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Thread: Boema

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Boema

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Gday all,
    I just inherited a used Boema 1 group from a friend at a local pub, who was going to throw it out due to a large repair quote. *I made a few enquiries with him and he let me have it for the right price, $0 deposit and $0 repayments *:).
    Ive decided that rebuilding this would be a good project to keep me occupied during the summer months. ;)
    I remember FC mentioning in another post that older model Boemas (along with a lot of other old machines) being notorious coffee burners. *
    My questions are thus:
    1. Can anybody identify this model and tell me roughly how old it is? (I cant seem to find the build date on the machine, but it looks fairly old).
    2. If it is really old and falls into the notorious coffee burner category, can this over temperature be cured?
    3. What are the buttons for on the side?
    4. What is the middle knob on the front panel for? Is this an ancient volumetric dial?
    5. Is it worth the effort to rebuild this machine?
    Ive attached a few piccies for your perusal.
    Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Steve.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Boema

    Heres a pic of the side buttons.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Boema

    Heres the dial.


  4. #4
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    Re: Boema

    Yup, this one should be a good project. Its a "later" model.


    1. Can anybody identify this model and tell me roughly how old it is? (I cant seem to find the build date on the machine, but it looks fairly old).

    Bo-ema works from the serial number. Ring them with the serial number, they can work out from that a reaosably accurate build date.

    2. If it is really old and falls into the notorious coffee burner category, can this over temperature be cured?

    Its not that old, should respond well to simple adjustment.

    3. What are the buttons for on the side?
    Specifically I cant remember, will ask my techie.

    4. What is the middle knob on the front panel for? Is this an ancient volumetric dial?

    These models were called "auto timer" machines. They were the fore runner to the volumetric / electronic cup level / touchpad machines.

    My honest opinion is the timer is not worth replacing (if its failed). Bo-Ema themselves will tell you the same thing. Timers are not what they used to be, you spend money to replace, may not last too long, not accurate anyway, it measures time rather than volume for the cup level, so will vary from brew to brew. I would suggest just using it as a semi-automatic.

    These days we disarm all non functioning timers on auto timer machines that come through our workshop, and leave them as "semi-auto" ie manual cup level jobbie. Not worth the bother or money, obsolete.

    5. Is it worth the effort to rebuild this machine?
    Depends on whats wrong. I bet there isnt as much wrong as the PO (previous owner) thought there was.


    As always my advice would be to firstly just find out whats not working, do a costing, decide whether to go ahead to repair...then repair and run & see what happens...plenty of time to go pulling things apart later...first things first...get it going...excitement plus!

    At worst, things needing replacement.
    an auto fill box
    a pump
    a pressurestat;
    a solenoid valve;
    a blocked group.
    an element.
    a contaminated boiler requiring manual cleaning.

    Do the sums!

    Good luck with it.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Boema

    Thanks for the feedback FC.
    The PO was quoted $980 to bring it back from the dead, with my rough estimation that at least half of this would be for labour charges.
    Ill check further with him to see if I can dig up some more info regarding the problem with it.
    Ive had a quick look inside and the boiler looks a bit old with a few green flecks on the outside, but the pump looks brand new. It is disconnected for some reason, (maybe done by the quoting tech), and the wiring all looks intact.
    Where is the serial number on these things? Theyre usually in a fairly accessible place but I cant locate this one. Ive pulled off the side and back panels, but no joy. :(
    Thanks again,
    Steve.

  6. #6
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    Re: Boema

    Hmmm. Bo_Ema places a metallic sticker, either somewhere on the stainless steel panel that also contains the pressure guage, or on the black surround in the area outside & below the drip tray...facing either frontwards or on the LHS or RHS. I think would expect to see it on the RHS of the black surround.

    If its not in any of these places it has been purposely peeled off. No one could be bothered peeling off such a sticker unless foul play was the order of the day....some time in the past.

    I guess your PO can prove ownership & has a proper reciept / invoice or it was on the inventory when he bought the business?

    The boiler may have something stamped into it somewhere & you can also ask Bo-Ema the age of that boiler...

    Dont worry about what the boiler looks like from the outside!

    With regard to the switch you say is on the RHS. The techie is out but I expect the LHS button is the on/off, the middle spring loaded button is a manual fill for the boiler, and the orange light is whatever...an orange light! .....and this is subject to a double check...actually Andy Freeman will have the identical switch on his machine...can you confirm Andy?

    Ahh with regard to whether it will be a major coffee burner or not. Just have a look under the top tray and see if the group is bolted to the frame, with 2 largish copper pipes going from the back of that to the boiler. If its one of them...it should be ok.

    If however it is one of the older models where the group appears to be "molded" directly to the boiler, it would not be what I would consider a "desirable" machine.


    Regardz,
    FC.

    *

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Boema

    Gday FC,
    In relation to the switch bank, the orange part is indeed a light not a switch and has a squiggly line on it (technical term ;D). *Id have a guess that this is the boiler indicator, could be wrong though.
    In relation to the group, it is indeed separated from the boiler with 2 copper pipes going to it, 1 large and 1 small. Thermosyphon head maybe?
    Still cant find the serial number though. :-?
    Ill have to try and track down some mechanical drawings for it, I can get the electrical ones from their website.
    Thanks again for your help.
    Steve.

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    Re: Boema

    Steve,

    have double checked with techie regarding the switchblock.

    LH & middle buttons are as already advised. The yellow light on the RHS lights up if the water level in the boiler is too low, "telling you" to depress the middle button to activate manual fill...leaving it depressed presumably until the light goes out at which point the water level has risen above minimum....and of course from there, call a techie to find out why the "auto fill" did not operate!

    Regardz,
    FC

  9. #9
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    Re: Boema

    Hi Fresh_Coffee,

    Sorry to hijack the thread, but I was interested in your info regarding the manual fill switch. I am currently restoring a Rancilio S10 (about 18 yrs old I think), and this has the same, spring loaded rocker switch on the front, which manually fills the boiler.

    Was this just a device to use in the event of an autofill failure, or to quickly top the boiler up after a mammoth steaming session?

    The S10 seems to run well, though one of the groups touchpads activate the flow, but dont shut off automatically....currently trying to isolate whether it is the touchpad or the autofill black box.

    Once again, pologies all for the hijack...FC caught my attention....


    Cheers,


    Chris

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    Re: Boema

    Hello Chris.

    You could be right but I dont remember the S10 having a spring loaded electric rocker "manual fill" switch. My hazy recollection would be that it is more likely to have had a spring loaded push button which if you have a look behind the hole in the chassis it sticks through, is just a button that as you push, manually opens a fill valve which is very similar to a steam valve...ie mechanical valve fill, not electric solenoid valve fill.

    Whatever....I defer to you as you have the machine in front of you and I dont and its been a while since Ive seen one of those! *:)

    In any case after wasting a lot of time typing what could be irrelevant as above, yes a manual filling device on these machines is only there in the event the "auto fill" device fails. Otherwise, you would never / ever touch the manual fill button/tap.

    Re the group continuing to flow and not cutting out....

    a) Have you tried re programming it?

    b) If that fails, try swapping one component at a time from the group that works, to that which doesnt cut out to see if you can isolate the source of the problem. Start with the touchpads, if problem *persists in the same group *then swap just the sender unit on each volumetric flow meter, then if the problem still persists on the same group, swap the plastic paddles in the flow meters. If the problem persists after youve done that, its probably in the CPU and on a machine that age...I wouldnt go there other than to make sure all connections are tight after which, I would continue to use the machine as is.


    Regardz,
    FC.

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    Re: Boema

    Thanks very much for the info...one thing though...

    What is the re programming routine for this machine?

    I have switched touch pads, and I think the pads are both ok...

    Cheers,

    Chris

  12. #12
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Boema

    With regard to the switch you say is on the RHS. The techie is out but I expect the LHS button is the on/off, the middle spring loaded button is a manual fill for the boiler, and the orange light is whatever...an orange light! .....and this is subject to a double check...actually Andy Freeman will have the identical switch on his machine...can you confirm Andy?
    Yep, it is an orange light :)

    Apart from the the power switch which is used a couple of times every day the other switch was only used on the initial fill of the empty boiler when I rebuilt it.

    Mine is the semi-auto model and I expect you will be happy using yours as a semi-auto too (and as FC suggested, one less thing to go wrong).


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    Re: Boema

    Chris,

    re programming the cup levels on your model...

    Cant remember! On older models like that there were some real crackerjack ways to do it, some specific to each model....very confusing.

    Nowadays the system has been standardised somewhat across the board.

    I have a feeling the last very old rancilio we had on for service....we couldnt reprogramme the cup leves and left them as they were.

    You may have to contact a rancilio service agent.

    Sorry cant be more help there.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Boema

    Gday again,
    I had a quick look inside and Ive come up with yet another question. ::)
    The attached photo is looking downwards at the boiler. *I was wondering what, if anything, is supposed to be attached where the red arrow is pointing to. *It looks like there should be something screwed into it, but I dont know enough about these bad boys to know if that is the case. :-[
    Thanks for all of your help with this so far.
    All the best,
    Steve.


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    Re: Boema

    wel if you fire it up an water starts pouring out then I guess it should be connected to something ;)
    Seriously though what does the pipe connect to at either end? I cant ell if it continues up beyond that fitting on the photo. If it terminates there then Im thinking maybe *an over pressure valve?? like this

    (not to be confused witha pressure relief valve)

  16. #16
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Boema

    Gday Maurcicem,
    the pipe at the bottom of the pic goes to the steam tap, the pipe at the top terminates into something that looks to be spring loaded. :-?
    Thanks,
    Steve.

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    Re: Boema

    Thanks F_C,

    Ill do that!


    Cheers,

    Chris

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    Re: Boema

    Steve,

    you beat me to it...I was going to ask if the pipe at the "bottom" (of the picture) goes to the steam tap.! ;)

    So what we cant see is that the hole with something missing out of it is actually a "4 way" fitting screwed into the top of the boiler with facility for:

    a) the safety valve for the boiler (as in "over pressure release")...which is the part of the fitting going off in the direction of the top of the photo

    b) the steam "take off" to the steam valve...which is the part of the fitting & pipe going off in the direction of the bottom of the photo and

    c) the fitting which is missing from the threaded hole...which will most assuredly be the ANTI VACUUM VALVE (unless you find an anti vacuum valve elsewhere on the top of the bolier, in which case you better take another photo showing us as much of the top of the boiler as possible so we can try and work it out).


    An anti vacuum valve is a relatively cheap part (around $20ish) that should screw straight in to the hole.

    Why would anyone remove it..?

    They are a relatively ineffectual device at worst because they get blocked up with calcium coming out of solution in the steam, and get blocked shut therefore not continubng to operate as an "anti vacuum" valve.

    Very often they leak (hiss) steam continually.......this seems to upset some people but I can assure you, its nothing to worry about as the machine will always produce a ton more steam than could ever leak out from a pissy little leak like you get from this valve. They are very easy to manage. To stop the hissing, you simply hit the nipple in the top of the valve with a screwdriver or back of a spoon or anything, and this knocks it in, then it springs back up, usually re seating itself and it stops leaking.....until next time.

    Screw one back into the hole using a bit of plumbers tape...at worst you can blank the hole right off with a threaded bung (as long as you remember to always de pressurise the machine by opening the steam tap when turning the machine off, & repressurise through the steam valve when turning it back on). Its the LEAST of your problems in sorting out what really may or may not be wrong with this machine.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Boema

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks FC,
    Ill give the blank plug a go so I can work out whats wrong with it.
    Steve.



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