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Melitta BCM-4 - Disable Hot Plate?
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gt
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Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 7:48am
Subject: Melitta BCM-4 - Disable Hot Plate?
 

Does anyone know if the hot plate can be disabled in the Melitta BCM-4 or is it wired in series or someway that affects the brewing function?
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PJK
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Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 1:33pm
Subject: Re: Melitta BCM-4 - Disable Hot Plate?
 

I have yet to disassemble a BCM-4 however I believe the hotplate and the heat-exchanger which heats the water use the same heating element.

As you may know it is my belief that the BCM-4 will rival a TV in what it can brew but it has it's quirks.  Hey, what do you expect for something you get free for trying some stale coffee.

My workaround for the issue you are bothered about is to fold up a paper towel and put it over the hotplate under the carafe.  Listen for the end of the water in the heat exchanger (gurgling sound) then turn off the switch.  It will still be about a minute until the brew is finished.
Actually while there is water in the heat exchanger it can't get too hot so if you listen and get the switch in time you probably don't have to bother with the paper towel.

Phil

gt Said:

Does anyone know if the hot plate can be disabled in the Melitta BCM-4 or is it wired in series or someway that affects the brewing function?

Posted March 12, 2014 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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gt
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Joined: 29 Jan 2007
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Location: Mpls/St Paul MN
Expertise: I like coffee

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Roaster: P1 w/ variacs
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 6:32am
Subject: Re: Melitta BCM-4 - Disable Hot Plate?
 

OK thanks Pill. I have an extra one, I will try to open it up to see how it's wired.
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PJK
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PJK
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Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
Grinder: Modified Rocky, Elma side...
Vac Pot: Old Silex
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Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 8:00am
Subject: Re: Melitta BCM-4 - Disable Hot Plate?
 

Hi Gt,

Since the BCM-4 is my favorite little coffee dripper I figured I should know what is inside one.  I took the bottom cover off of one.

As I suspected there is an aluminum plate onto which are mounted a Cal-rod type heating element and the tube through which the brew water passes.  There is a click type thermostat and what appears to be a safety thermal fuse also attached to the plate.  The top of the plate (apparently anodized) is what you see and place the carafe upon.

You might be able to change the thermostat to a lower temperature part but disabling the hot plate while heating the brew water is not possible.  I would hesitate messing with the thermostat as the brewing temp is just about right on.

If the paper towel "insulator" seems too "kludgey" to you, you might cut a disc of ~ 3/32" wood vernier to place under the carafe.

Phil



gt Said:

OK thanks Pill. I have an extra one, I will try to open it up to see how it's wired.

Posted March 13, 2014 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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gt
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Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 210
Location: Mpls/St Paul MN
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Cones & CCD
Roaster: P1 w/ variacs
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 11:20am
Subject: Re: Melitta BCM-4 - Disable Hot Plate?
 

Yes I have the bottom off one too.

When I run it without water, the thermo switch opens the circuit completely in less than a minute (no current draw).

I need to run it with water to see what happens when the thermo switch operates.  If it's like with no water then the hot plate doesn't heat until everything cools down which would allow plenty of time to switch the pot off before heating starts again.

I'll let you know.
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gt
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Joined: 29 Jan 2007
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Location: Mpls/St Paul MN
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Cones & CCD
Roaster: P1 w/ variacs
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 1:01pm
Subject: Re: Melitta BCM-4 - Disable Hot Plate?
 

After the The BCM-4 brewing cycle completes, full power is cycled ON for approximately 12 secs and OFF for just under 2 minutes.  This kept the water in the carafe at 182-184F for a few cycles.  Here's a typical cycle.


ON                     7m 42s               13s                 12s                                    11s                                     13s                                      12s                                  12s
------------------------------______-- ---_________-----___________________-- ---___________________-----___________ _________-----__________________-----
OFF                                   71s                86s                         111s                                   115s                                  117s                                  118s


I'm going to take Phil's advice (thanks Phil) and experiment with insulation between the carafe and the hot plate.
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gt
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Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 210
Location: Mpls/St Paul MN
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Cones & CCD
Roaster: P1 w/ variacs
Posted Sat Mar 15, 2014, 9:20am
Subject: Re: Melitta BCM-4 - Disable Hot Plate?
 

PJK Said:

If the paper towel "insulator" seems too "kludgey" to you, you might cut a disc of ~ 3/32" wood vernier to place under the carafe.
Phil

Posted March 13, 2014 link

Great idea, I cut a 3.25" dia, 1/8" thick, piece out of a wooden cigar box and it fits nice.

gt: disk.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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PJK
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PJK
Joined: 21 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,325
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
Grinder: Modified Rocky, Elma side...
Vac Pot: Old Silex
Drip: Melitta BCM 4  +Some old...
Roaster: Hottop, Modified Z&D,...
Posted Sun Mar 16, 2014, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Melitta BCM-4 - Disable Hot Plate?
 

Hi Gt,

Looks good!

I may make one myself.

The folded paper towels seem visually offensive to ladies (wife and cleaning ladies) so they keep throwing them out.

I am also thinking of a latching relay arrangement which will turn off the heater when the water is depleted from the heat exchanger.

Phil


gt Said:

Great idea, I cut a 3.25" dia, 1/8" thick, piece out of a wooden cigar box and it fits nice.

Posted March 15, 2014 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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