Helor Stance Motor owners experience

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
Beewee

#1: Post by Beewee »

This is a new thread for Helor Stance Motor owners to share tips, advice, and feedback as we learn the ins and outs of the grinder.

I just received my unit today and initial impressions are that it looks every bit as nice, if not even nicer, than the photos. It feels much heavier than it looks and the grinding head is bigger than I imagined but ounce you consider that there's a 87mm diameter conical burr inside, then it all makes sense.

I had one minor hiccup upon plugging the grinder in and it was unresponsive. After verifying everything was plugged in correctly, I had to break out my multimeter and discovered that the power cable was faulty and one of the power prongs on the plug had a discontinuity. Luckily, it's a standard power cable used on desktop computers and such and I had tons of spare cables kicking around. So with the power cable sorted out, I was able to spark up my grinder.

One thing to note, which is rather important for new owners is that the burrs are locked during shipping. This means that if you did turn on your grinder, the motor would probably stall. The instruction manual tells you that you need to loosen up the grind dial by 1.75 turns before turning on the motor. I think this really should be mentioned in the quick start guide (which wasn't provided in the box but sent by email) and/or there should be a simple paper slip to remind new owners to loosen the grind dial before turning on the motor. Lucky for me, because of the faulty power cable, I was forced to dig through the manual (which I normally don't read) and I noticed the bit about loosening up the grind dial.

Sound wise, on the first few doses, it was louder than I expected but not where near as loud as my Cimbali Max Hybrid (junior sized). The sound difference is minimal between having the beans and running the motors without beans. Though, if you run the grinder with beans and without the metal lid cover, it is noticeably louder and it's a high frequency sound like beans sloshing against each other type of sound. For safety and noise sake, it's best to run the grinder with the lid covering the grinding chamber.

There is one caveat about the lid making things quieter, it's that the vibration of the motor can cause the lid to rattle and this can bit a bit annoying. If I have one recommendation to make with improving the lid design, it would be to put a soft gasket either on the lid bottom or some kind of soft bumper on the top of the grinding chamber so the lid doesn't rattle while the motor is running.

One other minor change that I've noticed comparing my unit and other early owners from the first batch of units is that the unit did not arrive with any numbers on the grind dial. However, one of the dots on the grind dial is filled with a white paint to provide a point of reference when adjusting the grind which is handy and subtly in line with the overall asthetic. I did not receive any numbered sticker for the grind dial but I doubt I would use it even if I received one. I've also noticed that the white dot indicator is pretty close to where you'd want to set the grind dial for espresso so that's a nice touch.

In terms of static, on my very first grind, I measured 20g in and 19.3g out but this was done without any RDT because I was curious to see if I actually needed it. There was clearly a lot of grinds stuck on the bottom of the burr head but nothing a soft bristled brush couldn't easily clean. Subsequently, I RDT'ed all my shots and didn't have a problem.

I will refrain from discussing anything to do with taste and grind quality until I have a chance to properly dial the grind in and sort out my distribution technique. It was way too late for me to be pulling shots and tasting anything. I took about 10 shots for me to get the shots visually looking decent enough that I'd feel confident that tomorrow morning, I can pull a couple drinkable shots before work. I'll save the fine tuning for the upcoming holidays. I'm also tempted to buy a 2-5lb bag of cheaper beans to run through the grinder and break in the burrs a bit quicker.

That's it for now!


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cafemolino

#2: Post by cafemolino »

Congrats nice so you have a bigger version i have only 83mm :mrgreen:

so you grind into the cup without the portafilter holder/fork. Due vivialdi PF size, guess you have 53 or 54mm

I still have some grounds on the burrs even with 3 drops all depends on humidity and mostly on coffee. With robustas I get generally more.

Noise I measure average 82db with mobile device.

isabelo

#3: Post by isabelo »

That was a silly QC oversight on the power cable and thanks for your advise to read the owner's manual first - but now you have added more good insight on what to watch out for.

The sound/noise levels, for sure, is personal but it would be great if you could share with us a video/sound clip of your grinder. It would be interesting to compare it with Sam's video clips from his "First-Look" review. Your observation on the lid rattle and suggestion should be conveyed to Helor/Optio-O.

Juan (cafemolino) and I discussed using colors (permanent markers) on the grind dials Dots to use for different bean/user grind settings towards the bottom of this page here -> Helor Stance Motor update. I think it is a far better way to denote those dial settings rather than the number stickers.

Enjoy your new HSM. I wish I'd get mine before Christmas but my tracking number shows no movement since I got it last Monday :roll: .

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Almico
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#4: Post by Almico »

I got mine yesterday and set it up this morning. Unfortunately, it seems a customs dept somewhere must have opened the box and tossed everything about inside. There was no owners manual in my box.



The inside bag was torn open:



And the top plate took a hit:



I did not get the memo about loosening up the burrs prior to turning on, but the motor fired up regardless.

I ran a pound of month old Kenya through it to start the break in.

First impressions:

Lots of initial static. Coffee is getting held up in the funnel. I hope this dissipates as the burrs break in. I'm not a big fan of RDT and don't do it for any of my other grinders without issue.

Portafilter holder is too small for my portafilters. Fits the catch cup perfectly though. But I really do not want to have to grind into a catch cup and then pour into the portafilter. Not sure if there is a fix for this.

Same as the Stance, getting the beans into the grind chamber is not a lot of fun. Beans have to be carefully poured in and even at that, there always seems to be a few jumpers. At least with the Pharos, a simple little plastic ring solved that problem. I have to figure out another remedy for this one.

There are bevel gears in the Stance and a gearbox for the motor. Therefore is some chatter without beans and running dry it is a bit louder than my Monocon. But as soon as beans are loaded it quiets down considerably and is actually quieter than the Monocon. I can barely hear the beans grinding! But as soon as they are down, the chatter picks up again. Nothing loud, but it's there.

Now for the good stuff. This thing is a beast. It is far heavier than it looks and will not be a travel grinder for anyone. I've never had an 83mm conical burr grinder and just looking down at them is awe-inspiring. There is a bit of vibration in the body due to the gearing, but none whatsoever in the grinding assembly.

The grinds are silky as can be and pour like syrup. I dialed it in to my Athena Leva and pulled some very pretty shots. I'm not going to compare taste with my E10 for a bit, but my first cappuccino of the day was the best I've ever had. Then again, every cappuccino I make is the best I've ever had. Straight shots were full and round, with lots of goopy crema.

One full rotation of the burrs and I was grinding perfectly for pourovers. A spin the other way and espressos were still dialed in. It could use some kind of reference scale. For the time being, a Sharpie will do.

I can't wait to see how it breaks in...


isabelo

#5: Post by isabelo »

Sorry, hit the Submit button too soon. :oops:

isabelo

#6: Post by isabelo »

I suppose every thing bought overseas is subject to customs inspection, but them doing it hastily and damaging the item(s) is simply annoying.

Great to know you are getting good shots and giving your HSM a thumbs up.

leozava

#7: Post by leozava »

Is anyone else getting some wobble in the "bee hive" when grinding? I know it's normal for the top to spin off centered a bit but I'm getting wobble in the whole assembly. Also, mine seems pretty loud MUCH louder than my motorized hg-1 and both my versalabs

speedplay

#8: Post by speedplay replying to leozava »

Hi, I suggest you shoot a video comparing the noise your grinders make and from the front of the HSM with a tripod or holding phone on counter top to illustrate the wobbling of the whole grinding Helor assembly. You can also send this video to option-o to demonstrate your observations.

If the Helor grinding assembly wobbles or vibrates it probably got damaged in shipping or by customs if they inspected it and pulled it out of the box and dropped it. Does it have any cosmetic damage? If damage is not apparent still something might be wrong because the grinding assembly should not wobble(check the two bolts that hold the black ring support to the cylinder housing (you will have to remove the fork) and the 6 bolts around the ring that secure the Helor assembly to the black ring.

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rimblas

#9: Post by rimblas »

There seems to be a customs lottery. My box seemed perfectly packaged.




There was no manual, but (in rare fashion) I read the manual in lieu of waiting for the grinder to arrive. :roll:

I also didn't get the number stickers, and when I asked Option-o about it the mention, in passing, Hayden said: "...mail or include it together with the loading funnel". Yay! A loading funnel is coming.

I also had a ridiculous amount of grounds held up (even with RDT) in the funnel; 8g out of 17g :shock: But then... the last couple of shots almost no retention. Hopefully, it stays like that with other beans also.
leozava wrote:Is anyone else getting some wobble in the "bee hive" when grinding? I know it's normal for the top to spin off centered a bit but I'm getting wobble in the whole assembly. Also, mine seems pretty loud MUCH louder than my motorized hg-1 and both my versalabs
I have some wobble too. Everything seems tight, but I'll be checking those bolts again as speedplay suggests. That said, I did get this from Option-o
Some movement of the Stance Unit is normal, that's due to the design clearance required for ease of assembly/disassembly. It does not affect the operation or the precision of the grinder.

isabelo

#10: Post by isabelo »

I wonder if these noise/wobble/vibration issues are coming out of the second-batch units alone. I don't remember reading them from first-batch owners. If so, could there be differences between the first and second builds?