Time to Hot Rod the Linea

la marzocco, synesso, simonelli, cimbali etc

Time to Hot Rod the Linea

Postby onocoffee on Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:58 am

It's Christmastime and there's no need to be afraid....

Christmas time in my shop means that it's time to shut down, tear the shop apart, scrub it down from head to toe, do maintenance on the equipment and Hot Rod The Linea.

I've got the standard Linea 3AV that was built 6/2001 that has bolt-on groupheads, halogen group/shot lights and a Bling-Bling® Chassis Lighting System that pulses and pumps depending on the Linea's mood.

Thinking about installing smaller restrictors and a PID controller. I'd like to hear your thoughts on these mods and any other Hot Rod Mods that I can do to the Linea, from mild to wild.

I believe Barry inserted thermoprobes in each grouphead to monitor grouphead temps? How can this be done? I'm envisioning a bank of LED temperature readouts to see the grouphead temp at any given moment. Why? I don't know. I think it would look cool and there has to be some advantage.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Postby malachi on Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:25 am

PID Controller
Stainless dispersion blocks
Pre-heat
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Postby Alistair Durie on Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:09 pm

malachi wrote:PID Controller
Stainless dispersion blocks
Pre-heat


how difficult is it to replace dispersion blocks on a Linea?
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Postby jakethecoffeelover on Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:11 pm

Screwless showerscreen setup :D
Steam boiler insulation
Everything Chris said
Grouphead water temperature readout, to quote Eric Cartman, would be TITS!

Alistair: I don't know if the two dispersion blocks are interchangable, but the Linea dispersion block just screws right into the grouphead with a gasket by rotating the entire dispersion plate in. I doubt La Marzocco would change the design for the stainless dispersion plate, but I'd still check up on interchangability. The two dispersion plates look the same, but the slightest difference might cause problems such as different threading.
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Postby onocoffee on Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:52 pm

Check on the PID thing. Got the parts on the way as we speak. Just need to make a final decision on the actual controller.

Any thoughts on the "ideal" PID controller?

Stainless Dispersion Blocks
Hmm, interesting discussion on Home Barista. Do I source this from La Marzocco?

Pre-Heat
I've seen how they do it on the Cyncra (with the tubes running through the steam boiler) but how would you retro-fit this on a Linea? I've thought about wrapping copper tubing tightly around or alongside the steam boiler but what length and what ID/OD?

Solenoid Placement
Any thoughts on Paul Pratt's relocation of the solenoid to the back of the gooseneck? I thought I saw a similar design lying around ESI/LM back in April when I was hunting around. Was this ever incorporated into newer Linea designs?


P-STAT
Should I replace the Sirai Pressurestat with the smaller CEME p-stat?


Thanks everyone!
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Postby jakethecoffeelover on Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:27 pm

I'd PID the steam boiler if I were you.
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Postby malachi on Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:37 pm

onocoffee wrote:Any thoughts on the "ideal" PID controller?


Some swear by the Fuji.
Marzocco seems to be using the Evo.

onocoffee wrote:Stainless Dispersion Blocks
Hmm, interesting discussion on Home Barista. Do I source this from La Marzocco?


Or EspressoParts or David Schomer I believe.

onocoffee wrote:I've thought about wrapping copper tubing tightly around or alongside the steam boiler but what length and what ID/OD?


I don't know the math - suggest talking to Barry or Andy or Greg or Terry or one of those folks who probably do know the math. The tech at Gimme is big into this as well.

onocoffee wrote:Solenoid Placement
Any thoughts on Paul Pratt's relocation of the solenoid to the back of the gooseneck? I thought I saw a similar design lying around ESI/LM back in April when I was hunting around. Was this ever incorporated into newer Linea designs?


The Hybrid style group.
In theory it's a great idea. You might want to talk to Paul about the reality of implementing it.

onocoffee wrote:P-STAT
Should I replace the Sirai Pressurestat with the smaller CEME p-stat?


No.
We're talking about a Linea not a home E61 machine.
Either stay Sirai or go PID.
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Postby barry on Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:42 pm

jay, you're about a month or two early... i should have kits for all this soon. ;)


onocoffee wrote:Any thoughts on the "ideal" PID controller?


fujis are inexpensive and highly configurable.

Pre-Heat
I've seen how they do it on the Cyncra (with the tubes running through the steam boiler) but how would you retro-fit this on a Linea? I've thought about wrapping copper tubing tightly around or alongside the steam boiler but what length and what ID/OD?


the boiler wrap only works if the boiler is removed. otherwise there is insufficient clearance betwixt the boiler/frame and boiler/boiler.

i am, at the mo', working on a drop-in preheat setup. my home machine is shut down for the mod. i'll be measuring inlet and outlet temps to see just how effective it is.



P-STAT
Should I replace the Sirai Pressurestat with the smaller CEME p-stat?


i'm not sure why. the sirais work just fine.


btw, if you want group probes, i have kits for that. and, i'm also working on a housing mod to put all the electronic gear in for PID and group temp display. the prototype should be done by the middle of january (in time for our xmas party). i already have a couple of cafes seriously interested in this stuff, so my motivation level is very high (i even formed a new company to do this work). unfortunately, unlike your shop, this time if year is the absolute most insane time of the year for us. we'll do 25% of our annual business in the next three weeks.

--barry
coffee projects inc.
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Postby onocoffee on Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:31 pm

Jeesh, just cause it's the Christmas rush and everyone drops everything to sell goodies to customers!

P-Stat
Sorry, I should have specified. I meant the one for the steam boiler. Not that the current one is bad or anything. Just the CEME looks cool (not that you would see it with the tray on the machine).

Barry-
I'm leaning heavily towards the group probes. Tell me more about the installation so I can prepare. Thinking that each probe should run to an individual readout so that the grouphead temps are visible at a glance

Let me know more as your other kits progress.

I was looking at the website of your 2G machine, what are the switches between the PID controllers for? And the housing you're developing, will it be similar in design to the one on the 2G?

Thanks again everyone!
Jay Caragay

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Postby malachi on Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:43 pm

onocoffee wrote:P-Stat
Sorry, I should have specified. I meant the one for the steam boiler. Not that the current one is bad or anything. Just the CEME looks cool (not that you would see it with the tray on the machine).


Stick with the Sirai.
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Postby barry on Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:52 pm

onocoffee wrote:Sorry, I should have specified. I meant the one for the steam boiler.


duh. ;) there is only one.

stick with the sirai. iirc, the ceme requires a contactor to handle the load, and it makes an awful clacking sound when it activates.


I'm leaning heavily towards the group probes. Tell me more about the installation so I can prepare. Thinking that each probe should run to an individual readout so that the grouphead temps are visible at a glance


probe installation requires replacement of banjo bolt and group lid. it's not terribly difficult, but it does require a little bit of mechanical aptitude. owen egan has a kit for his three group in montreal, but either he's been really busy or he's managed to damage himself as i haven't heard from him in awhile. the group temp display is a whole 'nother issue: what do you use for display and where do you put it? which leads us to....

housing mods:

this was largely driven by the need to have the displays visible and yet protected, and somewhere away from the machine heat. you can always tuck a pid down underneath because it's really not necessary to access it all the time, but group temp displays, well... everyone wants to see that all the time!

i'm working on a swing-out housing extension for each end of the linea (replacing the entire upper fascia). this will allow easy access to the electronics w/o interfering with access to the machine itself. installation will require drilling a few holes and running a few wires. i'm trying to make it as simple and complete as i can. it will be nothing like what's on the 2-group now (which is just a radio shack box with a fan mounted on the side). i did a wood & tin mockup last summer which got some favorable comments from several people. right now i'm taking that rough idea and making it work in steel (bought a welder!! whoo-hoo!).

the switches between the pids were to isolate different things to test how stuff worked. they are no longer there... in fact, there's a new box with a fuji controller installed instead of the two omrons. one of the omrons is now running my roaster.

my home machine was intended to be a test bed for different ideas, so electrics and plumbing get changed around from time to time.

i hope to have pictures at http://www.espressolab.com in the near future (nothing at all there now, so don't bother). ;)
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Postby onocoffee on Sat Dec 03, 2005 4:53 am

Hmmm, I was lying bed last night thinking about the temp readouts - much to the chagrin of my "lady friend."

Is there a way to create a display readout on an LCD monitor? Maybe some sort of temperature/timer/datalogging kind of thing?

It could be very high-tech looking.
Jay Caragay

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Postby Jeff Givens on Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:29 am

Omega makes a wireless thermocouple transmitter that will transmit a wireless signal to a pc - effectively making it a strip chart recorder. Unfortunately, the software is Windows only. The whole setup runs almost $450.
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Postby barry on Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:09 pm

there are a lot of ways to do a lot of things. unfortunately, there aren't a lot of "affordable" ways to do things.
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Postby phaelon56 on Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:37 am

Hey Jay - LM now has a new green "Viton" high temp rubber gasket to go between the bolted on groupheads and the boiler. if you're one of the many folks who have that pesky mineral build-up and seepage where the groupheads bolt on - this is supposed to be the real deal for a fix.

They have been offering a paper gasket and some green goop that adheres it but that has never been a permanent solution.

And Barry - let us know when those kits are available - I have a four group I'd like to modify and I'm not in a hurry.
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Postby malachi on Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:17 pm

Or go to the welded groups.
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Postby phaelon56 on Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:59 pm

Or go to the welded groups.


Unless budget is an issue. If the machine is less than five years old (from date of manufacture) ESI will send you a new brew boiler that has the welded groups. You supply the labor and they'll send the boiler at no charge on request.

Swapping out the old for the new style boiler on a three group AV was the first significant repair/maintenance job I ever undertook on an LM. It's a PITA but it ain't rocket science and anyone with a moderate amount of mechanical aptitude can do it.

But if your machine is not covered under that five year window the gaskets at $21 a pop list price are way cheaper than paying for a new boiler.
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Postby Mike Gregory on Mon May 01, 2006 4:56 pm

barry wrote:i am, at the mo', working on a drop-in preheat setup. my home machine is shut down for the mod. i'll be measuring inlet and outlet temps to see just how effective it is.


Barry, any progress? Need some beta testers? ;)
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Postby barry on Mon May 01, 2006 8:40 pm

trabant wrote:
barry wrote:i am, at the mo', working on a drop-in preheat setup. my home machine is shut down for the mod. i'll be measuring inlet and outlet temps to see just how effective it is.


Barry, any progress? Need some beta testers? ;)



initial tests suggested that it's not really worth the effort.


i should be able to do some more testing soon. sorry for all the delays, but espresso fun outgrew the space at home and i've been really busy for the last couple of months. today i signed a lease for a workshop space and tomorrow i start moving espresso gear out of the basement.

--barry "wow, room to work!"
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