cl0ud Senior Member Joined: 12 Apr 2014 Posts: 2 Location: UK Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sat Apr 12, 2014, 3:05am Subject: Vario primary calibration
I'm trying to recalibrate my vario but am having a problem following the primary calibration step outlined on https://www.baratza.com/wp-content/uploads/Vario-Recal-new.pdf. With the 2.5mm bolt tightened to the rails there is still a lot of play in the mechanism, and I can easily adjust it by moving the bolt forward/backwards (*not* loosening the bolt at all). I would say the whole thing moves 15mm or so with the levers all the way down, although moving them to 1A does hold it in place.
So I calibrate the machine and it sounds OK (motor labouring at 1M or so) but because of the play it loses all calibration once I move the arms back towards the macro scale. Without doing anything other than pushing the 2.5mm bolt back and forth I can go from motor labouring at about 4 on Macro scale to not labouring at all at 1A.
I just checked in the Grinders forum because I'm experiencing my own Vario issue at the moment (likely the pulley or belt, from what Baratza's told me).
In any case, I've gone through a calibration issue myself, so if you haven't fixed it yet, I'll detail my own experience.
My grinder came and I had immediate issues dialing in. Since this was my first (and only) grinder, and my first time making true, beautiful espresso, I thought it might have been me. Nope. I was getting a lot of slipping, where I would set the macro/micro levers, and grind was inconsistent. I believe this is somewhat similar to what you're experiencing, cl0ud. I used the calibration tool (the fancy allen/hex key) and found that the screw was VERY loose. So I tightened it down to the point where I noticed the motor laboring at a setting of Macro 2, and about right in the middle of micro (around M). That did the trick for more consistent grind, and have been using it at that general calibration successfully for over a year. Based on your pictures, it looks like you're moving that forward/back bolt, which messes with calibration WAY more than the hex. Does the hex screw tighten down pretty well? Not talking too tight, just solid so it feels like it'll stay. I believe that needs to be tight so the bolt doesn't move. Sorry if this isn't at all what you're talking about...I think we're talking about the same thing, but unless I'm right there, my understanding might be off.
Then there's the loose lever issue. It was so loose that during a grind, the micro might even slip a slot or two. Contacted Baratza directly on that, and they sent me the "shim upgrade" for free. If I'd have known these pieces were essentially 1mm x 2mm pieces of plastic, I'd have just found something around the house and cut it to size, rather than bother Baratza! Anyway, it was a quick and easy fix to take the front panel off and wedge those pieces in, which better holds the levers in place. No more problems there.
All in all, sounds like you need to use the allen key and tighten it down, in combination with setting that bolt in the proper place. I'd also suggest e-mailing Baratza directly (email@example.com), as they are very helpful and can walk you through a proper calibration, even though you're out of warranty.
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