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Thread: PID Silvia Sydney

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    PID Silvia Sydney

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Does anyone know of somewhere I can get Silvia PIDd in Sydney? Ive read the "how-to" guides online but it all looks too complex to even consider doing myself...

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Quote Originally Posted by bloop link=1143536728/0#0 date=1143536728
    Does anyone know of somewhere I can get Silvia PIDd in Sydney? Ive read the "how-to" guides online but it all looks too complex to even consider doing myself...
    Hi Bloop,

    You might like to consider your local TAFE college(s) where Instrumentation Courses are run.... you could propose it as a small project to be run under the supervision of qualified trade instructors? Ive done this sort of thing before with simple, small projects like this and have always been very impressed with the quality of workmanship and ingenuity with the completed project. Might be worth a go? :D,

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Thanks for the suggestion Mal ;D I aint going back to school though ;D

    I found a guy on eBay that does it, but hes from the states, I dont trust Silvia taking that far a trip on her own, guess Im too much of a jealous lover.

    If I cant find anyone to do it Ill give it a go, I can assemble PCs and installed my car stereo system, cant be much harder than that? Or can it? :o

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    If you do all that work on PCs and car stereos --did a few of them, and do I hate it---PIDing Silvia will be a walk in the park by comparison --- but be mindful you are dealing with 240 V.

    Robusto

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Hi again Bloop,

    At the very least, if you do the job yourself then I would tee-up a licensed electrician to inspect and test the finished works prior to your actually using it..... for two reasons:
    • Verify that the wiring and connections are correct in that nothing is going to be destroyed at power-up, and
    • Test the installation to ensure it is both safe and complies with the minimum requirements of the Australian Standards.


    You must always remain cognizant of the "life threatening" hazards posed by working with Mains Powered appliances and at no stage, stick your hands "under the bonnet" while the unit is still plugged into the power outlet. Once you have started the mod, dont plug it back in again until the above inspection and testing has taken place.

    Gotta play it safe, we dont want to lose any of our CS members :(.

    Mal.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney (loooong)

    <Commercial portions removed by Javaphile.

    With some persistence, you can easily assemble the pieces and parts yourself and rely on the many excellent guides available on the net.

    I think Watlow is your best PID bet and you can get them regularly on eBay. Just make sure you get one with at least one pulsed DC output (usually a C code in the model number). You will need this to drive your SSR. A relay output (usually D code) will drive you crazy with the mechanical clicking for the entire week before it wears out. The Fuji PXR3 is uber-popular with alties, but I have used both and still prefer the Watlow.

    Consider using a Crydom D2425 SSR (make SURE you also get a protective cover for it so it doesnt short to the Silvia enclosure). The Crydom is available on eBay pretty regularly, too, but I havent seen too many covers. There are many other SSRs that will work - just be sure and get one that either has something to shield the high voltage terminals or has a cover available (like the Crydom). (On US mains voltage of 115V, the Silvias boiler draws around 8 amps, making the D2425 suitable after current derating. Would have to do a bit of research to confirm suitable for 240V in Oz.)

    You will need *good* wire and some crimp-on connectors of various types. I suggest UL Type 1015 wire (PVC insulated, tinned copper conductors, stranded). Can be hard to find small quantities, but it can stand up to the heat around the boiler and matches the factory wiring. Use 14AWG for the switched power side of the SSR, 18AWG for high voltage power to your PID, and 22AWG for the low voltage DC control between the SSR and the PID. Dont use solid conductor wiring.

    After trying a lot of different types, I concluded that a Teflon insulated type T thermocouple, with ring terminal, is your best bet. Depending on where you mount the PID, you will need one somewhere around 48" long. If you can get your hands on some T/C wire, you can make one yourself pretty easily. I dont recommend the fiberglas insulated T/C wire that many folks use. There is no place for glass fibers around food or drink! The Teflon has plenty of heat resistance for this application and should play much nicer in your kitchen.

    I have found, and you probably will too, that the most challenging issue is finding an external enclosure for the controller. In the States, many folks (including myself) have used horribly ugly ABS boxes from Radio Shack, or cast aluminum boxes. They both look like crap IMHO. But there are precious few options - so if you find something suitable please share the information. (Im not sure what that eBay guy uses for his mods).

    As Mal has stressed, be *very careful* if you decide to give this a try.

    -- JGG

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    jggall01 thanks for all that but to be honest, thats all Chinese to me ;D

    Getting a kit with all the necessary parts included would indeed make it a lot easier. Ive had a read of the Murphys PID guide and it seems easy enough if only the parts were easy to source.

    If I follow that guide strictly then Silvia shouldnt get fried right? (and hopefully I wont get fried either)

    If I wanted to get the job checked, would an ordinary electrician be able to tell if its ok? Or would they have absolutely no idea what Ive done? I mean its not your regular household wiring job.

    Anyone here whos done the PID mod, Id really appreciate it if you could tell me where you sourced your parts from.

    Thanks!

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Bloop I feel your pain. *I sourced all of the parts to PID my silvia following murphs webpage and have assembled all of the parts. *I am not using it yet because I am considering getting an electrical engineer to check it first. *Not only do you run the risk of electricution, but if it starts a house fire, insurance may not cover you if you assembled it yourself (that is if you are working at 240v).

    Re sourcing parts, I got a PXR4 controller and SSR from IPEI - http://www.ipei-fuji.com.au/pxr.htm. *They even programmed the controller as per instructions. All up cost was $350. *The rest of the parts were sourced through Jaycar. *
    Although it would have been easier to just upgrade the coffee machine, I planned to reuse the PID with my coffee roaster so that justifies the additional cost for me.

    Just make sure if you do wire it yourself, triple check the wiring. *I found a few mistakes when going over it the second and third times.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Excellent advice, JGG, especially coming from your personal experience. Ive always been intrigued by guys who say they would rather have preferred a 35 amp SSR --- even in the US with amperage draws double what Australias are for equivalent equipment. *Here, a 5-amp one would (just) handle Silvias 11100 watt load.

    Bloop, if the advice is all Chinese, might be safer to leave Silvia alone.

    Or, do what Ive done to eliminate the tiresome need for temperature surfing, without a PID, or the associated expense.

    Get a digital multimeter which also reads temperatures from Jaycar or Dick smith. *You get a thermocouple with it. * Costs approx $40, nothing else to buy.

    Simply attatch the thermocouple on top of Silvias boiler (I use playdough to hold it on). *The other end, of course, plugs into the multi-meter, which gives an instant read-out in degrees.

    When youre ready to make coffee, look at the temperature. You want *108 degrees C at the top of the boiler, which equates to approx 95 C ex shower screen.

    If the multimeter reads, say, 100 C, turn on the steam switch for a few seconds. *You can grind while you wait those few seconds for the temperature to rise to 108.

    If the reading is higher than 108, you only have to pump through a tiny amount of water to bring it down. *Often, simply bleeding some steam from the wand suffice. *Youll get the hang of it very soon.

    Remember, that wild fluctuations in the Silvia occur primarily during its heating cycle, when the temperature goes from 85 C to about 120C in just over a minute.

    The rest of the time, temperature changes are slower, and wont be anywhere near as radical where it counts ---at the group. *

    Using the multimeter takes out the guesswork and lets you tweak temperatures.

    Robusto *

    **Correction ---my wife tells me its bluetack, not playdough!

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    bloop -

    That is really good advice from robusto (both the Chinese part and DMM part).

    I have always wondered why more folks didnt simply "instrument" Silvia, rather than "control". A simple temperature readout will do 90% of what you get from PIDing. I really like the idea - especially as a DIY project for someone who is not an electronics pro.

    The 10% you wouldnt get is simply convenience. With the PID doing the temp control, you dont have to twiddle with the steam switch or pump any water. But you would probably agree those are pretty painless things to have to do in return for not frying yourself!

    You also get a benefit that robusto didnt mention, namely being able to start your milk steaming at the magic temperature that is just below the point (around 285F / 140C) where Silvias steam tstat switches the ready light, and heater, off. Doing this helps make sure that the heating element will remain energized during steaming.

    Good luck.

    -- JGG

    PS - Nice that your 240V mains give you the benefit of lower current draw (I assume 240V Silvia models then must have a different heating element that should have 4x resistance to keep wattage same as 115V models?) But you shouldnt automatically assume a 5A SSR can handle 5A. To get the maximum rated capacity out of an SSR, you have to heat sink it. Manufacturers provide current derating curves that give you recommended current load with varying levels of heat sinking installed. If you mount your SSR in Silvia carefully, and smear a little thermal grease around, you will definitely get some sinking, but perhaps not what is needed for full current rating.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Quote Originally Posted by jggall01 link=1143536728/0#9 date=1143812656
    PS - Nice that your 240V mains give you the benefit of lower current draw (I assume 240V Silvia models then must have a different heating element that should have 4x resistance to keep wattage same as 115V models?) But you shouldnt automatically assume a 5A SSR can handle 5A. To get the maximum rated capacity out of an SSR, you have to heat sink it. Manufacturers provide current derating curves that give you recommended current load with varying levels of heat sinking installed. If you mount your SSR in Silvia carefully, and smear a little thermal grease around, you will definitely get some sinking, but perhaps not what is needed for full current rating.
    Hi All,

    Re: sizing the SSR for Silvia 240V Boiler Element.....

    The price differential between a 5A unit and a 40A unit in the same package size is minimal. Having said that though, you dont want to go too big otherwise switching reliability can be become a problem and then a nuisance. With Silvias 1,200W Boiler Element you wouldnt need to go bigger than 15-20A maximum and obviate the need to worry about heat-sinking.

    Re: attaching the SSR to Silvia......

    It isnt necessary to drill holes into Silvias panel work to mount the SSR. A very effective and efficient means, is to use double-sided Heat-Sink Adhesive Tape.... the same stuff they use to attach Heat-Sinks to Computer Chipsets and the like. Its also very important what JGG has recommended regarding the Insulation Barrier for the SSR HV Terminals/Wiring... definitely an essential Safety Item.

    Re: sourcing a Licensed Electrician to Inspect/Test your handiwork.....

    The most important source of information for an Electrician so that he/she can do the work above, is to make sure you have all necessary Electrical Schematics and Hardware Documentation. This will ensure that the Sparky is sufficiently well armed to complete the task properly. The "ideal" Sparky to do this sort of work for you, would be someone who has good heavy industrial knowledge and experience, or a Licensed Instrument Technician for that matter. Id just look under the Yellow Pages for businesses that advertise this as a major part of their capability.

    Getting all of the hardware together is really the "easy" part (apart from Controller Box...... you could always get someone to make you a "spiffy" one from s/s ;D). There are a number of Online Industrial Control Suppliers here in Oz who are only too happy to help you get it all sorted out, some of which have been mentioned here before. The installation itself is not really difficult but you do need to pay close attention to those aspects of the installation that concern any Mains Power wiring, connections or proximity there-of. It would be second nature to someone who does it for a living, hence the need to make sure it is all checked out by a Licensed Sparky/Technician prior to "Switch-On".

    All the best,
    Mal.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Hey guys,

    Very usefull info as Ive been reading up on the whole PID modding thing for a while. Now forgive my ignorance but are these ( fairly expensive ) PID units actually required? Could you instead use a very simple electronic temperature switch, as these are available in kit form from many electronic stores.

    Of course these kits are only an example, maybe a custom design would be needed. It just seems the PIDs being used all over the place are overkill. What do the modding experts think?


    christian

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianS link=1143536728/0#11 date=1144043339
    Hey guys,

    Very usefull info as Ive been reading up on the whole PID modding thing for a while. Now forgive my ignorance but are these ( fairly expensive ) PID units actually required? Could you instead use a very simple electronic temperature switch, as these are available in kit form from many electronic stores.

    Of course these kits are only an example, maybe a custom design would be needed. It just seems the PIDs being used all over the place are overkill. What do the modding experts think?


    christian
    That would completely defeat the purpose. The thermostat is already a temperature switch. You might be thinking that the electronic version is more accurate, or faster acting, and that may be true, but the switch wont be the cause of the error. Rather, its the thermal mass of the heater element, water, and boiler that cause a lag in the response of the thermostat, and hence its temperature cycling.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Hi Christian,

    Yep, Matt is right on the money with his post. The reason PID works so well with the small boilers found in Espresso Machines, is that despite their relative diminutive size, their operational requirements through the whole gamut of their duty cycle is quite complex. This is easily accommodated by a simple PID controller though and it is not necessary to spend quintillions on a controller with every bell and whistle imaginable.

    For example, the OEM controller I have installed in my machine cost me $135.00 from a national supplier of such devices.... the rest of the required hardware cost me less than $50.00 all up, including a 25A SSR which cost me about $18.00 from memory. My setup has been running reliably for nearly a year now and allows me the benefit of extreme control over both the Brew Water and the Steam temperatures. Ive only had one hiccup and that was entirely my fault when I caused the original SSR to fail while mucking around under the bonnet.

    I heartily recommend going the PID route for single boiler, non HX machines providing that you are either a licensed sparky or tech yourself, or can arrange to have someone so licensed to inspect and test your machine before powering up for the first time. All the best,

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Hi Matt, Mal thanks for replying.

    Could you perhaps outline what the PID is doing? Not too technical though, Im no engineer ;)


    Cheers,

    christian

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Thank you all for all the helpful replies ;)

    Mal, did you get your PID here http://www.onetemp.com.au/ ? May I ask which model you got?

    I have an electrician coming over on Saturday to fix some lights, if I can throw it all together by then Ill get him to have a look at it. Then Ill let yall know how it goes, if I live to tell the tale ;D

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Hi again Christian,

    No worries ;D.....

    Basically, PID control has been around in industrial applications in all manner of processes for many decades. Until the "digital" age rolled in, assigning PID control or some variation there-of to these processes was very expensive. As with many other fields that used to be controlled via analogue means, the digital age has realised drastic reductions in all these forms of control, monitoring and acquisition.

    There are many good references to be found by scouting the web for more detailed explanations of what PID is about but in essence, Ill try to condense it down into as brief an explanation as possible.

    The letters in the acronym PID stand for Proportional (Band), Integral and Derivative respectively. Depending on the outcomes required by the process designer (heating an Espresso Machines Boiler to 100deg C for example), it is not always necessary or desirable to activate all parts of the control algorithm to achieve the desired level of control dictated by the process output target(s). It is possible to use P only, PI only, PD only or all three.

    The "P" component basically relates to an error between the Setpoint (the Target) and the actual measured value of the process, usually called the Process Variable. This PV is what is being measured and fed back to the controller, compared to the Setpoint and then the Output of the Controller is adjusted accordingly, i.e. if the PV is under the Setpoint, then the controller output will be calling for an increase; on the other hand, if the PV is above the Setpoint, the controller output will be calling for a decrease. As the name implies, Proportional Control adjusts the output in accordance with the degree that the PV is in error to the Setpoint as a proportion of the error of the PV to the Setpoint.

    You may have noticed that all combinations of control require that in all cases that a Proportional control component must be present before the other levels of control can be employed. This is because that without some level of measurable error in the control loop, it is impossible to implement any kind of closed loop control. An example of Open Loop control is when you want to boil some water in a simple, ordinary electric kettle or jug..... you switch it on and wait until it boils and then switch it off. If you werent there to switch it off, the kettle/jug would just keep boiling away until some form of intervention was introduced.

    The "I" component of control is sometimes also called the "Reset". In a nutshell, the Integral portion of the algorithm looks at the amount of "Steady-State" error between the Setpoint and the PV and by design, will adjust the controller Output such that this error will be minimised or eliminated. In other words, PI control will always drive the output to eliminate any error between the Setpoint and the PV. Integral control is more of a reactive control measure in that it is intended to operate in a predetermined time space, reacting to changes in the PV over time.

    The "D" component of control is monitoring the "Rate of Change" between the Setpoint and the PV. Should the PV begin to drop below the Setpoint, depending on the rate of fall, the Derivative will attempt to adjust the controller Output such that the instant the fall is detected, there will be an Output adjustment to oppose this rate of fall (or rise). It is a pre-emptive control measure in that it attempts to arrest any deviation away from the Setpoint the instant it is detected.

    Heres a good description of how the three components operate together to achieve a high level of control in a typical Heating Application.....http://tinyurl.com/qmbst. Hope Ive helped you out here and not muddied the waters even further. Let me know if you would like to read more information about it and Ill steer you to a couple more sites that have a more thorough explanation :). All the best,

    Mal.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Quote Originally Posted by bloop link=1143536728/15#15 date=1144073220
    Thank you all for all the helpful replies ;)

    Mal, did you get your PID here http://www.onetemp.com.au/ ? May I ask which model you got?

    I have an electrician coming over on Saturday to fix some lights, if I can throw it all together by then Ill get him to have a look at it. Then Ill let yall know how it goes, if I live to tell the tale ;D
    Hiya bloop,

    Sounds good ;D. Yep, OneTemp is the supplier I got my hardware from and the rep I talked to was Ron Fowler. If you mention to Ron that you are a member of CoffeeSnobs, he will take good care of you and make sure you get the right hardware at the best prices. The controllers that are worth looking at are this one here....http://www.onetemp.com.au/pdf/HT-BS-1100-en-v2.pdf an OEM Fuzzy Logic controller, and this one....http://www.onetemp.com.au/pdf/sr1_sr3_sr4.pdf. The SR1 is the unit I used. When you talk to Ron, make sure that you ask him to provide you with the ordering information for an SSR Output model and a 25A SSR to suit. Im pretty sure that is what he will recommend to you anyway. Trust this helps :),

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Good post Mal. A good explanation of an often baffling acronym.
    Some people have claimed that a PID is over-the-top for a small boiler machine. But that speaks for itself -- because it is so small with a very large heating element, some sophisticated control IS desirable.

    Robuso

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    An excellent description Mal, thank you :)

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Thanks Mal, will give them a try.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Just an update. Ive ordered a Shimaden SR1 and an SSR from onetemp. Should be coming tomorrow ;D

    Im going to go to Jaycar now and grab the extra bits.

    Hopefully they have a project box that fits the PID.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Mal, may I ask another question seeing as you have the same controller?

    1. Where did you get the project box to fit the PID in?

    2. Did you use a fuse and if so, whats the rating?

    I was interested in the gooseneck mounting that can be seen here: http://www.digidive.com/coffee/index.html . I checked out goosenecks at Jaycar, but the internal diameter was way too small to fit all the wires in, oh well.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Quote Originally Posted by bloop link=1143536728/15#22 date=1144320561
    Mal, may I ask another question seeing as you have the same controller?

    1. Where did you get the project box to fit the PID in?

    2. Did you use a fuse and if so, whats the rating?

    I was interested in the gooseneck mounting that can be seen here: http://www.digidive.com/coffee/index.html . I checked out goosenecks at Jaycar, but the internal diameter was way too small to fit all the wires in, oh well.
    Hi again Bloop,

    No worries mate.....

    1. I just took my controller with me down to our local Dick Smiths and found a neat little w/proof High Impact Plastic box that fitted nicely :).

    2. Yep, sure did use a fuse.... a Fast-Blow 0.5A fitted into an In-Line Fuse Carrier which I supplied from the downstream side of the Main Power Switch. This way, the controller is only powered up whenever the Mokita is powered up. No messy dual switching, etc to worry about 8-).

    Yeah, that Goose-neck mod is a real beaut for sure. I also looked at that as a possibility for mine but as you also discovered, its a real tight fit for all the cabling and that coupled with the difficulty trying to find proper end terminators for the Goose-neck for fitting to the Mokita and the controller box, basically turned me off the whole idea. I guess its sort of ok to glue everything together with epoxy or whatever but it just didnt sit right with me.

    In the end, I opted to go with a length of an appropriately sized piece of Heat-Shrink Tubing to both contain and protect the cables and t/c, and this worked out ok. I then terminated this with a suitable compression fitting on the controller box to keep things water-proof and used the original cable gland on the Mokita for both the original power cable and the new controller cable. I suppose if I had access to an instrument fitting workshop, Id have found more suitable and cosmetically appealing protection for the controller cable than heat-shrink, but one has to make do with what can get hold of.

    Just thinking about the controller box again, you could probably get a sheet metal shop to knock you up a real nice little s/s box custom made to blend in with the Silvia perfectly. If I ever do this sort of thing again, thats probably the route Ill take so that I end up with a more professional job. As the Mythbusters say, "When will the fun ever stop?" ;D. All the best,

    Mal.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Congrats, bloop. Sounds like you are well on your way. You wont go wrong if you keep following Mals advice!

    Mal - I checked the sheet metal shop route for the SS box. Wow, did they want $$$ to make just one of something! Way too pricey for me.

    So I ended up making box myself (of course I needed buy a bunch of neat tools and to build a spot welder along the way - but thats what projects are for, right?) Cost me lots more in the long run, but now I got all the stuff to make as many boxes as I need.

    Have fun, bloop! You will absolutely love having the PID.

    -- JGG

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Hi JGG,

    Sounds like you might have a ready market to make good use of your hard won tools and equipment ;).....

    Re the cost of getting shops to do it for you..... It probably comes down to how busy they are and whether they are actually interested or not. Another avenue to consider though, and I guess some members might think I harp on about it a bit, but you should never overlook your local TAFE Trade Colleges. They are usually more than happy to take on small jobs, always supervised by professional instructors/tutors... you just have to supply materials and pay for consumables. Worth a try if a TAFE College is not far from home :)

    Mal.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    There must be some nifty chrome little box in a kitchen wares shop which may do the job -- you know, "used-toothpick holder" come PID enclosure!

    Of course, insulating terminals will become doubly more important so as not to make the entire machine live.

    Otherwise, a black plastic box may make a good cosmetic complement to the Silvias brushed stainless steel case and black iron frame.

    Good luck with the project, Bloop

    Robusto

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Update 2:

    The PID didnt come today :(

    Toll apparently forgot to drop by onetemp to pick up the deliveries, so Ill have to wait till Monday.

    I bought a grey plastic project box from Jaycar but the internal dimensions arent quite what it states outside so I dont think itll fit too well. I dont think Ill go for a metal case. The thought of live wires being so close to metal is a bit scary.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    bloop -

    Having been down this road, I will offer to you that "too big" is much better than "too small" when it comes to your box. Getting PID installed, plus wiring, can be a real PITA, made far worse in confined spots.

    If for some reason you do end up with a metal box, be sure you ground it directly. This will take away some of the concern regarding a loose live wire (definitely a bad thing). You can easily tap into Silvias ground. Look for a pair of green, or green/yellow, wires fastened to the base of the boiler on the right side, near where the mains enter.

    -- JGG

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Hey all, I got the PID today. All wrapped up nicely in bubble wrap, together with a 40A SSR and a teflon type K thermocouple.

    The thermocouple wire doesnt seem to be soldered at the end, anyone know if normal lead solder will do the job or does that have too low a melting point?

    Yep, sure did use a fuse.... a Fast-Blow 0.5A fitted into an In-Line Fuse Carrier which I supplied from the downstream side of the Main Power Switch. This way, the controller is only powered up whenever the Mokita is powered up. No messy dual switching, etc to worry about Cool.
    Mal, you piggy-backed power off the Mokita? If so did you splice the wire or is there some kind of "double adaptor" attachment available for this kind of job?

    If for some reason you do end up with a metal box, be sure you ground it directly. This will take away some of the concern regarding a loose live wire (definitely a bad thing). You can easily tap into Silvias ground. Look for a pair of green, or green/yellow, wires fastened to the base of the boiler on the right side, near where the mains enter.
    Thanks for that JGG, I think Ill go plastic though, as good as coffee is, its not worth getting fried over :D Oh and after reading up on all this PID stuff, your first post finally made sense to me ;D

    Ive got to get a few more bits and pieces and hopefully will finish this job by the Easter weekend.

  31. #31
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Hi Bloop,
    Quote Originally Posted by bloop link=1143536728/15#29 date=1144661929
    The thermocouple wire doesnt seem to be soldered at the end, anyone know if normal lead solder will do the job or does that have too low a melting point?
    You can do this one of three ways..... Youre correct where the use of Soft Solder is concerned.
    Probably the easiest, if you can get hold of it, is to use Silver Solder as this can be achieved with a standard Propane Gas Torch.
    Second method is to use a small Crimp Link or Lug with a good pair of crimpers that will guarantee a high pressure crimp. Just twist the two t/c wires together then insert into Link/Lug and then Crimp.
    Third method is to autogenously weld the two t/c wires together but without suitable equipment, this is next to impossible to do. If you know someone with a TIG Welding outfit, they should be able to do this for you.

    My money is on the first two methods for DIY at home though.

    Quote Originally Posted by bloop link=1143536728/15#29 date=1144661929
    Mal, you piggy-backed power off the Mokita? If so did you splice the wire or is there some kind of "double adaptor" attachment available for this kind of job?
    Im not entirely sure of the Wiring Arrangement of the Silvia compared to the Mokita but all I did was remove one of the downstream cables from the Main Power Switch (with unit unplugged of course), attached a "Piggy-Back" Spade Connector (from Dick Smiths) to this cable and then re-attached to the Switch. I then attached the power cable to the Controller via the newly created "spare" lug and all was good :). Im sure Ive seen a schematic/wiring diagram for a Silvia posted up here before so maybe a search will turn up where this is located.

    All the best,
    Mal.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Thanks Mal, Ill try and get hold of some silver solder. I dont think Dick Smith or Jaycar have them, might have to try a jeweller.

    I then attached the power cable to the Controller via the newly created "spare" lug and all was good Smiley.
    Did you connect the neutral cable as well or just the active?

    Thanks!

  33. #33
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Quote Originally Posted by bloop link=1143536728/30#31 date=1144678648
    Did you connect the neutral cable as well or just the active?

    Thanks!
    Yep,

    Connected the Neutral directly to where the Main Neutral terminates on the Connector Strip where all incoming cables terminate. I also included an Earth just in case that at some later date I upgraded the controller box to a s/s one 8-) that would then require bonding to Earth. Until needed, have just left it coiled up out of the way at both ends. Better doing it now rather than having to pull everything apart and start over at some later date ;).

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Hi, Bloop -

    Sounds like you are going to earn your stripes on this job!

    FWIW, heres the way I make my t/c probes:

    Strip 5-10mm of wire (careful not to nick wires), then twist the bare wires *tightly* together. Use your wire cutters to cut away excess, leaving 4-5mm of bare twisted wire exposed.

    Get an uninsulated crimp-type ring terminal (ring size #6, crimp tube for wire size #14-#16). Push t/c through crimp section, insulation and all, so that the tip of the bare twisted wire stops around 2mm short of the ring opening (if you get much closer, there will be no room for the head of the screw when you fasten it down).

    Using less pressure than normal, crimp the connector down on the insulated wire, being careful not to cut through the insulation.

    Solder the bare twisted wires to the crimp terminal, applying the heat from electric soldering iron to the *back* side of the ring connector. I use soft lead, resin-core solder. I have also tried silver solder, but it doesnt like to stick to things in my shop!

    Use small wire brush on Dremel tool to shine everything up, front and back, to enhance thermal transmittance.

    I use type T wire, not type K. Type K is much more difficult to solder, but I think this procedure will probably work anyway.

    If you have trouble getting this to work, Id be happy to send you a T-type all made up and ready to go.

    -- JGG

  35. #35
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Here is a picture of piggyback terminals.


    Having unplugged the coffee machine from the wall....!

    Wires from the PID 240V terminals are crimped to the piggyback. *Existing wires are slid off the switched side of the coffee machine switch and slid onto the lug pointing upwards on the photo.

    The piggyback is then slid onto the switchs male terminals where the original wires were.

    Makes sense?

    This configuration ensures the PID automatically turns on when the machine is switched on.

    If for some reason you want the PID on permanently, irrespective of whether the machine is on or off, attach to the powered side of the coffee machine switch, or-----wire the PID to a power chord with its own 3-pin 10 amp plug and plug that into the wall.


    Robusto

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Thanks for all the help guys.

    Connected the Neutral directly to where the Main Neutral terminates on the Connector Strip where all incoming cables terminate.
    Mal, any reason why you didnt connect it to the switched side of the circuit?

    Solder the bare twisted wires to the crimp terminal, applying the heat from electric soldering iron to the *back* side of the ring connector. I use soft lead, resin-core solder. I have also tried silver solder, but it doesnt like to stick to things in my shop!
    JGG, with soldering Im just worried the boiler will get hot enough to melt the solder, silver solder has a higher MP, so I thought thatd be the way to go seeing as I dont have access to welding equipment. Do you know what the highest temperature the boiler can get to? If I cant get it to work Ill take you up on your offer :)

    The piggyback is then slid onto the switchs male terminals where the original wires were.

    Makes sense?
    Makes perfect sense, and thanks for the pic Robusto. I went to Dick Smith today but they didnt have any of those piggyback connectors, nor did Jaycar. The Dick Smith guy was even more clueless than I was ::) Looks like Ill have to do some hunting around for these, it helps now that I know what they look like :)

    Would it work if I just screw the twisted thermocouple wire directly to the boiler where it shows in the following pic?


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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Hi, Bloop -

    The overheat thermostat on Silvia is set to shut things down at 165C. 60-40 solder has a melting point of 186C. So even allowing for some play in tstat setting, and some overrun in temp after de-energizing the heater, I think the 60-40 is probably fine.

    As far as the splitter for your power connections, if you cant find the right hardware (check www.waytekwire.com) you could always build a couple of little pigtails. Crimp 2 short wires (25mm?) into a single female push-on. Then crimp a male push on to the 2 free ends and you have a splitter that should work. Ive never tried this (I use the hardware splitters), but have seen it recommended in some other discussion groups.

    -- JGG

  38. #38
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Bloop, try a car accessory place such as Supercheap Auto for the piggybacks and other terminals.

    The Silvia boiler gets to almost 150 during steaming, and that is about 30 below the melting point of solder.

    But there is no need to solder a terminal onto the thermocouple.
    There are many, many posts about the best spot to locate it on top of the boiler. Try google alt.coffee.

    I dont think it really matters, since most of the time the boiler will be kept at a constant, even temperature by the PID.

    Remember, the PID is giving you a constant temperature in the run up for brewing, not during the extraction. You cant expect the gadget to handle a sudden 60 ml change in water supply--- Silvias design will do the hard yards and keep the water temperature at the group constant for those vital 25", not the PID.

    Your picture shows the steam thermostat (the one on the right).
    Just loosen the thermostat hold-down screw, and wedge the thermocouple end under the bracket. Make sure it is secure and wont slip off.

    Feel free to experiment --- if you find that particular spot unsuitable, try the middle one between the two thermostats, or the left hand one.

    Robusto

  39. #39
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Quote Originally Posted by bloop link=1143536728/30#35 date=1144757285
    Mal, any reason why you didnt connect it to the switched side of the circuit?
    Hi again Bloop,

    No particular reason really, other than it was the most convenient location.... Its not necessary or desirable in certain situations to switch both the active and the neutral. I know one often finds this arrangement in European manufactured equipment though. In some ways, its the old horses for courses argument again.

    For this purpose, connecting from the switched side of the Neutral cable is ok too, providing it is easy to do on the Silvia.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  40. #40
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1143536728/30#37 date=1144758778
    Remember, the PID is giving you a constant temperature in the run up for brewing, not during the extraction. You cant expect the gadget to handle a sudden 60 ml change in water supply--- Silvias design will do the hard yards and keep the water temperature at the group constant for those vital 25", not the PID.

    Robusto
    Hi Robusto,

    This is not entirely true..... it is possible to configure your controller so that it will react quickly to any detected change in Boiler Temp. Ive got my t/c mounted right next to the Cold Water Inlet on my Mokita so that it will switch on the element ASAP and then have set the PID parameters to complement this. Using a micro-bead t/c connected to a Fluke with built-in t/c compensation, I tried what Sparky has suggested many times and placed the t/c bead on top of a coffee puck and pulled a few shots. The maximum deviation from the optimal of 93deg C on top of the puck, was a droop of only 2deg C.

    Since the Mokita has a more direct path from the Boiler to the Group Head than the Silvia, the actual Setpoint is never more than 101deg C, with about a 7.5deg gradient through to the top of the puck while brewing a double shot in 25-28 seconds. Recovery time is pretty fast in between shots with the Boiler being ready to go again by the time youve knocked the spent puck out, cleaned out the PF basket, ground a fresh dose into the PF, distributed and tamped. Ive never actually timed this but its only 2-3 minutes all up. If the PID parameters are just left as the AutoTune has set them, this type of turn-around is impossible, so it pays to learn a bit about the workings of digital PID controllers so that you can tune it to the optimum of your desired output.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Every thread needs a PIA, and we were missing one here. So I will volunteer.

    I do not like putting the t/c under the screw head for the steam thermostat. The primary reason is that it lifts the retainer bracket up and off of the boiler surface. This can allow a gap between the sensing surface of the steam tstat and the boiler surface. Tight contact between the tstat and the boiler is necessary for accurate performance of the tstat. Thermal grease is not a substitute for tight contact.

    For this reason, I always put the t/c under the leftmost screw holding the brew thermostat. (This also happens to be one of the hottest spots on the top of Silvia, for some reason).

    If I were going to use a simple twisted wire termination on my t/c, I think I might loosen the bracket, wedge it under the *brew* thermostat that is effectively being replaced, then re-tighten bracket.

    -- JGG

  42. #42
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Appreciate what you are saying Mal, and I know Sparky disagrees with this, and I dont yet have a PID.

    But *there have been numerous experiments done by *Greg Scace and others at *Google alt.coffee similar to yours, using a Silvia without a PID---and the result is a remarkable one or two degree variation during the pour, thanks to Silvias thermal stability.


    Robusto




  43. #43
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    That makes sense, JGG. Another temptation would of course be to place the thermocouple on the topside of the bracket, under the bolthead. But that may slow response time: water heats the boiler, boiler heats the bracket, bracket heats the t/c probe.

    Robusto

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1143536728/30#41 date=1144780216
    Appreciate what you are saying Mal, and I know Sparky disagrees with this, and I dont yet have a PID.

    But there have been numerous experiments done by Greg Scace and others at Google alt.coffee similar to yours, using a Silvia without a PID---and the result is a remarkable one or two degree variation during the pour, thanks to Silvias thermal stability.


    Robusto
    Im not actually sure what I disagree with. I know coffee thermometry is not straightforward and there are plenty of ways to get inaccurate results, which just makes things more confusing, because then who do you believe. The bottom line consensus for the Silvia is that you can get the temperature stable to about second crack in the Silvia as the cold water doesnt have time to mix with the hot boiler water during a shot. So all you have to do with the PID controller is get it to stabilize the boiler temperature between shots and the Silvia will do the rest.

    Trying to stabilize the shot temperature with a PID controller during the shot is not a great idea unless you monitor the actual brew temperature to see how it is working. You can get an idea of what is possible by looking at my PID Faema Family data. The thermal response of the system is very slow (about 10 sec), so you cant control the brew temp effectively using feedback on these timescales. In my machine the PID would pick up the tail of the profile and keep the total deviation within a few degrees. This is probably what Mal is referring to. There is no need to do this on Silvia, as the cold water doesnt mix effectively with the brew water during the shot.

    The best thing about PID control is that it gives you the ability to make repeatable shots, as long as you have the rest of your preparation routine sorted out.

    So in the end Im sure what Im agreeing or disagreeing with. A PID controller on nearly any single boiler machine has nearly immediate benefits for shot-to-shot repeatability.

    Cheers,

    Mark.


  45. #45
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Spot on Sparky!

    Robusto

  46. #46
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1143536728/30#34 date=1144743125
    Here is a picture of piggyback terminals.


    Robusto


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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Robusto, Id just like to say thank you, I went to Super Cheap Auto and got me some piggyback terminals, thanks again!

    I am now going to put it all together...

  48. #48
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Well done Bloop. Good luck with the assembly.

    Robusto

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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Its up and running and powered up and Im still here to tell the tale!

    Now to figure out how to set up the PID...

    Mal, do you have any pointers for me?

  50. #50
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    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Congratulations! *It must be a great feeling to have accomplished that, overcame your doubts and have a very useful adjunct to the Silvia.

    Perhaps you would like to share with us any problems you may have encountered en route, the sort of box you used and how its mounted --- all that makes wonderful reading!

    Robusto



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