interesting project... with great shot-results!
PID is sitting on the cup warmer, attached with velcro so the top plate can be taken off easily.
PID-ing a Bott has a barb in it: the power switch is a bugger to work with.... but it is *all overcomeable with patience and appropriate knowledge. (edit: and the back-up of the knowledgable support-team!!)
The SSR is sitting in the top of the Bott, not in the bottom as in most Silvia mods; this allowed for a relatively "dis-assemble free" modification, as only the top plate had to come off, and later on the bottom cover for about 3 minutes.
i can post pics of the "innards" if anyone is interested.
Id have to agree- welcome to the PIDed Botticelli club Lizzi- lovely sweet espresso, lots of steam.
yes, Brett, and thanks for your help...
you were right when you said the Bott was running too hot before... i was managing that with copious flushing (and emptying the tray, refilling the tank...)
when i installed the PID and ran the Bott on the default SV of 109C it was programmed to, the coffee tasted very similar to teh extractions i was getting before i started fushing "big time".
now the SV is 102 and the coffee is sweet, no hint of bitter.
i think this machine and i will get along very fine for quite a few years...
and a big "thank you" to site-sponsor Jim Gallt, (www.PIDKits.com) whose PID kit i used... the way the kit is put together, the clarity of the instructions and Jims willingness to be on tap makes this type of modification a viable option.
the installation passed the professional once-over with flying colours!
Disclaimer: *the fact that i have decided to do this modification does not infer in any way that i encourage anyone else to tinker with their coffee machine or the like without the necessary qualifications or professional support for final electrical safety validation.
edit: Jim Gallts website details...
Wonderful effort there Lizzi,
Youll have to let us know what your "before and after" impressions are when cupping some of your favourite coffees... I know Brett is very impressed with his ;),
Thats right, Mal- the question is whether someone with a PIDed machine of the quality and capability of the Botticelli can resist upgraditis!Originally Posted by Mal link=1186037251/0#4 date=1186075266
If it were only me and not a house full of people wanting such things as hot water on demand, then the Bott and Cunill would be alone on my bench.
And Lizzi, you are more than welcome to the help- such help to a genuinely interested and capable person like yourself is always a pleasure!
:-[ ...deep blush, hiding under the coffee table... :-[such help to a genuinely interested and capable person like yourself
genuinely interested??? :) :) absolutely!
Capable? :-? :-? That really depends on the day of the month ( :P) and the quality & availability of my supply/back-up team!!
there is many a project which has morphed into something completely different, *because.... well, *just because!!
and, there is *always the "round filing cabinet" ...
Mal,Youll have to let us know what your "before and after" *impressions are when cupping some of your favourite coffees
the difference in the stability of the "essence" of the coffee is amazing.
if we assume that my grind/dose/tamp is fairly consistent:....whereas before the balance/character of the shot depended on my skill/willingness to play with the flush/shot timing, it is now a matter of looking at the display and getting bang-on coffee.
i have tried shots at temps from 100 to 109, and find that the 102 SV is the best for the coffees i am using at the moment, a SO blend of Monsooned Peaberry, as well as a blend of Sidhamo/Monte Carmello.
for the SO Sidhamo i think it needs to go down a fraction, but that may be my imagination; i havent had a lot of African SOs, so am a newby in their flavour department.
The Margopype has, compared to the "before PID " shots, all of a sudden developed a "perfume", a floral, cinnamon/cardamom -hint note.
in regards to the "upgraditis"... nope, havent seen another unit i like.. the clean, tall and slender lines of the Bott are very appealing (thanks, Chris... ;) )
The PID on the cupwarmer doesnt detract from the design, it is unobtrusive.
the only added feature i could be looking for in the future would be volumetric control.... but i dont see a need for it at the moment, if ever...
I is happy with my coffee"cart".... ;D ;D
Sounds like you are reaping the rewards for your efforts almost immediately Lizzi, the PID mod on dual purpose/single boiler machines like the Bott is one definitely worth doing. Your "coffee-cart" line-up is looking very impressive too, cant imagine a much better one 8-).Originally Posted by Lizzi link=1186037251/0#6 date=1186119175
Do you have the controller box sitting directly on the Botts top cover Lizzi or have little rubber feet to protect the finish? I had my controller sitting on top of the Mokita as well with some rubber cushioning material under the controller box to protect the Mokitas finish..... as a result, not a single blemish so its worth doing. Gotta keep the hardware in tip-top shape havent we ;D?
Mal, i used the Velcro pads which came with the kit... and to do the mod the way i wanted, i had to grind out a small rectangle fom the top plate, 10mmx5mm on the left edge of the top plate, looking at the Bott.
if i , or whoever, want to take the PID off, (although i wouldnt know why... :-/) the cut-out would almost disappear under the plastic cup warmer guard.
can i ask the "electronics" genii to help me out here, please?
to supply us with power "off site" we have a 2400W modified sine-wave inverter/charger on board.
we have found that electronically controlled devices (fans, alarm clocks, breadmakers) generally dont like the input of the inverter...unless they have an inbuilt transformer such as our LCD TV , DVD recorder etc.
therefore we turn off/unplug all not-compatible equipement when off-site.
having PIDed the Bott... how would the SSR/PID respond to modified sine-wave?
i have my suspicions... :(
thoughts please? :-/
Thats a difficult one as not all modified sinewave inverters are created equal. The output starts off life as a square wave.... often with spikes.... and has the corners lopped off to generate something slightly like a sine wave....
Switching mode power supply equipped devices should be able to handle this OK.... but if there are still spikes etc coming down the line.... these rapid transients dont get through the transformer type power supplies (or if they do - they are considerably attenuated).
On a switching mode powersupply the peak voltage charges the input capacitors to the peak voltage.... fine if it is a sinewave... but can be really nasty if the input is spikey....
So the answer is a definite "maybe"....
And thats a lot of help I know ::) ::)
JB, it is a Trace DR2424 form Xantrex... if that is any help? i think the specs are online....
Everything JB has explained is spot-on. One way to overcome the vagaries of running susceptible appliances from a pseudo-sine wave inverter, is to connect in a downstream power conditioner of suitable rating to the output of the inverter. These power conditioners operate on what are called "Ferro-Resonant" principles and as such, are quite heavy devices and must generally be mounted on the floor. Ive occasionally seen used examples up for sale on evilbay for reasonable sums so this might be one way to overcome the inverters dirty output. All the best,
thanks JB and Mal for the great info, as usual...
naturally we dont normally run the Bott off the inverter... that would be flogging the batteries just a tad too much!! ;D
as soon as we disconnect land-supply, all electronic gear without "transofrmer" and "heavy draw" electrical gear gets switched off/unplugged .
the whole "inverter vs electronics" issue only comes into play when we are on-site somewhere and the power coming into the bus is not good enough (dodgy caravan park power...) or disappears altogether, as in a power failure.
the inverter then "takes over" and although we dont realise it, the bus runs on batteries, until the inverter decides that the incoming power is OK again...and this can be a few minutes, or a few hours.
in the evening, a slight dimming of the light indicates a power switch, but during the day it is near impossible to pick when the power has been switched, apart from a slight buzz coming from the inverter which is only audible when you are up-close to the inverter under the bus.
these are the times when stuff like an alarm clock or fan can be at risk.
and, now, also the Bott.
so, matter of keeping an eye/ear out for power changes when making coffee, and not leaving the Bott on...
ill keep an eye out for power-conditioners... heavy things, eh? might have to dump some beans then....hmmmm....
And Mals advice is the best solution. (Mal and I make a great "tag team" on the hard ones..... a mutual admiration society ;) ;D ;D).
The inverter could be working perfectly (and specs dont help a lot) as the nature of the waveform produced is load sensitive...
Put something highly inductive (say a big transformer or motor) and the rapidly changing waveform from the inverter reacts with the inductive component of the load... and the component produces the spike.... not necessarily the inverters fault.... but a combined effect..... and this will vary dependent on the load.... so filtering the output (or a smaller filter on the input to sensitive equipment) will kill the problem.....
Other than that you would have to observe the waveform on a CRO (cathode ray oscilloscope) under varying load conditions to establish what combinations are safe - and what arent....
Now Ive probably totally confused you :-/..... but as Mal said you need a power conditioner.... at least for sensitive equipment.... its the only practical answer. (More weight in the bus :()
Indeed JB ;DOriginally Posted by JavaB link=1186037251/0#14 date=1186321295
thanks guys... you are indeed like the tech-quiz tag-team !!
no, not confused, just a few questions answered clearly and concisely.
it was just a query which popped up this afternoon....
at the time when we built the bus, pure sine-wave inverters were not readily availalbe, and those that were on the shelves, were frightfully expensive.
they are much cheaper and more readily availalbe now, but pulling the old one out and installing a new one takes more than just a few screw-driver turns and a cup of coffee....
over time we have considered various options and generally decided to just live with the few limitations this inverter prsents us with.
it is all a matter of knowing what to run when.... and when not.
i think that is what we ll continue to do... unless we bump into a 3000W, $300 conditioner ;D ;D
in the meantime, off-site Bott use only on the genset, which delivers very nice clean power.
and perfecting the plunger technique....
You can also install a monitoring/warning system to let you know when youre running off of batteries.
I was going to suggest getting the remote monitor for your system (Xantrex RC8) but from a quick look at its specs (http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/1709/docserve.asp) it doesnt appear it would do you much good. So it looks like youd have to go with a 3rd party product or rig up one of your own.
Java "Ah the joys of a camper" phile
thanks, Java... thought about it,.... and had a few talks witht the Aussie Xantrex man, Chris... very helpful, knowledgable, infinitely patient and provides fantastic after-sales support....bit like the CS sponsors, actually ;)
we have a LINK-2 monitor "up top" which is one of my regular check-points...so i make a bee-line for it when in doubt as to the state of affairs... and i must admit i more often than not pick the change-over.
admittedly it would be easy for a tronic guy to hook up an audible alarm to the inverter-mode LED, but that would not do any good when we have flown the coop for the day... and you dont go around and switch the alarm clock off every time you go out of the door....
you can have too many horses for too many courses, though... and as you say, it should remain fun; too many gauges/warning signals and it runs the risk of becoming a straight-jacket. (or putting Rob in one.. ;D ;D)
as it is, the system works fairly straightforward within its limitations; we are just careful with electronically controlled equipment.
if we ever decide to put the bus permanently on-site and live in it for many years to come, we may decide to pull out the Trace and put in an up-to-date inverter.
thanks for the research, Java!! 8-)
You could hook that up to a relay(s) which opens and closes the circuit(s) to the devices. Either on specified circuits or all AC circuits depending on how you rig it. Should be a pretty cheap and easy breadboard rig to toss together. :)Originally Posted by Lizzi link=1186037251/15#18 date=1186365458
Java "Skin that cat!" phile
uhhhmmm, yes, i suppose so.... :-/
but, if we rig the relay off the inverter- mode LED so that it cuts power to the relevant circuits ( there is two on this bus, one down each side of the vehicle, each with about 6 PP) the whole shebang would shut down every time the inverter tried to provide back up power...to the other things on the circuit...not much point in having the inverter/batteries as UPS then, might as well switch it off altogether *:-?
individual cut-out relays? mmm, option....fiddly tho...
nah, i think we will just have to row this boat with the oars we have now...if we want the inverter to act as UPS, it comes with the drawback that some elctronics wont like it...so we have to make sure they are not on, or easily replaceable!!:)
as mentioned before, there is a dedicated PP in the office, hooked up to a 150W pure sine-wave inverter, and that is where most of the sensitive electronic gear is hooked up/gets charged.
the entertainment stack is protected by its own inbuilt transformers (edit: and besides, *often switched off at the PP)... so the only other weak spots are the alarm clock, the small fan we use in summer when we are in the lounge, and now the Bott if it is switched on.
if i/we want to use other electronically controlled gear, such as my sewing machine or micro wave (not if i can help it!!!) when off-site, we always use the gen set.
although... it is kinda fun nutting this out.... i may decide to sit down one day and hang some beepers and flashing lights off this rig *;D ;D
care to come over and give us a hand, Java? ;)
No problem! Ill head right on over, as soon as the ticket arrives! ;DOriginally Posted by Lizzi link=1186037251/15#20 date=1186375529
Java "Flapping his arms really hard but not getting anywhere." phile
i asked Watlow if the PID would work on a modified sinewave inverter...gave them the make and type of inverter for referene.
just received a reply from Watlow which indiates that the PID may work on the inverter,... quote:
"Is the part # on the SD, SD3_-H _ _ _ - _ _ _ _? If yes, then this is the high voltage version of the SD3. Then if the output voltage from the inverter is between 100 to 240 vac; @ 50 to 60 Hz, then The SD3_-H will operate".
doesnt say anything about mod or pure sine wave...
the part numbers correspond with the above, so i presume we are talkign about the same piece of gear.
That really doesnt help in providing an answer.... as the inverter output should be 240V.... but is it? With various loads spikes can be produced.... which will well and truly exceed the 240V rating..... and poof!.... no PID.... or even if it survives the spikes.... they could effect the operation..Originally Posted by Lizzi link=1186037251/15#22 date=1186452746
So without knowing how clean the supply is under load - not just the supply itself - it is impossible to say if it will be OK.
yep, my feelings too, JB...
edit: unless we get someone with a scope to visit for a coffee *;) i prefer to err on the side of caution.
Yes, it can be hit and miss with these modified sine-wave invertors. On my boat, so far, touch wood, it has run most electronics Ok :
TV, DVD, laptop (with switchmode power supply), mobile phone battery charger. But the MP3 battery charger doesnt like it.
But its use is more and more infrequent as all the above now come in 12V.
Perhaps, Lizzi, a 12V PID next time round?
nah, Robusto... new bus with a pure sinewave inverter ( :D)... or house on the grid!
So if youre willing to trade the mobile life for it, we can assume the espresso is flowing like honey- sweet and rich?Originally Posted by Lizzi link=1186037251/15#26 date=1186656055
yes Brett... it has completely changed the way i look at the Bott.
whereas before the number of variables (moisture, grind, tamp... and then temp: pray, flush, pray some more and pull)
made me somewhat apprehensive, i can report that i havent dumped a shot since the PID went in....no more burnt coffee!
for good measure i also have to *say that the grind which goes into the PF *is much more consistent since Ms Carimali came into our life a few weeks before .
for some reason *Rocky does not deal as well with the moisture in the bus as Ms Carimali; i dont have to chase the grind nearly as much as before... some days i dont even touch the dial and just compensate with a bit of extra force /less force on the tamper, in spite of rivulets down the windows....
it doesnt make any sense as i, in desperation, ended up hand feeding Rocky directly from the bag, which was stored in the relatively "closed" pantry... so the beans were as dry as possible when they went in.
Ms Carimali has the small hopper fitted and it is not really airtight ( lousy workwomanship :P...) and sits in the ever-changing environs of the lounge/kitchen, open to the moisture from *the bathroom, vents and windows when it rains...
so, it has been a journey...
OPV adjustment stopped fast flow, reduced bitterness which happened through over-fast blonding
Carimali improved flow even further
PID sweetened the shots unbelievably
yes, i would certainly consider the Bott, as she is now, to be a longtime keeper!!
but, given the option of a new bus.... or a house on the grid..... hmmm, well, a new bus aint going to happen :(, so i wont have to make that choice!! ;D ;D
and giving up the mobile life?? eventually... ;)
Ive noticed this since getting the LSM too Lizzi..... I can only put it down to the extra precision made possible with the significant strength of the burr carriers in these heavy duty commercial grinders and the resultant grind accuracy.... there just seems to be a lot less fines/dust (almost none in the case of the LSM) compared to when I was using Rocky. I think it is this fraction of fines which can play havoc with the consistency aspect of resulting brew quality and shot timing, etc.Originally Posted by Lizzi link=1186037251/15#28 date=1186711794
Mal,Originally Posted by Mal link=1186037251/15#29 date=1186734737
Yep, I think that is indeed the difference.... when everything was "spot on" I could get an acceptable pour from grounds made with the KG100.... but it required very little to upset the pour and then it was either a gusher or a choked PF. The grinds had lots of fines because of the inaccurate positioning of the burrs.
The La Cimbali is also far more forgiving.... and produces acceptable results over quite a range of settings.... there are no fines... just uniform grains of coffee.
It really comes down to fighting to get results with a lesser grinder (the problem becoming almost insurmountable with a KG100).... or getting a quality grinder - commercial quality at that - and having almost zero problems with grind adjustment.... but there is a significant dollar cost.
Very true JB, but I believe if you are being honest about wanting to get the very best that is possible from the wonderful beans we have access to here at CoffeeSnobs, then you need to be prepared to spend what is required on a true quality grinder.... very difficult to ignore the evidence,Originally Posted by JavaB link=1186037251/30#30 date=1186735576
Hi there, my favourite tag-team... :)
we have to be fair though ;)... under normal circumstances Rocky can be expected to deliver a good grind for its buck...
i do not believe there are many environments *which are more taxing for a coffee grinder than the interior of RV "Bronze Cocky", short of the bridge of a ship or drilling platform !!
and, as a decaf grinder, Rocky performs well, but the decaf beans are always very dark/oily roasted, because i take them 20 sec into SC. ...perhaps that makes the influence of moisture less evident?? :-/
edit: grammar... :-[
Im really Mal.... just in a parallel universe ;)
Theres nothing wrong with a Rocky.... it is infinitely better than a KG100... but cant equal the quality of grinders costing a lot more.....
Bit like my La Cimbali.... makes a great espresso.... but will never equal the consistent quality you get from a Synesso......
Oh if only I had the money..... ::) ::)
You know what were like.... Always trying to find ways of extracting even more goodness from the bean ::) and I guess thats the context of the comparison I was making.
Like you say Lizzi, the Rocky is a VERY capable grinder and I was more than happy with mine for about 2½ years. I guess it all comes down to what one expects and I certainly didnt expect to discover the quantum of difference that seems to exist between the highly respected Rocky and a full-on commercial grinder. But it is there none-the-less.....
Over to you JB.... ;) - Oops, beat me by that much ;D
the "Suuuper-Ts " : "The *Time Traveling Technical Tag Team"... Dr Who, eat your heart out!!! [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]Im really Mal.... just in a parallel universe
but you havent answered my question about the oil on deep-roasted beans making them less impervious to moisture? :-/
OK my turn....
I dont think the oil would prevent moisture entering the bean (it is water soluble) - but maybe it lubricates the burrs to a certain extent - making for smoother cutting and therefore less fines...
Thats what I do on a lathe to make smooth cuts off the metal.... so I cant see why it wouldnt also work for beans. :-/ :-/
hmmm ....:-/ :-?
The oils could also cause the fines to stick to the flakes, or be left behind in the grinder.
Java "Just a thought." phile
...Originally Posted by Lizzi link=1186037251/30#37 date=1186744497
for some reason *Rocky does not deal as well with the moisture in the bus as Ms Carimali; i dont have to chase the grind nearly as much as before... some days i dont even touch the dial and just compensate with a bit of extra force /less force on the tamper,
I noticed this too, going from a stepped sunbeam to a stepless compak.
I put it down to the fact that a little variation [bean aging/humidity etc] adds +/- a couple of seconds to a pour, but this variation is negligible to the shot if it is "perfectly" dialled in.
But when using stepped settings, the grind may be OK but not as "perfect" as the stepless setting and the same variation may push things a little too far.
However, I think this discussion re less fines, is also very valid.
I would describe the taste improvement in my shots as "cleaner" which allowed me to discern more character in each brew.
Its possible "Im guessing" that the doser has some effect too: Due to centrifugal force & gravity a doserless grinder may tend to dump the heavier grinds into the PF first and the lighter grinds/fines would settle on top.
This may have some bearing on the overall taste compared with dosing which would redistribute the mix
yep, Reubster, they are valid points too... although Ms Carimali is not stepless, her steps may well be smaller...often it is just a one click adjustment, whereas Rocky needed several taps on the behind.
if it is the doser-action which makes the difference, than it is a matter of Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa, because i deliberately chose the doserless as i had so little space on the bench for a grinder...(says she, after shoving everything aside and putting a bloody big Carimali between the Bott and the Rocky... :P)
The biggest differenc I notice between my Rocky and the Cunill is that the Cunill will grind for a p/f in a few seconds, whereas the Rocky takes quite a while. The Cunill steps also seem finer.