HomeRoast Digest

Topic: "bad boy" variac (5 msgs / 136 lines)
1) From: R.N.Kyle
John, that is a simple and inexpensive way to have some control over =
voltage, in this high Tech world, I sometimes forget the simple =
solutions. I was thinking (bad thing to do) it always get me in trouble. =
less voltage less fan speed less bean movement, but I think I will give =
it a try with my fresh roast, I think Ben posted FR 100 volts gave him a =
13 min roast.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

2) From: john kangas
This idea was inspired by another list I'm on, I borrowed the name...
It's been a bit too warm in the afternoon to hit the outdoor roast length 
times I'd like to get with the Popcorn Pumper, so I'd been waiting to roast 
until evening. We're still sorting stuff after moving, and there was a 
collection of 4 extension cords in the corner. Inspiration struck!
Maybe if extension cords were used to increase resistance... Started with 2, 
and sure enough first crack took 1.5 minutes longer than without the cords! 
Plugged directly into the wall through first crack, and it's heating up 
faster than with the cords, then used one cord after first crack, (almost 
stalled with 2) and it ambled along to 435 degrees in 13 minutes. (~10 
minutes without the cords)
Just thought I'd mention this, it won't make a 4 minute roaster into a 14 
minute roaster, but could give a nice bump if you're close. Or maybe find 
out if you'd like a longer roast before going for the variac.
John Kangas
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3) From: Ben Treichel
Yes, but if you know the correct wire to cut, you can put an on/off 
switch in either a WBII or FR, and just turn the heater on and off 
without effecting the fan. Not as smooth as a variac, but 1/20 the 
price. Also, I would remove the timer from the FR, if you're going to 
switch it.
R.N.Kyle wrote:

4) From: Mike McGinness
Not just how many extension cords but what smaller gauge will reduce
available voltage, and over heat the cord...
BTW, the cord trick works for reducing voltage, I want to see you coil them
up just right to increase voltage! (or is that start a fire... yes, coiled
extension cords in use can and do start fires. It was the cause of a fire in
my parents house some years ago, neatly coiled extension cord to lamp under
couch...) Flammable resistant couch materials very toxic once it starts
burning, bad news...
MM;-) aka Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
Dual Variable Transformer Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'

5) From: john kangas
Hence the "bad boy" name, it's a good project to try outside, and uncoiled! 
It'll do until the popper gets a switch. Thanks for mentioning the coiled 
cord warning, I should have put that in the original message, but didn't 
think about it until later.
OT- It could be worse, the inspiration was the infamous "bad boy charger" 
from the electric vehicle list: consisting of a heavy duty rectifier and a 
collection of extension cords, spread flat across concrete to keep them 
cool, plug 'em directly into 120-144 volts of lead batteries, and use 
varying numbers of cords to alter charging current. I'll pass on this one... 
John Kangas (saving my pennies for that electric car)
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