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Thread: Decent Espresso Machines (DE1) - Any thoughts?

  1. #1151
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdaddy View Post
    In My Humble Opinion...If you kept the price points on the machines the same, you did not increase them, then adding your suitcase at no cost, you'd be on a winner there...A great value item to what promises to be a very nice machine...
    Since it's actually less expensive for us to manufacture a suitcase than it is to ship a much-larger espresso machine double-boxed for protection, the price for us is actually lower to use the suitcase.

    Most of the suitcase cost is now a "sunk cost" because Joao and I spent a few months designing it, and I've paid for the custom molds for the vacuum form molds. And god, we spent a fortune trying out various foam strategies before we finally settled on 3mm thick vacuum formed (and spandex covered) foam. And, we have manufacturers we have tested and like, for all components.

    Thus, no increased price to the customer to receive the suitcase.

    IMG_8143.jpg

    Our only trouble with the suitcases is that they don't arrive flat-packed (obviously) like cardboard, so they take a huge amount of warehouse space. But that's a relatively minor issue.

    -john
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  2. #1152
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    What happened to all the reviews on various forums? Have they all overdosed on coffee or did the machines die?

  3. #1153
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBexile2 View Post
    What happened to all the reviews on various forums? Have they all overdosed on coffee or did the machines die?
    This morning I found these two videos:



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  4. #1154
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    Declumping espresso with a milk jug



    Here is a technique we use to improve our espresso shots. Instead of dosing into a portafilter, we homogenize the grinds by dumping them into a milk jug, shaking, and then putting them into the portafilter.

    . . .

    Declumping Shot Comparison

    Some of the feedback from the beta testers, discussed on home barista, was that they were seeing more channeling than they were used to.

    In my experience, channeling on our machines is usually caused by these 3 things (in order of importance):
    1) your puck prep
    2) making your shot at too high a pressure (the DE1+ goes up to 13 bar)
    3) the quality of your grinder

    The two shots below are identical, except that the one on the right had the milk-jug-declumping technique applied to it. You can see that the amount of spray on the sides of the cup is drastically reduced.

    Both shots were 15.5g in, 30g out, in 30s, peaking at 10.5 bar. Flow profiling at 4 ml/s preinfusion, 2ml/s hold.

    IMG_8449 copy.jpg



    Last edited by decentespresso; 1 Week Ago at 04:28 PM.
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  5. #1155
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    Progress report from the Decent Factory



    Here's what we're up to at Decent HQ in terms of getting espresso machines made.

    Update: we found the cause of the HiPot failure, we've fixed the two machines that were failing it, and we're shipping those machines tomorrow after they get shaken overnight and then burned in for 2h.
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  6. #1156
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    Soooo....What DID cause the HiPot failure? You've described the beginning and the end, but narratives have a middle too.

  7. #1157
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    Soooo....What DID cause the HiPot failure? You've described the beginning and the end, but narratives have a middle too.
    The hipot test goes to 1800 volts, with 2mA, to see if the insulation is acceptable or if sparks occur. At 1700 volts, the low voltage pc board (ie, the computer) started to have sparks, which is very strange because it wasn't actually powered (only one connector of two cables from the 24V power supply were connected).

    It took us some time, but we figured out that the Meanwell power supply was the culprit. Its specs indicate that it shouldn't leak until 3000V, but these two Meanwell power supplies were not performing to spec.

    The spark was occuring between ground and the low voltage board, on one of the mounting PEMs, caused by us using metal screws to mount the low voltage board. By switching to nylon screws and nylon washers to mount the PCB, we further isolated this PC board, and now the complete hipot test passes.

    We see this failure as a "technical failure" in that yes, it was failing the hipot test, but normal operation wouldn't expose the Meanwell 24V power supply to this high a voltage, so in regular use this wouldn't have been a safety concern.

    Nonetheless, we've switched our assembly process now to use nylon screws and washers to mount all low voltage pc boards, so that even if a single Meanwell power supply leaks, we still pass the hipot test. The change has no impact on the machines built with Meanwell power supplies that are performing to spec.

    Is that fairly clear?

    -john

  8. #1158
    gc
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    It is clear...thankyou....and with a simple solution too.

    Do you check all the Meanwells for significant variation from spec now, or it just doesn't matter?

  9. #1159
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    Do you check all the Meanwells for significant variation from spec now, or it just doesn't matter?
    From a safety standpoint, we don't think it matters. From a "passing the required hipot test, for every machine that ships" it would have been important (ie, some DE1s would have failed) but now that we have switched to nylon screws, even the meanwells that leak at 1700W no longer cause a hipot failure.

    Obviously, if the meanwell power supply is defective in a meaningful way, we'd not use it. However leaking a bit at 1700W isn't a failure we consider "material", now that we've worked around that reality.

    -john

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    dearcoffeebuyer.jpgdearcoffeebuyerposter.jpg

    Leaving the topic of espresso machines for a moment...

    Scott Rao really likes this new book about sourcing green coffee. Though Scott is the author of one of the two main books on coffee roasting, he feels that there is a lack of information about obtaining good beans for roasting. Scott also really liked the poster showing coffee processing methods and funded its printing. Stocking this item is a bit off-topic for what we do at Decent, but there is significant cross-over between our audience and people who roast coffee (for fun or for a living), so I'm giving it a punt.

    A pallet of this new book (and 100 posters) arrived a few days ago, and perhaps some home (or commercial?) roasters on this forum might be interested.
    https://decentespresso.com/books

    -john

  11. #1161
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    The hipot test goes to 1800 volts, with 2mA, to see if the insulation is acceptable or if sparks occur. At 1700 volts, the low voltage pc board (ie, the computer) started to have sparks, which is very strange because it wasn't actually powered (only one connector of two cables from the 24V power supply were connected).
    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    However leaking a bit at 1700W isn't a failure we consider "material", now that we've worked around that reality.
    Is it leaking at 1700 volts, or at 1700 watts?

  12. #1162
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    Quote Originally Posted by roastini View Post
    Is it leaking at 1700 volts, or at 1700 watts?
    Volts.

    Sorry for the typo!

    -john

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    A bit of progress

    IMG_8465.jpg

    We just wrapped up 5 machines at 110V, but these took two weeks to finish (somewhat also due to 5 days closed around easter and grave-sweeping-day).

    Today we laid out 20 machines at 220V to build at once (photo below). I'm hoping we can complete these within 2 weeks, but maybe faster, and then we'll build 20 machines at 110V.

    We've been in an interviewing frenzy, and in the past 48h I have extended four job offers. As we've only had two people dedicated to building machines (and others helping in as their other duties allow) this will really help. I have two more interviews tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

    -john



  14. #1164
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    This is exciting news. How can I know if my wife's suitcase (DE1) is in the 20

  15. #1165
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    This is exciting news. How can I know if my wife's suitcase (DE1) is in the 20
    Can you write tech support asking ?
    https://decentespresso.com/contact

    However, if you've bought a DE1, sorry, bad news. We aren't making that model yet, as we are prioritizing the DE1+, and will shortly be discontinuing the DE1 (these 50 or so that were prepaid are the only ones we'll make).

    -john

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    Decent interview

    The Coffee Compass today published a short interview with me.
    https://www.thecoffeecompass.com/a-m...man-interview/
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  17. #1167
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    Can you write tech support asking ?
    https://decentespresso.com/contact

    However, if you've bought a DE1, sorry, bad news. We aren't making that model yet, as we are prioritizing the DE1+, and will shortly be discontinuing the DE1 (these 50 or so that were prepaid are the only ones we'll make).

    -john
    As an early adopter with faith in the company i hope we 50 lowly DE1 buyers dont get shunted into oblivion with the hope we either die of old age or get sick of waiting and cancel. Will send the email.

  18. #1168
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    As an early adopter with faith in the company i hope we 50 lowly DE1 buyers dont get shunted into oblivion with the hope we either die of old age or get sick of waiting and cancel. Will send the email.
    We're planning on getting all the espresso machine (DE1 and DE1+) out the door before the end of June. We're only able to make 1 a day at the moment, though we're making progress on that front (you can see our progress via my postings here). 3 new people starting on the assembly line next week (to help the 2 full-timers we have there now, so the extra workforce should have a big effect). UPDATE: I just interviewed and hired a "factory process engineer", and he will start in 4 weeks' time.

    And of course, if you choose to upgrade to a DE1+, you can do so at the old price, before the planned increase as we move the the v1.1 batch.

    -john
    Last edited by decentespresso; 6 Days Ago at 01:15 PM.

  19. #1169
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    And of course, if you choose to upgrade to a DE1+, you can do so at the old price, before the planned increase as we move the the v1.1 batch.

    -john
    JMcCee don't be tempted! An Apple 1 (1of 15) recently sold for $905k, if the Decent is the success we all hope it will be, your one of fifty DE1 will be worth a bomb, the original collectors piece. Of course predicated that the Cult of Decent takes off

  20. #1170
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    The machine is for my wife, mainly because she loves the suitcase it comes in so the heart rate monitor and other gizmos on the DE1+ are rather superfluous.

    And by the time the DE1 becomes a collectible my ashes will be in orbit.
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  21. #1171
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    Decent water flow diagram

    DECAFE_Flow2.jpg

    Once in a while, someone writes us at tech support, asking for a "water flow diagram". Ben Champion redid our ugly-because-it's-for-internal-use diagram, into this accurate-and-attractive version.

    Pressure and temperature sensors are also shown in this diagram. If you can understand this chart, you understand how our espresso machine works.

    -john
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  22. #1172
    gc
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    Brilliant! Thanks for the diagram. It's an easy summary of dozens of pages on different forums. I'm sure I'll refer to it a lot. Now..... For the electrical schematics.......

  23. #1173
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    New feature: prepare for suitcase

    suitcase.jpg

    This new feature appeared in our espresso machines today.

    When you pack your Decent Espresso Machine into its suitcase, it would be nice for all the water inside to be pushed out, so that it doesn't leak all over the inside of your suitcase.

    So... first you slide your water tank forward in preparation. Then, the espresso machine closes the appropriate valves and runs the water pump through each section where water might be hiding. Because the pumps are "self priming", they're actually fairly good at blowing air forward as well. The whole process takes about 30 seconds.

    My apologies for the amateurish photo-graphic that I used to implement this feature. Joćo is rendering something attractive to replace it in the next tablet revision.

    -john
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  24. #1174
    gc
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    suitcase.jpg

    This new feature appeared in our espresso machines today.

    When you pack your Decent Espresso Machine into its suitcase, it would be nice for all the water inside to be pushed out, so that it doesn't leak all over the inside of your suitcase.

    So... first you slide your water tank forward in preparation. Then, the espresso machine closes the appropriate valves and runs the water pump through each section where water might be hiding. Because the pumps are "self priming", they're actually fairly good at blowing air forward as well. The whole process takes about 30 seconds.

    My apologies for the amateurish photo-graphic that I used to implement this feature. Joćo is rendering something attractive to replace it in the next tablet revision.

    -john
    Ha! Now that's a feature I will definitely need!........if only I could remember where that setting was again......

  25. #1175
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    Decent HQ: a bit more organized



    Here's an update on our progress in putting together a lean, mean, espresso building machine.
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    DE1+ owner Damian Scisci has a new video: Pressure vs. Flow Profiling

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    Advanced Profiles

    profiling2c.jpg

    The "ADVANCED PROFILE" editor, which allows you to create virtually any espresso program you like, has been the big remaining unimplemented feature in our espresso machine.

    As of today, it (mostly) works, as it's available as a free "app upgrade" inside the tablet software to the Decent Espresso Machine.

    Advanced shots can do some interesting things:
    - different goal temperatures at different steps in the espresso
    - pauses, with no water flow (for preinfusion, or for making a pour-over coffee)
    - espresso with more than 3 steps (which can be created in the easier-to-use Pressure and Flow profile editors)
    - mixing flow and pressure control strategies, inside a single espresso
    - a step in espresso making can conditionally move onto the next step when a certain flow or pressure "exit condition" is met.

    I'm attaching some screen pictures of samples of my testing the DE1+ in different ways.

    PS: I wrote "(mostly) works" because there are two aspects which aren't yet working, but should be next week:
    1) ending an espresso step based on total volume (for now, use "seconds" to control a step)
    2) setting the water at a constant temperature (not adapting to the puck temperature sensor) is not yet implemented.

    Everything else about the Advanced Shots seems to work, though I do expect that there will be bugs for us to fix, as real users make espresso with this new technology.

    -john

  28. #1178
    gc
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    Is there an updated download to familiarise ourselves with the shot editor in the windows/Linux environment? I'll be interested in how long it takes me after my machine arrives before I start fiddling with the shot editor. It will happen, but there's lots to learn and adjust to first.

  29. #1179
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    Is there an updated download to familiarise ourselves with the shot editor in the windows/Linux environment? I'll be interested in how long it takes me after my machine arrives before I start fiddling with the shot editor. It will happen, but there's lots to learn and adjust to first.
    In theory, even in the Desktop version of the DE1+ app, the SETTINGS->MACHINE->APP UPDATE buttons should work, and is much faster than downloading from scratch.

    That being said, I have uploaded the "advanced shot" changes to the latest desktop versions as well, so you can :
    https://decentespresso.com/downloads

    Major proviso: it's 7pm here, and I'm going home now. I see at least one GUI bug (loading the new "Pour Over" profile is very slow) that I will fix tomorrow.

    There are probably more GUI bugs, as I've just finished stomping out a half dozen bugs, and I'm certain more will pop up in the next 48h.

    And for your amusement, here is a GIF animation I made of a "Pour over" program, which is potentially a useful application of this new feature.

    -john


    pourover.gif

  30. #1180
    gc
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    Thanks for that info John. As it's 10:30 pm here I'll give us both a break and look into it tomorrow on a bigger screen and also try the update button. Enjoy your evening.

  31. #1181
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    factory progress

    Quote Originally Posted by gc View Post
    Thanks for that info John. As it's 10:30 pm here I'll give us both a break and look into it tomorrow on a bigger screen and also try the update button. Enjoy your evening.
    I seem to have fixed the obvious bugs in ADVANCED PROFILE, so it's safe to try out now.

    In other news, there's real factory progress to report this week.

    3 new people started this week, and we pulled all the engineers away from their desks, so we could have 10 total people working on building machines. That's a big increase from 2 people in the factory previously.

    We believe we will have all the "sub assemblies" for 20 machines built by the end of Friday (today), and on Monday we will start final assembly of them all. We should have shipped all 20 220V machines by the end of next week.

    If so, that will represent a 4x increase in assembly speed (from 0.5 machines/day to 2 machines/day), but we think we should reach 3 to 4 machines a day very shortly, because quite a bit of the past 2 weeks has been us cleaning and organizing. That's mostly done now, and we can start to reap the benefits.

    Attached are some photos I took today.

    -john


    people3.jpg parts.jpg

  32. #1182
    gc
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    Is there a straight android apk of the DE1+ software available for sideloading and without androwish? Or is androwish required even for running the DE1+ software in final release form on th tablet?

    I find myself paying very close attention to machine assembly updates now. I can hardly wait.

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