Several small points that new users need to be aware of when shopping. The difference between dual and single stage is that the pressure does stay constant on the dual stage where the single will often let the output pressure actually go UP when the tank pressure goes down to some low level. One way to work around this is to never let the pressure get that low but that does take a certain confidence in how well you prevent leaks and also watching the tank to refill it before it goes empty. No empty tank, no ETDP!
But then if one does want to move to dual stage, there are points to look at before buying. The CO2 art is often mentioned but it also comes with some potential problems as well due to the lack of quality in the small parts. We often fix on the reg but I feel the other small parts are the more important items as the reg does a very simple minded job and we get the precision (and fun?) from the solenoid and needle valve.
The solenoid is of a type that I call "black box" and they all have pretty much the same potential defects due to design. There is a "pellet" about one inch of metal which slides in a metal tube of sorts when the electromagnet is powered. This is what opens/closes the gas flow and has to be tight to avoid leaks but there is a problem there due to the length of time we power the solenoid. We power them long enough for the heat to pull the pellet may heat the metal parts enough to dry any lube and make the metal swell just enough to stick. This is a pretty common complaint with solenoids from commercial sets and I like to avoid it by using a different style solenoid.
The second item to look at is the needle valve. Think of them as sticking something in a hole to control the size of the opening to control flow. A good needle is long and thin shaped and connected to very fine threads, allowing each movement of the needle adjustment to move the needle a tiny amount. A short stubby needle connected to course threads is more like sticking a thumb in a hole than sticking a needle? Unfortunately, most all commercial sets are sold with these two bad points and the CO2 art is like the rest.
I am not saying that these are not usable, just that it does pay to be aware of what is bought before buying. A really much better, longer lasting, and fun setup can be had by shopping for used/surplus regs and parts to screw together really good quality needle valve and solenoids.
Just points to consider as there are no totally right answers for all users.
The point of the bubble counter is to allow the bubble to float up through the liquid and give enough time to see and count those bubbles. Vertical is almost required to do this.
Last edited by PlantedRich; 04-16-2019 at 03:04 PM.
Reason: added note