Sounds fantastic Billi,
Does JGGall01 or anyone else sell "out of the box" PID kits for the Faema Family?
I thought that as ‘The Mexicans” have shared their experiences with PIDing Silvia, Brisbane, or rather the cultural capital Ipswich, should add it’s 2 bob.
Thanks to Bloop, Robusto, Mal and others I was eventually persuaded to go the PID rout, after months of fiddling with TCs, and temp surfing.
At Mal’s suggestion I contacted OneTemp and spoke to Ron Fowler who quoted me $160 for the PID, $28 for the SSR, $15 for handling and shipping, then working in round numbers *I would have to add $10 for a TC, $10 for a box, and $10 for bits. All up total I guess I was looking at $233. * (I could almost buy another machine for that. * Oh well.)
JGGall01, a CS member in the U.S., had indicated that he made PID kits for Silvia, so I PM’ed him and he had a kit for US$149 + postage and insurance of US$27. All up US$ 176, *at the current exchange rate A$233. Funny that! * Anyway I decided to go with JGG’s kit as it has all the instructions, wiring, s/s enclosure etc. * Long story short, I ordered on 04/05/06 (Jeez I like putting in that date) I paid through PayPal on 05/05/06 and received the package on Monday 15th, wow, can’t complain about that service.
Here are some pictures of the package, as it arrived, and of the contents:-
Man, this looks like it’s going to be a breeze; there is literally everything you need to complete the installation except the tools.
Well I couldn’t wait, so all other jobs were put on hold whilst I unplugged Silvia and set about the installation.
I put a table next to the computer so that I could refer to the Manual that Jim sent with the kit. * It, the C.D. contains everything that you could want the PID Manual and instructions, the SSR Manual and instructions, Silvia Manual (inc. electrical schematic) and very detailed, step by step instructions on how to fit the PID. * Man, I’m impressed!
Ok, so 2 minutes into it and I hit my first problem, Jim had offered to send with the kit a deep well socket, which I declined thinking that I had my own… Bloody kids… (I blame everything on them) anyway it’s missing, got the 6mm and the 8mm, no 7mm !@$%. Half an hour and a trip to Super Cheep and I’m back in business. * Working *v e r y *slowly and carefully I finished the job in about 2 hours, the only minor hassle being a tightly locked screw holding the rear housing of Silvia.
I have to say it again “Man I’m impressed”. * Everything was well made, well designed, and fitted as it was supposed to.
Top job Jim. * You made the job fun, thanks to a great product.
Jeez now I sound like I’m selling the Kit.
Well now I have pulled 3 shots on the PIDed Silvia, and it is sooo much quicker and easier than my old routine, I’m sorry that I waited so long to make the move, thanks guys for the encouragement.
Sounds fantastic Billi,
Does JGGall01 or anyone else sell "out of the box" PID kits for the Faema Family?
Youve done a great job there, looks terrific [smiley=thumbsup.gif], especially that wonderful looking controller enclosure that Jim supplied. It is indeed a very impressive package that Jim supplied you and Im glad you are now enjoying the benefits of PID control.... wait til you start playing around with the Temp Setpoint a bit and tasting the difference this makes on the brew :o. A real eye-opener.
I use my controller to control the Steam Temp as well and this has made a hell of a difference to the ease in which I can now make silky smooth stretched milk, time after time, after time..... too easy. Enjoy Billi ;D,
I suspect not, but why not PM him? If he does Im sure you wont go wrong by placing an order.Does JGGall01 or anyone else sell "out of the box" PID kits for the Faema Family?
What does this do?
Hi, Skamp -
Controller maintains steady (within first crack) boiler temperature by:
- reading current temperature (PV) through thermocouple
- calculating current error = desired set point (SP) minus PV
- determining amount of energy needed by heating element to reduce error
- then, every second or so, adjusting fractional "on" time for heating element through solid state relay (SSR)
Nothing too it ;-}
The name PID comes from the algorithm the controller uses to adjust the energy output based on the current error (P), accumulated recent past error (I), and rate of change of error (D).
Roger dodger :)
Awesome job! Looks heaps better than mine (lovely enclosure) and you did it in like a fifth of the time too!
Ahhh... but I had others to test the waters, showing me they way. ::)Awesome job! Looks heaps better than mine (lovely enclosure) and you did it in like a fifth of the time too!
Does the steam button still work as usual or do you use the PID to switch to steaming? Does this PID control both temperatures (pulling a coffee vs steaming milk)?
No, the PID only controls the brew temp, when you switch on the steam it over rides. In other words everything works the same, just with tighter control over the brew temp water.
I actually use the controller on mine to do both jobs for all the reasons already discussed for brewing, but when steaming it just makes it much easier to maintain good steam pressure all the way through a 1.0 Lt jug if necessary :o. Works great :). Some controllers have a feature that allows you to toggle between two or more pre-set target set points and of course this makes it easy. Most OEM type controllers though only have a single setpoint option though, as does mine, and all that is required is to adjust the setpoint Up (135deg C for my Mokita) for Steaming, and Down (102deg C) again for Brewing..... easy as, really :) and only takes seconds to to do. Just couldnt see the point of leaving a wide dead-band t/stat in charge of steaming when the controller can do both jobs extremely well. All the best,
Hi, Mal -
Up until recently I had not seen too much interest in controlling steam with the PID. In fact, I have told several folks that the benefit is small, at least on a Silvia. My explanation has been that once you learn the steam tstat "off" temp, you just start your steaming a few degrees before reaching it. Then the heater stays on throughout - still under the control of the stock tstat.
But a few customers have asked about steam control recently - so I looked into it more seriously. As you (and other folks more knowledgeable than myself) have probably already figured out, all it takes to provide steam control is a dual setpoint controller with event input, a simple mechanical relay with an AC coil, and minor wiring modifications at the steam switch and steam tstat.
I am expecting a few new Silvias next week, and will be implementing the above steam strategy on at least one of them. Finding the right model controller can be a little tricky, but past that it looks like a very straightforward variation on the standard PID theme.
Been a while since you posted. Yes, youre right, it is a very simple matter to setup a dual input controller for this application and depending on the controller, it may or may not be necessary to worry about extra hardware such as switching relays, etc..... Some controllers allow you to do this from the front panel of the controller by toggling from one setpoint target to the other.
Either way, I guess the best option to identify a controller that will suit the application and your preferred mode of operation will be to canvas some of the manufacturers and see what they have to offer. Once youve identified the most appropriate unit from the technical/cost perspective, then I guess it would then be time to hit the auctions and see what you can grab.
In my case, the Shimaden controller I use does not have dual setpoint capability, I just move the setpoint up or down to suit the task at hand..... as I mention above, very easy to do and takes only seconds. Anyone who already has a standard single setpoint controller installed can easily modify their existing wiring to suit this mode of operation, or get a suitably qualified and licensed person to do it for them..... All thats needed is to "bridge" the Steam Thermostat and then revert to the controller for all usage.
To me, it makes a tremendous difference since once the steam valve is opened, the controller will hold the boiler temperature at a steady state temperature once the temp has drifted outside the proportional band and the controller output is on 100% of the time. In my case, this happens at around 125deg C with a setpoint of 135deg C. Once youve finished steaming, just return the setpoint back to the brew setting and youre ready to brew again once the temp has stabilised. It isnt much of a hassle but a dual setpoint controller would definitely be the preferred option if suitable units can be found for a reasonable price, and I think that will be the challenge. Anyway, definitely worth doing from my perspective and provides for a more professional and complete package.
All the best mate,
Mal wrote: " Been a while since you posted."
If folks would talk about PIDs more, I would post more :) Im afraid Im a bit of a one trick pony.
I have managed to gather up a few Watlow controllers that have both a 2nd setpoint and an event input. I also have an Omron controller that I think may do the job. I hope to prototype both controllers this week.
I appreciated hearing your comments regarding the improvement you see on your machine by using the PID to control steam. Not what I would have expected, but it is not smart to argue with observed facts!
Gday again mate,
Youll have to keep us tuned in to how your Stage 2 PID mod works out, and also, what you think of the end result when stretching milk. I think youll be impressed :P,
What is "stretching milk"? (yes I know Im a dummy!)
Increasing the volume by introducing air into it.
Ideally micro bubbles.
I might be persuaded otherwise, but Im not convinced that a dual setpoint controller...or any PID controller is necessary for steaming one or two cups in a Silvia or like machine. Even though the boiler is a meagre 300 ml.
.Mine has a PID for brewing. But once the steaming light goes off, indicating its ready, the temperature is about 160 degrees.
A massive amount of steam is then available throughout the stretching and heating phase.
All the while, the temperature is steadily dropping, down to 126 or so degrees when the light comes back on indicating its heating.
At that point, there is still ample steam, so I turn OFF the steam switch cos I dont need more heat.
I keep steaming for about 10 seconds more beyond that point, because that produces an ideal drinking temperature.
Id hate to think how much steam would be produced if the boiler was heating away during all this!
Billi, youve done a really neat job there. The controller housing is that a standard thing or does each controller have a specific housing?
Im really keen to get a kit, Ive got to do something! I wasnt allowed to buy a commercial machine to restore.
My PID came as a kit from JGG, PID kits; I think that he makes up the boxes himself to suit whichever controller is in the kit.
I have to tell you that he was a pleasure to deal with and the kit was simplicity it’s self to install.
Hey Billi, Ive contemplated PIDing my silvia, and it seems you are very satisfied with the difference it has made to your coffee experience, but is the overall improvements in your shots value for money? I find that using the "reverse temperature surfing" techinque on Miss Silvia results in a consistently good shot, so Im wondering is the benefit significant to justify the cost.
Im impressed with your handy work. Good job.
Mal, I notice you have a 102º setpoint for brewing. Where is your thermocouple located?Originally Posted by Mal link=1147782541/0#11 date=1152456592
I dont have the Mokita anymore, just the Bezzera to which I dont intend installing a PID Controller any time soon.
But, back to the Mokita.... The t/c is installed on top of the boiler in the same location as the original t/stat. Even though the boilers between the Mokita and Silvia are very similar, the Silvia has an additional section added to the boiler between it and the Group, whereas the Mokita Group sits directly below the boiler. I imagine that this results in closer coupling between the boiler top temperature and the Group water temperature during a pour.
With the setpoint at 102 C, the water temperature discharged to the top of the coffee puck is between 93-94 C and pretty well ideal for most coffee varieties. From what Ive read, the setpoint on a Silvia with the t/c fixed to the top of the boiler is close to 108 C and this is probably as a result of the extra section between the boiler and the Group. Hope this helps,
All the best,