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Trick out Oscar Party with Upgrades
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Trick out Oscar...  
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013, 1:21pm
Subject: Trick out Oscar Party with Upgrades
 

We spent all Sunday tricking out 2 Oscars.  
They have the following upgrades:

Full descale and reinsulate the boiler
Vacuum breaker mod
Musica restrictors at the group head to fine tune the thermosyphon
Steam valve upgrade (knob is now a lever)

Mine took 6 hours start to finish, but there was a leak at the end that took a while to hunt down.  We were starting to get tired by then.

I will be adding to this post as we get it written up and the video and photos posted.

Cliff note take aways:

  • Take photos and mark wires so you can put everything back the way it was.
  • Post - it notes and sharpies to help mark stuff and take notes
  • Put a towel under the machine before you start.
  • Tip out as much water as you can before you start.
  • Metric tools
  • Short shock taps to loosen the connections are better than slow twists.  Less likely to bend the metal.
  • Pipe sealant and food grade lube make the job easier.  (brand names to come)
  • Check that you have all the parts in place before reassembly
  • Tighten everything up before reassembly
  • Replace the insulation even if it looks fine, mine crumbled every time it was touched but looked fine.
  • Don't get descaler/water in contacts of the heater coil
  • Have little cups to put the screws into, some are small and look alike.  So mark the cups by section. The boiler screws look very much like the bottom plate screws but if you mix them up you can put holes in the boiler.
  • Have a bucket or sink handy to soak parts in with citric acid
  • Nylon scrubby pads are handy for the outside of the boiler and the water probe
  • Have more O rings, c clips, and screws on hand you don't know what you will need.
  • Mark the Musica restrictors in and out because they look the same to the naked eye.
  • Remove the extra threaded part on the steam opening of the boiler because it will make the vacuum cup stick up too high.
  • You will probably need to tap the group head for the Musica restrictors mod
  • You can use a thread tap tool to clean out old pipe sealant from the threads  (British standard)
  • Dental tools are handy and scratch awl for group gasket
  • Flashlights are handy (bright and small)
  • Plastic tray or rimmed plate for holding larger parts you wish to keep track of but not get wet
  • Put tools back in rack as you go, because you can loose them in front of you.
  • Wire brush and rust stop black paint is handy because the frames can have rust on the bottom and better to fix it when you have it all apart.
  • If you replace the valve on the left side of the group head it is very easy to strip or bend.  The group head is often not milled flat  on the left side and the casting ridge makes the valve not lay flat and make a good seal.
  • The NS on the gasket goes up plain side down


http://www1.mscdirect.com/  
Parts info:
tap
8 mm diameter  x 1.25 mm between threads  local sears or napa or auto parts
BSPP tap die

1/4MMM Tee
1/4 DFN V.897   this one I got at plumbing store and re taped to BSPP
1/4MF elbow
all are 1/4  x 19 BSPP

insulation
I used 1/8 thickness soft silicone  


This is a photobucket story.  I am still working on it but you can look now if interested.
http://s156.beta.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231

Video:
http://youtu.be/yK_z80DrqdI

Coffeenoobie: seals.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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johnny4lsu
Senior Member
johnny4lsu
Joined: 27 May 2011
Posts: 86
Location: The Sticks
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: Clever, Chemex, v60, kalita...
Roaster: Huky 500
Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013, 8:52pm
Subject: Re: Trick out Oscar Party
 

have you noticed a positive change since the musica resistors?

 
1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:00pm
Subject: Re: Trick out Oscar Party
 

I will know more tomorrow when I have more time to play with it, but right now I believe it is much nicer.  Just having to flush 2 oz instead of 6 oz is worth it to me.

Ok, I had to change my gasket out.  I had installed it upside down.  Now that it is fixed I can give it a fair trial and say that the mods are nice.  I am still stretching a few seconds too long but the milk is smooth wet foam just a bit too thick for latte art.  Lack of smooth foam was one of the main issues I had with the knob.The handle is giving much stronger steam instantly and I am still having to get used to it. It is just a fine tuning of my methods.  I think the improved thermosyphon is giving a smoother cup and I am liking the shorter flushes but I have less water to heat stuff up.... oh well.

Bottom line is I am thrilled with the upgrades to Oscar and I believe he is a great machine and well worth the effort to get tricked out.

Coffeenoobie: steamdragon.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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ddubick
Senior Member


Joined: 1 May 2012
Posts: 148
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Appia 1Gr
Grinder: OE Pharos, Macap M5, Nuova...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013, 2:10pm
Subject: Re: Trick out Oscar Party
 

Where is the best place to buy the boiler insulation?  Should really insulate the boiler on my Appia.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013, 3:17pm
Subject: Re: Trick out Oscar Party
 

You can get it from espresso parts supplies. I believe the red stuff came from here.  This is what I think he said on the tape.

http://www1.mscdirect.com/

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 5:08pm
Subject: Re: Trick out Oscar Party
 

I think I have all the text added to the photos.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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tmdirt
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Location: bay area
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:41pm
Subject: Re: Trick out Oscar Party with Upgrades
 

Hello All
awsome machine
I have an Oscar that was in a free pile
I'm refubishing for fun but have some ?s
Where do i get the tubing (4x6) It leaks at the pex style connecters once removed, or should I go to copper (Will I need Fittings)?
Seems like the fill switch valve in not responding, Ideas?
Does the pump come on automatic to fill tank(level indicator works, valve works when jumped) or just when pump switch is on?
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013, 8:42am
Subject: Re: Trick out Oscar Party with Upgrades
 

You can probably get most supplies local to you if you are in a large city.  Call around.  If not try espressoparts.com or chriscoffee.com  All the parts are metric and BSP.  The pump is a 50 $ part and probably needs replacing.  When it works it auto fills the boiler and runs water when the button is pushed out the group head.  Sometimes the machine will think it is out of water if the water is too pure, RO water.  Need some minerals for the sensor to work.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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tmdirt
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Location: bay area
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Feb 17, 2013, 4:49pm
Subject: Re: Trick out Oscar Party with Upgrades
 

Thanks
I learned the ro water thing
jumped the lead, and or used tap water
Could it be the brain box?
It doesnt turn off the head valve and turn on the three way water valve to fill boiler
Valves work, pump works, sensors work
I wasnt sure when it supposed to fill (and that is when pump is turned on not just power button, correct?)
If manully fill tank with bypass line until the level rises to turn on heat, the machine seems to work fine (the head valve never seems to turn off)
What does the pressure valve control? (heat on off?)

Alex
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Feb 17, 2013, 5:52pm
Subject: Re: Trick out Oscar Party with Upgrades
 

Clean off the water sensor probe with a nylon scrubby. It could be the brain but I am wondering if your probe is not sensing boiler low water because of scale.  Watch some videos of Oscar and you can hear and see the machine work.  I am not sure what pressure valve you are talking about.  Did you look at the diagram in my photo story linked above?

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
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