La Marzocco Linea 1EE PID upgrade: Gicar prosumer vs GS/3 AV 3d5

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

#1: Post by Mayhem » Oct 10, 2019, 9:27 am

After nearly 10 years in my kitchen, the old lady Linea 1EE is in need of some TLC. There are some sort of deposits accumulated around certain gaskets and washers, telltale signs of no longer holding quite tight, and even the steam boiler heating element itself has had a tiny pinhole leak.

When already disassembling the machine for cleaning and maintenance, I figure it is also a good time to perform some upgrades. Primarily the aging analog thermostat and pressurestat ought to be replaced with digital PID, but which? I have two options in mind:
  1. Gicar prosumer PID (Alex Duetto etc.)
  2. GS/3 AV 3d5 system board
While the latter obviously has a whole lot of additional features when compared to the former, all I really need is the temperature control and maybe shot clock. I don't see myself using for example volumetric dosing, and am much more interested in installing a manual multi-step brew switch with either line level pre-infusion or needle valve bypass circuit.

For now, you can totally disregard the difference in cost. Yes, the 3d5 board would be much more expensive, but I actually bought one years ago that I never got around to installing at the time. Also already have a "Piero" group cap (including flowmeter) waiting to be installed, but would need to purchase a compatible display unit. I am also assuming either solution will end up similarly pretty, with 3D printed bezels around any new parts on the front panel.

What is the GS/3's behavior when powered up through the mains switch? Does it go into standby, fully on, or resume the same mode as before it was powered down? My best guess would be standby, which definitely would be a con for me. I have recently started a smart home control project and as part of it have the Linea on a plug that can be powered up or down remotely.

So, given all this information... Which option should I choose?
Too much is not enough

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luca
Team HB

#2: Post by luca » Oct 10, 2019, 9:46 am

I don't have a good answer to your question, but I am curious ... if you have an EE and you don't care about volumetrics, why do you have the Piero cap?
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Grader Exam, Brewer's Cup #3, Australian Cup Tasting #1

maki

#3: Post by maki » Oct 10, 2019, 9:58 am

hi there, another owner of Linea 1EE on the line)

personally - i would install a simple PID like the XMT7100 and that's it (way easier and costs waaay less than the listed options) - giving you exactly what you need - temperature control.

regarding the needle-valve - i've done this mod myself, having a 40ml/sec preinfusion - it's cool, but i don't drink light roasts so basically don't use it.
also, i've changed a bit the working of one switch and i have line preinfusion (at 3 bar), without pump being active, and then on clicking this button - pump activates and i have an usual extraction.

hope this helps.

and a favour - can you make a step-by-step, with needed part numbers, for future references of the upgrade/rebuild? :)

cheers
LMWDP #630

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Mayhem

#4: Post by Mayhem » Oct 10, 2019, 10:23 am

luca wrote:if you have an EE and you don't care about volumetrics, why do you have the Piero cap?
I do still want a Piero cap for the increased temperature stability, but perhaps the EE version without flowmeter would've been enough. However both the cap and GS/3 3d5 board were bought long ago from the same source, and as I recall he only had a spare AV cap but with an asking price less than list pricing for even the EE version at the time. I see Espresso-Parts is now asking $851 for the AV version which is just plain crazy!
Too much is not enough

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truemagellen

#5: Post by truemagellen » replying to Mayhem » Oct 10, 2019, 10:35 am

You could sell the parts you have while going with the more simplistic PID and make out like a bandit. I believe the GS3 is brilliant but overly complicated to maintain and repair and have avoided them until I got into large spring levers and lost my interest. This route is intruiging if one found a broke down GS3 and would have a world class machine that should last a lifetime without worries about the complex electronics.

User avatar
luca
Team HB

#6: Post by luca » Oct 10, 2019, 2:28 pm

Mayhem wrote:I do still want a Piero cap for the increased temperature stability, but perhaps the EE version without flowmeter would've been enough. However both the cap and GS/3 3d5 board were bought long ago from the same source, and as I recall he only had a spare AV cap but with an asking price less than list pricing for even the EE version at the time. I see Espresso-Parts is now asking $851 for the AV version which is just plain crazy!
Isn't the only point of the Piero cap to increase the temp stability of the AV version by integrating the flow meter into the cap so that the water doesn't have to leave and return to the group through the thin copper tube and thereby cool down doing so? I thought that if you had the EE, you didn't have the flow meter, so the water never left the group and you didn't have this problem. If that's true, maybe you can sell your Piero cap to help fund whatever pid you decide to go with.
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Grader Exam, Brewer's Cup #3, Australian Cup Tasting #1

User avatar
Mayhem

#7: Post by Mayhem » Oct 10, 2019, 5:33 pm

luca wrote:Isn't the only point of the Piero cap to increase the temp stability of the AV version by integrating the flow meter into the cap so that the water doesn't have to leave and return to the group through the thin copper tube and thereby cool down doing so?
Well, yes and no. While the EE is perhaps not as bad as the AV, since it doesn't have the flowmeter, the group solenoid is still located underneath the group neck and connected by the same thin copper tubing. Either way I'll probably still go with a Piero cap, but perhaps replace and sell the flowmeter parts. We'll see...
Too much is not enough

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Mayhem

#8: Post by Mayhem » Oct 10, 2019, 5:37 pm

truemagellen wrote:You could sell the parts you have while going with the more simplistic PID and make out like a bandit. I believe the GS3 is brilliant but overly complicated to maintain and repair and have avoided them until I got into large spring levers and lost my interest.
Yes that is one of my concerns. Though I will have the freedom to place the electronics in a better spot than the GS/3's original location underneath the boilers, it would be very expensive to replace if it breaks.

While the GS/3 board is stupidly expensive to buy from LM and I'd be happy to get half of their price, I'd still need to find a buyer however! Certainly such an expensive part is not something most people would buy simply to have a spare on hand.
Too much is not enough

User avatar
Mayhem

#9: Post by Mayhem » Oct 10, 2019, 5:46 pm

maki wrote:personally - i would install a simple PID like the XMT7100 and that's it (way easier and costs waaay less than the listed options) - giving you exactly what you need - temperature control.
Not really a fan of the styling of industrial PID controllers unfortunately. After any modifications, I want my Linea to look like it came that way from the factory. Besides the Gicar prosumer PID isn't all that expensive and newer versions have a shot clock, assuming I can figure out how to wire it up... The only wiring diagram I've found which include the shot clock functionality was confusing.
maki wrote:regarding the needle-valve - i've done this mod myself, having a 40ml/sec preinfusion - it's cool, but i don't drink light roasts so basically don't use it.
also, i've changed a bit the working of one switch and i have line preinfusion (at 3 bar), without pump being active, and then on clicking this button - pump activates and i have an usual extraction.
That is very interesting. Did you install it internally inside the machine, or externally near the pump? For me it'd have to be a neat internal installation, all controlled by a single brew switch.

I have found a suitable part at Mouser. While not cheap, it has four poles in a triple throw configuration, and is rated for 250 VAC. In other words perfect for controlling the pump and group solenoid along with a potential needle valve bypass and shot clock.
maki wrote:and a favour - can you make a step-by-step, with needed part numbers, for future references of the upgrade/rebuild? :)
We will see how far my documentation patience goes and when I get around to this project. Should try to get it all done sometime during this winter when I have decided which modifications to go for and sourced all the parts.
Too much is not enough

maki

#10: Post by maki » Oct 12, 2019, 6:57 am

Mayhem wrote: That is very interesting. Did you install it internally inside the machine, or externally near the pump? For me it'd have to be a neat internal installation, all controlled by a single brew switch.
it is near pump, externally. as I installed it for testing the idea - it works. do I need it? not sure, as I am not a big fan of light roast.
LMWDP #630