La Marzocco Linea Mini EMP Mod

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

#1: Post by dockoelboto »

I recently purchased a used LMLM. Truly (at least in my opinion) a beautiful machine and I have really enjoyed the simple classic design and function. I did start to wonder what else it was capable of and went down the rabbit hole of MOD options. I considered (and purchased) the Grafikus needle valve mod. I was set to install it then I learned about the EMP Mod from Rick Bond at http://coffeemachinist.com.au. Rick offers two different mods - a needle valve mod and an EMP mod. The EMP mod replaces the stock pump/motor with a variable speed pump allowing pressure profiling/flow control via a fully functional paddle. It transforms the LMLM into an entirely different beast. I reached out to Rick Bond and thankfully he helped me through the process. I don't consider myself particularly adept at DIY projects and was concerned that this was beyond my capabilities however I was able to complete the installation, with a little help from Rick. I know others are very pleased with the Grafikus Mod and I'm sure it is excellent.

Pros:
- Complete control of the brew process, variable pressure and flow from a variable speed gear pump
- The paddle is now fully functional and what it should have been from the beginning
- Eliminates the LM 60 sec auto shut-off
- Nearly silent machine. There are times when if I didn't see water coming from the group head I wouldn't know the pump is running
- Retains the classic design of the LMLM
- Added a shot timer integrated into the paddle surround, useful for pre-infusion, not necessary and optional
- No new plastic of PTFE tubing. Directly plumbs into existing hardware
- No drilling of the machine required

Cons
- Shot timer stays on indefinitely - if you are using the sleep mod on IOT
- Super caffeinated and jittery while playing around and learning
- Feeling like I am starting over trying to dial in shots, I've definitely had to grind finer

Overall I am very pleased with the Mod. Rick put some serious time, effort and engineering into this mod and if I didn't know it was a Mod I'd consider it OEM from LM. Extremely high quality. Plus Rick is easy to work with and very helpful. I can't believe how quiet it is and I love using the functional paddle. Ramping the pressure up and down, controlling the entire brew from pre-infusion until the end is a lot of fun. If I can do the Mod, anyone can. In the past you had to send your machine to Australia, this is no longer required. I purchased a pre-drilled paddle surround from Specht Design for the integrated shot timer. They work directly with Rick on custom LMLM and Specht offers both of Rick's mods on their custom machines.

If you are wondering what all the black foam tape is, the prior owner installed the tape as insulation to cut down on noise.



★ Helpful

Epicurus

#2: Post by Epicurus »

You've persuaded me that I need this over the needle valve. Very cool.

You mentioned "the shot timer stays on indefinitely - if you are using the sleep mod on IOT", could you describe what this mod is?

dockoelboto (original poster)

#3: Post by dockoelboto (original poster) »

Sorry, I had a typo. Sleep mod is sleep mode. I use the IOT timer, when the machine is "off" the shot timer stays on. Not a big deal but something to know about.

I can't say enough good things about this mod. Transforms the LMLM into a strada style machine. You will absolutely love it.

rrahman

#4: Post by rrahman »

Very cool. What was your cost for this mod?

dockoelboto (original poster)

#5: Post by dockoelboto (original poster) »

EMP mod costs about $1750 USD. Not cheap but for what it is, it is a very fair price. The shot timer costs about $160 extra. I also ordered the wood paddle surround. Optional obviously.

rrahman

#6: Post by rrahman »

Amazing! Surprised this isn't getting more traction.

Is the mod fully reversible? I was not a fan of bending pipes on the Grafikus mod, and fear not being able to bend it back.

Another critique I have of the grafikus mod is the reliance on teflon tubing instead of copper/metal pipes. Are there any plastic or less durable parts used?

Can you comment on what were the most difficult parts of the installation process?

Can you post a video of it in action?

sluflyer06

#7: Post by sluflyer06 » replying to rrahman »

If you read the first post he says no plastic or PTFE tubing.

I'd also like to see it in action

dockoelboto (original poster)

#8: Post by dockoelboto (original poster) »

The mod is fully reversible if you desired. It is "plug and play" so just uninstalling the mod and reinstalling the old pump/motor would all be possible.

No Teflon or no additional plastic, at all. No bending copper tubing,

Hardest parts of installation:
Some bolts are in really tight spaces and can be a challenge to get out or put back in. Not impossible, just challenging.
The solid state relay (for 110V) machines requires you to re-position the wires a bit. Not hard just took some time.
I had questions about making sure the paddle potentiometer was in the correct position - I sent Rick a video and he confirmed what I had done.

A good tool set is very helpful and a heat gun or some other heat shrink system.

It took me about 8-9hrs to do the install. I'm not a big DIY guy and I just took my time and it wasn't as bad as I thought.

I'll post a video of the action tomorrow. Hopefully you can hear how quiet it is. I realize it is an expensive mod but it is as close to an OEM upgrade as I can imagine. Everything is very high quality and well thought out.

User avatar
spressomon

#9: Post by spressomon »

Really useful and neat mod! This is how LM should sell them!
No Espresso = Depresso

dockoelboto (original poster)

#10: Post by dockoelboto (original poster) »

This is definitely how the lmlm should be sold!