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Thread: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

  1. #1
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    BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello all,

    Your site is so comprehensive & friendly, I felt compelled to join. Ill give you a quick Readers Digest version of my story. My wife and I plan to make the best coffe we can at home as we are fairly sick of instant and percolated. She has worked with a 2 group machine at work for some time and we were going to buy a new, mid-range coffee maker for quite an expensive price. I live in Canberra and we have a shop which hangs off our local landfill and scoops trash from the tip-face to re-distribute back into the community at bargain prices. There have been many gems weve secured from there in the past but nothing to compare with the single group, semi-auto BOEMA I got for only $5.00. It was fairly dirty and missing the group handle but after seeing some of the prices others have paid for the same thing I know this will be hard to believe for a lot of fellow snobbers but I promise you, this is all I paid.
    We got it home and I had absolutely no idea where to start or what to do with it. This is where I must give a BIG THANKS to Andy Freeman who took the time to photograph and document the restoration process he did on his unit, which is exactly the same as the one I secured. Thanks heaps Andy. Without your input on the Boema you restored I would have had no hope in doing what I have done. By following what you said I managed to strip it down completely and over the course of two weeks (Im a home hubby and had some help from my 2 year old) managed to restore the unit so its like new. I learned volumes about this particular model and now consider myself able to maintain and service it no matter what should eventuate.

    There is only one thing which remains before it can be switched on and tested and that is attaching a power cord. As we bought it from what I call the Dump Shop, I have no idea of its history but assume it was hardwired into the location it came out of. It was all ganked up and there was a lot of scale in the boiler and most of the piping which seems to idicate the previous owners just didnt maintain the thing very well. The group head was totally blocked and this is probably why it was thrown away.

    Andy, Ive noticed yours is the same model and has a standard 240v, three prong power cord hanging out of it. Would you be able to post a photo of where the wiring should go? Ive asked a local electronics place if they could wire it up for me but they were hesitant to do so as they havent done it before. I emailed BOEMA and asked for a schematic but they havent, as yet, replied to my email. Im sure they will eventually as all other dealings Ive had with them have been answered quickly and with heaps of professionalism but Im eager to electrify the thing to see if it works and start making coffee.

    Ive attached a few pics for you to peruse, including the wiring loom in question. Thanks for all the help youve already given me and I look forward to being an active member of the CoffeeSnob Community.

    Michael.


  2. #2
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    After much elbow grease, the finished product. I learned heaps from the CoffeeSnobs site which allowed me to carry out this project!


  3. #3
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    All nice and clean and shiny !!


  4. #4
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    This is the wiring loom in question. Any help on how to attach a standard power cord would be MUCH appreciated.

    N.B.
    Welcome Coffeeboy..... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Great job mate, just beautiful. Would you be able to keep attached images to a maximum size of 640x480 pixels please, makes it a lot easier for people who dont own 40" monitors..... ;)

    If you are unsure about how to easily resize your images,
    this link will hopefully assist :).

    Thanks mate :),
    Mal.



  5. #5
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    What a bargain and welcome

    KK

  6. #6
    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Nice job, oh to be handy like that !

    Welcome CoffeeBoy

  7. #7
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Welcome from me too.

    Looks nice.

    Lucky you had the 2 year old to help or it would have taken 4 weeks.

  8. #8
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    That looks fantastic, nice job! And what a find for $5!! I remember thinking I got the deal of the century when I bought my Carimali Uno for $200NZD hah.

  9. #9
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    The Australian dollar has been going well for quite some time now.
    20+ year highs.
    With the exchange rate isnt that about the same?

  10. #10
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    I doubt very much if the single group boema would be directly wired in, it would have have a lead and plug on it, having said that, without ever owning one I wouldnt have a clue where it would attach, but there should be a hole in the unit for the lead unless it came out from underneath in which case I would be looking towards the rear panel and then a junction wiring point near by.

    By the way, "good score" very nice piece of solid hardware. Ray.

  11. #11
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Great Job Coffeeboy and what a score.

    The electrics are certainly the one part you shouldnt play around with.
    If you dont know what you are doing, the wrong connections could kill you and worse: damage your machine too.

    The other thing is you cannot assume is that the only reason that the three pin plug has been removed: is for legal reasons pertaining to a second hand sale.
    It may be the case that some clown has fiddled with other wiring in the unit or that the plug may have been removed because of some other failure making the machine unsafe.

    Therefore even if you had a schematic/photo and knew where the AC wiring went, it is not a guarantee that the machine will be safe or work.


    That said, and this is only a guess, based on knowing nothing about your machine and being able to see only a small photo/portion of the wiring, , and making the assumption that a 1 group machine will be single phase..............

    I think the the 6 way terminal strip is where the AC connection comes in.
    Looking from the bottom right it shows Brown [possibly active], blue [possibly neutral] and Green/yellow [most likely earth]
    Therefore your input would probably connect to these points from the other side.

    BUT!!!!!!!!!...........................As an electrically qualified person who has a general working knowledge regarding the workings of espresso machines, If I was doing this, I would first sketch out a full circuit diagram of the machine and make sure what was on paper made sense.
    I would also check impedances of the heater element, pump motor and probably the 3WV solenoid and check the integrity of the switches.
    More importantly:
    I would also do insulation tests between the chassis and other points to make sure there are no shorts or insulation issues and then finish by buzzing out the entire circuit against the diagram.

    Given it cost you only $5.00 it would be best to pay for someone qualified to finish it off. ... Then you will have the piece of mind that it will work safely and not set your house on fire at some later date.
    Im sure there is someone local to you who could assist, can Boema recommed a Canberra agent.


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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Quote Originally Posted by reubster link=1213148939/0#10 date=1213229944
    BUT!!!!!!!!!...........................As an electrically qualified person who has a general working knowledge regarding the workings of espresso machines, If I was doing this, I would first sketch out a full circuit diagram of the machine and make sure what was on paper made sense.
    I would also check impedances of the heater element, pump motor and probably the 3WV solenoid and check the integrity of the switches.
    More importantly:
    I would also do insulation tests between the chassis and other points to make sure there are no shorts or insulation issues and then finish by buzzing out the entire circuit against the diagram.

    Given it cost you only $5.00 it would be best to pay for someone qualified to finish it off.

    I totally agree reubster! Might as well get it totally checked rather than having it blow up in your face, or have some electrically charged espressos, or getting a buzz through your milk jug cos your steam wand is live. hahaha, something, hopefully a RCD would catch!

  13. #13
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Coffeeboy,

    She looks fantastic - great job indeed!!!

    I agree with reubsters comments.

    I was nearly going to post the same information re connection - but resisted the temptation as I didnt want to be responsible for someone getting fried.

    Water and 240V are a very lethal combination :o.... and the machine should be checked very thoroughly by someone who is qualified before any 240V is connected.

    Even my La Cimbali which was working in a cafe prior to my purchase has two "faults" which could have been lethal!!! The machine had been regularly maintained by a "professional"..... who hadnt noticed that the main earth lead had corroded through - so there was no protective earth on the chassis.... and even worse - when some work had been done on the motor/pump the tech replaced the heatshield without checking the wiring. This had cut through the insulation right down to the conductor..... fortunately it was the neutral line and not the active..... or there would have been 240V on the case of the machine..... and no earth to protect the user..... resulting in electrocution!!! :( :(

    As the lead has been removed there is a fair chance it was done for a reason..... and a thorough inspection including earth leakage testing etc - BEFORE CONNECTION TO THE MAINS - is essential IMHO.

    Yes, it will cost a few dollars.... but at the price you paid it would be cheap insurance against a potentially lethal situation (not to mention the possibility of burning your house down!!!)

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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Thanks Mal for the image re-size. Ill be sure to crop any future images I post so they are easier to view. Thanks also to all for the welcoming words. It certainly feels good to belong.
    Ive taken Rays advice and had a look around all points of the wiring loom and did indeed find what appears to be a hole to accomodate a power cord. This has narrowed down the possible places to connect electrical inputs to the back of the wire array and there are three empty slots. Upon closer inspection it definitely looks as though they have housed wires at some point (there is some wear to the securing screws). Armed with this knowledge Ill take it back to the electrician and see if he can confirm this and wire it up for me. Ill be sure to post the results and hopefully an image of a nice hot, steaming cup of black magic.
    Thanks for your advice Ray. Im feeling very confident now.


  15. #15
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Good stuff CoffeeBoy,

    Yeah that is almost def. the input. Like reubster said though, best check it with a drawn out schematic, or give it to your sparky.

    Make sure you stick a rubber grommet on gland on that metal hole you run the flex through!

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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Quote Originally Posted by YeeZa link=1213148939/0#11 date=1213231093
    I totally agree reubster! Might as well get it totally checked rather than having it blow up in your face, or have some electrically charged espressos, or getting a buzz through your milk jug cos your steam wand is live. hahaha, something, hopefully a RCD would catch!
    If there was a problem like the one on my La Cimbali..... an RCD would have done nothing until someone touched the chassis (which could have been live).

    They rely on less current flowing back through the neutral than is flowing out on the active - assuming the difference is flowing to earth and the equipment is therefore faulty..... but with no earth on the machine - all would be fine until someone touched the chassis..... it would then operate and protect the user admittedly.....

    But why take a chance? ::)

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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1213148939/15#15 date=1213231533
    But why take a chance? ::)

    What? Dont you use the back-of-the-hand trick to see if theres a buzz ;D ;D

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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1213148939/0#12 date=1213231107
    .... and even worse - when some work had been done on the motor/pump the tech replaced the heatshield without checking the wiring. This had cut through the insulation right down to the conductor..... fortunately it was the neutral line and not the active.....
    A cut neutral is an active!!!! Think series circuit.
    That is a big trap for young players, many a man has lost their life playing with the neutral.
    If your not sure, best leave it to a professional. It really scares me to see electrical tips on the internet.

    Nice job on the restore CoffeeBoy :)
    Once its all going, be sure to post a pic of your first pour.

  19. #19
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Quote Originally Posted by aedion link=1213148939/15#17 date=1213342134
    A cut neutral is an active!!!!
    The neutral wasnt cut..... only the insulation was cut down to (and touching) the copper conductor (which was still in tact)...

    But had it been severed.... then yes, it would have had 240V on one half of the neutral.....

  20. #20
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman


    Nice work on the restore Michael, looks a treat now and I think one of the greatest CS bargains yet.

    Like the others, I agree that you should get a qualified sparky to add power and run some tests but yes, that terminal block is where the power goes.

    Any electrician worth their ticket could test the chassis, element and earth well before pumping a pile of volts through it.

    I look forward to seeing what the shots are like.

    Enjoy!

  21. #21
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Well.... Its all finished. I took the advice of several Coffee Snobbers and had the wiring done by a ticketed professional. All other wiring was intact except for the power lead input. He attached a new one and tested the chassis and all other electrical components. All tested O.K. Boema got in touch with me and I ordered a double group handle as well as a new drip tray and cover. I bought a t-piece from the hardware shop and attached the water input to the dishwasher connection under the sink. This worked out fantastically as there was no intensive plumbing to do. All works beautifully. We ran quite a few shots through it before trying the coffee to flush out the cleaning vinegar and the like. As my wife uses a similar machine at her work, she was in charge of showing me how to use the steam arm to heat & froth the milk. After several attempts I managed a fairly reasonable level of froth and pulled a shot ! BEAUTIFUL !!! It tasted just as good as the $3.50 espresso I usually buy from a well known national retailer but at a fraction of the cost. Im converted now and havent had an instant coffee since my Boema became a member of the family ! Now I just have to figure out how to take it camping with me......

    Cost breakdown:

    Boema Semi-Auto Single group machine - $5.00 from the DumpShop
    Teflon tape, cleaning products, cloths & sponges - $30.00
    Double group handle - $72.50
    Drip tray & cover - $112.50
    Freight - $17.00
    Electrician - $25.00
    T-piece for water connection - $6.50
    Petrol - $20.00

    TOTAL COST = $288.50

    Im very happy with the outcome and would like to thank all the Coffee Snobbers who offered advice or words of goodwill. Once again Id like to mention that without Andy Freemans pictorial posting of his restore, I probably wouldnt even have tried to do what I did. Thanks Andy. Because of the time and effort you devoted to your post I can now enjoy the best coffee Ive ever made at home EVERY DAY !!! If you ever travel to Canberra, drop me a line and Ill whip you up a shot !


  22. #22
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    mate - well done - I reckon that every time you walk past your baby your going to get pleasure out of it having done the resto

    Cheers

    PS. Report back on the taste!

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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Hey there ozscott,

    The machine has functioned flawlessly for three weeks now and weve produced litres of beautiful tasting coffee. We experimented with the grind of the beans until we got it just right. At the start we used some coffee my wife brought home from her work but found the grind to be too fine. This hampered the extraction process somewhat so I contacted Boema and asked what the grind should be for the model were using. We ground our coffee to the specs they supplied and everything started working a whole lot better. Ive attached another photo to show how much crema we attain and how smooth the process now is. Never let it be said that one grind fits all machines ! Thanks for your interest and you can be assured the pleasure I derive from this restoration has given my home life a very big boost. Cheers.


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    Re: BIG thankyou to Andy Freeman

    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeBoy link=1213148939/20#22 date=1215660969
    Never let it be said that one grind fits all machines
    Or all beans
    or all humidity levels
    or all doses
    or all tamping styles
    *:o
    and thats just the grind. Makes you realise how many variables there are in espresso but it is all worth it if the result is good. *;D

    Martial Monkey



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