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Thread: Decent espresso

  1. #2111
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    Default Invisible weighing of espresso shots

    weighing_under.jpg

    A few months ago, decent espresso users with a talent for CAD made a replacement stand for the Bluetooth scale we sell, enabling the scale to fit under the drip tray.

    This has a number of benefits:
    – the scale is no longer in the way when you are making an espresso shot
    – you don't have to worry about getting water on the scale
    – you gain about an extra 2 1/2 cm (1") of cup height clearance by not having the scale on the tray
    – you don't have to look at the "not very pretty" Atomax Skale as it is now mostly hidden :-)
    – you can plug the scale into USB power and the cable doesn't get in the way. No more (re)pairing with the Bluetooth scale each morning, since you powered it off to save the batteries.

    I've been working with a friend of Scott Rao named Dan Elis, who owns a small 3D printing business near Scott. Dan has redesigned the scale stand that my customers created so that it is much more economical to produce. It significantly less plastic now. It should also be much less susceptible to warping from heat.

    Currently, I've been asking people who want to weigh-under-the-drip tray to download the free CAD file and arrange to have it 3D printed locally to them.

    I am making arrangements with Dan to have him print 20 of these, so that I can simply sell them to people who want to do this.

    Of course, people who want to do this themselves are welcome to use the free CAD model. As Dan has put a bunch of CAD work into his version, he'd like to charge a little bit for his.

    More news soon…

    – John

  2. #2112
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    Default

    and we're now re-labeling the serial number on those repaired machines to indicate they were refurbished.

    preview-full-IMG_20181011_114647.jpg

  3. #2113
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    Roger's two problems

    I've received a few emails from people saying they're "quite interested" to hear "how things go wrong" with an espresso machine, so I'm continuing this series of articles.

    ---

    Decent customer Roger reported he had two problems at once: occasionally out of water and occasional terrible pump noises.

    Here's his tech support log:
    http://magnatune.com/p/roger.pdf

    I decided that we should immediately swap his machine.

    Parry indicated that we had no machines ready to send, just two machines in our "hospital". I asked him to pull parts from one bad machine to make another whole. One machine only problem is a sheared screw on the front mirror panel, but it's (sadly) impossible to fix without cosmetic damage.

    Powering up Roger's machine, the debug logs showed "0" on two different numbers. Parry concluded that two pins on an internal data cable had an intermittent connection. Replaced the cable, all ok.

    For all the v1.0 machines, we've hand-made all cables ourselves. With our v1.1 espresso machines, we're switching to a professional cable manufacturer http://www.bma-tech.com - they've got much more advanced tech than we have, and each cable has been CAD drawn, and had its specs scrutinized. More expensive cable ends are being used now for almost all cables.

    Coming soon, this debug log feature will be also available inside the DE1+ Android tablet app. At the moment, a special cable is needed. This will help us diagnose problems remotely, more effectively. Customer will then have the choice of receiving just the replacement part, or a swapped machine.

    -john



  4. #2114
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    wow, John

    while making a decent cup became a totally unexpected experience for me by engaging with your tools, among other things, I just started roasting myself....the whole experience for you must be quite "interesting", as you expand in areas and acquire knowledge in new topics you probably never anticipated. Quite a journey you take and fascinating to watch...

  5. #2115
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    Coming soon, this debug log feature will be also available inside the DE1+ Android tablet app. At the moment, a special cable is needed. This will help us diagnose problems remotely, more effectively. Customer will then have the choice of receiving just the replacement part, or a swapped machine.

    -john
    Now that is a very good idea!

  6. #2116
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    Default The upcoming refill kits

    preview-lightbox-preview-lightbox-Plumbing Kit DSC_2762.jpg

    Long before we started manufacturing, my plan was to diverge the Pro and plus models, so as to achieve cost savings. However, diving into this further I found that the increased complexity of having two models actually cost more than the cost savings of divergence.

    So, in the end, all the espresso machines that we have made are identical except that the pro models have longer life pumps and valves in them. The functionality is identical.

    Every machine we have sold is capable of being plumbed in.

    We are about to take delivery of the catering kits, which will automatically refill the water tank from an unpressurized water source such as a 10 L water jug.

    We are still working out the exact fittings for a plumbed drip tray, but we have finalized the ceramic design and received samples, so that is going to manufacturing shortly. It will take about two months for us to receive the ceramic drip trays that have the built-in plumbing.

    The plumbing kits, which will automatically refill the water tank from a pressurized water source, are still being finalized. We are sourcing the correct fittings (photo below)so that they will work both in Europe and America, ideally so that customers will have a quick connect and not need to talk to a plumber at all.

    These three parts will all be available to plus customers, to purchase if they want. Pro customers will receive these three parts in the mail as soon as we have them in stock. These three parts are what we collectively referred to as the "refill kit"

    The prices will be (USD$):
    - plumbing kit $400
    - catering kit $400
    - plumbed drip tray and tubing $200

    as stated above, Pro customers will receive these items at no additional cost soon.

    The design of all this is such that you can choose to be plumbed in or not and switch back-and-forth at any time.

    You will have a plumbed drip tray and a normal one. And the refill kits can be attached or not as you wish.

    You can also do whatever hybrid you prefer, such as having the water tank automatically refill but not plumbing in the drip tray. You might want to do this if you want the scale to sit underneath the drip tray but still get most of the benefits of being plumbed in.

    -john

  7. #2117
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    Sounds great John!
    I’m thinking of upgrading to one of your lovely machines in the future once my Breville Dual Boiler conks out. Seeing how much innovation is going on behind the scenes, and the regular upgrades to both software and firmware has really impressed me, and makes me confident in my decision that a Decent machine is going to be the right fit for me.
    Thanks for bringing such a great machine to fruition.
    Henry

  8. #2118
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    Quote Originally Posted by _HH_ View Post
    I’m thinking of upgrading to one of your lovely machines...
    Nice thread on this topic "Is everybody happy with their DE1+/pros? " on HB over past few days:
    https://www.home-barista.com/espress...0.html#p613141

  9. #2119
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    Default Idea: A Steam Calculator

    screen 2018-10-15 at 7.57.33 PM.png

    With our DE1+/DE1PRO espresso machines, we know precisely how much energy is going into the steam.

    So, it should be a straightforward calculation for the tablet app to know when the steam should stop: no thermometer required.

    We will need to know:
    - the starting temperature (presumably out of the refrigerator, so fairly constant)
    - the desired end temperature
    - the amount of milk

    I made a simple Excel spreadsheet to test this out and found that the numbers it yielded were correct when I actually tried to steam these volumes of milk. http://magnatune.com/p/milk_calcs.xlsx

    I also mocked up a GUI with quick buttons for goal temperatures and milk volumes. The idea being that a café would be making a few different kinds of milky drinks in a definite range of temperatures. I would probably need to make these buttons configurable to different volumes and temperatures.

    This feature is fairly straightforward for me to implement as a calculator button on the tablet app. Tap it to calculate the steam timeout that is appropriate.

    This feature becomes a little bit more complicated in about six months when we start having 8% more powerful steam heaters in our standard machines (1350W vs 1500W), and a lot more complicated in our café model which will have variable power steam.

    - The first problem is fairly easily solved with a serial number indicating the power of these steam heater.

    - The second problem is solvable if instead of calculating a steam timeout, I tell the espresso machine how many joules of power is desired, and this becomes something the espresso machine calculates and uses to stop the steam as appropriate.

    Attached below are two screen mockups I did in Excel.

    I very much like the idea of being able to steam to a known goal temperature without needing to use a thermometer.

    -john

    screen 2018-10-15 at 8.05.57 PM.png

  10. #2120
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    Default A Decent World Map

    world.jpg eu.jpg uk.jpg

    I have made a world map of half our customers.

    You can see that most of our clients are in America, German-speaking Europe, and Australia.

    I occasionally get requests from people asking if there is a decent espresso machine at a home near where they live. I'm not willing to disclose anyone's address without their permission. However, we're going to trial an idea I have of emailing the existing customer personally to see if they are interested in making contact with the other person. If it turns out that people find this annoying, we'll stop. :-)

    Why only half our customers?

    About half the customers would not import, due to https://www.mapcustomizer.com not recognizing the address. I could not figure out what the problem was. Here are two typical addresses that would not import even though they appear perfectly normal and can be read by Google maps, in case you can advise me as to what the problem is.

    6205 Martha Oak Lane, Knoxville TN, 37918, US
    1030 S Trenton Ave, Pittsburgh PA, 15221

    -john


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