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Thread: Discussion on Flair Espresso

  1. #51
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    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I bought the easy clean portafilter a few weeks ago - on the mistaken understanding that it was a bottomless portafilter!

    I've prised off the bottom a few times to look for build up - but can't see any. It might be that I will see some down the track - or that some about to be ready new glasses will change that. But for now, my usual post brew clean up process seems enough - nothing more than rinse with warm water from tap or with washing up liquid in the sink with the dishes.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Has anyone invested in a stainless piston, if so, does it make a difference? noticed it has two O rings, wondered if it would keep the piston a little more central, mine seems to start somewhat off centre, seems OK by shot completion.

  3. #53
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    I have one.

    Still starts a little like leaning Tower of Pisa. But it quickly straightens up... much like the plastic one.

    I'm not sure if it offers much extra benefit. I was thinking it might help with maintaining temperature but I saw a post on another forum suggesting otherwise. And I can't tell the difference myself.

    Apparently some buy it because they're worried about toxins leaching from the plastic. I can see that argument going down well here in northern New South Wales where many of the locals don't vaccinate their kids and there's no fluoride in the water. But it wasn't on my radar when I made my impulsive purchase.
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  4. #54
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Has anyone invested in a stainless piston, if so, does it make a difference? noticed it has two O rings, wondered if it would keep the piston a little more central, mine seems to start somewhat off centre, seems OK by shot completion.
    It's a non-issue to be honest...
    It's due to the ever changing position of the Roller relative to the support post, as the handle is pulled down. Given that this is only noticeable at the beginning of the stroke, I ignore it.

    Mal.
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  5. #55
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Guess that pretty well took care of those two queries, thank you gentlemen.
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Has anyone invested in a stainless piston, if so, does it make a difference? noticed it has two O rings, wondered if it would keep the piston a little more central, mine seems to start somewhat off centre, seems OK by shot completion.
    I recently purchased a Flair Signature with two brew heads with easy clean portafilters. Also have the stainless and the plastic piston so use both if making two coffees. I have ordered another stainless piston mainly because I think it may outlast the plastic piston but time will tell.

    As to whether the stainless piston with the two rubber rings tilts less........I think it does slightly, however the plastic one still works well. I insert both pistons slightly into the top of the brew heads and invert them to fill with hot water (to heat the brew cylinder). This works fairly well and heats the base of the stainless piston at the same time.

    It took a week or so of experimentation to get the grind right and a few awful drinks down the sink however fairly happy with the results now. It seems to be an improvement at this early stage over the espresso machine that we had.

    Was hoping to insert an an image of yesterday’s shot but having trouble uploading from the iPad.
    Last edited by EZCFlair; 8th November 2018 at 03:51 PM. Reason: typos

  7. #57
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    Am after some advice from any members please.........

    As a new owner of the Flair, I occasionally get a decent crema but mostly not much.

    The best I have achieved is about a third of the shot (maybe 15 mls out of 45) and would be extremely happy if I could do that every time, but unfortunately that only happened once. More often than not, about a fifth of the shot or less. Sometimes a thin layer which dissipates quickly.

    I mostly use 16 grams of beans (fresh from a Melbourne roaster). 17 grams seems to be the upper limit. My current batch was roasted on October 25 although I started using them on the 29th when we received them, I think. No problem with the grind quality as it is a good one.

    The brew head is always very hot and the water I top up the cylinder with is just off the boil.

    I go easy on the tamp pressure because if I don’t, it chokes and nothing comes through.

    Think I covered everything there, so all and any advice appreciated.


    PS. Should I be happy with the results so far and not overthink it?

  8. #58
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    This is the crema I get using "sweet Georgia brown" beans from gridlock coffee. Is this comparable to yours?
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  9. #59
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EZCFlair View Post
    Am after some advice from any members please.........

    As a new owner of the Flair, I occasionally get a decent crema but mostly not much.

    The best I have achieved is about a third of the shot (maybe 15 mls out of 45) and would be extremely happy if I could do that every time, but unfortunately that only happened once. More often than not, about a fifth of the shot or less. Sometimes a thin layer which dissipates quickly.

    I mostly use 16 grams of beans (fresh from a Melbourne roaster). 17 grams seems to be the upper limit. My current batch was roasted on October 25 although I started using them on the 29th when we received them, I think. No problem with the grind quality as it is a good one.

    The brew head is always very hot and the water I top up the cylinder with is just off the boil.

    I go easy on the tamp pressure because if I don’t, it chokes and nothing comes through.

    Think I covered everything there, so all and any advice appreciated.


    PS. Should I be happy with the results so far and not overthink it?


    Firstly, I'd worry about the taste of the coffee.

    How much crema were you expecting? When you say that you get a third of a cup....at what point in time are you 'measuring' that? Immediately upon pulling the shot?

    The fact that you are able to choke the machine after tamping hard suggests that you might be either grinding a little too fine or over-dosing.

    Also I don't think you need the brew water to be 'just off the boil'. You'll lose enough temperature by the time your water gets to the grinds.
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by andlep View Post
    This is the crema I get using "sweet Georgia brown" beans from gridlock coffee. Is this comparable to yours?
    Actually, yes it is most of the time Andlep. It is probably a lot better than what is served in some “coffee shops” so have decided to be happy with what I’m getting.

    I think I should be concentrating on taste more than anything.

    Thanks for your reply.
    Last edited by EZCFlair; 10th November 2018 at 08:33 AM.
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  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Firstly, I'd worry about the taste of the coffee.

    How much crema were you expecting? When you say that you get a third of a cup....at what point in time are you 'measuring' that? Immediately upon pulling the shot?

    The fact that you are able to choke the machine after tamping hard suggests that you might be either grinding a little too fine or over-dosing.

    Also I don't think you need the brew water to be 'just off the boil'. You'll lose enough temperature by the time your water gets to the grinds.
    Thanks for your reply B O’S.

    Yep, it was roughly a third immed. after pulling the shot. It wasn’t measured just approx looking at the clear shot glass I was using. It was a one off and prob settled to half of that.

    Mostly it looks like Andleps photo above. On a few occasions nothing much at all. As you say, taste is the decider.

    I think the problem sometimes is that promotional videos for the Flair on YouTube (or any tv advertising that has an unrealistic outcome - toothpaste for example) embellish the end result.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DqMe1SCs6So

    Your advice is much appreciated.
    Last edited by EZCFlair; 10th November 2018 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Added YouTube link

  12. #62
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    384C1213-F5F9-40F4-8442-A953AF8691A5.jpeg

    Success.

    Photo as discussed previously. Hopefully, clicking on it enlarges the image.
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  13. #63
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EZCFlair View Post
    Photo as discussed previously. Hopefully, clicking on it enlarges the image.
    It does.


    Java "Clicked it bigger" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  14. #64
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    Last photo. I have taken enough forum space with this subject.

    Thanks to those who offered valuable advice. It was a big help.

    This one was made not long ago, but is gone now.

    83032A4E-9508-4954-A771-720C002CEBCD.jpeg
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  15. #65
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    Flair is now selling a piston with built in pressure gauge. And a bottomless portafilter.

    I'm sorely tempted. But I've been guilty of buying other gadgets, that made little difference in the cup, in the past... eg distribution and tamping tools.

    Hoping for some wise words from others!

  16. #66
    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    a brew pressure gauge and naked portafilter are probably two of the more helpful additions to espresso. you’ll quickly learn a lot about your puck prep and get additional feedback on how fine/coarse you should grind.
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  17. #67
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Some additional info posted up here...
    https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...tml#post640950

    Mal.
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  18. #68
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    It wasn't going to take much to tip me over the edge

    Both items now on pre-order

    My thanks to both of you.
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  19. #69
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    My current modest setup which is surprisingly effective, considering the $ outlay.

    I am yet to make a coffee to rave about, but am hard to please (so I’m told).
    Maybe a 6 or 7 out of 10. The score would be a 9 or 10 if I could find beans that I like.

    Am enjoying the simplicity of the process.

    70638D97-19AA-4867-A4EB-6010FD8FB6AD.jpg

    F523BFC3-F50C-45AB-9033-6BEE32F90F85.jpg
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  20. #70
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    Have had my flair now for a while, absolutely loving the results.. while surfing this forum for some light reading I can across a fellow coffee snob advising another fellow coffee snob on the “5 cent rule” with the intention of helping that person dial in his shots.... this got me thinking, has anyone attempted the process with the flair? If so, has the results been any better (or worse)..

    Will aim to give it a go sometime this weekend (when I get the chance) and can report back with results if requested..

  21. #71
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tampinator View Post
    Have had my flair now for a while, absolutely loving the results.. while surfing this forum for some light reading I can across a fellow coffee snob advising another fellow coffee snob on the “5 cent rule” with the intention of helping that person dial in his shots.... this got me thinking, has anyone attempted the process with the flair? If so, has the results been any better (or worse)..

    Will aim to give it a go sometime this weekend (when I get the chance) and can report back with results if requested..
    I'm honestly not sure what advantage this would suggest in a Flair. A dose of about 16g-16.2g leave about the right room for the shower head to fit in, and unlike the case with a traditional e-61 group....you can see what the level of the tamped coffee is relative to the top of the cylinder. No harm in experimenting though.

  22. #72
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tampinator View Post
    Have had my flair now for a while, absolutely loving the results.. while surfing this forum for some light reading I can across a fellow coffee snob advising another fellow coffee snob on the “5 cent rule” with the intention of helping that person dial in his shots.... this got me thinking, has anyone attempted the process with the flair? If so, has the results been any better (or worse)..

    Will aim to give it a go sometime this weekend (when I get the chance) and can report back with results if requested..
    No real point, as long as the screen can be fully seated without contacting the puck all should be well.

    With an espresso machine overfilling results in possible damage to the dispersion screen, uneven/poor extraction and coffee grounds being washed into the group head/seal area which of course means having to clean up the mess.
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  23. #73
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    Agreed...

    If you want to test this, grab the piston and see how far you can insert it into the Portafilter section of the Group - Not very far, only about as deep as the filter screen you place on the PF after tamping your coffee.

    Mal.
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  24. #74
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    Colombia beans - roasted 27.12.18. Made with the Flair.

    Wow. The flavour.

    I woke up at 4am thinking about them............It was like Christmas again.

    36F2401A-59EB-4175-9356-0781D22C1EC4.jpg
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  25. #75
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    Just got back from 6 days camping. Flair with my Lido ET was pumping out 8+ coffees (with a second brewhead) a morning. Not one unhappy customer. Interestingly enough my home roasted beans tasted better with this setup compared to the R58 at home
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  26. #76
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickm View Post
    Interestingly enough my home roasted beans tasted better with this setup compared to the R58 at home
    Must be down to the Lever action for some reason; no complaints here either...

    Mal.
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  27. #77
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickm View Post
    Just got back from 6 days camping. Flair with my Lido ET was pumping out 8+ coffees (with a second brewhead) a morning. Not one unhappy customer. Interestingly enough my home roasted beans tasted better with this setup compared to the R58 at home
    I've also been impressed with the quality of shots they produce.

    Like Mal have been pondering the reason for the excellent results, wondering if its down to the greater depth of the ground coffee column (in the basket) in relation to the width than we normally see in a 58mm basket which tends to be flatter and wider by comparison.

    Hope that makes sense.
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  28. #78
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    I've found it remarkably consistent... with at least good shots produced by various family members despite variations in dose and no doubt lots of variation in extraction time and tamping and lever pressure.

    Have just taken delivery of the new pressure gauge attachment. Was surprised at how much force is needed on the lever to get the pressure in the suggested range. And needing to grind much finer than I have been to get the extraction time anywhere near the suggested minimum 30s. But the coffee I'm drinking now is making the extra effort all worthwhile.
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  29. #79
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    They really are an easy device to come to terms with.
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  30. #80
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushtocup View Post
    Was surprised at how much force is needed on the lever to get the pressure in the suggested range.
    Works out to be ~17-18Kg force applied to the end of the lever to generate ~9.0Bar in the brew chamber...
    I just lean on the handle to apply this sort of force, which is easier for me.

    Mal.
    Last edited by Dimal; 30th December 2018 at 09:57 PM.
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  31. #81
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    Exactly! Needs a slight lean using just a little body weight - or two hands.

    Got the grind right this afternoon. Made my first coffee with suggested pressure and 30 sec extraction. It tasted great. But the one I made in the morning using coarser grind and far too low pressure was already good enough to put a smile on my face.
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  32. #82
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Works out to be ~17-18Kg force applied to the end of the lever to generate ~9.0Bar in the brew chamber...
    I just lean on the handle to apply this sort of force, which is easier for me.

    Mal.

    Mal.
    Similar here Mal.

    "~17-18Kg force" Sounds like the bathroom scales have been pressed into service.
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  33. #83
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yep, it's a very forgiving system and maybe other manual levers are too.
    Yet to have a shot that doesn't bring a smile to the dial...

    Mal.
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  34. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Yep, it's a very forgiving system and maybe other manual levers are too.
    Yet to have a shot that doesn't bring a smile to the dial...

    Mal.
    ...........yes forgiving, however, no room for complacency as I discovered yesterday.

    I had just started pulling a shot and got the first few drips and relaxed the pressure to allow the water to saturate the puck as I usually do before proceeding.

    At that moment the microwave beeped and I released the Flair lever for a second and turned my back to open the door. Bad move.

    Not major, but it popped the cylinder off the base of the portafilter. Managed to get a few drops of coffee on the ceiling.........and the bench, the cupboard doors, the floor etc.

    Lesson learned.
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  35. #85
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yup...

    Basic safety rules still apply and pay attention...

    Mal.
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  36. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by EZCFlair View Post
    Not major, but it popped the cylinder off the base of the portafilter. Managed to get a few drops of coffee on the ceiling.........and the bench, the cupboard doors, the floor etc.Lesson learned.
    glad I'm not the only one this has happened to.
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  37. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by saeco_user View Post
    glad I'm not the only one this has happened to.
    Likewise.



    Although I had lost the urge for a coffee after that, the second attempt was worthwhile. The drops of water on the drip tray and sink drainer was from the cleanup.

    It almost looks like a miniature Guinness.

    The light shining through the window made it look that colour.


    FB00352A-8736-4BCD-B0FA-0666687B5EA0.jpeg
    Last edited by EZCFlair; 2nd January 2019 at 10:27 AM.

  38. #88
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if anyone has scooted the whole shebang off the work surface whilst pulling a shot, I've noticed the base has a tendency to slip if anything other than direct downward pressure is applied, would be relatively easy to have a mishap.

    Before you ask, no, hasn't happened to me.
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  39. #89
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    I have mine pushed back against the kitchen splashback - provides just a little bit of extra support.

    But it's still fairly unsteady laterally and I have full expectation of eventually causing mayhem.

    I'm no industrial designer or structural engineer but the three little feet underneath don't seem to be in ideal positions to me.

    Maybe the new version is a bit more solid on the benchtop. Would be good excuse to upgrade. My daughter is visiting and was very complimentary about her morning coffee. So I could easily justify an upgrade by donating the (not very) old one to her

  40. #90
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Once you work out that direct downward pressure on the lever is what's required (no lateral or back/forward force) its not a problem.

    "I'm no industrial designer or structural engineer but the three little feet underneath don't seem to be in ideal positions to me."

    I agree, the base could be improved, the tripod arrangement is pretty unstable.

  41. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post

    I agree, the base could be improved, the tripod arrangement is pretty unstable.
    A rectangular base with four feet could be an improvement.

  42. #92
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    Mine now has 6 feet. I added 3 cut from a felt strip usually used to stop furniture scratching wooden floors. Just happened to be same thickness as the existing rubber ones.

    Seems a little steadier. And hopefully the glue they had on them will hold.

    But I agree that the key is in using the right technique on the lever.

  43. #93
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Hmmm...

    I just position the Flair close to the edge of the benchtop where I hook my left thumb over the base of the unit, with my fingers underneath the benchtop edge. No great strength is required (I don't have any) but it just stops the unit from moving around. No mishaps as yet...

    Mal.
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  44. #94
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Yeh I do something similar to Dimal. I'm in Ireland at the moment, where it appears that the standard kitchen bench height is about 5cm less than in Aus, which also helps getting force directly towards the centre of the earth.

    Incidentally, my Flair (purchased in Sept or Oct) came with 6, rather than 3 feet on the base.....I assumed that this was standard.
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  45. #95
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Incidentally, my Flair (purchased in Sept or Oct) came with 6, rather than 3 feet on the base.....I assumed that this was standard.
    Mine too...

    Mal.

  46. #96
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Mine too...

    Mal.
    Interesting! my Flair is stowed in the motor home, just went out and checked in case I had a seniors moment.

    Definitely only 3 feet, two at the back one in the front which makes it quite unstable, very much like the Reliant Robin shown here



    Wouldn't be difficult to change, I'm used to it now so probably wont bother, must be a work in progress, perhaps I got an older version.
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  47. #97
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    Reliant Robin here.

    Never had too much of a problem with the “instability”. It does wobble a bit but always make sure it is stable before pulling the shot.

    Now that some have said they have six feet on theirs, I will look at the possibility of where to add some extras.

    Mine below.

    B2B37BBA-C820-4D6B-BF8E-560D3B0E537F.jpg
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  48. #98
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    On top of the 3 other dots of alloy, presumably...

  49. #99
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    That's where my three felt pads went. Or very nearby on a flat area.

    It seems more stable now.

    But I reckon I've fixed a problem that was more imaginary than real.
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  50. #100
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Our Flair is a pretty early model too I think, so maybe the reduction to 3 feet came later...

    Mal.



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