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I-Roast 2
Gunshy
I am the unhappy owner of an I-Roast 2 roaster. It stopped on me i.e., completely shutdown. Hearthware is no help. Has anyone done any repairs on these units or possibly a re-build.

Gunshy
 
hazbean
The iR2 has some different ways of shutting down, so it would
be good if you could describe the circumstances in which it
shuts down. For example, if you use it too soon after previous use,
it will shut down due to thermal cutout -- but will normally be fine
if you try again the following day. I've had one cut out when the
internal "calibration" resistor worked loose, but that shouldn't happen
unless you are trying to modify it (as I was).

If it is in the warranty period, and you are using it within conservative
operating parameters such as no more than once per day; 100 to 150g
load; stopping if the beans smoke too much; then keep nagging at HW
and your retailer for a bit longer, they should replace it.

If not, and you want to have a try at rebuilding it, then you may
find useful some investigation I did when mine started "half working".
There are pictures at
http://picasaweb....Dissection
and a thread at
http://coffeesnob...1237720067
There is also an interesting thread here
http://tinyurl.co...
with more pictures and info on how it works, and putting
controllers on heater and fan. If I can figure out how to
fix the element on mine, I'll give that a go (one day ...).

(Edit: Made the links clickable. JD)
Edited by John Despres on 08/28/2009 8:06 AM
 
Gunshy
hazbean,
Tks, for the info. The conditions under which the unit shut down was; roasting the first roast that day (only roast once per day - 1 - 2 times per week, less than recommended load, cleaned exhaust vent, etc. Nothing appeared out of normal operating conditions.

Right now, I am looking at a Gene Cafe roaster. Actually, I have two I-Roasters (one bought at full price and the other that Hearthware provided as a replacement for the original base that failed). The second failed in 13 months. I have started to trouble-shoot both of them. One, I found the hot wire connection at the printed circuit board had overheated and broke the solder connection. I repaired this but something else is wrong, since this didn't fix the problem.

Thanks, for the links. I will use them for the trouble-shooting exercise. I am tempted to tear one of the I-Roasters apart and draw up a schematic of the circuitry to do a thorough evaluation and subsequent repair. Actually, plan to do an reverse engineering on the thing. From what I have experienced concerning the reliability of these units, it appears that there is a business opportunity out there to repair these types of units.

Again, thanks for the info.

Gunshy
 
clearchris
Well, if you take the plunge by taking apart the IRoast, hazbeen and I are the only ones I'm aware of to have taken apart the IR2 and survived to post about it.

What specifically is wrong with the IRoast? Can you turn it on? Does the fan work? Does the IRoast get hot? Does the LCD work?
 
seedlings
Sorry, but I have zero experience with the I-roast. Great to see some new members helping each other out!

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
Gunshy
Ok, Clearchris and Hasbeen, I am open to anything. Actually, I have two I-Roast (I-Roast and I-Roast 2) The I-Roast 2 was in the state of roasting (about 4 minutes into the roast when it shut down. I tried to restart the next day but no activity. The unit's fan is not working, no heat and the Led screen is blank - basically, a total shutdown.

The other I-Roast's Led screen functions, fan blows but only get a "medium" heat output.

Whichever one you think has the potential for a repair, I am open to tearing it down and working throught the electronics.

Tks.

Gunshy

Dave
 
hazbean
Total shutdown sounds bad, no idea what could be wrong there.

However your medium heat output could be a partial heating element
failure, as I wrote about in my second link above. That may be repairable
with a screw or crimp connection (as suggested in that thread).

In fact, I got mine out again a couple of days ago with a view to figuring
out how to do such a repair. Only to find that the other heating element
now has a break in it. The idea of attempting two repairs on nichrome
coils is I think an exercise in futility, so won't be doing that. As
does the idea of trying to replace the elements -- four crimp
connections on a rather fragile substrate doesn't appeal either. The
HW idea of "spare parts" is a replacement base at about 80% of the
cost of a new unit. Can't help but compare this to GeneCafe where a
new heater costs about $US30 and I have a spare on hand just in case.

However noting a strong resemblance between the iR heating element and
a popper heating element, I'm thinking about installing one. I think
power ratings are similar (iR2 is 1200W IIRC). And combine that with
disconnecting the electronics, and putting the heater and fan on
separate external controllers. The Johnson motor in it is pretty
effective, and I like the design of the top for how it circulates the
beans and collects chaff. IMHO its control algorithms are a bugbear
anyway -- it does its own thing for the first couple of minutes
regardless of setting, making any sort of drying phase impossible; and
most of them run too hot so roasting is too fast in the final stages.
So I might have a go at that one day.

Hello clearchris, good to see you here, it was your CG thread that
inspired me to pull the thing to bits in the first place. Is yours
still going?


best wishes hazbean
 
clearchris
Hazbeen: Good to see you too. I got a chuckle a few days ago when I saw your post calling me a "true hero" over on CS. I'm glad someone took the info and ran with it. I admit, I did feel somewhat heroic after getting the roaster working again. ;)

If you want to repair/replace the nichrome wire, you might go over to reprap.org, those guys are nichrome gurus. Alternately, you could probably salvage one from a popcorn popper as you mentioned. Crimps don't worry me much after seeing that most home wiring (at least in the US) is held together with twist on wire nuts. I'd just make sure the new nichrome can handle as much or more wattage as the previous wire.

Woo, I just found a deliciously dangerous solution! Borax to the rescue!

http://www.heating-element-alloy.com/commercial_heating_elements.html

I'd probably go the high-temp crimp route. But I'd sure be tempted to put the borax to use.

If you do replace the brains of the ir2, I'd take out the timer/lcd board and try to interface to the board with the relays on it. It would probably save a whole lot of work. Also let me know if you start work on it, I'd be very interested in that, and I might have some code to donate to the cause if you use an arduino.

Gunshy:
It sounds like your IR1 has a burnt nichrome coil similar to hazbeen's.

Now on the IR2, if I were to guess, either the power cord is bad, your blew a fuse, the power IC blew, or your LCD/controller died. I'd be hoping for a bad power cord. Do you wrap the cord tight when not in use?

If I were in this situation, I'd probably take a flier and replace the cord on the IR2. If that didn't work, I'd consider swapping out the heating element assembly of the IR2 onto the IR1. That should (assuming they are compatible) get you a working IR1, and time to work on figuring out what's wrong with the IR2.

Of course, standard disclaimers about burning your house down apply.

Let us know what you choose to do!
Edited by clearchris on 09/07/2009 4:17 PM
 
Gunshy
Hasbean & Clearchris,
Hey, thanks for the info. I will dig into the links sent earlier + your recent inputs. I am thinking that the I-Roast 2's total failure is a power supply related problem due to total failure.

I will let you all know how things are working out.

Gunshy
 
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