
many as 2 dozen consecutive back to back batches. Any size bean, any degree
roast. With variac and profiling from 4min French to 20min Cinnamon no
problem. I've pushed 135v without a complaint (for the 4min French) and run
as low as 85v to compensate for high ambient and longer roast.
Yes, they do come in varying degrees of 'heat'. I have two now. One runs
about 15f hotter than the other. My cooler running unit I had last Winter
and roasted in 30f no problem with 3x3x3 open top box (front side also able
to open like a draw bridge to adjust degree of re-cirulation) without aid of
variac increased voltage.
I can roast 3oz to 8oz batches by weight. (above 6oz really takes skilled
rocking technique else excessive greens end up in chaff collector blocking
air re-circulation.)
Any Rosto that won't roast 1/4-1/3# batches in temperatures as low as 60f
with 120v, to rolling 2nd, in no more than 13min, should be sent back as
defective IMNSHO. With no boxes or vent blocking. I'm still lowering the
voltage on variac at 60f to not roast to fast!
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting

13) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Yeah, but Mike, how would the Rosto work just plugged in.  I can't see a 
voltmeter so using a Variac would not accomplish anything.
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14) From: Mike McGinness
From: "The Scarlet Wombat" 
I used the Rosto for over a year without a variac. Typical times for just
touch of 2nd crack 7 to 8 min amb 70f.
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
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15) From: EskWIRED
Given that you will operating it by touch, I'd stay away from the Hottop.  
(Did your text reading software properly parse the pain?)
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16) From: susan oppenheim
when you call up hearthware on their 800 number can you find out what your
canadian friends can do if they have problems???I don't believe one can even
directly purchase the machine in canada
Also Canadians out there-what machines ARE AVAILABLE NOW in Canada
Susan in Toronto
The Scarlet Wombat wrote:
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