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  • Rocket R58 dual boiler

    We had an R58 visit for a day this week for a little remedial work.

    This one had been dropped in transit to Australia and was looking pretty sad when it arrived. Phil's brief was to see what he could do.

    Looked much better (but not perfect due to a bend in the base of the chassis) when it left.

    I haven't seen too many pics of the internals, so I grabbed a few quick phone snaps while it was open so that those considering one can see what they're buying. The internal build quality displays Rocket's attention to detail. Love the arrangement of PID and SSR's and other elements which will make for easy repairs if anything does go wrong.

    As we had heard and seen with a prototype, this grey one did not perform well as the PID logic is hugely flawed. When the user requests brew and/or steam, the PID simply sits there and does nothing.... ..... .... .... for over 10 seconds. In this time steam falls away to nothing at all. Ultimately, it's way less temp stable in this configuration than a HX.

    Thankfully, our Aussie importer rejected this and AU spec machines perform as we would expect of a machine of this calibre. This has been the reason why Australian machines have been delayed by almost a year.

    First stocks of the good ones are due to arrive sometime in March.

    Chris

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    Last edited by TC; 28 January 2013, 11:21 AM. Reason: typos

  • #2
    Re: Rocket R58 dual boiler

    Interesting pics. Some of those pipe routing choices are... interesting.

    Comment


    • #3
      Nothing worried me about the pipe routing and there were some really nice aspects. Really impressive is that it's possible to just swing the board and SSRs out to work on. Also the bracing of boilers to chassis is terrific.

      LOVE the thought which has gone into the positioning of the steam boiler element is genius. Element changes on dual boiler machines can be a nuisance. With this it's a 10 minute job.

      The perfect machine is still yet to be produced and it's a subjective thing anyway. We're looking forward to putting our demo machine up on the bench.

      Chris

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      • #4
        Gotta love Rocket's dedication to quality, those RTD probes are the same type LM use and are serious bits of kit *Neeeeerrrrd*

        Comment


        • #5
          As I posted on the other really long thread (that should only be approached with a strong drink in hand), all R58 machines worldwide are now being made to Australian spec. This improves performance when making milk based drinks.
          This was confirmed to me by Andrew Meo this weekend.
          I believe Talk_Coffee can take a lot of credit for this.

          MCM.

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          • #6
            First person to post about their R58 in Australia? :-)

            My R58 finally arrived today after months of thinking about it and then finally placing the order with Chris a few months ago! Came packaged very well from ECA Sydney and on a skid.

            I have in the immediate past had an ECM Giotto and then a Rocket Giotto Premium Plus (which I still have - see for sale section http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...-plus-act.html). Prior to those I had Sunbeam 6910 and a Saeco Automatic.

            Thought I would write up some first impressions… (given that i have only had the machine literally open for 30 mins).

            Currently writing them up.. stay tuned.
            Last edited by javaboy; 4 April 2013, 06:52 PM. Reason: Photos added

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            • #7
              Congratulations javaboy. You may well be the first with an Australian spec. R58 in the wild!

              CSers- In this case we asked ECA to double check on our behalf in their bench test so that javaboy could have his machine for the weekend. His shipped Sydney to Canberra in advance of our allocation which arrives tomorrow.

              Javaboy- I'm looking forward to the pix which I guess will be in a later post once you have had time to pull some shots and see how it runs. Enjoy!!

              Cheers

              Chris

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              • #8
                Rocket R58 dual boiler

                What a great example of upgraditis Java boy.

                Saeco automatic -> sunbeam -> ECM -> premium plus -> R58

                It's like watching evolution :-p

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                • #9
                  Hope you get many years of great coffee from it!

                  What happened to the list of pros and cons?

                  Pete

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lasanmarcomelb View Post
                    It's like watching evolution :-p
                    It's taken me about 7 years... hopefully the R58 is now my Homo sapiens equivalent... but somehow I think not.
                    Something newer and shinier will be along soon to take my money I am sure!

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                    • #11
                      Hi Pete,

                      Javaboy had some items in "other questions" which could only be answered by ECA as they have specified how Australian machines will operate.

                      Rather than open up the usual "speculation" and circular arguments often seen here, I asked that he allow time for ECA to respond on his enquiries.

                      I saw the list of pros and cons- which were his opinions and I have no concerns with them. I *think* javaboy may have decided to take a day to play tomorrow before reposting with his thoughts and look forward to reading his findings.

                      No doubt he will in time respond to your questions.

                      Cheers

                      Chris

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                      • #12
                        Hi Chris,

                        No worries - I was just surprised at the change (and thought for a minute I was going crazy!!!).

                        Happy playing Javaboy.

                        Kind regards,

                        Pete

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                        • #13
                          Links fixed:

                          Unboxing: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7953074/Roc...8/IMG_0468.jpg
                          Accessories: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7953074/Roc...8/IMG_0469.JPG
                          Next to GPP: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7953074/Roc...8/IMG_0470.JPG
                          On its own: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7953074/Roc...8/IMG_0473.jpg
                          PID controller: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7953074/Roc...8/IMG_0474.jpg

                          'Scratches' shown on the PID controller are actually on the protective plastic film.

                          Note that the "...." shown in the URL should be replaced with "Rocket-R58" in your browser if the links happen to break again.
                          I think when the post becomes un-editable (by me) after a few days the links will stop working again; so just do the above replacement manually.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We have now received our R58 stock as well and most have now gone to happy new owners.

                            Thanks to javaboy for allowing time for ECA to respond to some of the more technical questions. In the interests of open and honest discussion (hope you don't mind javaboy), a reprint with some responses from me and some more on behalf of ECA...

                            Likes
                            • Look (subjective but because I liked the look of my other Giottos too). - similar in style and size. To my wife or a visitor they would not be able to tell it is a different machine. Yes agreed. These is something about Rocket gear. I like their minimalist approach.
                            • Packaging - very similar to how the previous Rocket Giotto came. Agreed
                            • Very quiet - can't tell it's on (no boiling kettle sounds etc). Even the initial turn-on sequence is very quiet. Yes. One of the quirky things about the controller in this machine is that it appears to go through a check sequence on startup or after the reset required after PID changes. There is a 3 second hiatus before the machine is back on deck
                            • Very familiar feel to my other 2 previous machines (which I loved). Agreed. The group is different (new supplier). There is a much more pronounced mid position on the lever cam. The feel is "different" until you get used to it



                            Dislikes
                            • Not personally liking the steam/water handles. Handles feel rough, unfinished (sharp), skinny (depth wise), big and unergonomic compared to GPP. The 'R' on the Steam handle looks/feels plasticky. The open / shut action of the valves are quite 'sticky'. Fair enough. These are a copy of the Faema e-61 type handle. Ergonomically very different to the Giotto. The commercial valves are also different. Whilst not better nor worse, they're again different.
                            • The boiler pressure gauge is not sitting evenly / flush on the machine (minor issue) - it is not quite flush (off by an mm or two) on one half of the gauge (one half is sticking out by an mm or two). This appears to be a build/finish issue with mine? A little variation in our demo as well. Rocket gauges have a retaining brace behind. It may be that it's not quite perfectly located. We'll keep an eye on others in bench test as it's easily fixed. Will forward procedure if javaboy wishes to make the adjustment
                            • There is a new water outlet (wasn't there on my other machines) looks like a little button on the body of the machine near the drip tray - not sure what it's for; which 1) continuously drips water (2) appears to be too close to the body of the machine and so have a feeling drips will end up missing the drip tray and ending up on the bench top if the tray is not in fully one day. Yes- this connects to the expansion valve. A little loss of water is normal on startup. This then ceases.
                            • Lever action feels a bit rough/wobbly (almost like it is off centre or something). Hopefully that will settle over time with use and coffee oils. As per above. It's not the same e-61 group as that of the Giotto and has a different "feel"
                            • The PID Display unit (to me) feels/looks cheap and not in tune with the rest of the machine. Mine also had a lot of scuff marks/light grazes/lines across the perspex display part. Looks "pre-owned" to put it frankly (refer to photo) Not when the plastic protective coat is removed! It will be interesting so see how users find the approach of the PID controller in a draw. I understand Rocket's motives (minimalism) but it's certainly a tad fiddly compared to onboard controllers. I shudder to think of what the cost of a replacement might be!



                            Other questions
                            • Service boiler pressure has been factory set to 1.1 bar (and confirmed via plugin controller) but the gauge/dial on the front of the machine (LHS) shows 1.4 - is that normal? Yes. This is one of the aspects of the Australian R58 that the owner has control of. There are other build items as well which have been specified for the AUS/NZ specific and electrically compliant model by ECA.
                            • The pump pressure (RHS) gauge/dial does not reset down to 0 (sits on 1) with pump off (ie. pump has been used once and now off - but reading is 1 even with pump now off)- is that normal? Yes- completely normal as per pretty much all rotary pump and many vibe pump machines with dual gauges. There has been plenty of CS discussion about this in other threads.


                            Reseller thoughts
                            • We pulled perhaps 20 shots this morning, same grinder, same coffee, same pour against the Alex Duetto. Lo and behold, same result in the cup!
                            • Alex Duetto wins on steam pressure and just wins on steam longevity. Today, the Duetto had drier steam, but I expect that the Rocket will improve with use as all machines seem to!ds, biMilk texture. The new R58 wand gets a little hotter than the Giotto wand, but it's no biggie. Milk texture with both machines is outstanding. I'm giving it to the R58 by a nose. Both have more than ample steam grunt.
                            • PID. Hmm... Did I say Hmm? Rocket reminds me a little of Apple. You get to choose temp of each boiler, language, temperature unit, water source and that's it. End users (and resellers) are locked out of any other adjustments. I am still unsure of the fiddly pin based serial connection (why not usb?). When I look at this, I think it could so easily have been controlled by a smartphone and then think of how much more could have been incorporated...
                            • Duetto PID will allow bother boilers to heat simultaneously whereas the Rocket assigns priority to the brew boiler (as did early Duetto V2). I prefer the Duetto control.


                            Conclusions
                            Man, this machine looks sexy and will attract a heap of buyers on looks alone. I am pleased that early issues and those of EU stock have now been resolved in the Aussie build and that our machines perform well.

                            A guy who purchased one this morning asked me to choose. My honest answer is that I really can't! These are both super dooper machines and would be aspirational for all but those who have far too much money! Both do build quality in a way that some other manufacturers fail to and neither needs to be weighed or measured for thickness with calipers to try to come to "notaright" conclusion .

                            I hope this information will be of use to those who might be considering one

                            Chris

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the concise summary Chris. No surprises that Alex and the R58 are neck and neck. How does the VBM dual boiler compare? I would definitely consider an upgrade from my VBM Jnr if any of these brought something extra in the cup. Another option - whilst not a direct competitor out of left field but same price point would be the quickmill achille.

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