Troubleshooting Robot Basket Insertion - Page 5

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Paul_Pratt

#41: Post by Paul_Pratt »

max wrote:This leads me to another observation of mine: It was better in the beginning. Finally after some problems with the gasket, I used the replacement gasket and it was like in the beginning again (still a little difficult, but manageable). Shortly thereafter, the problems returned. My hypothesis is that the lock-in difficulty affects the gaskets as well. After the change it didn't take long until the problems were bad as always.

I am very curious to hear Paul's take on this, but, as I said, I'll wait to see if he sees it here first to not overload his email.
Ah ok I missed this in your previous post. When you lock in the portafilter the seal has to go into the top of the basket. If the seal is dirty or sticky you may notice it is harder than before. You are trying to get a flared seal into a small diameter basket so lock in will depend on how easily the seal gets shoehorned into the basket.

I am updating the user manual now as it has been emailed to us a few times over the past year. My advice is to rub a wet thumb and forefinger around the seal 360 degrees a few times. You can of course remove the seal altogether, clean it, relube and put it back - not forgetting to do the thumb and forefinger rotation.

I'll post again my advice for lock-in issues based on feedback from the past few years:
  • Lock in is up and then across, not across and up at the same time
  • Arms are not fully at the top
  • Seal is wonky or dirty
  • Piston screw is undone a bit which prevents the piston from going up
That is usually it. Any machining problems are mine to deal with and they will get picked up by us here during assembly and testing and will not make it out into the real world.

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Paul_Pratt

#42: Post by Paul_Pratt »

YeetSkeeterson wrote: I also do not expect any response to be anything other than pointing the finger back at me, but I will await said response and hopefully eat my words.
Brandon my colleague has provided you with a return fed ex label and we will issue you a full refund regardless. I will report back here when it arrives. I am very interested to see what is what. Robot was delivered to you in November.

max

#43: Post by max »

Paul_Pratt wrote:Ah ok I missed this in your previous post. When you lock in the portafilter the seal has to go into the top of the basket. If the seal is dirty or sticky you may notice it is harder than before. You are trying to get a flared seal into a small diameter basket so lock in will depend on how easily the seal gets shoehorned into the basket.

I am updating the user manual now as it has been emailed to us a few times over the past year. My advice is to rub a wet thumb and forefinger around the seal 360 degrees a few times. You can of course remove the seal altogether, clean it, relube and put it back - not forgetting to do the thumb and forefinger rotation.

I'll post again my advice for lock-in issues based on feedback from the past few years:
  • Lock in is up and then across, not across and up at the same time
  • Arms are not fully at the top
  • Seal is wonky or dirty
  • Piston screw is undone a bit which prevents the piston from going up
That is usually it. Any machining problems are mine to deal with and they will get picked up by us here during assembly and testing and will not make it out into the real world.
I have written an e-mail, as you asked me to, but the following question could be useful for others to have answered:

Is it normal that the basket does not seat fully in the portafilter? Like in my case where the rim is too wide for the basket (only on one of the sides)?



Aside from this, I assure you that
  • I have been unable lock straight up with two hands when my wife held the arms... and I used to grind extra light beans on a Pharos... :lol: Lot's of wiggling is a must on my device.
  • I have moved the pressure gauge to make sure that the arms really are lifted as far as possible.
  • Seal has been in every state from new, lubed, a little dry, dirty, wet, clean etc. To be clear, I have cleaned it thoroughly after reaching the "bad" stage, so it is not just a matter of dirt. FWIW, at least at this stage they look much more flared than those in pictures from others here on H-B.
The piston screw allowed for a little tightening. We will see in the coming days if it makes a difference.

YeetSkeeterson

#44: Post by YeetSkeeterson »

I just wanted some troubleshooting because I enjoyed using the machine very much when it functioned properly. But I must've been such a burden I'm just not worth it to deal with. They've offered to accept the machine as a return.

Not even what I remotely had in mind at this point but, I guess I'm regrettably sending the Robot back? I must not even be worth it to be an owner. Ouch. Back to looking for an espresso machine.

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drgary
Team HB

#45: Post by drgary »

max wrote:Seal has been in every state from new, lubed, a little dry, dirty, wet, clean etc. To be clear, I have cleaned it thoroughly after reaching the "bad" stage, so it is not just a matter of dirt. FWIW, at least at this stage they look much more flared than those in pictures from others here on H-B.
With lever machines, sometimes a seal isn't well seated. It gets rolled up so it flares too easily and may even roll back. I've generally rolled the seal downward, from top to bottom, to make sure it's properly seated. You could try that and see if the flare is reduced.

I will be interested to see what Paul finds when he inspects the Robot that Jeff has struggled with.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

YeetSkeeterson

#46: Post by YeetSkeeterson » replying to drgary »

I have a suspicion it will be the $6 seal as the final culprit. Nothing else makes much sense to me. I am convinced at this point the seal flares out when the PF is inserted.

I have massaged it and pressed it down to try and get it closer to the piston but it didn't do much. There are no tears in the seal. It is immaculate as far as condition. Regarding its structural integrity relative to how it came from production, that I don't know. But I'm willing to bet it's the problem. I would be surprised if it was a machining issue or anything related to the body of the Robot or gauge.


There's of course one other option.

One in which I send it in and somehow he's able to use it perfectly fine after my weeks of struggling preceded by months of perfectly fine use with no alteration to my technique or any of the hardware. In which I will then be publicly shamed. Only time will tell.

jpender

#47: Post by jpender »

Yeet/Jeff/Brandon/Poop,

If you really want to figure it out on your own find someone else who has a Robot. Then you can swap parts until the problem disappears on your machine and appears on theirs. You'll also then have someone else to observe both your technique and the operation of your Robot.
★ Helpful

jpender

#48: Post by jpender »

max wrote:I have written an e-mail, as you asked me to, but the following question could be useful for others to have answered:

Is it normal that the basket does not seat fully in the portafilter? Like in my case where the rim is too wide for the basket (only on one of the sides)?

I don't know how much variation there is from one hand built Robot to the next but I can see that my Portafilter doesn't look like yours on the top. The basket on mine sits how I imagine it was designed to sit. That said, I trust that Paul tests every one of these.

Out of curiosity I inserted a small piece of stiff 2mm cord under the rim of the basket to simulate your problem. The cord keeps the basket seated high like yours.

Image

Image

Image


With 18g of coffee and hot water filled to within less than 1cm of the rim I found that I was still able to seat and lock in the portafilter and pull a shot. It did take a bit of pushing and wiggling though. I wonder if this is basically the same as having the piston not fully retracted.

For what it's worth...

User avatar
drgary
Team HB

#49: Post by drgary »

YeetSkeeterson wrote:I have a suspicion it will be the $6 seal as the final culprit. Nothing else makes much sense to me. I am convinced at this point the seal flares out when the PF is inserted.

I have massaged it and pressed it down to try and get it closer to the piston but it didn't do much. There are no tears in the seal. It is immaculate as far as condition. Regarding its structural integrity relative to how it came from production, that I don't know. But I'm willing to bet it's the problem. I would be surprised if it was a machining issue or anything related to the body of the Robot or gauge.


There's of course one other option.

One in which I send it in and somehow he's able to use it perfectly fine after my weeks of struggling preceded by months of perfectly fine use with no alteration to my technique or any of the hardware. In which I will then be publicly shamed. Only time will tell.
Team HB will not support publicly shaming anyone. I trust that you are having difficulty locking in. There's a point where the vendor and customer need to work things out between each other if troubleshooting doesn't get anywhere online.

You could send it to another member who is willing to troubleshoot it for you, paying for shipping both ways, but if they find some easy solution, it could be embarrassing, if you take it that way. I don't have the time or I would offer this. Technical glitches are often like that, a palm to forehead situation. If you're willing to take it with humor and to tolerate any embarrassment, it becomes a humbling experience instead of a humiliating one. And if you have really tried everything, sending it to Paul for free plus a refund and having him report what he has found will be instructive to others who may run into the same problem, even if it's an oversight in their own problem-solving.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

YeetSkeeterson

#50: Post by YeetSkeeterson » replying to drgary »

Thank you for the support. I have become a bit too high-strung over this. I am not really an aggressive person, or one that gets aggravated over anything. However feeling like a burden by bothering Paul in a busy time alongside a global pandemic, coupled with my desire to troubleshoot this, has gotten tempers high and I apologize to anyone involved that may have felt that. I've already packaged it up with all the original packaging minus a little bit of bubble wrap I can't find, which was replaced by other packaging materials.

I will send it to Paul and await the result, it is more of a kind gesture than I had originally seen with my aggravation. As much as I'd like to own a Robot again in the future should this one prove faulty for some reason, I am going to exit the espresso game for a while and stick to coffee while the world hopefully recovers from this turmoil. I've also likely worn out my welcome with Cafelat, I'm sure I've been one of the more obnoxious customers, however it appears I'm not the only one that has experienced something like this, even if so far only one other person has claimed to have experienced something similar. I've got plenty of coffee to drink and beer to brew at home.

Cheers.