The latest update is that, unfortunately, we won’t have a supply of the Popper coffee roaster until after the holidays. We tried to get it here. But the priority in manufacturing and shipping favors big appliance brands. A small project is put last.
We are also looking on fan motor upgrade kits, which can bring a Popper back to life from the verge and/or extend its useful life. More details on that to come…
We have had some issues with the Fan Motor in some units. Here’s how you know if it’s happening to yours!
We have had some issues with the fan motor failing to turn at a constant speed. It has cropped up in about 30 roasters (out of 1800 units or so!).
It seems to happen after 30-50 roasts or more, which is why our QC team didn’t catch it. This video demonstrates the sound of a good fan motor and a bad one, and tells you what to do to get roasting again!
If you’re Popper roaster starts sounding like the Defect Unit I show in this video, STOP using it though! And email firstname.lastname@example.org for more…
A very basic video about making and testing Popper, the air coffee roaster.
Here’s a video to show a few early versions of the machine, and some aspects I had to deal with in getting this project completed.
I don’t think this is a video of general interest so please don’t expect much, and the quality isn’t great. I was trying to move the camera phone around to show details and didn’t always do a great job. Ugh.
Also I need to make it clear that you shouldn’t do what I do here, because opening up the machine voids the warranty against manufacturer defect. I made the video to provide some background details only, and show how I test temperatures.
Some things I go over here are
A look at an early prototype
Location of the thermal cutout switch that protects Popper from overheating
When I have a unit that turns off before reaching dark roasts, how i move the thermal cutout switch upward to solve the issue.
How I use a thermometer to probe the bean mass
Show a bare version with probe locations for input air and bean temperatures
Deconstruct (partially) a Popper to show how it’s put together
Talk about the unit that easily roasted 140 grams, and why I couldn’t get it built that way 😢
PS – this is in my workshop space where I store the pallets of Popper, hence the motorbikes and cars and such.
We wanted to create a coffee roaster, one that was a lot like a popcorn popper from the ‘70s.We didn’t want to think up any new design, or new roast method. We wanted to take what works, the air popcorn popper, and roll it back to the way it was 30 years ago.
So we took an old vintage air popper machine we bought at a thrift store in the ‘90s for $4, and sent it to China. We sent it to the factory that still makes air poppers, and asked if they could make one just like that. They said they could.
They sent us back a prototype machine. It looked just like the popper we sent them. Actually it was the popper we sent them, but they added 2 knobs to the front.
From then it was a long (and actually pretty boring) back and forth between Oakland and the factory.
There’s more to tell… but we are trying to drag out the story and make more “content” out of this.