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Thread: Decent espresso

  1. #871
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    Default Foot pedal espresso

    For busy cafes, I've often received emails from baristas worrying that wet fingers won't work well on our tablet. It's true that if you get water on a touch screen tablet, you need to wipe it off for the touch function to work well. Wet fingers, on the other hand, don't seem to be a problem: water drops on the tablet do.

    The medical, dental and beauty industries all have foot pedals for dealing with this problem, freeing up your hands to do something else.

    I especially like the idea of a foot pedal for steam, because I sometimes destabilize the milk jug as I let go with my left hand to turn the steam off.

    You could even put away our Android tablet and make espresso drinks only using the pedals.

    I've done a quick look at available foot pedals and here are some features I'm looking for:
    - can cope with a wet floor (raised off the floor)
    - can cope with water poured directly on the footswitch (IP64 or IP65)
    - colour coded so you can easily tell the difference between steam/hot-water/espresso buttons
    - comes in 1, 2, and 3 pedal versions, so that people can choose what espresso functions to move to a foot pedal
    - the pedal design makes it unlikely to push the wrong one
    - rugged

    The picture below shows 3 variations of one pedal design that meets those requirements. There is also a compact two-pedal variant from this company that is more attractive but also more confusing to use.

    My mine "gripe" with this design (and pretty much all industrial foot pedals) is that the colour scheme is chosen for functionality, not aesthetics. The light blue colour of the "chassis" is a bit "hospital" for me. I'm asking if we can choose a different coloured plastic for our versions.

    These foot pedals would plug into the bottom of our DE1CAFE machines, and provide a mechanical alternative to using the tablet. You can keep the tablet around to see the shot quality or put it away completely.

    pedals1.jpg

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    Default USB Charging on the DE1

    Several months ago, here and on other forums, we had a big discussion about what form a USB charger built into the DE1 should look like. In our current "Release Candidate 2" espresso machine we had all the bits to wire it up (and the PCB was supposed to support it) but we'd never done so.

    Our first attempt, when we thought things were working, blew up a tablet (smoke!) and then a USB fan. We discovered that the problem was a "sample USB cable" that had been made for us to consider, had been wired backwards. Sigh. New cable and tablet, and now everything works.

    1.28 amps are the most I've ever seen get into my tablet, and we're getting that charging from the DE1. Note that USB charging turns off automatically when you're making an espresso or steam because we use all the power to make sure those functions work right.

    The USB charger and panel-mounted USB-female connector are both sealed and meant to be used in wet environments.

    usb1.jpg usb2.jpg

  3. #873
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    Several months ago, here and on other forums, we had a big discussion about what form a USB charger built into the DE1 should look like. . . . New cable and tablet, and now everything works.
    So happy to read this, and to know that my DE1+ will only need to be plugged into the wall once.

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    Default Sensor Basket Progress

    Our alternative to the "Scace II", a tool for measuring temperature and pressure, is making progress. We're sending off the design to have one made this week. We're calling it the "Decent Sensor Basket".

    We've made several revisions to the design I posted a few weeks ago.

    We've placed an easily removed "splash shield" in front of the pressure sensor, so that water coming in doesn't cause noise on the sensor, but also so that if your machine is dirty and coffee material gets into the sensors, it's easy to clean it out.

    We've changed the water outlet to a standard barb so that a flow meter could be attached to it in the future. Also, this makes it easy to attach a rubber hose to the outlet and guide waste water to a receptacle.

    To change the calibrated flow constrictor, and thus have a different speed of water flow, you now pull the plastic sleeve out, use a paperclip to change the flow constrictor and push it all back in. This is also what you can do if coffee debris clogs up the outlet.

    Instead of a complete portafilter, we're putting all the sensors into a portafilter basket, so it'll work with any bottomless portafilter that fits 58mm standard baskets. La Marzocco and Nuova Simonelli both follow this standard, but the location of the "wings" on their portafilters is different. Since you'll be using their bottomless portafilter with our basket, there's no problem.

    When the Sensor Basket hardware arrives in about 10 days, we'll wire it up to an Arduino, with an LED display, write a bit of software, and start using it to test and calibrate our DE1 espresso machine. Every pump and flow meter is slightly different in the real world, so every espresso machine needs to be calibrated before it goes out to a client.

    preview-lightbox-ASM, Sensor Basket_V2.jpg


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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    Our alternative to the "Scace II", a tool for measuring temperature and pressure, is making progress. We're sending off the design to have one made this week. We're calling it the "Decent Sensor Basket".

    We've made several revisions to the design I posted a few weeks ago.

    We've placed an easily removed "splash shield" in front of the pressure sensor, so that water coming in doesn't cause noise on the sensor, but also so that if your machine is dirty and coffee material gets into the sensors, it's easy to clean it out.

    We've changed the water outlet to a standard barb so that a flow meter could be attached to it in the future. Also, this makes it easy to attach a rubber hose to the outlet and guide waste water to a receptacle.

    To change the calibrated flow constrictor, and thus have a different speed of water flow, you now pull the plastic sleeve out, use a paperclip to change the flow constrictor and push it all back in. This is also what you can do if coffee debris clogs up the outlet.

    Instead of a complete portafilter, we're putting all the sensors into a portafilter basket, so it'll work with any bottomless portafilter that fits 58mm standard baskets. La Marzocco and Nuova Simonelli both follow this standard, but the location of the "wings" on their portafilters is different. Since you'll be using their bottomless portafilter with our basket, there's no problem.

    When the Sensor Basket hardware arrives in about 10 days, we'll wire it up to an Arduino, with an LED display, write a bit of software, and start using it to test and calibrate our DE1 espresso machine. Every pump and flow meter is slightly different in the real world, so every espresso machine needs to be calibrated before it goes out to a client.

    preview-lightbox-ASM, Sensor Basket_V2.jpg

    Now this would be something!
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  6. #876
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    Our alternative to the "Scace II", a tool for measuring temperature and pressure, is making progress. We're sending off the design to have one made this week. We're calling it the "Decent Sensor Basket".

    We've made several revisions to the design I posted a few weeks ago.

    We've placed an easily removed "splash shield" in front of the pressure sensor, so that water coming in doesn't cause noise on the sensor, but also so that if your machine is dirty and coffee material gets into the sensors, it's easy to clean it out.

    We've changed the water outlet to a standard barb so that a flow meter could be attached to it in the future. Also, this makes it easy to attach a rubber hose to the outlet and guide waste water to a receptacle.

    To change the calibrated flow constrictor, and thus have a different speed of water flow, you now pull the plastic sleeve out, use a paperclip to change the flow constrictor and push it all back in. This is also what you can do if coffee debris clogs up the outlet.

    Instead of a complete portafilter, we're putting all the sensors into a portafilter basket, so it'll work with any bottomless portafilter that fits 58mm standard baskets. La Marzocco and Nuova Simonelli both follow this standard, but the location of the "wings" on their portafilters is different. Since you'll be using their bottomless portafilter with our basket, there's no problem.

    When the Sensor Basket hardware arrives in about 10 days, we'll wire it up to an Arduino, with an LED display, write a bit of software, and start using it to test and calibrate our DE1 espresso machine. Every pump and flow meter is slightly different in the real world, so every espresso machine needs to be calibrated before it goes out to a client.

    preview-lightbox-ASM, Sensor Basket_V2.jpg

    Will it be possible to build this into a smaller basket too, fitting eg. Dalla Corte machines?

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    Quote Originally Posted by phenyl View Post
    Will it be possible to build this into a smaller basket too, fitting eg. Dalla Corte machines?
    Sure: the sensors in the basket are not so tightly packed in there that we can't squeeze 4mm out of the diameter,

    The sensor basket we're first making fits 58mm baskets, but we'll be CNCing each one for the foreseeable future. As such, different sizes are definitely possible, such as 53mm or Dalla Corte's 54mm or even <cough> a certain French company's 57mm baskets.

    However, to pull this off, we'll need proper drawings of the baskets for these nonstandard sizes, as you can probably imagine I don't have competitor's £20k espresso machines lying around my factory waiting for me to measure and test our sensor basket with them.

  8. #878
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    Default Trying to Make our Portafilters La Marzocco Compatible

    Our two portafilters (bottomless and double spouted) don't currently fit in La Marzocco espresso machines, though they do fit in E61 and most other 58mm standard machines, as well as in our DE1 machines. It's a small annoyance I was hoping to remedy with a new order for 1000 portafilters I've put in.

    Below are before and after animations showing the current versus LM-compatible portafilter models. You can see that the LM compatible design has an angled handle. Our stands are accommodating the two handle designs ok without much change in basket angle. Great.

    However, the main use of our portafilters is on our DE1 espresso machine, and I think the angled handle looks awkward on it (photo below). Damn.

    So, for now, we're not going to an LM-compatible portafilter design, because the angled handle doesn't look good with our machine. Possibly, in the future, we'll work with the manufacturer to make a new mold, but that's a time-consuming and expensive endeavor, one that I'm going to put off for now. I like our current portafilters, and we're just going to have to live with the fact that they don't work on La Marzocco espresso machines.

    movie.gifmovie2.gif

    screen 2017-08-21 at 12.26.16 PM.jpg

  9. #879
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    When the Sensor Basket hardware arrives in about 10 days, we'll wire it up to an Arduino, with an LED display, write a bit of software, and start using it to test and calibrate our DE1 espresso machine.
    How do you calibrate the sensor basket hw? (curious b/c I work for the US institute that does this kind of stuff - not me personally)

  10. #880
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickff View Post
    How do you calibrate the sensor basket hw? (curious b/c I work for the US institute that does this kind of stuff - not me personally)
    The flow constrictor is guaranteed to be accurate within 5% by the manufacturer, but as to calibrating the temperature and pressure sensors, I have to delegate answering that to my lead engineer Ray, who I've emailed your question to.

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