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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2014
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    China
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    Question Help w/ Watlow Controler on Ambex Roaster & Parts

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post here. I'm in need of some help. I'm running an Ambex 5kg roaster out China and over the last 6 months the button on the Watlow controller is becoming less and less responsive. Sometimes we have to push the button several times and with added pressure before it responds. The Watlow controller is the EZ-Zone 0600-0065-0000, 32nd DIN PID. I've pulled the controller out and looked at the backside but there is a computer chip on the backside and I'm afraid that if I remove it I might damage it. The problem with the button is getting worse and worse and I'm afraid one day soon we'll be unable to use it and unable to roast. I need some feedback on how to solve this issue soon. I've looked at a Watlow manual from their website but I didn't find any help there. I'm assuming there is some way to repair the button, like we did with Nintendo controllers when we were kids.

    In addition, I've only been in the roasting business for the last two years. Since Ambex is a U.S. machine I'm concerned that if it breaks down then some parts might be hard to come by and it might take a while to have them shipped from the States. I cannot afford to be out of operation for more than a week at the most. I assume that if a fan motor or something goes out I can take that to a local electrical shop and have it worked on, but does anyone have any thoughts to the parts I should buy from Ambex in advance and have on hand. I've already noticed a fan belt that looks pretty unique and I don't think I can buy it here. I don't want to spend lots of money ordering spare parts, but I do want to have special parts on hand to minimize downtime in the event of something breaking.

    Thank you all for your help.

    Sincerely,
    Eddie

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Aug 2003
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    3,387
    I would just order a new watlow controller. You should be able to get it from their website. As to parts for your Ambex. You should be able to find a belt in china...I would suggest finding a fabricator/small motor repair person and have them familiarize themselves with it in case something breaks. They should be able to help.
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Carolina Beach, NC
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    59
    BlueEyes, I roast with an Ambex YM-10 daily and can tell you the are pretty rugged. I keep one of each belt on hand at my shop, I upgraded to Gates Kevlar lined belts after I had one split. Since you're outside the U.S. I would order one of each motor (there are 2 different motors on the YM-10), a new watlow controller, belts and a temp probe in case one gets damaged. I'm lucky in that I can call the guys at Ambex and they can over night me parts if needed, I would not be able to go more than a couple of days with my machine down.
    Make sure you're keeping it clean and lubed properly. If you need more info shoot me an email.
    Ken

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    China
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    6
    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRoast View Post
    BlueEyes, I roast with an Ambex YM-10 daily and can tell you the are pretty rugged. I keep one of each belt on hand at my shop, I upgraded to Gates Kevlar lined belts after I had one split. Since you're outside the U.S. I would order one of each motor (there are 2 different motors on the YM-10), a new watlow controller, belts and a temp probe in case one gets damaged. I'm lucky in that I can call the guys at Ambex and they can over night me parts if needed, I would not be able to go more than a couple of days with my machine down.
    Make sure you're keeping it clean and lubed properly. If you need more info shoot me an email.
    Ken
    Thank you Ken. Where did you by your Gates Kevlar lined belts? Did you get them through Ambex?

    Also, how often to your clean and lube your machine? I grease the two main drum fittings every 50 roasts. I used to do it sooner but I get some grease leakage if I grease them too often. And I take the machine apart and give it a thorough cleaning and grease all the fittings every 125 roasts. I think the manual said to clean it every so many months but that doesn't take into consideration whether you are using the machine often or not. I would be grateful to hear your cleaning and greasing schedule on your Ambex YM-10. Thank you.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    China
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    Quote Originally Posted by topher View Post
    I would just order a new watlow controller. You should be able to get it from their website. As to parts for your Ambex. You should be able to find a belt in china...I would suggest finding a fabricator/small motor repair person and have them familiarize themselves with it in case something breaks. They should be able to help.
    Thank you Topher for the reply. I think next time I take the machine apart and clean it I'll take one of the motors into a repair shop and see if they are confident they can fix it if something goes wrong. As for the Watlow controller, do you think I would have any problems buying one directly from their website? My concern is that if I buy one directly from their website it will not be pre-programed. When I looked at the manual for the controller I noticed a lot of different programming options. Should this be pretty straightforward, just by the model I'm currently using and plug it in and use it? Thanks for your help.

    P.S. I grew up in Deerfield Beach. Boca Raton is a beautiful area.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Carolina Beach, NC
    Posts
    59
    Sorry for the delayed response, we had a lot of icing on the roads here and I had roasting and delivering to make up. I bought the Gates belts at a local automotive supply shop, I took the belts off my machine and took them in to ensure proper sizing. As far as cleaning goes I clean the chafe collector after every 5 roasts and do a general cleaning of my machine at the end of every day of roasting. I do a detailed cleaning at the end of every month (exhaust system, fans, etc) I lube with high temp food grade grease after every 10-15 roasts or as needed.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    15
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueEyesCoffee View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post here. I'm in need of some help. I'm running an Ambex 5kg roaster out China and over the last 6 months the button on the Watlow controller is becoming less and less responsive. Sometimes we have to push the button several times and with added pressure before it responds. The Watlow controller is the EZ-Zone 0600-0065-0000, 32nd DIN PID. I've pulled the controller out and looked at the backside but there is a computer chip on the backside and I'm afraid that if I remove it I might damage it. The problem with the button is getting worse and worse and I'm afraid one day soon we'll be unable to use it and unable to roast. I need some feedback on how to solve this issue soon. I've looked at a Watlow manual from their website but I didn't find any help there. I'm assuming there is some way to repair the button, like we did with Nintendo controllers when we were kids.

    In addition, I've only been in the roasting business for the last two years. Since Ambex is a U.S. machine I'm concerned that if it breaks down then some parts might be hard to come by and it might take a while to have them shipped from the States. I cannot afford to be out of operation for more than a week at the most. I assume that if a fan motor or something goes out I can take that to a local electrical shop and have it worked on, but does anyone have any thoughts to the parts I should buy from Ambex in advance and have on hand. I've already noticed a fan belt that looks pretty unique and I don't think I can buy it here. I don't want to spend lots of money ordering spare parts, but I do want to have special parts on hand to minimize downtime in the event of something breaking.

    Thank you all for your help.

    Sincerely,
    Eddie
    I just ran into this post and singed up to reply Last year I replace the Watlow in my 1996 Ambex YM-15. The buttons started getting squishy and I eventually lost all control. Here is what I ended up doing. First the Watlow in my unit was a the "SD3CHCJ-AAARG" this model was no longer around so I ended up using "PM3C1CJ-AAAAAAA". The different types of Watlow PIDs can get confusing, the one you are looking for needs to have (110-220 DC/AC) INPUT with a "mechanical relay switch" as an OUTPUT. If the "PM3C1CJ-AAAAAAA" will work for you then I would use that one.

    Okay the real fun part came after getting the PID. It needs to be programmed through a computer with a RS-485 to USB like this.


    1. Install the Drivers to for the RS-485 adapter then plug in the RS-485 to USB adapter
    2. Find the port being used in the "device manager" and write it down
    3. Wire up the PID to the RS-485 adapter (I think I used CAT5 cable)
    4. Use a lamp plug to run power from an outlet to the PID
    5. The EZ-Zone software should recognize the PID. If not try reseting PID power, resetting USB adapter, double checking the pinout from the PID to USB adapter.


    Once in the software you will need to create a zone file for your specific application. It took me a few hours to get it right. I will link to my file for you to use. Another quick tip. If you can daisy chain the new PID and the old PID together and run the roaster you can note any temperature offsets. This difference can then be compensated for in the EZ-ZONE configurator. I ended up daisy chaining them together, dangling the new unit from the machine while programming it with a laptop.

    The end result was the New PID roasted exactly like the Old PID

    Once I get some more post I can link to the zone file on Dropbox. PM me and I can send it to you directly.

    Best of Luck!
    -Taylor

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Boca Raton
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    3,387
    Taylor...thanks for your detailed response. Hope to see you more around the forum!
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    China
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by bigdaub View Post
    I just ran into this post and singed up to reply Last year I replace the Watlow in my 1996 Ambex YM-15. The buttons started getting squishy and I eventually lost all control. Here is what I ended up doing. First the Watlow in my unit was a the "SD3CHCJ-AAARG" this model was no longer around so I ended up using "PM3C1CJ-AAAAAAA". The different types of Watlow PIDs can get confusing, the one you are looking for needs to have (110-220 DC/AC) INPUT with a "mechanical relay switch" as an OUTPUT. If the "PM3C1CJ-AAAAAAA" will work for you then I would use that one.

    Okay the real fun part came after getting the PID. It needs to be programmed through a computer with a RS-485 to USB like this.


    1. Install the Drivers to for the RS-485 adapter then plug in the RS-485 to USB adapter
    2. Find the port being used in the "device manager" and write it down
    3. Wire up the PID to the RS-485 adapter (I think I used CAT5 cable)
    4. Use a lamp plug to run power from an outlet to the PID
    5. The EZ-Zone software should recognize the PID. If not try reseting PID power, resetting USB adapter, double checking the pinout from the PID to USB adapter.


    Once in the software you will need to create a zone file for your specific application. It took me a few hours to get it right. I will link to my file for you to use. Another quick tip. If you can daisy chain the new PID and the old PID together and run the roaster you can note any temperature offsets. This difference can then be compensated for in the EZ-ZONE configurator. I ended up daisy chaining them together, dangling the new unit from the machine while programming it with a laptop.

    The end result was the New PID roasted exactly like the Old PID

    Once I get some more post I can link to the zone file on Dropbox. PM me and I can send it to you directly.

    Best of Luck!
    -Taylor
    Thank you Taylor for the detailed response. Surely there has to be a way to get a controller that has already been programed. I've tried countless times through phone and email to get assistance through Ambex, but I can't get any help. They never answer their phone and never return calls and their website has very little information. This seems strange because everything I've ready in other posts speaks highly of them. So, was Ambex unable to provide you with a Watlow controller that was already programmed?

    Thanks for the Help,
    Eddie

  10. #10
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
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    Boca Raton
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    Paul Ribich is the owner of Roaster Dynamics. He has always been a great help to me. Here is his website Roaster Dynamics coffee industry?s best roaster control systems hope he can help.
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

 

 
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