Shifting gears on your pig roasting spit

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[Tim] and [Jon] have a hankering for some pork product of their own making. Your average residential kitchen is ill-equipped to handle an entire pig, so they got down to business building this pig spit out of old bicycle parts.

The main components in the project are two stands built out of square tube which go on either side of the cooking fire (coal bed?). They include bearings to support a horizontal bar on which a pig carcass is somehow mounted. The whole point of a spit is to turn it while cooking, and that’s where the gear system comes in. The front crank from a bicycle was welded onto the spit, with one pedal still in place. This way if the motorized system breaks down they can still turn the thing by hand.

The crank connects to the cogs with one chain, while the other chain connects the cogs to a windshield wiper motor. When connected to the specified 12V it turns around 6 rpm; close but a bit too fast. After some trial and error they found a 5V supply turns it at the optimal 2 rpm.

We wonder if you can put a whole pig in a meat smoker?

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Automated coffee bean roaster

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We’ve featured several different ways to roast coffee beans over the years. This is the next logical step. [Nightlife31] shows us how to use an Arduino and a popcorn popper to create a fully automated coffee bean roaster.  You’ll have to modify your popcorn machine to be controllable. This means installing your temp sensor and relays. You can see a basic schematic for that in the project page. The rest involves making a fairly simple circuit on an Arduino protoboard attachment. The end result is quite nice. We wouldn’t mind waking up to some freshly roasted coffee beans in the morning. We’ve seen these done with PID controls,  and directly controlled by a computer. There’s even this one that has a much more involved build with a convection oven mounted on top instead of a popcorn popper.

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