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Gene Cafe Quirkyness
smatty1
My GC doesn't seem to like forced shut down. It's prone to weirdness after forced shut down and particularly if I'm doing multiple batches back to back. Weirdness includes stopping after I've started it, refusing to shutdown, temp setting reverting to 482 after I have set at different temp, and the latest one...throwing an (E) after finishing cooldown sequence(after roast has been pulled)
Anyone have any insight into this??
hazbean
I've been using the E-stop twice per roast (after pre-heat and during cooling) for well over a year and never had any of the above.

I did read somewhere of a GC that was throwing E when it shouldn't -- IIRC this one was replaced by the distributor.

My suspicion would be a fault in the logic circuitry, and that your distributor should look into it.
smatty1

Quote

hazbean wrote:
I've been using the E-stop twice per roast (after pre-heat and during cooling) for well over a year and never had any of the above.

I did read somewhere of a GC that was throwing E when it shouldn't -- IIRC this one was replaced by the distributor.

My suspicion would be a fault in the logic circuitry, and that your distributor should look into it.


Anyone have current contact info for Tim Skaling? All #s I found are disconnected. I'm 2 yrs in so probably past warranty, but Tim is probably my best bet at solving this problem....
Marshall_S
I agree - my guess is that its in the logic board and Tim will be able to send you a new one.

Here's a working number for him:

805-501-7731

Good luck!
Marshall Schmidt
Foxboro, MA
smatty1
I spoke w/ Tim about my issues and he was of the opinion that back to back roasts was causing the machine to get too hot. He is recommending waiting 30 min to an hr between roasts. I'm curious as to how much back to back roasting people are doing or if people are letting the GC cool down between roasts....?
John Despres
I do back to back all the time. It's been well over a year since I replaced a heating element, too. The heater in the roaster is a re-built one, too.

I dump my beans and set the roaster to a full coll down. Once the cooling cycle is finished, I roast another.

It's a heater. How can getting hot be bad for it? Tim may very well be correct, but I don't get it... One thing about a full cool down, is every roast profile will be the same at the beginning.

My current issue is an aged fan and an aged left end sensor, both of which I'm paying for. Shoot, this roaster has over 450 pounds run through it. Something's gotta wear out, right?

John
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
gene
Ditto John. My GC was used when I bought it almost four years ago. Burned heating element six months later. I had turned it off by mistake while it was showing way over 400 degrees. Repaired it. It has run hundreds of pounds since. And I do use E-stop twice for every roast.

I just did six batches back to back yesterday. I never roast less than 4-5 back to back. Tom sent me a new element at that time and I have never needed it.
Just assumed my repaired elemnt would soon burn out. Hey, go figure!
gene
hazbean
I also frequently do consecutive roasts without any cooling in between, and two E-stops per roast. As well as 10 min preheat at max.

A friend not far from here always does his weeks roasting with two or three back to back roasts.

I know of others in Aus who routinely do several batches straight off.

The most common annoying behaviour I get is, if the roaster is hot, then the right sensor will cut the heater intermittently (but not very much).
gene
"The most common annoying behaviour I get is, if the roaster is hot, then the right sensor will cut the heater intermittently (but not very much)."

How hot? Very curious. When I hit Cool roaster temp is somewhere in 440 range. I hold a large box fan on GC with the cover up.....45 seconds later, at 365-370, dump on large pizza pan which has another box fan blowing up thru it. Then I hurry GC bean chamber back in and push Cool again so it can finish cooling while I process that batch.

Maybe thats why my repaired element has lasted so long. I try not to abuse the temperature. After all, thats what caused it to fail in the first place. I dumped a roast at around 440 and before I could get bean chamber back in element filament had melted. Thankfully it was near terminal and easily repaired.
gene
John Despres

Quote

gene wrote:
"The most common annoying behaviour I get is, if the roaster is hot, then the right sensor will cut the heater intermittently (but not very much)."

How hot? Very curious. When I hit Cool roaster temp is somewhere in 440 range. I hold a large box fan on GC with the cover up.....45 seconds later, at 365-370, dump on large pizza pan which has another box fan blowing up thru it. Then I hurry GC bean chamber back in and push Cool again so it can finish cooling while I process that batch.

Maybe thats why my repaired element has lasted so long. I try not to abuse the temperature. After all, thats what caused it to fail in the first place. I dumped a roast at around 440 and before I could get bean chamber back in element filament had melted. Thankfully it was near terminal and easily repaired.
gene


Oh, interesting thought, Gene. My current heater has lasted over a year. Almost that entire time I don't think I've ever set my high above 465F

Hmmm.... I wonder if that's part of it's longevity? It's also one I rebuilt, so maybe I improved it?

John
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
gene
Well, according to Tim Skaling when the heating element malfunctions chances are its because the filament burns and separates next to the terminal. when you reattach it next to the spade terminal the filament coil is then a tiny bit shorter. The fact that it is shorter makes it run margnally hotter. The local electrical teacher at the vocational school confirmed Tim's observation.
Could be the answer to some folks that feel their GC don't ramp up hot enough or fast enough.
Anyhoo, we had huge discussions on how to repair the element couple years ago.. And purposely let my element get dangerously hot without proper cooling.
No more....now baby the heating element and bought the second box fan to protect the element.
It just seems so indestructable now. ha
smatty1
Tim said he could send me a new chip. He also said that the company that makes these may not be doing well financially so mods and improvements dont look likely. Anyone wanna buy up a few, mod em and resell em? I'd buy one!:) potential opportunity here!:)
John Despres
Hmmmm. Tim talked me out of buying a new one, even though I was prepared to do so...

Maybe I will just to keep in the back corner...

John
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
hazbean
Just to clarify what I meant when I said "The most common annoying behaviour I get is, if the roaster is hot, then the right sensor will cut the heater intermittently (but not very much)."

By hot, not necessarily that the readout was near max, but that the right hand end of the roaster felt hot to the touch (usually associated with running the roaster at full power and a higher ambient temp).

You can see what I mean in one of the logs I made, see http://tinyurl.co....

Just after 4 min, the top (green) plot starts fluctuating a bit at around 238C. This is where I noticed clicking at the right hand end as the sensor activated and the reading on my power meter dropped. These are only small fluctuations compared to what happens when temp reaches setpoint (as at 7:10). But it is enough to slightly reduce the energy input into the beans.

That was one of our few hot days so far this summer, this doesn't seem to happen on cooler days. Hence I'm considering having a fan nearby (like gene) to turn on next time it happens.

My E stop for cooling is usually at 150C (300F) partly due to apprehension about the heater. I htink the box fan is an excellent idea for high temp dumping!

That said I've had a spare heater for over a year now, wondering if I'll ever use it ....
smatty1
Frustrating week of roasting. Machine seems to be getting worse:(
I roasted last saturday and the 2nd roast seemed to be struggling with keeping up the heat. I was roasting a robusta so I wasnt sure if the abnormal roast was the bean or the machine. Tonight I roasted again. Two roasts. The first one was trouble from the start and wouldnt you know it.....I was roasting $15 /lb bolivian COE! Maddening to have a roast go wrong with a high end bean like that!:(
Anyway...first sign of trouble was that the beans didnt yellow until 10 min into the roast! 13 mins in I cranked the temp from 465 to 482 to try and help it.
C1 was @23 mins! EOR @ 27 mins.
Throwing it into cooldown game me an error. I think it was E3.
The next roast went fine. No problems

Looks like I need a new heater now too in addition to my original problems. Suggestions??
hazbean
Amazing how disaster waits for the best beans ...

Does look like heater problems, but E3 is the code I got when the little white gear for the drum cracked up (literally). E4 is the error for problems at the right hand end (sensor / heater).

It might be useful to try a few successive runs of the time to max temp test (without beans and cooling between each). An intermittent heater problem should give significant variation in these times.
smatty1
Who knows how to replace this chip?? I got this thing open and I cant figure out how to get this chip off?? anyone done this before? None of the instructional guides online tell how to do that.
smatty1
Roaster back in action! New heater, fan and chip. Roasted 3 back to back with no problems! Costa Rican Honey, Bolivian COE 2009, and Organic Sumatra Mandheling! Ready for NYE wknd!:)
Edited by smatty1 on 12/28/2010 9:43 PM
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