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Presto Poplite Popper: Mod
My name is Kurt. I am new to the scene of roasting. I have started my endeavors with the Presto Poplite Popper. I have had a hard time finding the side fan blower poppers (like the Poppery I, & II) that were rated over 1040 watts, and could only find the bottom screen poppers @ 1400 watts or more. I bought a Presto Poplite and roasted around 6 (1/2cup) batches ( Ethiopian Yirgacheffe) unmodified, which actually turned out really nice.

I decided I wanted more control and longer roasts so I modified it with a 1500 watt slide dimmer for the heating coils and a regular 600 watt knob dimmer for the fan connected through a radio shack 25.2v (2.0 amp) transformer http://www.radios...Id=2102703. I placed an instant read dial thermometer to measure the temperature and added a hurricane lamp chimney that I bought from Good Will, as I had too many beans hopping out with the plastic popper lid. I also added some bolts to the bottom to help lean the roaster back to help with bean agitation. I have roasted 4 (1/2 cup) batches with great success since completion of the mod. Each roast I stopped just as they entered the second crack. My first roast was around 12:30 minutes. I had one today at 16:00 minutes including cooling time (outside temp 35 f). I like that I can just cut the heat element and run the fan as it cools the beans quickly, especially in this temperature.

I always take every thing off the cookie sheet before I plug in my control box. I use the sheet to pour the cooled beans out on to help continue in cooling. Just roasted some Brazil Sweet Yellow Bourbon today.

Thanks for any feed back
My wife gave me a poplite for Christmas. I'm interested in modding it to create the best environment for roasting, but am unsure about the electronics. Could you possibly provide some details as to how you connected the switches and installed the thermometer? Thanks for the insight!
Here's the area with lots of that info to cruise through. Find the topic that best suits your needs, and fire off some specific questions. You'll get plenty of help! -Scott

I can post some more detailed pictures some time later. The slider dimmer I have seen has since been out of stock but it works really well. Hope they come back in stock because that was the cheapest dimmer I found online rated at 1500 watts.
Kurt Hulst

Equipment: Modified Presto Poplite roaster, Modified Stir Crazy, Saeco Aroma espresso machine, Ascaso i-3 Mini espresso grinder.
Robert H
thanks for sharing your stop Kurt. I'm working on a Poplite myself. When you separated the fan and heater how did you wire the heater coils afterwards? There are three leads, White feeding one side of the coils, red the other and black the center tap between the coils that feeds one side of the motor.

So far I have just cut and taped back the (black) motor lead. However, I am not getting the heat I did before the mod. even if I slow the fan way down I can only get about 160 F in the chamber. increasing the fan speed just enough to move the beans and temp drops to 120 F.

I pulled everything apart and reconnected the heater so that I could observe the coils under power (briefly!) and only the small inner coil heats up. I'm assuming that the larger, outer coil is the primary element and that removing the motor has changed the balance of current flowing through the coils. It may have set off the the little thermostat/resistor circuit that is in the heater. I plan to try two things. 1. disconnect the red lead and attach that leg of the AC to the black lead powering only the large coil and see how that works. 2. The other is to take the thermostat circuit out all together.

any comments/feedback?

Robert H
I got the wiring sorted out and will document on a new thread. :)
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