For those that don’t know, Gaggia is a company that produces a line of affordable “entry-level” espresso coffee makers that offer good quality consumer espresso machines at reasonable prices. The entry level machines don’t offer fine grained control over temperature, pressure and steam which is where the Gaggiuino project comes in.
The Gaggiuino project is an “after market” modification of many espresso makers, such as the Gaggia classic and Gaggia classic pro. The main additions are a MAX6675 thermocouple module paired with a K-Type thermocouple sensor for closed loop control over the temperature. Options for adding an AC dimmer module that attaches to the pump motor and a 0 Mpa to 1.2 Mpa ranged XDB401 pressure sensor, installed in line between the pump and the boiler, provide further closed loop control over the pressure and flow profiling.
Load cells can be attached to the drip tray to allow for feedback about the pour weight with a Nextion 2.4″ LCD touchscreen provides the user interface for profile selection and other interactivity. The project offers a “base” modification using an Arduino Nano as the microcontroller, in line with its namesake, but has an option for an STM32 Blackpill module that can provide more functionality beyond the scope of the Nano.
The Gaggiuino project is open source with code and extensive documentation available on GitHub. There is also a Discord community for those wanting help with their build or that have the inclination to share their passion for DIY espresso modding with the Gaggiuino. Espresso machine hacks are a favorite of ours and we’ve featured many projects on espresso machine builds and mods ranging from PID control of classic espresso makers to beautifully minimal closed loop homebrew espresso machines.
Continue reading “Homebrew Espresso Maker Modding With Gaggiuino”
Coffee, making and hacking addictions are just bound to get out of control. So did [Rhys Goodwin’s] coffee maker hack. What started as a little restoration project of a second-hand coffee machine resulted in a complete upgrade to state of the art coffee brewing technology.
The Brasilia Lady comes with a 300 ml brass boiler, a pump and four buttons for power, coffee, hot water and steam. A 3-way AC solenoid valve, wired directly to the buttons, selects one of the three functions, while a temperamental bimetal switch keeps the boiler roughly between almost there and way too hot.
To reduce the temperature swing, [Rhys] decided to add a PID control loop, and on the way, an OLED display, too. He designed a little shield for the Arduino Nano, that interfaces with the present hardware through solid state relays. Two thermocouples measure the temperature of the boiler and group head while a thermal cut-off fuse protects the machine from overheating in case of a malfunction.
Also, the Lady’s makeup received a complete overhaul, starting with a fresh powder coating. A sealed enclosure along with a polished top panel for the OLED display were machined from aluminum. [Rhys] also added an external water tank that is connected to the machine through shiny, custom lathed tube fittings. Before the water enters the boiler, it passes through a custom preheater, to avoid cold water from entering the boiler directly. Not only does the result look fantastic, it also offers a lot more control over the temperature and the amount of water extracted, resulting in a perfect brew every time. Enjoy [Rhys’s] video where he explains his build:
Continue reading “Brasilia Espresso Machine PID Upgrade Brews Prefect Cup Of Energy”
[Rhys Goodwin] has a wonderful Italian espresso machine, a Brasilia ‘Lady’. But the electronics in it are a bit outdated. So he decided to give the entire thing an overhaul, while keeping it as original as possible!
As far as espresso machines go, this model is pretty simple. It uses a 300mL brass boiler with a 3-position solenoid valve. The thermostat is one of those simple bimetallic button thermostats which sadly, aren’t even that accurate — you couldn’t build a simpler machine, there’s not even a microcontroller in it. [Rhys] had his work cut out for him.
Arduino. PID controller. LCD display. New custom machined components, including a polished aluminum face plate for the LCD! He didn’t skimp out on this restoration. He even designed his own custom PCB to house the Arduino and provide the outputs for his new electronics, impressive!
Continue reading “Restoring An Espresso Machine To The 21st Century”