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  • HX Control unit

    In domestic use do typical HX control units like Gicar have a finite life ie is it a typical problem encountered in repair shops?

  • #2
    Every part has a finite life. A good shop should be equipped to deal with the failure of any of them. With the limitation of course that some parts are proprietary and only available from the manufacturer and their authorized dealers/shops.


    Java "You want it fixed by when?!" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    • #3
      I'll rephrase my question. Are the control units in recent machines reliable - any brand better than another ? What have coffee snobs found with their own brewing equipment?

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      • #4
        How long is a piece of string?

        Gicar sets the standard, and the units last as long as they last given the individual circumstances they are exposed to.

        People who leave their machines switched on all the time including when they are not in use to make coffee are more likely to suffer failures, for the simple reason that the components are cycling continually despite no one is making coffee... and so the service life of the components is shortened over a period of time.....

        For what its worth I have had a succession of semi commercial BFC Junior models over atleast a decade, they all had/have Gicar control boxes, and I have never suffered a failure (or any other breakdown) on any of my home machines. I only switch on when I want to make coffee, and only leave on if I am planning to make more coffee within a short space of time.

        Hope that helps.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback - I guess then its not an item that requires a dust gathering spare.

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          • #6
            HX Control unit

            Just replaced a Gicar controller in an ECM Giotto. Lasted 7.8 years. Replacement doesn't look as robust (not Gicar).

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            • #7
              The current Rocket boards are made by Pro El Ind. They are very good.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by coffee_machinist View Post
                The current Rocket boards are made by Pro El Ind. They are very good.
                I have just replaced a second Pro El Ind control board in six and a half years. Boiler relay failing after about 40 minutes from cold. The first replacement enabled me to do the premium plus wiring upgrade. Still very happy with the unit, it is now at work making the most amazing coffees. Chris at a Talk Coffee a great support.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TOK View Post
                  People who leave their machines switched on all the time including when they are not in use to make coffee are more likely to suffer failures, for the simple reason that the components are cycling continually despite no one is making coffee... and so the service life of the components is shortened over a period of time.....
                  Getting off topic,
                  BUT.
                  Aside from the electronics cycling which I agree does shorten the lifespan of things like relays (mechanical wear)

                  I'd be interested to see the difference in reliability over 10 years of use of a machine that's switched on and off 4 times a day to make coffee's, vs one that's left on all day.
                  Expansion and contraction of the different metals at different rates and the associated stresses that heating and cooling cycles puts on threads/ joins and sealant compounds.
                  Also the fact that the radiant heat affects other components around the boilers which will also cause them to expand and contract.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Robbks View Post
                    I'd be interested to see the difference in reliability over 10 years of use of a machine that's switched on and off 4 times a day to make coffee's, vs one that's left on all day.
                    More than happy to sell you a couple of machines so that the experiment can commence.

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                    • #11
                      The Fat Controller

                      Here is a fully functional GICAR 9.9.36.12G in all its uncovered glory for those who just have to pull things apart - just make sure you take good pictures of those wires before you disconnect them. You have been warned! Incidentally, this is out of an ECM Manufacture Technika.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Never quite figured out how they can still be selling these for several hundred dollars. I mean........what are you paying for? Sure, when they were new they had to recover their design, prototype and manufacturing costs but now, many many years later, they're still charging an exorbitant price.

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                        • #13
                          I agree - there is however a particular heavy-dutyness about their manufacture which makes the couple of hundred dollars replacement a little more palatable maybe.
                          Last edited by Tridoros; 6 December 2014, 11:41 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Well when it is the heart of several thousand dollars worth of coffee machine, it would seem reasonable to pay for a quality component.
                            I still prefer fixing them to replacing them which is often what my customers prefer as well. I usually give them the option of a repair or a replacement with both costs advised. They're generally pretty quick to choose the repair.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by noidle22 View Post
                              Well when it is the heart of several thousand dollars worth of coffee machine, it would seem reasonable to pay for a quality component.
                              I still prefer fixing them to replacing them which is often what my customers prefer as well. I usually give them the option of a repair or a replacement with both costs advised. They're generally pretty quick to choose the repair.
                              What do you typically find faulty in these units - a micro-switch or capacitor?
                              Its great that you offer the option to your customers - don't think all would.

                              >>Just read a previous post of yours re. fixing them. Great info.
                              Last edited by Tridoros; 6 December 2014, 12:16 PM.

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