Posted Mon Mar 2, 2009, 5:53pm Subject: P.I.D. QUESTIONS
Thanks for looking. I have some questions about buying parts for a P.I.D. setup separately instead of a whole kit for more $$. The machine I would like to P.I.D. is a Gaggia Coffee DeLuxe, Boiler is EF 003/A. PLEASE correct me if I am wrong about the following!!!
I am under the impression that I need one of the following:
1.) P.I.D. Temperature Control Unit. 2.) SSR relay (how many amps?). 3.) And a thermocouple (what type will work best for my boiler?)
3a.) A Thermocouple. I've seen recommendations for a type K washer style, LIKE THIS ONE Click Here (auberins.com) and to mount it in between the original brew stat and the boiler.
3b.) I have also seen a temperature sensor that has the same thread size to completely replace the old brew stat. LIKE THIS ONE Click Here (auberins.com) QUESTION FOR THIS METHOD: This is considered a "temp sensor" not a thermocouple. would this option work just like a thermocouple with the temp control unit?
3c.) I have also seen recommendations to use a probe style thermocouple LIKE THIS ONE Click Here (auberins.com) and they say to drill and tap the boiler. I don't think this method would be best for a small boiler like mine due to the small amount of water that is in the boiler, and I thought it would be better to monitor the temp of the boiler since this would be more stable and what is used to heat the water. Are these thermocouples built to withstand the pressure that is present in the boiler?
I have done allot of research and saw different ways of doing this, which is the reason I am asking questions. I also don't have much money to spend $180 to over $200 for a "KIT" made for my specific machine. If I can get a generic "kit" on eBay for $40 total, is it worth it AND will it work?
lennyk Senior Member Joined: 17 Oct 2007 Posts: 28 Location: pos Expertise: Just starting
Posted Wed Mar 4, 2009, 6:07pm Subject: Re: P.I.D. QUESTIONS
Yes, you do not need to spend big money to get a PID setup.
I bought the same kit or a very similar one for $65 from another ebay seller includes same 40A SSR and a type K thermocouple. The 40A SSR is great since it barely gets warm and doesn't need a heat sink.
Got it working this week and its great, as mentioned the control unit is a little bigger than the watlow one so you need to factor in a plastic box to fit it in I went for price in this case. If I can pickup a used watlow cheaper I'll do that down the road.
The other issue is the thermocouple supplied is a bolt in type which doesn't fit the Gaggia thermostat threads, so I took off the threaded part and clamped the thermocouple to a ring terminal to make it like a washer and bolted it under the steam thermostat as its on top and I didn't feel like going all the way in to reach the brew thermostat which is at the boiler side.
I've played with various target temps and I need to set mine at around 220+F to get around 195F out the shower using styro cup temp measuring.
JGG Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2006 Posts: 1,343 Location: Kentucky, US Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia Grinder: Mazzer Mini E (A), SJ; Rocky... Roaster: Hottop D w/PID; Thermometric...
Posted Wed Mar 4, 2009, 8:16pm Subject: Re: P.I.D. QUESTIONS
Here's a different perspective regarding the dual display issue and the controller size issue.
If you change setpoints often, it is convenient to have a ready reminder. The obvious reasons folks change the PID setpoint involve switching coffee's or dialing in the best temp for a given coffee.
But changes in ambient temperature have a bigger effect on brewing temperature than most realize, so bumping up the setpoint a degree or two on a cold morning will make a difference in the cup. Likewise, at least on Silvia's, after a couple of hours the group will tend to run a couple of degrees warmer, so dropping the setpoint helps counter this.
Since I regularly make these kinds of adjustments, I find it convenient to have a dual display.
With regard to the larger controllers (i.e. the 1/16 DIN size), it is easy to overlook that these are exactly the same width as the smaller 1/32 DIN controllers. So if your PID enclosure is going to be mounted on the side of the machine, there really is no difference since it is the "projection" distance you are most likely to worry about.
The larger controllers have larger buttons that are easier to push when/if you wish to make programming or other adjustments. And the LED's are larger and more visible.
Personally, I like the look of a 1/16 DIN controller, especially on a Silvia. I even have a Silvia here with a 1/8 DIN controller (it incorporates a grouphead temp display), which is 4 times taller than a 1/32 DIN unit. Mounted next to the switches, even a controller this large does not look out of place, IMO.
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