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West Bend Air Crazy
I picked one of these up over the weekend for $20 bucks. Not a bad little machine for the money. Only problem I have is the roasts will stall at first crack. I popped off the thermostat and now get rolling 2nd at 4 minutes. Whats a decent dimmer to use for heat control?
Ive no experience with popper mods but when I do, after splitting the heat from the motor, i plan to use a router speed controller on the heat. And an Lm 317 on the motor, but only because i have one on hand already in a project box. And because i havent seen it done before. I certainly cant afford a variac.
Bad coffee prevails when good coffee roasters stand by and do nothing.
Once the circuits are split, lots of us use a router speed control from Harbor Freight. I find that it sometimes overheats even if I have it mounted on a heat sink of sorts. Perhaps I need to find a higher quality device or just come up with a better heat sink.

The alternate is low-tech digital control (i.e. the digits at the end of your hand). Often, I just simply switch a rocker switch back and forth to drive the time/temp I want. Really, this is because I am not smart enough to understand how to use/hook up an SSR or other controller. Grin

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I just put this little SCR in place of the thermostat ( with a little wiring extension)

its barely gotten warm( 4000w is a bit overkill, but the price was right). seems like a more suitable device than the HF router control to me. the neutral connections on this are just bridged to each other, so I just ignore them. i was going to grab a project enclosure from Radio Shack, but I had a 4sq box sitting around, so that worked.

from my measurements, I can go from about 100 to just over 500 deg.

I've got a PID, SSR , thermocouple and a couple of heat guns waiting for the next project.

also, in looking a bit more , this 2000w model could potentially be crammed inside the housing of an Air Crazy...... might just have to mod another one. as a backup , just in case.

I modded out that model and a poppery II using this guys website as a guide.


The circuitry is very similar, and I just used a regular light dimmer from home depot, worked fine until I left the heat on and melted the popper.
Edited by allenb on 01/12/2013 2:35 PM
I've also modified the Poppery II and Air Crazy with that blog post as a guide. The Poppery II worked great. The Air Crazy was underpowered but I just found yesterday that the Air Crazy has an inner loop coil that I didn't even notice before so I've wired that one in parallel with the big coil like I did on the Poppery II. Hopefully the heat should be better now.

I'm also trying to figure out the RPMs of the motor inside the Air Crazy. I figured if I could find a quieter fan motor then it would be much easier to hear first and second cracks.

I got one of these, its labeled as a "Culinair by DPI". Got it off ebay for 20 bucks, new in the box. It has an on/off switch, and the circuitry is a little different, the DC fan is on a circuit board and the thermoswitch has been replaced with a modular one that is strapped to the side of the roast chamber with a metal band.

I was curious if anyone has used one of these with a more powerfull blower, and just remove the little DC fan altogether. I was thinking of putting one together with the heat coils in line to an SCR/PID unit I have and run a shop vac off the top witrh a glass roast chamber or through the bottom with the shop vac running as a blower.

Just curious if anyone has any idea which would be better, running the shop vac off the top as a vacume or from underneath as a blower?
atsa lot a pizza pie, mozzerella too
peperroni, provalone
atsa matta u?

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