We offer free software for your espresso machine. It turns ordinary portafilter machines into sophisticated shot brewers with precise control over temperature, pressure and dispensed weight.

 
FAQ

Which microcontroller modules are compatible?
ATMega1284-based modules from Software & Circuits and Pollin (AVR-NET-IO modules, if the MCU is upgraded). Some run caffè!, some run leva!, some run ristretto! - check the download page for details.

Can I install this in machine <insert name>?
That's for you, the owner, to find out. No technical consulting services are available here. All requirements are explained in the documentaion in the downloads. The firmwares have been used successfully in: Rancilio Silvia, Gaggia Classic, Quickmill Silvano, Lelit PL60, ECM Casa, Bezzera BZ09, Vibiemme Domobar, La Spaziala Mini Vivaldi* and other machines.

Is the new Gaggia Classic manufactured by Philips compatible?
Gaggia Classic models with die-cast aluminium boiler and 3-way-valve should be compatible, including the latest 886948011010 from Philips. Philips also produces a stripped-down RI9403 model without electrical grouphead valve. That's not compatible. Neither is the "Gaggia Classic Coffee", which is another machine without electrical grouphead valve.

Can the firmwares be used with thermoblocks?
Theoretically yes. Thermoblocks are just very small boilers. Potential issues are described in the manual. For example, the original circuit must handle the steam mode, i.e. the "tock tock tock" interval pumping that thermoblocks perform in steam mode.

Can I get pressure profiling from an E61 grouphead?
Some profiling might be possible but it would be limited. The gicleur in the E61 makes it impossible to measure the brew pressure in the filter correctly and the preinfusion chamber of the E61 collides with pressure profiling. Last bit not least, the lack of an electrified valve (the classic E61 has a manual lever-operated valve) prohibits features such as dosing or pressure profiles with a programmatically defined end. However, the electrified E61, a modern look-alike with solenoid valve, e.g. in BFC machines, can dose.

Can this firmware be used with HX machines?
HX machines do not profit from precise PID temperature control. The temperature at the exit of their short heat exchangers depends not only on the PID-controlled boiler temperature but significantly on the flow rate. Also, they tend to have E61 groupheads, which conflict with pressure profiling. HX machines with E61 are the worst possible match for leva!.


* In the Mini Vivaldi, leva! was only used for pressure profiling since that machine has its own controller for dosing and temperature.

Can pressure profiling be used with rotary pumps?
leva!'s pressure profiling only works with vibratory pumps. Rotary vane pumps with asynchronous capacitor motors are not compatible and may not be connected. The speed of such motors can not easily be controlled. The high inrush current of such motors could damage microcontroller modules with 1A solid state relays.

Is it possible to flash firmware with Mac OS X?
Yes. However, for Mac OS X, we have only found a commercial program that can do that, ZOC from EmTec. A working trial version is available. You need a terminal program that supports the XModem CRC protocol over raw TCP/IP. Under Windows and Linux, use the free TeraTerm.

Can leva! connect to Acaia scales or Timemore scales?
No. The "Skale 2" from Atomax, the "Felicita Arc" and the "Eureka Precisa" are the only supported wireless scales. Other scales will not work. Bluetooth LE espresso scales use proprietary protocols.

Can I integrate leva! into my home automation system?

leva! does not directly support home automation systems such as MQTT but it has a telnet interface at port 23. If your home automation system can send text commands to a TCP/IP port, you could wake up leva! from standby (MCa command), put it into standby (MCE) or read values (MCR command). MCR returns a status telegram. That's a line of text that starts with "{" and ends with "}". In between would be temperature, pressure, flow rate, weight and so on. To understand that line, have a look at the <values> section in the XML configuration file that comes with leva!. It describes which values are at what position, how many letters they are comprised of and of which type they are (integer, floating point, text). If your home automation system supports regular expressions, you could break that line into values with a regex.

Can I have the firmware source code?
While the firmware is free to use, it is not open source.

Is there a forum for this firmware?
There isn't a dedicated forum but you can find interesting threads in various coffee forums, e.g. at home-barrista.com (1, 2), kaffee-netz.de and Coffeetime. I
f you understand German, please check out Christian Schwabe's podcast at podcaster.de:
 
Podcast: Superhirn für Espressomaschinen
(German, 37:32min)

Heureka, I have an idea!
Feel free to submit your ideas, feature suggestions and other feedback here.

 
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