Budget dual stage CO2 regulator build - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipkiss View Post
Like @minorhero says, you spend a lot of time with spec sheets and learning to spot telltale signs on the regulators you want if you want to go this route. Also, look for return ability for ones you're unsure of. Or decide to pay more for that ability if you want that peace of mind.

...

could always post back here or revive that regulator thread where you found your original information if you have questions on a particular item. I'm sure someone would be happy to provide some input.
That's all extremely helpful; thanks!
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post #32 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-30-2019, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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Finally putting this tank together.

Anyone have any feedback on Middlesex Gases Inc. regulators? I see one advertised on fleabay as a CONCOA 312, but its sticker advertises it as Middlesex. P/N 3123321.

Edit: I think it's a regular CONCOA 312 just with Middlesex stickers?

I'm also looking at:
Harris 9296
Air Products E12
Matheson 3104
Matheson 8-590
Matheson 8-580
Matheson 8-540
Matheson 8-350
Matheson 8-320
Matheson 3122-540

One that caught my eye was a E12-q-n515c in good condition for $25. Seems too good to be true.

I think I'm going to go for the CONCOA unless any other listed models stand out.

Edit 2:
Got it narrowed down to
CONCOA 3123321 - $63 (used; looks very clean)
Matheson 3122-540 - $73 (used; untested but looks very clean)
Harris 9296SS - $60 (new in box)
Air Products E12-Q-N515C - $26 (used; looks new)
Air Products E12-4-N145B - $60 (used in decent shape)

The latter three are only 50-60psi - not sure if that's enough for a diffuser?

Last edited by GeorgeTheGuppy; 12-30-2019 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Added info
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post #33 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-31-2019, 08:30 AM
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there are several type of diffusers, the atomic diffuser require about 35 psi to push through, other diffusers require less psi, regular ceramic diffusers push through pressure are at 5-15 range.
so regulator actual max output at 40+ psi are ok for all diffusers.

the regulator models you listed are all look ok. For a personal preference, I like the 9296SS, huge and heavy, heavy duty and NIB. must be creative to arrange it is post body though, the output port is about 45 degree downward.

you might want to help this fellow hobbyist, he is looking for a good regulator too.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9...l#post11287139


a regulator is just the first step...,

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Last edited by Bettatail; 12-31-2019 at 08:48 AM. Reason: add
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post #34 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, just pulled the trigger on the Harris. The CONCOA is so shiny, but given your recommendation and the fact that the Harris is NIB I figured it was the safer bet.

Now to figure out the rest of the parts. For the needle valve, I'm thinking Swagelok B-SS2-A. Found one new for $40, which seems pretty good. And I'll probably go with a Clippard Mouse solenoid - I don't like the higher power consumption (i.e. heat generation) of some of the others.
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post #35 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 07:14 AM
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the swagelok S series metering valve is good precision, but make sure you can find the adapters before you go for that model.


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post #36 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-11-2020, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Build is coming along! Huuuuuge thank you to @Bettatail for his/her invaluable assistance in figuring out the different parts I need and combing through the billion different items available online.

Items purchased so far (all off Ebay; prices including shipping and 5.3% tax):
  • Regulator: Harris 9296SS (new) - $63.17
  • Needle valve: Ideal V52-2-12 (new) - $42.11
  • Solenoid: Numatics LS03M6F00V (new) - $22.11
  • Solenoid manifold: Clippard 15490-5 / 154905 (new) - $19.65
  • Tubing: 12' 1/4" OD green polyurethane tubing (new) - $11.53
  • CGA320 nut and nipple (new) - $9.95

That leaves:
  • CO2 tank
  • Bubble counter/flow meter
  • 1/4" push-connect fitting (if not included in the above)
  • Check valve
  • Diffuser
  • 12v power supply
  • Barrel jack pigtails

I'm hoping to have it all ordered this weekend.
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post #37 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-11-2020, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeTheGuppy View Post
Build is coming along! Huuuuuge thank you to @Bettatail for his/her invaluable assistance in figuring out the different parts I need and combing through the billion different items available online.

Items purchased so far (all off Ebay; prices including shipping and 5.3% tax):
  • Regulator: Harris 9296SS (new) - $63.17
  • Needle valve: Ideal V52-2-12 (new) - $42.11
  • Solenoid: Numatics LS03M6F00V (new) - $22.11
  • Solenoid manifold: Clippard 15490-5 / 154905 (new) - $19.65
  • Tubing: 12' 1/4" OD green polyurethane tubing (new) - $11.53
  • CGA320 nut and nipple (new) - $9.95

That leaves:
  • CO2 tank
  • Bubble counter/flow meter
  • 1/4" push-connect fitting (if not included in the above)
  • Check valve
  • Diffuser
  • 12v power supply
  • Barrel jack pigtails

I'm hoping to have it all ordered this weekend.

solenoid valve looks to be 3 way.. May need a plug for the top


Referbed and re-certed tanks I use these people..
https://beveragelements.com/product-...co2-cylinders/

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
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post #38 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-11-2020, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
solenoid valve looks to be 3 way.. May need a plug for the top


Referbed and re-certed tanks I use these people..
https://beveragelements.com/product-...co2-cylinders/
Jeff, this one is better
evilbay item number: 401918155382


for that numatics solenoid, any 10-32 screw can be used as plug on the 3rd/top port, and make sure don't lose the two orings at the bottom of the valve before you mount it on the manifold.
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post #39 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-11-2020, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for the info - I'll pick up a screw to plug it.



I thought I'd post here (with permission) some of the info @Bettatail was kind enough to share with me regarding the various components, with a little of my own commentary added.

When looking for a metering valve, be aware that not all valves are 1/8" NPT - some will require adapters (.e.g. Swagelok B-SS2 S-series). So a deal you find might not really be that much of a deal if you factor in the cost of said adapters.

Power consumption is an important factor for solenoids - every watt of power that the solenoid consumes goes straight to heat. Many solenoids are not meant to stay on for hours at a time, like they will be in our application. Finding a low-power (~2W or less) solenoid will protect you against possible damage from overheating. Clippard Mouse solenoids are usually the go-to here, although Bettatail pointed me to the Numatics LS solenoid (specifically, the LS03M6F00V) over a Clippard Mouse. Numatics HS solenoids are also good, even though they pull about twice the power of the LS at 1.5W (still low, so not a big deal). Keep in mind that with each of these solenoids there are TONS of different model numbers, some of which won't work or won't work well. Fortunately, people like @Bettatail and @jeffkrol are very willing to share their immense knowledge on which models to get.

With a small solenoid like a Clippard Mouse or a Numatics LS you'll need a 12v power supply, which you can get on Amazon for $5-10 if you don't have a spare lying around the house. Pretty much any old transformer will do, at ~1W these only pull around 100mA of current. You can either directly wire the PS to the solenoid, or you can buy a female 2.1mm barrel jack pigtail for $5 to connect to your solenoid so you can easily connect and disconnect power.

You'll also need a manifold to connect the solenoid to your plumbing. I believe the Clippard 15490-5 / 154905 (~$20 after shipping on Ebay) is the way to go here for both the Mouse and the LS. As mentioned above, if you have a 3-port solenoid, you'll need a 10-32 screw to plug one of the holes.

When assembling, use a drop of blue Loctite on all the post-body fittings except the CGA nut - use Teflon tape on that one (although be careful not to use too much or let the tape get inside the CO2 flow path.


Hope this helps. Please correct me if any of the above is wrong!
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post #40 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 12:13 AM
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Luxfer has a 5lb aluminum tank on e-bay for 42 shipped right now. I picked one up. Seems solid.
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