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Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Need advice on...  
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tegee
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 47
Location: New England
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sat Mar 3, 2012, 3:37pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
 

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the detailed experience you have with your Classic.

I did in fact buy the Classic.  It was in my price range and I can learn on this machine and if my consumption, knowledge and need increases I will simply sell the machine used and purchase a higher end model.  So far I am very happy with the Classic.

To that end, can share any pics of the MOD you have in regard to the external digital thermometer?  That sounds like a simply solution for a PID.

Many thanks.....
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AndyPanda
Senior Member
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 Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:35pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
 

I won't have a chance to take pics for a few days.  But here is the thermometer I use:
Click Here (www.bedbathandbeyond.com)

I carefully pry the case apart (this is how you would replace the battery if you ever needed to) and lift the digital display portion out of the plastic shell ... I've done several of these and on "most" the wire simply slides easily out of the metal probe ... but I did have one where the wire seemed to be glued into the metal tube and I had to pull pretty hard to get it to come out.

Once I have the display completely out with the wire dangling, then I cut off the plastic nub that is holding the metal probe-tube to the shell. Toss the probe-tube away and put the display back into the shell with the wire hanging out the hole left behind where the metal tube used to be.  Now you attach the shell to the front of the machine (I like it at the bottom left - but whatever you like as long as the wire will reach) and fish the wire through one of the gaps along the bottom edge near the grouphead.  Then you can decide where you want to attach the bead onto the boiler.  I like to put it right smack in the middle of the flat side of the boiler (the side facing the front of the machine).  If you put it higher on the boiler, it will read hotter (that's where the hottest water is) lower on the boiler will read cooler (group head and portafilter sucking some of the heat away and the cool water comes into the bottom when you start the pull).  You may get better data putting it somewhere else - but I like it right in the middle so I'm reading the temp as far away from the heaters as possible (the heaters are on the sides) and as close to middle (up and down) so I'm reading the average temp from the water in the middle of the boiler.  I noticed that the brew thermostat is a bit lower down, more towards the bottom of the boiler (maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the way up from the seam between the two halves of the boiler) - so you may have better luck mounting the bead a little lower than where I said I put mine.

I've used a spot of hi temp glue (hard to remove if you decide to service your boiler someday) and I've used a small piece of tape.  I've tried just wedging a piece of cork or silicone between the case and the boiler to press the wire bead against the boiler side.  But I think just using a piece of tape seems to work just fine for me (it's going to see 280 degrees F so use something that can stand that).  If you have some heat sink compound, you can place a small dab on the bead --- but it'll work just fine without it.  Ideally you will use something that isn't heat conductive (like don't use a piece of aluminum) because it will be much cooler than the boiler and cause the reading to be low. I used plain old blue painters tape and it seems to be holding just fine.  I've tried using duct tape and other types of tape and eventually the bead falls loose.  A zip tie that can handle the temp would probably work well.  But I'm having best luck cutting a piece of material from one of those "stress reliever squeeze balls" (they are always handing them out where I work).  I don't know what material they are made of - but they are a stiff, springy, rubbery material that doesn't mind the heat.  I wedge a piece of this between the front of the cabinet and the flat side of the boiler - down low towards the bottom of the boiler - and then work the thermocouple bead between this and the boiler.  It puts pressure against the bead, holding it tight to the surface of the boiler - and it is easy to remove the bead in case you need to remove the boiler someday.

Don't be temped to pinch the bead under a screwhead or under the brew thermostat - the bead is brittle and will shatter (I know, I've done it) and for some reason this particular thermometer will not work if you simply twist the ends of the wire together - so if you shatter the bead you will have to invest another $10 in a second thermometer.
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tegee
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 47
Location: New England
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012, 8:54am
Subject: Re: Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
 

AndyPanda Said:

I won't have a chance to take pics for a few days.  But here is the thermometer I use:
Click Here (www.bedbathandbeyond.com)

I carefully pry the case apart (this is how you would replace the battery if you ever needed to) and lift the digital display portion out of the plastic shell ... I've done several of these and on "most" the wire simply slides easily out of the metal probe ... but I did have one where the wire seemed to be glued into the metal tube and I had to pull pretty hard to get it to come out.

Once I have the display completely out with the wire dangling, then I cut off the plastic nub that is holding the metal probe-tube to the shell. Toss the probe-tube away and put the display back into the shell with the wire hanging out the hole left behind where the metal tube used to be.  Now you attach the shell to the front of the machine (I like it at the bottom left - but whatever you like as long as the wire will reach) and fish the wire through one of the gaps along the bottom edge near the grouphead.  Then you can decide where you want to attach the bead onto the boiler.  I like to put it right smack in the middle of the flat side of the boiler (the side facing the front of the machine).  If you put it higher on the boiler, it will read hotter (that's where the hottest water is) lower on the boiler will read cooler (group head and portafilter sucking some of the heat away and the cool water comes into the bottom when you start the pull).  You may get better data putting it somewhere else - but I like it right in the middle so I'm reading the temp as far away from the heaters as possible (the heaters are on the sides) and as close to middle (up and down) so I'm reading the average temp from the water in the middle of the boiler.  I noticed that the brew thermostat is a bit lower down, more towards the bottom of the boiler (maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the way up from the seam between the two halves of the boiler) - so you may have better luck mounting the bead a little lower than where I said I put mine.

I've used a spot of hi temp glue (hard to remove if you decide to service your boiler someday) and I've used a small piece of tape.  I've tried just wedging a piece of cork or silicone between the case and the boiler to press the wire bead against the boiler side.  But I think just using a piece of tape seems to work just fine for me (it's going to see 280 degrees F so use something that can stand that).  If you have some heat sink compound, you can place a small dab on the bead --- but it'll work just fine without it.  Ideally you will use something that isn't heat conductive (like don't use a piece of aluminum) because it will be much cooler than the boiler and cause the reading to be low.  I used plain old blue painters tape and it seems to be holding just fine.

Don't be temped to pinch the bead under a screwhead or under the brew thermostat - the bead is brittle and will shatter (I know, I've done it) and for some reason this particular thermometer will not work if you simply twist the ends of the wire together - so if you shatter the bead you will have to invest another $10 in a second thermometer.

Posted March 3, 2012 link


Thank Andy, but your link did not come through?  Also, picks of the assembly and hook up would be great when you have an opportunity.

Many thanks again.........
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AndyPanda
Senior Member
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 Sun Mar 4, 2012, 12:40pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
 

tegee Said:

Thank Andy, but your link did not come through?

Posted March 4, 2012 link

If you click where it says "click here" that will take you to the link ... if you click where it says "www.bedbathbeyond.com" it only takes you to the main page .... something about how links show up here in the forum.
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tegee
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 47
Location: New England
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012, 3:55pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
 

tegee Said:

Thank Andy, but your link did not come through? x]

If you click where it says "click here" that will take you to the link ... if you click where it says "www.bedbathbeyond.com" it only takes you to the main page .... something about how links show up here in the forum.

Posted March 4, 2012 link


Got it...thx.  I think I have a similar model hanging around at home.  I will see if I can take it apart per your instructions in a previous post.
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AndyPanda
Senior Member
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 Sun Mar 4, 2012, 10:51pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
 

Here is a picture of the Polder Thermometer from the link I gave you a few posts back.  This first pic shows the shell separated.  Use a small flat blade screwdriver and carefully pry it open.

AndyPanda: PolderThermo1jpeg.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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AndyPanda
Senior Member
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 Sun Mar 4, 2012, 11:00pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
 

Here it is after lifting out the display and pulling the wire out of the tube ... next step is to cut off the plastic molding that holds the tube to the shell.  Sometimes the wire has a spot of glue holding it in the probe tube - you have to carefully work the glue loose and then pull the wire out.  Many of the ones I've opened have not had the glue.  In either case it is pretty easy - just be careful when pulling on the wire if it has the glue.

AndyPanda: PolderThermo2jpeg.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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AndyPanda
Senior Member
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 Sun Mar 4, 2012, 11:01pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
 

Here it is with the tube cut off and ready to be reassembled

AndyPanda: PolderThermo3jpeg.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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AndyPanda
Senior Member
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 Sun Mar 4, 2012, 11:03pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
 

And here it is all assembled and ready to mount on the espresso machine.

AndyPanda: PolderThermo4jpeg.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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pknightk123
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012, 11:07pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Gaggia machine purchase
 

It is such a long time that the espresso machine has accompanied you! I think you have set deep feeling with it,am I right? I always .Once something has been with me for a long time ,I always do not want to change it ,envn it cannot work as well as before.Usually ,I replace it when it can not work any more.

 
If you need any electronics,come to  http://www.cometodeal.com/
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