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Initial experience with L-R and the yearn for aftermarket mods

I received my L-R less than a week ago. It replaces an Izzo Vivi PID III. Before the Vivi I used a Pavoni Europiccola. I have already pulled some really great shots and absolutely love the lever machine concept.

I do think a few things could be improved.

The drip tray grate
When flushing the grouphead to clean it, I see a lot of splahing from the drip tray grate, because it's not a very open desgin. Are there any 3rd party sources for wire- or mesh-type drip trays? Or does the Espazzola group cleaning tool reduce splashing a lot?

The clicking from the pressurestat
I can see from a number of other posts that the noise from p-stat seems to be bothering some people using the machine in a domestic environment.
Boiler insulation would reduce the cycle frequency. Would there be any detrimental effects? It seems many other machines have boiler insulation. Wouldn't insulation of the boiler also extend the lifetime of most other components inside the chassis?
I have seen at least one other user fiddling with PID control of the boiler pressure, using a thermocouple for monitoring. I would be really interested in an aftermarket solution for this. What are the pros/cons?


  • When flushing I place a wide cup/bowl under the group so I never flush into the drip tray. Advantage is that I practically never need to lift the drip tray to wash/clean it.

    The p-stat clicks don't bother me. The background noise of boiler heating tell me the machine is okay.

    Insulating the boiler also prevents one to see how the boiler is doing. If sometime in the future there is a tiny leak somewhere, and it remains hidden in the 'coat' of the boiler, the moisture can build up damage before anyone finds out. Also it makes the clicks less frequent but not more silent.

    Lining the inside of the "box" of the machine with the stuff that's also used in cars to muffle motor sound could be a strategy, but make sure you won't close off the openings in the bottom of the chassis and in the back, so air can still flow.
  • +1 on the drip tray. But I don't think it can really be improved. Most of the splashing I see on my machine more stems from the height the espresso falls. It also splashes while running in my cup sometimes. I tried putting a fine mesh within the drip tray to diffuse the drops which did help a bit. Now I aim to get the single portafilter spout in addition to the double one and hope that the reduced hight to the cup will help. In my opinion you don't necessarily need the bottomless portafilter after a while because you always (most times) get the same (good) extracion. The machine needs to warm up anyway so heating more portafilter should be no problem, which was the reason I preferred the bottomless PF on my Europiccola.

    I also agree that some things could be changed electonic wise, but the machine is very good as is and has a certain charme. That being said you can check out my mod, which gives you control of a silent relay for the boiler as well as the preinfusion pressure. I am currently working on a manual how to apply the mod. When its done you can also just read the part where the Sirai pressure switch (the clicking one) is changed for a SSR relay (silent) and apply that to your machine. For control of the temperature you can then either use an existing PID controller and hook it up to the SSR (just two wires) or go with an arduino PID etc.
  • NPF is way to go, in case of spout you loose more heat (minor issue for liquid, unless it lowers also brew temp) but also have cleanliness problem, it is hard to clean the spout perfectly and it will affect taste.
    For this reason I would be crazy to use single spout. The double spout is only useful if you want to make a pretty double shot, but in this case there is guarantee both will have the same amount and is harder to weight both cups.

    Finally, esthetics - I love seeing flow. You also see bigger canals and prefinfussion.
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