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Rotary Conversion...
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Rotary...  
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wcmocha
Senior Member
wcmocha
Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 218
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Nemox Lux
Drip: Keurig
Posted Fri May 20, 2011, 8:56pm
Subject: Rotary Conversion...
 

I just pulled three shots with the new rotary pump.  The result on the third shot was right up there with the best I've ever pulled and I haven't even finished dialing everything in yet...

Pros:
With my portafilter pressure gauge, there is no more fluttering.  (smoother pressure)
No more rattling noises while pumping and my espresso cups don't move around on the warmer when pulling a shot.
My favorite; I am pulling a blank shot and purging my steam wand without even turning the pump on.  I wired the solenoid valve to the pump switch and use street water pressure with absolutely no sound, It's almost too quiet.

Cons:
I lost a little cabinet space under the counter.
It cost a bit to put together.
That's it so far...

I'm so glad I did this.  Here's a pic of the rough install.  I'm waiting until I finish designing and installing the electronic timer / pump relay to clean everything up.  When done, it will have a user set pre-infusion period and automatic shot timer.

wcmocha: firstrotary.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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wcmocha
Senior Member
wcmocha
Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 218
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Nemox Lux
Drip: Keurig
Posted Sat May 21, 2011, 10:48pm
Subject: Re: Rotary Conversion...
 

So I just finished the timer controller addition and it works great.  No longer do I use a kitchen timer.  Here's how it works.

1-warm up the machine like normal until the PID controller reaches its set point.
2-flip the factory brew switch to ON which...
3-opens a solenoid valve introducing street water pressure for pre-infusion and powers up the timer which instantly counts down from a user-set number.
4-after the desired pre-infusion duration is reached, I flip the red switch under the counter that energizes a relay activating the rotary pump.
5-the counter reaches zero and de-energizes the relay automatically turning off the pump.
6-enjoy great espresso...

The reason for the manual switch is to experiment with pre-infusion duration and to select weather or not flipping the brew switch on the machine activates street pressure or pump pressure.  This is because I find myself cleaning the shower screen and priming the boiler even running hot water out the steam wand with just street pressure.  Here's a pic of the setup...

wcmocha: timer.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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wcmocha
Senior Member
wcmocha
Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 218
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Nemox Lux
Drip: Keurig
Posted Sat May 21, 2011, 10:52pm
Subject: Re: Rotary Conversion...
 

And here's a better close-up since I can only post little pics.  It looks really cool with all the lights blinking and numbers changing btw since I have it set to display down to 1/100th second.  I plan to shoot some video of my entire espresso process and posting it to the web so people can see.  I'll post a link here when it's done.

wcmocha: TimerCU.jpg
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chasemonster
Senior Member
chasemonster
Joined: 3 Jun 2010
Posts: 364
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Audrey
Grinder: Hario Mini Mill
Drip: V60
Posted Wed May 25, 2011, 1:56pm
Subject: Re: Rotary Conversion...
 

How much would you charge to turn my spare bedroom into an espresso machine?
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wcmocha
Senior Member
wcmocha
Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 218
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Nemox Lux
Drip: Keurig
Posted Wed May 25, 2011, 9:30pm
Subject: Re: Rotary Conversion...
 

That could be an interesting project...
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DVL
Senior Member
DVL
Joined: 4 Mar 2004
Posts: 176
Location: Victoria, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Tea, Wega Mininova, La...
Grinder: anfim, and a Rocky
Vac Pot: Press pot Bodums--and a Cory...
Drip: Starbucks Aroma...I...
Roaster: alpenrost...till it caught...
Posted Thu Jun 2, 2011, 10:27pm
Subject: Re: Rotary Conversion...
 

Are you making espresso or attempting cold fusion?  

Sweet setup--your wife/partner must love you!
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wcmocha
Senior Member
wcmocha
Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 218
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Nemox Lux
Drip: Keurig
Posted Fri Jun 3, 2011, 4:22pm
Subject: Re: Rotary Conversion...
 

Thanks.  I really have been going crazy with the elaborate setup.  Maybe cold fusion will be the next project...  

My wife was a little upset when I started spending time building this, but it's all better whenever I make her a drink on it...
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ggcadc
Senior Member
ggcadc
Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 147
Location: San Diego, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: QM Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer mini E, Virtuoso,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3 cup
Drip: All of them
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jun 7, 2011, 10:57am
Subject: Re: Rotary Conversion...
 

thats a lot crazier than I thought it would be. were there problems running the pump inside the machine?

I really dont think I could EVER get away with that, i'd be better off asking forgiveness for buying a multi-thousand dollar machine.

it does look quite impressive though, is the OPV running into the drip trap??
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wcmocha
Senior Member
wcmocha
Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 218
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Nemox Lux
Drip: Keurig
Posted Tue Jun 7, 2011, 10:04pm
Subject: Re: Rotary Conversion...
 

Honestly, it really isn't that hard to convert to a rotary pump.  (relatively speaking of course) I just went over board with the controls and other mods thanks to a "while I have it apart" mentality.  I came up with a way to salvage the 90 degree elbow off the top of the vibe pump and convert it to a standard 1/4" flare fitting to then run under the counter.  In fact the best thing I ever did was to scrap the compression fittings and go to flare connections.  I have access to all the pieces at work and my Dad has donated what I need for the cause.

I did in fact just solve a problem tonight.  I was getting a lot of channeling every time I pulled a shot.  It turns out the pressure of the rotary pump was kicking in instantly and damaging the puck of coffee.  I built an addition at work that solved the problem.  It starts with a coil of 1/4 inch copper that I teed in just after the solenoid valve.  It then turns into a length of 1/2 inch pex tubing (a plastic tubing used for radiant floors I have a special tool for that holds a lot of pressure).  The idea is that when pressure is created from the pump, it slowly builds pressure by filling the copper tube and compressing air in the pex tube.  Then when the pressure is released, it forces the water back out of the copper tube with the help of gravity so the air bubble at the top will always remain.  I'll take some pictures here as soon as it's finished.

Now there is no more channeling and the shots look and taste much better.  So to sum it up I'll change my mind and say it is difficult to add a rotary.  I guess I'm just used to doing crazy complex things so it seems easy.  The next step is a check valve as I discovered a problem while steaming.  It forced all of the water back down into the coil and filled the line all the way under the bar with steam and got really hot.  I'll be installing it right at the machine to solve this.

As for the OPV valve, I set it high as a safety and the pump re-circulates to stay at 9 bar.  The hose from it runs down into the drip tray just in case it ever needs to be released.  As for difficulty plumbing it inside the machine, the threads on the 90 degree fitting didn't seem to be pipe thread so I had to solder it.  That was hard because it was a different material than the fitting I soldered it to.  

It is a bit difficult getting away with it as far as my wife is concerned.  Especially since she can't enjoy the result with me since she has a heart condition.  But with a baby in the house and us often sleep deprived, I can get my coffee and keep things a lot quieter without the vibe pump.
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wcmocha
Senior Member
wcmocha
Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 218
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Nemox Lux
Drip: Keurig
Posted Thu Jun 9, 2011, 6:33pm
Subject: Re: Rotary Conversion...
 

Update.  I added a 3/8 inch check valve just before the machine and there is no longer steam traveling down the water line.  I'm also finding the coils I added make a great low pressure pre-infusion regulator.  I charge them with street pressure by opening the solenoid, then decrease the pressure to the desired level by opening the steam wand prior to pulling the shot.  Since I've been using the low pressure pre-infusion, I haven't pulled a single shot I haven't enjoyed drinking.  It's upped the consistency for sure.
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Step by step guide for easy brewing and steaming with the Rancilio Silvia
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