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  • PID Silvia Sydney

    Does anyone know of somewhere I can get Silvia PIDd in Sydney? Ive read the "how-to" guides online but it all looks too complex to even consider doing myself...

  • #2
    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

    Originally posted by bloop link=1143536728/0#0 date=1143536728
    Does anyone know of somewhere I can get Silvia PIDd in Sydney? Ive read the "how-to" guides online but it all looks too complex to even consider doing myself...
    Hi Bloop,

    You might like to consider your local TAFE college(s) where Instrumentation Courses are run.... you could propose it as a small project to be run under the supervision of qualified trade instructors? Ive done this sort of thing before with simple, small projects like this and have always been very impressed with the quality of workmanship and ingenuity with the completed project. Might be worth a go? ,

    Cheers,
    Mal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: PID Silvia Sydney

      Thanks for the suggestion Mal ;D I aint going back to school though ;D

      I found a guy on eBay that does it, but hes from the states, I dont trust Silvia taking that far a trip on her own, guess Im too much of a jealous lover.

      If I cant find anyone to do it Ill give it a go, I can assemble PCs and installed my car stereo system, cant be much harder than that? Or can it?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: PID Silvia Sydney

        If you do all that work on PCs and car stereos --did a few of them, and do I hate it---PIDing Silvia will be a walk in the park by comparison --- but be mindful you are dealing with 240 V.

        Robusto

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: PID Silvia Sydney

          Hi again Bloop,

          At the very least, if you do the job yourself then I would tee-up a licensed electrician to inspect and test the finished works prior to your actually using it..... for two reasons:
          • Verify that the wiring and connections are correct in that nothing is going to be destroyed at power-up, and
          • Test the installation to ensure it is both safe and complies with the minimum requirements of the Australian Standards.


          You must always remain cognizant of the "life threatening" hazards posed by working with Mains Powered appliances and at no stage, stick your hands "under the bonnet" while the unit is still plugged into the power outlet. Once you have started the mod, dont plug it back in again until the above inspection and testing has taken place.

          Gotta play it safe, we dont want to lose any of our CS members .

          Mal.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: PID Silvia Sydney (loooong)

            <Commercial portions removed by Javaphile.

            With some persistence, you can easily assemble the pieces and parts yourself and rely on the many excellent guides available on the net.

            I think Watlow is your best PID bet and you can get them regularly on eBay. Just make sure you get one with at least one pulsed DC output (usually a C code in the model number). You will need this to drive your SSR. A relay output (usually D code) will drive you crazy with the mechanical clicking for the entire week before it wears out. The Fuji PXR3 is uber-popular with alties, but I have used both and still prefer the Watlow.

            Consider using a Crydom D2425 SSR (make SURE you also get a protective cover for it so it doesnt short to the Silvia enclosure). The Crydom is available on eBay pretty regularly, too, but I havent seen too many covers. There are many other SSRs that will work - just be sure and get one that either has something to shield the high voltage terminals or has a cover available (like the Crydom). (On US mains voltage of 115V, the Silvias boiler draws around 8 amps, making the D2425 suitable after current derating. Would have to do a bit of research to confirm suitable for 240V in Oz.)

            You will need *good* wire and some crimp-on connectors of various types. I suggest UL Type 1015 wire (PVC insulated, tinned copper conductors, stranded). Can be hard to find small quantities, but it can stand up to the heat around the boiler and matches the factory wiring. Use 14AWG for the switched power side of the SSR, 18AWG for high voltage power to your PID, and 22AWG for the low voltage DC control between the SSR and the PID. Dont use solid conductor wiring.

            After trying a lot of different types, I concluded that a Teflon insulated type T thermocouple, with ring terminal, is your best bet. Depending on where you mount the PID, you will need one somewhere around 48" long. If you can get your hands on some T/C wire, you can make one yourself pretty easily. I dont recommend the fiberglas insulated T/C wire that many folks use. There is no place for glass fibers around food or drink! The Teflon has plenty of heat resistance for this application and should play much nicer in your kitchen.

            I have found, and you probably will too, that the most challenging issue is finding an external enclosure for the controller. In the States, many folks (including myself) have used horribly ugly ABS boxes from Radio Shack, or cast aluminum boxes. They both look like crap IMHO. But there are precious few options - so if you find something suitable please share the information. (Im not sure what that eBay guy uses for his mods).

            As Mal has stressed, be *very careful* if you decide to give this a try.

            -- JGG

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: PID Silvia Sydney

              jggall01 thanks for all that but to be honest, thats all Chinese to me ;D

              Getting a kit with all the necessary parts included would indeed make it a lot easier. Ive had a read of the Murphys PID guide and it seems easy enough if only the parts were easy to source.

              If I follow that guide strictly then Silvia shouldnt get fried right? (and hopefully I wont get fried either)

              If I wanted to get the job checked, would an ordinary electrician be able to tell if its ok? Or would they have absolutely no idea what Ive done? I mean its not your regular household wiring job.

              Anyone here whos done the PID mod, Id really appreciate it if you could tell me where you sourced your parts from.

              Thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: PID Silvia Sydney

                Bloop I feel your pain.  I sourced all of the parts to PID my silvia following murphs webpage and have assembled all of the parts.  I am not using it yet because I am considering getting an electrical engineer to check it first.  Not only do you run the risk of electricution, but if it starts a house fire, insurance may not cover you if you assembled it yourself (that is if you are working at 240v).

                Re sourcing parts, I got a PXR4 controller and SSR from IPEI - http://www.ipei-fuji.com.au/pxr.htm.  They even programmed the controller as per instructions. All up cost was $350.  The rest of the parts were sourced through Jaycar.  
                Although it would have been easier to just upgrade the coffee machine, I planned to reuse the PID with my coffee roaster so that justifies the additional cost for me.

                Just make sure if you do wire it yourself, triple check the wiring.  I found a few mistakes when going over it the second and third times.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: PID Silvia Sydney

                  Excellent advice, JGG, especially coming from your personal experience. Ive always been intrigued by guys who say they would rather have preferred a 35 amp SSR --- even in the US with amperage draws double what Australias are for equivalent equipment.  Here, a 5-amp one would (just) handle Silvias 11100 watt load.

                  Bloop, if the advice is all Chinese, might be safer to leave Silvia alone.

                  Or, do what Ive done to eliminate the tiresome need for temperature surfing, without a PID, or the associated expense.

                  Get a digital multimeter which also reads temperatures from Jaycar or Dick smith.  You get a thermocouple with it.   Costs approx $40, nothing else to buy.

                  Simply attatch the thermocouple on top of Silvias boiler (I use playdough to hold it on).  The other end, of course, plugs into the multi-meter, which gives an instant read-out in degrees.

                  When youre ready to make coffee, look at the temperature. You want  108 degrees C at the top of the boiler, which equates to approx 95 C ex shower screen.

                  If the multimeter reads, say, 100 C, turn on the steam switch for a few seconds.  You can grind while you wait those few seconds for the temperature to rise to 108.

                  If the reading is higher than 108, you only have to pump through a tiny amount of water to bring it down.  Often, simply bleeding some steam from the wand suffice.  Youll get the hang of it very soon.

                  Remember, that wild fluctuations in the Silvia occur primarily during its heating cycle, when the temperature goes from 85 C to about 120C in just over a minute.

                  The rest of the time, temperature changes are slower, and wont be anywhere near as radical where it counts ---at the group.  

                  Using the multimeter takes out the guesswork and lets you tweak temperatures.

                  Robusto  

                  **Correction ---my wife tells me its bluetack, not playdough!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: PID Silvia Sydney

                    bloop -

                    That is really good advice from robusto (both the Chinese part and DMM part).

                    I have always wondered why more folks didnt simply "instrument" Silvia, rather than "control". A simple temperature readout will do 90% of what you get from PIDing. I really like the idea - especially as a DIY project for someone who is not an electronics pro.

                    The 10% you wouldnt get is simply convenience. With the PID doing the temp control, you dont have to twiddle with the steam switch or pump any water. But you would probably agree those are pretty painless things to have to do in return for not frying yourself!

                    You also get a benefit that robusto didnt mention, namely being able to start your milk steaming at the magic temperature that is just below the point (around 285F / 140C) where Silvias steam tstat switches the ready light, and heater, off. Doing this helps make sure that the heating element will remain energized during steaming.

                    Good luck.

                    -- JGG

                    PS - Nice that your 240V mains give you the benefit of lower current draw (I assume 240V Silvia models then must have a different heating element that should have 4x resistance to keep wattage same as 115V models?) But you shouldnt automatically assume a 5A SSR can handle 5A. To get the maximum rated capacity out of an SSR, you have to heat sink it. Manufacturers provide current derating curves that give you recommended current load with varying levels of heat sinking installed. If you mount your SSR in Silvia carefully, and smear a little thermal grease around, you will definitely get some sinking, but perhaps not what is needed for full current rating.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: PID Silvia Sydney

                      Originally posted by jggall01 link=1143536728/0#9 date=1143812656
                      PS - Nice that your 240V mains give you the benefit of lower current draw (I assume 240V Silvia models then must have a different heating element that should have 4x resistance to keep wattage same as 115V models?) But you shouldnt automatically assume a 5A SSR can handle 5A. To get the maximum rated capacity out of an SSR, you have to heat sink it. Manufacturers provide current derating curves that give you recommended current load with varying levels of heat sinking installed. If you mount your SSR in Silvia carefully, and smear a little thermal grease around, you will definitely get some sinking, but perhaps not what is needed for full current rating.
                      Hi All,

                      Re: sizing the SSR for Silvia 240V Boiler Element.....

                      The price differential between a 5A unit and a 40A unit in the same package size is minimal. Having said that though, you dont want to go too big otherwise switching reliability can be become a problem and then a nuisance. With Silvias 1,200W Boiler Element you wouldnt need to go bigger than 15-20A maximum and obviate the need to worry about heat-sinking.

                      Re: attaching the SSR to Silvia......

                      It isnt necessary to drill holes into Silvias panel work to mount the SSR. A very effective and efficient means, is to use double-sided Heat-Sink Adhesive Tape.... the same stuff they use to attach Heat-Sinks to Computer Chipsets and the like. Its also very important what JGG has recommended regarding the Insulation Barrier for the SSR HV Terminals/Wiring... definitely an essential Safety Item.

                      Re: sourcing a Licensed Electrician to Inspect/Test your handiwork.....

                      The most important source of information for an Electrician so that he/she can do the work above, is to make sure you have all necessary Electrical Schematics and Hardware Documentation. This will ensure that the Sparky is sufficiently well armed to complete the task properly. The "ideal" Sparky to do this sort of work for you, would be someone who has good heavy industrial knowledge and experience, or a Licensed Instrument Technician for that matter. Id just look under the Yellow Pages for businesses that advertise this as a major part of their capability.

                      Getting all of the hardware together is really the "easy" part (apart from Controller Box...... you could always get someone to make you a "spiffy" one from s/s ;D). There are a number of Online Industrial Control Suppliers here in Oz who are only too happy to help you get it all sorted out, some of which have been mentioned here before. The installation itself is not really difficult but you do need to pay close attention to those aspects of the installation that concern any Mains Power wiring, connections or proximity there-of. It would be second nature to someone who does it for a living, hence the need to make sure it is all checked out by a Licensed Sparky/Technician prior to "Switch-On".

                      All the best,
                      Mal.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: PID Silvia Sydney

                        Hey guys,

                        Very usefull info as Ive been reading up on the whole PID modding thing for a while. Now forgive my ignorance but are these ( fairly expensive ) PID units actually required? Could you instead use a very simple electronic temperature switch, as these are available in kit form from many electronic stores.

                        Of course these kits are only an example, maybe a custom design would be needed. It just seems the PIDs being used all over the place are overkill. What do the modding experts think?


                        christian

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: PID Silvia Sydney

                          Originally posted by ChristianS link=1143536728/0#11 date=1144043339
                          Hey guys,

                          Very usefull info as Ive been reading up on the whole PID modding thing for a while. Now forgive my ignorance but are these ( fairly expensive ) PID units actually required? Could you instead use a very simple electronic temperature switch, as these are available in kit form from many electronic stores.

                          Of course these kits are only an example, maybe a custom design would be needed. It just seems the PIDs being used all over the place are overkill. What do the modding experts think?


                          christian
                          That would completely defeat the purpose. The thermostat is already a temperature switch. You might be thinking that the electronic version is more accurate, or faster acting, and that may be true, but the switch wont be the cause of the error. Rather, its the thermal mass of the heater element, water, and boiler that cause a lag in the response of the thermostat, and hence its temperature cycling.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: PID Silvia Sydney

                            Hi Christian,

                            Yep, Matt is right on the money with his post. The reason PID works so well with the small boilers found in Espresso Machines, is that despite their relative diminutive size, their operational requirements through the whole gamut of their duty cycle is quite complex. This is easily accommodated by a simple PID controller though and it is not necessary to spend quintillions on a controller with every bell and whistle imaginable.

                            For example, the OEM controller I have installed in my machine cost me $135.00 from a national supplier of such devices.... the rest of the required hardware cost me less than $50.00 all up, including a 25A SSR which cost me about $18.00 from memory. My setup has been running reliably for nearly a year now and allows me the benefit of extreme control over both the Brew Water and the Steam temperatures. Ive only had one hiccup and that was entirely my fault when I caused the original SSR to fail while mucking around under the bonnet.

                            I heartily recommend going the PID route for single boiler, non HX machines providing that you are either a licensed sparky or tech yourself, or can arrange to have someone so licensed to inspect and test your machine before powering up for the first time. All the best,

                            Cheers,
                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: PID Silvia Sydney

                              Hi Matt, Mal thanks for replying.

                              Could you perhaps outline what the PID is doing? Not too technical though, Im no engineer


                              Cheers,

                              christian

                              Comment

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