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Date: 15 May 2007 15:28:41
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Take it apart - put it back - voila
Do you ever get suspicious when something gets fixed
just by taking it apart and putting it back together?

Friday night I got a frantic call about a Diedrich
IRC-12 (regulars here will know which one I'm talking
about) that had been flaming out, but then lighting
back up with a flick of the gas switch off and on.
Then after a while, the flame started going out, and
then coming back on, going out, lighting back up...
leaving a load of Java just past 1st crack, without
any sign that it would ever get hot enough to finish
the load.

The roaster's first thought was something wrong with
the spark system, so was "looking" at the ignitor
assembly(*), and in pulling the push-on connectors from
the "spark plug" pins, managed to pull the wire out of
one of them. He says it was somewhat discolored and
brittle. He stuck an alligator clip up in there in
a makeshift manner to try to get some spark going,
but apparently the ignitor would either spark for three
seconds and stop, or just keep sparking forever,
without ever igniting the pilot. He tried moving the
electrode(s) closer to the pilot, but then the spark
was going directly to the top of the pilot "T" instead
of where it would be able to ignite any gas. He also
said that he didn't know whether it made any difference
which wire went to which pin, and that he didn't know
whether he'd ended up switching them from where they'd
been before. That's about the time he gave up.

(*) This is in the space between/above the two ceramic
burners; accessed from the control side panel and then
under the near side burner, and up between the two
burners. About a 4" access panel, a 3" space under the
burners, and a 2" space between the burners means that
unless you have the hands of a 5-year-old, you WILL be
uttering profanities under your breath, or even having
them erupt unexpectedly.

When I got there Sunday, the alligator clip was still
in place, but there was no spark at all. I removed the
alligator, and cut half the plastic off a 12 ga. butt
connector and tried it on the ignitor pin to make sure
it was snug, then crimped it on the "broken" wire, and
slid it into the insulator tube/onto the pin. (If this
all sounds very smooth and straightforward, rest assured
it isn't.) Good spark. No ignition. Gas? Cobbled
together a wooden stir stick into a plastic straw to be
able to get a flame back to the pilot through the side
window I'd removed, and it lit, so it was just a matter
of fine-tuning the position of the spark to get ignition.

As those of you familiar with Diedrichs know, there's
a vacuum sensor interlock so if either the blower door
or the chaff door are open (or clogged passageways),
the gas shuts off. In checking this as a possible
cause of the original problem, I noticed when I pushed
the blower door with my knee that it still had 1/8" or
so before it was solidly closed... but this didn't
prevent the flame from lighting (even though it very
probably "should" have... and now that I think about
it, I have no idea where the shutter was positioned at
the time).

I hate fixing something and not knowing exactly
what it was that caused the problem initially. I have
to assume that it was low vacuum when the shutter was
in the bin position, or poor connection at the ignitor/
sensor. I don't think these two factors really have
any way of being cumulative/interactive.

My best guess is really for the latter, *assuming*
the "discolored and brittle" wire at the connector was
probably making intermittent contact, or had maybe
become a high-resistance connection.

Have any of you roasters experienced similar
ignition problems? Diedrich owners, have you had
vacuum or ignition problems that exhibited these sorts
of symptoms?

In looking for the answer, and for future reference
for the 4 people or so here who have Diedrichs, this
might have been nice to have ahead of time,
http://www.diedrichroasters.com/techfaqs.html




 
Date: 16 May 2007 09:40:24
From: DavidMLewis
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
On May 15, 1:08 pm, Barry Jarrett <b...@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:
> On Tue, 15 May 2007 15:28:41 -0400, Steve Ackman
>
> <s...@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com> wrote:
>
> > Do you ever get suspicious when something gets fixed
> >just by taking it apart and putting it back together?
> >
>
> standard repair procedure for the MGB.
>
> :)

I notice you don't have an "Electrics by Lucas" badge on your roaster.



  
Date: 16 May 2007 19:33:25
From: Danny
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
DavidMLewis wrote:

> I notice you don't have an "Electrics by Lucas" badge on your roaster.
>

Lucas - Prince of Darkness.


--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)



 
Date: 15 May 2007 20:07:56
From: North Sullivan
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
On Tue, 15 May 2007 15:28:41 -0400, Steve Ackman
<steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com > wrote:


>it isn't.) Good spark. No ignition. Gas? Cobbled
>together a wooden stir stick into a plastic straw to be
>able to get a flame back to the pilot through the side
>window I'd removed, and it lit, so it was just a matter
>of fine-tuning the position of the spark to get ignition.
(snip)
> Have any of you roasters experienced similar
>ignition problems? Diedrich owners, have you had
>vacuum or ignition problems that exhibited these sorts
>of symptoms?
>
> In looking for the answer, and for future reference
>for the 4 people or so here who have Diedrichs, this
>might have been nice to have ahead of time,
>http://www.diedrichroasters.com/techfaqs.html


When I moved the Diedrich up from Missouri to Wisconsin, I suspect
that the position of the spark got jostled so it didn't light as
quickly as I wanted. A buddy of mine said we could fool around with
fine-tuning the position or I could blow a puff of air past the spark
to ignite. I mastered the puff of air after a couple of attempts and
it starts up readily that way. I kinda like blowing on it to get it
started. :-)

North Sullivan





  
Date: 16 May 2007 11:11:24
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
In <92mk435q2cftor3l3493023kiv3an10ch7@4ax.com >, on Tue, 15 May 2007
20:07:56 -0500, North Sullivan wrote:

> A buddy of mine said we could fool around with
> fine-tuning the position [of the spark]

That was about the easiest part of the job.

> or I could blow a puff of air past the spark
> to ignite. I mastered the puff of air after a couple of attempts and
> it starts up readily that way.

Must be a different model. This one is a ~92 and the
spark is nowhere near accessible enough to blow on
without opening the side panel and using a Krazy Straw.

> I kinda like blowing on it to get it started. :-)

You're sick. ;-)



 
Date: 15 May 2007 22:45:42
From: The Other Funk
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
Finding the keyboard operational
Steve Ackman entered:

> Do you ever get suspicious when something gets fixed
> just by taking it apart and putting it back together?
>
It is an accepted fact that sometimes equipment gets lonely and need a
little loving touch. Sometimes it feels neglected so it exacts a little toll
of pain and frustration. But once the machine feels loved, normal operation
returns.
Many moons ago, someone did write up a bunch of Murphy's Law corollaries
about machinery. Some I remember are: All connections are intermittant. Some
fail more frequently then others. Interlocks don't and will fail in the
posistion that will cause the most damage. It is possible for all
tolerences to add up in the same direction so that you have a bunch of
in-spec parts in a non-working machine. And the one I really liked -
Tapping improves accuracy..
Bob
--
--
Coffee worth staying up for - NY Times
www.moondoggiecoffee.com



  
Date: 15 May 2007 23:49:47
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila


we have a prohibition on naming equipment in the shop... any time
the staff would name something, it would break.

and no speaking ill-will in front of any piece of equipment, lest it's
feelings get hurt and it decide to shut down.



 
Date: 15 May 2007 15:33:17
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
Steve Ackman wrote:

> Do you ever get suspicious when something gets fixed
> just by taking it apart and putting it back together?
>
>

Umhumm. Last week it was a 600lb/day ice maker. It is one piece I
will call service on so I don't destroy the ozone. We both looked,
timed, cleaned, adjusted and never did figure out why it had stopped
producing ice. But after we put it back together it worked fine. Which
doesn't do us much good the next time it stops working.


> Have any of you roasters experienced similar
> ignition problems? Diedrich owners, have you had
> vacuum or ignition problems that exhibited these sorts
> of symptoms?

Not yet. But.....
>
> In looking for the answer, and for future reference
> for the 4 people or so here who have Diedrichs, this
> might have been nice to have ahead of time,
> http://www.diedrichroasters.com/techfaqs.html

Thanks for the link.
Bernie


  
Date: 16 May 2007 11:01:42
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
In <464a271d$1@nntp.zianet.com >, on Tue, 15 May 2007 15:33:17 -0600,
bernie wrote:

> Umhumm. Last week it was a 600lb/day ice maker... We both looked,
> timed, cleaned, adjusted and never did figure out why it had stopped
> producing ice.

We have a Seth Thomas "mantle" clock that stopped working.
I opened up the back, took a deep breath, and released
it as explosively as I could into the clock. Tick-tock,
tick-tock... Been working like a charm ever since.
Sometimes the problem is just dust. I imagine ice
machines manage to accumulate a lot of it.

>But after we put it back together it worked fine. Which
> doesn't do us much good the next time it stops working.

Exactly.


 
Date: 15 May 2007 20:08:17
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
On Tue, 15 May 2007 15:28:41 -0400, Steve Ackman
<steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com > wrote:

> Do you ever get suspicious when something gets fixed
>just by taking it apart and putting it back together?
>

standard repair procedure for the MGB.

:)




  
Date: 16 May 2007 10:54:52
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
In <rp4k435tedkj8tvask8eaccvlq5jeqc8c8@4ax.com >, on Tue, 15 May 2007
20:08:17 GMT, Barry Jarrett wrote:

> standard repair procedure for the MGB.

I'm glad I don't have an MGB then.


   
Date: 17 May 2007 14:24:56
From: Neal Reid
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
In article <slrnf4m6r5.6rk.steve@sorceror.wizard.dyndns.org >,
Steve Ackman <steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com > wrote:

> In <rp4k435tedkj8tvask8eaccvlq5jeqc8c8@4ax.com>, on Tue, 15 May 2007
> 20:08:17 GMT, Barry Jarrett wrote:
>
> > standard repair procedure for the MGB.
>
> I'm glad I don't have an MGB then.

No! That's at least 3/4 of the fun of owning one - the constant
state of mystery...

--
M for N in address to mail reply


    
Date: 18 May 2007 12:16:30
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
In <NealReid-1ECCEA.14245617052007@news.isp.giganews.com >, on Thu, 17
May 2007 14:24:56 -0400, Neal Reid wrote:

> No! That's at least 3/4 of the fun of owning one - the constant
> state of mystery...

Your idea of fun is obviously a lot different than
mine! Give me a job well-done, and a piece of
machinery that "just works" for years and years, and
I'm happy.

Today I had another "fun" experience. The dryer
stopped working. Multimeter said there were 87 volts
where there should be 240. Neutral to one hot was
120. Neutral to the other hot was something
ridiculously low (analog meter - no reading glasses).

Circuit breaker didn't have a nice crisp snap off
and on like it should so I figured I'd be replacing
that. Voltage at the breaker matched what was at the
outlet. Detached the wires, removed the breaker, and
flicked the breaker. SNAP! Flicked it back. SNAP!
"No, it couldn't be this easy." Put the breaker back
in the box, and now it all works.

Yeah, real fun. ;-)


     
Date: 20 May 2007 11:15:13
From: Neal Reid
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
In article <slrnf4rkcf.dea.steve@sorceror.wizard.dyndns.org >,
Steve Ackman <steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com > wrote:

> n <NealReid-1ECCEA.14245617052007@news.isp.giganews.com>, on Thu, 17
> May 2007 14:24:56 -0400, Neal Reid wrote:
>
> > No! That's at least 3/4 of the fun of owning one - the constant
> > state of mystery...
>
> Your idea of fun is obviously a lot different than
> mine! Give me a job well-done, and a piece of
> machinery that "just works" for years and years, and
> I'm happy.

What? You say this in alt.coffee? If espresso machines worked
without fiddling, how could we practice out hobby? Ya gotta have a
hobby! :-)

--
M for N in address to mail reply


      
Date: 22 May 2007 17:12:57
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
In <NealReid-4FFB9C.11151320052007@news.isp.giganews.com >, on Sun, 20
May 2007 11:15:13 -0400, Neal Reid wrote:

> What? You say this in alt.coffee? If espresso machines worked
> without fiddling, how could we practice out hobby? Ya gotta have a
> hobby! :-)

Got too many hobbies already!


     
Date: 19 May 2007 00:34:32
From: The Other Funk
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
Finding the keyboard operational
Steve Ackman entered:

> In <NealReid-1ECCEA.14245617052007@news.isp.giganews.com>, on Thu, 17
> May 2007 14:24:56 -0400, Neal Reid wrote:
>
>> No! That's at least 3/4 of the fun of owning one - the constant
>> state of mystery...
>
> Your idea of fun is obviously a lot different than
> mine! Give me a job well-done, and a piece of
> machinery that "just works" for years and years, and
> I'm happy.
>
> Today I had another "fun" experience. The dryer
> stopped working. Multimeter said there were 87 volts
> where there should be 240. Neutral to one hot was
> 120. Neutral to the other hot was something
> ridiculously low (analog meter - no reading glasses).
>
> Circuit breaker didn't have a nice crisp snap off
> and on like it should so I figured I'd be replacing
> that. Voltage at the breaker matched what was at the
> outlet. Detached the wires, removed the breaker, and
> flicked the breaker. SNAP! Flicked it back. SNAP!
> "No, it couldn't be this easy." Put the breaker back
> in the box, and now it all works.
>
> Yeah, real fun. ;-)

Steve, you want to replace that breaker soon. You have described a failure
mode that can lead to the breaker not working when it should. Ganged or dual
pole breakers should not partially trip.
Bob

--
--
Coffee worth staying up for - NY Times
www.moondoggiecoffee.com



      
Date: 22 May 2007 17:11:46
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
In <sCr3i.827$xP.203@trndny04 >, on Sat, 19 May 2007 00:34:32 GMT, The
Other Funk wrote:

> Steve, you want to replace that breaker soon. You have described a failure
> mode that can lead to the breaker not working when it should. Ganged or dual
> pole breakers should not partially trip.

Yup. Replaced it today.


    
Date: 17 May 2007 21:50:26
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
On Thu, 17 May 2007 14:24:56 -0400, Neal Reid <NealReid@Nagma.ca >
wrote:

>In article <slrnf4m6r5.6rk.steve@sorceror.wizard.dyndns.org>,
> Steve Ackman <steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com> wrote:
>
>> In <rp4k435tedkj8tvask8eaccvlq5jeqc8c8@4ax.com>, on Tue, 15 May 2007
>> 20:08:17 GMT, Barry Jarrett wrote:
>>
>> > standard repair procedure for the MGB.
>>
>> I'm glad I don't have an MGB then.
>
>No! That's at least 3/4 of the fun of owning one - the constant
>state of mystery...


...and determining the 'fault constant', the balance of how many
things must be broken at all times in order to keep more things from
breaking.



     
Date: 20 May 2007 11:20:51
From: Neal Reid
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
In article <3gjp43l80me28mha8uvtinng8j98mooend@4ax.com >,
Barry Jarrett <barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:

> On Thu, 17 May 2007 14:24:56 -0400, Neal Reid <NealReid@Nagma.ca>
> wrote:
>
> >In article <slrnf4m6r5.6rk.steve@sorceror.wizard.dyndns.org>,
> > Steve Ackman <steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com> wrote:
> >
> >> In <rp4k435tedkj8tvask8eaccvlq5jeqc8c8@4ax.com>, on Tue, 15 May 2007
> >> 20:08:17 GMT, Barry Jarrett wrote:
> >>
> >> > standard repair procedure for the MGB.
> >>
> >> I'm glad I don't have an MGB then.
> >
> >No! That's at least 3/4 of the fun of owning one - the constant
> >state of mystery...
>
>
> ...and determining the 'fault constant', the balance of how many
> things must be broken at all times in order to keep more things from
> breaking.

This I solved by always having two. One could always be kept going
by scavaging from the other!

--
M for N in address to mail reply


     
Date: 18 May 2007 12:17:14
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Re: Take it apart - put it back - voila
In <3gjp43l80me28mha8uvtinng8j98mooend@4ax.com >, on Thu, 17 May 2007
21:50:26 GMT, Barry Jarrett wrote:

> ...and determining the 'fault constant', the balance of how many
> things must be broken at all times in order to keep more things from
> breaking.

Somewhere I believe I recall seeing the definiitive
answer is 42.