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MeCoffee PID kit for Silvia - first thoughts

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

 

Good to hear you had a simple solution to your sensor issue! We have had a small play, but nothing too much yet. Tried 80% to 100% over 5secs to try and give a slightly lower pressure during pre-infusion. Seems to run a nice shot, but have no idea if 80% actually drops the pressure below the OPV setting or not. We did change it to 100% for the whole time this morning and seemed to taste the same.

 

Did find out one thing though. Initially when changing it to 100%, I also set the period to 0secs. When flicking the brew button nothing happens besides some water dripping out of the group head. So need to set it to something other than 0. Will start to play around some more with lower initial pressure over a longer period and pre-infusion time.

 

Also had some time to play around with the derivative settings in continuous temperature control, but still seems to cycle a degree or two around set point. I tried interval and after setting polling interval to 5000ms as recommended, the temperature profile stays very smooth. Picture attached of warmup yesterday morning with interval mode.

meCoffee Interval Warmup.jpg

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So me and the wife just took some time trying out different settings of pre-infusion and pressure. Found that 50% seemed to be a bit underpowered, so bumped up to 60% and worked from there. After numerous shots, sipping and tipping the rest down the sink, we came to the following:

 

 

 

  • 60% to 100% over 11secs
  • 6secs pre-infusion with 4secs pause
  • Reduced our grind size down by 1 with same tamping

 

We were able to replicate the results in terms of flavour, crema and length of shot. It results in a few drops in the cups at the end of pre-infusion. Just changing the pressure time period by 1sec either way results in no drops in the cups, to a small stream into the cups at end of pre-infusion. Can definitely get lost in a sea of variables, so we tried to lock in a variable each time we thought it made an improvement, so had less variables to play with as we progressed.

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Nice one @millsii, have you compared with back to stock settings, for a before & after comparison? Is this a lighter or darker roast you are using & finally, have you tried a ramp-up to 100% whilst turning pre-infusion off?

 

Incidentally I also found anything under half way to be a bit too low, anything over 3-4s pause seemed to completely spanner the puck - I have a maximum of 5s on the pump time for preinfusion though, how are you setting to 6?


esto tambien pasara.

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Turning off preinfusion is probably the one thing we haven't tried. We did try the standard settings that came with the meCoffee, and did provide decent results, but wasn't quite consistent between myself or my wife doing the grinding/tamping. We are using a darker roast at the moment.

 

Are you saying that meBarista doesn't let you select up to 6secs on preinfusion, or that 6secs is too much? meBarista lets us set it up to 10secs. See attached screen shots of our current pressure and preinfusion settings.

meCoffee Pressure Settings.jpg

meCoffee Preinfusion Settings.jpg

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Are you saying that meBarista doesn't let you select up to 6secs on preinfusion, or that 6secs is too much? meBarista lets us set it up to 10secs. See attached screen shots of our current pressure and preinfusion settings.

 

Ah, that must be the chrome app I'm using then... Looks very different 5s max selectable.

 

be642440f4da2d4112dfedb938903a76.jpg

 

88aec48bad0d083271bf6d67e80fbaff.jpg

 

I tried ramping down to 50% over about 50s too, tbh there are differences, not sure I would characterise them as improvements just yet! For instance with pre-infusion I'm grinding tighter, but the shot is thinner, the flavours from the pressure ramp down were not what I would expect from profiling either, doesn't look like I'll expect an immediate result here.


esto tambien pasara.

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Changing the selectable variable range should be a fairly simple change for them to make. If you wanted to try higher values, it could be worth emailing meCoffee and ask if they could update the plugin?

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I have just ordered my mecoffee PID for my Rancillio. I've received the auto generated email. Waiting for the confirmation for dispatch.

 

Quick question, will this device be compatible with IOS? or will they bring out another revision in hardware? Just thinking if I want the IOS version then I should wait until it released.

 

Thanks

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Hi all,

 

I received my meCoffee PID yesterday and just wanted to tell my initial thoughts story.

 

FYI, I have the Rancilio Silvia E 2016 model. I am an IT professional and have built computers before, but no real knowledge in electronics.

 

When the PID arrived, I got manual and video up online. Between the two resources, i didn't have any issues inistalling the PID, but I certainly had a few 'scracth of the head' moments when reading the instructions. They are certainly not as clear as I would have thought. I used to video as guidence, but I found lots of contridictions in what actions the person was performing on the video compared to the online instructions. I think the video is dated, so don't follow it!!!! use the step by step online manual. Also the video could have been shot at a better angle.

 

I think some initial steps where over simplified in the manual and I could certainly point out parts where it simply was not clear e.g.

 

"Open your meCoffee and place the enclosed sensor at a safe position".

 

yes we have the video which sort of helps, but a short description would not hurt. Another:

 

Connect the green wire ( terminal #1 ) to the lower left terminal.

Connect the red wire ( terminal #3 ) to the lower right terminal.

 

Lower left and lower right from what perspective? looking from the front or back? Why cant it say colors?

 

 

These where just some cases that I think could be improved. But all in all it was okay and like i said I didn't have any major issues.

 

 

 

My first impressions is that its AMAZING. The stability in temperature is great and the fact it changes 'on the fly' via my phone is great. The pre-infusion works great, the temperature control works great. The app is also really good and easy to use. My first couple of shots where the best I ever pulled, gloopy and perfect taste.

 

I got stuck on step 8 of the guide which is 'Pressure Control' as it says the following:

 

"Use the long white wire from the set to connect this terminal to the NEUTRAL(left) side of the power-button."

 

The power button is different on the Silvia E so I think these instructions need updating. I have emailed meCoffee about this last night, but still waiting for a response. I also asked for clarity as to wehter step 9 (Timer) will work with the Silvia E as this machine is on a timer (30min inactive shutdown) and the power button is not the same as the V3 model.

 

 

Thanks and any questions let me know. I think I am going to do a video walk through for the PID on the Silvia E once I get it all sorted.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

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Thanks for the write up Mem. My mind is made up and I am more or less going to be picking up a unit myself in the coming weeks, it sounds a great bit of kit from the results people are getting.


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

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Hi Andy, that's no problem and as I said I will hopefully do a more in-depth write up and video at some point.

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@mem

 

Yeah, the installation instructions could definitely do with a re-write, I found them similarly ambiguous. As far as the timer is concerned, we don't seem to have heard from anyone who has it working as yet...

 

I think where I landed on it after a couple of weeks is :

removal of surfing & ability to set the brew temp is the main improvement, it removes a step in the faff for the first shot & if pulling another after steaming, as any PID would.

 

As far as improvement in the cup is concerned, surfing was a pain, but once you have it down & just work the flush into your cup warming & prep process (as you would with an HX machine) the time saving is actually minimal, but if that part of the process bugs you, work that into your calculation, the shots are pretty similar to me...

 

For pre-infusion, tbh that's something you can do with one additional movement of your digit...but the mecoffee does give consistency & convenience.

 

The app is pretty... I don't think it gives any more functionality than standard controls, but the one thing it does is keep all mods internal to the Silvia, which will appeal to some (me included)

 

All in all, if you have an older Silvia & are in the market for a PID, you could do worse. If you are thinking of buying new, as others have stated, I wouldn't, £500 will buy a lot more machine second hand!


esto tambien pasara.

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Hi all,

 

I received my meCoffee PID yesterday and just wanted to tell my initial thoughts story.

 

FYI, I have the Rancilio Silvia E 2016 model. I am an IT professional and have built computers before, but no real knowledge in electronics.

 

When the PID arrived, I got manual and video up online. Between the two resources, i didn't have any issues inistalling the PID, but I certainly had a few 'scracth of the head' moments when reading the instructions. They are certainly not as clear as I would have thought. I used to video as guidence, but I found lots of contridictions in what actions the person was performing on the video compared to the online instructions. I think the video is dated, so don't follow it!!!! use the step by step online manual. Also the video could have been shot at a better angle.

 

In the e-mail I received, confirming shipping, there was a warning in bold: "The installation video is only a general overview: use the written manual and proceed one step at a time and verify the result of each step before proceeding to the next."

Agree that the video should be redone with current product.

 

 

I think some initial steps where over simplified in the manual and I could certainly point out parts where it simply was not clear e.g.

 

"Open your meCoffee and place the enclosed sensor at a safe position".

 

not that hard to understand in my opinion

 

 

yes we have the video which sort of helps, but a short description would not hurt. Another:

 

Connect the green wire ( terminal #1 ) to the lower left terminal.

Connect the red wire ( terminal #3 ) to the lower right terminal.

 

Lower left and lower right from what perspective? looking from the front or back? Why cant it say colors?

 

 

These where just some cases that I think could be improved. But all in all it was okay and like i said I didn't have any major issues.

 

 

you need to refer to the step 2 of the original manual for pre-V5 versions:

Connect the female+male side of the green wire to the existing (black)neutral-wire of the power button and insert it at the original terminal of the neutral wire. Connect the female side of this green wire to terminal #1 (neutral) of the meCoffee.

Connect the female+male side of the red wire to the existing (red)live-wire and insert it at the original terminal of the red wire. Connect the female side of this red wire to terminal #3 (live) of the meCoffee.

 

My first impressions is that its AMAZING. The stability in temperature is great and the fact it changes 'on the fly' via my phone is great. The pre-infusion works great, the temperature control works great. The app is also really good and easy to use. My first couple of shots where the best I ever pulled, gloopy and perfect taste.

agreed :)

 

I got stuck on step 8 of the guide which is 'Pressure Control' as it says the following:

 

"Use the long white wire from the set to connect this terminal to the NEUTRAL(left) side of the power-button."

 

The power button is different on the Silvia E so I think these instructions need updating. I have emailed meCoffee about this last night, but still waiting for a response. I also asked for clarity as to wehter step 9 (Timer) will work with the Silvia E as this machine is on a timer (30min inactive shutdown) and the power button is not the same as the V3 model.

 

I am also unclear on this, they never replied to my email which is weird

 

Thanks and any questions let me know. I think I am going to do a video walk through for the PID on the Silvia E once I get it all sorted.

 

Thanks

thanks for the effort!


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.

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In the e-mail I received, confirming shipping, there was a warning in bold: "The installation video is only a general overview: use the written manual and proceed one step at a time and verify the result of each step before proceeding to the next."

Agree that the video should be redone with current product.

 

 

 

not that hard to understand in my opinion

 

 

 

you need to refer to the step 2 of the original manual for pre-V5 versions:

Connect the female+male side of the green wire to the existing (black)neutral-wire of the power button and insert it at the original terminal of the neutral wire. Connect the female side of this green wire to terminal #1 (neutral) of the meCoffee.

Connect the female+male side of the red wire to the existing (red)live-wire and insert it at the original terminal of the red wire. Connect the female side of this red wire to terminal #3 (live) of the meCoffee.

 

 

agreed :)

 

 

I am also unclear on this, they never replied to my email which is weird

 

thanks for the effort!

 

I think the point is that the installation manual refers to "left" & "right", rather than an objective reference, leading to unnecessary confusion...

 

It could do with a rewrite. -

 

The video was not useful, the camera was too far away & a lot of the time blocked by the installer, this was obviously intended as a "look how quick & easy this is" promo, rather than a serious instructional video, as the only reference, the manual needs to get it right.

 

I think we should probably bear in mind that people will be comparing other PIDs , which will give similar function (not form) for possibly less than half the price...(or in the case of Auber more), it should really go without saying that the net result of time & money is temp stability, it would be a poor deal if it didn't really! The question is how does the mecoffee compare to those in price, form & function?

 

Perhaps with that in mind we could invite the input of more experienced "Pidders" @MrShades et?


esto tambien pasara.

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Yes i agree Oursus.

 

I am only being critical as some areas can and no doubt will lead to confusion for some customers. IMO when it comes to instructions and guiding someone through a sequence of activities, its best to assume that the customer hasn't a clue and explain it like you would to a child (within reason). Pictures, examples, videos. Not "Open your meCoffee and place the enclosed sensor at a safe position"

 

The fact that the video carry's out the installation A) differently and B) in a different order to the online manual does not make it helpful to the user. I was like "oh wait hes doing that, but the manual says do this".

 

Again, I'm only pointing these out and mentioning them so that they can be sorted out which will make this accessible to more people and ultimately give the company less hassle (People calling an emailing for help) so they can work on enhancements for us who have already purchased it :)

 

@oursus

 

 

Yes I agree. Before getting the meCoffee I was temperature surfing and I was producing great espressos. However, I was not consistent with it. 3 times out of 5 it would be great. Aside from a new bit of tech which I love, it delivers a stable temperature and ABOVE ALL, it eliminates one variable for me. Now I can focus on beans, grind and tamp and not worry about surfing.

 

 

Thanks

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Aside from a new bit of tech which I love, it delivers a stable temperature and ABOVE ALL, it eliminates one variable for me. Now I can focus on beans, grind and tamp and not worry about surfing.

 

 

Thanks

 

I agree @mem, the iOS support should be released in the next few Weeks - it will be good to have a working shot-timer & temp control from my phone. In the meantime I have a brew temp which seems to be stable most of the time within a few degrees, certainly giving me more consistency than before.

 

I haven't had an answer from Jan about the sleep timer, or support for the second sensor, which I was hoping to monitor brew head temp with...

 

(Apparently the extra sensor won't work as supplied, it needs to have a master/slave setup as per a hard drive cable, which is a little disappointing)

 

All in all a mixed bag...


esto tambien pasara.

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@oursus oh that's cool, so your looking for a sensor for the brew head. Would this just to be to monitor?

 

On another note. My pressure control from meCoffee doesn't seem to work properly. I got a response from Jan saying that:

 

Me: I have a question regarding step 8 (pressure control) :

It says to connect the long white wire to the NEUTRAL (left) side of the powerbutton.

Obviously with my model (silvia E) the power button is not layed out like that. Is simply has a two wires- black on top and red on bottom. So my question is. What do I do? I.

Jan: Good question, which we should have addressed in the manual. I think earlier 4e customers connected this to the left upper terminal of the brew button ( currently not connected if you did step 6 ? ).

 

 

 

I did the above and it sort of didn't feel right. It hard to explain but once I made this above connection that Jan mentioned, the pressure adjustments defiantly worked as I was changing it on my phone but the brew head did not cleanly close and open the valve between pre-infusion and the actual extraction. Water just sort of kept coming out slightly and after i switched the brew button off, the pump didnt stop for about 3-4 seconds.

 

Prior to making this change above for "pressure" control. The pump would come on for pre-infusion, turn off nicely and open back up again.

 

I did explain this to Jan, but no response yet.

 

Really hard to explain that, but has anyone has a similar effect? is it supposed to be like that?

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, the pressure adjustments defiantly worked as I was changing it on my phone but the brew head did not cleanly close and open the valve between pre-infusion and the actual extraction. Water just sort of kept coming out slightly and after i switched the brew button off, the pump didnt stop for about 3-4 seconds.

 

Prior to making this change above for "pressure" control. The pump would come on for pre-infusion, turn off nicely and open back up again.

 

I did explain this to Jan, but no response yet.

 

I bought the additional sensor & cable with my mecoffee, with the idea of being able to tell when the machine was up to temp. This appears to be incompatible...I'd need to make up a new 3 way cable for them & make use of the sensors provided.

 

With the pre-infusion controlled by the chrome app, the pump is just switched off so keeps flowing as the valve is open, I thought with the android app, it looked as if there was an option to have the valve close or stay open?

 

The pump keeping going after turning the brew switch off doesn't sound right at all...


esto tambien pasara.

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With the pre-infusion controlled by the chrome app, the pump is just switched off so keeps flowing as the valve is open, I thought with the android app, it looked as if there was an option to have the valve close or stay open?

 

The pump keeping going after turning the brew switch off doesn't sound right at all...

@mem

As @oursus said it seems as though the default is to leave the valve open during the pause. On the android app it does give the option to have the valve open or closed. I'll try to remember to try setting the valve to closed this afternoon and let you know what happened. The pump still running after the brew button is switched off does not sound right at all.

 

Looking at a wiring diagram of "earlier" Silvias (attached), connecting the 3 way valve directly to the brew button should provide a normal neutral connection. If this part of the wiring is still the same as the new E version, then it shouldn't share any electrical connection with the pump other than "live" when the brew switch is on/closed?

Rancilio Silvia Wiring Diagram.jpg

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Just got home and set the valve to shut during pause and it does shut the valve. You then hear the click noise of it opening again when the pump restarts.

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Just got home and set the valve to shut during pause and it does shut the valve. You then hear the click noise of it opening again when the pump restarts.

@millsii thanks for this explanation and doing that check.

 

I am at work at the moment so will need to test this out tonight. On the android app I have 'Close valve while paused' set to OFF. However, I am pretty sure that I can hear the clicking noise (as you mentioned) but I could be getting confused with the valve and pump noise (I am not entirely sure how it works as you can tell- learning though).

 

I will definitely play around with this connection again tonight and in the mean-time try and make sense of the diagram you posted.

 

Can I ask how significant having this pressure control is? Are any of you making use of it and have your results been better?

 

Thanks

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@millsii

Can I ask how significant having this pressure control is? Are any of you making use of it and have your results been better?

 

Thanks

 

The "pump dimming" does work as a rough proxy, from playing with it a little, anything below 50% doesn't seem to want to push through an 18g dose.

 

Right now, I'm finding that neither pre-infusion or a ramp down on the pump are moving me further forward than proper prep & temp stability (if anyone has any experience on that, any input is most welcome!) I'll be glad to hear of your findings with that


esto tambien pasara.

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Really weird. As the machine stands (without connecting the pressure cable) there is no change in pre-infusion when changing the 'close valve while paused' button in mebarrista on or off. ??

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Really weird. As the machine stands (without connecting the pressure cable) there is no change in pre-infusion when changing the 'close valve while paused' button in mebarrista on or off. ??

 

When you say the pressure cable, do you mean the neutral, (white) wire? If so, it will need to be connected.


esto tambien pasara.

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Hi

 

Sorry when I said 'pressure cable' I meant the long white wire that it wanted me to connect at step 8 (pressure control)

 

Is this the one you mean?

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Hi

 

Sorry when I said 'pressure cable' I meant the long white wire that it wanted me to connect at step 8 (pressure control)

 

Is this the one you mean?

 

That's the one


esto tambien pasara.

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