Decent Espresso Machine - Page 39

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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#381: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

grawk wrote:Just ordered my early access machine. How different will the early access machines be from the production ones?
At this point, I need to update the web site, because I decided to delay the release back in January, and now it's the case that they'll be the same machines, except that early access machines will be shipped first, since those people paid 100% up front. Everything we'll ship will be UL/CE certified. It turns out that CE is a requirement for Europe, or the packages will literally be refused at the border.
ErikMH wrote:As small improvements that would not affect certification can be phased in, they will. I think one such change is using Pyrex rather than porcelain for the drip tray and water tank - but I'm pretty sure that will happen when a critical number of machines have been ordered, rather than at the official switch from "early-access" to "regular access."
Yep, spot on.
roastini wrote:That said, we are talking about an inexpensive, off-the-shelf tablet that wasn't designed for a long life. And it's unclear whether it will be easy to replace it, in the event of failure, with some random Android tablet.
FYI I've answered this question before, but let me repeat:
1) our tablet is a standard 5.1 Android tablet, but any Android device running Android 4.4.3 or newer should work, but the newer the tablet, the more likely it is to have well functioning bluetooth.
2) If our tablet breaks, you can replace it with ours, or one of your own choice
3) bluetooth as of Android 6.0 is MUCH better, because Google totally rewrote the bluetooth stack because they went into the business of BLE devices (Glass, Watches, etc...)
roastini wrote:First, the app might not be broadly compatible with other tablets.
Even if Decent were to go away, or to decide to not support old Android distributions, this would not be a problem because:
1) 100% of the DE tablet software is open source, it can be modified by anyone to work with new devices
2) all the APIs are documented and open source, other apps can be written
3) the language on which the tablet gui is based is open source http://www.androwish.org/index.html/home and well maintained. As bluetooth changes, for instance, I expect that the large installed base of Tcl/Tk/Androwish will mean forward compatibility by simply downloading a new version of Androwish.

Thus, no matter what happens to us or your tablet in the future, it's hard to imagine a future where you cannot find an Android tablet to run our software.

If you don't know the story of Richard Stallman and the birth of open source, due to this exact scenario (a hardware device not being forward compatible due to closed source), it's a great read: http://www.oreilly.com/openbook/freedom/ch01.html
roastini wrote:Second, John has mentioned that the stability of the bluetooth connection is in part due to the specific pairing of bluetooth chips in the machine and tablet, so ideally any replacement tablet would need to use the same bluetooth chip.
No, that is not correct. The issue is that some tablets and phones, especially older models, have broken bluetooth implementations. I haven't had any problems with modern phones talking bluetooth to the DE1, for example my Nexus 7 works perfectly with the DE1.

Also, our bluetooth module is NOT soldered onto the PCB, it is a stock Arduino bluetooth module. We did this so that we can upgrade to future improved Bluetooth/Arduino boards. For example, Red Bar labs has a new board with bluetooth & wifi that fits the same pins, so a firmware upgrade from us, and a $20 part, could bring wifi to the DE1 in a year.
http://redbearlab.com/blenano/
roastini wrote:It's not even clear that we'll be able to replace the tablet with the same model tablet in case of failure - in a few years, it's quite possible that the old tablet won't still be in production, and any replacement tablet might use a different bluetooth chipset.
First of all, it doesn't matter if the old tablet is still in production. My assumption is that in 2 years our espresso machines will ship with a better tablet, as the world of Android has improved.

The gui I wrote has all its graphics at 4x the current display resolution, so that if newer tablets have "retina" displays it will look great. Also, all the "skins" for the gui are open sourced, included in the tablet, they are simple JPGs and I provide the Photoshop files to them, so it's easy to change them to new display formats.

I have a wide variety of tablets here I test with, some brand new retina ones costing $600, so that I am certain that the near future will work. If you buy a DE1, there's nothing stopping you from buying a different tablet and using it instead of ours.

roastini

#382: Post by roastini »

I wonder if it would be better to turn the drip tray grate bars 90 degrees. That orientation seems more common in soda fountain drip trays. Here are a couple of examples of what I mean.


Cups will be placed under the group moving front to back, not side to side, and having the bars oriented the same way will make that smoother, it seems.

roastini

#383: Post by roastini »

decent_espresso wrote:I have a wide variety of tablets here I test with, some brand new retina ones costing $600, so that I am certain that the near future will work. If you buy a DE1, there's nothing stopping you from buying a different tablet and using it instead of ours.
This is good to hear and I hope it's true.

Your response does seem somewhat in tension with this post from just a couple of weeks ago, though:
decent_espresso wrote:2) Android is a bluetooth and compatibility disaster. Even google admits this. The customer experience will be terrible if we have to make everyone's devices work with our espresso machine. And, we have to spend the money to make an iPhone app too.
I suppose the answer is that you can't promise that all Android devices will work well, but that this is much less of an issue so long as the device is running Android 6+?

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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#384: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

roastini wrote:Your response does seem somewhat in tension with this post from just a couple of weeks ago, though: I suppose the answer is that you can't promise that all Android devices will work well, but that this is much less of an issue so long as the device is running Android 6+?
Right : I can't promise that random Android device X will work with our bluetooth, but another reason we went with the Red Bear Labs bluetooth module is because it's widely used and many people will report compatibility issues to them and they should get fixed.

You can google "android bluetooth connection problems" and read the 1.5 million hits :D to see that this is not a DE1 issue. For whatever reason, bluetooth has not been easy to get right, but it's gotten better recently. However, recent devices cost a lot more than older models, so if you want cheap & working bluetooth, you might need to try a few different tablet models. Or, buy something new and expensive, and it's very likely to work.

One reason that we supply a tablet is that I tried about 30 different models to find one that worked really reliably, with a good screen, fast response, and a low price.

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#385: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

roastini wrote:Cups will be placed under the group moving front to back, not side to side, and having the bars oriented the same way will make that smoother, it seems.
This is a good point, that you'll get more rattle, rattle, rattle with left-to-right bars than with your proposed configuration. We'll draw one up and see what we think of it.

anakinstoys

#386: Post by anakinstoys »

roastini wrote:Cups will be placed under the group moving front to back, not side to side, and having the bars oriented the same way will make that smoother, it seems.
I had to chuckle when I read this. I was picturing an apple presentation - "behold!! we rotated the bars 90 degrees for easier sliding of the cup!!" audience gasps followed by oooo's and ahhh's. good idea tho! I wonder if it really "feels" different with the rotation?

decent_espresso wrote:I'll want to try some thicker ones and see how that looks and works.
I like the 2mm spacing grill pic that you have. very clean look. will those bars be round or flat? I know this is just a cad mockup - but how do you remove it? i do see the flat head slot, but def wouldn't want to use a tool. time to think about a clean look and easy removal. :P

Here is the cimbali junior casa variant. I suppose thats about the look you're going for.

Is your drip tray ceramic? Is steel and ceramic a good idea? Just thinking about chips, etc.

roastini

#387: Post by roastini »

anakinstoys wrote:I was picturing an apple presentation - "behold!! we rotated the bars 90 degrees for easier sliding of the cup!!" audience gasps followed by oooo's and ahhh's. good idea tho! I wonder if it really "feels" different with the rotation?
I'll admit I backed into the explanation. I began wondering if this drip tray issue might be a solved problem in a closely related field, which made me think of soda fountains, which made me wonder why soda fountains often have grates in that direction, which led to the thought that maybe it rattled less.

anakinstoys

#388: Post by anakinstoys » replying to roastini »

well the strange thing is that pretty much all espresso machines have the horizontal bars (not counting any other pattern). so yeah - good idea! my only caveat is how will short vertical bars look? you know these italian designers. lol

roastini

#389: Post by roastini »

anakinstoys wrote:Is your drip tray ceramic? Is steel and ceramic a good idea? Just thinking about chips, etc.
I don't know what the Decent team is thinking, but I've been imagining that the trivet has feet like this:

...and the feet have rubberized covers.

DJF

#390: Post by DJF »

My Elektra A3 has a pressed drip tray cover with fairly wide drain cavities as opposed to later ones that have the wire covers. When pouring for two using espresso glasses that are angled under the spout the glasses can "roll". Not far but enough to make me jump. The wire/trivet type cover would work better I imagine.

I like the above cover but the bars need to be closer together for stability.
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I don't think so."