Gas/propane kit for Astoria arrived - Now what?

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
bm_cricket

#1: Post by bm_cricket »

So, I got the propane kit for my Astoria 2-group (The continuation of Rebuilding an old 2 group Astoria Lever (+ propane)). I can't figure out how to install it. Could anyone who has gone through this offer some help? I've got a diagram that doesn't look like the parts in the box. I was hoping that the kit would have the mounting hardware but it doesn't. I'm going to need to create my own mounting hardware and mounting frame for this thing....

Help?
Life is short, enjoy every sip.

Tom@Steve'sEspresso

#2: Post by Tom@Steve'sEspresso »

I can't remember your machine directly, but you need a connection on the boiler for either steam or water pressure that the other end of connects to the gas regulator. Then you need a gas line for the other side of the regulator. I would think that the burner will sit next to the regulator as it gets fueled from the regulator. At least that is how my Rancilios are. The ignitor is a separate setup somewhere else nearby. Shouldn't be too difficult if the machine already has the factory option.
LMWDP #222
Live graciously
Be kind
Have fun

bm_cricket (original poster)

#3: Post by bm_cricket (original poster) replying to Tom@Steve'sEspresso »

So, I've done a more detailed inventory of the parts and I think I've worked out how to make them all connect. The issue I have now is that I can't mount them. While my machine comes with pre-cut mounting holes in the frame (for the ignitor and flow valve) it doesn't come with the metal support sheets that sit under the boiler. It has a bunch of mounting holes for a sheet of metal that just doesn't seem to be included. Can anyone else who owns a 2-group Astoria lever do me a favor and take photos of the underside of their espresso machine showing the boiler? I wonder if most of them are missing those sheets or if someone just removed them from my machine as some point because they weren't doing anything (they don't seem to serve much purpose until you get a gas kit.)
Life is short, enjoy every sip.

Oskuk

#4: Post by Oskuk »

Any help?

fluke

#5: Post by fluke »

I was curious when you'd start the gas conversion process... ~100 days to go.

still planning on a ruben's tube?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2awbKQ2DLRE

... or a gas powered roaster?

bm_cricket (original poster)

#6: Post by bm_cricket (original poster) »

fluke wrote:I was curious when you'd start the gas conversion process... ~100 days to go.

still planning on a ruben's tube?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2awbKQ2DLRE

... or a gas powered roaster?
It's taken a while to buy it. It took almost a almost 2 weeks for the customs and shipipng for all the weird parts! Explaining to them what every little weird part did was fun. I also got a bunch of other weird spare parts that have limited availability. As for the roaster and the rubens tube.. that's later. :-D

Oskuk wrote:Any help?
<image><image>
Thanks for those photos! I'll send a few photos of my (hacked together) support structure. Ascaso doesn't carry those support parts anymore unless they are sold with the machine as new, General Espresso Company in North Carolina doesn't seem to even maintain inventory of gas parts... So I just made it out of sheet metal. I think I've placed the burner element the right distance from the boiler but if you have access to the underside of your machine, can you measure the distance between the boiler and the burner? Can you measure the distance between the burner and the spark/flame check? I'm planning to give this a test run this weekend but I don't want to risk blowing anything up or damaging anything. ;-)
Life is short, enjoy every sip.

bm_cricket (original poster)

#7: Post by bm_cricket (original poster) »

Oskuk wrote:Any help?
<image><image>
I just discovered a tiny scale buildup on the outside of my boiler along the weld seam. It looks like your boiler has the same buildup. Do you know how normal that is? Do you know how much of a problem it could become? Is it normal? I'll post photos later.
Life is short, enjoy every sip.

bm_cricket (original poster)

#8: Post by bm_cricket (original poster) »

Today was exciting. AC (Fluke) and I did a little roasting on his bean roaster and we tried firing up my new propane system for the first time. The flame was too low. I Wonder if I need a different propane jet... Right now it is set to the 2 group propane jet (the one for my setup) but maybe it needs a bigger one. I am at sea level so it could be a little different? Also, should the regulator do anything when you change the set screw? Does anyone have a special high flow propane regulator attached to your tank or do you just use the same kind that comes with a normal bbq?
Life is short, enjoy every sip.

bm_cricket (original poster)

#9: Post by bm_cricket (original poster) »

Success! Somewhat of a success anyway. I've determined that my problem is as simple as a poor choice in my propane regulator. I am going to track down a high pressure propane regulator for my machine. I think that if I can give the built-in regulator the designed 50mbar pressure that I may get a flame worthy of at least roasting some march mellows. Right now this thing isn't even getting warm when it runs on propane. :-(

Also... Can someone suggest where to buy a US 50mbar propane regulator? I'm usually so good at finding stuff on the internet but I'm trying to sift through half a dozen thread types with a bunch of different seal types (tons of different styles of flare for example) and international propane tank fittings and and and... And while I am perfectly happy with working out the math to go from psi to inches of water to mbar to inches of Hg to atmospheres... and sometimes the regulator gives output in BTUs (don't even get me started on what a BTU is actually calculated from... Oh god!)... it's all turning into a mess when I try to read about propane regulators. How hard can it be?
Life is short, enjoy every sip.