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Rocket r58 three way toggle?
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Rocket r58 three...  
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Lincabe
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Joined: 2 Jan 2013
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Location: Oakland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rockey
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 8:03pm
Subject: Rocket r58 three way toggle?
 

I'm very interested in purchasing a Rocket r58, but I only drink milk drinks on the occasion, and would really like an easy way to turn on and off the service (steam) boiler without having to re-program the PID. Does anyone know how challenging it would be to replace the current power switch with such a three way toggle? There has been a considerable amount of discussion in the forums asking for such an update...

Thanks!
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
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Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 3, 2013, 6:43am
Subject: Re: Rocket r58 three way toggle?
 

You need to get inside the black box and switch the SSRs on the low voltage side, or if they are switching using mains voltage the low current side. Adding a supplementary switch for steam on/off would be the easiest way, splicing into the low current circuit on the SSR.
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Lincabe
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Location: Oakland
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Espresso: Silvia
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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2013, 1:02pm
Subject: Re: Rocket r58 three way toggle?
 

Any idea if, having done such a splice of the low current circuit, the PID would still fluctuate the power between the service (steam) boiler and the brew boiler? As I understand it, because the machine only uses 15 amp power, the PID switches the power between the two boilers- would the PID be able to sense that the steam boiler is off, and just direct the power to the brew boiler?
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DavecUK
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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2013, 1:44pm
Subject: Re: Rocket r58 three way toggle?
 

I suspect it would do what the Duetto does (when you turn the steam boiler off) and send the pulse to the steam boiler whether it is on or not. The system would not have any knowledge the boiler was off if interrupted this way. However, there could be programming to detect that sort of interruption as a fault, but i very much doubt it as all prosumer dual boiler machines are really quite primitive in design and electronics at the moment.
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espressOD
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Joined: 3 Jan 2013
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Location: Gatineau QC
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Espresso: Rocket R58
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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2013, 7:53pm
Subject: Re: Rocket r58 three way toggle?
 

I'm suspecting that it all comes down to what Rocket has done in the micro-controller card which seems to act as the PID/brains of the machine.  Depending on what type of algorithm they are using to alternate current from one boiler to the other could greatly impact the performance of the machine.

For example lets say that 50% of the time they heat the brew boiler and the other 50% of the time they heat the service boiler until they both get up to temp.  Then possibly shift these time ratios (ie 60% to 40%, etc...) as needed to keep both boilers up to the set temperatures or as close as possible (stable temp).  What I'm guessing would happen is that in the micro-controller/PID you would have the "Service Boiler" still in the "on" state but if the three way switch is positioned to have the brew boiler "on" and service boiler "off" then the service boiler water temp being read by the micro-controller would always be somewhere near room temperature.  Possibly resulting in throwing the firmware/software logic way off and trying to spend more cycles heating the service boiler which will never rise because this three way switch mod cuts the electrical power going to that service boiler.  Honestly it's hard to tell how it would react unless you know what is written in the brains software or do some tinkering via trial and error.  Personally I'm not going to be the first one to venture down this path, still waiting for my R58 to show up sometime next week.

Oh well I'll start off by enjoying my rocket once it gets here.  I don't think my wife would appreciate me opening our new espresso machine in the first week of owning it, cutting wires and making mods.
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Lincabe
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Joined: 2 Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Oakland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rockey
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:39am
Subject: Re: Rocket r58 three way toggle?
 

Very true- it's a bummer the folks at Rocket have not responded to or addressed this issue, as it seems to be a widely held request, and one that should be rather simple to implement. There is logic to, and I generally agree with their design decisions in all instances other than this. I'm not going to switch from mains to reservoir water supply often, nor am I going to mess with the boiler temps once I dial them in, but I shouldn't have to reprogram the PID every day when I want a latte in the morning, but straight espresso the rest of the day.
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,466
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:20pm
Subject: Re: Rocket r58 three way toggle?
 

The arguments I had with Izzo re the same issue with the Duetto....they couldn't even understand why you would want a switch and then were really trying hard to put that switch on the PID in a similar way to Rocket. Sometimes there's just waay to much use of technology when a good old analogue solution is better.
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