Recommend Watt meter, easy to read

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

#1: Post by Micahdesign »

I was looking at the Kill a Watt brand but there's no back light and I think it would be very hard to read down by the wall outlet. Does the Quest roaster say to not use on extension cord? I'm assuming it wouldn't be good to get one that can sit on my table with an extra cord to the outlet?

Would like to hear some Watt meter suggestions or fixes. Thanks!

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#2: Post by Nunas »

Good question. A bit harder to answer. First, I searched some years ago for a Kill-a-watt meter with backlight and found none. So, I bought the standard one. Yes, it's hard to read without a flashlight on some outlets in low light locations.

As for an extension cord on a Quest, the longer the cord, the greater the IR drop (i.e., a loss of voltage under load), and thus the lower the maximum output of the Quest's heaters. That's the only effect. So, it would become an issue only for larger batches (which is what I roast most of the time). My solution on my M6, which is even more sensitive to IR drop than my M3, due to its bigger heaters, was to shorten the cord on the Quest to about a foot long. I bought a heavy-duty extension cord intended for big in-window air conditioners, which I also shortened. That has since been replaced by an industrial power bar (extension cord with attached metal box containing a number of outlets), which I also shortened to just reach between my roasting table and the nearest outlet. Another tip is to use a 20-amp outlet, if you have one nearby, as it is wired with heavier gauge wire, thus less IR drop.

Micahdesign (original poster)

#3: Post by Micahdesign (original poster) »

Just a follow up, I just got a 15amp 6 ft extension cord so the watt meter could sit on the table, much much easier to read now, and only seeing about 50 watt decrease which I didn't even go that high with 200 gram batches. If I need hotter later I will look at these recommendations, thanks again.

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#4: Post by Jeff »

Sounds like you've got a reasonable solution already, but if you or someone else is looking for a lit, "built-in" option, an eBay seller just delivered a KWS-AC301-20A to me.

I can't yet comment on how accurate it is, but it is compact and seemingly easy to install. In contrast to the typical 100A units, this one is "scaled" for a single appliance. It also seems to have the transformer internally, with a terminal block for neutral, line-in, and line-out. Around US$21 delivered, about three weeks in transit. Very flashy, multi-color photos on eBay, but this hopefully puts things into context.

V, A, W, Power factor, Time elapsed, kWh, Hz, (NTC?) thermal sensor that plugs in the back. Flip over the instructions, and they're in English.

Apparently there is also an AC300L-20A that has "485 communication" in case you want to wire your computer's serial port within inches of live 120/240 lines.

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#5: Post by yakster »

You could always drop a couple hundred on a 485 opto isolator. :lol:

LMWDP # 272


#6: Post by mbg »

You would have to split your cord but Harbor Freight has an inexpensive clamp on amp meter with a large display. I have one and built a short cord for it: ... 96308.html