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Thread: Decent Espresso Machines (DE1) - Any thoughts?

  1. #851
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    Goodbye Google Play Store?

    Iíve been working to finish up the DE1 tablet app so that I could publish it to the Google Play Store. My plan was to use the Play Store as a way to push software (and firmware) updates out to people who own our espresso machines.

    However, this week Google announced something that made me reconsider this strategy, a requirement that app support the latest Android APIs or they won't be allowed on the Play Store. https://android-developers.googleblo...rformance.html

    Ars Technica discusses it here:
    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017...-apps-in-2018/

    The tablet included with the DE1 is a perfectly (good but not current) design. It runs Android 5.1. With this new announcement from Google, itís not clear to me that in the future, Iíll definitely be able to put out DE1 App updates that are allowed in the play store. We'd become literally disconnected from our clients.

    What if some open source library Iím using doesnít use the latest and greatest Google Tech? Then, Iím stuck either (a) not updating our app or (b) figuring out how to update other open source projects to the latest tech.

    This isnít mere speculation: the DE1 GUI uses "Androwish" https://www.androwish.org as its programming language. This is a cross-platform toolkit which allows the DE1 GUI to run today on Android, OSX, Windows, and Linux. Soon, our app will also run on iOS. I picked this toolkit deliberately so that we wouldnít be locked into a single platform: the DE1 app could be run on an iPad or even a Windows or Linux laptop.

    The other thing thatís been worrying me is what would happen to everyoneís DE1 if Google decided that the DE1 app was undesired for some reason. Apple announced last week and then backpedaled a bit (https://www.macrumors.com/2017/12/20...template-apps/) that they have new App standards and are retroactively purging apps that don't meet them. Google could arbitrarily decide to cancel our Play Store Developer Account. Even if we could contact someone at Google (debatable) to reinstate us, would they give us a new Play account, thereby disconnecting us from the existing DE1 App users?

    Because of these announcements and concerns, Iím leaning heavily now toward not using the Google Play Store to distribute the DE1 app.

    Instead, the App would be preinstalled on your tablet and would update itself by downloading itself from our web site. The DE1 App would also be downloadable as an APK that you install if you want to use your own tablet. And to arrest any worries, the App and its Source Code are downloadable, and open source as well. Instructions on how to run the App on a Desktop (OSX/Windows/Linux) will be provided.

    My nervousness is that some change in Google Policy might mean that 5-year-old DE1s can no longer get App updates from Decent, and I want to go down a path where that doesnít happen.

    What do you think?
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  2. #852
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    I raised concerns for such isues a few months ago when I asked about whether you tablet would have the bootloader unlocked and options to root the device to install custom (more recent?) ROM's. For example I have an old Nexus 2012 running Android 8.1 when its last official release was Android 4.4. You seemed to dismiss my comments as a bit too technical for the coffee crowd at the time. It would be entirely possible if you have the source code for the tablet to update it with more recent versions of Android and make them available through say, XDA developers with clear instructions for the inexperienced. But sideloading from your own website should work just fine too until your API's don't cut it anymore. Is there a lite Linux distro that would work with this tablet that you could use instead of Android? You definitely need some way to update the tablet past 5.1 before delivery. Good luck with all that, but I must say, it was a bit predictable.
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  3. #853
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    I raised concerns for such isues a few months ago when I asked about whether you tablet would have the bootloader unlocked and options to root the device to install custom (more recent?) ROM's. For example I have an old Nexus 2012 running Android 8.1 when its last official release was Android 4.4. You seemed to dismiss my comments as a bit too technical for the coffee crowd at the time. It would be entirely possible if you have the source code for the tablet to update it with more recent versions of Android and make them available through say, XDA developers with clear instructions for the inexperienced. But sideloading from your own website should work just fine too until your API's don't cut it anymore. Is there a lite Linux distro that would work with this tablet that you could use instead of Android? You definitely need some way to update the tablet past 5.1 before delivery. Good luck with all that, but I must say, it was a bit predictable.
    Hi GC,

    I can confirm that there is a "UNLOCK BOOTLOADER:" option under "DEVELOPER OPTIONS" on our tablet.

    As to sideloading the APK : yes

    As to source code availability of the app : yes.

    As to running our App on on a Linux distro : yes, it currently works, except that I haven't ported the bluetooth code to Linux's bluez BlueZ Ľ About library, so the app currently self-connects to a "fake DE1". If I (or you, since you have the source) ported the included bluetooth.tcl file to bluez, the the DE1 app would 100% work on Linux.

    Since there are a number of Linux tablets out there, this strategy was explicitly picked as a backup plan in case Android didn't work out.

    Hell, I might pick up a thousand cheap-as-chips Windows Tablets on eBay, just to run the DE1 GUI on them.

    One thing I do like about Google's recent announcements is that new tablets, to be certified as Android 8 compatible, have to work with the open source version of Android. There are no inexpensive tablets available to me at the moment that conform. However, in a few years, I expect that we'll be able to do what you've done with your Nexus 2012, and supply a tablet with the "DE3", which we can keep up to date for a long time, as well as (because we are running from source) keep is clean of gunk, streamlined for its coffee-making purpose.

  4. #854
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    Hi GC,

    I can confirm that there is a "UNLOCK BOOTLOADER:" option under "DEVELOPER OPTIONS" on our tablet.

    As to sideloading the APK : yes

    As to source code availability of the app : yes.

    As to running our App on on a Linux distro : yes, it currently works, except that I haven't ported the bluetooth code to Linux's bluez BlueZ Ľ About library, so the app currently self-connects to a "fake DE1". If I (or you, since you have the source) ported the included bluetooth.tcl file to bluez, the the DE1 app would 100% work on Linux.

    Since there are a number of Linux tablets out there, this strategy was explicitly picked as a backup plan in case Android didn't work out.

    Hell, I might pick up a thousand cheap-as-chips Windows Tablets on eBay, just to run the DE1 GUI on them.
    Sounds like you've got it covered then. When I get the tablet I'll start looking around for a linux port for it. But by then those Windows tablets should be mighty cheap!

    Lets's hope there's an XDA developer who would just love to compile [and update!] whatever the latest Android version is for your DE1 tablet, but you'll still have to keep up with the API's. I used to compile my Linux kernels, but getting a bit greyer (in the hair) these days for that. And maybe in 5 years time we'll have forgotten the original purchase cost and won't whinge about having to get a new tablet to support the software app, and a linux tablet would be much more future proof if the developer support is there.

    Merry Christmas to you all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    Lets's hope there's an XDA developer who would just love to compile [and update!] whatever the latest Android version is for your DE1 tablet, but you'll still have to keep up with the API's. I used to compile my Linux kernels, but getting a bit greyer (in the hair) these days for that. And maybe in 5 years time we'll have forgotten the original purchase cost and won't whinge about having to get a new tablet to support the software app, and a linux tablet would be much more future proof if the developer support is there.
    One thing I liked about this tablet is that it (unusually for smaller manufacturers) is a Google licensee, with the full Google application set. This also seems to bring it regular security updates, despite still running Android 5.1.

    Ah, now this is an *interesting* discovery...

    The reason the tablet I choose was nice is because it was designed for Argos, a large electronics store in the UK. However, I just looked now, and the current tablet Argos sells (same model as ours) is now running Android 7.0 (though ours is 16gb RAM, not 8gb, as I paid a bit more to future proof it with more RAM).

    Here's a link to that tablet:
    Buy Alba 8 Inch 8GB Tablet - Purple at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for Tablets, iPad, tablets and E-readers, Technology.

    So, it looks like--with some research work--it should be possible to upgrade the DE1-included tablet to Android 7, and maybe to an open source variant.

  6. #856
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    One thing I liked about this tablet is that it (unusually for smaller manufacturers) is a Google licensee, with the full Google application set. This also seems to bring it regular security updates, despite still running Android 5.1.

    Ah, now this is an *interesting* discovery...

    The reason the tablet I choose was nice is because it was designed for Argos, a large electronics store in the UK. However, I just looked now, and the current tablet Argos sells (same model as ours) is now running Android 7.0 (though ours is 16gb RAM, not 8gb, as I paid a bit more to future proof it with more RAM).

    Here's a link to that tablet:
    Buy Alba 8 Inch 8GB Tablet - Purple at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for Tablets, iPad, tablets and E-readers, Technology.

    So, it looks like--with some research work--it should be possible to upgrade the DE1-included tablet to Android 7, and maybe to an open source variant.
    Good discovery! Is it the same hardware/SOC as yours though, or an upgraded system with incompatible kernel? It would be at least worth a call to the tablet supplier to see if they would be willing/able to compile or source a ROM upgrade to 8.1., or even a project for one of your engineering interns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    Good discovery! Is it the same hardware/SOC as yours though, or an upgraded system with incompatible kernel? It would be at least worth a call to the tablet supplier to see if they would be willing/able to compile or source a ROM upgrade to 8.1., or even a project for one of your engineering interns.
    As of this past July 2018, Argos has been selling exactly the same tablet we bought. Our manufacturer in Shenzhen made it clear they were the same model, and the specs were identical.

    From the web site now, the specs on the tablet have not changed.

    At the very least, a simple experiment would be for us (or a customer in the UK) to buy that tablet from Argos and see if copying the image to our tablet works.

    But, gc, to your point, at the moment our tablet supplier barely tolerates us, as we ordered the absolute minimum quantity (1000) that they permitted, and then we were extra annoying because I sent 3 employees to Shenzhen to quality check them all, and found the majority to not be satisfactory, and they redid them. ps: the problem was related to case fitting. They're not, at the moment, willing to do anything for us.

    However, this summer we'll be hopefully ordering several thousand tablets from them, and I absolutely can ask them to upgrade us to the latest Android, and then share that OS upgrade with our existing customers.

    ps: I did receive a Android v6.0 version of our tablets from our manufacturer, and found it to be less stable (background OS daemons would occasionally crash), and thus decided to stay with the older Android v5.1, because I hadn't found any problems with that build. Except for "security upgrades", I'm not sure there is an advantage to upgrading the Decent Tablet to a new OS (that's just my opinion). For the moment, we are receiving security updates on that tablet.

  8. #858
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    Regarding upgrades to the ROM, I was addressing your concerns identified in the Ars article in terms of the developer issues with the need to be constantly updating the app for newer version API's and the fact that older versions of Android would drop off the bottom. Right now, I guess your app/ROM combo work just fine until you can't update it anymore. It was always the future that was the problem.

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    Color-Coded Water Tubing

    ciolorcoding.jpg

    We use solid Teflon tubes to guide water around our espresso machine. There's not much space inside, so it's easy to lose track of which tube is which and plug the wrong thing into another.

    That's why we're color coding all our water tubes. It'll be super easy to make sure everything is correctly connected. It'll also make it easier for anyone repairing our machines to understand what's going on. Our documentation will indicate these colors too.

    Yesterday we received our precision cutting machine (top left) which uses a hot blade to slide through a reel of whatever-you-want. It's a neat tool: you can even set the temperature and the speed at which the blade moves.

    These water tubes are made of shrink wrap tubing, which is usually used for electrical insulation. The colored tubes are 2x as large initially and shrink by half when heated to 125ļC.

    Tomorrow and over the next few days, Miriam is going to color code all these tubes. Her main job is packing up our accessories orders. She's been getting much faster at it, so she usually has a few free hours each day, which she fills by quality-checking our stock (that's why we have a perpetual 30% sale going on for the not-quite-perfect stuff https://decentespresso.com/sale).

    The potential for confusion is much greater with the temperature sensors. They all look alike, and there are 9 of them. We'll be using a mesh tube around those, and picking the final colors tomorrow.

    We were waiting to order them because the mesh tube has to be cut with a hot knife, in order to seal the fibers. If you use scissors, the tube unwinds itself like an old knit scarf. It took a few hours of experimenting with our new auto-cutter to find the right blade temperature and speed.
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    Should I start making a space on the kitchen bench?

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    Bluetooth module soldering: "tick"

    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    Should I start making a space on the kitchen bench?
    Soon!

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    soldering.jpg

    5 pm on a Friday, the guys decide to do some "easy on the brain" work and get the Bluetooth module soldering done. They did 120 of them in two hours, enough to get all the beta DE1 machines built. Ray and Kit, who started this week, did most of the work, but our EE intern Stanley helped out too.

    For Bluetooth, we're using Red Bear Labs' module, because (a) it's already FCC certified and (b) it includes a CPU onboard that can be programmed using the Arduino tool "Codebender".

    Yes, hacker-geeks, we have a separate CPU running inside our espresso machine, with a high-speed data connection, that you can send programs to. This gives you very-close-to-the-metal extensions power to our espresso machines, while still complying with UL/CE safety certification requirements. For documentation on uploading your own programs to this module this see Getting Started - BLE Shield

    On the bottom left of the photo, you can see (peeking out over Ray's shoulder) several piles of colored lengths of shrink wrap tubing. Yellow, green, black, and red have been cut today. The cutting machine has been set up to work quite slowly, about 10 seconds per cut, so it's very accurate and the cuts are very clean.

    On Monday we'll put the tube colors on, and then someone can work on inserting the water tubes correctly into the mixing chamber. We call it "The Octopus" because it has so many things plugging into it.
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    Hi John,

    I suppose it goes without saying but I'm going to say it anyway...Very very impressive... Hopefully your $2 million plus investment gives you very good returns in the near future... I'm glad you have come this far....Maybe I'm out of context and before time but could you post a few videos on the DE1+ pouring it's espressos "Slayer style" please? I would like to compare those pours and end results visible in the cup with the pours Slayer show on their videos. Even if you show a couple or a few people including yourself if you want, sipping it and telling us what they can taste (like the Slayer people do). I'm particularly interested in how they physically compare. Then after that, maybe expand the videos out to different variations of espresso shots?

    Don't get me wrong...I love the techy stuff and I love the in depth detail you have shown us everything as you go along this journey but...I do like to see things in "real life" with the " more human component" (maybe wrong wording and no offence intended whatsoever) to it as well, if you understand what I mean.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by bigdaddy; 1st January 2018 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Grammer

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdaddy View Post
    Maybe I'm out of context and before time but could you post a few videos on the DE1+ pouring it's espressos "Slayer style" please? I would like to compare those pours and end results visible in the cup with the pours Slayer show on their videos. Even if you show a couple or a few people including yourself if you want, sipping it and telling us what they can taste (like the Slayer people do). I'm particularly interested in how they physically compare. Then after that, maybe expand the videos out to different variations of espresso shots?
    I'm happy to do that in the future, but not now, because my time is already quite committed running engineering and social media, and programming the tablet.

    I don't lay claim to being a God of Coffee, which is why I try to surround myself with people who are. I really know absolutely nothing about Slayer, have never used their machines and I've only had a handful of "Slayer shots" in my life. I would prefer to leave comparing what we do with a Slayer shot to others who are actually competent to do so.

    In principle, the task of making a Decent shot look, feel and taste like a Slayer shot should be possible, but it's best accomplished by someone who has a lot of experience making excellent Slayer shots. In other words, a good barista at a shop using a Slayer is the right person to do what you ask.

    About a third of the 300 Decent machines so-far-ordered are going to cafes. I hope some of them post their experiences, comparing what they do on a Decent to what they on Synesso, Linea, Black Eagle, etc...
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    Mac OSX version of the DE1+ Tablet App (beta)

    Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 20.05.29.jpg

    Here is a download link to the DE1+ software, that you can run on your Mac OSX computer.
    https://decentespresso.com/download/...sx/DE1PLUS.zip

    I'm crossing my fingers that this works for you.

    Some notes:

    - you can run the DE1+ app directly from your Download directory. There is no installer and you don't need to move it to /Applications.

    - Since there's no installer, you can simply Trash the app when you're done.

    - Because I'm not "Apple authorized" the app will complain and not be allowed run the first time you click it. You'll need to go to "System Preferences / Security & Privacy" after that warning, and click the "open anyway" button. If this makes you nervous, better to not run the app. :-D Note that the app does not require root rights and thus will not ask for your password.

    - the app's screen resolution is 1280x800, slightly too large for the small screen MacBook Air model, but fine for most every other Mac.

    - a fake espresso machine connects to the app. The simulated pressure/flow/temperature numbers are intentionally not very realistic. I didn't try to simulate an actual coffee puck.

    - About 20 languages and 15 skins are included. You can switch between languages in the Settings/Other page. The Translation is NOT up to date. I will release a BETA v2 next week that has up-to-date translations.

    - I will also be working on a Windows version.

    - Assuming the app works, I will keep it up to date, so that people can get a feel for what it's like to use the DE1+.

    - Is there any interest in a Linux x32/x64 version, or Linux/Wayland (x86_64, Debian 9.0), of this?

    -john

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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post

    Here is a download link to the DE1+ software, that you can run on your Mac OSX computer.
    https://decentespresso.com/download/...sx/DE1PLUS.zip

    I'm crossing my fingers that this works for you.

    - I will also be working on a Windows version.

    - Assuming the app works, I will keep it up to date, so that people can get a feel for what it's like to use the DE1+.

    - Is there any interest in a Linux x32/x64 version, or Linux/Wayland (x86_64, Debian 9.0), of this?

    -john
    "Linux x32/x64 version, or Linux/Wayland": Yep, if it is not too much hassle. Virtual machines can run almost anything these days, so I would not put too much effort / resources into it.

    FYI, this is being posted from my last windows machine and it will be retired by the end of this week. My new one is running BSD Unix plus a whole mob of virtual machines for Mac / Win / DOS (power station software has a 30+ year life - techheads please note that compatibility over time is actually needed) / linux software that will not "play nice" natively. My other two machines are running Slackware 64 (linux).

    Also, take your time on the software: I would rather you sort out the DE1 power system first. Unfortunately the DE1"x" is off my list until it can froth milk and do a pour at the same time. Ending in mid 2000's, I lived with dual machines for over ten years due to that limitation and really do not want a repeat in my current micro kitchen - not that a second machine could fit anyway.

    Congrats on the "near shipping status", I look forward to my own DE1 when it is ready to play both tunes well.
    Last edited by TampIt; 2nd January 2018 at 01:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 20.05.29.jpg
    - I will also be working on a Windows version.

    - Assuming the app works, I will keep it up to date, so that people can get a feel for what it's like to use the DE1+.

    - Is there any interest in a Linux x32/x64 version, or Linux/Wayland (x86_64, Debian 9.0), of this?

    -john
    Plus one for the Linux 64 bit version [I use Linux Mint 64 bit]. But I also run various VM's - although no OSX - so Windows compile would be fine too. Many thanks John for doing this.

    Have all the parts for machines arrived yet? From your earlier comments, I am calculating about 3 months for CE certification after you can fully asemble machines. So far I'm thinking April for delivery of CE certified to Aust. Any updates?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    Have all the parts for machines arrived yet? From your earlier comments, I am calculating about 3 months for CE certification after you can fully asemble machines. So far I'm thinking April for delivery of CE certified to Aust. Any updates?
    We're still waiting for the chassis and the PCBs and premade wiring. I'll be posting news here on each sub-assembly as we get started on it. We should get started on the heater assemblies in a day or two, and they're a LOT of work, about 1h of labor per machine, and that's once the person gets up to speed.

    We've found a company that will make the complete heater assemblies for us, but there's a 4 month lead time on that, so it's planned for this summer's big batch of machines (1000 to 3000, depending on demand). That heater company also makes heaters for two famous Seattle-based espresso machine companies <cough, cough> so we think they're a good choice.

    To summarize: we're not waiting for everything to arrive; we have plenty to keep us busy and we're moving DE1 assembly forward now.

    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    "Linux x32/x64 version, or Linux/Wayland": Yep, if it is not too much hassle.
    I think what I might do for the Linux folk is simply provide a .tar.gz of the source files, and let you download the relevant "undroidwish" app to run it for your OS.

    Alternatively, an install of Tcl/Tk will also run the DE1+ gui. Linux people aren't generally too frightened to "use the source" and probably prefer that to trusting a binary blob to work.

    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    I would rather you sort out the DE1 power system first. Unfortunately the DE1"x" is off my list until it can froth milk and do a pour at the same time. Ending in mid 2000's, I lived with dual machines for over ten years due to that limitation and really do not want a repeat in my current micro kitchen - not that a second machine could fit anyway.
    I don't have good news for you there. Our planned strategy of having two plugs into the DE1 was recently nixed by Intertek as a CE violation.

    If we were to tube up a DE1PRO+ to give steam during espresso, then varying power demands would mean that steam power would fluctuate based on what else you were doing (ie, espresso making would drop steam power). Not good. For the DE1CAFE version, our plan is to offer a separate, thin profile Steam module that has its own plug. Intertek has no problem with that.

    The other alternative is to offer steam during brew, but (a) only for 220V and (b) to have the steam be at half-power all the time, so that espresso-making doesn't change the steam power. Not great either.

    I hope you don't mind me honestly delivering bad news. I don't see other engineering solutions, other than the one we're taking with the DE1CAFE, which is "doing a modbar" and separating the two functions into two boxes.

    From an Industrial Design perspective, it might be possible for us bolt the steam module to the side of the DE1, in the future, and thus have steam during brew, but have it still pass CE rules. "one plug per enclosure" is apparently what we need to abide by.

    -john
    Last edited by decentespresso; 3rd January 2018 at 02:53 PM.
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    Thanks for the info and the update

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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post

    I don't have good news for you there. Our planned strategy of having two plugs into the DE1 was recently nixed by Intertek as a CE violation.

    If we were to tube up a DE1PRO+ to give steam during espresso, then varying power demands would mean that steam power would fluctuate based on what else you were doing (ie, espresso making would drop steam power). Not good. For the DE1CAFE version, our plan is to offer a separate, think profile Steam module that has its own plug. Intertek has no problem with that.

    The other alternative is to offer steam during brew, but (a) only for 220V and (b) to have the steam be at half-power all the time, so that espresso-making doesn't change the steam power. Not great either.

    I hope you don't mind me honestly delivering bad news. I don't see other engineering solutions, other than the one we're taking with the DE1CAFE, which is "doing a modbar" and separating the two functions into two boxes.

    From an Industrial Design perspective, it might be possible for us bolt the steam module to the side of the DE1, in the future, and thus have steam during brew, but have it still pass CE rules. "one plug per enclosure" is apparently what we need to abide by.

    -john
    G'day John

    Thanks for the update - I prefer honesty to "fake news".

    Any (vague) idea when the 220V DE1CAFE will be available?

    TampIt

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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Thanks for the update - I prefer honesty to "fake news" Any (vague) idea when the 220V DE1CAFE will be available?
    I'm hoping April, but really pressing to have a Beta machine done earlier, because ...

    I really want to exhibit at MICE, but will only do so if:
    1) people are liking the DE1/DE1+ machines (ie, good reviews so far)
    2) the machines are shipping daily
    3) we have a professional model (DE1CAFE) that we can show at MICE and take orders for. Otherwise, we're just "marketing", and enough already.

    -john

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    What we're up to: making Heater Assemblies

    heater_box.jpg

    Each DE1 espresso machine has two heaters in it, for espresso and for steam. Each needs to have wired in two thermal fuses, and a thermostat, for CE safety approval. We then surround it with mineral wool insulation and suspend that into a fiberglass box of our own making.

    At the moment, each one takes about 30 minutes to make. That's 300 hours of labor to satisfy our current orders of 300 machines, or 7.5 weeks if someone did nothing but this (though they'd go batty).

    Kit and Ray, who started a week ago, are both very experienced technicians, so I've put them on the task of figuring out how to assemble these heaters as efficiently as possible. Hopefully, they can get it down to 15 minutes.

    You can see Kit making crimped cables, and Ray soldering, to decide what order to do things in. Next week, a former coworker of Ray's, electronic technician Parry, starts working here. I'll have him focus on PC Board wiring, both doing it and figuring out how to do it better and faster.

    We've also pulled out from the shelving all the parts and tools that we've been using for these past years in R&D. Now that we're moving into "production mode" all this miscellany needs to be categorized, labeled, and stowed away. Time to get organized!

    On the bottom right photo, in the distance, you can see Josephine washing up after our communal lunch. She and I cook together for everyone (we call it "Jojo's cafť"). It's noodles all week, keeping it fast and simple. That's because when not working on lunch, Josephine is helping out on DE1 assembly. You can see a pile of now color-coded water tubes in the bottom right photo. That's her and Miriam's handiwork.
    Last edited by decentespresso; 3rd January 2018 at 04:49 PM. Reason: speling
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdaddy View Post
    Maybe I'm out of context and before time but could you post a few videos on the DE1+ pouring it's espressos "Slayer style" please? I would like to compare those pours and end results visible in the cup with the pours Slayer show on their videos. Even if you show a couple or a few people including yourself if you want, sipping it and telling us what they can taste (like the Slayer people do). I'm particularly interested in how they physically compare. Then after that, maybe expand the videos out to different variations of espresso shots?
    No need to be so cagey, it's a coffee machine on a coffee forum. I asked the same thing months ago to see shots of it making coffee as there are so few videos anywhere. It is bizarre that the discussion and forthcoming details are on the software and hardware, but almost zero on the coffee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HBexile2 View Post
    No need to be so cagey, it's a coffee machine on a coffee forum. I asked the same thing months ago to see shots of it making coffee as there are so few videos anywhere. It is bizarre that the discussion and forthcoming details are on the software and hardware, but almost zero on the coffee.
    Yes, I'm really looking forward to having our machines in other people's hands, so the conversation can also encompass coffee making.

    At WBC in Korea a few weeks ago, it was a real treat for me to have National Barista Champions coming by with their competition coffee, and working with them to come up with the right recipe for a better drink quality.

    Paras Bindra, the Indian national champion, brought 2kg of Geisha to our booth in Korea and spent a few hours with us. He was grinning ear to ear after about 2h, and as other westerners (judges and other competitors) said "that is really good coffee".

    In Hungary, Rao told me that he was drinking "among his 10 best coffees" as he ran the machine at our in-cafť demo.

    I've programmed the two "wizards" (pressure and flow) based on what people expect to want to do, but my guess is that some people are going to extract coffee in novel ways, use the Advanced shot editor to prove it, and then come back to me to have me make their process easier.
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    300 Espresso Machine Chassis Arrive

    chassis_arrives.jpg

    Our first step is to inventory everything, Then we'll quality check them all. And then we'll start putting "subassemblies" into the chassis, to make espresso machines.

    Our newly rented 3000 sq ft "factory" is starting to fill up with pallets!

  25. #875
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    So John, when do you think you will be able to send off that preliminary machine you mentioned for preliminary CE testing before you send them the 12 for destructive testing you mentioned in an earlier post? [That helps to get a better grip on the future delivery timeline]

  26. #876
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    So John, when do you think you will be able to send off that preliminary machine you mentioned for preliminary CE testing before you send them the 12 for destructive testing you mentioned in an earlier post? [That helps to get a better grip on the future delivery timeline]
    Intertek received our machine mid-December for UL testing, and we're still waiting for them to finish that. Depending on the UL test results, we'll either go directly into CE testing on the machine they already have, or modify the machine and turn it around a few weeks later.

    As we sent them the machine during the holiday season, I am not sure much got done. I just received an "out of office" reply to my email inquiry to the engineer on our project.
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  27. #877
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    I thought the assessments by Intertek were critical to your Gantt chart for scheduling your production plans. The estimates of their response times seems to have slipped significantly which must have a major impact on the CE certification and subsequent delivery schedule. Am I mistaken here?

  28. #878
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    I thought the assessments by Intertek were critical to your Gantt chart for scheduling your production plans. The estimates of their response times seems to have slipped significantly which must have a major impact on the CE certification and subsequent delivery schedule. Am I mistaken here?
    We budgeted two months for CE certification, but really, it's a huge unknown time block amount on the GANTT chart. It totally depends on what the tests results returned say. It's nice to have assurances from Intertek's previous visits that they don't foresee any problems with our work, but it's another to have the actual certificate in hand.

    As CE compliance is small superset on the UL standard, it makes sense for us to pass UL first. Once we have passed UL, CE certification fairly straightforward.

    But you are right, as long as we do not have CE certification in hand, I cannot give you a firm ship date to Australia.

    As to our production plans, we are currently building 90 "prerelease" machines for delivery to the USA, where UL compliance is not a requirement. Building those machines will shake out a lot more issues that need to be resolved, and we're hoping that by the time our CE certification comes in, we'll have the other 200 machines assembled and waiting for mods based on what Intertek has reported. We should be able to ship 220V beta machines to "qualified technicians" around the world, in February. That will mostly be cafes who have their own repair personnel.
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  29. #879
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    And for us Aussie customers what connecter?
    FYI, today ordered quantity=100 of Australian IEC cables, same electrical specs as EU cables. Sample received yesterday and confirmed. Thanks for catching my oversight.

    preview-full-Australia Power Cord Sample 2017Dec13__DSC_1100.jpg

  30. #880
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    FYI, today ordered quantity=100 of Australian IEC cables, same electrical specs as EU cables. Sample received yesterday and confirmed. Thanks for catching my oversight.

    preview-full-Australia Power Cord Sample 2017Dec13__DSC_1100.jpg
    Great. Glad to help at all. Now we just need those other bits it plugs into.
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  31. #881
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    Moulded foam arrived this morning, for packing up our DE1 espresso machines.

    foam.jpg

    These are 4mm thick EVA foam, with a layer of spandex on both sides. They're mostly air, very light, low on materials usage, and that's why there is so much "ribbing" in the shape: to give it strength. We also like the fact that these can stack, saving space in our warehouse. Also, they're long-lived so you can use them to ship your machine back to us if you ever need to.

    There are also two middle layers of cut-through foam, they're the "meat in the sandwich" that holds the espresso machine in place. Those arrived last week from another company.
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  32. #882
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    Coffee refractometer integration

    refract.jpg screen 2018-01-05 at 2.14.12 PM.jpg

    I've bought a few of HM Digital's Coffee Refractometer to evaluate for possible integration into the DE1+ and as something we might also sell.

    http://hmdigital.com/product/rcm-1000bt/

    Does anyone reading this have any experience with this refractometer?

    A Refractometer allows you to learn the percent amount of coffee you've extracted from your beans, and this is widely seen as an objective way to judge your drink quality. Better equipment and skills will bring your percentage up. Some cafes regularly measure their baristas to maintain consistency.

    The DE1+ already lets you enter Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Extraction Yield (EY), but you have to enter it in by hand.


    My idea is that if the DE1+ app connected to the Coffee Refractometer directly, over Bluetooth, then you could simply use an eye dropper to periodically get a refractometer reading and the results would be automatically saved as part of your shot history database.

    ps: their dedicated app (Android and iOS) is free, and the refractometer would cost in the range of USD$500, which makes it quite competitively priced. We at Decent would not charge for our app integration, either.

  33. #883
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    Windows version of DE1+ espresso software

    screen 2018-01-05 at 4.18.58 PM.jpg

    Download it here:
    http://decentespresso.com/download/desktop/win32/de1plus.zip

    To run it:
    - unzip de1plus.zip to its own directory
    - no installation necessary: double click the de1plus.exe icon to run it
    - then delete the zip and directory once you're bored with it.

    Notes:
    - the purpose of this Windows program is to let you feel what it would be like to own a DE1+ espresso machine, as well as to make it easier for people to develop their own extensions, skins and translations.
    - the non-English translations are not yet up to date. I have some programming work to integrate the latest translations, and I didn't want to delay this win32 release for that. I'll have the translations up to date next week.
    - this is a 32 bit executable. I have tested it on NT (32 bit) and Windows 7 (64 bit)
    - I'm working on releasing source and "Linuxen" versions and should have that done in a few days.

    -----

    Apologies for posting 3 msgs today, gagh!

    -john

  34. #884
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    Downloading now. Will be interested in linux version too. Message away! Not boring - I follow on FB too [I know a DE1+ tragic]

  35. #885
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    Decent downloads for Windows, OSX, Linux and Source Code

    dls.jpg

    https://decentespresso.com/downloads

    Notes:
    - Both DE1 and DE1+ software is now included
    - This is the first version for Linux users
    - Also, now a separate source code release
    - Windows users running the Antivirus programs "Avast" and "Windows Defender" reported alerts with the "de1plus.exe" previously included. So: with this release, I have switched to "double click de1plus.bat to run", so as to avoid the scary anti-virus false-positive message.
    - OSX has been split into downloads (DE1 vs DE1+) because its security sandboxing didn't allow me to share files between the two icons
    - the translations are still not up to date (sorry! getting this all working was more work than predicted)


    -john
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  36. #886
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    Hi John,

    Thanks, wow ....how good is this to be able to play with the software :-)

    The interface is nice and clean and easy to use, love the style choices.

    Re the DE1 SW..... this is quite probably my lack of understanding of coffee generally, but how do you do a single shot, v's double shot in any of the pre-set profiles ?

    On a Sunbeam Cafe, there are two buttons one for a single shot, one for a double shot depending which basket you are using ... is this possible on a DE1 ?

  37. #887
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    John,

    It's been an interesting experience playing with this virtual environment. I'm running the pre-built de1+ linux 64 bit version for simplicity.

    Overall, the overarching user interface design is great, particularly given the constraints of touch. There are things I would have done differently in your shoes, but nothing I can fault.

    I particularly like the advanced shot editor; for one of the most complex parts of the interface, I find it very straightforward to understand and use. When I get the real machine, I think I'm going to enjoy trying to replicate my favourite Portaspresso Rossa PG Air profiles, declining temperature and all!

    The "heart" dialog is also great - but I think my challenge is cross-referencing this data I'm entering back to the recipe that I'm maintaining. Currently I use a note on my phone to capture the latest recipe and taste notes for the different beans and grinders I'm running. This is certainly an area that is unimportant for v1.0, but would be great to see fleshed out in the coming years - which I know you've already flagged.

    Bugs and/or user stupidity:

    1. This is an obscure one:
    a) go to "PRESETS" tab of shot settings
    b) select a non-Advanced profile
    c) click on the "FLOW/PRESSURE" tab at the top
    d) go to "Advanced" on the bottom tab
    e) modify the profile to classify as advanced (e.g. click insert step 5 times)
    f) click on the "PRESETS" tab; note the second tab is correctly showing "ADVANCED" (and it shows the recent edits if you click back in)
    g) click on another preset, then back to the one you've just edited; note the second tab is INCORRECTLY showing "PRESSURE" or "FLOW"
    h) click into the tab "PRESSURE" or "FLOW"
    i) switch to "Advanced" on the lower tab; note that the advanced steps have been forgotten.
    There is definitely something odd going on, as the name of the top tab briefly flickers to "ADVANCED" when you click it, then back to "FLOW" or "PRESSURE". I've tested this with a profile that was saved as Advanced already, and it works as you would expect (i.e. not like above).


    Enhancement opportunities and/or user stupidity:

    2. In the shot editor, If I'm on the "Advanced" lower tab and click to (e.g.) "Pressure", I lose any advanced settings I've just put in. Similarly for if I've added steps to a profile, then go back to "PRESETS" and click on a different profile, I lose any unsaved work. This might be by design, but I've still found it annoying that it didn't warn me I was about to lose my work. Not the end of the world though.

    3. If I've spent time creating a good base profile I like (which I've saved at some point), it's likely I'd then want to start making small tweaks to it and test the results. However, I definitely wouldn't want to overwrite the saved profile until it was a clear winner, and in some cases, I'd actually be looking to keep both. Unfortunately, the default behaviour appears to instantly save any changes - is it possible for any modifications to, by default, create a new preset called "Current draft profile" or "Preset XYZ (Copy)"? Therefore it would not overwrite a saved preset unless you explicitly hit save with the same name.


    Cheers,
    Andrew

  38. #888
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    I was trying to use the DE1+ linux 64 bit version on a netbook [Linux Mint 18.3], but screen was too small and the window did not resize so could only see part of the DE screen. No problem on a normal monitor though. Also tried with 64 bit Windows 10 but none of the buttons worked for some reason. One immediate impression for me was that the UI elements, while providing a 'modern' look were not very strongly contrasted. Would prefer a choice stronger colour palette in the UI theme for visibilities sake.

  39. #889
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    John,

    Another couple of thoughts

    Screensaver (DE1 & DE1+) - This does not seem to be user selectable, only option seems to be random screens, and timing set to 1min+, I do think the option of a static ss of users choice would be good (PITA maybe)

    If ss brightness set to 0% then effectively you have a blank screen ?

    Low Water Warning (DE1) - Think this should be a feature of both models if possible ?

    What is the 1.234,56 measurement for ?

  40. #890
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    I was trying to use the DE1+ linux 64 bit version on a netbook [Linux Mint 18.3], but screen was too small and the window did not resize so could only see part of the DE screen. No problem on a normal monitor though. Also tried with 64 bit Windows 10 but none of the buttons worked for some reason.
    That's right, the UI is currently shipping to a 1280x800 resolution.

    However, you have the source, Luke!

    If you open up utils.tcl in a text editor and locate:

    set screen_size_width 1280
    set screen_size_height 800

    You can set these to any arbitrary screen size you like. I recommend you maintain the same aspect ratio of 1.6, though, or you'll have a "funhouse mirror" effect.

    On your first time running the app, it will take ~60s to launch, because all the graphics will be resized to your desired size.

    Here is a screen picture of the DE1+ app running a 640x400, which should be fine on your netbook.

    set screen_size_width 640
    set screen_size_height 400

    screen 2018-01-08 at 4.46.28 PM.png


    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    One immediate impression for me was that the UI elements, while providing a 'modern' look were not very strongly contrasted. Would prefer a choice stronger colour palette in the UI theme for visibilities sake.
    The color scheme is, at the moment, optimized for the slightly-oversaturated color gamut on the tablets we provide.

    That being said, I think you're making a valid point, and a "high contrast" UI would be a useful thing. It's not a lot of work to do, as the entire GUI is a photoshop file, with each page as a movie in the timeline (animation creator) inside photoshop. I plan on releasing the entire 1.7tb source archive in photoshop format, of all the skins. "File/Render movie/Image Sequence" will make the images, and you can convert them into optimized PNGs by hand or with the included shell script, and ImageMagick.

    Another approach: the Android tablet we ship has gamut control in "Settings", if you want more contrast.

    -john

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    Quote Originally Posted by Downunder55 View Post
    Screensaver (DE1 & DE1+) - This does not seem to be user selectable, only option seems to be random screens, and timing set to 1min+, I do think the option of a static ss of users choice would be good (PITA maybe)
    The screen savers are simply JPGs in the /saver/ directory. You can add/delete as you wish. I had planned on offering a GUI to do this inside the app, but this didn't make it into v1.0.

    You should be able to change the screen saver interval on the 3rd tab in settings:

    screen 2018-01-08 at 4.59.46 PM.png

    Quote Originally Posted by Downunder55 View Post
    If ss brightness set to 0% then effectively you have a blank screen ?
    Not quite: the LED backlight is turned off, but an image is still onscreen, albeit hard to see.

    I like your suggestion of a "black screen saver" have added it to my todo. Until I implement it, you can create one yourself by saving an all-black 2560x1600 JPG to /saver/2560x1600/ and deleting everything out of /saver/1280x800/ - the all black image will be auto resized and copied to your app's resolution directory (1280x800)

    Quote Originally Posted by Downunder55 View Post
    Low Water Warning (DE1) - Think this should be a feature of both models if possible ?
    I agree, and it is. However, it's not currently emulated in the app at the moment. When the water gets low enough that we would worry about running dry mid-shot, the screen displays this desert image.

    fill_tank.jpg

    None of the DE1 skins (except, as I think of it, the 8-bit skin) currently displays the water level second-by-second. This would be a nice feature to add.


    Quote Originally Posted by Downunder55 View Post
    What is the 1.234,56 measurement for ?
    It's for Europeans who use a comma instead of a period in numbers, and vice-versa, ie:

    1,234.00 (non-EU)
    vs
    1.234,00 (EU)

  42. #892
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    Also tried with 64 bit Windows 10 but none of the buttons worked for some reason.
    Can you try that again? I've had reports of it working for others. It's possible that on app startup, there was some sort of "event loop" running that delayed handling user interaction. I've seen this happen on Android, where the app doesn't respond for a few seconds on startup. I had assumed this was due to Bluetooth eating up the CPU, but perhaps it's a different problem.

    In my experience, the problem goes away in a few seconds. Let me know.

    -john

  43. #893
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    Would prefer a choice stronger colour palette in the UI theme for visibilities sake.
    I added an "adjustment layer" to the photoshop source and re-rendered the skin, showing each page in a 1 second animation.

    I'd be curious as to whether you prefer this sort of high contrast UI, vs the standard one.




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    Quote Originally Posted by bromell View Post
    I particularly like the advanced shot editor; for one of the most complex parts of the interface, I find it very straightforward to understand and use. When I get the real machine, I think I'm going to enjoy trying to replicate my favourite Portaspresso Rossa PG Air profiles, declining temperature and all!
    Thanks for that feedback, as I really, really struggled with that interface and went through several complete rewrites.

    There are a few things the DE1+ firmware can do that I'm not currently representing in the UI, because if the UI is so complicated that nobody can understand it, then that's no good.

    For example, I'm not currently showing the "open the pressure valve while pausing" vs "leave the pressure valve closed while pausing" option, though you can set this by choosing "zero flow" (valve closed) vs "zero pressure" (valve opened).

    There's also an ability in the firmware to have limits set when things go bad with your puck, such as "raise pressure to 9 bar, but don't go over 2.7 ml/s to get there".

    But otherwise, I think the full power of the espresso machine is currently represented.

    Quote Originally Posted by bromell View Post
    The "heart" dialog is also great - but I think my challenge is cross-referencing this data I'm entering back to the recipe that I'm maintaining. Currently I use a note on my phone to capture the latest recipe and taste notes for the different beans and grinders I'm running. This is certainly an area that is unimportant for v1.0, but would be great to see fleshed out in the coming years - which I know you've already flagged.
    As you indicated, I've mused about "what to do with this data" and it's a Difficult Problem. I will likely implement a "somewhat useful" analysis kit, but leave most of the analysis as work for others to do, via a Web API and Javascript, and provide mechanisms for people to share their analysis tools.

    Quote Originally Posted by bromell View Post
    Bugs and/or user stupidity: .... 2. In the shot editor, If I'm on the "Advanced" lower tab and click to
    Both of these are likely the same thing, namely that "advanced" functions AS IF it were a button on the FLOW and PRESSURE tabs. In other words, when you are using friendly FLOW editor, if you click ADVANCED it will copy the current flow profile into ADVANCED so that you can now tweak it.

    The idea is that asking users to create an ADVANCED shot profile from scratch is onerous. Better to have people use the friendly sliders on FLOW/PRESSURE to get an approximation of what they want, and they then click ADVANCED to augment it.

    This is not obvious in the current GUI, since ADVANCED is presented at the same importance level as FLOW/PRESSURE, whereas it's really a "deep edit" of FLOW/PRESSURE.

    Maybe if I show you this mock-up in Photoshop, of how it's really working, that'll be clearer:

    adva.jpg

    However, I don't have space on screen to easily implement it like this. I will move things around in a future tablet software version, to make it clearer how this works. However, I'm expecting that the Tablet software v2.0 will have a lot of changes, after users have actually made coffee with it for a while.


    Quote Originally Posted by bromell View Post
    3. If I've spent time creating a good base profile I like (which I've saved at some point), it's likely I'd then want to start making small tweaks to it and test the results. However, I definitely wouldn't want to overwrite the saved profile until it was a clear winner, and in some cases, I'd actually be looking to keep both. Unfortunately, the default behaviour appears to instantly save any changes - is it possible for any modifications to, by default, create a new preset called "Current draft profile" or "Preset XYZ (Copy)"? Therefore it would not overwrite a saved preset unless you explicitly hit save with the same name.
    If you click "ok" the settings are uploaded to the espresso machine, but they're not permanently saved to disk. To save them to disk you have to use the "name and save" piggy-bank icon. If you don't change the name when you hit save, you're replacing the already-saved preset. If you add (v1) to the title, you can save multiple variations of a preset and eventually delete the ones you didn't like.

  45. #895
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    The idea is that asking users to create an ADVANCED shot profile from scratch is onerous. Better to have people use the friendly sliders on FLOW/PRESSURE to get an approximation of what they want, and they then click ADVANCED to augment it.

    This is not obvious in the current GUI, since ADVANCED is presented at the same importance level as FLOW/PRESSURE, whereas it's really a "deep edit" of FLOW/PRESSURE.
    That logic makes perfect sense then - just not what I intuitively expected based on the GUI. Thanks for the explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    If you click "ok" the settings are uploaded to the espresso machine, but they're not permanently saved to disk. To save them to disk you have to use the "name and save" piggy-bank icon. If you don't change the name when you hit save, you're replacing the already-saved preset. If you add (v1) to the title, you can save multiple variations of a preset and eventually delete the ones you didn't like.
    Must be a quirk of the emulation then? Without saving, if I select another preset and then go back to the one I've edited, or even if I quit the app and restart it, the changes are still there for me.

  46. #896
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    Quote Originally Posted by bromell View Post
    Must be a quirk of the emulation then? Without saving, if I select another preset and then go back to the one I've edited, or even if I quit the app and restart it, the changes are still there for me.
    Sorry, I misspoke (miswrote?).

    When you hit OK on Settings, whatever profile you had made is saved as the "current profile", is active, and will survive an app exit/restart.

    However, your changes will not be saved to a "named profile" unless you hit the piggy bank icon.

    Clearer?

    -john

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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    The screen savers are simply JPGs in the /saver/ directory. You can add/delete as you wish.
    Great, So if there was only one JPG the screen saver would be static ?

    Could you please also look at Post #886 please ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Downunder55 View Post
    Great, So if there was only one JPG the screen saver would be static ?
    Yep.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downunder55 View Post
    Could you please also look at Post #886 please ?
    Whoops, sorry, missed it. Below...

    Quote Originally Posted by Downunder55 View Post
    Re the DE1 SW..... this is quite probably my lack of understanding of coffee generally, but how do you do a single shot, v's double shot in any of the pre-set profiles ? On a Sunbeam Cafe, there are two buttons one for a single shot, one for a double shot depending which basket you are using ... is this possible on a DE1 ?
    Apologies, this is a long answer, because your seemingly simple question isn't actually so straightforward to answer.

    tl;dr : use a scale under your shot glass, and stop the shot at your desired drink weight.

    On other machines (except for the gravimetric black eagle and linea ep, or volumetric machines) the machines use timers to make a single or double shot. This is not very reliable, though, because the state of your beans (grind/age/weight) will greatly change the final amount.

    Volumetric machines typically have a "record' button and they save the internal number of ml of water that was dispensed. This is very reliable in cafes, where only one dose weight is used. Cafes typically make double shots only, and save the "wasted" shots in a fridge for iced coffee drinks. This can also be reliable if you (for example, Italian style) always made singles with 7g of coffee, and doubles with 14g. But do home baristas do this?

    Gravimetric (weight based) machines are the best, because the definition of a single or double is based on volume in cup, and since 1g = 1ml (more or less) you can use a scale. The DE1+ has gravimetric as an option, if you buy our bluetooth scale:

    screen 2018-01-09 at 11.42.15 AM.jpg

    To my knowledge, only two commercial machines (the linea pb and the black eagle), both top end, have the gravimetric feature. I don't know of any others with it (home or pro).


    So, to answer your question, here you go:
    1) the easiest thing is to use a scale. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that you'll likely never make excellent espresso without one. Measure your dose weight, and also your beverage weight.
    2) you can use a scale to set the shot time (or if you want to be fancy, water volume) on a preset you're using, and then save the preset. Then you can skip the scale, if you like (but I don't recommend it)

    I don't set the existing presets to give you single vs double, because there are too many factors at your home, that will make whatever attempt I make, invalid.

    Instead, all the presets in the DE1/DE1+ are set to run too long, and you're supposed to stop the shot when you have your desired drink volume.

    One last comment, there is HUGE disagreement about the "brew ratio", which is coffee grounds in vs coffee liquid out. Some people do 1:1x while others do 1:3x. Obviously, if your idea of a double is 18g of liquid, or 50g, will have a big impact on the shot profile.

  49. #899
    gc
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    I added an "adjustment layer" to the photoshop source and re-rendered the skin, showing each page in a 1 second animation.

    I'd be curious as to whether you prefer this sort of high contrast UI, vs the standard one.



    I read somewhere of research into user response to screen UI's [sorry, can't remember the source] and they found that people took longer to respond (eye movement), and navigate modern style UI elements than more traditional ones. The reason was/is obvious of course, in that the UI elements in eg Microsoft and recent Android iterations have only vaguely defined edges to the UI elements requiring the brain to do more work to interpret the sensory input accurately. So its not just the colour saturation, although that definitely helps, but clear outlines around each UI element which is easier and faster for users to respond to, despite not looking as "trendy". So which wins - form or function?

    A high contrast option for the visually impaired might be an idea too. (That includes me until after my first coffee of the day! ) The higher contrast option is definitely easier to see, but that may partly be due to viewing on the computer monitor.

  50. #900
    gc
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    Can you try that again? I've had reports of it working for others. It's possible that on app startup, there was some sort of "event loop" running that delayed handling user interaction. I've seen this happen on Android, where the app doesn't respond for a few seconds on startup. I had assumed this was due to Bluetooth eating up the CPU, but perhaps it's a different problem.

    In my experience, the problem goes away in a few seconds. Let me know.

    -john
    Maybe I have a faulty download. Just tried it again in a Windows 10 64bit VM and Windows Defender immediately quarantined the .exe! Fixed that with a fresh version but still it won't load. Have had the Linux version working OK though, altho it took a few tries to work out your instruction to resize the window for my netbook. There were several references to the size you referred to and you didn't include a line number to edit in the .tcl file instruction. Got it rough enough though. Thanks.

    Edit: Forgot it was mentioned earlier to put download folder on user desktop to work. Did that and all working in Win10 64 bit VM, but had to remember to exclude folder before Windows Defender got to it! Same with Avira in my primary Win 10 machine before that.
    Last edited by gc; 10th January 2018 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Correction after testing

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