1988 Commercial Astoria Sonia manual

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
exoplanetary

#1: Post by exoplanetary »

Edit: Just heard back from the manufacturer that the model name is Sonia. Been discontinued for 20+ years.

1st post. I just purchased a 1980's Astoria espresso machine. I found threads for similar models with levers (mine doesn't have levers) and will follow along with those. First things first: I need to find a manual but there's almost no info provided on the metal tag. Previous owner reffered to it as "Fioria" but found zero reference to an Astoria Fioria. One reference to a Fiore on this forum.

Only seen minimal rust on the frame but have only removed the top panel so far. Seems in pretty good shape over all.

I'm also interested in converting to 110v. Saw on another thread about propane conversion that its really simple to convert this machine to 110v.

















Experience-wise I have been a barista but this will be my first venture into something like this. I'm hoping to work some alchemical magic and extract the spirit of coffee beans to aide my aging body (a La The Dark Crystal.)

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stefano65
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#2: Post by stefano65 »

Looks decent for the age Astoria parts are very common and inexpensive related to other brands,
however converting it in 115V????
it will draw so much amperage not to mention the cost of the components to covert,
that HE is most likely 3000w or more
Stefano Cremonesi
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repairs & sales from Oregon.

luvmy40

#3: Post by luvmy40 » replying to stefano65 »

What he said!

You'd be better off running a 220V circuit/receptacle for the Astoria.

exoplanetary (original poster)

#4: Post by exoplanetary (original poster) »

stefano65 wrote:Looks decent for the age Astoria parts are very common and inexpensive related to other brands,
however converting it in 115V????
it will draw so much amperage not to mention the cost of the components to covert,
that HE is most likely 3000w or more
Just based on the threads I've read so far I don't think it has a HE, it's too old.

This is the thread where it gets mentioned about conversion. Chad C. said, "Keep in mind that your machine is pretty easy to switch over to 110v. It's just the element, auto fill box, and auto fill solenoid that need replacing. 110v is often more convenient."
Rebuilding an old 2 group Astoria Lever (+ propane)

If I convert to 110v will it take an incredible amount of time to heat up the boiler?

luvmy40

#5: Post by luvmy40 »

I had 110v single group C.M.A.(Astoria) semi auto with a boiler about half the size of that one and it took 40-50 minutes to heat up and stabilize.

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civ

#6: Post by civ »

Hello:
exoplanetary wrote: ... based on the threads I've read so far ...
A two group single boiler commercial machine with steam capability?
I'd say it has two HXs tubes, one for each group.

Do consider writing to ask the people at Astoria US if they can send you or tell you where to download a manual.
And also ask for the machine's specs.

https://astoria.com/us/contacts/

If you manage to get a *.pdf copy of the manual, it would also be a good thing to ask Dan to hold a copy here at HB for further reference.
exoplanetary wrote: If I convert to 110v ...
Like Stefano said:
stefano65 wrote: it will draw so much amperage ...
... the cost of the components ...
3000W @ 110V ≈ 27.0A so, electrically speaking, not peanuts.

Apart from the dedicated electrical circuit needed, the parts list would be extensive.
At the very least a Gicar box, pump motor, solenoid coils for 2x 3 way valves and 1x boiler fill valve, rewiring/changing boiler elements, wiring, etc.

Cheers,

CIV

exoplanetary (original poster)

#7: Post by exoplanetary (original poster) »

The heating element says 3100W. I'm happy for it to have a heat exchange. How would I check if it has one without a manual?

I contacted Astoria but they don't have the manuals; too old. The manuals for other Astorias share similarities..

Are there any reccomendations for threads for people starting,out with refurbishing. Like, don't soak the element. What other stuff should I look out for as a first timer?

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MNate

#8: Post by MNate »

Without a manual you can go through the various parts diagrams on parts websites to match your equipment up. That's what I did as mine was rather transitional. Cafeparts.com and espressoparts.com both have some diagrams that I used.

And yeah, spend lots of time reading through anyone's rebuild threads on here and you'll pick up lots of tips - as well as a good dose of both hope and despair.

And Stefano really is an expert!

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civ

#9: Post by civ »

Hello:
exoplanetary wrote: ... element says 3100W.
Good.
One unknown solved.
3100W@220V=14.09A

You should be able to get that wired without much issue.
You'll have to contact a professional electrician.
Bear in mind that the boiler in that machine probably holds more than 2.5 litres which have to be taken to working parameters.
That takes time and lotsa watts.

I think it is safe to say that any 1980's two-group E61 single boiler espresso machine with steam capability is a HX.
exoplanetary wrote: ... but they don't have the manuals; too old.
Incredible ...
It's a part of the story of their company and they don't have it properly documented?
Did they tell you about the model of the machine, the name it went by?
exoplanetary wrote: ... recomendations for threads for people starting out with refurbishing.
... other stuff should I look out for as a first timer?
Isee you are a new member so first, a belated welcome to HB. 8^D!

But before we continue, at this stage I think this is in order:

---
Please take into account that electricity and water do not mix well.
Any maintenance should be done with the machine unplugged and any electrical repairs/mods should be done by/looked at/supervised by someone who understands how these machines work and knows about how to do repair work on electrical appliances.

If you do not have some basic electrical experience ie: you are not an engineer but you do know how to repair a toaster or a vacuum cleaner you will better off getting a home appliance tech/electrician/knowledgeable friend to help you sort this out.
Lines above may sound pretentious but I'd rather they be there than not.
---

That said ...

For you to be able to get started, I recommend giving HB's FAQ a good read and using the search function. Chances are that you will see that the question you want to post about has already been asked and answered a few times already.

For example:
A search for the terms "astoria two group" got me 627 results with information which could be useful to you.

One of the first posts involves an Astoria two group which very closely resembles the one you have, there are many other posts for you to look at and read.

From that post came not only a possible model name: Astoria Argenta AEP 2 but also a source for a manual: General Espresso Equipment Corporation.
A search on the web and HB for "Astoria Argenta AEP 2" will give you quite a bit.

For example, a catalog in *.pdf format of all the Astoria-CMA parts available from GEV.

Just pull on the thread and the information and data you need will unravel.
Before you know it you are on your way.

Especially useful and contained within the FAQ is the new members - Recommended reading page.

All the information and tips that Dan (HB's creator, owner, maintainer, etc.) has put together is a great way to start your membership and will be of very good use for years to come.

Keep up posted on your progress.

Cheers,

CIV

exoplanetary (original poster)

#10: Post by exoplanetary (original poster) »

I asked again and they're going to ask in Italy about the model info. They have to have an old catalog lying around.