Original - Gaggia Classic PID kit - 1/32DIN single display

Original Gaggia Classic PID kit

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PID mod kit, including brew and steam control, with all parts and instructions required to install within your Gaggia Classic machine.

This kit is suitable for "traditional" style Gaggia Classic espresso machines.  If you examine the label on the bottom of your machine you should find one of the following model codes:


  • RI8161/??
  • RI9303/??
  • Model:  GAGGIA CLASSIC COFFEE
  • TYPE: SIN035 (Classic)


The manufacture date of these machines is typically between 1991 and 2018 - this date is often also shown on the serial label on the base of the machine in [week no.]/[Year] format (such as 10/2009 - for week 10 of 2009).  


If you have either of the models shown below (typically manufactured during 2018 or later), then you need to select the alternative kit for the Gaggia Classic Pro / Classic 2019

  • RI9380/?? - 120V, US "Gaggia Classic Pro"
  • RI9480/?? - 230V, EU "Gaggia Classic 2018/2019"


IMPORTANT:  Unfortunately none of the PID kits are suitable for the EU Gaggia Classic 2015-2018 model (with stainless steel boiler, and NO solenoid valve / vent tube and the eco timer that automatically powers the machine off after use) - model number RI9403/18 or RI9403/11

If you have ANY doubts as to whether you machine is suitable or which kit to purchase, please email a photo of your serial/model label to us for confirmation.


Functions

This PID kit controls BOTH brew temperature and also steam temperature (and hence pressure).  The brew temperature is tightly controlled by the PID algorithm, and the steam temperature is controlled in a more basic fashion which is similar to that of the standard thermostat - though as the steam temperature can be adjusted, this will also adjust the steam pressure.

PREINFUSION is NOT a function of this PID kit.  In our experience, the best way to add variable pressure preinfusion to a Gaggia Classic is through the use of a pump dimmer mod (ideally with a brew pressure gauge).  We are aware that other kits include options for preinfusion - though we do not provide similar functionality, as this can easily be replicated by simply turning the brew switch on for 5s, and then off again for a few seconds, and then on again for your main extraction (obviously you can adjust the 5s and pause time periods to vary the preinfusion as much as you wish).


How Difficult is it to fit, how long will it take and what tools do I need?

We are frequently asked "How complicated is the installation?" - and the only real answer is that if you are competent with basic workshop tools, and can follow written instructions and photographs then you should be able to install it.   Installation usually takes most people around 2-3hrs and requires only basic tools such as:

  • A medium flat-bladed screwdriver
  • A medium cross-head screwdriver
  • A 17mm spanner/wrench or adjustable spanner/wrench (or alternatively needle-nosed pliers)
  • A 4mm Allen Key / Hex tool
  • Some scissors or wire cutters
  • Some rubbing alcohol or multi-surface cleaner, and a cloth


This kit contains:

Our PID kits contain everything you need, except for the few basic tools that are shown as being required on the "Description" tab:


Main components:

  • A 1/32DIN (single display) PID controller (that can be configured by the end-user for C or F)
  • A Shades of Coffee custom made Pt100 sensor (three wire, class A sensor, with 75cm lead wires)
  • A Shades of Coffee 1/32DIN aluminium enclosure with all relevant cut-outs, wiring grommet, and super sticky double-sided mounting tape (optionally available in either silver of black finish)


Brew components:

  • All wires, premade to required but generous lengths and preterminated with connectors
  • 40A Brew SSR with mounting screws


Steam components:

  • All wires, premade to required but generous lengths and preterminated with connectors
  • 40A Steam SSR with mounting screws

 

Ancillary components:

  • Cable ties
  • Thermal paste (for SSRs and Pt100 if desired)
  • Earthing wire for enclosure
  • Spiral wire wrap
  • Cable grommet for Classic case
  • Test resistor for possible diagnostic use
  • Spare fuse


A very detailed 70+ page installation and user guide to installing, setting up and using the PID controller on your Gaggia Classic.  This guide includes many detailed photographs, gotchas, and trouble-shooting tips.  It is constantly updated to provide answers to common installation and use questions.

You can see a few sample pages of the manual here.

NOTE that once you have bought this kit and checked out, the installation and use manual will be sent to you as a PDF digital download - so you can start reading.

DISCLAIMER:  The installation of any of our parts or kits, and any modification of any espresso machines undertaken by reference to our installation and/or user guides, should only be conducted by persons with proper electrical safety knowledge who are capable and qualified to undertake such work and modifications.  Many of the components within espresso machines operate at high temperature, high pressure and with mains electrical voltages at high current in the presence of water – any of these could cause serious personal injury, shock, burns, fire, explosion, other property damage and possibly death.  We shall hence not be liable for any damage to property, personal injury or other loss caused by the improper or incorrect use of the aforementioned installation and/or user guides or the provided kit(s) or any of those kit’s component or constituent parts.  By commencing installation of our kit(s) you agree to accept all liability associated with the modification of your espresso machine, and agree to hold us in no way responsible or liable for any loss, damage or injury howsoever, wherever or whenever caused.  You further agree to indemnify us and our agents, officers, directors and employees, immediately and on demand, against all claims, liability, damages, costs and expenses, including legal fees, arising out of any installation, use, misuse or failure of any of our kits or component parts thereof.

I finally decided to purchase this PID and I am so happy I did. The manual is really easy to follow. I have limited experience around wiring etc. However do not let this put you off. It really is straight forward and easy to follow. It is well worth the money in my opinion and I’m sure my coffee will see the benefit!

Samuel

This PID has transformed my Gaggia Classic. The steam is on another level! Easy to fit if you’ve got basic hand skills. The instructions are faultless and very well laid out. Overall this kit is well worth it. It’s given me another few years of use for the GC before the inevitable upgrade. If you have a GC this kit is a must!

Alessandro

I'm not going to detail the advantages of this kit as I believe it is obvious. As a coffee machine engineer specialized in Gaggia Classics, I have installed numerous of these kits . The only thing I can say is, there is nothing better than this kit. MrShade is continuously keeping a very high standard of this very well designed and constructed product. The excessive instruction guide allows literally anyone to install it, including but not limited to my 13 years old cousin. Always dispatched rapidly, never missed any parts. As a forum member (CoffeeForumsUK) I also know he is always available for troubleshooting on a short notice, in case of installation issues. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

FairRecycler

100% recommend this PID kit. With it, you remove a lot of the guess work of finding the correct temperature to pull excellent shots. I believe you can't go back once you experienced it, installing this to your Gaggia classic is a must. Manual was easy to follow even for novice like me. I installed this PID at the same time as changing the steaming wand too.

Marc

Excelent ! An awesome support to help me to install the pid. I reccomend the shades of coffee PID. 100% SUPER !!!

Guido

The kit is great quality! The parts and clear instructions have been very well thought through. I had a good read one night before the kit arrived so when it came to the install, I had a rough idea what was in store. I was a little apprehensive, but everything went smoothly and it was reassuring to know that if I did encounter any problems, support was only a few clicks away. I'm not going to miss temperature surfing that's for sure!

Matt

I couldn't possibly recommend this PID more. The package arrived at my doorstep in the U.S. three days after I placed the order. The items were packed with care and the instructions were detailed and easy to understand. Install took awhile as I went slowly and carefully. Anytime I had a question, Mr. Shades emailed back almost immediately with further information. If you're on the fence about getting a PID, don't be. If a novice like myself can do it, so can you.

David in Detroit

I bought this kit because I didn't get constant results out of my old Gaggia Classic. I found MrShades kit on a German forum and the positive reviews on both the PID kit but also the outstanding support from MrShades. I received the kit a few days ago and downloaded the really well written manual for it. Being a total idiot on all things electric, I managed to do something wrong and panicked and try to reach MrShades. He was kind enough to help me right away and my problem was solved. My Gaggia never made better espresso and I am really happy I bought this kit. 100% recommended for all Gaggia Classic users!

Jan

The addition of this PID has given me the best espresso yet out of my GCP! Repeatability is huge to me so this is making all the difference. I also wanted to consistently brew at slightly higher temps since I'm using a lighter roast from a local roaster. This kit gives me the ability to tweak the temp and better control the Classic's small boiler. It has made a big difference! Getting it setup took some time, but the manual was well written and easy to follow. I definitely recommend reading the manual before your PID kit even arrives, especially if you're not experienced with setting up things like this. And if you have issues with wire colors or setup differing from the manual (some US vs European things are slightly differ), simply reach out to Mr. Shades and you'll get a super quick and helpful response! I would highly recommend this. You'll get you Classic producing coffee on par with much more expensive machines and improve repeatability and control. You will also improve steam power, which is a fantastic added benefit.

Andy

Why should you buy this PID kit over competitors'? Because not only is the price very reasonable (even with international shipping), but Mr. Shades' instructions guide you all the way through the process, including covering typical issues (which fixed my installation). There's no way I would be able to figure out how to PID my machine on my own, but Mr. Shades made it easy. You're paying for the detailed guide and for Mr. Shades' excellent customer service that can be vouched for on many espresso forums. It also feels better to buy from someone who just wanted to bring better espresso to the world than from a big business that's primarily concerned with the bottom line. Though I had no issues with the installation that weren't covered by the guide, I did contact Mr. Shades when my order hadn't shipped in a few business days. Even though he had a banner on the website that clearly indicated he was on vacation (which I neglected to read), he still responded to my message within an hour and told me that he would ship the kit once he was back from vacation. He is clearly dedicated. And the shipping took only a few days from GB to the West coast US. Why should you buy a PID kit at all? Well, if you are a "good enough" kind of person or if you really enjoy and/or are really good at temperature surfing, then you probably don't need one. But, if you're like me, and I'm guessing you are if you're reading this review, temperature surfing wasn't cutting it and I needed to up my consistency and get my espresso to that next level. This PID kit can take you there. As a bonus, it also makes it easy to get good steam. Overall, this is an absolutely worthwhile upgrade, particularly if you're brewing light roasts, which require a higher temperature and can be harder to temperature surf for. It makes a very noticeable difference. Happy brewing!

Kurt

The PID is a great improvement for my machine, and it works perfectly. I'm really impressed with the amount of detail in the instructions, everything is very clearly explained and organized, even for a complete amateur like me it's really hard to have any installing issues if you follow it step by step. Every component and cable is prepared and ready to plug in. I really enjoyed the process, and learned a few technical things about how the machine works. Awesome project, cheers!

Nikos

The kit is excellent! The instructions are clear and easy to follow. Service is brilliant, PID was shipped shortly after I put an order... But for the future users just a few advices/warnings! Although the instructions could not be clearer, installing the kit might be more difficult than you expect. So be patient and give yourself enough time. The first challenge is to take a brew thermostat out of a boiler. The two connectors were so tightly connected that I manage to break plastic insulation on one of them with pliers. I would say it is good quality build from Gaggia! As there is almost no space, and if you have hands 'of a standard size', unscrewing a thermostat is a nightmare. With fixing a thermo probe a nightmare continued. It took me more then one hour just to replace a thermostat with a probe. I was on the edge to dismantle a steaming wand, even to take the boiler out. So, be aware of that. Insulation that broke I fixed with thermo insulator - the one that shrinks when you heat it with hot air (or VERY CAREFULLY with a cigarette lighter). In the case you use it, carefully read the insulator specs (especially the temperature range). The second issue was with a rubber grommet. There are two in the kit - one for the aluminium box and one for the Gaggia. The grommet meant to be used on Gaggia is simply to small and you can not squeeze all the wires through it. The edges on the went holes are VERY SHARP and it is very easy to damage insulation on wires! So, try to find a solution for protecting the wires. I used a small part of PVC tubing from spare parts for my aquarium. If you damage the insulation on any of wires, IMHO the best solution is to ask Adrian for replacement. You can fix it yourself (use thermo insulator, make yourself a new wire if you have tools and materials to terminate it), but if you do not know what you are doing or how to do it - DO NOT DO IT!!! Heat, water, pressure and electricity is a way to serious disaster! So be extra careful! Summary: PID works great, as explained in the instructions. Preset temperature is a rock solid that makes shots more consistent. Installing might be more complicated than expected! [SoC comment] We're going to review the need for an additional grommet in kits - as we firmly believe that it's not difficult to get them in one grommet, though we may decide that two could help (arranging the wires in horizontal pairs helps). Also - for help with tight Gaggia connectors, on new machines they can be tight, so see this video that we made that shows the best way to remove any of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1ntzPlrsZs

Zoran Vlah

Very happy with OPV and PID mod kits I just finished installing on my GCP. Already notice a difference in shot smoothness and consistency and better steam production. I agree with other comments - just take your time. Took me about 3 hours to get it all done and complete. Trickiest part is removal of old brew thermostat and replacing with new therm. Cable routing thru the rear grommet also becomes tight as you add more cables, but just take your time. I hid the PID round the back of the machine too, as I didn’t like the aesthetics of having it on the side. Now it’s in stealth mode. Set it and forget it and enjoy the better performance from your efforts!

Julian

Leave a review

from Barry

Your question:

Is it possible to place the PID case on the back of the machine with the display facing upwards?
Our answer:

Thanks for your question. The cables are quite generous - so you can mount it on the left, on the right, or indeed on the back facing upwards (stealth mounting!).

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from Sam Brinsden

Your question:

Does this replace the original thermostat? I've currently got a faulty thermostat and instead of replacing it again I thought I might as welll just jump to using this PID kit. Thanks, Sam
Our answer:

Yes indeed - with the PID you don't need any of the thermostats.  The pt100 sensor replaces the brew thermostat, and renders the steam thermostat redundant.

Hence if you have thermostat issues then you can just replace them both with the PID kit.  No thermostats (working or otherwise) required.


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from Dat Tran

Your question:

Hi there, I've heard that after installing PID, machine takes longer time from turning on to ready to brew. May I ask how long does it take to reach desired temperature with PID? Thank you.
Our answer:

Thanks for your question.  All Classics have a light on the brew switch that is known as the "brew ready" light.  This is really a misnomer, as it's actually a light that simply shows when power ISN'T being applied to the heating elements.  On a standard (thermostat controlled) Classic, this light will come on once the boiler temperature exceeds 107c - which can be 1-2 minutes from turn on.  However, you'd be foolish to actually start using the machine then - as the rest of the machine will still be cold, so any brew water that is coming out of the boiler will still be too cool - and it'll then flow through lots of cold metal, cooling it further still.

So, even with a standard Classic you should ignore this "brew ready" light and leave it for around 10-15 minutes to properly warm up - and get not just the boiler and water hot, but the metal valves and shower screen and dispersion plate, and (you should also have it locked in whilst the machine is heating up) the portafilter and basket too.

A Classic with a PID is really no different.

You should still leave a PID'd Classic for around 10-15 minutes to properly warm up, and again heat up all of the metal components around the boiler and the group / portafiter.  Within this time period you will find that the boiler temperature (shown on the PID) stabilises and rests to within 0.1c/f of your desired brew temperature.

In summary, you may think that a standard Classic is ready to use sooner (because of the "brew ready" light turning on) - but in reality both standard and PID'd Classics should be turned on and then left for 10-15 minutes to properly warm up, with the portafilter locked in to the group.  Ignore the "brew ready" light!

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from Felipe Gallardo

Your question:

Hi! Is a shot timer included in this PID? Ty for your time.
Our answer:

Thanks for your question - No, the PID is a brew and steam temperature controller and doesn't include any shot-timer or preinfusion timer functionality.

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from Arjen Hommersom

Your question:

I recently acquired a Gaggia pre 2015 model. The machine was completely refurbished and the owner added insulation around the boiler (the thermostat is outside of the insulation). I assume I can still add a PID though I suspect that the parameters might be different. Is it possible to change the settings on this PID?
Our answer:

Thanks for your question and interest in our kits.  As long as you can unscrew the existing brew thermostat and access the wires that attach to it then yes you can fit the kit..With an insulated boiler then yes you will want to use different P, I and D parameters - though you can use Autotune on the PID to give you a good set to use anyway.

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