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Thread: Decent espresso

  1. #811
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    Default Making connections stick

    Back in November, when I first toured with the DE1+, my prototype machine broke down often because wired connections would come loose from the espresso machine being thrown around so much during traveling.

    We've improved that quite a bit since then, but even now, on this tour, I had one wire, on one valve, that has kept coming off. Each time I traveled someplace new, before a demo I would pop off the top of my espresso machine, check the wire, and (usually) put it back into place with a pair of tweezers. Not cool.

    To fix this problem, we're doing two things:
    1) wherever possible we've replaced wired connections with small PC boards that fit over the connectors, and the whole thing is soldered in place
    2) locking connectors everywhere else.

    For our mixing chamber, which is a very parts-dense area of the machine, we designed an L shaped PC Board that fits over all the valve connectors, and which also brings 5 temperature and pressure sensors into once place, with a locking connector sending the data back to the low voltage PC Board.

    This board just got manufactured (by us) today and we'll be putting it in place on monday.

    mani3.jpg

    mani2.jpg

    mani1.jpg

    For a humorous comparison to where we've come from, I've included a photo of the last "R&D prototype" we made, before redesigning everything for proper manufacturing.

    proto1.jpg

  2. #812
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    wherever possible we've replaced wired connections with small PC boards that fit over the connectors, and the whole thing is soldered in place
    On balance, maybe this is the right call, but soldering in parts that are prone to failure reduces repairability. Valves and pumps in particular are prone to needing to be replaced. If they are soldered onto boards (particularly boards with other components), that makes it harder to replace them.

  3. #813
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    Indeed. Can you convince us that soldered PCBs are going to be more reliable in the long term than good quality crimped connectors? I appreciate you need to allow for idiots and are pursuing an agent-free model, but a more modular and accessible approach would be more attractive to me whom I imagine to be in your target market..

  4. #814
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    Default

    Sockets, You should consider sockets on the pcb for each solenoid to plug into. The board itself should lock these together and reduce the chance of any loose connection.

    When you consider how many terminals such as these, with connectors such as were used in the prototype, have been fitted to cars over the years and the operating environment these have endured compared to the typical use of a coffee machine, I feel that although it is pretty the pcb idea might just be overkill and just makes the machine less desirable due to serviceability issues.

    If the leads were falling off then the cable lengths were wrong and/or there were quality issues with the terminals.

  5. #815
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    Default Look no further than your own PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Tewdric View Post
    Indeed. Can you convince us that soldered PCBs are going to be more reliable in the long term than good quality crimped connectors? I appreciate you need to allow for idiots and are pursuing an agent-free model, but a more modular and accessible approach would be more attractive to me whom I imagine to be in your target market..
    Once chips are soldered into a Printed Circuit Board if they don't initially fail, they're good for eons. http://www.pcguide.com/ts/rrr/feasFailures-c.html

    Crimped connectors have a higher failure rate over the long term due to corrosion. https://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/1288669

    The solution given of with small replaceable PCB's is exactly what is done in the high tech world.

    - I have made a deposit on a DE1+ and I have no other tie to Decent Espresso other than as a future customer. I'm over here watching for updates on my future machine.

  6. #816
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwCrema View Post
    I'm over here watching for updates on my future machine.
    Looks like there are a few of us who have been forced to migrate after a certain site decided to lock down the thread on DE.

  7. #817
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwCrema View Post
    The solution given of with small replaceable PCB's is exactly what is done in the high tech world.
    Here's an example of a self-standing PCB (the flush valve), that is not connected to the other valve assembly. It's a very small PCB, that converts the terminal connections to a much more robust locking and water-resistant connector.

    We put all the valves together on one PCB to simplify wiring and reduce failure. Instead of needing 4 valves x 3 connectors (12 wires) going all the way to the back of the machine (to the high voltage board), now one single robust multiconnector cable can go back to the high voltage board.

    Also, to simplify assembly and testing, it's better to have assembled parts ("sub-assemblies") that can be built out of the machine, tested beforehand independently.

    The opposite approach, of having each component totally separate, coming together at the end, is more likely to find problems late in the assembly process. You'll also have many more wires and connectors flying about, which themselves cause problems. Ideally, when you open up an espresso machine, you should mostly see empty space, and the few wires and tubes should be clear in function, as short as possible, and tidily put away.

    If you look inside most modern electronic products, you'll find compact sub-assemblies plugging into each other. It's unusual to find individual components wired together these days.

    IMG_6862.jpg
    Last edited by decent_espresso; 2 Days Ago at 06:23.

  8. #818
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTLexpress View Post
    Looks like there are a few of us who have been forced to migrate after a certain site decided to lock down the thread on DE.
    I've done business in Asia for years. Once a supply chain is nailed down, it runs like clockwork and you get life-long friends as an added bonus. But, getting all of this rolling is not for the faint of heart or those who want it done yesterday.

  9. #819
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    Today's video shows you the insides of the "manufacturing prototype, v2". At this point we're finalizing the sheet metal brackets, insulation of the heaters, temperature probe mountings, and the spacial arrangement of all the components inside the box.

    If there's anything in this video you have a question about, please post a screen capture of the inside of the machine, pointing to what you'd like more info on.


  10. #820
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    Default Parts coming in

    The water pumps and safety valves to build 300 Decent Espresso Machines (110V and 220V), arrived today. There are two pumps per machine, in case you're wondering about the quantities.

    These are made for us by the Italian company ODE
    (Officine di Esino Lario) ) whose products are found all over professional Italian espresso machines. http://www.ode.it/en/

    pumpbox1.jpg

    pumpbox2.jpg
    Last edited by decent_espresso; 13 Hours Ago at 08:32.

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