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what size variac for the behmor?
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Burd
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Burd
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Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 6:20pm
Subject: what size variac for the behmor?
 

just looking to see the size variac people are using (if any).  is it as crucial as people are saying to get the same roasts on different days?  i can see how the different voltage in the house outlets can and would make a difference, it is pulling a load to light up the elements.  before i order the unit i want to make sure all my bases are covered.  i love my i-roast 1 but would like to give drum roasting a shot as it looks like the behmor doesnt speed through the stages as fast and will give me more of a chance to send it to cool cycle (let me know if im wrong here or not, ive never worked a drum type roaster)

thanks in advance for your reply

Alex
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Burd
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Burd
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Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 6:29pm
Subject: Re: what size variac for the behmor?
 

** forgot to add **

i see its 1630 watts and 15 amps but do i need 15 amp or a higher rated one like a 20 amp?  all this electrical stuff may as well be in a foreign language cause i know nothing about electricity requirements and all the other goodies that go along with it.

Please stop my head from spinning with all these numbers!!  like they say "its greek to me" :P

thanks again

Alex
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PJK
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Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 9:25pm
Subject: Re: what size variac for the behmor?
 

Hi Alex,

At 1630 Watts you are very close to 15 amps.  You might get get by with a 15 amp unit but a 20 amp Variac is more conservative.  Back  a few years back folks were buying 500 VA cheap Chinese variable transformers and "over fusing" them.  That practice always gave me the Willies but they got by.  When the poor thing would expire after a short life they would complain that they were "cheap Chinese junk".  My guess is that they would have had a decent life if used within their ratings.

Phil


Burd Said:

** forgot to add **

i see its 1630 watts and 15 amps but do i need 15 amp or a higher rated one like a 20 amp?  all this electrical stuff may as well be in a foreign language cause i know nothing about electricity requirements and all the other goodies that go along with it.

Please stop my head from spinning with all these numbers!!  like they say "its greek to me" :P

thanks again

Alex

Posted June 11, 2012 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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rgrosz
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Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 7:10am
Subject: Re: what size variac for the behmor?
 

I am thinking about a variac for the Behmor too.

But now I am not sure it will really do much for me. Please read this older CG thread - LOTS of excellent discussion of the pros and cons.

 
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Burd
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Burd
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Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 8:47am
Subject: Re: what size variac for the behmor?
 

rgrosz,

Thanks for that link.  Some real good reading on what NOT to do with a variac :)  I would be keeping it at a solid and steady 120 no higher no lower.  This way each use will be running with the same power input.  I'm looking for a repeatable cycle each use.

PJK,

Not so sure I want to take that nasty risk of over fusing it like the folks you mentioned.  I think you're right about if it was used correctly they would most likely be using it still.  The link rgrosz posted has someone in there that bought one from a CG member 7 years ago and its still working well.  As for the amp rating, after your post i think I'm going to go for the 20 amp model.  I will have plenty room above the 15 amps its rated at.  I like my house and don't relish the thought of burning it down cause I was cheap and saved a few bucks.

Thank you both for your posts.  Sure helped me decide on the model to go with.

Alex
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Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:27am
Subject: Re: what size variac for the behmor?
 

I've been using an 18 amp Variac (actual General Radio Variac brand) with my Behmor from pretty much day one. I tend to keep my roast voltage as tight as I can between 118-120v, and get very consistent results. You definitely want the headroom of the higher current rating. Had a 15 amp Chinese one originally from working on tube amps, and it wasn't up to the task on days when local power was less than optimal. I've never had a problem with the 18 amp unit.
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infinus
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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2012, 9:30am
Subject: Re: what size variac for the behmor?
 

If you get a good quality variac 15 amps is enough and will last you a long time. If you get a chinese built variac, you'll definitely need the 20, but regardless of what you get (it could be 400 amps) it WILL fail (might be days, might be a year or two).

If you want the nitty gritty on why, lookup David Riddle and his ebay store. He sells variacs on ebay with a lifetime warranty. He rebuilds them himself. Call him up and ask him about the chinese branded ones, he'll give you an honest opinion and tell you exactly what they do not do in their manufacturing that causes them to fail.

If you are serious about wanting one to use I highly recommend David Riddle's ebay store. Through him it's a one time investment and you'll be set.
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rgrosz
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Roaster: HotTop B-2K, Behmor
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2012, 11:52am
Subject: Re: what size variac for the behmor?
 

infinus Said:

If you are serious about wanting one to use I highly recommend David Riddle's ebay store. Through him it's a one time investment and you'll be set.

Posted June 14, 2012 link

Thanks for the recommendation. I see he has an item labeled as "USA MADE COFFEE BEAN ROASTER ROASTING VARIAC TEMPERATURE CONTROL FRENCH ROAST".

A bit pricey at $220. Too bad it is only 10 amps / 1400 watts.

 
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oldgearhead
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Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 4:03am
Subject: Re: what size variac for the behmor?
 

There are three different types of varible-autotransformers available:
1) No boost - they can only lower the voltage.
2) 10% boost (usually from China) - the will boost your 106v to 116v.
3) 17% boost - they will boost your 106v to 124V.

Reguardless of the boost, be sure and get one big enough for the task.
btw - Superior Electric/Powerstats are the very best...
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rgrosz
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Joined: 4 Mar 2010
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Capresso...
Vac Pot: Yama 5, Yama 8
Drip: TechniVorm, Hario
Roaster: HotTop B-2K, Behmor
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 5:33am
Subject: Re: what size variac for the behmor?
 

I had hoped to get one that did not cost as much as the Behmor itself!

 
Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee)
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