ECM Synchronika with Anthracite - Page 2

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naked-portafilter

#11: Post by naked-portafilter »

Oh, yes. It is. But we made a proper handle for it. The relevant range of motion is no more than 150-180 degrees. That ball handle doesn't make any sense but makes fine adjusting absolutely impossible.

Nunas
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#12: Post by Nunas »

I replaced my ECM flow control (because it started leaking) with this one https://idrinkcoffee.com/products/coffe ... groupheads. It has a novel handle that comes with it. The handle is articulated. See the lower right on the linked photo. When it gets to the back, where it will bump into the case of the espresso machine and not go further, flip it over. Voila!

Edit: I should have mentioned that on the Synchronika one does not have to flip the handle over, as the stem is just tall enough to clear the case. Still, I find flipping it over better, as the handle is never way at the back.

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Auctor
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#13: Post by Auctor »

naked-portafilter wrote:Oh, yes. It is. But we made a proper handle for it. The relevant range of motion is no more than 150-180 degrees. That ball handle doesn't make any sense but makes fine adjusting absolutely impossible.
This is really interesting. I agree entirely, and I wonder why they haven't made more sensitive springs that minimize flow variability. I could imagine a max flow of 6-8ml/s, and each 20 degree movement yields 1ml/s less flow, eventually going to zero.

Does any roast of espresso require more than 6-8ml/s?

Nunas
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#14: Post by Nunas »

Auctor wrote:This is really interesting. I agree entirely, and I wonder why they haven't made more sensitive springs that minimize flow variability. I could imagine a max flow of 6-8ml/s, and each 20 degree movement yields 1ml/s less flow, eventually going to zero. Does any roast of espresso require more than 6-8ml/s?
I'm not sure what you're saying here. As far as I know, the springs in the e61 group have little to nothing to do with the flow rate, apart from during preinfusion, which most FC kits obviate by changing out the lower spring. The needle valve controls the flow rate. To obtain a finer adjustment, one would have to use a threaded shaft with a finer pitch. Of course, that would change the number of revolutions from closed to wide open. On my ECM and Coffee Sensor controls, this is about two turns. These FC kits appear to be made from stock parts; the design of the shaft's thread of a typical faucet stem is strikingly similar. Also, the change in flow rate from a typical needle valve's angular change isn't linear, so this would require a more complex needle shape. Maybe I misunderstand what you're getting at?

Auctor
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#15: Post by Auctor »

Maybe i misunderstood how the flow control works from a mechanical perspective. I was under the impression that the tension of the spring controls the needle valve depth adjustment (so, in super simple terms, as the spring tightens, it holds the needle in place to further restrict flow).

As a result, I thought that the rotation element controls the spring tension. So I was suggesting that one could limit the rotation to 160 degrees, max flow of 6-8ml/s at the "completely on position", and each 20 degree change reduces flow 1 ml/s.

If the spring doesn't control the depth of the valve, what purpose does it serve in the flow control unit?

Edit: yeah, I think I misunderstood and conflated two different concepts. Forget about the spring for a second. I just want a far more limited movement with far better control over flow rate. How that happens is for people more mechanically inclined than me to figure out. :P

Edit #2: I found this thread and am only now further confused. lol. Flow Control Spring Insert

Nunas
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#16: Post by Nunas »

The e61 springs operate on pushrods riding on the cam to open and close valves in three main positions: flow, no-flow, and a middle position that holds whatever pressure is in the group head. Actually, there's another position, slightly above the middle one, which is used for plumbed machines to do line-pressure preinfusion.

The lower spring controls the preinfusion chamber in the group. Together with the jet, it gradually raises the pressure/flow, until the chamber is full and the flow/pressure is at the brewing rate. One can change the amount of time the group head takes to pre-infuse by changing the jet for bigger/smaller. So, if you only add a flow control needle valve, it gives you variable preinfusion when you start to pull the shot. Once preinfusion is over, then the valve controls the flow. This is not how the Bianca works, but is how the original ECM/Profitec kit worked. The Bianca, and now the ECM and other kits, swap out the lower (preinfusion) spring for a stronger one. This eliminates the e61's inbuilt preinfusion. I've tried both, and I prefer having the stock spring in place. It's a less intuitive, but more elegant way to control the shot.

You aren't entirely wrong about a spring coming into play, although I'm quite sure it does not affect the flow/pressure. Sometimes the flow control turns freely, and sometimes it does not. I hypothesize that the resistance is caused by a spring doing something.

And, that's all I know about that :wink:

Castillo2001 (original poster)

#17: Post by Castillo2001 (original poster) »

I had a chat with the guys at WLL and they said that the kit from Profitec/ECM doesn't eliminate the stock e61 preinfusion function, that it still works so if you want to use the line preinfusion and not fuss with the flow control it is still fully functional. Now I am far from an expert, but I am trying to understand how a stiffer spring on the vent side of the e61 would disable the preinfusion on the input side of the valve, like you hear many people say it does. I am not saying either side is wrong, but I am simply trying to understand the mechanical function of the e61 and this replacement spring better.

Edit# I posted while the above was added, that does add a little light to the matter for me, I need to do some youtubing and watch a few videos of the mechanics of the e61 so I can really picture it

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Nunas
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#18: Post by Nunas »

Castillo2001 wrote:<snip>I am trying to understand how a stiffer spring on the vent side of the e61 would disable the preinfusion on the input side of the valve, like you hear many people say it does. I am not saying either side is wrong, but I am simply trying to understand the mechanical function of the e61 and this replacement spring better. Edit# I posted while the above was added, that does add a little light to the matter for me, I need to do some youtubing and watch a few videos of the mechanics of the e61 so I can really picture it
I think I can explain it to you, even though I'm far from an e61 guru :) Have a look at this diagram, noting spring #8 and chamber #9 https://s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com ... ng_850.jpg

Chamber #9 is the preinfusion chamber. The valve into it is held closed by spring #8, which is calibrated for about 4-bar. So, when the brew lever is thrown, water enters via the jet and begins to build up pressure as the pump ramps up. When the pressure approaches 4-bar, the water forces the valve open and it begins to accumulate in the preinfusion chamber. (i.e., it's now pre-infusing) After a short time (controlled by the size of the jet), the preinfusion chamber becomes full, because the bottom valve (the exhaust valve) stays closed. At this point, the flow is all into the brew chamber and the pressure mounts to brew pressure. Well, this is how I think it works anyway :wink:

Now, spring #8 is the one that is already changed out in the Bianca, and it's the one that gets changed out on the later ECM FC kits. This stronger spring is calibrated to hold the preinfusion valve closed past the typical 9-bar brew pressure. Thus, a machine with FC AND a changed-out spring has no inbuilt e61 automatic preinfusion. As you note, it does retain the ability to pre-infuse manually using the lever in the mid+ position (for plumbed-in machines). Or the lever can be raised to the brew position then dropped to the mid position when a suitable pressure has been built up by the pump.

Castillo2001 (original poster)

#19: Post by Castillo2001 (original poster) »

Thank you Nunas, with your post and a few more articles I think finally understand that there are two different things that often get referred to as preinfusion on the e61. You have the actual preinfusion chamber that is controlled by the spring and pump, the weak spring slows the flow down a bit then as the pump builds full pressure it gets pushed open and allows full flow. This is the function that is eliminated by the ECM flow control kit . Then you have the preinfusion that is the "middle" position of the lever, this opens the brew valve but doesn't turn on the pump so a little bit of water is released and if your machine is setup for it (ECM Synch) plumbed water pressure will flow acting as a separate preinfusion.

Nunas
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#20: Post by Nunas »

You're welcome-one minor clarification. In the middle position, all the valves are closed. To get line pressure preinfusion (plumbed machine), the lever has to be raised a bit to crack open the brew valve. On a non-plumbed machine, when the lever is cracked up, a tiny bit of pressure from the heated water can cause a few dribbles into the group, but not enough to provide what I'd term pre-infusion.

This middle position (everything closed) is useful, though not used very much by many e61 owners. If you have a brew pressure gauge on the machine (like the one that comes with the FC kit), you can open the lever all the way, the pump starts, and brewing water flows. The pressure begins to build, as seen on the gauge. When it gets to where you want it (say 2 to 4 bar), you drop the lever to the middle position. Now the pressure is captive, and the only place it can go is through the puck. At first, the pressure gauge will drop as air in the puck is displaced by water. Then it will stop as the grinds swell unless you have a channelled puck. If the grind is coarse enough, drips of coffee will come out. But if fine enough, the pressure will stay there, and the solubles in the puck will begin to melt into the water. I sometimes experiment with this using really fine grinds and insanely long preinfusion (sometimes up to a minute) before lifting the lever and raising the pressure to begin the coffee flow. I'm not saying this is a recipe for great espresso-just something to mess with.