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      A dedicated forum to discuss Gaggia Coffee Machines, Grinders. Parts and Accessories

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  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Hi, a few months ago, just in time for the lockdown to start, I bought a second hand Gaggia Paros. It's a beautiful machine and it took me a little while but eventually I learnt how to pull a decent espresso. I have already replaced the steam wand and I did the OPV mod (without really any benefit, so I might have done it wrong). What I was really curious to do was to add a PID controller for the water heater despite the risk of ruining the beauty of these analogical machines. I have some experience with electronics and coding so taking inspiration from other similar projects (very helpful) I decided to make my own PID controller instead of buying a kit. I ended up using an Arduino, TSic306 digital temperature sensors and the usual cheap SSR from eBay. As said there are several other posts or blogs about adding a PID controller to a Gaggia Classic and I am sure they are better explained than mine, my hope is to help any owner of the Paros which is slightly different to the Classic in terms of electrical connections. I am still polishing up the last bits but I have pushed the source on Github for anyone to use or contribute and I am also writing the documentation trying to explain what I did. I am sure that this work can be applied to a Gaggia Classic with the required considerations, probably the code won't even need any change. Source code: https://github.com/ilcardella/GaggiaPIDController Documentation: https://gaggiapidcontroller.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ Currently I am trying to tune the PID gains, I get a small overshoot that I'd like to remove, it's not too bad but I'm worried to break the sensors when heating up the water to steam temperature. Any advice on that is welcome. Also when the temp get over 145Deg C I get water out of the OPV valve (with the pump off) and a weird whistle noise, not sure if that is expected, but  I guess it's due to the pressure. After the PID tuning I still have to design and figure out how and where to set the external display enclosure, the documentation refers to my first approach that was to keep everything outside but eventually I decided to place all the electronics inside the machine and leave only the display out. Any feedback or suggestion is welcome
    • I can't imagine how anybody would ever accidentally lift the lever up and leave it in that position. Or how that would happen with any other machine to be honest. But there's probably protection to prevent the pump from running for long enough to empty the tank as it would overheat. The last shot protection on the minima only works when the machine has finished a shot or autofill is triggered so wouldn't actually prevent the tank from emptying if the pump was switched to the on position when the machine started up. After about 1min 30secs it would throw an error though. It's probably no different for the Mara X at least as far as LSP goes.  
    • Thought I’d sorted my brass block issues (used with IMS screen) by enlarging the holes, adding two more in the middle and countersinking the outlets to reduce velocity. Problem-free for a couple of months until I descaled two days ago and now I’m getting a deep crater in line with the rearmost left hand hole and noticeable channelling. Rotating the screen makes no difference. No idea why the problem has come back (and worse than it was) but honestly cant think of anything else to try. I think the broader issue is that the aftermarket brass and stainless blocks are designed for the commercial Gaggia machines rather than the Classic which, has a single, off-centre inlet point as opposed to centred or multiple inlets. This causes uneven pressure across the dispersion block, leading to the jetting/cratering issues we all know about. This is compounded by the IMS screen, which allows these jets to pass straight through without slowing. Have ordered an original pattern screen and hoping the fewer and smaller perforations will do the trick. For reference, I’m dosing 18g into an 18g VST basket and running the machine at 9.5 bar static.  
    • You should have tagged a free loaner  https://coffeeforums.co.uk/topic/22663-one-more-classic-pressure-gauge-available/page/24/#comments Yes - from cold, switch brew on which pumps cold water into the boiler, then put some cold water in the cold porta filler and test immediately - there is no flow, so will not get anywhere near 60C. hth.
    • Most prosumer machines have a water level sensor in the tank. As soon as the water is too low, the machine will turn itself off, cutting the pump and the heating element. This is extremely annoying as sometimes you are pulling a shot, tank is almost about to go empty, and then.... the pump cuts off, mid shot. However, the MaraX has something called “last shot protection” which will allow you to pull the shot, and then the safety mechanism kicks in. I don’t know the exact implementation of the last shot protection, so unsure about exactly what are the conditions for the pump and heating element to cut off. Regardless, the tank is 2.5 litres or more.... he drip tray is maybe 700ml??? Before it overfills? Regardless, is that a real worry? Are you worried that someone in the middle of the night will lift the lever up?
    • Its the steel pipe on the outside of the machine to the drip tray thats missing. (Sorry should have been clearer). I'm going to get some stainless steel pipe (I might put on a reduced height drip try at some point) hence the reason for also asking the size.  
    • Hi Mildred, would it be easier to order from you via pm or on Etsy?  thanks 
    • I have noticed it helps (or worsens - lol) a bit if you rotate the screen IMS screen a few degrees - easiest to do by loosening the screen screw, rotate a couple of degrees and re-tighten. If you do consider drilling more holes look at where the single inlet hole is above the block, and do not add a hole in line with that for obvious reasons. If it bothered me more i'd drill two small 2mm holes as the 4 exiting holes are about that, rather than enlarge the existing holes.👍 edit: i found it's more a function of the IMS screen rather than the shower block - if that makes sense.. edit: looking at the photos in that thread - another thing which might be making a difference for me, i'm usually dosing 17g in a 18g basket so a little more headspace.
    • Thanks for the tag. But I kind of talked myself out of one during round 6.  I don't think I use enough water to justify the cost. Other than my machine I use tap water for everything else as the water here in Yorkshire tastes fine to me 
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