Here’s a quick list of features I have on my radar for future espresso controller development. The changes listed below are expected to impact the controller PCB and enclosure only of the EspressI/O; I don’t anticipate any changes to the 120V PCB and enclosure currently. Let me know what you think and what features you look for in an espresso controller.
Built in Clock and Programmable On / Off
While I personally don’t like using a programmable timer to turn my machine on, I know some people do. For a future version of the EspressI/O, I’m planning on incorporating a clock into the control board. A proper clock will allow for a programmable feature to be coded in. All of the major hardware components are already in Version 1, the only thing missing is a crystal oscillator for accurate time keeping. This hardware change would be to the control board only; I expect the 120V board and enclosure and all wiring to remain unchanged.
Ideally I want a pressure sensor integral with the controller, but right now I’m not convinced that this is the best solution. I looked at this briefly for the first version, but I couldn’t find a pressure sensor that I was comfortable with. Of the sensors that I could find for espresso pressures, the ones that were affordable (ie. automotive types) are not food grade and the food grade sensor are much too expensive. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
If I add a pressure sensor in the future, it will require changes to the control board, machine plumbing and and additional cable. I do not expect any changes to the 120V board and enclosure.
Control Enclosure and / or LCD Screen Mount
For a first revision, I’m pretty happy with how both enclosures came together, how they look and how they function. As mentioned elsewhere though, the control enclosure could be better. It’s a bit bigger than it needs to be and encroaches on the surrounding controls. The control enclosure will likely require a custom made enclosure to improve on the current design. As part of any enclosure redesign, I would like to come up with a better mounting solution for the LCD as well. If I go away from the pin connections on the LCD, and go to a ribbon connector (ie. similar to a phone lcd screen) it should also give me additional flexibility with the board layout. The current pin connections also aren’t the most secure when moving the enclosure around; although it’s fine once it’s mounted in place and during normal operation.