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Thread: I want to PID my silvia!

  1. #1
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    I want to PID my silvia!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi, Ive decided I want to PID my silvia, but am having trouble sourcing a PID in australia (And a SSR for that matter...) any help?

    Theres also some things I dont quite get about them, first of all, I want to hook up the PID power to the silvas power switch, and the PIDs Ive looked at (though cant get shipping to Oz) come as the normal one, and theres also 12 Vac/dc or 24 Vac/dc Model, which one would I need, does the silvias internals run at a lower voltage? I dont know!

    Ive done plenty of electronics work, without understanding the technicalities of it, so Im confident in installing one, I just dont know how it works, and I dont understand the wiring diagram in the back of the silva manual either! so Im relying on internet tutorials...no matter, I think I can do the basics with what I know already.

    I was hoping to get one with a dual setpoint, like in Randys machine (http://home.surewest.net/frcn/Coffee/Coffee63.html) that I can hook up to be operated by the steam switch...but he is the only person Ive see mention it in any tutorial, and his is hardly a tutorial!
    Is a dual setpoint special? Ive seen options to add 2 digital inputs, or a second SSR output...has that got anything to do with setpoint? or is the setpoint more like a memory function on the PID? the way I understand it, thats all it would have to be (the memory thing :)) but as Ive stated and you can probably tell, I dont really understand it at all.. :)

    And last, but definately not the least, the PID and SSR numbers dont mean much to me! I can normally figure it out, but this I cant! I know I need at least a 25A SSR, preferable 40A.
    In Pepes tutorial (http://my.execpc.com/~n9zes/pepesilvia/pepesilvia.html) it says "24-330 VAC, 4-28 VDC CTL" which i assume means 24-330 VAC throughput (controlling the thermostat) and 4-28 VDC control (from the PID) - but nothing I can find available online (to the USA only >:() has specs like that.

    Sorry about the long post I tried to make it clear though...if someone could explain this to me it would be a great help! The tutorials Ive found seem to just tell you what to do, referencing connector numbers on specific components and the like, without any of the why...

    Thanks heaps for any help!




  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    Hi Sammus,

    While dabbling in electronics for a hobby is a very enjoyable pastime, if you are not licensed to work with 240V AC, then I would leave the actual work to someone who is licensed.

    About the actual PID controllers and SSRs themselves.... they can be easily obtained in Oz from a number of suppliers who cater to Industrial Process Control. In the end you get what you pay for, as with everything..... the more features and control options you require, the more expensive will be the controller. It would be a good idea to identify a budget limit before you embark, otherwise you may be surprised by just how expensive this can become.

    You also need to be aware that this mod, like most of them, will probably void any remaining warranty on your Silvia so that needs to be considered. If and when you do go ahead with the mod, you should try and identify a method that wont leave its mark behind in the event that you may want to sell Silvia sometime in the future.... unwanted extra holes in Silvias metalwork would definitely reduce her resale value.

    Anyway, just so that you have somewhere to start sourcing information, here are a couple of Industrial Control suppliers to whom you can start directing inquiries. They are both reputable firms and have their own preferred vendor products to promote, as do they all, but you will get good advice from them once you explain what it is that you intend to do. One is....http://www.onetemp.com.au/ and another is....http://www.eurotherm.com.au/index.html. Plus, if you do a Google search for Australian based Industrial Control suppliers, Im sure you will identify several others.

    Hope this enough for you to be going on with.... all the best,

    Mal.

  3. #3
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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    Give these guys a try: http://www.ipei-fuji.com.au/
    Just ordered a PXR4 and SSR last week so expect them in the mail in about 2 weeks. You will be looking at about $350 for both.

  4. #4
    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    Hi
    Suppliers in Aust for PIDs are also Farnell http://au.farnell.com and RS Components http://www.rsaustralia.com
    I have been looking at PIDs also for my Silvia and RS have a few suitable ones but your looking at ~ $400. You can get PIDs from eBay for $75 or so but Im loathe to use them. Im considering the Fuji one also. I have a lrage collection of web pages from PID suppliers and am currently summarising them as a table so its easier to make a choice. I can bundle that off to you as a zip file if you wish once its a bit more organised.
    For me the hardest part will be the mechanical modifications.
    Im in Sydney.
    Mike

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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    Hi, the West 2300 looks good for ~$300,

    Im hoping to get something with a dual setpoint which is changed via an external switch, the W2300 seems to do that only via the front panel, do you know of any good ones with this feature?

    It would be great to go through the data youve compiled already, what are you plans for this machine? :)

    Any ideas on an what SSR to go with?

  6. #6
    TC
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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    hmm....Im sure it will be a whole lot of fun and a great exercise...however with the cost of the electronics you get really close to the price of the cheaper hx machines....Is it really worth the bucks? *:-?

    Sylvias retain their value so well, perhaps its worth considering an upgrade...especially if you make a few milky drinks?? I wonder if a potential buyer would part with the extra reddies to help recoup the inventment in the pid?

    If you do go to all of the effort, Id do the pump pressure mod at the same time....and then maybe pimp it up with some blue neon for the bling factor *;) 8-)

    Chris


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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    Hi

    > hmm....Im sure it will be a whole lot of fun and a great exercise...
    > however with the cost of the electronics you get really close to the price of the
    > cheaper hx machines....Is it really worth the bucks? Huh
    The above is correct. By the time you add a PID it would have bene better to go higher in the first place but ... its like a car. Why do users buy cars to hot up when they could have bought a car with a bigger engine or with a turbo + leather seats in the first place. I bought my Silvia cause I didnt want to initially outlay > $1000 and the Silvia was just $695. Then later when Im making nice espressos Id PID it and get a lot of fun from it too.

    > Sylvias retain their value so well, perhaps its worth considering an upgrade...
    > especially if you make a few milky drinks??
    The thing to remember when doing a PID is to do a very good job so its looks professionally done - inside and out, mechanicals and electricals. So when you do upgrade (and Im sure I will) it can still be sold to someone that is keen on an already-PIDed machine.

    Ill get back to sorting out my PID files and research results this weekend and zip them up.
    Im basically going to go for a 1/32 DIN size (48x24mm), 24VDC PID (examples; RS Components 196-6311 or 312-1784 or 208-2739 or 292-0243) or maybe the Fuji. There are also Omron, Omega, TTI to look at. Its quite complicated. Then choosing an SSR is not as hard as there are no aesthetics to consider :-)

    Mike

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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    I bought 2 PID controllers from ebay for under $100. As the others have said, shelling out many hundreds of dollars for a controller is something to consider carefully. The only problem with ebay is you have to wait and cross your fingers and also be aware that many of the controllers only have relay outputs and so make it more difficult to drive a SSR. My first unit had relay outputs, but I pulled her apart and refitted it to drive a SSR. I did run it in clickety-click mode for a while though, but was driving the rest of the household crazy.

    Have fun with the project.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    I did see a few PIDs on eBay like this one:
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Universal-Dig...QQcmdZViewItem

    I was wondering if it would do the job though, I trust the seller, but it seems awfully cheap compared to what others a worth.

    Also, whats the name of the feature im looking for, where there is a second setpoint that is adjusted by an external switch? (in this case, the steam switch...) is it generally available on 1/32 size PIDs?

    And a lot of the PIDs it seems you have to select a power source from ~240VAC and ~12-24Cac/dc - but this one on ebay does both...which does the silvia need? There doesnt seem to be any transformer or anything in it, so im guess the standard 240C household power supply..

  10. #10
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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammus link=1139232170/0#8 date=1139311844
    I did see a few PIDs on eBay like this one:
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Universal-Dig...QQcmdZViewItem

    I was wondering if it would do the job though, I trust the seller, but it seems awfully cheap compared to what others a worth.

    Also, whats the name of the feature im looking for, where there is a second setpoint that is adjusted by an external switch? (in this case, the steam switch...) is it generally available on 1/32 size PIDs?

    .

    Id steer away from those controllers. Ive heard a few bad things already. Try to source a well known brand if you can. I had to wait for a reasonable controller to become availabe. When I found a likely suspect, I tracked down a manual and made sure I knew what was being sold. I also have steered away from international sellers.

    If you want to learn more about what a PID controller is capable of, then I suggest you track down a manual and do some reading. I got the manual for the Brainchild BC4300 online. That has all of the features youre referring to.



  11. #11
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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    Hi again Sammus,

    The Brainchild F/L controllers that Sparky is referring to can be purchased new from this supplier online in Oz....http://tinyurl.com/8a6rk.

    While Brainchild, Fuji and others are well known controllers used by the CoffeeSnob modders of the world, there are many other manufacturers well known to industry that will do the same job or better, so as with everything, it pays to shop around and talk to a couple of company application engineers about what you want to do and Im sure they will be able to recommend more than one brand/model that will do what you want.

    If possible, ask who ever you talk to about candidate controllers whether they offer identical products as OEM devices.... If they do, youll pay a lot less than RRP for an otherwise equivalent unit. Just a thought.....

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  12. #12
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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

    As Mal said above, I only gave an example of a particular brand. I have both a Brainchild and a Eurotherm unit (bought new for $75 on ebay). Mal has a Shimaden controller bought as an OEM unit from Onetemp. I visited the Onetemp office and had a chat to Ron Fowler and he said hed sell the Shimaden units at OEM prices to Coffeesnobs. I believe they are still under $200 for a new unit with warranty. The price I was quoted was much lower than that, but that was some time ago. It would be best to call and ask for Ron and tell hime you want it to control a coffee machine. He wont sell it to you at the OEM price otherwise. Im not sure that particular Shimaden controller (SR1) has dual set points though. Mal could tell you.

    Onetemp also sells SSRs and thermocouples. So you can get the entire setup from them. I sourced the thermocouple from DickSmith, as they have fine gauge bead thermocouples on the shelf for $10.

  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: I want to PID my silvia!

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    Hi Sparky & Sammus,

    The controller Ive got does not have switchable setpoints but others in their range do, plus a lot more. Its like I mentioned above, it all comes down to what youre comfortable paying.... having said that though, OneTemp are very amenable to putting a complete hardware package together for you at a very attractive discount. Im sure other industrial controller suppliers would be just as amenable but Ron Fowler really showed a lot of enthusiasm for the idea of PIDing an espresso machine and was very helpful in helping me to identify the most appropriate hardware package.

    I also tried two or three other suppliers including Eurotherm and Industrial Instrumentation, but they were a bit slow coming to the party, therefore I decided to go with OneTemp. As it turned out, the controllers put forward by the other companies were all similar in specification and RRP to the Shimaden unit I ultimately bought, it was just timing and the level of enthusiasm displayed by Ron for my project that led me to stick with OneTemp. If you need help of any kind after purchasing the hardware, Ron is also happy to provide technical assiatance to help get you on your way.

    Cheerio,
    Mal.



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