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Poppery I Heat Control
prometheusluomenos
I'm sure there are a million other threads that cover this, but I'm struggling to understand how to improve my poppery.

I've been using a Poppery I for a few years now, and I''ve never been satisfied with heat control. I'd used a Harbor Freight speed control, but I cam to really hate the tangle of wires that seemed to always be in my way.

Then I switched to a lamp dimmer that was small enough that I could attatch it to the housing of the roaster by simply drilling a hole for the dial. But naturally I burned out several dimmers and so I'm tired of that.

Will something like this work to control the heat:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC-110-220V-2000W-SCR-Voltage-Regulator-Dimmer-Speed-Temperature-Controller-/381829474060?hash=item58e6cf670c:gGrinX4AAMXQh8NTdcK2

Separately, can anyone explain the importance of controlling fan speed? I've always run a batch size of 150g, which is as much as I can get moving. Is it important to turn the fan down after the drying phase has decreased the weight? I would love more fan power to increase the batch size, but I can't tell if the high cost of a Variac really would be worth it.

Thanks!
 
BenKeith
I think fan speed mainly comes into play when you are trying to overload the heating element and have to reduce the fan speed so it can get hot enough to take the beans to your finishing temp. or when you are trying to do smaller roast to reduce the amount of bean movement. To much air can suck too much moisture out of the beans. To the point you can see light roast with as much as 18% weight loss. If you use the same volume of beans everytime and it's what the roaster can take to the end of roast temp, you probably have no need to control the fan speed. Some like to slow the beans down when reach the end of FC. Others have to manually stir greens beans until the roaster can move them on their own so they don't have too much movement at the end.

Looking at your reference, it's just another dimmer. If you have a dimmer that will handle the load, I see no need in changing. You have to remember, just because you are running a 1,500 watt heating element, doesn't mean you need a 1,500 controller, unless you plan to turn the heat all the way off with it. All you need is a dimmer that will handle the amount of power you plan on reducing. If you never drop your heat more than 50%, a 1,000 watt dimmer should do fine and have a little fudge factor.
Edited by BenKeith on 11/01/2016 7:26 PM
 
allenb
Hi Prom, the SCR dimmer units you linked to are usually under heat sinked so the 2000 watt unit should be a good fit for a 1500 watt heater load. Many have had success with them at full rated load as long as they add forced air cooling across the heat sink.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with a fan speed control on a popper. As BK mentioned, too much air can cause development issues with a roast but I can't see a popper ever over doing the air to that point and as you mentioned, usually they need more versus less.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
prometheusluomenos
The problem with my old dimmers was either bulk (the router control) or burning them out (lamp dimmer), so I think the 2000 watt unit will be more reliable yet small enough to fit inside the popper casing without needing a separate control box.

"the SCR dimmer units you linked to are usually under heat sinked so the 2000 watt unit should be a good fit for a 1500 watt heater load. Many have had success with them at full rated load as long as they add forced air cooling across the heat sink."

Thanks Allen--that helps. My plan is to drill a hole through the body to thread the dimmer dial through, meaning the fan itself will be pulling cold air across the heat sink on its way to the heating element.
 
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