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Thread: Mahlkoenig Vario - looking for help troubleshooting two problems

  1. #1
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    Mahlkoenig Vario - looking for help troubleshooting two problems

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone,

    I have a Vario Home exhibiting two problems:
    1. the front start/stop button has become less responsive to pushes and is now almost completely unresponsive.
    2. the burrs spin without grinding.

    1. The buttons have become unresponsive over the past few months. The button mechanisms are typical sealed units soldered directly to the circuit board. Is it possible to purchase a replacement board without excessive cost?

    2. The ceramic doesn't appear to be excessively worn but the beans become wedged in between the upper and lower burrs and it just spins with a high pitched whine. The beans are fresh and have been grinding fine previous to this attempt. Adding just one or two beans while it is grinding works ok. When adding an entire portafilter amount it spins.

    The grinder is in otherwise good condition. No other issues. Grinder is about six years old (1.5 coffees per day).

    Thank you.
    Nick

    koenig-vario-front-circuit-board.jpg koenig-vario-front-display-panel.jpg koenig-vario-burr-lower.jpg koenig-vario-burr-upper.jpg
    Last edited by nickwalt; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    I canít help with a solution to the buttons but interested in finding out if the control board can be cheaply replaced as 2 of the 3 time buttons on mine have failed and it feels like only a matter of time before the other buttons including start will fail too.

    It sounds like the motor gear thread may be loose or failing. there is a grub screw that holds the drive belt gear onto the shaft. Mine stripped but was easily replaced with parts from the importer from whom I purchased the grinder. If you end up replacing the motor, my research said the preciso motor is the same as the vario, except half the price. I ended up getting one on warranty so didnít test that.
    Cheers
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickwalt View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I have a Vario Home exhibiting two problems:
    1. the front start/stop button has become less responsive to pushes and is now almost completely unresponsive.
    2. the burrs spin without grinding.

    1. The buttons have become unresponsive over the past few months. The button mechanisms are typical sealed units soldered directly to the circuit board. Is it possible to purchase a replacement board without excessive cost?

    2. The ceramic doesn't appear to be excessively worn but the beans become wedged in between the upper and lower burrs and it just spins with a high pitched whine. The beans are fresh and have been grinding fine previous to this attempt. Adding just one or two beans while it is grinding works ok. When adding an entire portafilter amount it spins.

    The grinder is in otherwise good condition. No other issues. Grinder is about six years old (1.5 coffees per day).

    Thank you.
    Nick

    koenig-vario-front-circuit-board.jpg koenig-vario-front-display-panel.jpg koenig-vario-burr-lower.jpg koenig-vario-burr-upper.jpg
    G'day nickwalt

    I received your PM, so here goes.

    1) Buttons - mine have never given any problem really. Minor exception - On my oldest (2014) Vario, my timer button "1" (main one I use on all my Varios) needs to be pressed firmly. It still works 100% if you do that. Considering the hammering it has undergone, it is not really a surprise (300Kg+, probably a dozen different users in three different cafes + home use). I actually expected it to die a long time ago as it has done way more work than a home grinder should be asked to carry out. FWIW, I would start by spraying circuit cleaner on the main contacts. Hopefully the spray can get in the gap somewhere. As those contacts are between the front panel and the circuit in your photo 1, it may be necessary to separate the two. I have never had to do that, however if you have issues figuring it out please PM me and I will play with one of mine.

    2) ??? I do not understand this one at all. Further explanation needed - probably something lost in translation between your words and my old brain... FWIW, it sounds as though the burrs are not located correctly - although I may be way off track with that thought. Please PM me with a phone number so we can discuss (assuming you are in Oz somewhere).

    TampIt
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  4. #4
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    @tampit

    Thanks very much. I'll let you know how effective the circuit cleaner trick works out.

    For point number two, it seems like the burrs are too blunt to grind and get to a point where they just spin, and the beans get partially ground but nothing else happens. However, looking at the burrs they look ok. @oliverm suggested that the main grub screw might be stripped.

    It seems odd that the engine might be failing and have no way of determining if that is the case.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickwalt View Post
    It seems odd that the engine might be failing and have no way of determining if that is the case.
    These grinders are the same as the baratza vario. Baratza publish pretty decent repair videos on YouTube and their site.
    Try this one which is one drive belt replacement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhoMt84jxXs&app=desktop
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  6. #6
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    Thanks, @Oliverm Those videos will help sort this out. Cheers

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    Ok, so the problem with the grinding became very clear when I removed the motor and the pulley from the main shaft.

    vario-engine-with-pulley.jpg

    The grub screw was nowhere to be found and had completely come out of the pulley, as seen in the photo. My option is to try and repair the shaft, replace the shaft if it is a replaceable item, or replace the motor.

    If the front panel is not particularly expensive I may consider replacing that.

    I recommend that owners of the Vario check theirs to make sure the grub screw is secured properly. The Baratza video posted by @oliverm shows the addition of Loctite to the grub screw so it seems like loosening is a known occurrence.

    Thanks to @TampIt and @oliverm.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickwalt View Post
    Ok, so the problem with the grinding became very clear when I removed the motor and the pulley from the main shaft.

    The grub screw was nowhere to be found and had completely come out of the pulley, as seen in the photo. My option is to try and repair the shaft, replace the shaft if it is a replaceable item, or replace the motor.

    .
    My understanding is the shaft is not replaceable. I ended up with a new motor and shaft under warranty but from memory you could get a preciso motor for half the the price off a vario motor but is the same motor. Pm me if you want details.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickwalt View Post
    My option is to try and repair the shaft, replace the shaft if it is a replaceable item, or replace the motor
    Seems like a poor design using a grub screw to tighten a pulley onto a worm gear shaft like that. I reckon you could just get a flat spot welded onto the section of the shaft the grub screw needs to tighten against. The concern would be unbalancing the motor but that could be resolved by welding around the other side of the shaft as well to even it out.

    I've never done it or seen it done but I can't see why it wouldn't work. The concern I guess would be heat transferred down the shaft into the windings during the welding, a good welder would probably know what to do for these situations I suppose.
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  10. #10
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    Good idea but you would definitely have to at least remove the rotor, then fit a heatsink downstream of the proposed weld site.
    Doable though...

    Mal.



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