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Thread: Decent espresso

  1. #1341
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickff View Post
    (1)Very true. The machine's pressure should "just" (Ray's firmware is working hard) match the selected profile - in most cases this should be ok. In cases where something went wrong, however, the user won't be able to tell that a drop of pressure occurred (e.g. bad tamp) over the duration of the shot (ok, should will taste horrible) since there is no visual indication.
    Correct. As that's a quite nice feature (on pump based machines, only on a few high end pro machines) it's not on our least expensive model. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by patrickff View Post
    (2) It would be nice to have - if not already there - a shot/water timer variable that would be accessible by the template. This would allow to implement progress bar, and/or show the "indented" pressure. DE1 and DE1+.
    Sorry, not following you. How is this different than the "data card" on the right hand side, when you use the Insight skin? There's a timer there.

    But there is no "progress bar", it's true. It would be hard to implement for all skins, because stages in DE1+ espresso making are not always time based. Preinfusion, for instance, typically exits when a set pressure is reached. Granted, some sort of approximation could be created, and might be useful. I have to think about it a bit more.

    Quote Originally Posted by patrickff View Post
    (3) What hardware can the RedBear BLE module access? Also DE1, DE1+
    It sits on a serial link to the DE1/DE1+. However, I'm not sure how much we're going to promote it, because Red Bear has move from "version 1.5" to "version 2" of that module, and it's a totally different chip. We're likely to move to a different BLE module provider in the spring.

    Quote Originally Posted by patrickff View Post
    (4) The DE1+ interface has a "Flush" tab. What is it for (I would use "Water" to heat up the ports filter)?
    Hot water comes instantly out of the group head. It's for cleaning the group, or quickly preheating a cup with hot water.

    -john

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    Default UL Safety Approval News

    On Friday, we met with Intertek for a few hours, to discuss their findings concerning their testing of our espresso machines for UL safety compliance (for USA and Canada).

    There are 8 pages of "fails" which break up into 3 categories:

    1) 2 pages of small things we need to change, such as (a) add an internal drainage hole (b) grounding wires need to be colored green/blue (c) our on-off rocker switches follow the wrong UL code and should follow a different one. A dozen other things, all doable within a few weeks.

    2) 4 pages of disclaimer and warning text that we need to include in a printed manual with the machine. "For home use only", "Service only by a qualified technician", that sort of thing. No problem.

    3) 2 pages of many new, quite annoying requirements because the reviewing engineering sees our tablet as a remote control. This is is our biggest stumbling block, and it is an interesting issue, so I will write more about it below.

    ---

    The worry, from a safety perspective, is that you might turn steam on by using the tablet while far away from the machine. It would turn on and could potentially burn someone.

    This issue was raised 2 years ago in a review we had with Intertek's consulting engineers, and they agreed that the ability to turn coffee/steam via wifi would not be allowed. However, the two Intertek engineers felt that Bluetooth, because it has a very short range, would be fine, and would not cause the tablet to be seen as a remote control. We could even decrease the Bluetooth signal strength, if needed, to limit the range to 6 feet (2 meters).

    However, if the tablet is seen as a remote control, boy does this cause complications. Most significantly, there would have a to be an "I accept this remote command" button tap for every single operation "requested" on the tablet, even if the tablet were sitting on the espresso machine.

    For other devices, such as (say) a smart oven, a "click to start" after uploading via a tablet makes a lot of sense. But for a coffee machine, where you do several things to make a coffee (make coffee, steam, purge) requiring an extra tap would not good. Imaging tapping "steam" on the tablet, and then tapping again on the machine "really" do that command.

    It's a question of interpretation:

    a) is a Bluetooth connection more like a short wire (then: ok, no problem)

    b) or is a Bluetooth connection more like wifi (big problem)

    Intertek's consulting engineers know that they have been telling us for two years that our design was fine. But now, the independent reviewer at Intertek disagrees.

    Intertek also knows that if they reject our application, other companies will hear about it, and avoid using Intertek if they have Bluetooth. Other certifying companies (likely Intertek in other countries) have already approved other Bluetooth devices that act like ours.

    I do respect that Intertek is in a difficult position. They don't want to be known as "pay us and you'll certainly get approved". At the same time, if they're overly strict, people won't use them.

    ---

    Before you think this looks like a really terrible situation for us (well, it's not great), let me tell you what the next steps are:

    1) Intertek management really wants this Bluetooth issue to not be a problem, and they're currently researching what other labs have done, and what Intertek have done elsewhere. Their goal is to present a technical argument to the reviewer that will convince him that Bluetooth is more like a wire. If this happens, there are no major UL problems left for us.

    2) However, the reviewer might counter that Intertek has been inconsistent on this optic, and that a study and a corporate-wide decision needs to be made. That could take a long time. Until then, "Bluetooth is like wifi" to him.

    ---

    Once we hear back from Intertek more-or-less definitively on this, we'll make a choice:

    a) if Bluetooth is fine, great, we're on a clear path to getting approved

    b) if Bluetooth is a problem at the moment, then we will glue some sort of proximity detector to the tablet (like a window alarm sensor) and require the tablet to be sitting on our espresso machine, in order to work. This is "suboptimal" but it does allow us to ship now. You would not be allowed to control the DE1 with your phone. If in the future Intertek changes their mind, we can remove the need for the proximity detector. Intertek management really hate this option, because it means (a) they gave bad advice (b) they are against Bluetooth.

    Interesting issues, hopefully to be wrapped up in the next few weeks.

    -john

  3. #1343
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    Whilst really interesting to read about such stumbling blocks (anyone who wonders why a kickstarter project gets delayed need only read this thread) I'm sorry to hear about them at the same time.

    I'm assuming the proximity sensor is something the community could remove themselves with a bit of know how... Even if you have to deny official support or knowledge of such a process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    b) if Bluetooth is a problem at the moment, then we will glue some sort of proximity detector to the tablet (like a window alarm sensor) and require the tablet to be sitting on our espresso machine, in order to work. This is "suboptimal" but it does allow us to ship now. You would not be allowed to control the DE1 with your phone. If in the future Intertek changes their mind, we can remove the need for the proximity detector. Intertek management really hate this option, because it means (a) they gave bad advice (b) they are against Bluetooth.
    -john
    Would Intertek accept using the back camera and a QR code sticker (or some other type of image recognition) as a dongle ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nishimiya View Post
    Would Intertek accept using the back camera and a QR code sticker (or some other type of image recognition) as a dongle ?
    That's a really cool idea, but no, they wouldn't. That's because the safety mechanism would reside in software (code) and there's no way to safety-certify software. In general, safety mechanisms need to be implemented in hardware, so that they can be easily certified.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    I'm assuming the proximity sensor is something the community could remove themselves with a bit of know how... Even if you have to deny official support or knowledge of such a process.
    If we had to use a 'proximity detector' (again, this is our fallback, and not preferred route) it would need to be glued to our tablet. As to whether you could unglue it and simply set it on the espresso machine to permanently enable the proximity switch (so that yes, it would work as previously planned), I will leave for you to choose if you want to do. Such a move would likely invalidate the UL (and CE, too) rating of the device.

    I did point out in my text above that this is all subject to change (improve) with time, and so it's possible that the 'proximity detector' would be in place for a few months and then a software update could be sent out that removes the need for it, if/when Intertek decided to go down the "all global Interteks need to agree on this" route.

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