Londinium Vectis Spring Lever - Lance Hedrick Review - Page 4

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#31: Post by Lancehedrick »

bmac.to wrote:Thanks for this. This has made some of your comments from the review much clearer to me. You made a comment about a 54mm portafilter I did not understand until now. Most of the small, home levers are even smaller than 54mm which makes the Vectis so intriguing. Perhaps it is a delicate balance between puck depth (or portafilter diameter) and a fixed water volume that makes body easy on other levers?

Totally. With 54mm, you can get baskets that hold as much or more than 58mm baskets. I actually tend to prefer 54mm unless going for thin, crazy clarity shots with nordic light roasts.

I guess I don't understand the move to 58mm when most lever users want body and those who would be going with lighter coffees would need more water for proper ratios. Unless you PI a ton, in which case it would be fine but you'd sacrifice lots of weight.

But yeah- I actually prefer 54mm overall. I was hoping I could pack a bit more into the 58mm while getting a good ratio to give body without losing balance, but only way I could do that was with super dark roasts, which I only very infrequently drink.

But even still, body suffers compared to other levers regardless of group head size. I've gotten to try a couple at trade shows and friends' houses, including r24 and other machines, and the vectis isn't able to replicate the body.

I've actually a friend who decided prior to my video to sell the vectis and buy a p64 and robot because he wanted texture in his shots beyond just a balanced tactile experience. He actually tipped me off first to the lower than usual pressure based off his multiple pulls. Same with another user who already sold his (his unit is the one featured in the daddy got coffee video). He found body suffered greatly, and this guy is one of those lever nuts who buys them all and rotates them by selling and keeping what he prefers.

Anyway, thats it. Haha

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#32: Post by espressotime »

Jeff wrote:Who cares?

Really, it is one opinion. Like any opinion, you need to weight it against your own priorities. There are plenty of opinions out there on machines I own or have used that are very different than mine, both positive and negative. That lets me ask questions about my own perceptions. If everybody has the same opinion, what's the point in reading them?
Now that's a statement that I can agree with.All about perception,taste and preferences.

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#33: Post by buckersss »

@Jeff Yep I'm in agreement for sure.

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#34: Post by retireddude »

Honeycomb wrote:Up until recently my machine wasn't having any issues maintaining 1.2 bar without any issues, but now it has started occasionally jumping to 1.5+ bar and the element not shutting off. OPV is popping off and handling the high pressure, but still a little unsettling.

Is this what those who have gotten the updated pstat have come across prior to the change?
That's exactly the problem. Let Reiss know and he'll ship out the Mater repositioning kit with a new pstat.

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#35: Post by Lancehedrick replying to retireddude »

To be fair, mine starting acting up again even with the new kit. Back up to 1.5 and sometimes 1.6.

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#36: Post by espressotime replying to Lancehedrick »

A simple Matar should hold pressure very well.

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#37: Post by Lancehedrick replying to espressotime »

Oh I agree. I've got like 22 machines or more with one. I'm thinking it's the mounting still. The original mounting obviously caused issues. I'm not convinced this one fixed them. I can easily flip it on and prove it lol
Not lying.

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#38: Post by DaveC »

espressotime wrote:A simple Matar should hold pressure very well.
I only want to comment on the pressurestat issue, just so people understand the technicalities and issues around the Use of the MA-TER stats. Please bear with me as it's a boring, but I hope interesting post (and part of espresso machine history).

I first came across them in espresso machines from Izzo over 20 years ago now. Izzo used to switch the power directly using the microswitch on the stat which "said" it was rated to 16A. in the UK we have 240V and the current used in those early Izzos was around 6.5 amps as they had 1400W/230V elements. This didn't pose too many issues but after a number of years a common failure mode was the Microswitch contacts failing to work correctly because of arcing and the machines would overheat.

In the US is was actually worse because they were having to handle almost 13A and they didn't like it. For many years I wanted them to use an SSR and finally got my wish when I helped them with the top level design of the original Duetto. The early failures pretty much stopped and the components could go on 9+ years or more.

I said earlier the rating was 16A, but my suspicion was that the microswitch experienced frequent operations, arcing and heat which effectively derated the microswitch significantly.

Enter the tiny Dallacorte dual boiler some years later where I came across the XP700 range of MA-TER stat which had a mechanical relay in the top, the Microswitch now switched mA and the high power relay did all the high current switching. This pressurestat didn't fail early.

SSRs 230V/230V or 120V 120V switched became so common in machines that many companies reverted back to the standard MA-TER XP 100 style stat with no mechanical relay...some companies were slow to adapt like Quick Mill who used a large mechanical relay elsewhere and Nuova El Caudra (who I still believe use a mechanical relay to this day).

So back around to the Vectis...it's using a standard MA-TER stat, not an XP700 style and from LH video and the thickness of the wires, it's switching the full power of the heating element. 1300W/230V which is going to require close to 5.8 amps and in the USD almost 12 amps.
  • It's at the top of an uninsulated boiler (so getting quite hot)
    The boiler being uninsulated increases the number of times it switches per hour

So we might well have history repeating and remember the issues around the Izzo machines and others which effectively did he same thing. If I was involved in the design/testing of such a machine I would have recommended
  • Best Choice - standard MA-TER stat switching an 230/230 or 120/120V SSR
    Second best choice - Using a MA-TER XP700 style stat, but you do get that annoying "quiet ding" every time it switches
I thought long and hard before making this post as often any constructive comment is met with a less than optimum response by owners or Reiss. If I actually owned one...I would probably mod it by adding an SSR (to handle the high power) and letting the MA-TER switch the SSR. I realise that people love the whole simple mechanical thing, but occasionally a good marriage of modern tech with old tech can yield massive benefits (As I found with the ACS Evo). Reiss would do well to add an SSR to the Vectis.

This is the sort of knowledge that gets forgotten by young designers of machines as modern day SSRs rather removed the issue from peoples minds. I would guess that the Fracino team who helped with the design probably failed to consider what was once a common early failure mode
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#39: Post by Cos270 replying to DaveC »

Very interesting and informative post. I would love to do such a modification as my pressure does still wander up to 1.5 bar on occasion even though I have the new relocation kit. I plan on keeping my Vectis for a long time, and while I haven't noticed any adverse affects of the wandering mater, it would be nice to future proof it as much as possible. Would you be so kind as to provide a parts list for the SSR and mater combo? There's so much room on the inside of the machine and everything is easily accessible, I think such a retrofit would be quite simple.

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#40: Post by Jeff »

You might want to look at threads on the Rocket machines, at least one of which has problematic, direct-switched design. A separate thread would be a great place to explore options for the Vectis.

Even if a microswitch or electromechanical relay has a 100,000-operation lifespan, that isn't all that long. If your machine cycles every minute, that's 60 an hour. On for two hours a day is over 40,000 a year.