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Thread: Rancilio Silvia and meCoffee PID

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    Rancilio Silvia and meCoffee PID

    After looking at PIDs for the Silvia on and off for the past few years. I finally decided that I would put in a bit more effort searching to see if there was anything that could be installed inside the machine and maintain the same functionality of the existing buttons. Came across a review of the meCoffee from August 2015: http://www.rojtberg.net/1109/mecoffe...ncilio-silvia/

    Other than the review and their website, there was little info about it, but decided to give it a try as it seemed to be exactly what I was looking for plus on ~$200. I ordered it on Sunday 17th January, received postage confirmation on Wednesday 20th January and it arrived yesterday 1st February. Not too bad considering it came from Netherlands and had been opened for Australian Customs inspection. Makes sense I guess as the Customs scanner would just show small package with a bundle of wires and electronic box.

    Attached are a couple of pictures of what was in the package and one installation was complete. I forgot to take a picture of the install prior to tucking the controller inside the unit.

    The install instructions are easy to follow with checks at the end of each step to ensure everything has been connected correctly. It is also handy having the install video to reference especially for how to tuck the controller into the Silvia. With the wife's help, we did all install steps except for the last one for the timer as don't feel too comfortable having the machine warm up by itself.

    Have only made a couple of coffees and played around a bit with the pressure (pump dimming), so only have some initial impressions. The preinfusion seems to work well, and seemed to hit a nice ~25 second double shot. The coffee seems to be less bitter from both mine and my wife's thoughts. Not sure if this is placebo as didn't have an non-PID coffee to directly compare it to. However we did run the meBarista app to watch the temperature tracking and it does return back to set temperature for the next shot very quickly. For note, the meBarista app is not required to operate the system as the boiler light indicates when it is at the right temperature.

    With the milk steaming set to 135 degrees, the steam reaches temp quickly and the boiler kicks back in quickly once steaming is commenced. Not sure if we noticed a difference in quality, but steaming was good as normal non the less.

    So far so good, but will start to play around with some of the settings and see what differences are made. I would be interested to hear thoughts from @rayuki who has also purchased one.
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    Last edited by Javaphile; 2nd February 2016 at 01:40 PM. Reason: Fixed title

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    I just realised I spelt Rancilio wrong. Can the thread title be edited?

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    Junior Member Alain's Avatar
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    I had no idea such a system existed. This would definitely be an option for me as I love the idea of it being hidden away, retaining the original aesthetics of the machine. How long did the install take you? That review you linked mentioned 45 minutes but seems excessive if it's just a matter of "connecting a few cables" like they say.

    Keen to hear your impressions over time. Shame there's no IOS app!

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    It took us roughly that amount of time as well, but not due to it being difficult. It took us that long due to double checking everything each step, then doing the test after each step, then double checking the Silvia had been unplugged from the wall before proceeding to next step. Maybe a bit pedantic, but wanted to ensure everything was all good before closing the Silvia back up.

    In regards to iOS, apparently they are actively working on it with the aim of releasing something late February or in March. I came across this on a German forum I was reading via Google translate as was scratching for any info I could find on this thing. The person had copied an email response they received from the people who make the meCoffee. At least that's how Google translated it :P

    Also, thanks @Javaphile for fixing the title!
    Last edited by millsii; 2nd February 2016 at 10:58 PM.

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    Will comment with my thoughts once I get around to installing mine. Hopefully have time this weekend

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    Good one, I will be interested to hear your thoughts!

    I am RDO today, so had some time to play around with the settings a bit more. While leaving it in continuous mode (dimming) and playing around with the derivative values it would still cycle a degree or two either side of set point. To be fair the Silvia was still warming up, so may have impacted?

    I set it to interval where it pulses the boiler (like an Auber or other PIDs). When it overshot from pulsing the boiler very frequently I remembered the meBarista help info says a wind down interval of 1sec for continuous mode or 5secs for interval mode. After making the change to 5secs, the temperature curve really flattened out to within 0.5 degrees of set point. After running some water a couple of times to see how it recovered, I changed the interval to 4secs and found it recovered quicker, but with a bit over a 1 degree overshoot before settling out. Splitting hairs to be honest, but set it back to the recommended 5secs and rewarded my efforts with a nice double shot

    I'll try to remember to run meBarista during warm up tomorrow morning and observe how interval mode behaves during initial warmup.
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    As a follow up to my previous post, I remembered to track warmup using interval mode. As shown in the picture, it comes up to temperature a bit after 4mins and then holds nice and steady from then on.

    In regards to pulling a shot after running water into the cup to heat them up. The temperature recovery is fairly consistent in that the boiler light will start to blink again when it is roughly within a degree coming up to set point, so gives a good indication when it is all good to pull a shot.
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    well started the install tonight but run into a problem already. up to the point of installing the sensor and starting the app and it reading room temp, however ours reads at 219degree I had a laugh. tried it on 2 phones and does the same thing. sent them an email hopefully they can help. really hope i dont have a faulty sensor. can you let me know if this looks about the same as yours did at this point? not sure if i did something wrong but we followed the instructions and this is where it was at this point.



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    Sure it's not in Fahrenheit instead of celsius?

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    that was my first thought also I had a laugh but even then its too high. luckily the support is insanely fast they responded within 5mins, the cable on the sensor was around the wrong way. thats what you get for taking it off! (told my wife not too I had a laugh, she was helping me install it and took it off to get it into place on the boiler, and we put it back on the wrong way around!)

    after that small hiccup install was a breeze. its a bit fiddly but mainly because some of the cables on the silvia are seriously stubborn to come off. waiting for it to heat up now to do a few test shots. i installed everything except the timer and the pressure control.

    @
    millsii what settings are you using for preinfusion?

    also my power button light is blinking does yours do that? or is it supposed to stay on I had a laugh.
    Last edited by rayuki; 9th February 2016 at 03:15 AM.

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    Good to hear it was a simple resolution to your issue! See attached our current preinfusion and pressure settings. We took some time on Sunday playing around with the settings. You can get lost in a sea of variables, so when we found something that had a positive impact, we locked it in so as we progressed we had less variables to work with. It meant taking a sip and pouring a lot of coffee down the sink.

    What we ended up with was a taste that we really like, but is also repeatable whether it is myself or my wife doing the grinding/tamping.

    The light next to the power button indicates when the boiler is on. If it is a solid light blinking on and off, then the meCoffee is set to interval under the temperature settings. If the light stays on all the time, but dims when near temperature, then it is set to continuous. We have ours set to interval as found it to be more stable at holding temperature to with 1 degree of setpoint. Which ever setting you use, the meCoffee is controlling the boiler temperature to stay as close to setpoint as possible by running the PID loop.
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    Nice thanks for the settings. Yeah I didn't install the pressure option of the mecoffee, might get around to it another time. Glad to know about the light, figured it must have been that since I set mine to interval mode also. Waiting on some new beans now to play around some more I had a laugh.

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    Great to see that kits like this are starting to become available, that take advantage of current technology and interfaces...

    Still need to play very safe though, don't forget for one moment that there be dragons under the bonnet of espresso machines, that can and do occasionally kill...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Still need to play very safe though, don't forget for one moment that there be dragons under the bonnet of espresso machines, that can and do occasionally kill...
    Mal.
    Internal temperature is obviously the main concern, but on their final install step they mention:
    Extensive measurements spanning multiple days have shown your meCoffee heating up to around 60 degrees Celcius in this position during normal use. This is well below the ratings of the quality components we have selected: there is no need to move the meCoffee to another position.
    Seems fine at the moment, but this is only after one week. Increased temperature will have an effect on the electronics longevity, so I guess that impact is an unknown at the moment given that they have only been around for nearly a year.

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    Not what I was referring to mate....

    The "Dragon" I was referring to is the 240V AC open connections that exist everywhere under the bonnet of most espresso machines. I don't care about the controller, more about people who may try this Mod' without the necessary qualifications, licenses or experience....

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    The "Dragon" I was referring to is the 240V AC open connections that exist everywhere under the bonnet of most espresso machines. I don't care about the controller, more about people who may try this Mod' without the necessary qualifications, licenses or experience....
    Mal.
    Ahhh righto. Very good point!
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    hows yours going @millsii? mine has started to play up today, wont read it from the app was going in and out when brewing this morning. had it off most of the day and gone to turn it on again now for a coffee and its not using the mecoffee at all. normal brew light (not flicking on and off like it was) and nothing showing up in mebarrista. thinking might have to take it apart again and check connections not a great morning for me my grinder starting playing up also!

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    Ahh buggar! Mine is still working fine. Might be worthwhile rechecking the connections again as you mentioned. Looking at your first install picture, are the connections pushed all the way onto the meCoffee. For me they were rather tight, but gave a final "click" feeling when they pushed the whole way on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millsii View Post
    Ahh buggar! Mine is still working fine. Might be worthwhile rechecking the connections again as you mentioned. Looking at your first install picture, are the connections pushed all the way onto the meCoffee. For me they were rather tight, but gave a final "click" feeling when they pushed the whole way on.
    yeah i gave it a check again and everything seems fine, they are as tight as i can get them anyway, i am starting to think its just the APP or maybe bluetooth connection cause it seems to just drop out from the app but is still working i think, sometimes it will show up fine in the app others it doesn't show and pressing scan doesn't help. really odd, but so far still working. guess the app isn't really needed as long as the main functions are working.

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    Hey guys, can you remember who your kit was delivered through? I received confirmation on the 2nd but still haven't seen it so am beginning to get a bit antsy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brismatt View Post
    Hey guys, can you remember who your kit was delivered through? I received confirmation on the 2nd but still haven't seen it so am beginning to get a bit antsy.
    Pretty sure it was Australia Post. It was left in our letter box. The meCoffee website says 5-10 business days, which would be up for you today. Hopefully it turns up in the next couple of days!

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    Yeah mine was delivered by aus post and just put in letter box, not as a parcel

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    Quote Originally Posted by millsii View Post
    Good to hear it was a simple resolution to your issue! See attached our current preinfusion and pressure settings...
    Hi all, I am new to this forum and signed up when I had found this post. I am from the Netherlands and also use the mecoffee. I was looking for a post about this PID to know more and discuss about all the settings you can change on this PID. This week I am planning to finally implement the pressure control functionality.

    For now I am using default settings and based on this posted switched from continuous mode back to interval. I also switched a couple of times between enabling/disabling the pre-infusion in the app. It just seems better without, but maybe this will change when combining it with pressure control.

    I do have two questions:

    1. In the settings screenshot (thanks for that) I see a pre-infusion of 10 seconds in total. How long do you pull a shot in that case? 20 seconds?

    2. Can someone maybe post a picture which shows how the white cable for the pressure control is attached to the neutral side (black cable) of the power button? I am a bit confused about this because the green wire is already attached to this when I connected the PID in the first step.

    I will also start to share my experiences using this great PID!

    Thanks in advance!

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    Hi FJP84, welcome to the forum! About pre-infusion, we decided on almost going back to default settings of 4secs pump, stop for 3secs then pump for 25secs. This is with pressure control from 70% for 6secs. This has given us very good consistency shot to shot and beans to beans.

    I don't have a picture on the neutral power switch connections, but it does result with piggy back on piggy back, ie 3 cables connected to the switched neutral terminal. The white cable should have a piggy back connection on it.

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    Update: I just connected pressure control and it does work OK!

    Question on pre-infusion: have you enabled 'close the valve on pause' option?

    What are the pro's/con's in enabling this option?

    Thanks again!


    Quote Originally Posted by millsii View Post
    Hi FJP84, welcome to the forum! About pre-infusion, we decided on almost going back to default settings of 4secs pump, stop for 3secs then pump for 25secs. This is with pressure control from 70% for 6secs. This has given us very good consistency shot to shot and beans to beans.

    I don't have a picture on the neutral power switch connections, but it does result with piggy back on piggy back, ie 3 cables connected to the switched neutral terminal. The white cable should have a piggy back connection on it.
    Thanks, Just what I thought (as described in schematic drawing)

    Last edited by FJP84; 14th April 2016 at 02:12 AM. Reason: Status update

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    No, we have left that option off. Not sure which setting would be better?

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    Quote Originally Posted by millsii View Post
    No, we have left that option off. Not sure which setting would be better?
    Thanks, I am trying out your settings and it seems that quality did improve.

    I also want to get more understanding in the PID parameter settings. Now I use P:25, I:3, D:128. But I still not quite understand the effect of increasing or decreasing values of each of the parameters.

    Maybe Wikipedia will help.

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    We have tried changing the PID settings, but haven't spent much time on it so set them back to the defaults you mentioned. They seem to work really well for non-continuos mode. I think there would be best benefit tuning them while using continuous mode.

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    Hi,
    i'm in too!
    Just installed the PID and hope there is some day a real shot timer. Should be possible, because the preinfusion feature stops the brewing too.... ok, you have manualy to switch back the brew button.

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    So I messed around with pressure settings this morning, and while I made probably one of the best shots I've done in a while my God did the machine make a god awful racket the first few seconds! Any of you guys who have changed pressure settings does this happen to you? Worried it was gonna blow up or something! I went off the 70% for 6secs and also preinfuse. Can you screenshot your pressure settings page for me @millsii so i know i didn't have it wrong I had a laugh.


    This is what i got with those settings, Sumatra Lake Tawar and my God it was delicious, but not sure my wife can handle the machine making as much noise as it did for this shot all the time I had a laugh. After putting settings for pressure back to default the noise went away thank God.

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    hi rayuki,
    in my case the noise exist only if you use pressure control in the settings without installing pressure control cable (step 8, the white wire to the valve).
    after installing pressure control the noise should go away...

    cheers
    zottel
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    Oh right, I was sure I installed it haha i guess not then! That would explain it I had a laugh. Guess I'll double check on the weekend

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    Mine should arrive any day now!
    Let's go Sub $1000 predsure profiling pre-infusion pid machine !

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    Quote Originally Posted by rayuki View Post
    So I messed around with pressure settings this morning, and while I made probably one of the best shots I've done in a while my God did the machine make a god awful racket the first few seconds! Any of you guys who have changed pressure settings does this happen to you? Worried it was gonna blow up or something! I went off the 70% for 6secs and also preinfuse. Can you screenshot your pressure settings page for me @millsii so i know i didn't have it wrong I had a laugh.


    This is what i got with those settings, Sumatra Lake Tawar and my God it was delicious, but not sure my wife can handle the machine making as much noise as it did for this shot all the time I had a laugh. After putting settings for pressure back to default the noise went away thank God.
    Hi, sometimes my machine also makes a loud weird noise. When I switch off the brew button and try again immediately after the noise is gone. Now I didn't hear this noise for quite some time. So did your have tried pulling multiple shots with pressure profiling enabled, and is this noise consistent? Furthermore do you have Pre-infusion enabled with option 'close valve' also enabled?

    If so you can first disable pre-infusion, and after that enable it again leaving the 'close valve' option disabled.

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    @rayuki See attached screenshots of our pressure and preinfusion settings. I can't say that we have ever heard a weird sound when using the pressure settings. I remember within the first week of having our Silvia (over 4 years ago) we had a loud weird sound, so gave the shop a call. Turned out to be that the pump wasn't primed after we had removed and reinstalled the water tank. Running water with the hot water switch re-primed the pump and all was good.
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    Yep exactly what settings i used, im going to just say I think I may just be an idiot and didn't actually hook up the pressure wire part of the install I had a laugh. Will double check on the weekend

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    Has the meCoffee PID been reliable for everyone here? Is the wiring easily reversible if it fails?

    Id like to install and use its presets but i don't want any pre infusion. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the pump isn't designed to do this.

    So many other things that do more to improve coffee flavour than pre infusion. I'm just after more stable temp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhatBoy View Post
    Has the meCoffee PID been reliable for everyone here? Is the wiring easily reversible if it fails?

    Id like to install and use its presets but i don't want any pre infusion. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the pump isn't designed to do this.

    So many other things that do more to improve coffee flavour than pre infusion. I'm just after more stable temp.
    Its been reliable for me, the preinfusion doesn't need to be used and I agree i had better shots without it. Everything is reversible and you can take it all out and re wire the originals easily enough. Having stable temps was my main goal also, I use mine for steaming also and its been great for that as default steam temp for the silvia is crazy high.

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    Reversible

    Quote Originally Posted by rayuki View Post
    ... Everything is reversible and you can take it all out and re wire the originals easily enough. ...

    Well, I can attest it is quite easy to reverse as mine did fail after a week of use. I took some pictures of the wiring before I started the installation which were quite helpful. I also numbered the connectors as I went along.

    I did email for support but have not heard back from them yet. Anyone have an email address other than their "contact" email?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jammerg View Post
    Well, I can attest it is quite easy to reverse as mine did fail after a week of use. I took some pictures of the wiring before I started the installation which were quite helpful. I also numbered the connectors as I went along.

    I did email for support but have not heard back from them yet. Anyone have an email address other than their "contact" email?
    Wow that sucks man do you know what failed?

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    Hi guys,

    Just for the record. I received my meCoffee a few days ago. Sadly enough, it turned out to be broken; after the first successful startup I could not manage to wake it up again. I'm very disappointed now... Not only because it's not working, but because the company at the moment seems not to care, they don't reply my emails, which is very frustrating. I sincerely hope that this is temporal and they will handle the situation appropriately and send me a working device soon.

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    Hey gang, mine operated brilliantly for ~3 weeks and shat itself. Have emailed the meCoffee peeps and awaiting a response.

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    Any news at your side? I've got a reply to my very first email about shipping delay, but no answer to those about the failure of the device.

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    They emailed me:

    "Yes, we are currently investigating a group of customers where one of the internal fuses blows, we are not sure why still. Might have to do with the sensor mount but we are not sure about this."

    I'm having a replacement sent out, should arrive any day now.

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    I'm very happy for you! Did you send back your original device, or they initiated shipping the replacement right away after the email? I've been waiting so long for the meCoffee, it would be good to have the replacement as soon as possible...

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    They sent me a new one the following day. I still have the original device. Back in action now with pressure profiling and timer hooked up. Loving it!
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    I installed my yesterday to step 6 did shot and when I turned it on today it did not heat up so am I to assume my is broken aswell?I sent them email but no answer

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    Bad news, today mine is not working anymore, after half a year good coffee this morning no heating and no brewing and no contact over bluetooth.

    I sent an email and hope there is a way to reactivate ....

  49. #49
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    Hi guys
    I just installed the mecoffee PID and pulled some shots. I noticed a drop in temperature during the shot from the set temperature of 103C to about 95C. Do I have the wrong settings or is it just impossible to stabilize the temperature during the shot?

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    So: mecoffe sent me a new Pid. Hope this one is working longer! Thanks Jan...

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