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Espresso: Espresso Mods and Restorations
My Oscar Modifications
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > My Oscar...  
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marosmith
Senior Member
marosmith
Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 87
Location: Lafayette, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia V2
Grinder: NS MCF, Baratza Encore
Posted Tue Apr 29, 2014, 4:41pm
Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
 

Are there any members in the Portland area who know there way around a machine and want to tutor a newb?

I think I will try to find the parts from espressoparts since they are local and order from them. I love this machine so far, but the vacuum breaker, opv, and steam lever seem to be a must for me.
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marosmith
Senior Member
marosmith
Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 87
Location: Lafayette, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia V2
Grinder: NS MCF, Baratza Encore
Posted Tue Apr 29, 2014, 4:46pm
Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
 

Also, what steam tip would you guys recommend. I got the big 4 hole one.

I saw this site which has full kits, and given I'm not smart enough to find the correct parts from espressoparts, what do you guys think of this?

Click Here (elektros.it)

Also- there is an option for "boiler predisposed" or "boiler not predisposed".

Does anyone know what that means, and what would apply to my machine?
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SyracuseCoffee
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Mar 2014
Posts: 28
Location: Syracuse
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Compak K3
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 2:10pm
Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
 

marosmith Said:

Also, what steam tip would you guys recommend. I got the big 4 hole one.

I saw this site which has full kits, and given I'm not smart enough to find the correct parts from espressoparts, what do you guys think of this?

Click Here (elektros.it)

Also- there is an option for "boiler predisposed" or "boiler not predisposed".

Does anyone know what that means, and what would apply to my machine?

Posted April 29, 2014 link

I ordered parts from Elektro and they were great to deal with.  I wanted gauges that I knew would work with my Oscar when I'm ready to calibrate it and started getting tired of searching for parts.  Sometimes it's just nice to order a kit with parts pre-selected and sometimes assembled.

Anyway, I'm not 100% sure what "predisposed" means.  But I can tell you that that kit won't work for plumbed machines.  The particular OPV they've selected along with the tubing connections is designed to be installed on the pump discharge line on a pour-over machine where the OPV discharge connects to the water line from the tank that feeds the pump. Hydraulically, this is basically the same as returning the OPV discharge to the water tank.

If you have a pour over machine (not plumbed or direct connect) then I say order the kit if you're interested in these mods.  It can be time-consuming looking for parts and you'll avoid the cost of making parts mistakes.  I like the espressoparts site but searching the site can be tedious. I guess I got spoiled by McMaster Carr which has a phenomenally well-organized site for parts and information.
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SyracuseCoffee
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Mar 2014
Posts: 28
Location: Syracuse
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Compak K3
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 2:23pm
Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
 

marosmith Said:

Are there any members in the Portland area who know there way around a machine and want to tutor a newb?

I think I will try to find the parts from espressoparts since they are local and order from them. I love this machine so far, but the vacuum breaker, opv, and steam lever seem to be a must for me.

Posted April 29, 2014 link

Unfortunately I'm in the great socialist nanny-state of NY and nowhere near Portland....and I'm a relative newbie to espresso machine mechanics so you'll have to count me out on experience as well.

Hopefully my posts will help on some of your modification interests but there are a lot of good (better) posts on this forum and others.  I can't help with the steam lever which is a mod I'm not interested in.  The dial works fine since I only make occasional macchiatos and my wife doesn't drink milk.  However, my kids love hot chocolate with steamed milk and use steam to heat tea for herbal tea at night.  They absolutely refuse to heat water in the microwave and will only use the stove or steam wand to heat their water.  And since my oldest daughter forgot about the pot on the stove one night, we prefer they use the steam wand.  The dial works fine for these tasks.
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marosmith
Senior Member
marosmith
Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 87
Location: Lafayette, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia V2
Grinder: NS MCF, Baratza Encore
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 8:50pm
Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
 

Thanks for your help.  I ordered the kit and their smaller 4 hole tip.

The kit seems to be the way to go for a mechanical moron like me. I understand how things work but when it comes to tools, and using them, things go south. With everything dialed in and instructions with it, I hope it will work without too much difficulty.

Someone advised me most of the models are not predisposed only the real new ones. So hopefully I ordered the right kit lol!
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j_bravo14
Senior Member


Joined: 11 May 2014
Posts: 6
Location: IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun May 11, 2014, 11:49pm
Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
 

I'm thinking of getting an Oscar, but do I really need all these modifications to make it work perfectly?

Are there manual work-around/regimens on making it work perfectly?

I was thinking on the vacuum breaker -- would i be able to just relieve this by opening the steam wand briefly?
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 386
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Mon May 12, 2014, 6:45am
Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
 

j_bravo14 Said:

I'm thinking of getting an Oscar, but do I really need all these modifications to make it work perfectly?

Are there manual work-around/regimens on making it work perfectly?

I was thinking on the vacuum breaker -- would i be able to just relieve this by opening the steam wand briefly?

Posted May 11, 2014 link

Yes, opening the steam wand briefly will give you all the function of the vacuum breaker in manual function.  It works fine.  

I've been running my Oscar for a year on a timer without a vacuum breaker just fine, but I keep the valve about 1 full turn from wide open and when the machine heats and cools you can hear a slight amount of air or steam pass through the wand.  Once hot the valve seals at temp and no longer passes any steam.  Works well for me, and machine is up to full temp 30-40 minutes after power on.

Still, if you are planning on using a timer the vacuum breaker is the best mod.  You don't have to do it, but you might really like it.

(Same with OPV mod.  If you want to control pressure properly you'll want that mod, but you can still make really good espresso without it too.)
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OliveOil
Senior Member
OliveOil
Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Posts: 65
Location: WI
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W
Drip: Breville YouBrew
Posted Mon May 12, 2014, 6:08pm
Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
 

What parts / part numbers do you need to order for the flow restrictor mod?  I'm going to order some parts from Elecktros and would like to add that mod to my list.
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marosmith
Senior Member
marosmith
Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 87
Location: Lafayette, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia V2
Grinder: NS MCF, Baratza Encore
Posted Mon May 12, 2014, 7:30pm
Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
 

OliveOil Said:

What parts / part numbers do you need to order for the flow restrictor mod?  I'm going to order some parts from Elecktros and would like to add that mod to my list.

Posted May 12, 2014 link

I just did an order, and this was the part #:

07300225 + 07300684 Gigler

To answer the question, a stock oscar can make great shots, with some effort.

With these mods it can make great shots with less effort, and can make excellent shots once you get it dialed in.

I like the machine right now and can't wait to get the mods done.
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thebaz
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 79
Location: Victoria
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar LaCimbali Domus
Grinder: Rancilio md50
Posted Thu May 15, 2014, 11:35pm
Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
 

Just to clarify. My understanding is a "predisposed" Oscar has four ports on the top of the boiler so a vacuum breaker can be fitted in the spare hole.
My Oscar didn't have this and I was able to fit a vacuum breaker with a modified fitting. There are many different ways of doing this so it is just a matter of what is easiest for the owner.
My Oscar is also plumbed in and I got an OPV kit to suit, but had my doubts as to how well it would work to exhaust the bleed off pressure back to the supply side of the pump, so I never fitted it.
The neplex valve is set at around 10bar on mine so it does a similar job anyway.
I ran my Oscar box stock for around eight years and it still made great coffee. It is definitely a better machine though after the mods.
I have the four hole tip from Elektros and it works well, but I like the standard four hole with two of the holes blocked off better.
Gianni from Elektros has been fantastic and very helpful to deal with and I recommend Elektros highly for advice and parts.
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