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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#1651: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

How to replace the O-Ring in your Decent water tube

It's a rare issue, but occasionally a Decent machine might need a replacement of a tiny part known as an "O-ring." So what's an O-ring? It's a small, flexible ring that's inserted inside the teflon water tubing of our Decent Espresso machines. Its function is to prevent leaks from thermal cycling or leaks that could occur where the tubing attaches to the next part of the machine. If your DE1 does get a leak, we can send you a replacement O-ring. You probably don't need a new water tube. This video shows you how to remove and replace the O-ring in your Decent machine's water tubing.

A pair of common tweezers are all you need: to pull out the metal pin, and remove the small silicone o-ring. Often, all you need to do is wash the oring, to remove a bit of calcium that might have adhered to it, or other dirt. Or, if the o-ring is damaged, you would put a new one on. Or... the silicone can get harder over time (it can take a decade) and leak due to that.

This connector system was developed by Nestle for Nespresso machines, and is extremely reliably. It does not leak due to temperature cycling, which is a common and big problem with welded or threaded water connectors. However, problems can occur, which is why we show you (in this video) how easy it is to take the connector apart and rebuild it.

-john

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#1652: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Idea (feedback wanted) on group head showing shot time: goal vs actual (quick quality control)

Since almost everyone with a DE1 ends theirs shots based on "how much espresso is in the cup" (either by weight, or with a volumetric stop) then the "time to pull the shot" becomes a good measure of "how well did this espresso pull?".

Generally speaking:
  • if your shot time was where you wanted it to be, then your grind and puck prep were likely ok.
  • If the shot ran fast, the grind is either coarse or the shot channeled.
  • And if the shot ran longer, then the grind is likely too fine (or your puck prep just got hugely better :-O )
I wanted to give DE1 users a "quick glance" way to tell how the shot went, without too much thinking. Here's my idea:
  • after the shot ends
  • a solid white light is lit on the group head, where the 'goal time' for this shot is lit (you have to indicate this number of seconds in your profile)
  • another white light blinks at the actual shot time. The faster the blinking, the farther away from the goal this shot was.
The idea is that a blinking light is immediately perceived by your brain. It's fast and easy to understand. FAST blanking means "pay attention!" to our brains.

Here's a mockup of a shot that ran 21 seconds, but ideally should have run 27 seconds. HB's forum software won't allow GIFs, so imagine the 21s white light blinking.



Perceiving the blinking light allows you to do two things:
  • should I discard this shot?
  • if i see this occur several times, I should probably adjust the grind (or dose).
Note that this would be an optional feature.

But, overall, I'm pushing my brain at the moment, toward the twin problems of:
  • what should I do?
  • and did I just do it right?
This feature could be implemented in the forthcoming FROTH programming language for the DE1, and since it'll be open source, will be open to modification by others (ie, a huge variance could trigger a different LED color, or perhaps an "red alert!" glowing LED circle)

Your thoughts, please.

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doug
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#1653: Post by doug »

I like the idea, even though I have a Lunar scale that provides time and flow rate. But I'm more curious on the motivation to switch from Tcl to Forth. :D

ira
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#1654: Post by ira »

What if you pick a point, 6 or 12, and thee use the movement to the right or left as an indicator of state of the current progress. So the goal would be to keep the light stationary and any movement tells you if it's going fast or slow and how far it's off. That way, the scale allows for large movements for small errors and deals with the issue of very long shots loosing resolution.

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#1655: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

doug wrote:I like the idea, even though I have a Lunar scale that provides time and flow rate. But I'm more curious on the motivation to switch from Tcl to Forth. :D
No change is happening on the user-interface side tech.

What is happening is we're adding a scripting language into the DE1 itself. That'll be based on FORTH, though Ray wants to pun-twist it into FROTH, for obvious reasons.

FORTH is a micro-micro-language, taking only a few kb. In an embedded device like the DE1, we're very memory constrained, and can't embed something like Python. Also, we want to be able to totally lock down the language, from a safety standpoint.

So, FROTH will be able to control the DE1, so that things like this will now be possible:
- hot water auto-pour after espresso, for an automated Americano
- new group head colors, animations, feedback
- realtime changing of pressure/flow based on your own design (ie, one person wrote a physics simulation of a spring lever, and wants to implement that inside the DE1)
- community authored cleaning cycles, that can do complicated things (ie, pause overnight with citric acid in the tubes, for ultra-calcified machines)
- fully implement some of Gagné's published ideas, which we can only currently partially do.

It's in the enough-written-to-prove-the-idea-works stage, but still needs work before it can be released.

-john

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#1656: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Works in Progress - Decent Espresso

A video made by Works in Progress Magazine about Decent Espresso, our mission, what we do and why, with a short digression about Buckminster Fuller. https://worksinprogress.co/ https://decentespresso.com/

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doug
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#1657: Post by doug »

decent_espresso wrote:It's in the enough-written-to-prove-the-idea-works stage, but still needs work before it can be released.
Wow, sounds like it unleashes all sorts of possibilities... looking forward to 2024 even more now.

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#1658: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Countercup failure, leads to stackable porcelain latte cups idea

We just spent two years trying to develop a countersunk, heated latte cup dispenser. And we failed.

Warm cups would just magically be pushed up into your kitchen counter (or more likely, a café's countertop). In the end, the prototype became way too complicated, in order to handle the weight of the cups, and their handles. Here's what the final prototype looked like (with the insulating wrapper removed).
The problem I was trying to solve is this:





Stacking cups on a machine is messy looking, dangerous (they can topple), and being upside down, the cup lip is hottest, not the bottom of the cup. Plus, it's not very high-density.

I recently found that cup warmers (tho less fancy than our idea) do exist:




and so I decided to solve this problem by designing an attractive latte cup that was optimised for stacking.

My design wouldn't topple, it'd heat evenly (from the bottom) and be latte-art friendly.

I received these photos of the prototype from our Taiwanese ceramic maker today:




They're very similar to our "Tispy Cups" in that they're made of thin, high-temperature, white porcelain ("bone china"), with a sandy outside texture, and a polished inside. They're sized to take a medium sized latte, or a flat white. They also happen to be about the same size and somewhat similar shape as cupping bowls. Yes, they're thin, but porcelain is usually quite hard to damage, so that should be ok. I prefer my cups thin so that I don't have to overheat the milk to compensate for cup cooling.

We're still quite a few months away from having these.

Next step, we'll receive them, use, wash, stack and test them.

-john

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#1659: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »




A bit of news.

Revision 2 of our water tank lid came in, and all looks good.
- no more fingerprint problem thanks to brushed stainless steel
- to more twisting/warping thanks to ribs added to the pouring area
- no rattling

We'll be testing this for a few days to make sure there's no rust (it's stainless steel) and then it'll move to manufacturing.

Why is this needed? Well, most people don't need it, but some, who live in areas with very small flies or other insects, do. Our ceramic water tank slides under the DE1 body, with about 2mm gap. That space keeps most flying things out, but not for everyone.

This lid will be available at a low price, once we have it in stock (likely in March 2024).

There have been freelly printable 3D designs for this item, as well as 3rd party offerings, for quite a long time. Now we'll have our own offering.

The main thing different about our version is that you can still easily manually fill the tank, and don't have to remove the lid to do so.

-john

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#1660: Post by Jonk »

Is there a good reason you didn't make the cups spherical? As in the classical design both for cupping and (well, sort of) latte.