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Fracino Piccino Mods


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I've recently purchased an early model Piccino with rocker switches. I used to have a Gaggia Classic so I'm not against a bit of tinkering to improve the functionality.

I've read that temperature surfing is an issue with these machines and there's no LED indicator for the brew element. I was looking at where I could install one and to me the best location is the group rocker switch. I've found a cheap LED switch and I wanted to know if anybody else has tried this?

The switch is here https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01J3UEFX0/ref=cm_sw_r_em_apa_fabt1_e4OQFb2M1STHP

Any other mods that people routinely do on these machines? 

Another question I'm looking for an answer to is the brew temperature adjustable? I think mine is on the low side, hence wanting the brew element indicator.

Cheers

Jon

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Not entirely sure that will work as the switch will bring the light on where you want a indication led to see when the group is heating? 

Easy way would be to piggy back a led off the element wiring and mount it in the front of the flat panel underneath? 

Look how the little gem has its led lights. 

Edited by NewboyUK
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Brew temp is not adjustable as it is controlled by a simple thermostat, yours may be faulty or you may be able to change it to one with a higher temp. It is possible to fit a PID (I have fitted a Rex C-100 to a Piccino in the past), which is a much better way of controlling brew temp.

Londinium L1, Compak E8, Gaggia OWC, ECM Giotto, Aerspeed, Gene Cafe 101.

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You are correct, I was hoping to alter the functionality to be independent of the switch position. Might take a bit of precision tinkering but I hope it could be possible. Failing that, do Fracino supply the LEDs plus metal surround?

I guess I should introduce myself to the Fracino parts department. 

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Fitted it myself. Fitting a PID is as straightfoward as fitting one to a Classic or Silvia, the alarm function to control the steam is not needed. I mounted the SSR on the bulkhead near the steam boiler. The components can be bought for about £25 if using a K type thermocouple.

picc12.thumb.jpg.d79a53262efa534940cfa3eed7103b72.jpg

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Londinium L1, Compak E8, Gaggia OWC, ECM Giotto, Aerspeed, Gene Cafe 101.

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13 hours ago, Norvin said:

Fitted it myself. Fitting a PID is as straightfoward as fitting one to a Classic or Silvia, the alarm function to control the steam is not needed. I mounted the SSR on the bulkhead near the steam boiler. The components can be bought for about £25 if using a K type thermocouple.

picc12.thumb.jpg.d79a53262efa534940cfa3eed7103b72.jpg

Looks great, £25 would be a bargain to control the new temp that tightly. Do you still have the BOM for the kit?  and if there's any fitting guides out there?

One of these?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/REX-C100-PID-Temperature-Controller-100-240V-40A-SSR-K-Thermocouple-0-400-/164191536154?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292

 

Edited by Jonny O
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Yes, that PID should work, you also need an enclosure and wiring. I don't have any notes on fitting to the Piccino but I remember that it was pretty straightforward, study the wiring diagram to figure out the electrical pick up points.

It is generally thought that it is not really worthwhile to put a PID on a heat exchanger machine although it would be not too difficult to do.

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Londinium L1, Compak E8, Gaggia OWC, ECM Giotto, Aerspeed, Gene Cafe 101.

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On 11/11/2020 at 10:02, Norvin said:

Fitted it myself. Fitting a PID is as straightfoward as fitting one to a Classic or Silvia, the alarm function to control the steam is not needed. I mounted the SSR on the bulkhead near the steam boiler. The components can be bought for about £25 if using a K type thermocouple.

picc12.thumb.jpg.d79a53262efa534940cfa3eed7103b72.jpg

I've been trying to pick the components for this. Is there a reason for using a k type thermocouple rather than a pt100 sensor? The man on the internet says  thermocouples aren't as good as pt100 sensors. Wondering if it was sensor geometry or some other reason? I think this will be a Christmas holiday project

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23 minutes ago, Jonny O said:

I've been trying to pick the components for this. Is there a reason for using a k type thermocouple rather than a pt100 sensor? The man on the internet says  thermocouples aren't as good as pt100 sensors. Wondering if it was sensor geometry or some other reason? I think this will be a Christmas holiday project

The K type are not as accurate as the pt100 but they are easier to find and cheaper. It depends on how much accuracy you need, do you really need to control temp to a fraction of a degree? The kits come with the K type and you can always upgrade to the pt100 at a later date should you feel it necessary.

Londinium L1, Compak E8, Gaggia OWC, ECM Giotto, Aerspeed, Gene Cafe 101.

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