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Proctor Silex Popcorn Pumper Mod
wulfheir
Nothing new or innovative, just another take on a popper mod.

http://wulfheir.c...

EDIT: Pasting content of page into post


Hone Roast

A project to turn a popcorn popper into a coffee roaster.
Last updated: April 21, 2006

UPDATE: April 21, 2006. First roast.
UPDATE: April 21, 2006. Added links.

I have wanted to build a coffee roaster ever since my old boss said he was considering buying one. I immediately thought to myself, "that would make a fun project to build". I quickly stumbled across www.homeroasters.com. A lot of the designs there intrigued me, and still do. I settled on the popcorn popper mod as a quick and easy introduction to coffee roasting. A few sites proved to be priceless with their detail and instruction; http://www.homeroaster.com/geekmod.html, http://members.shaw.ca/espressomio/COFFEEMENU.HTML, http://members.cox.net/felixdial/popper.mods.shtml, and http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/8104/popper.html.
Right out of the gate, I'll say that it cost me under $50CAD and took me about 6 hours to collect the parts and build it. I live in Calgary, a city of a million people, just to give you an idea of the resources I had. No, the title at the top is not a typo, it's my name, and a bad pun.

Once I had decided on my design, I set out to collect materials. I found a popper at Value Village on 58th Ave for $4. I haven't seen too many of them modded on the net so I decided to come back for it if I didn't find a better one. A few days past and I returned to buy it, but it was gone. I was a little disappointed at first, but soon learned that the intake was from the bottom and that they aren't great for roasting, and the chaff from the beans in those units is a fire hazard. So, while I was at the vet buying my cat, Kage, his special vet-prescribed food, I decided to walk across the parking lot to Cash Converters on MacLeod Trail. At our first walk thru the appliance aisle, we (my wife and I) didn't see a popper. But on the second pass, I pushed a toaster or something out of the way and found a Proctor-Silex Popcorn Pumper for $9.99. I wasn't crazy about spending $6 more that I wanted to, but the plus side is that this is a super common popper for modding and many people before me have successfully done it.

Here's the popper after it came home: (you can click on most pictures on this page to see a larger version)

wulfheir.com/roaster/pumper_small.JPG

I'll jump forward in the story, then return to where I was. When I got finished making the project, I made a schematic of the circuits, now's probably a good time to show you:

wulfheir.com/roaster/schematic.JPG

Okay, now that's out of the way, we can go back to materials.

I got the 25.2VAC transformer at The Source (SKU# 2731512) for $14.99. I would have liked to salvage this part from an appliance or something, but had no reliable information as to where they are commonly used other than hobby building. I found them slightly cheaper elsewhere on the net, but shipping pushed the price back up over this. I also found them elsewhere locally for much more.

I went to Dollar Giant next to buy 2 extension cords for a buck each. I dropped another loonie on a pack of assorted tie wraps.

The rest of the stuff I got at Rona, except for the marrettes (wire nuts), which I had laying around.

Material (Location) Cost:
Popper (Cash Converters) $9.99
Transformer (The Source) $14.99
Extension Cords & Tie Wraps (Dollar Giant) $3.00
Electrical components (Rona) $17.93
- 3 gang electrical box
- Dimmer w/ push on/off
- SPST switch
- Cover plate
- Nuts & bolts
- Receptacle w/ jumper tabs removed
Marrettes (Free) $0.00
Subtotal 45.91 + GST (federal sales tax) 3.21 = TOTAL $49.12

The popper itself requires 4 modifications.

This picture shows the first 3 modifications after they are made:

wulfheir.com/roaster/heater_small.jpg

1. Bypass the thermostat (the little thing on a bent wire on the right).
2. Bypass the thermo-fuse (the little thing with the black body and copper top on the left).
3. Bypass the secondary heater.

The purpose of the thermostat is to open the circuit when things get too hot for popcorn. Well, we want things to get too hot, so we bypass it. As a backup, there is a thermo-fuse, that will open the circuit if the heater baseplate gets too hot, we want things getting hot, so we bypass that too. This creates a fire hazard. The secondary heater is used in the popcorn popper to (rather crudely) drop the voltage for the fan motor. We will be supplying power to the fan motor separately, so we can bypass the secondary heater. I used the existing red wire and cut it and used it to solder jumpers as shown.

4. Separate the fan motor circuit. The fan motor has 2 black leads, cut them. Cut the female end off 1 of the extension cords and strip back the plastic and use marrettes to connect them.

Here you can see what I've done:

wulfheir.com/roaster/innards_small.jpg

You can see that I drilled a hole beside the existing black power cord and fed the new white power cord thru and tied a knot to keep it from coming thru the hole too far and pulling the marrettes off. After it was reassembled, I pulled the white power cord taut and used 1 of the tie wraps from my assorted pack and tightened it around on the outside of the brown base. That's the only tie wrap I used, I doubt it's even necessary.

At this point, if you were to plug the black cord in, the primary heater will turn on. If you were to plug in the white cord, you would fry the fan motor. The voltage to the fan motor needs to be dropped down first.

You can see the control box I built in this pic:

wulfheir.com/roaster/complete_small.jpg

The transformer is on the far right bolted to the side of the electrical box. The white cord leaving from the top of the control box and draping over the table comes from the 2nd extension cord I bought. When it enters the control box, I split it into the 2 circuits. 1 circuit goes thru the switch and to the top receptacle. The second circuit goes thru the supply leads of the transformer and the dimmer. The output leads of the transformer goes to the bottom receptacle. Make sure the jumper tabs are broken off the receptacle or bad things will happen. Also, don't accidentally plug the white fan plug into the top receptacle. For this reason, some other hobbyists have used uncommon DIN plugs to connect their fan power so they can't accidentally screw stuff up. I contemplated hardwiring the whole thing together, but decided that if I want to mod another popper in the future, I can simply leave two cords coming out of it and use the control box for that one too.

So now, when everything is plugged into the right places, I can independently turn the heater on/off and adjust the airflow. Everything I need to roast coffee. Except 1 thing, green beans. From what I've read, the majority of home roasters order their green beans from internet based companies, or from store front businesses with web-based commerce. Having the roaster completed, I did not have the patience to wait another week for beans to arrive. Also, after shipping, I was not crazy about the price. So I started calling coffee equipment places in the yellowpages. The first place I called refered me to Espuccino Imports (403-263-3224). They will sell minimum 5lbs of each type of bean. I wanted to get 1lb of various beans, but can't. So in 2 days, I pick up my 5lbs of columbian for $3.91/lb.

Update: April 21, 2006

I picked up my beans today. Felt a little less than 5 lbs, but on the other hand the total was $3.78, so I guess when I was quoted 3.91, that was total, i thought it was per pound.

Here they are in the bag:

wulfheir.com/roaster/tn_greenbag.JPG

I set it up just outside my garage door so I could sit out of the wind and watch it.

wulfheir.com/roaster/tn_setup.JPG

Here's a shot into the popper during cooldown:

wulfheir.com/roaster/tn_cooldown.JPG

Here's my first batch of home roasted coffee (blurry shot, the beans in the pan and the beans in the bag are in focus):

wulfheir.com/roaster/tn_inhand.JPG

Batch log:
Columbian Supremo
April 21
Outside temp 19C, medium wind

1:00 Beans start spinning on their own in popper
2:45 I hear first bean crack
3:15 Cracking is very active
4:50 Smoke is bellowing out of the roast (I was too caught up in the moment to take a pic, I will next time tho)
6:00 Cracking has stopped
7:17 I hear what might be 2nd crack
8:00 Turn off heat and run on fan only for 5mins

By comparing my beans colour to those on homeroasters.org 'degrees of roast pictorial', it looks like a french roast. I would expect it to be after 2nd crack, but I only heard maybe 3 cracks between 7:17 and 8:00. I'm sure I'll learn. I'll let the beans de-gas for a few hours before I brew it.
Edited by wulfheir on 04/21/2006 10:50 PM
 
Mike
Wulfheir,

Nice roaster. Nice write up. Good information. If you would like to cut and paste it into this thread, feel free. If you need any help doing it, feel free to PM me.

Mike
B)
 
Mike
Nice job.

Articles such as yours are a serious resource for the beginner (as I'm sure you are aware - after accomplishing this impressive project). Having this resource in one place is one of the driving forces behind having this Homeroasters Organization.

Thanks a bunch for posting it.

Mike
B)
 
Dan
Wulfheir, Great contribution! $50 roaster with controller ain't bad. I especially like your very professional wiring schematic. :)
 
wulfheir

Quote

Dan wrote:
Wulfheir, Great contribution! $50 roaster with controller ain't bad. I especially like your very professional wiring schematic. :)

Thanks, I'm a draftsman for an electrical company Grin
This morning my wife and I brewed my first roast, and it was one of the best coffees we've had. Just last night we were out picking up the greens to enjoying coffee this morning.
 
garybt3
Just read your article...Coooool stuff!
I've been roasting with Popcorn Pumpers since Aug 04!
Couple of things that I do to my Pumpers...

Toss the plastic hood, and get a glass Hurricane chimney.
Plastic melts and smells bad.s:7

I simply remove the bimetalic piece ( the bubble shiny part, and re set the contacts to always on. Takes about 1 minute to do.

I leave the thermal fuse in place as *bad things* may happen and burn my house down s:3
I've modded about 20 of these poppers, and they all work.
I've not *killed* one, yet Shock

I also use a 1/8" flat tip screwdriver, and widen the slot's of the roasting chamber, from the *out - side of the chamber, which means taking it apart. Go length wise with the blade, and slightly lift the slot, ( think of hood scoops on a race car) which will catch more air and add loft to the beans. A good thing, IMHO. I like to roast 5 oz in my pumpers, altho I *can* roast 6 5/8 oz in most of them, but the roast ends up too hot, too fast and way too uneven. I have found 5 oz + or - .5 oz to be optimal. I aim for 2nd C @ 10 minutes, and usually roast no darker than a Full City + roast ( about 2 or 3 snaps after 2nd Crack begins ). I'd rather stretch out the roast between 1C and 2C and adjust bean loads to fit a profile of:
1C begin @ 4 min, lag between 4 to 5 min, Start 2C 8 to 12 minutes. I'll stop the roast, and quickly quench to prevent continued roasting/scorching.

I also rotate '5 Popcorn Pumpers', 5 oz each, and cook up a # with just 3 of them. I also use a 3/4" tilt, under the base of the roaster, thruout the roast, and roast in a self made cabinet, in my shop. Wind is not a problem...;)

Slot widening is cool, and works incredibly well.

I think that I'll make up your controller, when I get in some free time...s:8
I've been tweaking machines, trying to get as much out of them, W/O resorting to additional electronics, but I also have 6 Poppery 1's, 4 are tweaked out, and I've gone as far as *porting* the bakelite housing with a dremmel, to increase airflow, with good results Shock
I just know that 10 years from now P1's will be selling for $100 each...
I've watched several on eBay auctions sell for over $50. W/O shipping already. So I will continue to use my favorite the 1250 Watt Proctor Silex Popcorm Pumpers...I like the 1250 watt cylindrical ones the best...the yellow white 1250 watts, next, and have 1/2 doz of the 1400watt models waiting for the right day to be used....;)

Take care, great post, BTW !!!


Gary

I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. Groucho Marx

Check out: http://garybt3.go...s.com/home
 
wulfheir
Thanks Gary,
I've done 3 roasts with it so far. I have used 1/2 cup of beans each time. I like the idea of lengthening the air slots, however, I will probably hold off for awhile. I've been trying to limit the number of variables while I get more familiar with the process.

EDIT: Where would I find a cheap glass hurricane chimney?
Edited by wulfheir on 04/24/2006 10:01 AM
 
peterz
I got cheap chimnies in Walmart, thrift stores, even Ace has them but a bit more expensive. I even bought a pair of cheap lamps once from walmart to get the chimnies.
5 bucks for 2.s:8s:8
Usually they are under 2 bucks, and about a buck in the thrift store.
You can order them online also.
Bring your popper with you to make sure it fits okay :)
ALthough I usually attached it in some way with a screw clamp and hi temp RTV.
My problem was I was always dropping something heavy on themShock c:1 s:3
ALways about the time that I wanted to make some changes anyway c:2

PeterZc:3
 
Mike
Peter,

Does the pumper use the same 3" chimney size that the P1 uses? If so, I get my plain glass chimneys from http://www.oillam... They also carry straight glass chimneys that are considerably more robust than the regular oil lamp chimneys.

Mike
B)
 
garybt3

Quote

wulfheir wrote:
Thanks Gary,
I've done 3 roasts with it so far. I have used 1/2 cup of beans each time. I like the idea of lengthening the air slots, however, I will probably hold off for awhile. I've been trying to limit the number of variables while I get more familiar with the process.

EDIT: Where would I find a cheap glass hurricane chimney?


I got a whole box of them for $1. @ a yard sale, last year ;)

I've been using the same one for almost a year...don't clean it, the *patina* is not a problem, the roasting bulb stays pretty clean due to the bean agitation...

I've got a BIG rubbermaid *tote* box full of sacrificed popper parts...
PM me if you need a roasting chamber...heater, or whatever!
I've also collected about 3 dozen or so poppers, tested, working and in storage...just in case they disappear forever....Shock

Gary *I'm telling you guys, widening the slots of a Pumper has a greater effect than anything else I've ever tried....*

I don't use extension cords anymore...don't need them ;-) You HAVE to use an extended roasting chamber...the loft is so good, that the beans will shoot out as they lighten up, and a soup can chimney isn't tall enough... ( Nothing like hot coffee beans spitting out all over the place! ) On the + side, 95% of the chaff is blown out during roasting..

The Pumpers seem to have the best *stock* fans... ;)They really respond to a simple 5 minute mod....

If only I did not have to go to work, think of how much I could accomplish...B)
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. Groucho Marx

Check out: http://garybt3.go...s.com/home
 
wulfheir
Gary, I'd like to see a pic of the slot widened. If you can post a pic, that'd be great.
 
Ascholten
gary one comment. Im sure you know this but ANY dirt oil finger prints etc on that bulb will shorten its life, cause it to distort / melt and eventually shatter and burn out. Make sure you keep it very clean for longest life. A wipe and some iso alcohol will work wonders for cleaning it just make sure it's dry before you turn it on Grin

Aaron
Bean there Done that, donated the T-shirt to the Church of the Second crack.... St Beanyface
 
garybt3

Quote

Ascholten wrote:
gary one comment. Im sure you know this but ANY dirt oil finger prints etc on that bulb will shorten its life, cause it to distort / melt and eventually shatter and burn out. Make sure you keep it very clean for longest life. A wipe and some iso alcohol will work wonders for cleaning it just make sure it's dry before you turn it on Grin

Aaron


Aaron,
I have roasted on average 2 to 3 #'s a week about 5 oz at a time, for the last year or so with the same hurricane chimney! I have roasted as much as 10 batches, back to back, rotating 5 Pumpers, and using the same chimney for each roast. I simply use a pair of leather work gloves, remove the chimney, dump and cool the beans either onto a giant perforated pizza pan, or into my *turbo* shop-vac bean cooler!
I've never cleaned it! It gets handled a lot! There's no sign of cracking ect. Maybe the patina of oil residue is keeping it together GrinGrin

I tried high temp silicone on a pumper with good results for about 3 months, then I removed it when I was servicing the popper, (blowing out chaff, divots spiders) and never 'glued' it back on. The chimney stays put until I remove it to dump the beans to cool. I use a piece of molding that gives me about 3/4" tilt, and I have not had a problem with it falling out ever.

Gary ;)
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. Groucho Marx

Check out: http://garybt3.go...s.com/home
 
Mike
Gary,

>I have roasted as much as 10 batches, back to back, rotating 5 Pumpers, and using the same chimney for each roast< s:1 s:1

Now I feel like even more of a "fumble fingers". Shock I think I got one to last about a month one time. I have had good luck with the straight 3" chimneys though.

Mike
B)
 
David

Quote

wulfheir wrote:
Where would I find a cheap glass hurricane chimney?



A "glass chimey" for a lamp is not expensive.
They go for a buck or two in the glassware section of most second-hand stores -- Goodwill, Salvation Army. They're either in stock or not, but I find them about half the time.

If you want a real fancy, schmancy one, look for a 'hurricane" lantern glass/globe/cylinder. They are heavier duty and more costly. And may not fit. http://www.oillam...age12.html

The catch is that poppers vary in the diameter of their chambers and/or the heat-proof plastic that surrounds it. Not that I have any direct experience with @#$#% mismatches: not that I have about six extra lanterns down in the shop, not that I have ever been seen in the glassware aisle in Goodwill with a popper under my arm or a tape measure in my hand. Nope, not me. ;)


"Measure twice, cut once."
Edited by David on 04/26/2006 10:30 PM
 
Mike
David,

I was wondering who the other guy must have been,

>not that I have ever been seen in the glassware aisle in Goodwill with a popper under my arm or a tape measure in my hand.<

The ladies gave me a knowing look then the crazy sign and mouthed "another one" to each other when they thought I wasn't looking. ;)

This is the one that I have used for the last year or so:
www.oillampman.com/webpage/ch310.gif
also from oillampaman.com a little further down the page.
I recently made a trade with an individual for one of the pyrex 3" baking tubes. An added advantage to the pyrex that I hadn't forseen is that it has exceptional thermal insulation properties. I noticed the SSR indication (heater circuit) on my roaster is cycling a little less frequently.

Mike
B)
Edited by Mike on 04/26/2006 11:39 PM
 
David
I heard that the lady who gave you the "knowing look" moonlights over at the adult novelty shop.

Shock

s:4



s:8 s:8 s:8

s:5

s:3


Delete this if you want to, Bro. Grin
 
garybt3

Quote

wulfheir wrote:
Gary, I'd like to see a pic of the slot widened. If you can post a pic, that'd be great.


I'll try to get around to opening up a stock pumper, then snapping a few pics, step by step, this weekend.:)

I've just spent 5+ hours removing a 15+ year old tree stump from our new garden site.... I'm so glad that I did not try to wrap a chain around it and yank it out with my PU truck, as 3 large roots found thier way under the base of the stone wall. That would have been a bad thing...Shock

I'm taking a break from that, while I'm waiting for the local Sears tech to come out and repair my mower deck while it's still under warranty s:2 the idler wheel siezed up, and started smoking the fan belt. It was HOT to the touch s:3 and I should have known better s:3 but I had immediate conformation of the problem Grin


It's such a nice 74 F day today...
Slurping up a 50/50 cup of Java Djampit and Yirg DP in my little Yama.
life is good c:1
Need to roast tonight....
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. Groucho Marx

Check out: http://garybt3.go...s.com/home
 
garybt3

Quote

wulfheir wrote:
Gary, I'd like to see a pic of the slot widened. If you can post a pic, that'd be great.


I finally got some free time, and got around to making up a slot widening guide...

Check out: http://garybt3.go...s.com/home

The link is at the bottom of the page: How to modify a Popcorn Pumper

sorry that it took soooo long!
Gary
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. Groucho Marx

Check out: http://garybt3.go...s.com/home
 
garybt3
Bump

s:5

Gary...wondering what to roast, tonight (in my wide slot Pumpers, of course)
c:1
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. Groucho Marx

Check out: http://garybt3.go...s.com/home
 
Paul
Gotta try a Popper mod!
 
DavidG
Garybt3,

Thank you for your clear and wonderful instructions, and for maintaining your googlepages site. I have a 1250 Popcorn Pumper downstairs that is just asking for a fin-job!

Great work, and a really great how-to.

DavidG
europiccola | yama + coryrod | chemex | AP | clever
wbp1 | wepp1 | bm/hg | co hybrid (still coming soon...)
 
seedlings
I have a roasting friend with a small army of pumpers. He loves them - probably has a dozen.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
dja
I lucked onto one of the pyrex baking tubes some time ago holding onto it with greedy fingers waiting on the time and the rest of the stuff to make a roaster out of it.

mines almost 4 inches in Diameter
I pour Iron and roast Coffee BeansThumbsUp
If life seems normal your not going fast enough Mario Andrette
 
Omega
It's too bad that the links in the OP are dead, now. I'm attempting to mod a Popcorn Pumper and could use a few pics and diagrams to help out.
 
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