Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 1:08pm Subject: Re: A Beast in the Kitchen
Frank, congratulations on your new Saeco. My old Aroma is chugging along and I'm drinking Americanos every time I get a chance. I fixed a vanilla cappo for my wife the other night and she enjoyed it, and she doesn't even like coffee. I am having one problem and you are right on top of it... too much pressure for a non-pressurized portafilter. I am looking at installing an opv but for a quick tryout at lower pressure I am going to wire up a simple lamp dimmer this weekend to lower the pump pressure a little bit. Some folks say this may damage the pump motor but the guy who did the mod said it worked fine for him. Heck... if the pump burns out then I'll have a good excuse to upgrade! If you are interested, here is the link to the lamp dimmer mod.
he just connected the gauge and release valve using a high pressure hose to the steam wand.
from what i understand, he primed the gauge with the valve at the end of the gauge open, closed it when he got a steady flow(no air bubbles). Then he turned the steam knob completely open and let the brew head go to measure the pressure.
Hmm i may make a trip to home depot soon.
if this works, might make a nice addition to the light dimmer mod and monitoring the changes. fun fun. :)
Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 3:09pm Subject: Re: A Beast in the Kitchen
I am jealous you have a commercial grinder. But my postage stamp sized kitchen will not support it. One day I will remodel (to double the size of my tiny house, I keep buying those lotto tickets!) and have a wet bar set up and use it for a coffee shrine.
Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 3:58pm Subject: Re: A Beast in the Kitchen
hmm i've been looking at stuff on a gaggia classic and came across this very simple gauge. Hmm i may make a trip to home depot soon. If this works, might make a nice addition to the light dimmer mod and monitoring the changes. fun fun. :)
oh it's not a secret or anything, i ordered that ZPM Nocturn machine from Kickstarter. They have so many machines they need to build and send out that i probably wont be seeing anything till later this year. I dont think they even have one final prototype made yet.
Btw, i went to lowe's tonight and picked up all the stuff from the video and built a pressure gauge.
Unfortunately it didnt work with my machine because the steam wand is narrow for the 1/4" tubing. I hooked it all up and got a massive leak at the steam wand connection.
So at this point, it seems i need to figure out a way to get a proper connection to the steam wand or maybe remove the steam wand all together and get a line hooked up the threaded pipe that's attached to the steam wand.
i'm also somewhat concerned about the small amount of lead that may be in the brass fittings i purchased. i notice in the plumbing section they have more expensive fittings that state "no lead". i'm thinking maybe i should have gone with those instead of the cheaper ones from the tools/air compressor section.
frank828 Senior Member Joined: 23 Feb 2011 Posts: 581 Location: Los Angeles Expertise: Professional
Posted Tue May 15, 2012, 12:01am Subject: Re: A Beast in the Kitchen
another thing about the lamp dimmer mod, i just realized after purchasing a dimmer from lowe's that it's different and likely much more difficult to get working.
they only had the credenza model but the one that the guy used was an "attache" model. The difference is that the credenza has all the necessary wiring in one cord. so stripping it out and figuring out the cords will likely be a pain. the attache model has two cords just like the pictures we saw.
Posted Tue May 15, 2012, 5:55am Subject: Re: A Beast in the Kitchen
Frank... I'll have to Google that machine... not familiar with it I don't think. About the fittings, the lead should not be a problem. You are not using the water passing through the gauge... it is throwaway. But, thanks for the heads-up. Could you maybe get a 3/32" piece of tubing? It may mean that you have to get a 3/32" nipple also. On the switch, shouldn't be a problem if you can get it open. Just find the wires on each side of the resistor (potentiometer) and you are good to go... polarity is not an issue because you are merely splicing into a wire leading to the pump. Great info... thanks much and I'll be waiting to see how it goes.
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