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New Isomac models with PID
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,050
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
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Posted Thu Aug 22, 2013, 5:01am
Subject: New Isomac models with PID
 

So Isomac has jumped the bandwagon and offers their 2013 models of the Kia and Tea with a PID, which is hardly more than a marketing gimmick. After all, these are still E61 HX machines, so you cannot control brewing temperature directly with the PID. So if you're interested in a Isomac Kia or Tea, safe some money and get the regular machines. You might like to invest in a better grinder.

Any thoughts?

 
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sun Sep 1, 2013, 10:22pm
Subject: Re: New Isomac models with PID
 

I can see why they did it.

I agree that PID control for a HX is pointless for regulating brew temperature, but think of it this way... It's replacing a pressurestat. The heater is probably being controlled by a Solid State Relay.
By eliminating the electromechanical components out of the machine, this increases its reliability. It also quiets it down, no more "click-clunk" every minute or so.

Izzo has been doing this with their Alex for years and it works quite well. If anything, what the PID is regulating is steam temperature to regulate pressure.

What I've heard though is that some baristas prefer pressurestats because they react much faster than a PID and do a better job of keeping the steam boiler at the right pressure.

Is a PID better than a pressurestat when being used in an HX machine? That's a whole other thread to discuss. :)

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,050
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sun Sep 1, 2013, 10:46pm
Subject: Re: New Isomac models with PID
 

Well, Bud, to me a PID on an HX machine is, like Wayne (calblacksmith) once put it, nothing but eye candy. The pressostat is able to keep the temperature of the steam boiler within 1C (2F) which is stable enough. As far as the noise is concerned, the pressostat of my Opus One, which is identical in construction to the Isomac Millenium, makes hardly any noticable clicking.

Then again due to age, maybe I'm a little hard of hearing. ;-)

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sun Sep 1, 2013, 11:06pm
Subject: Re: New Isomac models with PID
 

NobbyR Said:

Well, Bud, to me a PID on an HX machine is, like Wayne (calblacksmith) once put it, nothing but eye candy.

Posted September 1, 2013 link

Well, In theory, one could design the machine so that the PID is "Under the covers", especially if one would only adjust it very seldomly.
Regardless, I'd always want to look at the pressure gauge anyway instead of the boiler temperature.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,050
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Mon Sep 2, 2013, 1:26am
Subject: Re: New Isomac models with PID
 

qualin Said:

(...), one could design the machine so that the PID is "Under the covers",  (...)

Posted September 1, 2013 link

That's what Rocket Espresso did with the R58, but that's a dual boiler like your Duetto, so the PID makes sense.

 
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__________
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Posted Mon Sep 2, 2013, 2:32am
Subject: Re: New Isomac models with PID
 

I owned an Isomac Tea a few years ago, fitted with a miniature pressurestat at that time, although I can't recall whether it was a mater or the other make that escapes me.  I never trusted it. It "fizzled" when it switched off, and the neon flickered.  I would never have left it switched on and unattended for more than a few minutes.  Although within spec. I think the full 1400w at 230v is too much for those miniature type pressurestats, and they arc and degrade the contacts after a while.  

Things may be different in 110v versions, as I think the pressurestat just drives a SSR in those models, so virtually no power running through them, but unless things have changed, the 230v versions were directly in series with the heater.  For that reason alone I'd vote for a purely electronic boiler control, even at the cost of some lag when turning on the steam perhaps.  

As to whether it needs the full sophistication of a PID control.....well, no, pointless on that score.
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