Help me build out this dual stage CO2 regulator? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Post Help me build out this dual stage CO2 regulator?

Hi everyone,

After a few years of screwing around with sub-optimal CO2 systems, I've decided to build my own. I managed to score a high-end Airgas dual stage for dirt cheap, and I'm ready to take the plunge, but all of the tutorials I've found on the site seem to be missing photos and have broken links, making it fairly confusing to follow.

This is the regulator.

What I know I need to do:

- Swap out the CGA346 connector with a CGA320
- Install a solenoid (prefer Burkert) and a good needle valve.

What is somewhat confusing to me:

- The output side has currently has a 1/4" male 1/4" male connector already installed. Can I keep the LP downstream 1/4" all the way, or do I need to switch to 1/8" at some point?
- There are two open "ports" that appear to be about half the size of the 1/4" ports - but they aren't on the body itself - but rather the large mounting nuts on front and back. I don't get the sense they are in the gas pathway. Do I need to plug these?

Here is an image gallery.

Here are my questions:

- Is it possible to determine what parts I need to buy just by looking at these pics?
- Is there a one-stop-shop for the parts I need, or can I expect to deal with multiple suppliers?
- I'd don't want to take the cheapest route, but also don't want to drop a small fortune on stuff like a "Swagelok Platinum-Coated $uper-Deluxxx Vernier Metering Valve".


Thoughts? Advice? Offers to build it out for me for a fee? Please let me know!


Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 06:34 PM
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You can build it 1/4” all the way through depending on your solenoid and metering valve choices. Both that I have build reduce to 1/8 due to the solenoids I used, but were brought back out to 1/4.

I scoured eBay for all the parts I needed to keep the prices low. There are several places online to buy fittings, Swagelok is one and BFO | Buyfittingsonline Stainless Steel Pipe Fittings, Pipe Fittings, Nipples, Flanges & Valves | Galvanized, Black Steel, Aluminum, Brass, Polyproplene this is another option.

Just a noob


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 06:44 PM
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Dozens of ways to go and it depends on which part for which fitting. So one can go a couple many ways. shop learn and potentially make a few mistakes buying or go the more one stop for a set that takes far less learning, study and shopping but does cost more. Nothing is free, right? Sometimes cheap is something we have to pay through lots of time and effort.
As near one stop and a set I can fully recommend on solenoid and needle valve is here:
CO2 Regulator Parts | CO2 For Planted Tanks And Home Brewing. CO2 Regulator Post Body Kit #1 (12v)
You will need a wall wart type power supply and a few other bits like a bubble counter, etc. but it gets most of the tough-to-figure done and only one shipping.
I pick my power supplies up at the local Goodwill, etc. for a couple dollars.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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This is awesome, and basically what I was looking for - thank you!

I've already got a bubble counter and inline atomizer - so this should really be all I need at this point.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voyetra8 View Post
This is awesome, and basically what I was looking for - thank you!

I've already got a bubble counter and inline atomizer - so this should really be all I need at this point.
Oh, but don't forget!
A boat is called a hole in the water where we put our wallet?
An aquarium is a hole in our wallet where we put our water!

No end to the things we can find to buy!

Joking aside, the power supply can be as easy as a junk power supply from some other use. If not into electrical, this can be very simple to sort out the right power supply. since the Clippard uses nearly no power, most any power supply that puts out 12VDC will be big enough. And the polarity is not a problem, either. Either of two wires to either point on the solenoid. In this case, it doesn't matter.

Last edited by PlantedRich; 10-02-2017 at 02:59 PM. Reason: added info
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 10:07 PM
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Looks like it has a hex already..all you need is a solenoid -> elbow -> metering valve..may need a tube adapter or port connector depending on your choice..GL :]

I went with swagelok fitting brass mixed SS...What I've notice is that the SS stays alot cooler than the brass when the solenoid radiates heat :] May just be my solenoid thats tooo hot..

FYI...swagelok shipping is expensive so make sure to get everything you need if you decide to go with em!
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