takeshi Senior Member Joined: 12 Oct 2002 Posts: 1,048 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0 Grinder: Super Jolly Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Tue Jul 3, 2007, 1:30am Subject: Re: Silvia PID kit owners please help me decide . . . .!
I've been very happy with one of Jim's kits on my Silvia. Really, I ended up choosing him over the others due to the appearance of the kit. I would have done it myself but didn't want it looking like some kind of Franksteined box on my Silvia. His kit is very well designed, cables are finished nicely and the right length, the instructions are great, and the kit really does include everything you need except the socket driver.
Posted Tue Jul 3, 2007, 1:17pm Subject: Re: Silvia PID kit owners please help me decide . . . .!
The install is super easy to do yourself. If the temperature stays where you set it, it's done perfectly.
Why are you looking to get a PID kit? Do you know what it does?
It's really simple, in concept. The controller constantly measures the temperature of the sensor. It cycles the heating element quickly to keep the sensed temperature at the set temperature. It's fun to watch the heater light flash on and off.
The boiler temperature is within 1 degree of where I want it, not within 30 degrees.
Posted Tue Jul 3, 2007, 1:49pm Subject: Re: Silvia PID kit owners please help me decide . . . .!
I can also attest that the MLG PID kits work very well (and most importantly have excellent instructions). Jim followed up after he sent me my order and even offered to mail me a socket wrench.
I can't comment on the other vendors you list--and not to take away from Jim's business--but I wouldn't bother with the SD3D PID. I bought a used Watlow 965 and have been very happy with the results. I'm sure it's all a matter of personal preference, but since your setpoint is really just a good (but not perfect) guide, I don't think that the tenth-of-a-degree 'precision' is really necessary. I think the steam capability of the SD3D is even less important because any PID will tell the boiler tempture during steam temp anyway. Don't get me wrong, a PID definitely helps determine the proper time for optimal steaming, but I don't see why you'd need to go above the 300 or so degrees that the stock steam thermostat goes--unless maybe you steam upwards of 20 ounces of milk?
Posted Tue Jul 3, 2007, 4:09pm Subject: Re: Silvia PID kit owners please help me decide . . . .!
The MLG PID kit is an outstanding value. First quality parts and instructions as well as contact with Gim Balt. Highly recommended. It has improved my Silvia significantly. No more temperature surfing and predictable results every time.
JetSpeed Senior Member Joined: 11 Jan 2006 Posts: 75 Location: Towson, MD Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: PID Silvia Grinder: Rocky Doserless
Posted Wed Jul 4, 2007, 6:42am Subject: Re: Silvia PID kit owners please help me decide . . . .!
The only reason I haven't decided to do it myself is that I've read dozens and dozens of reviews and some said they wished they haden't done it themselves. Some said it took 2-3 hours of work also. I'd hate to get 1/2 way into it and have regrets at that point. "Simple" means different things to different people ya' know?
I can buy Jim's Watlow kit and do it myself for $760 OR I can buy it already PID'ed for $739 with David's Delta kit already installed.
Doing it myself would be kinda' neat to learn more about Silvia, but there's nothing more expensive than regret!!
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