Troubleshooting Robot Basket Insertion

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YeetSkeeterson

#1: Post by YeetSkeeterson »

Any help with troubleshooting my Robot? I've sent messages to support but never get any help because I had to send 2 - 3 emails in order to amend something I forgot to mention in the previous email, and it apparently becomes too confusing.

It's simple. My PF has become nearly impossible to insert after a very careful few months of use. I cleaned the Robot top to bottom, I removed the piston seal, cleaned underneath and seated it properly, and nothing works. It feels like I'm grinding the metals against each other to the point it won't go in at all sometimes. I have applied Molykote 111 sparingly as per the official website, wiping most away and leaving a thin layer. I only applied it when it became difficult to use but now I'm thinking lubrication isn't the issue.

The PF without the basket goes in fine, but when I insert the basket it becomes close to impossible to use with one hand. I'm starting to think the basket is bent. When I press down on one side of the basket the other pops up nearly 1cm, meaning it has to be bent one way or another.

Moderator note: I've split this topic off from the Cafelat Robot User Experience thread so Jeff and Paul can work it out.

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Balthazar_B

#2: Post by Balthazar_B »

Jeff, that photo does make it look like your basket got bent somehow. Easy to see how that might be enough misalignment with the portafilter to prevent proper mounting, since it's the basket lining up with the gasket while the portafilter engages the grouphead. Even if you manage to mount it, there's a good chance pulling decent shots could be challenging.

Easiest fix is to get a new basket if your current one cannot be bent back into shape, or machined to eliminate the high spot (without creating a different problem).
- John

LMWDP # 577

YeetSkeeterson

#3: Post by YeetSkeeterson » replying to Balthazar_B »

That is what I had suspected after going through every bit of troubleshooting advice I could find.

Oh well.

ojaw

#4: Post by ojaw »

YeetSkeeterson wrote:That is what I had suspected after going through every bit of troubleshooting advice I could find.
Your gauge hasn't slipped at all eh? That might prevent the arms from getting to their highest point.

YeetSkeeterson

#5: Post by YeetSkeeterson » replying to ojaw »

My gauge has never been an issue as far as I can tell, nor moved, always been set and forget (as in, it was set before I even received it). I've seen videos with the gauge roughly in the same spot as mine with no issues (https://www.reddit.com/r/espresso/comme ... lat_robot/).

As stated previously, I haven't had any issues for the 3+ months I've used it. When I just tried moving the gauge in either direction, it's cemented down.

ojaw

#6: Post by ojaw »

Huh, too bad. It's a mystery to me.

jpender

#7: Post by jpender »

YeetSkeeterson wrote:When I press down on one side of the basket the other pops up nearly 1cm, meaning it has to be bent one way or another.

It isn't popping up anywhere close to 1cm in that photo. It looks more like a couple of millimeters and pretty much the same as what my portafilter and basket look like when I push on one side. For that matter, unless the basket is caved in pretty seriously or the portafilter itself is somehow deformed, the geometry makes it impossible for the basket to tilt up very much.

When I watched your video it just looked like you weren't getting the portafilter up high enough. Now why you weren't able to do that is the question. The piston and gasket have to push into the basket a little bit. Is there any chance the gasket is misaligned? Or could the basket be bent so that the top isn't evenly round?

Nate42

#8: Post by Nate42 »

YeetSkeeterson wrote:Any help with troubleshooting my Robot? I've sent messages to support but never get any help because I had to send 2 - 3 emails in order to amend something I forgot to mention in the previous email, and it apparently becomes too confusing.

It's simple. My PF has become nearly impossible to insert after a very careful few months of use. I cleaned the Robot top to bottom, I removed the piston seal, cleaned underneath and seated it properly, and nothing works. It feels like I'm grinding the metals against each other to the point it won't go in at all sometimes. I have applied Molykote 111 sparingly as per the official website, wiping most away and leaving a thin layer. I only applied it when it became difficult to use but now I'm thinking lubrication isn't the issue.

The PF without the basket goes in fine, but when I insert the basket it becomes close to impossible to use with one hand. I'm starting to think the basket is bent. When I press down on one side of the basket the other pops up nearly 1cm, meaning it has to be bent one way or another.

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Does the basket sit flat when you aren't pushing on it like that? If so I don't see how it would matter. If it never sits flat at all maybe you really do have a basket problem. Assuming you don't have a problem, the only trick for getting it in is the basket has to slip over the gasket to go up high enough to lock. So, make sure your gasket is seated and lubricated. Also don't overfill with water you need to leave room for the piston to go in a bit. Finally, give it a little wiggle as you are engaging it to help it slip over the gasket. The piston might be at an angle and you may need to tilt slightly to get it to engage,which is also helped by the wiggle.

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Paul_Pratt

#9: Post by Paul_Pratt »

jpender wrote: It isn't popping up anywhere close to 1cm in that photo. It looks more like a couple of millimeters and pretty much the same as what my portafilter and basket look like when I push on one side. For that matter, unless the basket is caved in pretty seriously or the portafilter itself is somehow deformed, the geometry makes it impossible for the basket to tilt up very much.

When I watched your video it just looked like you weren't getting the portafilter up high enough. Now why you weren't able to do that is the question. The piston and gasket have to push into the basket a little bit. Is there any chance the gasket is misaligned? Or could the basket be bent so that the top isn't evenly round?
This sums up what I have replied to him many times over and over.

To run through again for the benefit of others lock in depends on the position of the piston, it must be as high as it can go. To get it as high as it can go the arms must be up fully. I mentioned check that the pin for the piston is screwed in properly, check the silicone piston is seated correctly and yes good point about the pressure gauge bracket. When the arms are as high as they can be they should just press up against the bracket, but not so much you think they are being stopped by the bracket.

A deformed basket is of course something that in theory could happen, but these are 2mm thick stainless steel, almost double a regular basket which is why I have always pointed to the other factors first.

His (Brandon's) Robot is now 6 months old, so any possible manufacturing issues would have surfaced by now. If all the other factors can be eliminated then I would look into the basket height, unfortunately a barrage of multiple emails per day, across different email account can be very confusing.

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drgary
Team HB

#10: Post by drgary »

i wonder if during insertion Jeff is aligning the tabs front and back with the slots in the body, and whether he is making sure the back tab is fully inserted before turning it. I have occasionally fumbled an insert when I miss those alignments, but it's not my Robot, which is a wonderfully simple and elegant product. As Paul suggests, I am always lifting the arms all the way up.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!