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Just received used NS Oscar-- help?!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Just received...  
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ericcomposer72
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Nov 2013
Posts: 52
Location: New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar, Silvia, Breville...
Grinder: Vario
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 12:26pm
Subject: Just received used NS Oscar-- help?!
 

*Edited*

Let me make this thread more coherent:



Just got this off eBay... seller said the machine is about 5yrs old, and that they are not the original owner. They did not know if the machine had ever been descaled, so obviously the seller did not perform a descale themselves.

It appears to have a pod adapter:


This is the group head


After being on for about an hour, the temp. at the group head is around 160-170


Steam pressure seems to be good, though...


Does this sound like it's fixer-upper worthy? I paid $320. Other option is to return it to the seller.
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ericcomposer72
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Nov 2013
Posts: 52
Location: New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar, Silvia, Breville...
Grinder: Vario
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 1:22pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar-- is this a pod adapter?!
 

Here is what the boiler looks like:

PIC 1

PIC 2



I enjoy the beautiful colors, but worry it's not in good shape.


Any guidance much appreciated!


Thanks
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,973
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 2:57pm
Subject: Re: Just received used NS Oscar-- help?!
 

If it is not leaking and is heating up then I personally think that I would fix it up.  

You got it for 320$

320 cost
70 normal head
50 pump often needs replacing
6 valve that is often bad
7 gasket once or twice a year you need to replace it
(optional insulation for the boiler)

Total 453$ for a nice working HX.  Yes, I would do it.

 
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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ericcomposer72
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Nov 2013
Posts: 52
Location: New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar, Silvia, Breville...
Grinder: Vario
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 3:16pm
Subject: Re: Just received used NS Oscar-- help?!
 

Thanks!


I saw pics of other boilers, and see that the beautiful green (tarnish?) on the boiler is normal for older machines...


So I guess I'll just use my Silvia until this Oscar is ready to go, then put the Silvia on the market...
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,224
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 3:38pm
Subject: Re: Just received used NS Oscar-- help?!
 

Definitely fix it, pretty easy to do and if you need help a lot of people have worked on these machines including Coffienoob above, and there are post on here about doing so and elsewhere online.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,973
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 4:41pm
Subject: Re: Just received used NS Oscar-- help?!
 

Copper turns green.

 
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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ericcomposer72
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Nov 2013
Posts: 52
Location: New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar, Silvia, Breville...
Grinder: Vario
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 5:18pm
Subject: Re: Just received used NS Oscar-- help?!
 

Also--

The steam want tip seems to have been replaced with some sort of n00b "easy-frothing" tip...


I'm looking at the Chris's Coffee website, and they sell a "Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pressure Reducing Tip" which is thus described as:

"This alternative steam tip for the Nuova Simonelli Oscar has smaller diameter holes, which gives you more control. The thread is female and 10 mm in size."


Do I want this? They don't seem to sell the stock tip.


I was going to buy the "ground coffee kit" from this website for the group (diffuser block, screen, single & double baskets, blank backflush basket)



I'd be happy if someone could recommend another place where I might be able to find a suitable diffuser block & screen. I've heard of these all being had for c. $30, and my penny-pinching self would prefer this over the $58 (w/ tax) kit from Chris's


Thanks again- you all are lovely for your help!
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 763
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 7:11pm
Subject: Re: Just received used NS Oscar-- help?!
 

ericcomposer72 Said:

They did not know if the machine had ever been descaled, so obviously the seller did not perform a descale themselves.

Posted January 25, 2014 link

Used machines almost always need descaling.

It appears to have a pod adapter.

That you can get rid of with a clear conscious.  

After being on for about an hour, the temp. at the group head is around 160-170

Measured how?  Did you get "flash boiling?"  

Steam pressure seems to be good, though.

If the boiler is hot enough to produce good steam, either the water coming from the HX is hot enough or Bismark's not a herring from North Dakota and you've got a big problem.    

Does this sound like it's fixer-upper worthy? I paid $320. Other option is to return it to the seller.

Despite your temperature measurement, the steam performance shows that it's at least heating up.  But the pictures, the history, and the fact that it's a stock Oscar, tell us that it's more than a mere espresso machine -- it's a project.

In addition to a partial (or full) disassembly, descale, cleaning and polishing the boiler exterior, insulating the boiler, and general cleaning and polishing of everything, you might as well install the Musica flow restrictors, OPV valve and vacuum breaker to civilize it to 21st Century standards.  You might want to hold off on replacing the steam arm and/or tip until you've had the chance to see if you like them.  You never know.    

As to the larger question:  
You have to measure the time, money, trouble and satisfaction from bringing it from what it is to what it should be against the cost of buying something new, guaranteed, user-friendly and ready to plug in. There are so many personal considerations here, no one else can say what you should do.

BDL
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,973
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Jan 26, 2014, 4:53pm
Subject: Re: Just received used NS Oscar-- help?!
 

Even with the mods we are talking about 20$ for the restrictors and 12 $ for the vacuum breaker (I bought a more expensive one but I don't believe that was needed.)   I don't know how much an OPV is because I don't believe it was needed so I did not buy one. So, still less than $500 for a good robust machine.

 
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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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 763
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon Jan 27, 2014, 9:20am
Subject: Re: Just received used NS Oscar-- help?!
 

It's not a YMMV or an "in my opinion" issue, but an overwhelming consensus that the the right pressure range is very important to espresso quality.

A stock Oscar pumps about 15bar - 16bar of pressure, which is way too much if you're not brewing with pods. You want about 8.5bar - 10bar, and the best, easiest, least expensive way to do that is with an OPV (aka "expansion valve").  

No matter what anyone else says, it doesn't make sense to go to the time, trouble and expense of doing everything else you have to do and not install an OPV.  FWIW, EspressoParts has the Rancilio Silvia OPV in their Oscar section for $45.

Restoring and modifying an Oscar (or anything else for that matter) is not much of a bargain -- no matter how much money you save -- UNLESS doing it is something which provides its own pleasure and satisfaction.  

BDL
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