[Homeroast] Using a Variac to control a GeneCafe

Gary Raabe themaxman9106 at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 17 19:55:37 CDT 2011

I used a variac with the Gene in the past. I just wanted to tell you, if you don't have a Kill-A-Watt there is another way.
My variac has a "duplex" outlet on it meaning, I can plug two items into it. I use an inexpensive volt meter to monitor the voltage at the outlet of the variac. I made a simple cord for this purpose from an old lampcord I had cut off of something. It had the plug molded into one end. I just stopped by my local Radio Shack and picked up a pair of post connectors and installed them on the end of the wires. I plug the wire into one of the variac outlets and plug the post connectors into the volt meter and watch the voltage that way. You can get volt meters really cheap these days. I've seen digital ones for $5 or less.
Also, I don't know how true it is but I was told it's not good to boost the voltage too far. It's bad on the heating element. I always used 123 volts as my upper limit.
Happy Roasting!
From: esprcorn at hotmail.com
To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 08:30:38 -0400
Subject: [Homeroast] Using a Variac to control a GeneCafe

I have access to Variac's so I thought I might give them a shot to control my Gene CAfe. I understand that power fluctuations at the outlet are common and can make a significant difference in controlling your roast profile's conistency.
So... My Variac's can be set to 120V or 140V. I imagine I would want to use 120V. 
Second questions. From there, I can set my Variac from 0 to 100%. As wall outlet are supposed to provide 120V, am I correct in that I would set it to 100% and then plug in the old GeneCafe? I'd rather not fry my GeneCafe if possible... :)
Thanks in advance,


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