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Thread: Rancilio Silvia and meCoffee PID

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by thevanisher01 View Post
    Hi guys
    I just installed the mecoffee PID and pulled some shots. I noticed a drop in temperature during the shot from the set temperature of 103C to about 95C. Do I have the wrong settings or is it just impossible to stabilize the temperature during the shot?
    That should be normal as the pump is pushing in cold water from the tank.

  2. #52
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    Anybody have updated settings?

  3. #53
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    Hi guys newbie here, also new to installing PID's so i'm hoping for a little heads up. I've been successful in fitting the PID all the way to step 7(steam control) Am i right in thinking that the grey cable i used in step 4 is to be unplugged from the grey cable from brew therm and now plugged into the yellow cable from steam therm, then connect the grey brew therm cable to terminal 7 and thats it !!
    many many thanks for any help.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuarthonda1 View Post
    Hi guys newbie here, also new to installing PID's so i'm hoping for a little heads up. I've been successful in fitting the PID all the way to step 7(steam control) Am i right in thinking that the grey cable i used in step 4 is to be unplugged from the grey cable from brew therm and now plugged into the yellow cable from steam therm, then connect the grey brew therm cable to terminal 7 and thats it !!
    many many thanks for any help.
    I have also just finished installing meCoffee on my Silvia. I left the grey brew thermostat cable unconnected. Instead, I connected the grey cable from steam thermostat to terminal #7. Having said that, I think it would not make any difference (since they are the same cable).

    This setup is working fine on my Silvia so far.

  5. #55
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    Just letting everyone know in case anyone is also wondering about the same issue....

    I found that the "Boiler %" on the UI is not responding (staying at 0%) when in Steam mode. I initially thought there was something wrong with my installation, so I emailed Jan (@ meCoffee) to ask about it, but then he confirmed that it is in fact caused by a bug in the app (so my installation is actually all good! ).

    Btw, I took a lot of photos when I did the install so let me know if anyone is having difficulty with the install. One of my photos might be able to help you...

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzleg View Post
    J

    Btw, I took a lot of photos when I did the install so let me know if anyone is having difficulty with the install. One of my photos might be able to help you...
    please share the photos as i would be needing them just tomorrow

  7. #57
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    Hi guys has anybody mecoffee connected as timer?There is installation manual step9 but seems to be made for older sylvia.I have V5 which turns off after 30min so i dont have anything connected to power button but to brew button so i quite confused how to do it.I emailed them to give me some help with installation but didnt get answer

  8. #58
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    It isn't very straight forward to get v4e/v5 Silvia switching remotely due to the negative switching arrangement of the auto shut down device.

    I do however have my v4e/5 Silvia switching via a WiFi/timer socket....

    If anyone requires more info on this I'm happy to help......

  9. #59
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    @Aloosh, I thought I'd reply to your PM here in case anyone else is facing the same issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aloosh
    Hi there,

    Sorry to trouble you but I just wanted to ask you a question regarding your correspondence with Jan @Mecoffee. In short, I purchased a Mecoffee PID and somewhere during the installation there was a loud bang and a component (or components) was fried. That was just under 3 weeks ago and since then I've emailed 4 times and also tried using the contact form on the website but haven't had a response.

    I wanted to know roughly when you made contact (to see if he's been in the office during this time) and also how you made contact. I've been using the info@mecoffee.nl address- is that what you have?

    To be honest it feels like I'm being ignored, and whether the response was a) Oh, it sounds like a component failed; or b) That sounds like user error; at least I'd be on my way to a resolution.

    Sorry for the lengthy message,

    Ali
    Yes, I contacted meCoffee / Jan using the same email address, i.e. info@mecoffee.nl

    I have sent him 2 queries so far, and Jan responded to both within a week's time. Maybe I was quite lucky. I understand from reading other forums that Jan can be somewhat 'selective' in responding to customer queries. Not the best customer service, but have to admit that the price we pay for the kit isn't exactly premium.

    If you share your problem here, some savvy fellow CoffeeSnobbers might be able to help...

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by greymda View Post
    please share the photos as i would be needing them just tomorrow
    Sorry I only just saw this. How did you go with the installation? Any particular step you are having difficulty?

  11. #61
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    should of mention that i've installed meCofee the day after that
    no probs, i am trying now to correlate the PID temperature and water coming out of the group. if someone has done it, please share.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzleg View Post
    @Aloosh, I thought I'd reply to your PM here in case anyone else is facing the same issue.



    Yes, I contacted meCoffee / Jan using the same email address, i.e. info@mecoffee.nl

    I have sent him 2 queries so far, and Jan responded to both within a week's time. Maybe I was quite lucky. I understand from reading other forums that Jan can be somewhat 'selective' in responding to customer queries. Not the best customer service, but have to admit that the price we pay for the kit isn't exactly premium.

    If you share your problem here, some savvy fellow CoffeeSnobbers might be able to help...
    Thanks @jazzleg

    My pcb and one or two of the components are well and truly fried, and probably beyond help from the bunch on this forum. Still I welcome any advice!

    You're right about the non-premium price point... I'm up to 6 emails over the past 4 weeks with no reply, as well as trying to make contact via the query form on the website. At this point a reply email telling me to go away would give me greater satisfaction than what I've gotten.

  13. #63
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    My mecoffee arrived and I have started the setup. I have attached the correct cables but there is no bluetooth. Im running Chrome on a 2016 Macbook Pro. Have loaded the app from the store and the me coffee is not showing up under bluetooth devices.
    My unit does not have the connections numbered on the box either which makes it difficult to know which end of the box the black and red cables attach to.
    Any advice. Have tried to contact info@mecoffee.nl but no response so far.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smess1210 View Post
    It isn't very straight forward to get v4e/v5 Silvia switching remotely due to the negative switching arrangement of the auto shut down device.

    I do however have my v4e/5 Silvia switching via a WiFi/timer socket....

    If anyone requires more info on this I'm happy to help......
    Hi can i ask you how can i turn it on remotly(i have V5)and ordered wifi/4g switch

  15. #65
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    Have a look at this thread on uk coffee forums....
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...3&share_type=t

    SILVIA E 2016 - Disable auto shut off
    bandolero57 likes this.

  16. #66
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    Hey all,

    Just received my meCoffee, and like I saw in a post at the beginning of this thread, my room temperature is reading about 200 C !

    I have checked the cables, and they are connected the right way (not inverted, like in rayuki's case).

    Has anyone had this happen?
    inorog likes this.

  17. #67
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    I do not have a Silvia, but I have installed a simple Ebay PID and SSR into a Gaggia Classic that only cost me $40 and it is still going strong after 4yrs. I have read this post with great interest as these systems with more sophisticated microprocessors appear to have great potential. Especially the potential to control the pressure during shot cycle.
    The mecoffee does appear to have great potential but from reading the posts the reliability appears to be a major issue. Looking at the photo of the unit circuit board it appears that they are only using a mosfet to switch the power rather than a solid state relay (even though SSRs use mosfets), this could be the reason for the reliability issue. My question is, has anyone used the mecoffee unit to control an external SSR and see if that improves the reliability. 4 years ago when you could only get simple PIDs it was standard to use an external 25amp SSR to manage the high current required for the heating element to ensure reliability. Just a thought!!!

  18. #68
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    Please disregard my previous post. I watched a video of the mecoffee on youtube and the mecoffee controller appears throttle the power, rather than pulse full power burst to control the heating element. Hence an external SSR will not work with mecoffee controller.

  19. #69
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    Hi. If you still have photos of your install, I would like to see them.
    Thanks

  20. #70
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    Just finished installing the PID and it's working as it should.
    Do you mind sharing your best settings? Thanks

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezorrilla View Post
    Just finished installing the PID and it's working as it should.
    Do you mind sharing your best settings? Thanks
    Sorry haven't checked back this thread for some time. The following settings work well for me (i.e. the temperature stabilises within +/-0.4deg of target temperature in 1 minute) much better than the default settings:
    P - 21
    I - 2
    D - 150
    Integral wind-down limit - 2000 (although I'm still not quite sure how much effect does this parameter have)


    Let me know how you go...
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  22. #72
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    Thanks. I'll try your settings. Right now I'm experimenting. Will let you know how it goes. Anyway, between the PID and a burr grinder my 15 year old Silvia has a new lease on life.
    level3ninja likes this.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezorrilla View Post
    Thanks. I'll try your settings. Right now I'm experimenting. Will let you know how it goes. Anyway, between the PID and a burr grinder my 15 year old Silvia has a new lease on life.
    Agreed. I, too, can't really find a lot of good reasons to upgrade my Silvia now.
    ezorrilla likes this.

  24. #74
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    Hi, guys. I'm new to the forum. Just received the meCoffee and installed it on my Silvia 5E yesterday. Did all the checks and the machine worked fine. Today morning pulled some shots and everything was working smoothly up until a few hours ago, when I turned the machine on again to have it warm up but noticed the red light didn't come on. The brew button also didn't do anything. When I opened the machine up and checked the meCoffee there weren't any lights on (red and blinking blue).
    I was wondering, could it be that a fuse has blown on the meCoffee. I sort of remember reading somewhere that somebody got sent an older version of the PID and if the fuse goes, it's done.
    Wrote to meCoffee but haven't heard back from them yet.

  25. #75
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    I have encountered two problems with the device that happens after about an hour of uptime or more.

    When i check the temp in the app it shows a cold boiler and when i try to run the pump it sounds very loud and the water is not flowing consistently:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASxvGTSM2J0





    When this happens, i reboot the machine and everything works as usual again.


    I have disassembled the machine and returned it to stock just to make sure it is not the machine that is faulty and it works perfectly fine when it is restored.


    I have then installed the mecoffee once again and this time i skipped all steps after step 5, just to see if the issue had something to do with step 6 or 8, but here I am with a cold machine.
    It did work fine first but after about an hour the boiler seems to switch off, the temp is 41c according to the app.

    This happens every time i leave the machine on for about an hour.



    I e-mailed mecoffe a week ago but they have not replied.

    Does anybody have an idea of what could possibly be the issue?

  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by cogli0ne View Post
    I have encountered two problems with the device that happens after about an hour of uptime or more.

    When i check the temp in the app it shows a cold boiler and when i try to run the pump it sounds very loud and the water is not flowing consistently:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASxvGTSM2J0





    When this happens, i reboot the machine and everything works as usual again.


    I have disassembled the machine and returned it to stock just to make sure it is not the machine that is faulty and it works perfectly fine when it is restored.


    I have then installed the mecoffee once again and this time i skipped all steps after step 5, just to see if the issue had something to do with step 6 or 8, but here I am with a cold machine.
    It did work fine first but after about an hour the boiler seems to switch off, the temp is 41c according to the app.

    This happens every time i leave the machine on for about an hour.



    I e-mailed mecoffe a week ago but they have not replied.

    Does anybody have an idea of what could possibly be the issue?
    What is the auto off timer set to in the app? Default is 60min.

  27. #77
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    Have just tried to install one on my brother's Silvia, but when we tried to test step 3 the temperature jumps between room temperature, 0.0, and over 100 about every second. I can't figure out what's causing it. I removed the sensor from the boiler and left it in air and it's still doing it. It seemed ok during step 2, but once I saw room temperature I didn't keep it running long.

  28. #78
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    Yeah that was the reason. I got in touch with the mecoffee guy a couple of days later and he told me about the setting.

  29. #79
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    I was thinking on buying this PID controller, but I have not read anyone mention it is reliable - yet. Drawing up conclusions from the replies I have read in this thread, meCoffee is a DIY project without any reliable QC involved. Is it because of the auto shut off of the Silvia V5 E? Or is it an auto-shutoff of meCoffee app?

    I am thinking on installing my own temperature probes with a microprocessor and 6-segment LEDs and pull the shot when the temperature is right during the temperature surfing. The mod is exterior and there is no interfering with the machine's performance.

    Thanks!

  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by gianw4r View Post
    I was thinking on buying this PID controller, but I have not read anyone mention it is reliable - yet. Drawing up conclusions from the replies I have read in this thread, meCoffee is a DIY project without any reliable QC involved. Is it because of the auto shut off of the Silvia V5 E? Or is it an auto-shutoff of meCoffee app?

    I am thinking on installing my own temperature probes with a microprocessor and 6-segment LEDs and pull the shot when the temperature is right during the temperature surfing. The mod is exterior and there is no interfering with the machine's performance.

    Thanks!
    I've been using mecoffee (2nd generation with stable fuse) installed on my V5e Silvia for more than a year now without any problems at all.....

    I don't have mecoffee setup as a timer, I use a WiFi switching plug to turn Silvia on/off after bypassing Rancilios main power switch....

  31. #81
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    Can someone help me out with step 8 in the instructions. I am trying to set up thepressure control. The instructions say the following “Remove the sheet of metal behind the brewhead exposing the valve. Remove the white wire from the valve. This wire remains not connected.Use the long white wire from the set to connect this terminal to the NEUTRAL(left) side of the power-button.”

    The kit has provided me with the cables but the cable is a male/female cable. From what I can see it should be a female/female cable. Can anyone tell me what connections the white cable that goes from the valve to the power switch is? I don’t mind changing the adapter on the cable but I’m reluctant to do it in case I’ve misunderstood the instructions. Thanks

  32. #82
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    I'm quite annoyed to the MeCoffee and it's service.

    Short version:
    I bought my device on January, and got it installed to the point that steam control is installed, pressure control is not. Installation went just fine. MeCoffee seems to be broken. First temperature rises as it should and stays around 100c. After I start the pump and temperature drops, MeCoffee can't anymore shutdown the boiler heating, and if I wouldn't power off the machine, it would just heat and heat and heat some more. If I monitor the heat and what mecoffee tries to do from my android application, I can see that it tries to shutdown the boiler, but still temperature just rises -> actually boiler doesn't shutdown. Also the Silvias original boiler indicator light stays on at that point.

    So as you can see, this is quite alarming problem. And the most annoying is that mecoffee isn't responding to my questions via email (contact@mecoffee.nl)...

  33. #83
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    You should triple check your wiring. Sounds like something could could be connected wrong. I have emailed them twice, once with the above question and never got a response. I wouldn't recommend their product simply because their service is so bad.

  34. #84
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  35. #85
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    From the YouTube video it looks like I received the wrong cable and it's meant to be female at both ends. Cheers

  36. #86
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    Hi All

    Have just purchased a mecoffee and installed it in my Silvia in the UK. I am a electronics and software consultant by trade and in spite of that (or maybe because of it) found the installation somewhat confusing but got there in the end. I would have preferred a wiring diagram rather than a confusing sequence of steps. I attempted to get clarification from mecoffee but although they take your money quickly enough, they don't reply to questions. In the end i got it installed. I have not done pressure control or timing but everything else is installed and working - sort of.

    I have some big reservations about the operation and the design.

    The software at both the arduino and the Android app is buggy in the extreme and barely fit for purpose. The arduino does things like forgets it has turned off the valve and won't turn it on again without a reboot. (Usually caused by the idiot user pressing the steam button too soon after the shot button.) Software should allow for the real world not always doing the right thing and mistakes as basic as that are just shoddy software design.

    The temperature control for steaming is a laugh. It probably depends on how long it took the user to go from brewing to steaming. Sometimes it leaves the boiler on about 20% and heats up very slowly. Sometimes it puts it at 100% for a short time and than appears to PID it. Once the temperature reaches the 125 deg setpoint the boiler control goes into ON/OFF control. Simply not fit for purpose. This is really buggy arduino code.

    There are a number of gotchas like that and they reduce the WAF factor of the Silvia to zero. Fundamentally the operation isn't reliable and repeatable - try explaining that to the wife.

    The android app does similar things - you change a temperature on one screen that then accidentally sticks and applies to the next. I finished up with a brew setpoint of 125 DegC because of this. Had to quit the app and rerun it to reset the temperature. Hopeless.

    I am seriously concerned about the PCB layout. The track clearances seem far too small for reliability at 240vAC mains. Everything may be fine for a while but when some contamination creeps in - wait for the bang. I can't understand how this PCB ever got through approvals and suspect it was never approved

    I have tried to get in touch with mecoffee and they do not reply to emails.
    My advice would be to steer clear at the current time. Yes it works - sort of. However - revisit the software and thoroughly test it, re-layout the PCB for safety and it would be a winner.

    Coppo
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  37. #87
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    I agree Coppo...

    Welcome, by the way.
    The design appears to reflect more like something a "hobbyist" would produce, not a qualified and experienced engineer.

    I don't believe this design would pass muster here in Oz and maybe not in the UK either, for a retail product.

    Mal.
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  38. #88
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    Interesting read, I have a Rancilio that I am looking to modify.

  39. #89
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    also thinking of upgrading the pid between the mecoffee and auber... maybe leaning towards the auber for the sake of $100 or so and not having to deal with iphone apps etc.. someone talk me out of it into getting the mecoffee instead?


    the mecoffee sounded great at first look but sounds like a lot of people are having issues? sounds like mecoffee have been ok fixing the issues but still, hrm!

  40. #90
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    Unfortunately I decided to remove the Mecoffee. Something went wrong regarding the steam temperature. A couple of times it went over the 180c. Eventually breaking my Max thermostat. I believe it is only a temperature sensor issue, but I will not risk it again. Brewing still worked though.

    Now I am looking at a external DIY PID solution. Looking at an Inkbird or XMT PID. Mainly because I also want to see direct interaction regarding the temperature instead of using a smartphone app.

    While I am waiting for all the parts to arrive I am planning to reconnect the Mecoffee but only for active PID an brew temperature. It is still better than surfing the temperature wave.

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