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New Silvia Project - what would you add?
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > New Silvia...  
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philipmc
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2011
Posts: 32
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:02pm
Subject: Re: New Silvia Project - what would you add?
 

Interesting idea with the PTC. Do you have any links to these heating elements, or better, any links to a similar project?

I was also considering superheating the boiler (say to 140C) initially to increase the heat transfer rate to the group head. I could then use the water function and over pressure valve to flush cold water into the boiler, pulling down the temperature and purging any steam. Is this worth considering? (Albeit at a later time, since I don't have switch sensing or control at this point.)

The memory card is not easily accessible once the screen is installed, but you're right that it's a great memory store. I could certainly save different settings, but it could be clunky to enter them from the remote. Are memory settings really that useful? It's just a few button presses to move the setpoint up or down to adjust to a new brew.
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kernelhmm
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2012
Posts: 3
Location: BeiJing,China
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID siliva
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Roaster: Gene3D
Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012, 9:05pm
Subject: Re: New Silvia Project - what would you add?
 

This link is just randomly picked from google search result

http://www.dbk-usa.com/ptc-heaters/surface-and-spot-heaters

Any simlar products  could be used for this purpose.  In my experience an element >= 200W would
be appropriate for the silvia grouphead.  Since the upper space of silvia grouphead is irregular, you need to
customize the element shape by youself, or like me, simply fixed them(I use two small elements) by
Thermal silica.  And there is a screw upon the grouphead. It would be the right place to put the thermal
sensor(also can be used to measure the brewing water temp). Then with a PID and a SSR, you will get
an extremely steady brewing water temp( <0.5C).   I didn't photo my work before and can't give your a link.
But I think it would be quite simple for you since you already very familar with PID and silvia.

BTW, I think superheating boiler is not a good idea.  High temp may shorten the life of your electric parts, wires,
guages ,valves etc...
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philipmc
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2011
Posts: 32
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012, 9:29pm
Subject: Re: New Silvia Project - what would you add?
 

Thanks for the link. I'll have a better look once I have the basic setup complete.

In terms of superheating, I was only planning to use the same temperature as is used for steam. So I'd like to hope the machine should be able to take it without any problem.
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patrickff
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 36
Location: DC
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Silvia v2
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed Feb 29, 2012, 10:02am
Subject: Re: New Silvia Project - what would you add?
 

philipmc Said:

In terms of superheating, I was only planning to use the same temperature as is used for steam.

Posted February 28, 2012 link

Your PID would basically do an automatic "Cheating Miss Silvia" at the beginning to shorten the startup time?

Are memory settings really that useful?

I guess attaching a sheet of paper to the wall will do the same trick (and less work for you).

The Silvia brew group is not E61...

Shame on me ...

http://www.raspberrypi.org/ - probably overkill for a espresso machine ...
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philipmc
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2011
Posts: 32
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Fri Mar 2, 2012, 12:43am
Subject: Re: New Silvia Project - what would you add?
 

Yes, essentially I was thinking of a simplified "Cheating Miss Silvia" to get the machine up to temp more quickly. I might have a play with it ones installed to get some data manually.

Raspberry Pi - bah, I'm programming against a 32k limit with 2kb 'RAM'. What would I do with 256 MB? It'c certainly an interesting project that I've also been following. I'll stick with ATmega for now as the tools are better developed at this time. Undoubtedly RP will come into its own in 6-12 months time.
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philipmc
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2011
Posts: 32
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Wed Mar 7, 2012, 7:40pm
Subject: Re: New Silvia Project - what would you add?
 

The coding is finally finished! Everything settable is stored to non volatile EEPROM, so it remembers where it left off last time. The PID algorithm is written and integrated also. (Note to any future hobbyists, if using the Arduino PID library, it assumes a sample time of 100ms and scales the I and D variables. You’ll probably want to change that.)

The top half of the screen stays the same and displays:
• Ambient
• Boiler
• Target
• Grouphead
• Uptime
• SSR control on/off (added so I can use it to just monitor the standard thermostat behaviour if needed)

The lower half is multi function:

Mode 0 : Graph shows traces for
• Target
• Boiler
• Grouphead
• Duty (% of time SSR is on)

Mode 1 : shows operational parameters
• Duty
• Proportional – setting and calculated value
• Integral - setting and calculated value
• Derivative – setting and calculated value
• Smoothing % - variable used to smooth out minor temp fluctuations
This mode is quite neat as it lets me see what each of the PID parameters is doing in real time. It’s been great for helping me understand what the parameters each contribute.

Mode 2 : allows operational parameters to be set (as in mode 1, but not duty as that is calculated!)

It’s all controlled from the apple remote.

I’ll try and get some photos up in the next day or two.

The next step is to box it up and install it in Miss Silvia! I hope to find the time to do that this weekend.
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philipmc
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2011
Posts: 32
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Thu Mar 8, 2012, 7:42am
Subject: Re: New Silvia Project - what would you add?
 

Screen shots of the different modes. On the graph mode, red is boiler, yellow is grouphead and cyan is duty.

Here is a link to a more detailed flickr version: click

philipmc: 2012-01-017.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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patrickff
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 36
Location: DC
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Silvia v2
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Thu Mar 8, 2012, 1:47pm
Subject: Re: New Silvia Project - what would you add?
 

Impressive ... well, I wanted to get myself an Arduino Uno to play a little anyhow.

A few questions:
- How is your system turned on/off - power switch -, or is it always on?
- What happens when the user turns on "steam mode"?
- Isn't the TC4 Shield overkill? Shouldn't a simple LM35 do the trick?

Good luck installing it all.
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philipmc
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2011
Posts: 32
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Fri Mar 9, 2012, 12:37am
Subject: Re: New Silvia Project - what would you add?
 

patrickff Said:

Impressive ... well, I wanted to get myself an Arduino Uno to play a little anyhow.

Posted March 8, 2012 link

I highly recommend it. It's been very easy to get up and running. The real beauty of the system is that you need surprisingly little hardware knowledge. Though some programming (C++) does go a long way in helping understand other peoples libraries.

patrickff Said:

A few questions:
- How is your system turned on/off - power switch -, or is it always on?

Posted March 8, 2012 link

It's always on. I plan to add an auto standby mode (say 20s below 70C should do the trick) with wake up on temp increase, or any remote press. Ultimately it will have a real time clock, so the board can wake the machine to preheat at specified times. At the moment it's also fed from an external USB power supply, so there's always the mains switch.

patrickff Said:

- What happens when the user turns on "steam mode"?

Posted March 8, 2012 link

I plan to bypass the brew thermostat, so steam is not impacted (just use the switch as normal). I could add a steam mode to the Arduino (no need to use the steam switch, just press a remote button). That's a great idea as I have a button 'spare' right now.

patrickff Said:

- Isn't the TC4 Shield overkill? Shouldn't a simple LM35 do the trick?

Posted March 8, 2012 link

LM35s are ok, but the packaging makes them less convenient to mount. Thermocouples/TC4 offer more options and are more accurate. The TC4 has been a wonderful off the shelf board at a very reasonable price. I'd highly recomend it for any temperature sensing application.

patrickff Said:

Good luck installing it all.

Posted March 8, 2012 link

Thanks. =)
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patrickff
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 36
Location: DC
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Silvia v2
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Mon Mar 12, 2012, 10:27am
Subject: Re: New Silvia Project - what would you add?
 

First, thanks for the super extensive reply.

philipmc Said:

(...) At the moment it's also fed from an external USB power supply, so there's always the mains switch.

Posted March 9, 2012 link

The VIN on the Arduino board can handle "Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V". Maybe there is already 12V somewhere on Silvia's main board (= less cable).

philipmc Said:

I could add a steam mode to the Arduino (no need to use the steam switch, just press a remote button). That's a great idea as I have a button 'spare' right now.

Posted March 9, 2012 link

Requires that you turn the steam switch + click the remote button (am I lazy?)

I looked through my "filedump" directory: The "PIDing a Rancilio Silvia - a STEP by STEP guide - BY Warren Sullivan" seemed useful (no link unfortunately).
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