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The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > The Solis SL70...  
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Kristi
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Kristi
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Espresso: Gaggia Evo w silvia wand
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Posted Sun Mar 7, 2010, 11:59am
Subject: Re: The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
 

Very nice, Dana!  Thanks for sharing that!!!

 
#--> I recommend Eric Svendson's adapter and thermometer for E61s (also Silvia) : easy surfing!
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
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Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
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Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Mon Mar 8, 2010, 9:20am
Subject: Re: The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
 

I wanted to document here what I learned by puzzling over the Solis temperature management system. Before installing a PID, I needed to know how the stock system works.

It is a very interesting design. Unlike most SBDU units (which have 2 or 3 thermostats), the Solis has 4 thermostats. A photo is attached. Here's what I surmise from looking at the wiring:

The one on the left of the photo (boiler oriented so you can read the embossed "SOLIS") is a high-temperature cutoff -- the hot wire from the main power runs through it to the main power switch. It is rated for 150C.

The top one in the row of 3 is the brew temperature thermostat, and is rated at 88C or 92C (the schematic I have lists both). Its wires run to the main power switch (brown), and the yellow common thermostat wire (and the steam valve microswitch, also yellow).

The middle one is the steam thermostat, rated at 115C -- it screws into the top of the boiler, and holds down a clip that holds the other 3 in place. Its wires run to the steam switch (orange) and the common thermostat wire (yellow).

The bottom thermostat is a steam high-temperature cutoff, rated at 135C. Its wires run to the yellow common thermostat wire and the green wire to the boiler heating element. It shuts down the heating element if the steam temperature gets too hot. It is needed because on the Solis (unlike other SBDUs), there's a microswitch (at the very right edge of the photo) that's activated when the steam valve is opened. The switch turns on the heating element so that it maintains a good head of steam throughout milk foaming. There is a green wire which runs from it to the heating element directly. If the boiler temp then gets above 135, the bottom thermostat opens and breaks the circuit (because the other two will be above their temperatures).

The Swiss must have been really into safety, because in addition to the 150C thermostat, there's also a thermal fuse in the neutral line (blue).

dana_leighton: solis.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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Kristi
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Kristi
Joined: 6 Oct 2005
Posts: 2,286
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evo w silvia wand
Grinder: Macap M4 mod to d&s-less
Roaster: (Jeff at Redbirdcoffee)
Posted Mon Mar 8, 2010, 10:23pm
Subject: Re: The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
 

Safety, yes, but also, I think, common sense - something sometimes lacking in much of today's low-mid end design.

The Solis approach on the SL70 may be one reason why it's so easy to get microfoam on it...

 
#--> I recommend Eric Svendson's adapter and thermometer for E61s (also Silvia) : easy surfing!
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LFoley
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Joined: 11 Dec 2008
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Espresso: Solis
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Posted Tue Mar 9, 2010, 7:04am
Subject: Re: The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
 

maybe a stupid question, but I won't understand if I don't ask.

Would there be a reason to make Dana pressure gauge modification permanent with a tee instead of a coupling?
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Kristi
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Kristi
Joined: 6 Oct 2005
Posts: 2,286
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evo w silvia wand
Grinder: Macap M4 mod to d&s-less
Roaster: (Jeff at Redbirdcoffee)
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2010, 11:01am
Subject: Re: The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
 

LFoley Said:

maybe a stupid question, but I won't understand if I don't ask.

Would there be a reason to make Dana pressure gauge modification permanent with a tee instead of a coupling?

Posted March 9, 2010 link

Not a stupid question at all, but one that points in the direction of that word Geek.

The SL70, from the factory, makes an okay brew, especially if you let it warm up for 10 min or more and use beans freshly ground in a Macap or Mazzer.

However, it is noticeably "overextracted" - because of too much pressure hitting the puck.

So I would definitely advise doing the OPV mod described above - your taste buds will be rewarded!

The next step, for a geek or person with OCD (sometimes overlaps!) is to determine the "actual" pressure.

Dana's mod does not determine the actual pressure hitting the puck, but in a liquid/liquid/liquid system, you would be hard put to measure the difference.

To do something like that temporarily, imho, is really cool/geeky/nice/etc, and may well result in a finer brew to the discerning palate.

If I had the parts lying around, I would probably do it, since it's been a few weeks since I last opened it up!

I would probably be inclined to make it permanent BECAUSE the condition of the OPV, and thus the pressure to the puck, constantly changes, mostly due to calcification/mineralization on the tiny rubber seat of the OPV.  

And besides, I could watch it during the brew to see how that pull affected my tastebuds.  

Besides, again, to folks like me, it's neat!

 
#--> I recommend Eric Svendson's adapter and thermometer for E61s (also Silvia) : easy surfing!
# My photo albums have moved to     http://picasaweb.google.com/krislema2
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
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Location: Little Rock, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2010, 12:41pm
Subject: Re: The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
 

Kristi Said:

Dana's mod does not determine the actual pressure hitting the puck, but in a liquid/liquid/liquid system, you would be hard put to measure the difference.

Posted March 9, 2010 link

One thing that would make my pressure gauge more accurate (and something I will likely do) is to put a needle valve between the OPV and the gauge, and open it until the pump is delivering water at 3 ml/sec which simulates the flow through the puck. See this post at H-B regarding this. Then I can dial it right in at 8.5 or 9 bar.

I would probably be inclined to make it permanent BECAUSE the condition of the OPV, and thus the pressure to the puck, constantly changes, mostly due to calcification/mineralization on the tiny rubber seat of the OPV.

I agree. A permanent gauge would be great. and very, very geeky!

A possible mockup...

dana_leighton: Soliswithgauge.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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Kristi
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Kristi
Joined: 6 Oct 2005
Posts: 2,286
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evo w silvia wand
Grinder: Macap M4 mod to d&s-less
Roaster: (Jeff at Redbirdcoffee)
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2010, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
 

Humble opine, but I think it would be more accurate using the actual flow through the puck.  Just my 2 cents.
But remember, I'm the weirdo that likes to measure my temp right above the puck, rather than an inch or 2 up the tube.......


NICE mockup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
#--> I recommend Eric Svendson's adapter and thermometer for E61s (also Silvia) : easy surfing!
# My photo albums have moved to     http://picasaweb.google.com/krislema2
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Kristi
Senior Member
Kristi
Joined: 6 Oct 2005
Posts: 2,286
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evo w silvia wand
Grinder: Macap M4 mod to d&s-less
Roaster: (Jeff at Redbirdcoffee)
Posted Mon May 10, 2010, 11:49am
Subject: Re: The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
 

Here's a beautiful mod by Dana Leighton on an easy way to PID your Solis SL70!!!

"Solis SL-70 PID installation"

 
#--> I recommend Eric Svendson's adapter and thermometer for E61s (also Silvia) : easy surfing!
# My photo albums have moved to     http://picasaweb.google.com/krislema2
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Bikerbob
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Joined: 25 Jun 2010
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Posted Sun Oct 3, 2010, 6:35am
Subject: Re: The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
 

Good day kristi

Great thread you have going here. I have read thru the thrad but still unclear about one item.
After the OPV valve is freed up; how is the dribble test preformed. It appears that some people are doing the test while pulling the shot others using a blind filter and getting different results.
Can you clarify the procedure and what the results should be?
Thank you in advance

 
bikerbob
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Kristi
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Kristi
Joined: 6 Oct 2005
Posts: 2,286
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evo w silvia wand
Grinder: Macap M4 mod to d&s-less
Roaster: (Jeff at Redbirdcoffee)
Posted Sun Oct 3, 2010, 12:01pm
Subject: Re: The Solis SL70 Espresso Machine Thread
 

Bikerbob Said:

Good day kristi

Great thread you have going here. I have read thru the thrad but still unclear about one item.
After the OPV valve is freed up; how is the dribble test preformed. It appears that some people are doing the test while pulling the shot others using a blind filter and getting different results.
Can you clarify the procedure and what the results should be?
Thank you in advance

Posted October 3, 2010 link

Hi BikerBob, and welcome!  I did not test it that way - I merely got it to dribble a bit while I was pulling the shot and then went by taste.  If I felt it was "over-extracted", I opened it a little more.

Perhaps others will jump in here with their methods.

Tune for taste!!!

 
#--> I recommend Eric Svendson's adapter and thermometer for E61s (also Silvia) : easy surfing!
# My photo albums have moved to     http://picasaweb.google.com/krislema2
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