THANK YOU Darkblade48 for the excellent information!
I was wondering, around 10 years have passed since the first post...with the advent of Amazon, fleabay etc, I see lots of cheap carbon dioxide "kits" for aquarium use. Some are only 40 bucks complete. But like whatever else in life, you get what you pay for.... so I have two questions:
1. Is the equipment recommended in the first few posts still relevant or newer models are available?
2. Are there any cheaper "equivalents" out there which are reasonable in reliability?
Also, From time to time I see people selling beer making equipment, which has a CO2 cylinder and some sort of regulator which looks kinda similar to the photos here. Is that worth looking into?
There definitely is newer equipment that is out there these days, probably with quite competitive pricing. This is simply due to the the supply matching the demand. 10 years ago, there was simply not so much knowledge about pressurized CO2, and I had wrote the primer with the aim to demystify the fog around it.
Regarding cheaper equivalents, some may be better than others. I remember back in the day when I wrote this primer, the only commercially available unit was the Milwaukee MA957, which was not great, to say the least. Since demand was low back then, you could easily find industrial parts online (sold at liquidation prices, to boot), and build a much better setup for a fraction of the cost.
That being said, the primer is in need of an update, so I'll take some time to look into it and update it with some newer parts.
As you mentioned in your other post, the NV-55 (with its problematic fragile #10/32 ports) has been superseded by the NV-55-18, with the 1/8" NPT ports. This is generally what I recommend nowadays, since it's a fairly cheap, ~$30 (last I checked) needle valve.