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  • Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

    All this talk about PIDs in Sydney got to me, and I decided it was time Silvia in Melbourne was taken to the next level.

    The thermocouple and digital multimeter I’ve been using took the guesswork out of when to pull shots. But I like the idea of walking up to the machine and making coffee  without first checking the temperaturet and making adjustments accordingly with the steam switch (to go higher) or brew switch (to cool).

                    Why do it?
    The idea of the machine having a day-long stable temperature appeals. No wild fluctuations of around 20°, along with the internal pressure stresses that produces.
    Also why: “because it’s there”. And because it will be fun to do.

                     Mission Statement
    The project has to be cost effective. I can afford to splash out with the cash, but I don’t want to end up adding 40 per cent to the original cost of the Silvia, either. The PID does not have to be extremely sophisticated with multiple loops, dual output controls  etc.

                     The Journey Begins
    First, the obvious: choosing a PID.

    I gave up on Ebay because after researching what those hitherto meaningless PID specs mean, the stuff on offer was either short on detail, unsuitable, or used ---plucked from industrial ovens. Many have electro-magnetic mechanical relays which not only go clickety-click, but are rated below the necessary current of at least 5 amps.

    One, offered by ColdfusionX  Universal, the   TET 7100, looked promising. But a Google search showed it got poor reviews and has a one-line display anyway.

    Last year I spoke to Ron Fowler, at OneTemp, but the quote was too high at around $200. This time I spoke to their Melbourne office and was quoted $294 for their supposedly “cheapest” controller, a Shimaden. SR91.  And  $34.20 for a 40-amp relay. Plus GST.

    Add a few more dollars for a box, wiring, bracket and terminals and it’s all looking like a ridiculous add-on for a $700 machine.

    I was resigned  to give up on the whole project when, back at Ebay I came across a very modestly-priced model which had all the features I sought.

    To be continued.

    -Robusto.


  • #2
    Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

    ooh the suspense ;D

    Im curious to see what you got now, bet I paid too much for mine

    Just had a browse of eBay then, looks like theres quite a few sub $100 ones that look quite promising. But I really didnt know what I was after, so I guess I paid for the safer option.

    Hope you got yourself a bargain, looking forward to seeing your setup.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

      Originally posted by robusto link=1144669688/0#0 date=1144669688
      Last year I spoke to Ron Fowler, at OneTemp, but the quote was too high at around $200. This time I spoke to their Melbourne office and was quoted $294 for their supposedly “cheapest” controller, a Shimaden. SR91. And $34.20 for a 40-amp relay. Plus GST.

      -Robusto.
      Gday Robusto,

      When you were speaking to Ron at OneTemp, did you make sure to tell him that you were a CS Member and was looking for the OEM hardware? From the prices you have quoted it looks more like you were quoted on a Retail Hardware package. For example, my Shimaden SR1-8P-1W cost me around $135.00 and a 25A SSR for $18.00... P&H was about $15.00 all up. I already had some K t/c cable on hand, albeit shielded with s/s but still ok for the job. All in all, my PID mod cost me less than $170.00 as I was able to scrounge all required miscellaneous hardware from my own stocks of bits & pieces. Even if you had to buy everything, you should still be able to come in well below $200.00 all in and running.

      Cheers,
      Mal.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

        Mal, I mentioned CS to Ron Fowler but it didnt seem to ring any bells with him. But that was quite some time ago last year.

        Robusto

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

          Hmmm,

          Very strange Robusto. Both Sparky and I have dealt with Ron F. before so I dont know what has changed. I did mention to Ron at the time I bought my hardware that there would be other CSers from time to time looking to do the same thing and he seemed to be quite happy to help out on each occasion as it came up.

          Ah well, maybe there was too little interest and he just didnt think it was worth his while . I would still contact them and ask for OEM hardware though, as this will cost you a lot less than full retail.... might as well try and save some money for buying beans with, eh?

          Cheers,
          Mal.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

            Project pid silvia Part 2
                   
            A week ago I took the plunge to buy a PID and on Ebay in the USA I was attracted to what looked to be a suitable, low-cost model for my Silvia.

            I wanted a 1/16 DIN  (48 mm by 48 mm) size, with two-line display so both the set temperature and real temperature would  show at once.  A 1/16 DIN is half the height, but has a one-line only display. Naturally, the output had to be a solid state relay capable of driving a 240VAC appliance---the Silvia.

            Fuzzy logic and autotune were also desirable features to have. Hey---I want to make coffee, not calibrate instruments. But  while desirable, I didn’t raise expectations of having these features in a budget PID.
                       
            So, as mentioned previously, having all but given up the quest, at the eleventh hour I stumbled across what seemed to be what I wanted.        

                 The PID


            The Auber Instruments PID promises  the lot. Well, one can only go by  the description and specifications on Ebay and the seller’s website:

                 http://auberins.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1

            A Google search for reviews was fairly fruitless. The only mentions are the website and the Ebay auction.

            But yesterday, surfing into Google alt.coffee, there was one review. Some person is very happy with its installation on a Simonelli Oscar.  And there was a spirited debate not so much about the virtues or shortcomings of the Auber, but cheap PIDs generally.

            Arguments were alone the lines that you can’t expect a cheap electronic device to perform…. Versus those cheap devices often use the same chips as expensive brand name ones. None of the writers had actually used the Auber.

            I’ve only been let down by Ebay once, (a PCMCIA USB2 card which doesn’t work) so I trusted my instinct and ordered the SYL-2352 PID.   Email exchanges promised it had autotune and fuzzy logic, although autotune was not mentioned in the descriptions.  

            The seller was keen to point out it has dual alarm outputs which come in handy, despite not being obvious as to why.  I’ve thought about it,  but cannot think of any sensible use for the  alarms.   But I suppose it’s nice to have. Suggestions welcome  
             
                The SSR
            Also ordered a SSR from the same seller: the 25-amp  RS1A213D25 .  It has a zero-cross turn on, which means it switches 240VAC when the parabolic curve is at zero volts. A good time to do it, apparently.
               
               The Cost

            The PID is $US 44.5 (about $AUD60).  The SSR is $US15 ($AUD21).
            Add insurance $US1.50, and express international postage $US14.00 ($AUD19).

            So, the whole package comes to $US 75, or  $AUD 105.  

            That’s less than 1/3 what I was quoted locally.

            If all goes well, that is more than reasonable.  It may be too good to be true, but that’s the risk one takes in this era of international on-line shopping. .  

            To be continued


            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

              There have been a few people on CG using the Auber controllers. Reports are all good. Maybe these will replace the Fujis as the favorite controller for coffee machine use.

              Thats a great price for new units shipped to your door (even cheaper than my ebay purcahses).

              Goodluck with it. I reckon youll love the results.

              Cheers,

              Mark.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

                Thanks Mark, very encouraging to know that.
                Robusto

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

                  Is it my computer settings -- or has my picture of the Auber PID disappeared and left a blank space instead? Does anyone see it? It was there this morning, but gone since I re-booted tonight.


                  Feedback appreciated

                  Robusto

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

                    Originally posted by robusto link=1144669688/0#8 date=1144839274
                    Is it my computer settings -- or has my picture of the Auber PID disappeared and left a blank space instead? Does anyone see it? It was there this morning, but gone since I re-booted tonight.


                    Feedback appreciated

                    Robusto
                    I see no pic in any of your posts on this page Robusto. The link you posted showing the Auber PID works fine here.

                    Java "Likes pictures" phile
                    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

                      I can see the pic. Nice looking, btw.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

                        Originally posted by nunu link=1144669688/0#10 date=1144846700
                        I can see the pic.  Nice looking, btw.
                        Thanks for feedback Javaphile and Nunu.

                        To clarify, the pictures--of a piggyback terminal, in Silvia in Sydney posts, and here---disappeared somehow, but I managed to repost after a lot of frustration.

                        Robusto

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

                          Yup, the pics are now visible Robusto.

                          Java "Picturing it all" phile
                          Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

                            Originally posted by robusto link=1144669688/0#5 date=1144780789
                            Project pid Silvia Part 2

                            A week ago I took the plunge to buy a PID and on Ebay in the USA I was attracted to what looked to be a suitable, low-cost model for my Silvia.
                            Great find robusto [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

                            Will be very interesting to read your progress reports once you start the Mod 8-), and how the Auber controller performs, and for that matter, how the whole process of getting the parts to Oz works out.

                            Waiting with bated breath (as Im sure you are robusto ),
                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Project PID Silvia -Melbourne

                              Theres an interesting thread on CG about the Auber controller. It seems that it may be prone to electrical interference through the TC input. One person has had to use some input filtering to remove this. Check it out.

                              Comment

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