- Get a big mouthed bowl. It spits chaff everywhere.
Put it on something that has some friction. It will run around a ceramic floor.
Get a glove, it's hot when you dump it out.
Use two bowls. One to catch the chaff, one to dump the beans in (collander better for dumping) it will spit out some seeds and not others (My brazillian diahmanta's fly all over the place)
Don't trust the time exactly, hang around it after 3.5 minutes
I get to first crack in a little under 4 minutes THE FIRST TIME... and it then wanders out to second crack somewhere in the 5 1/2 minute range. The funny thing is, those times drop by about 30 seconds if i roast a second or third batch. When the machine is heated, it roasts quicker.
The arctic cold
I live on the east coast of canada, and have discovered that i can't get passed the first crack outside in the winter. If it's colder than about 5-10 degrees celcius (say 40 degrees) I get a few first cracks and then nothing. On my semi-heated front porch, which is more like 45-50 degrees, it pops just fine. And, of course, anywhere warmer than that.
The melting lid
My lid melts anytime i move out to Full City. Anything before that, the lid doesn't melt.
Proper amount of seeds
I've experimented a fair deal with the amount of seeds it can take. The best guess is a little under a butter dish and a half or just above the line that is in the inside of the tcp-388
Hope that's useful to someone!