Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, esteemed coffee snobs..

    May I present to you after much though and development...

    *drum roll please*

    The steam wand mod for my Nemox Dell Opera. (for details on the what, how and such see bottom of post).




    This "new wand" has a thread that accepts standard commercial tips.

    Here are some more broken down shots:

    The adapter with tip attached (it screws off the machine)



    The tip itself (from the lovely folks at Coffee Parts):



    Topdown view from the tip (you can see its a 2-hole):



    A happy snap of my machine and setup with the new wand just for good measure. A proud papa likes to show off his kids donchaknow ;-)



    So.. how was it made? what were the problems/triumphs etc?

    I will direct your attention to this photo:



    The standard Nemox Fenice/Dell Opera come with an all-in-one steam tip. That part has been "integrated" into the new part for a reason that I will mention later. In the photo above the original tip makes up the right portion of the adapter up until you see the "join". The original tip is made from chrome plated solid brass.

    You can see that the original tip was actually responsible for providing quite a bit of the length of the wand so without it you are left with a pretty short wand with a thread on it.

    Here is my bad diagram of how the tip looks before modding -- it is supposed to be a cross section and is oriented 180 degrees different from the photo above.

    The ~~ marks denote the screw thread where the arm of the machine screws into. There is also an rubber O ring indented in that chamber to seal it when you put the arm in. I couldnt be bothered putting that in the diagram.. cut me some slack, OK?  ;D

    At the other end you can see the | | marks.. they denote what is apparently called a "ventry hole". A ventry hole is a hole in a pipe that when something rushes past it, it creates a suction/intake effect. This is because the air/steam rushing out the wand will take the path of least resistance which is that big gaping hole on the right hand side. This effect helps suck air into the milk and create your froth.

    The O in the centre shows where the chamber that the wand arm screws into ends and opens up into the big chamber in the part you dip into the milk.


    |------------------| |----/
    |-----~~-------|
                       O
    |-----~~-------|
    |-------------------------/\/


    The original plan was to simply measure the thread on the arm the wand on the machine has and create and extender for that, that had a thread on the end that a standard tip may be attached to.

    The first big problem was that the thread on the arm itself is *tapered* and if you know anything about screw threads you will know that even a millimeter or two of incorrectness can cause two parts to have no chance of mating.

    My friend the metalworker/turner tried his best to find a matching specification that would work, but it wasnt to be.

    What he did was make a stainless steel plug that is slightly larger than the big chamber that you would usually dip in the milk and hammer it in so that it formed a formidable seal (no chance of steam escaping). The diameter of the hole he drilled up the centre of this plug was matched with the diameter of the steam wand itself, so as not to affect the steam pressure adversely (that was my theory anyways.. im really just talking out my ass)

    When we specced the original extender part we figured what the total length of the wand should be including the tip to work with my jugs and approximated the length of the extender from that.

    So now we have a plug hammered into the old part, sealed, with the right hole diameter up the middle. On the end of that was the screw thread that matched the standard 2 hole steam tip you see in the pictures and voila!

    You have yourself a wand extendomatic!

    First test run of the part did not go well. The ventry hole on the side was larger than the holes in the tip and thus the steam went hissing out the side.. not a desirable effect.

    The original plan was to make it so that the mod could be reversed but it became clear that we had to cross that line in order to block the hole.

    He hammered a small pin slightly larger than the ventry hole in there, cut it off and buffed it to make it nice and seamless -- using the same sealing principal as the plug that goes into the extender.

    After this finishing touch the wand worked like a charm!

    You can see in the side where the pin was buffed in because some of the chrome finish on the original tip came off to reveal the brassy finish.



    The new wand works pretty well but is taking some getting used to.

    I noticed that before I used full steam pressure to steam, but now I only need to open the it up a little otherwise its too much force and the steam pressure is quickly lost.

    A problem with it is that because the attachment and wand are different in size it is hard to brace the edge of the jug against and slide up and down and gets in the way.

    Time will tell if technique will work around that.

    Thanks for reading!

    cheers

    Lachlan

  • #2
    Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

    Hi Lachlan,

    Love that steam tip ... now where have I seen that tip before ? Did you also buy that tip from coffeeparts?

    Also love that home setup, looks like youre ready to setup your own cafe!

    Anycase let me know how you go with the new steam tip ... Im still practicing with it but indeed very happy with the purchase, it does a much better job than my previous tip.

    Steam pressure was a slight problem with my Brasilia Club, but my machine has a button that I keep pressed down which keeps the water boiling to keep the pressure up .... its a slight headache because I need to have one hand on the jug and other hand (or finger) holding down a button, but after a bit of practice anything is possible.

    Anyways enjoy your new tip !

    Matt



    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

      Hey matt,

      Yep, the tip is from Coffeeparts.

      Thanks for the kind words on the home setup

      Certain significant others may argue that I already have my own cafe LOL..

      The new tip is taking a little getting used to, but I think Im getting the technique down now. This morning I got some wonderfully glossy microfoam!

      My machine seems to be able to keep up providing I dont just open the valve all the way and go hell for leather, which is waaay too much power for a single or 2 cup jug anyways.

      good luck mastering your new steam too!

      cheers
      Lachlan

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

        Great job there Lachlan [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

        Looks a hell of a lot more functional than the original factory wand. Youll have to practice up a bit and then let us know how she goes with an expert hand at the helm, with maybe a few photos of some Latte Art . Makes me think I should get off my backside and do something similar with my Mokita..... Once I see some of your great Latte Art piccies that should be enough to get me moving :P,

        Well done mate,
        Mal.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

          Originally posted by Mal link=1151416945/0#3 date=1151508341
          Great job there Lachlan [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

          Looks a hell of a lot more functional than the original factory wand. Youll have to practice up a bit and then let us know how she goes with an expert hand at the helm, with maybe a few photos of some Latte Art . Makes me think I should get off my backside and do something similar with my Mokita..... Once I see some of your great Latte Art piccies that should be enough to get me moving :P,

          Well done mate,
          Mal.
          We have now dubbed it "Frankenmachine" ;D

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

            obligatory "DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNN...."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

              Lachlan, it looks like a great piece of engineering but is the Nexox Fenice capable of producing reasonable milk without the mod. I was thinking of buying one but cant see the point if it has to be modified to produce decent milk. I may as well expand the budget and get a Sylvia. What do you reckon?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

                Semaj, my napoletana produces excelent steam especially with the new wand Ive made. You only have to swap it with the original. It uses the same nozzle nut etc and makes a great improvement on an already good machine. For more information look at http://tominoz.50webs.com/Pages/coffewand.htm.

                Thanks Lachlan for sticking with Nemox Dell Opera, Im looking forward to your future mods. Now that Ive got the steam wand worked out, and the temp mesurment, my next problem is to get the grinder to drop into the centre of the portafilter while being easier to clean. Any ideas would be appreciated.

                Thomas

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

                  Personally, it was a bit of a stretch for me to go the Nemox Dell Opera cash wise so to stretch again to a Silvia and then be without a grinder wasnt feasible.

                  I was told early on that a crap grinder with a good machine will still get you crap coffee (to simplify :P )

                  I actually was unaware of the importance of the style of wand the Dell Opera had -- in fact -- I think the Imat Mokita/Napoletana and Nemix Fenice/Dell Opera have different wands even though almost everything else about them is near identical.

                  The Dell Opera has a stock wand that is *workable* for sure, however, if you truly want great milk texturing, which the chances are you do (this *is* coffeeSNOBS :P ), you will struggle to get it without some kind of modding.

                  If you can swing it (and you have the bench space in your kitchen), go for a Silvia and a Rocky Doserless -- They are a tried and true combination, but will probably push your kit closer to or just over 1000 bucks, depending on where you shop.

                  Hope this helps you make your decision.

                  cheers
                  Lachlan


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

                    Originally posted by Semaj link=1151416945/0#6 date=1154489524
                    Lachlan, it looks like a great piece of engineering but is the Nexox Fenice capable of producing reasonable milk without the mod. I was thinking of buying one but cant see the point if it has to be modified to produce decent milk. I may as well expand the budget and get a Sylvia. What do you reckon?
                    Hi Semaj,

                    Just my personal $0.02 worth .... The Imat/Fenice/Quaha machines are capable of producing a coffee that is nigh on indiscernible in quality from a Silvia or similar machine, once youve got your technique down pat. It does this at a cost that is two-thirds the cost of a Silvia for a machine that has internals that are almost identical .

                    My rationale for going with the Mokita was that it is a great little machine to start out with, can produce great micro-foam so long as you match the jug size to the actual milk quantities needed, and I can put the money saved by not purchasing a Silvia towards a HX machine some time in the future. In the end, thats what I have actually achieved but via a slightly alternative method .

                    Dont under-estimate the Imat/Fenice/Quaha machines, they do a terrific job and at a great price entry point [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

                    Cheers,
                    Mal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

                      Hi Mal

                      Thanks for the advice, have you found the need to modify the steam wand or are you using the original?

                      regards

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

                        Originally posted by Semaj link=1151416945/0#10 date=1155040232
                        Hi Mal

                        Thanks for the advice, have you found the need to modify the steam wand or are you using the original?

                        regards
                        No mate,

                        Just using the original with the enhancer removed ,

                        Mal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

                          Just remember that the Nemox comes with an all-in-one frother/tip that once you remove you just have a very short open steam pipe, which will produce no foam and just spray milk across your kitchen.

                          If you want to do what Mal is doing then you want the Imat Napoletana/Mokita.

                          The steam tip is a little short but you can get decent foam from it for sure. The steam tip/end is one of the subtle differences between the Nemox and Imat branded versions of the machines that are otherwise almost identical.

                          Funnily enough the Nemox seems to fetch a slightly higher price point than the Imat

                          So if youre going to go with this group of machines I do think you should go Imat.

                          PS. I also back Mal up as far as coffee production goes from these machines!

                          cheers
                          Lachlan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

                            Originally posted by Lachlan link=1151416945/0#12 date=1155095354
                            Funnily enough the Nemox seems to fetch a slightly higher price point than the Imat
                            Hi guys,

                            Not for long Im afraid to say..... the next batch of Imat Mokita/Napoletana machines to come into the country will be more expensive, how much.... I dont know but according to Lygon Imports (the importers) this is definite ,

                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Nemox Dell Opera / Fenice Steam Wand Mod!

                              It will be interesting to see if the Nemox ones go up too.. hmm..

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X