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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > P.I.D. QUESTIONS  
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johnslifeofagony
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 23
Location: PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Gino Rossi RR45
Roaster: Pop-Corn (Bean) PUMPER
Posted Mon Mar 2, 2009, 6:53pm
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?)


1.) A "GENERIC" Temperature Control Unit. LIKE THIS ONE Click Here (cgi.ebay.com)

2.) A SSR. Not sure on how many amps, I'd imagine at least 25 amps. LIKE THIS ONE Click Here (cgi.ebay.com)

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?

4.) Or a cheap kit like here Click Here (cgi.ebay.com)


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?

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME!!!!
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gime2much
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 1,965
Location: Sunny S Fl
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni, Astoria comm, 2...
Grinder: La Pavoni Zip, Bunn...
Drip: Bunn comm
Roaster: Popcorn popper (air),co/ufo
Posted Mon Mar 2, 2009, 8:35pm
Subject: Re: P.I.D. QUESTIONS
 

  1. This is a better PID and is used quite often by people here on CG so tech answers are easy to come by.

  2. 2. That one is ok but at 25 amp using a metal heat sink is advisable.

3a. Thats what a lot of people (me also) do...it works well.

Total cost ~ $60

 
Dan Brewer
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johnslifeofagony
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 23
Location: PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Gino Rossi RR45
Roaster: Pop-Corn (Bean) PUMPER
Posted Mon Mar 2, 2009, 10:49pm
Subject: Re: P.I.D. QUESTIONS
 

Thanks! I know this is a quality and popular item, the only con I see is the signal temp display, others show the current temp along with the set temp. Is there any real benefit to the dual display?
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gime2much
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 1,965
Location: Sunny S Fl
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni, Astoria comm, 2...
Grinder: La Pavoni Zip, Bunn...
Drip: Bunn comm
Roaster: Popcorn popper (air),co/ufo
Posted Mon Mar 2, 2009, 11:10pm
Subject: Re: P.I.D. QUESTIONS
 

Not to me. Push 1 button on the Watlow to swap between set point and actual temp. Besides the dual display you linked to is twice as large and Chinese if I'm not mistaken.

 
Dan Brewer
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johnslifeofagony
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 23
Location: PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Gino Rossi RR45
Roaster: Pop-Corn (Bean) PUMPER
Posted Tue Mar 3, 2009, 12:05am
Subject: Re: P.I.D. QUESTIONS
 

Thanks a TON. I was unclear why some kits were $180 and you can get generic parts so cheap, but they're made in China and huge. And I did not know you could see the actual temp on the watlow 95.

THANKS AGAIN!!!
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john_
Senior Member
john_
Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 240
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale, Cremina
Grinder: Mazzer Major,  Pavoni PGC
Posted Tue Mar 3, 2009, 7:12am
Subject: Re: P.I.D. QUESTIONS
 

gime2much Said:

Not to me. Push 1 button on the Watlow to swap between set point and actual temp. Besides the dual display you linked to is twice as large and Chinese if I'm not mistaken.

Posted March 2, 2009 link

I'll second that.  The whole point of the PID controller is to ensure that the actual temperature closely tracks the set-point temperature.  So a dual display would only show the same number twice!
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lennyk
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Posts: 28
Location: pos
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Mar 4, 2009, 7:07pm
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.
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JGG
Senior Member
JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 1,380
Location: Kentucky, US
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Roaster: Hottop D w/HTC+TC4C
Posted Wed Mar 4, 2009, 9:16pm
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.

Jim
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