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Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 9:05am
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

Hm... no idea what kind of water it is. But I'm going to get a brita filter, maybe it helps.

I ran a tentative test last night. Stuck some plastic wrapping in a basket, with a few little holes to allow for some flow. The thermometer probe right below the basket in the portafilter. The temperature of the water seemed to stay very stable for at least 20 seconds. Not sure what the water flow was. In any case, what surprised me was that the PID gives very short pulses to the heater almost as soon as the pump starts working. Given the large current drawn by the heater at each pulse, the pump loses power and the pressure varies between 8 and 9 bar rhythmically. The thermometer probe is located on the outside of the boiler roughly half way between the water inlet and the lower-left heater connection. The probe is kept in place with a thick copper wire tightened once around the boiler. Used some thermal paste between the probe and the boiler wall. I previously had the probe all the way inside the hole where the brew tstat used to be, but the temperature there seemed very unstable.  Right now the PID SV is about 107C (224.6F) and that seems to give water of about 94-96C (201-205F). This was a very preliminary test. When I get the proper flow I'll be able to test it more rigorously. But as far as mods inside the machine, I'm done. The hole at the bottom of the inner copper pipe + preheating the water via the copper tubing around the boiler + PID must give a stable brew temperature, within a degree, without any manually pushing any buttons. At least that's what I'm hoping.

The grand total cost so far is roughly:

$10 for the copper tubing
$15 for fittings
$20 PID
$7 light dimmer
$18 fluid filled pressure gauge

That's $70 CAD to get stable base temperature, pretty stable brew temperature, pressure display and adjustment. And a whole load of fun!
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 9:07am
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

Oh yes, somebody please tell me where I could get the group gasket for this machine!?! I can't find one anywhere online, tried the local espresso parts store and they told me to go home. The problem is that the thickness of this gasket is about 5mm, but otherwise the same dimensions as the Classic and many others (72mmx57mm).

Or, is there a way to make my own gasket?
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:51am
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

Interesting finding in the pump sound.  Mine does similar but mine is using OPV to divert flow back to the tank.  I did not measure pressure differences, but initially thought that I might drop a bit of return flow but since the pump is oversupplying for the brew that the pressure may be ok.  I wonder at the difference in dialing down the pump to where you want it and then having the heater come on.  That was partially why I asked about OPV and return previously.  I would not worry with the pressure at 8 - 9, but might raise a half bar to see if any difference in taste.  As you know pressure profile may not be 9 exactly and even for all brews.

You do not use the steam button preheat?  You have about 3 times the boiler volume as a Classic, so probably not needed, and in addition, you preheat the incoming water.  Stick a thermocouple on that copper pipe and see what it is after full warm up, and then say 1 minute after a double, when you might like to pull another shot.  There are very inexpensive k thermocouples and readers, or a second PID as a reader and you can measure different temperatures.  It is easy to leave a few probes attaches with wires and just switch prob to reader.

The "stat" was placed to be most temperature labile and responsive.  It may not be fun to look at the PID temperature and see it bouncing but understand that it has the most control that way.  If you want more of an average to look at, then place a second probe and reader, not controller.  PID should gain control and stabilization of the overall temperature faster at the most responsive spot.  The PIDs function is to stabilize that unstable temp, so it should be at the unstable spot.  Cold water enters low and helps kick on the stat/PID.  The last couple of posts on the PID thread talk about temperature on the boiler and how stable it is.  The boiler away from the stat is quite damped by boiler and water mass. Sorry for the thought repeat to try to clarify.

You are having fun and doing a lot of work, great job.  You have a nice machine that seems in great shape.  Parts are difficult/impossible.  Hopefully Susan will know of a gasket.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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SJM
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1,716
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SAMA (2), Maximatic, Cremina...
Grinder: K-10PB, Rancilio MD-50
Vac Pot: no like
Drip: no like
Roaster: HotTop   Huky en route
Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:54am
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

iko Said:

Oh yes, somebody please tell me where I could get the group gasket for this machine!?! I can't find one anywhere online, tried the local espresso parts store and they told me to go home. The problem is that the thickness of this gasket is about 5mm, but otherwise the same dimensions as the Classic and many others (72mmx57mm).

Or, is there a way to make my own gasket?

Posted September 24, 2013 link

This place used to carry the gasket you need:
http://www.electra-craft.com/
I have an ugly suspicion that I read that they no longer have it, but it either is or was the only place we knew of.
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 7:06pm
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

D4F Said:

Interesting finding in the pump sound.  Mine does similar but mine is using OPV to divert flow back to the tank.  I did not measure pressure differences, but initially thought that I might drop a bit of return flow but since the pump is oversupplying for the brew that the pressure may be ok.  I wonder at the difference in dialing down the pump to where you want it and then having the heater come on.  That was partially why I asked about OPV and return previously.  I would not worry with the pressure at 8 - 9, but might raise a half bar to see if any difference in taste.  As you know pressure profile may not be 9 exactly and even for all brews.

Posted September 24, 2013 link

Seeing the pressure jump between 8 and 9 bar doesn't bother me because the results was nice looking crema blonder with darker flows. In my case it's pretty obvious that when the heater kicks in there less current for the pump, which is already not working at full power courtesy of the dimmer.

D4F Said:

You do not use the steam button preheat?  You have about 3 times the boiler volume as a Classic, so probably not needed, and in addition, you preheat the incoming water.  Stick a thermocouple on that copper pipe and see what it is after full warm up, and then say 1 minute after a double, when you might like to pull another shot.  There are very inexpensive k thermocouples and readers, or a second PID as a reader and you can measure different temperatures.  It is easy to leave a few probes attaches with wires and just switch prob to reader.

Posted September 24, 2013 link

I didn't use the steam preheating routine this time. I wanted to see the results of my mods cleanly. I lent my second thermometer to a friend, but when he comes back I'll check the temperature of the preheating copper coil and report. In the future I'd like to have a permanent read of the group temperature, or maybe just an LED that lights up at a certain temperature, sort of a "ready for coffee" signal.

D4F Said:

The "stat" was placed to be most temperature labile and responsive.  It may not be fun to look at the PID temperature and see it bouncing but understand that it has the most control that way.  If you want more of an average to look at, then place a second probe and reader, not controller.  PID should gain control and stabilization of the overall temperature faster at the most responsive spot.  The PIDs function is to stabilize that unstable temp, so it should be at the unstable spot.  Cold water enters low and helps kick on the stat/PID.  The last couple of posts on the PID thread talk about temperature on the boiler and how stable it is.  The boiler away from the stat is quite damped by boiler and water mass. Sorry for the thought repeat to try to clarify.

Posted September 24, 2013 link

What made me take the probe out of the tstat old place was that it gave me the impression that the water temperature varied too much. From shot to shot. The PID was trying too hard to chase a moving target, I think. Maybe if I changed the PID values would've been different, but now I have no reason to, water temperature seems quite stable.

D4F Said:

You are having fun and doing a lot of work, great job.  You have a nice machine that seems in great shape.

Posted September 24, 2013 link

Thanks, yes, definitely fun to revive a decrepit machine, which wasn't able to pull a decent shot when I got it.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention. The steam disability bothered me. And I decided to not go for a different steam wand. First I wanted to try my idea. So I took the original wand out, and get ready to laugh. I took a end of an axe and found a thick marble surface. Then I flattened the tip of the wand somewhat. The round hole through which the steam comes is now more like a slit. Less steam comes out even with the steam valve open fully. But it comes out more furiously, and now I get a steady stream of steam and microfoam without a problem. Attached an image of it. I realize that very few people still have the OWC but, they're still out there, so it may help someone get into a decent espresso on the cheap if they get a hold of one.

iko: DSC00178.JPG
(Click for larger image)
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 7:14pm
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

SJM Said:

This place used to carry the gasket you need:
http://www.electra-craft.com/
I have an ugly suspicion that I read that they no longer have it, but it either is or was the only place we knew of.

Posted September 24, 2013 link

Thanks! They no longer have such a thing. I'll have to find some other solution.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 7:25pm
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

iko Said:

Oh yeah, forgot to mention. The steam disability bothered me. And I decided to not go for a different steam wand. First I wanted to try my idea. So I took the original wand out, and get ready to laugh. I took a end of an axe and found a thick marble surface. Then I flattened the tip of the wand somewhat. The round hole through which the steam comes is now more like a slit. Less steam comes out even with the steam valve open fully. But it comes out more furiously, and now I get a steady stream of steam and microfoam without a problem. Attached an image of it. I realize that very few people still have the OWC but, they're still out there, so it may help someone get into a decent espresso on the cheap if they get a hold of one.

Posted September 24, 2013 link

Similar idea.  

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/583899

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 7:29pm
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

iko Said:

Thanks! They no longer have such a thing. I'll have to find some other solution.

Posted September 24, 2013 link

Did you note that other Gaggia gaskets are the same dimensions except thickness?  What are your ideas for thinning one?

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Sep 25, 2013, 7:25am
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

D4F Said:

Did you note that other Gaggia gaskets are the same dimensions except thickness?  What are your ideas for thinning one?

Posted September 24, 2013 link

Yes, of course. Can't think of any good way to make them thinner. Cutting wouldn't work, no way to make it so precise. Sand paper maybe? Ugh!

Have been looking for a gasket from another machine that possibly may fit; the ones that are close to 72x57x5mm are:

67x56x6mm http://www.espressoparts.com/AS_32
72x58x4.5mm http://www.espressoparts.com/S_1
72x58x7mm http://www.espressoparts.com/S_2


There's another option. To use two thinner gaskets. For instance the #6 stove top espresso makers use a 71.5x55.6x3mm

Or, might mold myself one from silicone. Found this product, food grade silicone mold: http://amazingmoldputty.com/FAQ.cfm

No ideal solution...
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SJM
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1,716
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SAMA (2), Maximatic, Cremina...
Grinder: K-10PB, Rancilio MD-50
Vac Pot: no like
Drip: no like
Roaster: HotTop   Huky en route
Posted Wed Sep 25, 2013, 8:59am
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

I think the second one on your list
http://www.espressoparts.com/S_1
looks the best.

If you do try it, will you please let us know if it works?
There are lots of people who need or will need this gasket.

The one that Electra-Craft used to sell for the FOWC was blue too, so just maybe this is the same one???

Good luck.
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