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Thread: Vale Gene Cafe

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Vale Gene Cafe

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Sob, sob, my Gene blew up two weeks ago after exactly 750 roasts. Well the 750th was when it blew so 749 successful, mainly beautiful roasts.


    Great machine, so sorry to say goodbye.


    Will post pictures of the funeral after a suitable period of mourning.

  2. #2
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    Unhappy Vale Gene Cafe

    Well, my Gene blew up so I am back to using my Behmor. Don't like it! Realise again, why I stuck to the Gene for so long.


    Behmor:


    1. Hard to see the roast and how it is progressing,


    2. No smoke, which means don't get a good indication of roast cracks,


    3. Messy, chaff goes everywhere,


    4. Have to clean after every roast,


    Apart from that, roasts beautifully. Guess I am just grieving and adjusting.

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    rowdee, I'm interested to know if you've determined what failed in your Gene and if it's going to be easily fixable - I'm a new owner of the latest version and have a vested interest!

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tridoros View Post
    rowdee, I'm interested to know if you've determined what failed in your Gene and if it's going to be easily fixable - I'm a new owner of the latest version and have a vested interest!
    Good question Tridoros,

    I haven't tried pulling it apart yet, stopped heating, so my best guess is element is gone. Has done 750, no 749 successful roasts, don't know whether that is good or not! If you bought yours from a site sponsor, can let me know the name and I will check out cost of repair?

    Thanks,

    Geoff

  5. #5
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    But wait there is more...

    5. Sliced my finger on the chaff collector, watch out for those sharp edges,

    6. Just roasted Yirgs and hate the way the smaller beans get caught in the mesh of the roasting drum.

  6. #6
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    Geoff
    If you've done 749 roasts and the heater box element has expired, you've done exceptionally well with the Gene by the sounds of it. Not sure if these guys are site sponsors (avacuppa), but they carry the heater box for $95

    Good luck

  7. #7
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    You inspired me with your post question, so just went and pulled it apart, you should see the accumulation of dust!!! Worthwhile exercise to do if you roast regularly, yearly maintenance. Not sure about the current model, but super easy to pull apart without having to disconnect any wiring, 8? screws on the bottom and a couple on the reflector.

    Anyway, vacuumed and cleaned it all and everything works except for hot air!

    Saw the website so will send them an email. Your post will probably be censored when someone checks it, but thanks, did know about them. Pros and cons of spending $100 if that is not the problem, will see if they can give me some guidance on what to check.

    Thanks for the best wishes.

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    I'll be interested (as will others no doubt) with the outcome.

    Philip

  9. #9
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    The Gene heater normally "lets go" a fair while before 749 roasts, I suspect that's some sort of record.

    That's the reason we don't carry the Gene as the early ones were blowing the heater at about 100 roasts and often were at about half power for a period prior to that too. The plastic gears or optical sensor was also going not much longer after that. I still have one of those early ones that's still working but it's been repaired a couple of times. Like everything, you can get lucky or unlucky depending on the build day I guess!

    If Avacuppa still have the heaters then it's a pretty cheap repair at $100. You should be able to put a multimeter across the heater to check the resistance to see if that's the problem.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for the input Andy. I sent them an email, looks easy to replace the heater, heading that way next week for a road trip so might even take it with me!

    OL reading on the multimeter so reasonably sure it is the heater. But as you alluded, I am not just worried about the element, it is what will go next? Although I have to say, once I got rid of the dust, it looks in remarkably good condition.

    I have had an exceptional run out of it so the build gods must have been smiling on me, as they should!
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  11. #11
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    Hi Fellow Gene Café Lovers,
    My Gene Café is 10 years old this month and has done 1254 roasts.
    The heater/fan sometimes has hesitation in starting up for the first roast of the batch but this only recently started to happen.
    Otherwise the only incidents in the 10 years have been replacing the drive cog with a new metal collared one (caused by me not putting the roasting chamber fully into its slot and therefore jamming) and the roasting chamber hot air exit screen coming loose which was easily fixed with a couple of self tapping screws.
    The chaff clearer rubber bump stop has been replaced several times but the last one has lasted about 3 years so far.
    I only have the small chaff collector so I make sure I empty it after every roast.
    After each roasting session I clean the heater air intake screen.
    I too could not face using a Behmor after such a long time of using a non computerized roaster which is so totally different.
    I have nothing at all against Behmors and know that there are many CS who love them.
    I would happily replace this one with another Gene if the need arose.
    Cheers Herbie

  12. #12
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    Well done Herbie, that is sensational. You are encouraging me to fork out the $100.

    Mine will be 10 years old in November.

    The Behmor roasts fantastically, I just find it more fiddly, etc than the Gene.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    The Gene heater normally "lets go" a fair while before 749 roasts, I suspect that's some sort of record.

    That's the reason we don't carry the Gene as the early ones were blowing the heater at about 100 roasts and often were at about half power for a period prior to that too. The plastic gears or optical sensor was also going not much longer after that. I still have one of those early ones that's still working but it's been repaired a couple of times. Like everything, you can get lucky or unlucky depending on the build day I guess!

    If Avacuppa still have the heaters then it's a pretty cheap repair at $100. You should be able to put a multimeter across the heater to check the resistance to see if that's the problem.
    Andy, interesting reading re. the early Gene. I'm aware that an awful lot has been written since its original release back in 2005, so I'll keep my comments brief on the current model. I had a look under the cover of mine and note that the Mainboard is up to Ver 5.0 & smaller; the CPU has shrunk to a tiny slice of soldered on silicon; all capacitors bar one are now metal and the PCB Power Assembly is incorporated onto the M/B. Also the reed sensor is different and the plastic gear on the motor shaft appears to now have a brass collar. Your unit could possibly have had a 230v element in the heater assembly and not a 240v?

    Whether these changes make any difference to the Gene's longevity I'll find out down the track, but it sure doesn't take much effort to get great results with it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Tridoros; 10th February 2017 at 08:07 PM.
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  14. #14
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbie View Post
    My Gene Café is 10 years old this month and has done 1254 roasts.
    Nice one. That certainly blows the 750 record out of the water.

    Great to see Herbie.
    herbie likes this.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tridoros View Post
    Your unit could possibly have had a 230v element in the heater assembly and not a 240v?
    Hi Tridoros, just reading about roasting and all the various methods, trying to learn as much as I can. Is the reason for the preferred 240V heater to give a lower heat output?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    Hi Tridoros, just reading about roasting and all the various methods, trying to learn as much as I can. Is the reason for the preferred 240V heater to give a lower heat output?
    My understanding is that a 240v element will last longer because it best suits our local electricity supply. I bought mine from the UK and there was a choice, 230v for EU and 240v for UK. Locally supplied GCs are 240v so easy decision. No idea about heat output however.
    Last edited by Tridoros; 28th March 2017 at 12:28 PM.

  17. #17
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Thank you very much for the explanation Tridoros



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