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Any hints for a KN-8828D user?
Hi, I'm new here.

A couple of years ago I picked up a used Hottop locally on Craigslist and have used it probably for 30-40 or so roasts at this point. I try to use 7 oz of beans and like a roast that just hits 2nd crack.

I've found that my roasts tend to go long and that I keep pressing the 'extra' time button. I'm not unhappy with the result and I do get a nice full city roast, but I wonder if there are any veterans with advice.

Suggestions welcome.

Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the forums Mark! I haven't used a hottop, so we need to find ShockGINNY!

Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
Hello Mark,

I see you have already found the TC4 thread, and that is the way I would recommend. I use a Hottop analog (i.e. the KN-8828) but my intention from the outset was to build my own controller and ditch the Hottop controller - which is one of the reasons I bought the lowest end model. I have only recently built the TC4 and am still stumbling on my way around its use as a controller, but it offers such possibilities. Jim is the only one I know of who is already using the TC4 to control roasts on a Hottop, but I suspect there are also others on the way. I want to be able to roast according to my own specifications without being bound by the constraints of someone else's preconceptions, and that means I must have freedom over the controller program.

That's a great coffee roaster. I usually use 8 ounces in it, and I take the lid and filter off after the first cracks to slow it down before it hits 2nd cracks and also to keep the smoke out of the drum. But if I want a quicker roast I will use 7.5 ounces. If I want a slower roast I'll use 8.5 ounces. If it's a hot day, I keep the lid off the entire roast to keep it from heating up too fast. It seems to shine with coffees that like long roasts, ones such as Kona, Panama, Costa Rica La Minita. Sumatra turns out great every time. The only way I can get peaberries to turn out is if I let it run for 2 minutes before adding the beans. So I'm adding the beans when the temp is already up to about 225. Otherwise they just end up sour or burnt, I can't find the happy middle.

I'm tearing mine apart this weekend to put in a new heating element. My old one warped until it finally was rubbing against the drum pretty badly and making a racket. I've had it for 3 years and this is the first time I've had to replace a part other than the filter, so that's pretty good.
Drink Coffee. Be Happy.
Randy G
The "D" model was very basic as you well know. About the only control you have is WHEN THE BEANS ARE ADDED. This is a powerful tool in regards to the "D" model. You can wait until the temp display hits 225 or 3f3n 250. This will shorten the roast time a bit.

You can hack the machine. The ribbon cable on the back of the control panel controls EVERYTHING in the roaster - fans, eject, cooling heating element, etc. The problem is that the heating element control in this model is binary so you would have to add a heavy-duty control to the heating element's leads to give more precise setting. The entire control panel can be ditched and then you could control the heat that way and add toggle switches for other functions and use a a programmable PID for the heat.

The other alternative would be to convert it to a "B" model which allows manual control.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
Yeah, it's pretty basic alright. I'm watching the "4-channel TC meter and datalogger project" with great interest in order to modify this roaster. However before I can control my roaster, I have to better understand what I'm trying to control. :)

I can't see converting it to a 'B' model as I'd rather put the rather significant $ for the upgrade into a custom control panel and a bunch of green coffee.

Randy G
I mentioned the upgrade as some folks aren't comfortable hacking into electronic devices. I forge the color codews, but if you pull the ribbon cable off the back of the control panel, there is a ground and a +12v lead (black and red respectively iirc). If you jump the +12 V lead to the other wires you will learn what each one controls. The main board has SSRs on it so in regards to personal safety you are OK as far as electricity. Remember that one is for the heating element so when energized it won't make any noise.

In regards to getting the most from a roast, check the Hottop USA website as there is an article there that I wrote about profiling and it will supply a lot of insight into the roasting process.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
Thanks Randy. I've been reading your posts for a while now on the HotTop but I decided to finally see what I can do with a modified one. Probably take me a while to get this done (and working).

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