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ImthatGuy

MeCoffee PID kit for Silvia - first thoughts

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Just bought a Silvia V1 with the mecoffee ble version installed. It looks like it's working ok but what could be my starting point for reading and/or basic settings?

I chose the default settings and have no experience with espresso, only slow brew coffee so I probably won't want to experiment with pre-infusion in my early steps. Without coffee in the filter when I press the brew button and let it run for 25 seconds I see the temperature drop below 85C. Is this normal? It takes a bit of time to reach 101C again.

And BTW, Jan is answering mails, in my case pretty fast.

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After about a week of use I have to say that I am incredibly impressed. The temperature control is of course a game changer (who knew just how annoying temp surfing really was). The unexpected hero though is the dimming function of the pump.

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Stay away if your considering buying one. The concept is great but unfortunately the execution needs work and the support from the creator is non existant. My experience below.

 

Was tossing up between the Auber and mecoffee. Took punt on the mecoffee because of features and price. Placed order and emailed Jan to make sure it was it was the model with the new fuse... No reply. Received the mecoffee and wiring after a week or two. When I tried to install I was having and issue as some of the connectors didn't seem to go where they should. E-mailed Jan with a question about whether a cable he had sent was incorrect and should of had a different connector on it... No response. After many hours of searching the Internet I found that he had made the cables wrong. Managed to get it working and it seemed to work well. After a short time I found that the me coffee would reset it's configuration occasionally. E-mailed Jan to enquire why... No response. After less than 6 months it has died. I think it might be the temperature sensor but I can't be sure. I have e-mailed Jan about it... You guessed it no response. $200 down the drain. Steer clear.

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Your experience is quite normal for what mecoffee stood for a year ago.

 

In the meantime it seems Jan had an epiphany of sorts and he's back.

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I actually saw he was back at a few days ago so emailed him again... no response. I know it's a one man show but not even bothering to reply to emails I find pretty pathetic. It's not like this is a small amount of money people are spending on his product.

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Stay away if your considering buying one. The concept is great but unfortunately the execution needs work and the support from the creator is non existant. My experience below.

 

Was tossing up between the Auber and mecoffee. Took punt on the mecoffee because of features and price. Placed order and emailed Jan to make sure it was it was the model with the new fuse... No reply. Received the mecoffee and wiring after a week or two. When I tried to install I was having and issue as some of the connectors didn't seem to go where they should. E-mailed Jan with a question about whether a cable he had sent was incorrect and should of had a different connector on it... No response. After many hours of searching the Internet I found that he had made the cables wrong. Managed to get it working and it seemed to work well. After a short time I found that the me coffee would reset it's configuration occasionally. E-mailed Jan to enquire why... No response. After less than 6 months it has died. I think it might be the temperature sensor but I can't be sure. I have e-mailed Jan about it... You guessed it no response. $200 down the drain. Steer clear.

I mailed several times with him in the past few weeks and got almost immediate a response, strange. And btw, does it help you are submitting exactly the same text on more then one forum?

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I mailed several times with him in the past few weeks and got almost immediate a response, strange. And btw, does it help you are submitting exactly the same text on more then one forum?

 

Credit where credit is due, I also had email correspondence and Jan was helpful and never took more than 36h to reply. The MeCoffee has also transformed the Silvia to something that is able to make great decent espresso and steam milk with very little fuss. Of course I have only had it a month or so, and it might still break. So far though nothing but praise for it.

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I mailed several times with him in the past few weeks and got almost immediate a response, strange. And btw, does it help you are submitting exactly the same text on more then one forum?

 

Yes I did leave this comment on one other forum. If you'd had an experience like mine you'd probably feel more inclined to warn people off his product rather than leaving snide comments here.

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Credit where credit is due, I also had email correspondence and Jan was helpful and never took more than 36h to reply. The MeCoffee has also transformed the Silvia to something that is able to make great decent espresso and steam milk with very little fuss. Of course I have only had it a month or so, and it might still break. So far though nothing but praise for it.

 

Well I'm glad it's working for you. I also found that when it worked it worked well. Hopefully should you have any further issues you'll have a better experience than me.

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Are you getting successful correspondence using the built in form on his website? I tried to contact him using it again a week ago after getting no response 6 months ago. Still haven't heard anything back and just have a dud board sitting here.

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Are you getting successful correspondence using the built in form on his website? I tried to contact him using it again a week ago after getting no response 6 months ago. Still haven't heard anything back and just have a dud board sitting here.

I mailed to [email protected]

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How long do these generally take to install?

 

Mine took me no longer than 40 minutes. Though I was confident enough to go from start to end with all the cabling, rather than pausing for each of the checks recommended on the installation video - which I completely understand the utility of for people not familiar / confident with wiring. Just to note that I didn't install the timer mod (yet!)

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Can anyone help me with step 9 - timer? I've got Silvia v5 - went through all steps up to 9 - all working fine. Now can't get this timer to work - disconnected red wire from power button as per manual, connected black wire from mecoffee set to that free terminal on power button and #8 on PID - it should be live all time if Silvia is plugged to power outlet - dead. That's onlyNot problem I have.

 

## EDIT ##

 

There's error in manual - it says stop after disconnecting red wire from power switch and connecting black wire to that terminal on power switch and PID #8 - can't stop need to go on and open back, disconnect timer then it works as it should.

Edited by cpu

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I mailed to [email protected]

 

 

Just wanted to follow up and note that I got a response via that email address. Thanks for showing it to me! The online form on his site must not send correctly or he has a backlog of messages via that method. Have a replacement successfully installed meCoffee now that is working as designed. I have all the features working except the timer as I opted to not install that.

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It's an LM35DT, as mentioned in this topic on some posts.


Gaggia Classic with meCoffee firmware V4, meBarista v4.beta22, Honne Home, Kinu M47, Bezzera BZ09, ito controller

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Hi,

I have just installed the MeCoffee PID on my Silvia V5 this weekend. I have upgraded from DIY Chinese XMT7100 PID.

So far my observations are positive. I am very well aware of the issues with hardware failures and poor vendor support in the past, however i decided to give it a try out of curiosity and Jan promises that the hardware issues are fixed. Also i like the decision for going open source.

 

To be on the safe side i decided to mount it externally, also i have a pressure gauge, so it is impossible to mount it as suggested by the Vendor. I will keep it fixed on the backplate with sticky tape so it is completely out of sight, but still safe and cool.

Custom install meant custom wiring kit, so It took me a full Sunday.

 

Al features work as expected, no bugs hit yet. App is smooth on iOS.

One thing i dislike is the odd idea for ribbon cable with IDC connectors for the temp sensor. I lost few hours trying to source parts to make a custom cable to no success in the end.

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Few pics

 

9ba420023795453c17c1a798a6fce642.jpg

 

39d028ee9baff938fb8d9893834f2886.jpg

 

It is sticked on the side for now until i find the parts to make my own longer temp sensor cable to be able to move it on the back side and close everything. Anyways it’s a goos idea to have it running on an open machine for few days until it proves safe and stable.

 

And a question: do you hear tiny buzz from the device when it is powered on? Similar to the buzzing sound you sometimes hear from a laptop supply for instance. I have it and i am wondering if it is normal.

Edited by blazarov

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Your buzz I would imagine is 'normal' as it's a SMPS... Probably cheap components and not particularly well filtered for EMI/RFI either.


KitchenAid/Gaggia Dual Boiler Arduino Project

 

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Hi, I'm stuck at the same point as you where, could you please explain what you did ?

 

Best regards.

 

Can anyone help me with step 9 - timer? I've got Silvia v5 - went through all steps up to 9 - all working fine. Now can't get this timer to work - disconnected red wire from power button as per manual, connected black wire from mecoffee set to that free terminal on power button and #8 on PID - it should be live all time if Silvia is plugged to power outlet - dead. That's onlyNot problem I have.

 

## EDIT ##

 

There's error in manual - it says stop after disconnecting red wire from power switch and connecting black wire to that terminal on power switch and PID #8 - can't stop need to go on and open back, disconnect timer then it works as it should.

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Ignore the bit in the instructions between "Now turn your machine on...." and "... confirmed the power switch to be working", apart from enabling the V5 power switch in the hardware settings.

 

There a YouTube vid showing how to remove the back cover. Also I didn't need to remove the black inner back plate.

Hope that helps!


Rancilio Silvia E / Mazzer Super Jolly / Iberital MC2 / meCoffee PID / Motta Competition 58.4mm tamper / VST 15g basket / Rancilio naked portafilter

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Posted (edited)

I tried to create a video showing how my current shots look like, but it turned out quite lame. Anyways i am sharing it.

 

 

So far for few weeks of usage the system is 100% reliable. All features work as expected.

The only annoying bug is that the MeBarista app is apparently not querying the MeCoffee for the actual running config, but it is keeping it locally on the tablet, and for some strange reason it is most of the times out-of-sync. Settings remain consistent on the MeCoffee and changing works reliably, but if you need to check what are your current settings from the MeBaristta app you can never be sure if what you are seeing is actually what is on the device. Not a deal breaker, especially if you dont change them regularly (i am still messing around with them almost every shot :) ), but it is quite lame and i am sure it will cost almost nothing to fix.

 

In fact pump power control works impressively reliable and consistent relative to actual brew pressure, judging by the gauge. Although it is purely open loop system i can easily achieve whatever pressure i want with trial and error by few attempts and it remains consistent given that coffee, grind and dose remain constant.

 

I am really wondering if the hardware is capable of connecting a pressure sensor for kinda closed loop pressure control based on its feedback. There is one spare input on the board, so how hard could it be? That would make the feature actually usable in the home-espresso enthusiast real life, unlike its current "experimental" nature.

Also in terms of pressure control you can now set only:

- start power %

- end power %

- shot time

 

and the device performs linear profile for the shot time and after that a flat line on the end power %

 

not really flexible for actual pressure "profiling" as you would generally want a more advanced "profile" with at least several points like you can do on "real" machines - vesuvius, etc..

This is also something that seems very easy to implement in software and i am really wondering why is the dutch guy not doing it.

 

So far based on my tests the best results are with preinfussion feature disabled and using the pressure function for preinfusion with rising pump power from ~20% to 100% in 15 seconds.

 

Temperature management with default settings is excellent, no comments needed there. it is much better than what I was able to achieve with chinese XMT7100 and REX C100 with PT100 sensor, even though i have invested lots of hours on testing and fine tuning.

 

Overall i am satisfied and i feel it just needs a little bit more work from the "vendor" to make it really great value product: (sorted from very easy to not-so-easy)

1. fix stupid bug in mobile app where it looses its settings

2. introduce pressure profiling with at least 5 setpoints in terms of power and shot time

3. introduce pressure sensor input initially just for graphing

4. introduce advanced pressure control with closed-loop pump power control based on real-time pressure sensor reading and change profiling setpoints to bars instead of pump power %

 

Any other actual users that are willing to share experience?

Edited by blazarov
fix typos

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