Elektra T1 - # 759 built in 1999 is now mine - Page 2

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shadowfax (original poster)

#11: Post by shadowfax (original poster) »

stefano65 wrote:Nicholas are you sure the lever is bent and not only the normally swivel position on the ball stuck because of the counter nut is too tight?
before I'll send your parts order out ( thank you by the way) try to loosen the counter nut and see
the lever front shaft it's so short in the new style that it's hard for me to imagine that it got bent
let me know
I'll make sure and have a look on Sunday when I get home and let you know. Here's what I can tell you from my close examination:

1. The valves feel perfect. They operate as new when the machine is on and up to pressure... tight, but easy and smooth, and securely in place (no bouncing/jiggling around, like the display model T1 at Williams Sonoma near my house). I'm almost afraid to take them apart, they feel so nice.

2. There's a nick in the tightening nut that the ball valve sits in where the lever was slammed against it and bent against it.

I am pretty sure, judging by how the machine came shipped, the condition of the box, and the position of the levers when it arrived (stuck inwards towards the grouphead and the driptray) that the machine was rested on its side in the box and the weight of the machine pressed down on the levers against the tightening nut.

I will try to get a better picture of it when I get home, but for now that's what I know. Are those symptoms consistent with overtightening, or can I rule it out?

By the way, thanks to Stefano for helping me troubleshoot my machine, his day job, not only on vacation, but on Christmas morning... Thank you Stefano. I hope you enjoy the rest of the day and your holiday.
Nicholas Lundgaard

zin1953

#12: Post by zin1953 »

Congratulations, Nicholas!

Cheers,
Jason

P.S. The top aligns like a tic-tac-toe grid (#), with the slots at a 90-degree angle to each other.
The slots are OFFSET, so as to prevent the water from dripping into the machine.
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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erics
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#13: Post by erics »

Congrats on your new ADDITIONAL machine, Nicholas.

There is an excellent Elektra hydraulics diagram on my crude FTP site courtesy of an avid CG poster, Brad Seaman. Brad passed away in May of this year and was quite knowledgable regards the Elektra, including the design of a beautiful grouphead thermocouple arrangement.

http://users.rcn.com/erics/Elektra_Hydraulic_R01.pdf
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

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AndyS

#14: Post by AndyS »

Congrats, Nicholas, it looks gorgeous. My first used rotary pump also came completely seized up. I squirted some WD-40 in the inlet port and ran it for a while. That did the trick, although it took a bit of flushing to get the flavor out. :-)
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

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shadowfax (original poster)

#15: Post by shadowfax (original poster) »

Jason, thanks! About the 90° angle, that seems like it would let water drip right onto the boiler/other internals... strange.

Eric, thanks for that PDF. Very useful. I have thought about the TC install that I saw, but it's a pretty tiny screw that you run it in on... I am leery of threading in such a tiny fitting to a grouphead.

Andy: sometimes, you just scare me. I wonder if dow corning or something else that's food safe would do the trick.
Nicholas Lundgaard

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erics
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#16: Post by erics »

The photo below is Brad Seaman's work and the fitting is readily available from Beswick Engineering:

Needless to say, Brad and I had many pleasant email exchanges.
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

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shadowfax (original poster)

#17: Post by shadowfax (original poster) »

Yeah, that's the one that I saw. He has a lot of cool ideas documented on his Flickr site,--the TC fitting above, a nice insulation job, and some work on making a doserless mod for a Mazzer grinder.

[edit] By readily available, I assume you meant this? That's tempting. My hobbyist machinist friend was pretty leery of building such a fitting from scratch. He's been cautious ever since one of my friends broke one of his M6 E61 thermocouple adaptors in half inside his Vibiemme grouphead (overtightened it). [/edit]

The only thing I didn't care for with that mounting was the way that it blocks access to the group bell without removing the fitting, which seems like an inconvenience. I've seen another pic of a TC mounting where the 30 gauge wire was simply put across the viton o-ring on the group bell, and snaked through one of the holes in said bell.

I was kind of hoping that the flushing would be straightforward enough that I wouldn't need a probe readout. I'm hoping to get my hands on a borrowed Scace device at some point to help tune my flush routine nicely. I'm really looking forward to a group that recovers quickly; Vetrano doesn't take well to my excessive cleaning flushes when I entertain company.
Nicholas Lundgaard

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mhoy

#18: Post by mhoy »

shadowfax wrote: The only thing I didn't care for with that mounting was the way that it blocks access to the group bell without removing the fitting, which seems like an inconvenience. I've seen another pic of a TC mounting where the 30 gauge wire was simply put across the viton o-ring on the group bell, and snaked through one of the holes in said bell.
That's what I've got hooked up to a cheap PID which is only used for showing the temp. The thermocouple wire is fiddly and while I attempted to keep it near the inlet, it may have wandered off a little as I tightened things up. At least it doesn't leak. I use an AC pid that I have to plug in (and unplug my grinder) so I rarely use it. It always shows about the same thing anyway. :D The PID doesn't change quickly enough when flushing to watch things happen in 'real time'. Hard to miss when the hiss of steam if over anyway. I had some plans for a Atmel AVR with a thermocouple reader, but never quite got around to it. :cry:

Mark

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shadowfax (original poster)

#19: Post by shadowfax (original poster) »

Eric,

Checking out the Beswick fittings makes me think about one thing. I am planning on PIDing the Elektra before long. Not that I care about the accuracy or the deadband; I just want something more reliable than a 9 year old Sirai stat whose contacts are looking rather tired, and a PID job is not much more expensive than the pressurestat, and would make me feel more comfortable about leaving the machine unattended.

I appreciated your post on discounted PXR3's, and I picked one up for this job, along with an Omron SSR. I have yet to decide on the thermocouple or placement. My first thought is to get a compression fitting made to go on the 1/4 BSP hookup on the boiler where the pressurestat hooks up now. still, if I could find a 1/4" BSP cap that could be tapped to take an compression fitting like Beswick makes, that would be better. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you can just tell me some parts to order... :lol:
Nicholas Lundgaard

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shadowfax (original poster)

#20: Post by shadowfax (original poster) »

Mark,

What PID controller do you use? I use a cheap 1/32 DIN PID from Auber with a very long 1/16" probe from Omega. You can see it on my machine here (pardon the iced cappuccino... summer and all, you know ;) ). Anyway, it reads at 4Hz. It seems quite fast to me.
Nicholas Lundgaard