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Thread: PID for Silvia

  1. #1
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    PID for Silvia

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

    Has anyone used one of these PIDs for a PID mod in a Silvia??
    http://auberins.com/index.php?main_p...products_id=14

    They are nice and cheap, but due to my lack of electronics know how, I dont know if they would be suited? The company also sells PID kits, and they claim that the PID in that is different - Im assuming it is just set up differently!

    Ive emailed Jim, but his PIDs are a bit out of my price range,

    Thanks for any info!




  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Gday "fleery",

    You realise that with Jims Kits that you are paying for a professionally developed package, not just the hardware but all the development that goes into it as well.

    Personally, I believe that Jims PID Kits are great value for someone like yourself as there is no need for expert technical knowledge to install and then use. Id advise talking to a couple of application engineers at some reputable process control hardware supplies establishments. If youre looking for info on previous PID installations that some CSers have completed, a "Search" will reveal where all this info is hiding......

    All the best,
    Mal.

  3. #3
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    If you can afford one of Jims kits but have to push your budget a bit they are worth the cost. I installed one on my ECM Botticelli and an unwanted PID (not a kit) from him on another machine for my daughter. The second one was a reputable unit but not a kit. Even with the experience id gained from installing the kit, and with Jims advice on setting up the second unit, the responses were not even close. There is almost no overshoot on the Watlow kit and after steaming it very quickly returns to brewing temp with a minimal flush- something which the other one was temperamental with.
    A PIDed Silvia should be very close in performance and should give just about any domestic unit a run for its money
    Regards
    Brett

  4. #4
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Hey all,

    Thanks for your info, I have decided after a bit more research to go with a PID kit from Jim; looking forward to its arrival!



  5. #5
    KJM
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Sorry fleery - I havent been looking at the forum much lately - too busy!

    I have one of those controllers. In fact, I was the first to use it with the "new" Silvia boiler and am responsible for the way the temperature sensor attaches to the boiler in the kits... (There are kits for the Silvia available with very nice instructions - I provided Suyi with a fair bit of editorial corrections/changes too).

    Anyone wanting a PID kit for the Siliva - the Auber Instruments kits work just fine.

    The level of difficulty in fitting the kit is close to zero. Very explicit step-by-step instructions.

    Note that I have no business relationship with Auber Instruments other than as a satisfied customer, etc etc.

    Cheers
    /Kevin

  6. #6
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Hi Fleery, I have recently installed one of Jims kits on my Silvia and cant be happier with the results. The instructions were brilliant and taking my time it took me 3 hours to instal, when I switched it on everything worked as it should and it has improved Silvia out of sight, no more temp surfing and the steamer control is great as well.

  7. #7
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Hi all,

    PID mod complete! The PID, SSR and thermocouple came from Jim (pidkits.com), and all set up for the Silvia. Then after a few hours of shopping around I go the rest of the gear to complete the mod.

    What a difference it makes!! So much quicker not having to temp surf as well.

    Only thing ive noticed is after I flush the boiler after steaming, get the temp down to around 90C, when heating back up the PID overshoots the temp, and it oscillates between 111 and 115 (although it doesnt overshoot on initial heatup). After 5 mins or so, it goes back to 109. Has anyone any ideas?? Or is this the situation where I need to tun the PID off for a few seconds, turn it back on, to return it to its inital settings??

    Thanks










  8. #8
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Fleery and I did ours at the same time, I have been surprised at what a difference this makes, I didnt think Id notice much change. Much more consistent coffee. If you are undecided about making a PID mod Id say go for it.

  9. #9
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by fleery link=1225667323/0#6 date=1226438740
    Only thing ive noticed is after I flush the boiler after steaming, get the temp down to around 90C, when heating back up the PID overshoots the temp, and it oscillates between 111 and 115 (although it doesnt overshoot on initial heatup). After 5 mins or so, it goes back to 109. Has anyone any ideas?? Or is this the situation where I need to tun the PID off for a few seconds, turn it back on, to return it to its inital settings??
    I suspect this is due to the excess heat that gets stored in the system (mostly the group, but also the plumbing, OPV, etc) as a result of steaming. *This extra heat will sometimes cause the temperature to hover above setpoint since the tuning is not "expecting" another heat source in addition to the heater.

    Turning it on/off will probably not help. *The tuning parameters can only be altered by the user, either through directly changing P, I, and D or running the autotune routine.

    The most direct way to hasten the recovery in this situation would probably be to flush a larger amount of water through the group and force the boiler temperature down into the 90C range. *The PID does much better at recovering from "deep" drops in temperature than it does with shallow drops.

    To reduce the hovering effect on a 935, you could also make small changes in the tuning parameters:
    - Increase I in 1.00 minute increments, and/or
    - Decrease P in first crack increments, and/or
    - Decrease D in 0.05 minute increments

    Changes can sometimes have undesirable effects under other conditions, so proceed with much caution here.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the group will be too hot to pull shots for ~10 minutes after steaming anyway, so speeding up the recovery to stable boiler temperatures after steaming is not very important.

    Hope this helps.

    Jim

    PS - *very nice job with the "stealth" installation.


  10. #10
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Is the autotune something we should run often? I remember when installing mine I read that it will autotune when first installed, but should it be run every 3-6 months or so. Especially given that the machine heats/cools differently in summer and winter.

    Without having to read the PID manual, how do you trigger an autotune?

  11. #11
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by LastMile link=1225667323/0#9 date=1226461202
    Is the autotune something we should run often?
    In my opinion, no.

    Jim


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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by PIDKits link=1225667323/0#8 date=1226456572
    PS - *very nice job with the "stealth" installation.
    Thats what I was thinkin. :)

    One of the things about the PID Im on keen on is the box hangin off the side of the machine. I dont find it ugly, it just looks a little out of place, and in my particular case I havent got much bench space to spread things out a little to allow for the extra width.

    Any downsides to the "stealth" installation?

  13. #13
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    I find the stealth installation nice and neat, and it keeps the PID away from the heat of the boiler. I dont like the look of it strapped to the side - to me it looks out of place. But each to their own....

    The only disadvantage I can see is that its harder to read the PID temp. But by putting it close enough to the drip tray, you can see the reflected temp quite easily. I find I can see it by looking through the holes in the drip tray cover of the newer silvia, so I dont even need to take the cover off. Just a quick check that its at 109C before pulling the shot. Freeferty (who did the mod with me), mounted his PID a little higher, so he cant see the reflection easily. He just waits until the boiler light starts flashing repetively and he knows hes at the temp (or very close to), and then pulls the shot.

  14. #14
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    .....cont...

    Where the PID is mounted is still far away from the drip tray to prevent it from being spashed with water (as you can see in the pics), you dont have to mount it really close to get the reflection.

  15. #15
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by fleery link=1225667323/0#12 date=1226526517
    He just waits until the boiler light starts flashing repetively and he knows hes at the temp (or very close to), and then pulls the shot.
    In my office, I have a Silvia with a stealth PID installation. *I wired a small LED to the 2nd output (Ot2) on the PID. *The LED (along with properly sized resistor) is mounted in the top right corner, above the steam knob and logo. *It just sticks up through the gap between the top cover and the main front panel and is held in place by some good double stick foam tape.

    I programmed Ot2 as an alarm. *When the temperature is within +/-1 degree of setpoint, the LED lights up. *Simple but very effective "ready light."

    Any PID that has a voltage output on Ot2 can probably be set up this way.

    Jim


  16. #16
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Well a week or so of playing around with the PIDed Silvia, and after way too many coffees, I cant believe the difference the PID makes! I knew the taste of my shots would be more consistent, which they definately are. No more temp surfing makes the whole process less time consuming and less tedious. The spent puck even seems to be more uniformly extracted, and the cookie bangs out of the portafiliter much more cleanly.

    Anyone not too sure of whether to PID their machine, should definately do it. :)

  17. #17
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by fleery link=1225667323/0#15 date=1226985535
    Anyone not too sure of whether to PID their machine, should definately do it. *:)
    Am currently saving for a PID kit now. Should be good to go early in the new year....as long as the exchange rate improves :)

  18. #18
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    So, back to the original question about the Auber Instruments PID...

    As I do have a bit of electrical understanding and really enjoy fiddling, can anybody see a reason why I shouldnt go with the Auder Instruments PID? *Or, Id almost be tempted to grab a cheap micro controller and write my own software. *How much does Jims kit add to the silvia? Does Jims kit use the existing temperature sensors that are already in the Silvia, or does it give more precise replacements?

  19. #19
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Just my opinion but personally I think its better to go with either PID Kits or a Auber kit rather than rolling your own. Think of their products as complete systems developed around compatible products, theyve done the work selecting suitable components to match their PIDs, as well as the tuning. Different components and at different price points but I think they are both good value, its up to the end user to decide which suits.

  20. #20
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    Re: PID for Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey link=1225667323/0#17 date=1226997735
    Does Jims kit use the existing temperature sensors that are already in the Silvia, or does it give more precise replacements?
    The PID kits we offer include a very accurate type T thermocouple sensor that fastens to the top of the boiler. *The old thermostats are left in place.

    The dual kits (controlling both brew temperature and steam temperature) call for disconnecting the wires to both old thermostats, while the basic kits (brew temp control only) leave the wires connected to the original steam thermostat.

    Jim




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