Mixing it up

So, I heard about this type of mixer. It’s like a standmixer, but instead of the motor being on top, it’s on the bottom and, on top, instead, is this incredibly solid arm onto which you put the mixer mechanism which is rotated by the bowl. It’s weird, I know. I heard of it when I was looking at reviews of mixers – because when we left the UK we sold our rather nice John Lewis stand mixer (although it wasn’t a hundred percent happy – bread making had upset it slightly); and we’d been talking – on and off – about getting a mixer.

Being in the US the standard is, of course, the Kitchen Aid. But a lot of recent reviews said that the newer ones struggle with bigger mixes, and that they don’t last nearly as long because the plastic gears in modern ones strip under heavy loads. Which is true of many a modern replacement that looks much the same as the original.

But I kept coming across the Ankarsrum Assistent as a recommendation. Particularly for people who do lots of cakes and doughs. And that is more our thing. So I looked at them and – as I expected – they were waaaaay outside our pricerange*. Well, okay, we could have afforded one but they were not something that it seemed reasonable to spend that much on at this point.

So, as is often the case, I left a search running on ebay and one day I noticed this very foxed looking one priced at $300. It apparently ‘turned on’ but was listed as spares only.

$300? That was far too much.

And it sat.

And it sat.

And I bid on a different one that was going for about $200 – in the end that went for about $400.

And still it sat.

And then I made a lowball offer.

And the person responded that the cost of shipping would likely be $50 by itself.

And I thought about it – and it came with the mincer (which you can get accessories so it can also be a pasta maker…)

So I decided to up my offer – and ISTR it ended up costing about $150 with shipping included.

And now it’s arrived and boy is it beaten up. It looks like someone tried to run a hammer through the front panel:

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Seriously – the front panel looks like it’s the morning after a particularly heavy night of drinking, after which it decided to insult the biggest guy in the bar:

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But true to the seller’s word – it does sort of work. I mean, it runs. It smells of hot electronics (bad), but it does work. So, today, since we had plans to go do some (socially distant and safe) stuff this afternoon and I had an hour before I wanted to get cleaned up I started stripping it down to see what needed fixing.

Before even getting to the mixer – the cable is… not great.

It’s not earthed – so this:

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Well, let’s say neither of those is ideal.

Inside the case things didn’t exactly improve.

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I’m not sure what they’re from – I’ll have a bit more of a hunt when the capacitors arrive (I’ll get to that); but those chunks of plastic presumably should not be rattling around loose in the case.

Inside, there’s also a surprising number of chocolate block connectors – not sure what that’s about. I’m wondering if this, at some point, got a new motor? At some point the insulation clearly wore through the cable where it runs to the motor through a channel in the case.

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Unfortunately, the front panel has also had ‘a bit of an incident’. I’m not sure how it got so thoroughly cracked. I’m frankly surprised that it didn’t damage more stuff inside.

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Anyhow – the main problem (beyond the cracked case, the random bits of plastic, and the front panel fouling all the knobs because it’s so bent) is the capacitors which are, as my good friend John calls them, Rifa PME271m delayed-action smoke generators.

These are, indeed, somewhere after their last legs.

If you’ve made the unfortunate error of finding this post because you – like me – have a sickly mixer and want to know what the specs are so you can order them ahead of time:

0.047 uF, 250V x2 rated PME capacitor
0.15 uF, 250V ish (presumably x2 rated) PME capacitor.

The board also sports a TYAL 510BV1 (presumably a transistor) and a D1303 (I’m guessing a diode) – neither of these I can find any data sheets for. And I’ve not bothered drawing out the circuit because I’m guessing that the hot electronics smell is courtesy of the two sickly capacitors.

Following along with it’s “dragged out the back of the club, beaten and thrown in a bush” aesthetic, the knobs on the front have also taken a beating:

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And of course, one of them broke as I tried to remove it – so me and JB Weld and the mixer are already friends.

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It will need more than that, I’m sure, to stop it disintegrating again – but for the moment it will have to do.

So the jobs list for this are:

  1. Clean everything
  2. Replace the capacitors
  3. Fix the knob…more better ;)
  4. Work out where those bits of plastic came from – and if they’re important
  5. Replace the failing insulation tape with heatshrink and a nice join
  6. Make a new front panel
  7. Spray the whole thing
  8. Make a new cable

So that should be no bother at all :)

Sadly, one of the problems is that as far as I can tell the available spares list is – basically – the belt drive. Originally an independent company, Ankarsrum bought back production from Electrolux and so these earlier mixers are, well, somewhat left out in the cold. They do still sell all the accessories, though, which is very cool and could lead to expensiveness. People sell new motors for the newer versions, and similarly digital controllers for the newer ones. But this one sports a mechanical timer and a couple of chunky microswitches, and the variable resistor / speed controller… so none of that is available; nor is the front panel.

So, uh. I’ve ordered the capacitors, and I’m going to work on making a replacement front panel next week. And the other jobs too, but for the moment, that’s where I’m at.

* Interestingly I found a bunch of cheap ones in Europe – but it is a Swedish brand. The US ones though – they were all well upwards of $350 even for the decades old variant missing lots of parts or markedly damaged ones.

Author: KateE

Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at pyoor.org...