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MeCoffee PID kit for Silvia - first thoughts

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I find it ironic that people are praising how this PID can be used to lower the steaming temperature, when 5-10 years ago everyone was using their PID kits to do exactly the opposite!

 

It does look a neat solution, though I don't find the Auber kit an eyesore, and I find having a display useful for monitoring temp (especially for when to start steaming) and for minor adjustments (though admittedly I don't tend to adjust the setpoint temp. often). Having hacked the Auber kit to provide a shot timer following some useful instructions posted on here, I think it's ideal.

 

As with almost all things where preference is involved, YMMV.


I'm the one asking for a piccolo.

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I find it ironic that people are praising how this PID can be used to lower the steaming temperature, when 5-10 years ago everyone was using their PID kits to do exactly the opposite!

 

It does look a neat solution, though I don't find the Auber kit an eyesore, and I find having a display useful for monitoring temp (especially for when to start steaming) and for minor adjustments (though admittedly I don't tend to adjust the setpoint temp. often). Having hacked the Auber kit to provide a shot timer following some useful instructions posted on here, I think it's ideal.

 

As with almost all things where preference is involved, YMMV.

 

Point isn't so much the temp as the constancy, so if the boiler is dimming, instead of switching in & out, no need for the higher off temp. Not so much a change in direction as a refinement...


esto tambien pasara.

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I'm not sure I quite understand your point. There is no need for PID control on the steam anyway, as the machine will inevitably lose temp while steaming even with the boiler element fully energised - it just doesn't have the power to need to be 'tamed'. The Auber unit uses the alarm circuit in their PID to kick the element back on much sooner than the stock thermostat's deadband would and allow you to control the temp at which it the element switches off.

 

I'm not sure how the myPID controls the steam circuit, but I read somewhere that the reason for the lower steam cut-off temp was actually because the sensor being used by myPID was only rated to 155degC. I have no idea if this is true or not, though.

 

The Silvia has an overheat protection thermostat anyway which is triggered at 165degC from memory.


I'm the one asking for a piccolo.

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I'm not sure I quite understand your point. There is no need for PID control on the steam anyway, as the machine will inevitably lose temp while steaming even with the boiler element fully energised - it just doesn't have the power to need to be 'tamed'. The Auber unit uses the alarm circuit in their PID to kick the element back on much sooner than the stock thermostat's deadband would and allow you to control the temp at which it the element switches off.

 

I'm not sure how the myPID controls the steam circuit, but I read somewhere that the reason for the lower steam cut-off temp was actually because the sensor being used by myPID was only rated to 155degC. I have no idea if this is true or not, though.

 

The Silvia has an overheat protection thermostat anyway which is triggered at 165degC from memory.

 

I'll see if I can explain a little more clearly:

There is no need to "tame" the power, or increase upper parameter, these things are irrelevant, there is a sweet spot for both brew and steaming - the silvia is more than capable of blowing milk all over your counter if you are cack-handed & at the other end the supply of steam will ebb before the standard stat kicks the element back in.

 

The key for temp stability in brew or steam is an earlier and proportional response to a set point, thermal mass of boiler wall notwithstanding. Of course as the pressure reduces, so does the temp, this is after all a SBDU machine.

 

Other points to consider, price... How much is the Auber with the same functionality? And looks - hacked doesn't have to mean hacksawed!!!

 

The only other solution I thought looked good was to put an Auber type under Perspex cup warmer, the amount of work and expense involved made the Bluetooth a no-brainer.


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I'm not sure I quite understand your point. There is no need for PID control on the steam anyway, as the machine will inevitably lose temp while steaming even with the boiler element fully energised - it just doesn't have the power to need to be 'tamed'. The Auber unit uses the alarm circuit in their PID to kick the element back on much sooner than the stock thermostat's deadband would and allow you to control the temp at which it the element switches off.

 

I'm not sure how the myPID controls the steam circuit, but I read somewhere that the reason for the lower steam cut-off temp was actually because the sensor being used by myPID was only rated to 155degC. I have no idea if this is true or not, though.

 

The Silvia has an overheat protection thermostat anyway which is triggered at 165degC from memory.

 

The basic differences is that the standard Silvia steam thermostat has the same character as the brew thermostat - it's on or it's off, and there are wide temperature variations because of that. It also takes time to affect steam temperature. So it overheats the steam somewhat to allow for the temperature drop before it switches back on and reheats.

 

The MeCoffee PID provides finer temperature control by adjusting power (the 'dimming' referred to) and so doesn't need the 'safety net' of the higher steam temp. I assume other PIDs with steam control operate the same way

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I assume other PIDs with steam control operate the same way

 

Not that I am aware of.. AFAIK the Auber etc just change the set point, generally raising the steam to about 155C, the sensitivity is MUCH higher though, controlled to a degree, rather than the pendulum effect with the standard stat.

 

http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=104

 

I'm sure the Auber kit gives excellent control, but they are expensive, & I don't like the look of them strapped to the outside of the machine - I would have had to find a way to cut one into the front of the machine - this was a lot simpler & cheaper https://mecoffee.nl/mecoffee/

Edited by oursus
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I'm not arguing with the innovation of the mePID, and if I were looking for a PID now I'd definitely consider it. But I don't think the Auber looks as bad as is being made out here. The PID posted upthread is not an Auber; one of the selling points of Auber were the way they designed their PID to fit between group and steam wand.

 

My point re. steaming with the Silvia you just want the element on max power the whole time you're steaming. If that feels too powerful it's user technique that needs improving, not steaming temp that needs adjusting. Hence the reason people historically used their Auber/other PID to increase the steaming temperature. It wasn't a general comment on the mePID.


I'm the one asking for a piccolo.

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I'm not arguing with the innovation of the mePID, and if I were looking for a PID now I'd definitely consider it. But I don't think the Auber looks as bad as is being made out here. The PID posted upthread is not an Auber; one of the selling points of Auber were the way they designed their PID to fit between group and steam wand.

 

My point re. steaming with the Silvia you just want the element on max power the whole time you're steaming. If that feels too powerful it's user technique that needs improving, not steaming temp that needs adjusting. Hence the reason people historically used their Auber/other PID to increase the steaming temperature. It wasn't a general comment on the mePID.

Okay - first impressions

 

Arrived today, fitted in about half an hr (once I'd fetched the laptop from where it had been lent, to get bluetooth working)

 

The instructions are a little awkward, clear enough, but since there are 3 different installation possibilities, you wind up undoing & redoing 3 of the steps, which is a little irritating.

 

--After warming up (during which flushes seemed to give 20 + degrees fluctuation, during a double shot, the temp appears to have dropped 8-10deg recovery time is possibly a little faster with the dimming turned off, but it overshoots the set point, with the dimming turned in, the recovery gradient looks a little more shallow, (splitting hairs here a little) but it hits the target (actually about 0.5 deg over) & sits there.

 

The shot timer seems a little flaky, popping in and out.. I'll need to have a play with that, as with the timeswitch... Tomorrow is Sunday, so I'll see if I can get it running then & update.

 

In the meantime, if you fancy watching paint dry, here's the app in action, the first drop is with dimming disabled, you can see it overshoots, then with it enabled, just hovers half a degree over.

 

Flushes were 3-4oz approx, so a good deal more than a double...

https://vimeo.com/152840800

Edited by oursus

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Okay - first impressions

 

Arrived today, fitted in about half an hr (once I'd fetched the laptop from where it had been lent, to get bluetooth working)

 

The instructions are a little awkward, clear enough, but since there are 3 different installation possibilities, you wind up undoing & redoing 3 of the steps, which is a little irritating.

 

Interesting - I didn't experience it this way - the instructions seemed logical and clear to me - perhaps a good illustration of YMMV :)

 

--After warming up (during which flushes seemed to give 20 + degrees fluctuation, during a double shot, the temp appears to have dropped 8-10deg recovery time is possibly a little faster with the dimming turned off, but it overshoots the set point, with the dimming turned in, the recovery gradient looks a little more shallow, (splitting hairs here a little) but it hits the target (actually about 0.5 deg over) & sits there.

 

How long do you warm up for?

 

The shot timer seems a little flaky, popping in and out.. I'll need to have a play with that, as with the timeswitch... Tomorrow is Sunday, so I'll see if I can get it running then & update.

 

Is the shot timer active yet? The version of the Chrome app I'm looking at doesn't seem to have it (I may have been looking in the wrong place)

 

In the meantime, if you fancy watching paint dry, here's the app in action, the first drop is with dimming disabled, you can see it overshoots, then with it enabled, just hovers half a degree over.

 

Flushes were 3-4oz approx, so a good deal more than a double...

https://vimeo.com/152840800

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Interesting - I didn't experience it this way - the instructions seemed logical and clear to me

 

I mentioned they seem clear, just there were a couple of U-turns, depending on how complete an installation required (rather than having a 3 installation guide, so that you aren't undoing things that you have just done)

 

Is the shot timer active yet? The version of the Chrome app I'm looking at doesn't seem to have it (I may have been looking in the wrong place)

 

Have you installed completely (to step 10, including Pre-infusion, steam, pump control & timeswitch) or did you do the quick installation (to step 5)?

 

You can see the shot timer pop up in the Chrome app video at 00:02, disappear at 00:07 then reappear at 00:11...

 

 

How long do you warm up for?

 

I normally have the machine on a timeswitch... this was a rapid warmup after installation, with flushes to heat the head/handle & monitor the results being displayed in the Chrome app, during the warmup phase, fluctuations were high, reducing when up to operating temp, further when "Continuous mode" selected & the Proactivity slider set at 50%


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Update:

 

The Time-switch & shot-timer not working may have been symptomatic of something more serious...

 

After 3 days of use the system appears to have given up the ghost, (bit of a pain, I was enjoying it!) The pre-infusion burst was working well at 3 seconds (check water is through to group head before locking PF in, 5s pause) - shots had been consistently even, to my eye. No more temp surfing, spot on when walking up to machine. I was looking forward to the ios release, but monitoring on a netbook while playing over the first week.

 

This morning pulled a double for my breakfast, then when I went to the machine mid morning, got wild fluctuations then flatline... ::dummy:

With Rancilio not having a crash-cart on hand, I've emailed Jan... will wait to hear back.

Edited by oursus

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Hey Oursus, how are you getting on with fixing your issue?


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

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Ours arrived yesterday, so installed it last night. We installed all functions except for timer. As mentioned by others it is very easy to install, and the initial settings it comes with seem to work pretty well for controlling the temperature. As the Silvia warms up, the temperature control tightens.

 

We played around a bit with the pressure/dimming of the pump, but only pulled a few double shots, so not too sure how this effects the end result. Preinfusion works well, and while the meBarista app isn't required for pulling a shot, it is interesting to watch the temperature recovery and re-stabilisation. Initial thoughts though from both myself and my wife is that there is noticeably less bitterness. I guess this is from the preinfusion?

 

Attached is a picture of the unit installed and tucked away inside the Silvia. So far so good, but will keep playing around to see how the setting can effect results.

meCoffee Installed.jpg

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Initial thoughts though from both myself and my wife is that there is noticeably less bitterness. I guess this is from the preinfusion?

 

I very strongly suspect this is a result of reducing the shot temperature, rather than the preinfusion.

 

The mePID defaults to ~100degC at the sensor I think, which is exactly what I reprogrammed my Silvia v3 to with the Auber PID. That translates to a grouphead temperature of ~90-93degC The stock thermostat is set too high (and even worse on V1/V2), hence the need for temperature surfing.


I'm the one asking for a piccolo.

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I very strongly suspect this is a result of reducing the shot temperature, rather than the preinfusion.

 

The mePID defaults to ~100degC at the sensor I think, which is exactly what I reprogrammed my Silvia v3 to with the Auber PID. That translates to a grouphead temperature of ~90-93degC The stock thermostat is set too high (and even worse on V1/V2), hence the need for temperature surfing.

 

Ahhh righto, that makes sense. You are spot on with the temperature setting, set at 101 degrees by default.

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Does anyone have the timer function working on mecoffee as yet? (The wake//sleep timer)


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Hey Oursus, how are you getting on with fixing your issue?

 

So the issue was solved very quickly by bending the sensor connector gently toward the sensor, apparently this is a sensitive point, something that may be reinforced in future - glad it wasn't terminal (see what I did there?)

 

This has returned the brew, steam, pump control, still haven't got the timed on/off working... Has anyone done this successfully?


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honestly, I prefer to have the machine off when it is switched off..I also use a digital timer socket for mornings though :)

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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honestly, I prefer to have the machine off when it is switched off..I also use a digital timer socket for mornings though :)

The great thing about the Wemo is that I can set one schedule for weekdays (on at 0600, off at 0730) and a different one for weekends (0730-0930) and leave it alone. Not to mention being able to switch it on an off from my phone as and when

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The great thing about the Wemo is that I can set one schedule for weekdays (on at 0600, off at 0730) and a different one for weekends (0730-0930) and leave it alone. Not to mention being able to switch it on an off from my phone as and when

 

Yeah, I have an old smiths timeguard clockwork timer, so reliable that I have had it as long as I can remember, but I wanted to get the mecoffee fully working if I could... At the moment it just ignores the settings completely.

 

Has anyone been playing with the pump (pressure) settings yet?


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I have, but haven't measured the pressure profiling yet, actually I've disconnected the "valve" cable for now @ImthatGuy sounds great, might give it a try, would be handy since I always come back home at a different time


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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The wemo stuff is good, the problem I have found is that I have a habit of walking about talking to people on whatsapp/Skype/ phone while doing stuff, every time I walk past Bluetooth bits, my headset gets ditched & they wind up talking to my pocket until I notice! (Latest plantronics & iPhone, seems to work fine elsewhere)


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The wemo stuff is good, the problem I have found is that I have a habit of walking about talking to people on whatsapp/Skype/ phone while doing stuff, every time I walk past Bluetooth bits, my headset gets ditched & they wind up talking to my pocket until I notice! (Latest plantronics & iPhone, seems to work fine elsewhere)

 

I can see that would be a problem - but not as big a problem as if your pocket started talking back ;)

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I can see that would be a problem - but not as big a problem as if your pocket started talking back ;)

 

Pretty much everything in my house gives backchat


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