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Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
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strugs
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strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Fri Oct 14, 2005, 9:06pm
Subject: Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
 

OK - this thread is for serious geeks only.  Newbies and neophytes should go back to the main forums page before you get hurt.

Some of you followed my last attempt at installing a thermocouple in the E61 screw of my WEGA Lyra.  This project was code named FrE61nkenstein.

Although the project did work, it had some design flaws that led to its premature demise.

Enter FrE61nkenstein Part II:

(before I go into details, I need to post a disclaimer that I am by no means the first person to do this.  Many props to Cannonfodder and the Yoda of Espresso Temperature Obsession, Greg Scace) for inspiring me and helping me do this)

As I indicated in the original FrE61nkenstein project, measuring temperature up in the E61 screw area was not ideal.  The "flying saucer" section of the group has a significant influence on ultimate brewing temperature (where the coffee and water mix in the basket).  The E61 screw thermoprobe does not take the influence of the saucer section into account, and provides the TC readout with an artificially high temperature reading.

So, how do you get a thermocouple probe closer to the coffee/water confluence?  Well, you get out your power drill and do some surgery on your grouphead, that's how!

Lucky for me, my company has a handy auto repair shop that is steps away from my office.  I enlisted the help of a coworker who is handy with tools (think Tim Allen without as many trips to Emergency).  First order of business was to disassembled the machine.  Such a sad sad site to see the might WEGA in pieces laying on its side like a fallen soldier.  Don't worry - we can rebuild him.  Faster, stronger than before....

strugs: wega-dissasembled.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Fri Oct 14, 2005, 9:27pm
Subject: Re: Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
 

Before disassembling the frame, I removed the group gasket and the brass dispersion screw.  This is a pic of the underside of the group before drilling.  You can see where the dispersion screw goes and the hole you see is the main water delivery tube that runs through the group (and past the aforementioned E61 screw).

strugs: group-pre-drilled.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Fri Oct 14, 2005, 10:56pm
Subject: Re: Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
 

Next up: a serious gut check (drilling through a group head is a daunting and irreversible task) and then grab a 1/16 drill bit and get the party started.  The reason the frame had to be dissasembled was that drilling through from the top of the group was not an option.  The probe had to come out in a very precise location so that it would be in the small channel/pocket between the dispersion screw and the group.  The only way to ensure it would be located in this precise spot was to start the hole from the under side of the group.  Taking the frame apart allowed clearance for the drill to go under the group.  This pic shows the freshly drilled hole.

strugs: group-drilled-below.jpg
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- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Fri Oct 14, 2005, 11:02pm
Subject: Re: Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
 

Here is the hole from the top view.

strugs: group-drilled-above.jpg
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- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Fri Oct 14, 2005, 11:09pm
Subject: Re: Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
 

I should have posted this earlier:  a picture of the probe and the compression fitting.

The probe is a custome made (by OMEGA) stainless sheathed thermocouple.

The fitting is a 1/8 NPT with a compression sleeve and nut to seal the fitting to the probe.  OMEGA sells these and they are called "Omegalok" fittings.

The best feature of using this system is that you can adjust the depth of the probe to exactly the length you want then tighten the compression nut to seal it in place.

strugs: probe-and-exploded-fitting.jpg
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- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Fri Oct 14, 2005, 11:12pm
Subject: Re: Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
 

A pic of the probe inside the fitting.

strugs: probe-inside-fitting.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Fri Oct 14, 2005, 11:44pm
Subject: Re: Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
 

OK, back to the drilling.  Here is where I got really nervous.  The probe is 1/16, but the fitting is closer to 3/8.  The challenge at hand was to try to bore out the hole for the fitting perfectly centered over the probe hole.  To complicate matters, the saucer section has a slight dome shape, which made it much more difficult to determine whether the bore location was centered after we started drilling it out.  Anyways, my coworker used the probe hole as a sort of pilot hole and gradually increased the size of the drill bits (I think he used 4 or 5 bits) in order to get to the desired bore hole size.

PS - if anyone tells you that an E61 group is soilid brass, tell them that Strugs says that are full of crap.  There is a good 4 mm outer shell on the top of the group that is a LOT harder than brass.  Probably chrome, but it was not easy drilling this outer shell.

Here is a pic of the bored section.

strugs: group-drilled-and-bored.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Fri Oct 14, 2005, 11:54pm
Subject: Re: Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
 

Next up - tap dance.

Using a 1/8 NPT tap, the next challenge was to thread the bored out hole in the group.  This was surprisingly quick.

strugs: group-drilled-bored-and-tap.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Sat Oct 15, 2005, 12:02am
Subject: Re: Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
 

Now the moment of thruth.  Was the hole for the fitting centered over the probe hole?  Let's try it and see....

No problems!

strugs: group-with-probe-top-view1.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Sat Oct 15, 2005, 12:07am
Subject: Re: Real Time E61 HX Brew Temp Mod aka FrE61nkenstein Part 2
 

Here is a picture of the group from below with the probe installed and protruding out of the hole.  Note - the probe is sticking out further than the final installation, as you need more clearance to put the dispersion screw back in.  The picture I took of the probe in its final position makes it almost impossible to see the probe.

strugs: group-with-probe-under.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
- Sean
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