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My Wega Mini Nova rotary

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  • My Wega Mini Nova rotary

    So I had this guy come into work a few weeks ago who had recently moved from Hobart to our region. Upon upgrading to a Breville dual boiler, he decided that he didn't need his rotary Mini Nova, Saeco Via Venezia V1, Isomac Macinino and some other doser semi-commercial grinder who's make and model I can't currently remember.

    A small amount of money later and they were all mine. He decided he wanted the machines to go to a good home and be treated well and wasn't out to make a profit from them, some people are nice.

    The Wega needed some work though, nothing too serious. It would heat up, cycle for a bit and then die completely. It had been to technician in Hobart who had tried several things to fix it, including replacing the rotary pump only a month before it came into my possession.

    After a brief troubleshoot, I found a worn out element relay on the control board. The transformer had also been replaced with some very poor soldering. Not really sure how a "technician" can see this as acceptable or not think to check the relays or just replace the control board.

    I replaced all 3 relays and the transformer as well. I also replaced the anti-vac valve, pressure relief valve, group seal and shower screen. Gave the group head a thorough clean too but the previous owner had done a decent job with regular cleaning.
    I was concerned with the lack of a pump pressure gauge though. I understand that once set up with a scace the rotary pump should hold its pressure fairly steady but I just wanted the gauge.

    Cut out a hole just above where the motor sits on the chassis and installed this gauge:

    Used a T-piece in front of the OPV for the pressure feed. Seemed to be the most accessible place for reading extraction pressure:

    Wasn't a fan of the standard short steam arm and 4-hole tip. The boiler just couldn't cope with the steam being expelled with the 4-hole tip, it couldn't recover whilst steaming and would literally run out of pressure when doing more than 1 medium to large jug of milk. Replaced the arm with one off my Grimac 3 group machine in the shed that i'll eventually fix and sell. Gonna use the arm in the meantime and when I sell the Grimac I'll buy a new arm. Perhaps one of the large, S shaped ones.
    Also fitted a flat 2-hole steam tip. Steaming is exceptionally better.

    Not a brilliant photo but you get the idea:

    I tried running it off a tank but the pump really didn't like it, hesitating for about 5 seconds before delivering any water and leaking water back into the tank when sitting idle or when off.

    Installed new fittings on the kitchen tap line today, running well now. I'm not a plumber and don't claim to be but this setup works ok for me. I will be installing a water filter where my 1/2" hose joins onto the 3/8" hose from the machine, to be installed at the right hand side of the bench near where my grinder is, hidden under the bench overhang.

    As it sits now:

    I'm currently drinking an espresso blend that I picked up from Cassiopeia in Katoomba when I was there on one of my antique shop trawls. Tasting pretty good so far and the machine is fun and easy to use.

    Future plans:

    - The machine doesn't appear to retain boiler pressure very well. The pressurestat cuts in every 20 seconds or so which seems quite often. I can't hear any leaks from any part of the machine so I'm not sure why it loses pressure so fast.
    To remedy this I may install a PID and SSR combo simply for reliability, not looking to get any gains from this in terms of performance.

    - Install more powerful heating element to help with steam power and to reduce heat up time. Not sure if I will actually do this but at the moment it just doesn't seem very powerful. I have a blown BFC element at my shop that I might get fabricated into something a bit more powerful. The flange and thread is the same as the element on the Wega.

    - Replace the clunky and ugly steam knob with a custom fabricated item. Unsure of what style I want currently.

    - Replace ugly red switches with something else, not sure what.

    - Source or get customer fabricated a replacement top cover. The plastic is ugly af. Also custom fabricate a metal drip tray. Plastic one is also ugly af.

    - Replace the old pressure gauge with a temperature gauge which will measure the brew temperature directly at the group.

    - Possibly install HX restrictors, machine seems quite thermally stable though so it might not be neccessary.

    That's it for now I think.