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ImthatGuy

MeCoffee PID kit for Silvia - first thoughts

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This the the PID from https://mecoffee.nl - it's an outfit in Groningen, Netherlands.

 

Key features - no display, but an app instead; control of water and steam temp, some control of pressure, pre infusion options and a timer (not shot timer - on-off timer). €119 for the kit + €10 for delivery. I ordered from their site, delivered in less than a week (would have been quicker, but they were waiting for delivery of PCBs. Good communications, a plus point in itself.

 

All settings are controlled by an app (meBarista) over Bluetooth - Android or Chrome - no IOS version yet (IOS Bluetooth limitations, I understand), but they intend to produce for IOS around Feb/March next year. I'm an IOS guy, but I have Chrome on a laptop, and you only use the app for initial setup or tweaking, so no harm to me.

 

Installation was straightforward; the installation manual (online) is very good, and there's a Youtube video to get the sense of it. The kit is well organised. Took me about 45 minutes or so, and I'm not an electrician. Because there's no display, there's no external indicator that the PID kit is installed. There's a base installation for temp control, and all the other elements are optional.

 

Configuration via the app is simple and straightforward - you can set temperature for water and steam, tweak the pressure (only shown as percentage of full pressure, not actual bar/psi figure), set pre-infusion parameters (pre-infusion time and pause period) and set a timer to switch the machine on (I didn't install this, since I have a Wemo switch for that). You can also tweak the PID parameters themselves, if you're inclined.

 

Everything worked first time. You don't use the app in normal operation - only to change parameters

 

Having only installed today, I can't yet confirm how well it all works, but it seems fine so far.

 

I went for this (a) because it's a lot cheaper than the equivalent Auber (the version with all the bells and whistles) and (b) delivery was quicker, it originating in Europe and me being in the UK (which is or is not part of Europe depending own your position in a political debate I don't intend to start here).

 

Hope this is useful for people - ask away

 

Good points: price, flexibility and ease of installation; feature set; controllability via the app

Less good: needs Android or Chrome; no display may mean no visible indicator of any issues.

Edited by ImthatGuy

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So if app/chrome is not used in normal operation, how does the pre infusion work?

 

The app programs the PID controller - set parameters in the app and they're remembered. Unless you're tweaking, you only need the app to check settings.

 

I probably should have noted - I'm an IOS user, so I use the Chrome app on a laptop

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The app programs the PID controller - set parameters in the app and they're remembered. Unless you're tweaking, you only need the app to check settings.

 

I probably should have noted - I'm an IOS user, so I use the Chrome app on a laptop

 

Any idea if the promised iOS support is a software update?


esto tambien pasara.

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Thanks for this, I'm very interested in this edition of a PID, if you have any further reports or thoughts after a while of using it I;d be very interested (and appreciative) of the feedback.

 

I have an android tablet so I'm more than fine with the control (even though IOS on the phone would be easier). Its a shame there is no shot timer however, that would have been so useful!

 

Is there a live monitor of temps etc in the ap, or is the ap simply to set the parameters and thats it?

 

 

For £95 inc delivery it seems a good option so far vs alternatives (and I like that there is no bolt on display, I never like how the Auber PID units look glued to the side of the Silvia)


Rancilio Silvia V3 - Super Jolly - Kalita Wave - Aeropress - Hario Acrylic Grinder

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Any idea if the promised iOS support is a software update?

 

I believe it requires a hardware change - the current version doesn't support the Bluetooth standard that IOS uses. Since I'm OK using a laptop on the occasions I need to, it hasn't been an issue for me so far - bearing in mind that "so far" is only a few days right now :)

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Thanks for this, I'm very interested in this edition of a PID, if you have any further reports or thoughts after a while of using it I;d be very interested (and appreciative) of the feedback.

 

I have an android tablet so I'm more than fine with the control (even though IOS on the phone would be easier). Its a shame there is no shot timer however, that would have been so useful!

 

They're working on a shot timer feature in the software - no date yet

 

Is there a live monitor of temps etc in the ap, or is the ap simply to set the parameters and thats it?

 

There's a live brew temp monitor in the software. The PID controller also dims the thermostat light on the Silvia to let you know when you're at the set temp

 

 

For £95 inc delivery it seems a good option so far vs alternatives (and I like that there is no bolt on display, I never like how the Auber PID units look glued to the side of the Silvia)

 

There's a review here, if you're interested: http://www.rojtberg.net/1109/mecoffee-pid-controller-for-the-rancilio-silvia/

 

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Thankyou,this is helpful info....It sounds great and I think I want to buy one :-), but would like to know how you are getting on with it, have you had any issues / problems in the two weeks since you posted or is it all good ?

Many thanks


Fracino Ariete (Classico), Wood Handles, opv 9 bar - Mazzer Royal inc.Titanium Burrs T151B ,Funnel mod + powder coat in progress - Mazzer Super Jolly inc. Cleen sweep doser, new paint job ! - Mazzer Mini - Rancilio Silvia inc. MeCoffee PID, IMS Shower Screen, Silicone Group Head, opv to 9 bar - Gaggia Classic, Silicone Group Head, Rancilio steam arm, opv 9 bar + Other stuff 🙂

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Thankyou,this is helpful info....It sounds great and I think I want to buy one :-), but would like to know how you are getting on with it, have you had any issues / problems in the two weeks since you posted or is it all good ?

Many thanks

 

I've had no issues so far - it seems to be completely reliable. I'm very pleased with it.

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I've had one for a couple of weeks. It really is an excellent piece of kit that makes the Silvia the machine it should be.

I've treated it as fit-and-forget and use the stock settings, even though it's easy to change the target temperatures in the software. I haven't bothered with some of the variables, such as shot timer, pre-infusion or pressure. Instead I use the PID control for shot temperature and the steam setting, which brings the thermostat cut-off temperature down when steaming.

I did this only because it seemed sensible to limit the upper temperature the machine reaches for the sake of longevity of the electronics.

After the first couple of uses, I haven't even looked at the temperature graph in the app, I simply use the dimmed light to indicate when the machine is ready. As a guide, the machine comes back up to temperature in the time it takes to grind and tamp. This makes making multiple cups a breeze, with none of the hassle of temp surfing - which was slowly driving me mad.

So if I'm making, say, three flat whites, I'd run water through to warm the group and three cups, then after it comes up to temp - might take a few seconds after the first grind as a lot of water will have been used - I pull the shots one after another (grinding and tamping in between, naturally) then steam the milk. Job done.

When left on, it ticks along with the light at its dimmest, trickling power to maintain the temperature at the standard 101C in the boiler (less at the grouphead, obviously), which means it's ready to go straight away, with no cycling and temp surfing needed.

And the coffee is great. It's as good as your best shots, every time.

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@ ImthatGuy and Old Nick

Oh wow, that sounds great, I love my Rancilio, but since I've owned it, I always thought there was something missing.......THIS is it ! I'm going to order one tonight, thank you so much for both of your info / reviews, they were really helpful


Fracino Ariete (Classico), Wood Handles, opv 9 bar - Mazzer Royal inc.Titanium Burrs T151B ,Funnel mod + powder coat in progress - Mazzer Super Jolly inc. Cleen sweep doser, new paint job ! - Mazzer Mini - Rancilio Silvia inc. MeCoffee PID, IMS Shower Screen, Silicone Group Head, opv to 9 bar - Gaggia Classic, Silicone Group Head, Rancilio steam arm, opv 9 bar + Other stuff 🙂

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I've installed it last week, very easy installation and fool-proof online manual even for a non tech person like me

works like a charm, finally I was able to make something white and rather flat :)

K52S9730.jpg

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Edited by Stanic

The peculiarity of espresso beverage is the simultaneous presence of three dispersed phases coexisting within a matrix, namely a concentrated solution of salts, acids, sugars, caffeine and many other hydrophilic substances. These phases are: an emulsion of oil droplets, a suspension of solid particles and an effervescence of gas bubbles, which evolves into a foam.

MildredM's towels, joey24dirt's tamper, Norvin's dosing ring, Portaspresso Rossa PG Air and HC-P, Kinu M68, Feld47 travel, Aergrind, Bellman steamer, IMS baskets, Hario Syphon TC3, Java Maestro dripper, Chemex, French press, Gnali & Zani moka pot, Bonavita kettle & scales, BWT Bestmax Premium

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I had been holding off ordering an Auber PID for a while now due to not wanting to alter the external appearance of the Silvia. It took a while of Googling the past week looking for something internal and finally came across a review of the mecoffee.

 

I ordered a mecoffee a couple of days ago (Sunday). Apart from the instant confirmation email I haven't heard anything else. I know it is only a couple of days, so not too worried, but was just wondering when others got an update email? Or did it just turn up in the mail? My impatience to install this thing that appears to be exactly what I was looking for is killing me :)

Edited by millsii
spelling

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I´ve ordered it on 31. 12., with instant automatic confirmation and Jan confirmed testing and shipping on 5. 1. and I have received it on the 11th


The peculiarity of espresso beverage is the simultaneous presence of three dispersed phases coexisting within a matrix, namely a concentrated solution of salts, acids, sugars, caffeine and many other hydrophilic substances. These phases are: an emulsion of oil droplets, a suspension of solid particles and an effervescence of gas bubbles, which evolves into a foam.

MildredM's towels, joey24dirt's tamper, Norvin's dosing ring, Portaspresso Rossa PG Air and HC-P, Kinu M68, Feld47 travel, Aergrind, Bellman steamer, IMS baskets, Hario Syphon TC3, Java Maestro dripper, Chemex, French press, Gnali & Zani moka pot, Bonavita kettle & scales, BWT Bestmax Premium

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Thanks for the info. Maybe I will hear from them later on in the week then. Based on their estimated postage time to Australia, hopefully I will receive it during the first week of February.

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fingers crossed for a quick delivery ;)


The peculiarity of espresso beverage is the simultaneous presence of three dispersed phases coexisting within a matrix, namely a concentrated solution of salts, acids, sugars, caffeine and many other hydrophilic substances. These phases are: an emulsion of oil droplets, a suspension of solid particles and an effervescence of gas bubbles, which evolves into a foam.

MildredM's towels, joey24dirt's tamper, Norvin's dosing ring, Portaspresso Rossa PG Air and HC-P, Kinu M68, Feld47 travel, Aergrind, Bellman steamer, IMS baskets, Hario Syphon TC3, Java Maestro dripper, Chemex, French press, Gnali & Zani moka pot, Bonavita kettle & scales, BWT Bestmax Premium

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Hi,

Jan seems to answer emails pretty rapidly, they are only a small team, from what I can make out & busy with development, but seem to display typical Dutch efficiency, I wouldn't think it will be long before your unit is shipped


esto tambien pasara.

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I got a confirmation email the day after (I ordered in the evening); delivery took a little longer than usual - they had run out of a key part - but they kept me very well informed

 

If you're concerned, contact them - there's a link on the website -

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All good, I should have waited one more day before asking for others' experience. Woke up this morning and had an email on my phone from Jan advising that my unit was tested and shipped today :)

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PID the Silvia yourself. It's very easy to do and you don't need a Auber Kit! Lots of googling looking at the classic kits sold by Mr Shades and lots of more googling! Mine works a treat!

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f7747911b5e157d86a66e30f14ce76b1.jpg

 

I have a PT100 and a type K thermocouple so ice experimented a fair bit!

 

Message me if you need any more info or you want me to put a full kit together for you!

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I think the point of this thread is about the MeCoffee PID and those that have bought it have found it to function and how people like it because it fits inside the machine is controlled by a phone.

They do fit them themselves.

 

If I had a silvia and wanted to PID it it would be with a MeCoffee pid and not have that carbuncle on the side, just my personal preference and no disrespect meant to anyone who likes that look.

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I think the point of this thread is about the MeCoffee PID and those that have bought it have found it to function and how people like it because it fits inside the machine is controlled by a phone.

They do fit them themselves.

 

If I had a silvia and wanted to PID it it would be with a MeCoffee pid and not have that carbuncle on the side, just my personal preference and no disrespect meant to anyone who likes that look.

 

You're spot on. I started this thread to provide some info on the MeCoffee PID, it being a new product without much experience available.

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I think the point of this thread is about the MeCoffee PID and those that have bought it have found it to function and how people like it because it fits inside the machine is controlled by a phone.

They do fit them themselves.

 

If I had a silvia and wanted to PID it it would be with a MeCoffee pid and not have that carbuncle on the side, just my personal preference and no disrespect meant to anyone who likes that look.

 

iOS support scheduled for March (they solved the wireless firmware

Update over Christmas) pre-infusion, brew, steam, pressure control, shot timing, & power timer on & off. Like you say, from the outside the machine is stock. Just waiting on mine now


esto tambien pasara.

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