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NEW USB CABLES 4 U
We’ve now receive 100pcs of a new USB cable, that we hope fixes the reliability issues that have plagued us.
Here is what it looks like.

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I am contacting our customers to see if they’re willing to test this new cable, to help us determine if it’s really reliable, so we can finally “put this problem to bed” !
My intention is to eventually have a “v1.1 and v1.0 update pack” that will include a new stainless steel drip tray covers, and a new USB cable. That will be sent to all existing clients who would like these. That will happen in about 2 months.

 

THE SAGA OF OUR USB CABLE HELL
Our v1.0 USB cables would occasionally melt.
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and sometimes the USB-A side would fit too tightly:

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Those were replaced in January 2019 with a new vendor, and while cables never melted (progress!) they did occasionally fail for some people: perhaps about 20% of clients. Worse yet, these cables all worked perfectly for in Hong Kong, and we were never able to devise a test that correctly forecasted whether that cable would be reliable or not. We *think* the problem was due to a USB-A pin being a bit bent inside the connector. Our test gear didn’t mind this, but apparently some of our espresso machines did.

So…. now with our 3rd attempt to solve the reliability issues with this part. I decided to stay with major brands only, and ordered a bunch of off the shelf cables first. We took them apart, measured the electrical resistance, the wire thickness, and in peeling back the plastic cases, checked out the overall design and engineering. The cable we liked the most from an electrical perspective happened to also be the most attractive.

We're sending free cables out to owners now, who have a bad v1.1 cable, to see if this cable works reliably for them.  

It's sad, really.  A multi-thousand dollar machine, made unreliable by a $2 part.
 

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IMG_0823.gif.64bcde2929abe084dee9f8875f35e28d.gif

Bigger BROR !

I’ve made a 2nd coffee cart for myself, using the slightly longer (110cm vs 80cm) BROR table from IKEA https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30333286/ combined with the legs that have roller wheels, from the shorter, cheaper BROR table which happens to be compatible https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60333850/

The extra 30cm is a lot of space, and lets me choose between having “room to play” or putting two DE1XL machines on one cart.  

As Colin Harmon https://www.instagram.com/colinharmon/ writes in his book about running cafes, 2 groups is the “sweet spot”, with only a 17% increase in output when you add a 3rd group.  Hence, my interest in making a compact little two group coffee cart, for USD$250 worth of furniture from IKEA, and the rest coming from Decent Espresso.

As I’m going to use this cart for making “how to” videos for customers, I’m going to stick with 1 DE1XL. That way, too, the camera can see me better (I’m not hidden behind a lot of gear).

In the image above, I show two possible configurations for the cart.  Which do you prefer?

-john

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IMG_0823.gif.64bcde2929abe084dee9f8875f35e28d.gif

Bigger BROR !

I’ve made a 2nd coffee cart for myself, using the slightly longer (110cm vs 80cm) BROR table from IKEA https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30333286/ combined with the legs that have roller wheels, from the shorter, cheaper BROR table which happens to be compatible https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60333850/

The extra 30cm is a lot of space, and lets me choose between having “room to play” or putting two DE1XL machines on one cart.  

As Colin Harmon https://www.instagram.com/colinharmon/ writes in his book about running cafes, 2 groups is the “sweet spot”, with only a 17% increase in output when you add a 3rd group.  Hence, my interest in making a compact little two group coffee cart, for USD$250 worth of furniture from IKEA, and the rest coming from Decent Espresso.

As I’m going to use this cart for making “how to” videos for customers, I’m going to stick with 1 DE1XL. That way, too, the camera can see me better (I’m not hidden behind a lot of gear).

In the image above, I show two possible configurations for the cart.  Which do you prefer?

-john

 

Niche on the end of you want to highlight the ability to mount a 2nd DE1XL. Otherwise, I think having it next to the machine is neater.

 

How about having a top down image of a 2nd DE1XL next to the first?


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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I much prefer the Niche  on the outer left side of the trolley.
Improves valuble working space adjacent to the DE1XL.

When we move House end October I have in mind to put my Decent & Niche on a trolley.

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Ron 

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I look forward to seeing that. It might be my next equipment move.

On 27/08/2019 at 20:41, ronsil said:

I much prefer the Niche  on the outer left side of the trolley.
Improves valuble working space adjacent to the DE1XL.

When we move House end October I have in mind to put my Decent & Niche on a trolley.

 


1973 La Pavoni ++ Niche Zero ++ Aeropress ++ V60

Coffee by the Casuals

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On 27/08/2019 at 21:00, ashcroc said:

How about having a top down image of a 2nd DE1XL next to the first?

Good idea, will move things around and get that photo taken.

 

 

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newbaskets2.thumb.jpg.13383e4a368faf1290aebf17d6f3c0b9.jpg

 

Two new espresso baskets

Today we sent off to our basket manufacturer, two new products:

  • After a year of R&D with Scott Rao and 5 iterations, we're finally happy with our "pour over basket" for espresso machines.  This converts your espresso machine into a pour-over shower head, with each hole spaced and calibrated so that the entire coffee bed is evenly turbulent.  Naturally, this works best of our espresso machine, where you can control flow and pressure, but this basket can also be used on traditional machines, which follow the 58mm standard.
  • We have made dozens of these Puck Simulator baskets for our own use over the past 4 years. We use them in testing, burning in machines, and calibration.  There's a single hole at 0.3mm, which gives a similar flow rate to espresso, at 9 bar of pressure.

Both these items will be shipping in a few months, but are available for pre-order now.  You can find them on our NEW page, off our home page. https://decentespresso.com/new

-john

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Very interested to see the results people get with the pour over basket.


ECM Heidelberg Mechanika IV Profi // Niche Zero

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newbars.thumb.jpg.3ab7c333f5b944548b526f4cc41b7c35.jpg

They said it couldn't be done....
.... and they were right?
 
The first casts of our stainless steel drip tray cover have come out. The other casting vendors said our design couldn't be done. But one company said their lost-wax casting process could do it.
The upper photo is the unpolished part. You can ignore the finish (it would polish up shiny) but the non-straight wires, are a big problem. They're going to try again, with a cooler metal cast, but they aren't optimistic.
So... the solution here is to reinforce the design to prevent the warpage.
Years ago, we tried a grid of wires on the top, but I didn't like how it looked from above.
Now, I'm suggesting going back to the grid idea, but putting the 90º rotated wires below the main level, so that they'll be much less visible. These intersections will cause coffee to catch and be a bit hard to clean, but I think it'll not be too bad (should rinse off, usually).
Thankfully, our customers have enthusiastically responded to my idea and have sent in about 5 weeks worth of unused drip tray covers. That gives us a bit of time to solve this problem, and still keep shipping machines.
More news on this pressing topic, as the situation evolves.
-john
 

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wire_top.thumb.jpg.9a6e8a35173897c662f441dfd61a655e.jpg

Other approaches to the drip tray cover

Since our recent setback in stainless steel molding our drip tray cover design, we're trying two other designs, while we try to debug the original approach. 

Both new approach to this part retain the main advantage of using rounded wires to avoid water retention.  

The main difference here is that we're building up the drip tray cover by welding wire together, and this is is a well known technology.  

We're having the prototypes made now, should have them in hand within 2 weeks.

-john
 

 

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Ben  has drawn up a few different alternative drip tray design ideas. The first two could be done with the existing molding technology we are trying, while the last one could be stamped or molded.
preview-full-preview-full-image-1.thumb.png.4b3345f82895314c4b969a4464ecab11.pngpreview-full-image-4.thumb.png.66e9225c139b397ef98691dcb5cf888b.pngpreview-full-image-3.thumb.png.2a25213eb207d003c4abc518964f32f6.png

 

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I much prefer the first one, for what it’s worth.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Lots of everything: machines, grinders, roaster, beans, tampers, baskets, blah, blah

However - Too much is never enough!

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Agreed. 1st is nicer on the eyes and looks less cluttered.

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk

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3bars.thumb.jpg.a542091328370ea322308b1ddf2a33ac.jpg

Drip tray bar = a cup centering guide

After debating various ideas for a revised drip tray cover, we came up with the attached design. 

This design has a nice (almost invisible) feature:

  • the leftmost bar is directly under the center of the group head
  • thus giving you an easy guide to follow, to center your cups
  • we slightly altered the spacing on the outside, to cause this effect, but I think the spacing change is hard to see as a "defect", and instead looks like a "happy accident" that the bar lines up in this way
  • there might still be a slight deformation in the bars after molding, even with 3 bars, but the company feels that their correction tool can repair those.
  • the casting company told us that it's hard to get liquid stainless steel to flow into crossbars, and that 3 or for 4 bars was ideal.  More bars would be problematic to cast.

So... we're wax casting this revised design now.

-john

 

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John - are all your machines v1.1 now?  When I looked at the build queue on your site, it had some DE1+  v1.0 listed...


Gaggia '06 Baby Class (Dimmer / pressure gauge, MrShades PID, IMS shower / brass holder), 18g VST + LevTamp

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20 minutes ago, AndyZap said:

John - are all your machines v1.1 now?  When I looked at the build queue on your site, it had some DE1+  v1.0 listed...

All new machines are v1.1 as of January 2019.

However, we do have some v1.0 machines that we repair, and that's probably what you're seeing the shipping queue. 

That's transparency. :D

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Decent Coffee Cart with Wood Effect Paneling

This is IKEA's larger BROR table ($150) at 110cm x  55cm (with the $99 BROR wheels on it), with one white DE1XL on it.   I photographed a section of the wood I'd varnished, and had foam panels printed up of the wood top, but for use as side panels.  The effect is quite nice, and makes for a good coffee cart for the home.  Two DE1XL espresso machines would fit on this table, if I wanted to make this a high-volume setup.

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Casting a wide net
While we wait for our new design for a cast drip tray covers to be prepared, we're also asking for samples of alternative approaches.
Prototypes of 3 alternatives arrived in my inbox today.
Uhm.... not quite acceptable, I'd say.
The search continues!
-john
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Hi John,

Couple of question regarding the new Group Head Controller.
I saw that any new machine starting from Jan will be shipped with the new group head controller and it will also be available for existing machine.

Will the price of the machine is going to change from Jan?
Do you know what will be the cost of upgrading to the new controller?

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26 minutes ago, Netanel said:

I saw that any new machine starting from Jan will be shipped with the new group head controller and it will also be available for existing machine. Will the price of the machine is going to change from Jan? Do you know what will be the cost of upgrading to the new controller?

The price increase will be about USD$300/£300, and it'll be same price to upgrade your v1.1 machine to the new group head controller, if you want to do that.

-john

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6 minutes ago, decent_espresso said:

The price increase will be about USD$300/£300, and it'll be same price to upgrade your v1.1 machine to the new group head controller, if you want to do that.

-john

I still don't have a machine :)
I mainly asked to see if there is a reason to wait with my order to Jan or I can just order a machine those days.

The group controller head is the only difference between v1.1 and v1.3, right?

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1 hour ago, Netanel said:

I still don't have a machine :)
I mainly asked to see if there is a reason to wait with my order to Jan or I can just order a machine those days.

The group controller head is the only difference between v1.1 and v1.3, right?

The tablets also get a bump up to Android 8.1 (from Android 5.1)

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First look: group head shows pressure and flow in real time

This will be available on Decent machines starting in January 2020, and will also be available as a low cost upgrade for all Decent machines built after January 2019.

This is our first working attempt at this feature. There are still more improvements to come, which I'll be posting here as they happen.

-john

 

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