cl0ud Senior Member Joined: 12 Apr 2014 Posts: 2 Location: UK Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sat Apr 12, 2014, 3:05am Subject: Vario primary calibration
I'm trying to recalibrate my vario but am having a problem following the primary calibration step outlined on https://www.baratza.com/wp-content/uploads/Vario-Recal-new.pdf. With the 2.5mm bolt tightened to the rails there is still a lot of play in the mechanism, and I can easily adjust it by moving the bolt forward/backwards (*not* loosening the bolt at all). I would say the whole thing moves 15mm or so with the levers all the way down, although moving them to 1A does hold it in place.
So I calibrate the machine and it sounds OK (motor labouring at 1M or so) but because of the play it loses all calibration once I move the arms back towards the macro scale. Without doing anything other than pushing the 2.5mm bolt back and forth I can go from motor labouring at about 4 on Macro scale to not labouring at all at 1A.
I just checked in the Grinders forum because I'm experiencing my own Vario issue at the moment (likely the pulley or belt, from what Baratza's told me).
In any case, I've gone through a calibration issue myself, so if you haven't fixed it yet, I'll detail my own experience.
My grinder came and I had immediate issues dialing in. Since this was my first (and only) grinder, and my first time making true, beautiful espresso, I thought it might have been me. Nope. I was getting a lot of slipping, where I would set the macro/micro levers, and grind was inconsistent. I believe this is somewhat similar to what you're experiencing, cl0ud. I used the calibration tool (the fancy allen/hex key) and found that the screw was VERY loose. So I tightened it down to the point where I noticed the motor laboring at a setting of Macro 2, and about right in the middle of micro (around M). That did the trick for more consistent grind, and have been using it at that general calibration successfully for over a year. Based on your pictures, it looks like you're moving that forward/back bolt, which messes with calibration WAY more than the hex. Does the hex screw tighten down pretty well? Not talking too tight, just solid so it feels like it'll stay. I believe that needs to be tight so the bolt doesn't move. Sorry if this isn't at all what you're talking about...I think we're talking about the same thing, but unless I'm right there, my understanding might be off.
Then there's the loose lever issue. It was so loose that during a grind, the micro might even slip a slot or two. Contacted Baratza directly on that, and they sent me the "shim upgrade" for free. If I'd have known these pieces were essentially 1mm x 2mm pieces of plastic, I'd have just found something around the house and cut it to size, rather than bother Baratza! Anyway, it was a quick and easy fix to take the front panel off and wedge those pieces in, which better holds the levers in place. No more problems there.
All in all, sounds like you need to use the allen key and tighten it down, in combination with setting that bolt in the proper place. I'd also suggest e-mailing Baratza directly (firstname.lastname@example.org), as they are very helpful and can walk you through a proper calibration, even though you're out of warranty.
nokkelen Junior Member Joined: 18 Oct 2014 Posts: 1 Location: Calgary, AB Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Sat Oct 18, 2014, 3:18pm Subject: Re: Vario primary calibration
I just had to replace a burnt out motor and was having calibration issues before it finally blew.
The 2.5mm bolt for calibrating was the issue. Its housing wiggled around, despite having the bolt tightened all the way.
When first trying the new motor out the machine was so tight, despite my efforts to have everything as loose as possible to start, that the burrs ground themselves.
I had to completely remove the top part of the grinder to find how the mechanism works and repair it.
It is not a grind lever shim issue, it is an internal calibration shim issue.
The 2.5mm bolt secures a weight, shim, that can be moved around to tighten or loosen the grind. This weight sits in a housing that is held in place by a plastic post. If the housing is pushed up too much it will pop off of the post and wiggle around. You have to reattach the housing to the post to fix the issue.
This must be why Baratza states that all calibrating be done with the grinder standing up, otherwise you'll unhook the housing of the calibration shim.
I've included an image to point out exactly where the problem lies.
So after putting it all back together, no dice. Can't get the 2.5mm bolt housing to stay in place. I've taken it apart and lined it up twice. Once I hear back from Baratza and sort it out, I'll be sure to post the actual solution.
branmuffin17 Senior Member Joined: 24 Sep 2013 Posts: 69 Location: Santa Ana, CA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Oct 20, 2014, 12:30am Subject: Re: Vario primary calibration
@ nokkelen: Interesting...I continue to have some random calibration issues. In the biggest case, the calibration is way off for 10+ grinds before it finally settles down. The 2.5 mm bolt...are you talking about the one near the grind output shaft where you use the allen key to calibrate?
My calibration issues happen when I:
Use Grindz cleaning tablets, or...
Take off the upper burrs, make sure both upper and lower burrs are clean, sweep everything i can reach with my brush, and reseat the upper burrs.
The interesting thing is that after either of these, I'll make sure the sound is similar (based on the sound of the motor laboring just a bit), but the output is incredibly different. Normally, my grinds look the way they should...fine, almost clumpy, and since I weigh each dose of beans (rather than just fill the hopper), I normally get grinds that fit almost perfectly in my basket before tamping.
After I clean, the VOLUME of grinds is almost double. Again, the motor is pushing a bit...my general calibration has the macro level on 1, and the micro usually in the m-o range. But the grinds come out way faster, and the volume seriously is almost at the point where I could fill 2 double baskets before tamping.
After grinding a few more sets, all of a sudden, it goes back to normal functioning. Haven't been able to figure out why.
Think I might be having the same issue you've experienced?
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