I'd read all sorts of reviews and comments on freeze dryers. The most prevalent comment being that the pump is very loud. We upgraded to the Premiere pump and I can tell you this - the unit is in the basement directly under my bedroom and I can not hear it running.
Thanks to my closest cousin, whom I owe at the very least a bottle of Maker's Mark, the unit currently resides in the laundry room on my counter. Come spring it will be on a cart I can roll into another room when the unit is not in use.
There is minimal setup. The freeze dryer came with the pump, oil for the pump, a filter for the oil, necessary hoses, Mylar bags, a bag sealer, oxygen absorbers, and manuals. If you have ever set up a desktop computer, you can do this. Put oil in the pump per directions, connect the hoses and cords, and you're ready to go. The only thing you'll need to supply is a five-gallon bucket for the unit to discharge the accumulated water removed from your food.
Just follow the manual and you won't have any problems. The manual contains a well-done set of instructions that are easy to follow. The pictures of the control panel are in a higher definition and you don't have to make guesses. It took me about half an hour to oil fill the Premiere pump (worth the upgrade IMHO) and make all the connections. Of course, I read and reread the instructions every step of the way. My partner, who is unable to navigate stairs probably chewed his lip off that he couldn't "help" me, but it really was easy.
As of this writing, my unit has flawlessly performed the initial self-test and the bread burn-off. My regular freezer is maxed out for space, so my task this evening is to ready some of the frozen fruit on hand and get it in the freeze dryer first thing tomorrow morning. After I've gone through the fruit, I'll start on the veggies. The bread baker will be delighted to have free space to fill.
The plan is to use this page as a portal to additional pages where I can report on how we're doing with the freeze dryer. Links to those pages will be below. I hope someone out there will find it helpful. If not, it's a least a record for me.
The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)
Freeze drying frozen mixed vegetables