I'm nearing 5 years on my Stir Crazy / Sunpentown SO-2000. The thermostat failed, so I bypassed it and use a router speed controller for much finer control of the heat element. And the wire inside the power cord broke where it enters the case, so I had to cut out the bad section and crimp on new connectors. Now works as good as new.
Between the fine temperature control, data-logging (Tenma 72-7712), and 5 years of weekly roasts, it seems that over the last year my roasts have been rapidly improving and approaching mid to high end commercial quality. The only thing I feel missing is better agitation for a more even roast.
But fear of going through a learning curve with a new roaster will probably keep me fixing this one as long as possible...
We have roasted almost 500 lbs on one of our co/ufos. No failures up to this point. Variaced, split wired with Fluke measured BT and ET allows achieving the desired profile 98% of the time. My Behmor is convenient but very lacking in control so a 2#, possibly 5#, bbq roaster is under construction.
A CO reunion! The early days of the concept sure were fun times. I still think the tops are a great heat source. My Galloping Gourmet top has been going strong for just about 5 year and well over a 1000lbs. I recently added the ability to measure the BT RoR (rate of rise) and really like it. This is the monitoring setup with BT, ET on the dual display datalogger, BT RoR on the DMM, countup timer and a kill-a-wattt meter for variac voltage
gime2much Senior Member Joined: 10 Dec 2004 Posts: 1,965 Location: Sunny S Fl Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Pavoni, Astoria comm, 2... Grinder: La Pavoni Zip, Bunn... Drip: Bunn comm Roaster: Popcorn popper (air),co/ufo
Posted Sat Jul 10, 2010, 10:15am Subject: Re: Stir-Crazy vs. Salton UFO Popper
Drill a hole just large enough to allow a 20ga k-type thermocouple in the UFO(or Stir Crazy) at the junction of the side and the base. I like the 20ga as it is stiff.enough to remain in position. My ET is measured by a probe thermocouple inserted thru a hole in the spacer about 2" above the beans.
Rewiring the element direct to a variac with the thermostat bypassed and the fan wired to a light dimmer will give all the control necessary but monitoring and recording is the key to repeatability.
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