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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
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Posted Sun May 6, 2012, 5:26pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia SBDU Preheat PID Temperature Recovery and Stability
 

Tell me more about needing a 6v supply for the SSR.  I thought the universal PID output the correct voltage to the SSR.  Are you sure you need another low voltage power source for it?  (do the complete kits come with some low voltage DC power supply?)

How awkward or vulnerable would the PID be if not mounted inside any sort of case?  I know the connectors in back would be exposed but other than that ... is it just worries about dripping water on it? Or what is the purpose of the case?  I like the look of the PID by itself from what I can see in the pictures and figured I'd mount it on the back where it is out of sight - maybe a hinged mount so it points straight up when I'm filling the water tank and then it swivels down to sit horizontal above the water tank filler lid.  I'm just not sure what the case buys me over just mounting the PID naked.

AndyPanda: PID.JPG
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun May 6, 2012, 7:52pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia SBDU Preheat PID Temperature Recovery and Stability
 

Sorry, I did not mean to mislead you.  You do not need a box. I wanted one and got the black one to set on top of the black part of the Gaggia top.  Just wanted you to consider it when you order because of shipping.  I wanted the back end covered mostly, contacts, but liked the box.  As long as you have a plan without it.  You have noted that you want to keep water and debris out.

You get one output to SSR which already is a dc voltage and PID controlled, directly from the PID.  If you want a second setpoint via the alarm, then it has to control something.  You can set the alarm points, but they function to turn on and off a connection.  If you jump off of the ac source, then you have an ac connection and need another SSR, ac type.  I used the switch to the pump to activate the heater. That was using the brew switch to turn on a dc source, of about 5-25v, and put that to the same SSR, through diodes so not to mess with the other SSR connection.  See the early post about Skene link. There is also an earlier link to connect to another SSR.  Simple once you see it.  You only need another SSR or dc source if you want to play with a function other than the PID controlled SSR.  Consider steam or brew heating.  So, no, you do not need a dc sourse unless you want.  I had many setting around from phones and other dc applications.

added for ease the skene site and the frcn reference using second SSR

http://www.skenedesign.com/Silvia/

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/546343


I actually fill from the side of the tank pulled forward against the pump and return tubes, not from the top.  I have considered removing the fill tube and having a lot of room inside.  My machine is only about 3 months old and I have no real reason to do guarantee ending mods, yet. My PID sets on the top and I rotate it back off if I want to open the top.

This, below, and Auber are very similar clones and the back is the same.  Screws to pinch the wire.  There is a little inset, but I did not like it uncovered.  You could easliy tape over or shrink wrap but the made case was nice.  Not so nice if you are wanting to switch thermocouples, but you will eventually find what you like and then may want the box with the fitted cutout and exit grommet.  These instructions may make the above gibberish more understandable.  Read about the outputs.

http://users.rcn.com/erics/PID/PID_Manual_2.pdf

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue May 8, 2012, 9:56am
Subject: Re: Gaggia SBDU Preheat PID Temperature Recovery and Stability
 

A short length of K wire to a female K plug out of the back of the PID would leave an easy hook up for changing K thermocouples.  Of course you would have to use male plug fittings on the thermocouples instead of bare wire, but you could then box the PID and have changeability.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 769
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Various...
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Fiorenzato,...
Vac Pot: vintage Corey
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: BreadMachine/HeatGun
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 4:33pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia SBDU Preheat PID Temperature Recovery and Stability
 

Thought I'd add a couple of pictures of a device I just made. (sorry Greg - I hope you feel that imitation is the highest form of flattery).   I used some hi temp epoxy putty stick to make a simulated coffee puck.  Used a fine wire (guitar string) to keep one hole open in a Gaggia single filter basket and a K-Type bead (yeah, I know it isn't as accurate at a T-type but it is what I had and it's close enough for what I'm doing).

Hard to see in this low-res photo ... but I made the center of the simulated puck have a small funnel shape and the K-Type bead is about in the center and sits about 1-2 mm below the shower screen.  That little funnel doesn't hold much - maybe 1/8 teaspoon.

If I were more sophisticated, I'd get a water tight T-Type probe.  I did my best to seal up the K-Type and it "mostly" doesn't leak - just a few drops work their way down inside the wire sheath and out of the basket.

AndyPanda: ThermoFilter1.jpg
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 769
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Various...
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Fiorenzato,...
Vac Pot: vintage Corey
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: BreadMachine/HeatGun
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 4:35pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia SBDU Preheat PID Temperature Recovery and Stability
 

Here is the bottom of the thermofilter basket.  Only one hole in the center spurts water.  I get the right flow for the type of shots I pull. 30ml in 25 seconds.  And I have an adjustable pump now so I can kick that up or down if I want to simulate a faster or slower pour.

AndyPanda: ThermoFilter2.jpg
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 769
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Various...
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Fiorenzato,...
Vac Pot: vintage Corey
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: BreadMachine/HeatGun
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 4:58pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia SBDU Preheat PID Temperature Recovery and Stability
 

I've got to get a real video camera - or learn how to use the video camera in my phone.  This is really poor quality video ... but I pulled a 40ml shot holding the temp around 194F (I like my shots around this temp - I know it's considered too cool but for the coffee I'm using and for my taste it is about right).  Then immediately pulled another shot without any recovery waiting time (just a couple seconds to dump the cup and reset the scale) ... because I wanted to show a proper 198F shot and also because there was no recovery waiting period, I started the shot with the boiler temp higher than you would expect.  You can see that I hold the temp steady for a good 40-50ml and then I get a little too hot and have it crossing over 200F but continue holding the temp for a very long, long shot with lots more volume than you would ever pull.  The point being - just to demonstrate that the Gaggia boiler is easily capable of holding the temp steady over the course of a shot - it just needs something to control the heat that understands how much heat needs to be added to compensate for the cool water being pumped into the boiler (and this varies depending on how fast you like your shots to pour).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLsqZVC2WG8
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 8:15pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia SBDU Preheat PID Temperature Recovery and Stability
 

If I understand you correctly on the post and video then you have controlled temperature by flicking the added switch on and off. This is similar to what you posted much earlier, but with a thermocouple instead of over the lip. Further and better proof of temperature control.  I wonder what happens if you do multiple pulls with say 30 – 60 seconds between. Simulated emptying and reloading. That will possibly add a layer of complexity as you run up the temperature and then would have time for it to absorb. The long slow pull is impressive. You must have gotten into a very smooth rhythm. I also wonder where the brew temperature went about 45 seconds after that long pull. The tank heat must absorb in and dissipate out into the machine and air.

I have started trying a 2-3 second “on” cycle for pre-infusion, pause, and then regular infusion. With the PID turning on the boiler with the brew cycle the pre-infusion helps preheat. I have not tried the dimmer yet, for pressure, but am not varying the beans much. I have been using Redbird Espresso and Blue Jaguar, both like 200F and brew similarly.  

I would like to see you try the PID. It is easy to wire and set up the PID function for brew temperature and the alarm function to flick the heater on and off. It would be interesting to see you test for accuracy. It is also easy to change the alarm set points and control the heat input. It would be a different learning curve, but interesting to see what you could do. I think that you understand that with a higher set point, the heater is turned on to get there, "proactively," and more so when cool water enters. Since the set point for temperature is raised by the brew switch you get the same effect that you are manually doing, raising the temperature, not just chasing cold water.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 769
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Various...
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Fiorenzato,...
Vac Pot: vintage Corey
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: BreadMachine/HeatGun
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 9:42pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia SBDU Preheat PID Temperature Recovery and Stability
 

That particular machine (the one in the video) has the little Thermometer (the Polder mounted on the front of the Gaggia) with the thermocouple bead pretty high up on the boiler - higher on the boiler wall than I usually mount the TC bead.  So that is why the temps look so high on that readout.  If I let the machine warm up and just sit there idling for a long time, I would want to start the shot around 224F on that thermometer to get a 196-7F shot.  But if I have pulled a shot, or flushed in the last minute or two I need to have a much higher starting temp on the boiler to see the same 196-7F temp at the puck.

I think I was up around 255F on the boiler when I was starting a second shot just a few seconds after finishing the previous pull (but it got away from me and starting hitting 202F at the simulated puck at the end of that really long pull).  It is strange to get used to - and I don't usually pull back to back shots anyway.  But I do usually fill my cup with hot water from the group just before I grind and prep my baskets.   Also ... that PF in the video doesn't have a spring clip and the baskets fit loosely in there.  So if I were going to pull four shots in a row, I'd prepare four baskets in advance and just take a few seconds between shots to swap baskets - and the timing would be about the same as in the video - so probably have the boiler sitting around 250F to keep up with the incoming cool water.

Having that new Thermafilter in the PF really helps since now I can watch the temp better over the course of a simulated shot.  I think it will help me refine my routine when doing a real shot.

Actually (this is ironic after all this work to get the intrashot temp stabilized) ... I kind of prefer the taste of a shot that cools a bit over the course of the pull (the way it does in a lever machine) ... say starting at 198 and ending at 192 is about right for my tastes.

The video was simply meant to demonstrate that it is possible for the Gaggia boiler to heat the incoming water enough to hold the intrashot temp steady - if only there were some sophistocated enough control to manage it.

But ... since I've lately started to prefer the taste letting the shot temp drop a little - I don't hit the switch very often during the pull.


Just a wild guess ... something I would try if I had the PID setup ... maybe you can try it.  Try disconnecting the alarm - so it doesn't turn the heat on during the pull like you have it now.  Instead, try setting your PID about 10-15 degrees higher than you have it now -  but fill your cup with hot water (30-40ml) from the group - heats the cup up - then dump it and start your pull just as soon as it gets to the higher temp (this way the boiler itself is hotter than the water inside it) --- I think this would allow you to pull a second shot in 20-30 seconds after a shot rather than waiting 5-10 minutes for shot recovery.  But you would need a ThermoFilter to measure and practice and find the right temps/timing.
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri May 25, 2012, 10:40am
Subject: Re: Gaggia SBDU Preheat PID Temperature Recovery and Stability
 

AndyPanda Said:

Just a wild guess ... something I would try if I had the PID setup ... maybe you can try it.  Try disconnecting the alarm - so it doesn't turn the heat on during the pull like you have it now.  Instead, try setting your PID about 10-15 degrees higher than you have it now -  but fill your cup with hot water (30-40ml) from the group - heats the cup up - then dump it and start your pull just as soon as it gets to the higher temp (this way the boiler itself is hotter than the water inside it) --- I think this would allow you to pull a second shot in 20-30 seconds after a shot rather than waiting 5-10 minutes for shot recovery.  But you would need a ThermoFilter to measure and practice and find the right temps/timing.

Posted May 24, 2012 link

I am not sure that I can use the PID well that way.  The PID is for a set and hold temperature and if I set it 10 - 15 degrees higher, I would probably have steam if I let it equilibrate.  I could do it that way and then not use the PID to have the machine warmed up for 15+ minutes.  I have the PID at 215 and get water at about 200 in the styrofoam test.  If I figure the water is a few degrees warmer before the fall into the styrofoam, then +10 would have me at about boiling.

A machine needs about 5 minutes between shots to fully equilibrate back to starting temperature, but my PID/alarm is much more like your switch flipping.  With some experimenting, I can pick a set point that will put more heat calories in than used.  The difficulty is trying to figure how many calories of heat (how much run time), with switch flipping or a second set point, to input and get the second shot at the correct temperature.  That is trial and error in either method.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 769
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Various...
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Fiorenzato,...
Vac Pot: vintage Corey
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: BreadMachine/HeatGun
Posted Fri May 25, 2012, 12:25pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia SBDU Preheat PID Temperature Recovery and Stability
 

I guess I'll have to get a PID and learn what they can/can't do and test my theory.

What I was trying to say (and hoping the PID could do) was that I notice when I let the boiler sit and stabilize for 10 minutes - I might be at 215-216F on the boiler and get 199-200F in the styrofoam cup just like you stated.  But if I were to flush 1-2oz of hot water (to heat up the group head and to heat up my cup) and then start a shot, I'd be seeing 190F in a styrofoam cup test (or now I'm testing with the PF Thermofilter I made which is easier).

So ... my thought (and it seems to work with me doing it manually) instead of setting my boiler to be steady at 215F and waiting 10 minutes between shots ... I can set my boiler to 225F and then remove the PF and pull a flush shot to warm up my cup and then lock/load the PF back in and get 198F to the puck  and by working my heater to try and hold that 225F boiler temp throughout the shot, I continue to see 197-198 to the end of the shot and I could then pull a second shot without waiting 10 minutes.    I was thinking if you tried simply setting your PID to 225F -- and then do a flush into your cup, then lock the PF and start your shot (dump your cup and put it back before the first drips of espresso) if your PID would then try to keep the boiler at 225F and do about the same thing I'm doing manually - then you wouldn't need the long wait before the next shot.  And if you did wait, then you'd need to do a flush first before you start your next shot.

But for you to test that, you'd need to change your special setup that puts the boiler on full when you start your shot - instead you'd want the boiler to just cycle on and off trying to hold your 225F set temp while the shot is pouring.  

I may be completely off base since I don't have a PID to test - maybe they just don't work that way, but I don't see why it couldn't do the same thing that I'm doing manually now.

BTW - this is a little bit of a new routine for me since I've been experimenting with the ThermoFilter.  In that video (was just learning how to use the thermofilter), you see how long it takes at first for the shot to get up to temp - then it holds steady.  I have now learned that by starting a bit hotter and flushing water through the group before I start the shot, the shot starts out at the proper temp right from the beginning.  I think it needs the flush to heat up the group to get the starting temp right.
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