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Thread: Calling all BFC/Diadema owners - Past, Present and Future

  1. #51
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    OK. just bought a 18g ridgeless basket, Pullman barista tamper, new spring and some other jollies. That has to help at least.

    In discussions with a guy at the site, he almost fell over when I described the gap play I had between my tamper and basket. Stay tuned...

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucifuge View Post
    OK. just bought a 18g ridgeless basket, Pullman barista tamper, new spring and some other jollies. That has to help at least.

    In discussions with a guy at the site, he almost fell over when I described the gap play I had between my tamper and basket. Stay tuned...
    Keep us informed, I'm sure you'll be delighted with the improvement, the Unico Splendour certainly has a good reputation.

  3. #53
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    Great machine.

    and just to muddy the waters re channelling.....

    I have been using a Splendor at home for some time. I have never needed to replace the standard filters ("baskets") that come with the machine, which are the industry standard export market (larger than Italian market) commercial fitment filters. It is difficult referring to them in terms of size (eg "...15 gram..."), because vendors assign names to filters that do not match the quantity of grinds they actually hold when dosed up. Eg, a so called "15 gram" filter will usually hold somewhere between 18 and 20 grams depending on barista technique (difference in grind, settling and tamping). They are ridged, which is the standard, and there is nothing wrong with them.

    At home I also use a convex tamper...for no particular reason....its just the tamper I ended up with. Its not an entirely exact fit in the filter...its just an over the counter tamper....

    For my technique, with my grinds, with all the above, I dont usually get any channelling.

    And if I do, I am more interested in the character of the coffee in the cup first off, before worrying about having seen some channelling....ie, is the coff a good cuppa and if so, is it relevant that I saw some channelling...?

    Just my 3.67 cents worth

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Great machine.

    and just to muddy the waters re channelling.....

    I have been using a Splendor at home for some time. I have never needed to replace the standard filters ("baskets") that come with the machine, which are the industry standard export market (larger than Italian market) commercial fitment filters. It is difficult referring to them in terms of size (eg "...15 gram..."), because vendors assign names to filters that do not match the quantity of grinds they actually hold when dosed up. Eg, a so called "15 gram" filter will usually hold somewhere between 18 and 20 grams depending on barista technique (difference in grind, settling and tamping). They are ridged, which is the standard, and there is nothing wrong with them.

    At home I also use a convex tamper...for no particular reason....its just the tamper I ended up with. Its not an entirely exact fit in the filter...its just an over the counter tamper....

    For my technique, with my grinds, with all the above, I dont usually get any channelling.

    And if I do, I am more interested in the character of the coffee in the cup first off, before worrying about having seen some channelling....ie, is the coff a good cuppa and if so, is it relevant that I saw some channelling...?

    Just my 3.67 cents worth
    As Adam Savage (Myth busters) is fond of saying,
    "I reject your reality and substitute my own"

  5. #55
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    always like your SOH J

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    always like your SOH J
    Morning TOK, couldn't resist, the devil got me, again.

  7. #57
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    PS I dunno if anything has been said (over the past few posts) about the lucifuge *method of operation* but seriously, to my mind we would need to know that the operator is using best practice coffee making technique before simply looking to upgrade the tools where they should for the most part, be perfectly adequate to the job (except say where a totally incorrect sized tamper is used).... !!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by benandfaith View Post
    We dont seem to have too many clubs here (of brands or specific machines), but I thought Id give this a go anyway.

    My modest aim is just to share my Diadema story.
    My ambitious aim is for this thread to be a place to hear the stories of Diadema owners: past, present and future.
    It could also be a place where prospective buyers of Diadema machines can come to ask questions (I know I had heaps and had a fairly difficult time tracking down some info, like what the water tank looks like and the opening for fill).

    I thought that these stories could include some of or all (or more than) the following:
    • What were your previous espresso machines before getting your Diadema?
    • What made you decide to get a Diadema? Why did you choose this over the alternatives?
    • What are the things youve loved?
    • What are the things youve disliked?
    • What have you moved on to (if you have) and what were your reasons for doing so?
    My story:
    I purchased a 2nd hand Diadema Perfetta a few months back and recently matched it up to a 2nd hand Compak K6 grinder. Further details in this thread.

    Previous machines?
    French Press & Stove-top Percolator

    Why choose?
    As per the thread linked above, I was looking at a new entry level machines (PID Silvia or similar) or a 2nd hand machine from the next tier up. 2nd hand seemed to offer better value for money and a superior quality of machine, I also fell in love with the aesthetics of the fully exposed E61 machines. Tossing up between a local Diadema from the CS for sale area or an Isomac Tea on eBay, I couldn't justify the extra cost for the HX machine plus being my first espresso machine I preferred to buy something local that I could check out in the flesh.

    Likes?
    Quality machine, well built, aesthetically pleasing, excellent steam pressure, simple enough to work on the interior my self.

    Dislikes?
    Small drip tray - maybe I'm flushing too much.
    Single boiler - inconvenient delay between brew and steam.
    Steep learning curve - both barista technique and how to service / calibrate an E61 machine (lots of home-barista reading to do.



    Thus far I'm very happy with the Perfetta and I'm able to get a few good shots out of it (inconsistency due to the operator). I'm slowly reading up on how to service and calibrate it, once that's sorted I need to do a course and learn to use it properly.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #59
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    Out of the box, the Perfetta can pull shots at anywhere from 85 deg C to 105 deg C.

    A Scace calibration turns this into a deadly shot machine, removes the cooling flush and makes for a kitty cat to use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Out of the box, the Perfetta can pull shots at anywhere from 85 deg C to 105 deg C.

    A Scace calibration turns this into a deadly shot machine, removes the cooling flush and makes for a kitty cat to use.
    I like the sound of that, nice and forgiving! In your opinion is there any point going down the PID route on a Perfetta, any improvement to be had over a proper Scace calibration of the factory thermostat (assuming the PID was dialed in with a Scace)?

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredhoon View Post
    I like the sound of that, nice and forgiving! In your opinion is there any point going down the PID route on a Perfetta, any improvement to be had over a proper Scace calibration of the factory thermostat (assuming the PID was dialed in with a Scace)?
    Yes definitely. If you PID it, you get to choose temperature rather than just dial in to say 93 deg.
    Last edited by TC; 1st December 2013 at 03:34 PM.

  12. #62
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    Boy we've had a bad few months with electrical appliances…

    This morning I had the Reale switched to warm up, but then we had a blackout for about 1/2 hour. When the power came back on, the Orange power light came back on, but the green heating light now just flickers, then goes out, and there is no heat. All the pumps etc are working - just no heat.
    I wondered if the blackout had tripped a fuse or circuit break? But the machine wasn't even warm from the pre-blackout warm up - so I suspect something happened before then.

    Any ideas where to start?

    Time to pull out the plunger!

    Thanks in advance
    Matt

  13. #63
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    Hello Matt,

    Try resetting the overtemp cutout. It looks like this. That said, I doubt it.

    Possibility #2- dead element. You can check it for continuity with a multimeter if you know what you're doing.

    More likely #3 cooked control board due to power surge when your lights went out.

    Best bet is a tech. Once you're up and running, get some surge protection fitted or buy a high quality surge protected board for the machine and grinder.

    Hope it's a quick fix.

    Chris

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    Boy we've had a bad few months with electrical appliances…

    This morning I had the Reale switched to warm up, but then we had a blackout for about 1/2 hour. When the power came back on, the Orange power light came back on, but the green heating light now just flickers, then goes out, and there is no heat. All the pumps etc are working - just no heat.
    I wondered if the blackout had tripped a fuse or circuit break? But the machine wasn't even warm from the pre-blackout warm up - so I suspect something happened before then.

    Any ideas where to start?

    Time to pull out the plunger!

    Thanks in advance
    Matt
    Bad luck Matt, you get runs like that, everything seems to go wrong at the same time.

    Hope its an easy/cheap/simple fix and the machine is up and running again soon.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Hello Matt,

    Try resetting the overtemp cutout. It looks like this. That said, I doubt it.

    Possibility #2- dead element. You can check it for continuity with a multimeter if you know what you're doing.

    More likely #3 cooked control board due to power surge when your lights went out.

    Best bet is a tech. Once you're up and running, get some surge protection fitted or buy a high quality surge protected board for the machine and grinder.

    Hope it's a quick fix.

    Chris
    Hi Chris

    Thanks for the ideas.

    Still can't find anything looking vaguely like a reset button! Very odd… but as you said, more likely to be something else, as it still powers up/pumps etc…

    I've tried checking the element resistance with the ole Beanbay DMM. I've measured the resistance across the two heavy duty nut terminals on the bottom of the boiler (I guess these are the two ends of the element? There are electrical terminals on the top, but these would be the low water microswitch?)
    Assuming I've done it correctly, it seems to be reading around 38ohms… which I read this morning should be close to the 45ohm for a Giotto element - so element seems fine.

    We do have an espresso tech living in town (he came roasting a few weeks ago so is my next move to give him a call?

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    We do have an espresso tech living in town (he came roasting a few weeks ago so is my next move to give him a call?
    Think so Matt,

    You have eliminated #2

  17. #67
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    fredhoon: welcome to the Diadema club! I'm sure you'll come along in leaps and bounds when you get the fundamentals sorted. And if you do PID it, it will certainly open you up to a whole world of tweaking and tinkering!

    Chris: sorry to hear the bad news. Hope it will be a quick and inexpensive fix. Let us know what the problem ends up being (and perhaps how the rest of us can guard against it!)

  18. #68
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    Hi Matt.

    Indeterminate Electrical Problem = techie with requisite experience / background please.

    Yes, possible propblem due to power surge.

    Ask your techie to check the pilot light first up, before checking the more expensive bits that switch power to the element.

    If in doubt, contact your supplier or ask your local techie to contact your supplier for advice or parts for the particular model.

  19. #69
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    Cheers TOK
    Shall do

    Matt

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    A win!
    With the help of a mate who's an espresso tech, we traced the issue down to a bizarre (ie he's never seen one before) additional heavy duty switching relay piggy backing on the standard pressurestat - ie the pressurestat relay then operates another relay, which then operates the element! This secondary relay had gone. Bypass this (working in effect like most other machines straight off the pressurestat) and all works a treat! Will still look at what's involved in replacing this electrical bit - but back on the bench in the duration!
    Hooray!

    Matt

  21. #71
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    Followup:

    Machine still going strong - but thought other owners might like to see the culprit
    It is the relay that has gone I believe, and managed to pick up a replacement relay (the Omron bit - not the whole shebang) for $12 which will need swapping out in the board (who wouldn't at that price!).

    But here is what the setup looks like … quite unusual, or so I'm told! Normally it is the pressurestat on its own that does the switching…

    Cheers
    Matt

    Diadema-Reale-Pressuresat_FMD3453.jpg Diadema-Reale-Pressuresat_FMD3454.jpg

  22. #72
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    Hi dbc,

    That's one solution. The other is to remove the relay and do a new pressurestat. The control board then switches the element relay happily. #2 is a more reliable long term fix.

    Glad you're up and running.

    Chris

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Hi dbc,

    That's one solution. The other is to remove the relay and do a new pressurestat. The control board then switches the element relay happily. #2 is a more reliable long term fix.

    Glad you're up and running.

    Chris
    Hi Chris

    Thanks for the response - certainly good to be online again
    The current pressurestat still seems to be working fine. In fact, following your suggestion, the piggy back relay seems to just be held in place with one screw and could probably be removed altogether.

    But my inquisitive nature leads me to question why the design is set up this way, and is this design of benefit? Is there already a separate element relay somewhere else? (built into the p-stat?) Or is this design overkill? I've had the machine 5 1/2 years now with no probs at all - so seems to be designed well!

    Would re-directing the switching duties to the board from this relay ($12) reduce the life of the board ($150+?) instead? Seems like this design could remove the high switching load of the element from the board… I remember a sales post (think I understood his specs!) by Dimal saying he'd added a SSR to a pressurestat for switching duties on a Diadema… but maybe I read that wrong?

    Just interested really!

    Cheers Matt

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    I remember a sales post (think I understood his specs!) by Dimal saying he'd added a SSR to a pressurestat for switching duties on a Diadema… but maybe I read that wrong?
    Nope, you read that right Matt...

    The only weak spot in the Black Box really, is the fact that it is expected to control the main Heating Element currents. Taking these away whilst retaining the logic control components of the design is not that difficult to do and definitely worth doing...

    Mal.
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  25. #75
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    Cheers Mal
    Makes perfect sense

  26. #76
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    And here's the culprit

    Working a treat again now - here's hoping for another 5 years faultless service!



    _FMD4081.jpg

  27. #77
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    Good stuff mate...

    I actually did away with this relay PCB altogether and simply switched the Boiler Element via an SSR direct from the P/stat micro-switch. Nothing like keeping things simple.

    Mal.
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  28. #78
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    Hi Mal
    Yeah - does seem a little convoluted for what it is!
    But unfortunately my electrical knowledge of tech specs doesn't quite stretch far enough to substitute something that wouldn't start a fire!
    Love to know what you used though for future reference
    Matt

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    Have any perfetta owners played around with the calibration of their machine?

    I recently acquired Eric Skol's E61 Temp gauge (+ thermocouple adaptor & pressure gauge). I'd always suspected my machine was running hot, looking at the gauge for the first time showed a brew temp at 110oC (after the thermostat switches off), but excellent thermal stability (only varies 0.5-1oC over a 30sec shot). I've wound the thermostat back, but the lowest setting still results in a brew temp of 102oC (and ad-hoc measurement below the shower screen of 97oC).

    I'm hoping the culprit is scale build up around the thermostat boiler temp probe throwing out the adjustment range, however I'm keen to hear from anyone else who has played around with the thermostat on these machines and the range of adjustment available.


    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Out of the box, the Perfetta can pull shots at anywhere from 85 deg C to 105 deg C.

    A Scace calibration turns this into a deadly shot machine, removes the cooling flush and makes for a kitty cat to use.
    The irony is I probably cold have gotten a professional to calibrate my machine with a scace tool for the money I have spent on the E61 allen nut accessories, but then I wouldn't get a chance to tinker with it. I'm going to have to hire a scace eventually to establish the relationship between the allen key probe and temp at the puck.

  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredhoon View Post
    I'm going to have to hire a scace eventually to establish the relationship between the allen key probe and temp at the puck.
    Yes- Scace calibration is the go. We did it with every Perfetta we sold and all VBM Piccolos as well. Whether you'll find someone prepared to hire one, I am not so sure. They can be delicate, are easily blocked and ours would never leave our workshop.

    Good luck. The e-61 single boilers are terrific shot machines once dialled in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Whether you'll find someone prepared to hire one, I am not so sure. They can be delicate, are easily blocked and ours would never leave our workshop.
    Good point, I hadn't considered that and they are an expensive piece of equipment!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredhoon View Post
    Good point, I hadn't considered that and they are an expensive piece of equipment!
    Even our staff aren't allowed to touch our Scace's until they've gone through our "Respect the Scace" induction

  33. #83
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    Hi everyone
    Anyone ever done an E-61 group service on their Diadema? I seem to be chasing my tail finding out which part numbers correspond to what, without sending all the bits away. Any ideas?
    Cheers Matt

  34. #84
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    The importer is Cosmorex,

    Best purchase genuine parts from them.

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    Hi Chris
    Gave them a call earlier, but unfortunately that seems to fall in the 'non-user serviceable' parts basket…
    Guess I'll do some measurements and take some pics and give Pedro another call - might have to go non-genuine…

  36. #86
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    Hiya Matt...

    Yep, you should talk to Pedro at Coffee Parts, he will be able to inform you on which particular E-61 Group you have, and therefore which parts you need to order. Unfortunately, there are several different manufacturers of this Group and they all seem to play around with the design of internal components. Even a single espresso machine manufacturer such as BFC, will buy in Groups from more than one supplier by the pallet/container load, so you can see how it is possible to end up with different combinations of components on specific machines, over time.

    Anyway, Pedro should be able to steer you straight...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    Hi everyone
    Anyone ever done an E-61 group service on their Diadema? I seem to be chasing my tail finding out which part numbers correspond to what, without sending all the bits away. Any ideas?
    Cheers Matt
    Matt,

    I haven't performed a service on my machine, however I have found a range of parts on a couple of foreign sites (links not posted as per site policy)...

    Russian - MSS Group (very comprehensive range)
    German - Avola Coffee Systems
    Swedish - Kaffe Grossisten (exploded part diagrams, note perfetta wiring diagram has errors)

    I hope it helps (in case you haven't stumbled across them). Please post back with where you sourced your Diadema E61 service parts and I'll probably follow suit through convenience.

    Tim.

  38. #88
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    Thanks for the input fellas
    I had ordered some parts from Pedro originally, but panicked when I saw the square nuts were the wrong thread and thought the rubber washers would all be wrong too. Anyhow, stripped down the group again last night, and all the rubber washers do fit, so I replaced them all, which seems to have solved the issue in hand. Machine now warms up properly again with no apparent airlock. Also, I had started to notice in the last couple of weeks a slight 'hiss' when back flushing other than the water dump - think it was pressure leak back into the boiler, but these new washers seem to have solved that issue too.

    While it was in bits, I measured up the square nuts with verniers, so will chase those up with Pedro, as they are both pretty worn…

    But at least we have properly extracted espresso again!

    Cheers Matt

  39. #89
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    Fredhoon - interested to read your comments. I have had a Perfetta for several years and it has always 'run hot'.
    Earlier in the piece I made several attempts to adjust the thermostat but to no avail.
    I had an electronics engineer mate do some temp measurement with a laser thermometer but we were not happy that this was an accurate way of doing it, and it was irrelevant as blind freddy could see it was too hot.
    The machine is ready to pull shots 10 mins after switch on - 20 mins and it is too hot and is spluttering and hissing.
    As I only pull a few shots at a time I just pull the first one at 10 mins, flush like crazy and the pull the next ones before it gets too hot.
    I am way up in the sticks and there is noone here that you could call a coffee machine tech. so I just put up with the overheating.
    The temp issues aside, I have always been very happy with the machine as it is capable of very good shots, once you get used to the fact that it is very dose & tamp sensitive.
    I don't regret buying this model but temperature control will be a priority for my next machine, whatever that may be.

  40. #90
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    Hi Rocky,

    If it's running hot and cannot be adjusted, the rheostat which controls boiler temp has had it and should be replaced. These are highly temp stable once dialled in :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Fredhoon - interested to read your comments. I have had a Perfetta for several years and it has always 'run hot'.
    ...
    The machine is ready to pull shots 10 mins after switch on - 20 mins and it is too hot and is spluttering and hissing.
    That sounds a lot hotter than my machine. On it's coldest thermostat setting my Perfetta Group reads around 102-105 +/- 1degC over a 30sec shot (I don't see splutter until 115+ degC). One thing I have noted is the temp probe sits loosely in the boiler thermowell, I'm considering sticking some thermal grease into the well / around the probe to give it a slightly better conductivity and hopefully response.

    As an aside, the thermostat would be very simple to swap out yourself if you ordered a replacement. It's only 2x spade connectors and the temp probe associated with the unit. For the comparatively small additional cost (and because I love to tinker) I'll be replacing my thermostat with a PID controller in the coming months.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    The temp issues aside, I have always been very happy with the machine as it is capable of very good shots, once you get used to the fact that it is very dose & tamp sensitive.
    I don't regret buying this model but temperature control will be a priority for my next machine, whatever that may be.
    Agreed, I have also noted the sensitivity to dose and tamp (just put it down to my poor technique). When I do manage to get it right I am very happy with the results in the cup!

  42. #92
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    Hi Fred, yes, my games with the laser thermometer all produced readings of 105+
    I found it impossible to get an acceptable adjustment on the thermostat as 9/10 of the range of adjustment of the screw seemed to be in the 105+ area and I'd have needed the hands of a micro surgeon to manipulate the tiny adjustment necessary to get the ideal temp. I gave up on it after several attempts as I could get it to heat up more slowly but it would still get progressively hotter over time until it was clearly too hot.
    It didn't seem to be able to 'heat up to the ideal temp and stay there'.
    I would be interested in how you go with the PID, as better temp control would make this the ideal machine for my needs.
    I would just need to find a local to fit it however as I have no handyman genes.

  43. #93
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    Thanks for the input fellas
    I had ordered some parts from Pedro originally, but panicked when I saw the square nuts were the wrong thread and thought the rubber washers would all be wrong too. Anyhow, stripped down the group again last night, and all the rubber washers do fit, so I replaced them all, which seems to have solved the issue in hand. Machine now warms up properly again with no apparent airlock. Also, I had started to notice in the last couple of weeks a slight 'hiss' when back flushing other than the water dump - think it was pressure leak back into the boiler, but these new washers seem to have solved that issue too.

    While it was in bits, I measured up the square nuts with verniers, so will chase those up with Pedro, as they are both pretty worn…

    But at least we have properly extracted espresso again!

    Cheers Matt
    Problem solved
    Pedro was able to track down the required part. Here was the culprit for the slight pressure dump back into the boiler… like a new machine today!

    Thanks for your advice everyone
    Cheers Matt

    DBC-Square-Pin_FMD5125.jpg

  44. #94
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    I have had my unico splendor for a week now. After a bit of trial and error with the grind I am extremely happy with the shots I am getting. Previous machine was a breville 800es so the splendor is another world.

  45. #95
    TOK
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    Welcome to CS and to the world of the BFC Unico Splendor.

    I also have one at home and love it Great machine.

  46. #96
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Welcome caffeine
    (how'd you score that name! Thought it would have gone decades ago!)

    Lovely machine. I was 95% set on a Splendor - then the Reale appeared and deflected me - must be an early adopter!
    You enjoy it
    Cheers Matt

  47. #97
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caffeine View Post
    I have had my unico splendor for a week now. After a bit of trial and error with the grind I am extremely happy with the shots I am getting. Previous machine was a breville 800es so the splendor is another world.
    Splendid! And welcome to CS!

  48. #98
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    Hi Guys..havent posted in years but thought I should.
    Bought a Diadema Regal and Mini Mazza five years ago from one of these great sponsors. This machine makes great shots all the time.
    Last year the machine short circuited and there was sparks and fire emanating from the on switch on the machine. This caused to black out my whole house.
    Anyway got the machine fixed, with the main problem being the board.
    I drink three shots a day, so when I got up this morning and turned on my machine, it would not heat up, the lights are on but no ones home.
    Any ideas?

  49. #99
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Hi Zoro
    Sorry to hear about your earlier incident.
    I've also got a Regal. Haven't had a switch fire (fortunately!) but have had a similar issue recently to your latest. My machine was about 5 years old too BTW…

    Just a question - when you switch it on, does the green light flicker on instantly but straight off again? This is what mine did, and turned out to be a relay that switches the element had blown, meaning the element wouldn't come on and heat…

    Let us know
    Matt
    zoro likes this.

  50. #100
    TC
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    It will most likely be one of element relay, element or thermal cutout. Best refer this issue to a qualified technician.
    zoro likes this.

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