donderdag 4 juni 2020

Comparing roasts in the new Artisan v2.4

The latest 2.4 version of Artisan has an exciting set of new features, explained by the team on the Artisan blog:

The new Roast Simulator feature is quite remarkable. You can load a previous roast profile and replay it from the start. This way you can for instance test different options of display on screen, or different alarm settings. The program behaves as if the roaster is operating in real time and all the data from the loaded profile roast event are being fed to the program and processed by it. This can be very handy to test a different approach without having to be at the roaster and keep an eye (and a nose) on the beans. Also, while training another roasting staff member, or giving a presentation about coffee roasting, it is helpful to run a complete roast (optionally at greater speed) while explaining about all that is happening, without running the risk of burning beans because teaching distracted you.

The new Profile Transposer functionality enables you to use a successful profile of one roaster and modify it to fit your own roasting machine while keeping the essential elements and proportions intact.

One other feature is the Roast Comparator. The Artisan posted a separate blog about it:

I used the feature to closely compare two roasts. One was a near perfect repetition of the other but still ended up a little lighter, #99 instead of #94.

The density of the resulting beans is exactly the same.

My conclusion is that a difference of 5 Tonino-points is negligible and moisture value differences of about 0.5% may not be significant.

It is very helpful to be able to change the title text in the comparing screen so as to make comparing easier, and keep the actual titles of the roast profiles intact.

zaterdag 18 april 2020

Squeezebox still works

In 2005 I bought a Squeezebox network music player and a couple years later I gave it away.

The friend who got it planned to figure out what can be done with it but was busy at the time (he still is) and the device gradually moved further into the background. A few years back the box that it landed in was moved along with lots of other stuff to his new house and today, as he was clearing up space he rediscovered it and sent me a picture of it in an app asking this came from me.

He gave it back to me and I was keen to see if the thing would still work. It remembered its name, had to be told what WiFi I am on now and it remembered what music it last played.

I downloaded the Logitech Media Server which was still online (!) and even that still worked.

I'm especially fond of the dedicated 5V power supply that I purchased for it so long ago, the VDC-SB hand made by Channel Islands Audio. Tiny, modest, in the simple and neat body design of their high end products.

Hans Beekhuyzen wrote a (Dutch) review of it at the time and it's still online:

In an review on Darko Audio, Dusty Vawter of Channel Islands Audio explains:

When I first heard about the Squeezebox, I thought it was worth checking out so I ordered one to try out. Once getting it up and running I was surprised by its performance and ease of use. The following day I turned on my old Accuphase tuner and noticed that it produced nothing but noise. I suspected the SB3’s stock switching supply was creating RF noise, so I unplugged it from the wall and sure enough, my tuner was once again noise free and sounding great.”, begins Vawter.

“The next step was to make a linear supply (no RF noise) to fix the problem. The first prototype did the trick and also improved the overall sound on both the analog and digital outputs.”

“So then we went to work experimenting with transformers, filtering, regulation circuits, and layout, to create an efficient and cost effective design which produced a rock-steady output voltage with very low noise and ripple. The result was a nice plug-n-play upgrade for the SB3 (and now the Touch).

Linear Power supplies like these are hard to find as regulations require the high energy efficiency of switching power supplies. Still, a good traditional powersupply delivers a more steady DC current wheras may switching power supplies create interference.

I currently use the Squeezebox as a little clock and I'm happy it's alive.

woensdag 1 april 2020

Cheap wireless charging? No thanks.

A few weeks ago I bought a wireless phone charger, for a little under € 10 at the Jumbo supermarket. Now, in the quiet solitude of corona prevention, I tried it out.

The phone got warm and the charge pad got so hot in one corner that the case started to melt.

So this one is going in the bin! ;-)

charging / heating up


zaterdag 28 maart 2020

Shake That Thang

After Jan van der Weel 3D printed a cup to stir and shake grinds in before dropping the grinds into the filter basket, I asked Gerard at DiRossi if he could make one in stainless steel and polish it. Is it essential or necessary? Maybe not. Is it fun to have and play with in these solitary days of corona seclusion? Absolutely ;-)

Youtube version:

dinsdag 24 maart 2020

El Salvador Apaneca

My friend Conni (one of the founders of Fractal Collective) sends me a happy message from his home where he is enduring these days of semi lockdown and social distancing.

He has a Compak grinder, a Kinu M47 Classic grinder and a Londinium-R espresso machine in his place, plus beans from my home roastery and he reports excellent results from El Salvador beans of this roast, 14 days post roast:

zondag 1 maart 2020

Sputnik 3 test 2

Since we fried one of the outputs of the TC4, we try again but now swapping the heating element control to OT2. Turns out that does work, but it switches too fast for us and we will get us another TC4, and probably another SSR as well. Next we warm up near Tije's fire and Jan plays the guitar that Tije restored.

Youtube version: