Understanding the LONDINIUM range

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 24 June 2020 16:57

looking at some of the recent discussion on places like the home-barista forum it seems that i havent communicated the differences between our machines very well

i think the easiest way to understand our model range is to start with the LONDINIUM III

this is a 3 group commercial lever machine with no pump that relies on a connection to the water mains.  the groups are not mounted on the boiler, but rather an indirect link only between the two with two thermosiphon pipes (a feed pipe and a return pipe) to circulate water from one end of the heat exchanger, around the group with a water jacket behind the sleeve (in case anyone thinks saturated groups are a new idea), and back to the heat exchanger via the return pipe of the thermosiphon to be heated up again

the LONDINIUM II and LONDINIUM I are identical to the LONDINIUM III in design and purpose; they are simply shorter lengths of the same sausage, if you like

the LONDINIUM R(rotary pump)24(VDC) is the machine i set out to build from the outset, and this is why it has been the subject of continuous development

the objective was to deliver an espresso that tasted the same as that from the LI/II/III, but without the need to plumb in

the LR24 does not signify a shift in our espresso ideology; excellent espresso achieved with simplicity

our machines make you look like a proficient barista because you wont be fiddling with each variable; we have created a range of machines that are simple to obtain excellent espresso from, regardless of the roast level of your favourite coffee bean

so the change from the LR to the LR24 is best understood in this way:

a long time ago, perhaps as early as september 2017 we found the pump we wanted to use in the LR24; a peach of a pump that is both quiet and self priming.  that was the really easy bit.  the trouble was it was a 24VDC pump.  so immediately we needed to add a transformer to step down from mains voltage to 24V, and it needed to fit inside the limited amount of space in the machine.  then it becomes apparent that you dont use a transformer these days, but a power supply with a break out to allow mains voltage through to power the heating element.  it took a long time to find a power supply small enough.

then you look at the printed circuit board we had developed inhouse to control the pressure transducer in the LR and we are looking for space and so you think, well, why not extend the capabilites of our in-house board and incorporate the functions that have to date been controlled by the Gicar; this will allow us to save some space internally

i did not want the console for the pressure transducer to be visible on the exterior of the machine and so we developed the wireless connectivity.  some would have opted for bluetooth rather than WIFI, but i wanted to include a smart timer in the LR24 so you will no longer need an ugly smart timer plugged into the wall socket; it will all be on-board

once you have a 24V system you can do all sorts of things.  this should not be read that we have plans to complicate the operation of the machine (indeed the pump delay interval will be removed on the next version of the app), but we will have the low water alarm on the app, so if you are away from the machine you will be made aware that the machine has turned itself off becuase of a lack of water and you can fill it so it is hot and ready for service when you next need an espresso.  we can also do other things like dial down the speed of the pump and add a delay as the inlet solenoid closes so there is less water shunt as the solenoid valve closes; this doesnt improve the coffee, but it refines the ownership experience and once you have 24VDC you can control the pump in this manner with no degradation of reliability

the printed circuit board has been developed with circuitry for not only pressure, but also temperature and flow, so the possibilites for the future are wide if the need arises

in time we also want to move to being able to deliver software upgrades through the cloud, although this capability is not there yet

we fully appreciate that not everyone wants this kind of machine, and for that reason we have created the L1 Compressa, which does what the L1 does but in a much more compact format and accessible price for domestic users

in addition we are hard at work on the LONDINIUM Compact, a direct fill 58mm spring lever group, which i am very conscious is turning into something of a mythical beast as the delivery date has slipped and slipped as we struggled to obtain development resources, but COVID has given us a window of opportunity to crack on

hopefully the above narrative has added clarity rather than obscurity; the message to take away is that we have not abandoned our ideology of exceptional espresso from simplicity

managing one variable (pre-infusion pressure) allows us to control simultaneously brew temperature and also brew volume; 3 for the price of one.  this makes our machines easy to obtain exceptional espresso from.

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