Godbee’s Regulator build - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Godbee’s Regulator build

I started to pay attention to yall’s regulator builds recently and realized that’s something I’m very much capable of. So I dove in an bought a regulator off an auction site.

I got this one for 100 bucks shipped

https://m.restek.com/catalog/view/1022

Kinda wondering if I jumped the gun and paid too much or if I bought something unusable because after searching the forums I came up with zero people using this regulator. It should be here next Friday and now I’m going to start gathering my other parts.

I’m probably gonna go with a Clippard solenoid but I need help picking the voltage because that’s out of my skill set.

I’m undecided on a needle valve yet. Maybe I’ll get opinions here that’ll help me decide. I’d like a stainless one, but it doesn’t need to be 200 dollars because this is my first build. I’m sure after doing this one I’ll realize things I didn’t coming into it, and want to try again. I’d appreciate any suggestions on that.

I’m thinking about brass fittings in between all of the instrumentation, polished up...just to look cool really. I have access to Swagelock and small bore stainless fittings from the work I do so if I can’t source the the brass parts or get the finish I want, I’ll use those.

Any feedback on that regulator would be nice. I’ll be posting here as things come together too.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 03:17 AM
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the regulator looks like a re-branded concoa 312, it is stainless steel diaphragm, a nice reg, and welcome to the DIY party!

you can pm flowerfishs, he has some nice swagelok metering valves in 1/8 npt connection, and I think he has the solenoids too.
If you want to find a rare high precision metering valve and a suitable low power consumption solenoid, you need to wait a little bit longer and have some luck, they don't come by that often.


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Anybody have any info on picking the voltage for my solenoid?
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godbee
Can you tell me anything about the valve body you used on this? How were you able to put both valves onto one body like that?

[Ebay Link Removed]
You need equipment and tools to drill and tap a metal block, but before you do that, you got to have luck to find a block type Parker HR metering valve.



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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettatail View Post
You need equipment and tools to drill and tap a metal block, but before you do that, you got to have luck to find a block type Parker HR metering valve.


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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I’ve got the equipment, tools, and skills to tap a metal block...I’m pretty slick with metal. So it’s the valve body of that Parker valve and you tapped into it for the solenoid correct? I’m wondering if I could machine something like that...
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godbee View Post
Iíve got the equipment, tools, and skills to tap a metal block...Iím pretty slick with metal. So itís the valve body of that Parker valve and you tapped into it for the solenoid correct? Iím wondering if I could machine something like that...
not recommend to go this route though, only if you have good luck on a block type parker HR metering valve.

you can still make your system look good with the available industrial grade parts, there are some good parts are widely available if you know what and where to find them.

in picture is a ASCO/numatics stainless steel low power consumption solenoid, a swagelok M series metering valve, and three more fittings.
and I believe the regulator is the same as yours.



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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I’m sure that valve is expensive and most people wouldnt want to drill a hole in it. I’m trying to find a way to use my skills on my regulator. I weld and fit stainless tubing in breweries, pharmaceutical plants, and food grade plants. I’m going to do some thinking on it and see if I can come up with something to contribute to the hobby. 😎

I should have my other parts on the way soon too. I went with an Asco solenoid and Swagelok B2-MA2 metering valve.

I like how you rolled your 90 on a 45 and straightened back out with a street 45. I bend a lot of 1/8 and 1/4 tubing at work and I’m wondering if that might come in handy building these regulators. 🤔
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 12:46 AM
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orbital welding? some of the high end equipment for pressurized gas are VCR connection, if you can weld these parts together, it is much more sturdy, but once welded, it is permanent though.

check APtech or tescom regulators(on evil bay), these double stage regulators are stainless steel and with around $1500 price tag when new, really high end parts but most that we can find are VCR ports, VCR connection/fittings are not design to bear weight so we don't touch these parts, if you can weld the regulator with other VCR ports solenoid and valves, that is a big plus, and I've never seen anyone done that.

if you want to make it a future project, I will be in the search team to locate what you need.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Most of my hand welds can pass for orbital welding. Seems the pharmaceutical companies want it all orbital though. Really orbital is easier on small things like 1/8” up to 3/4” but from 1” up I prefer to hand weld it.
As far as welding to a regulator, that would be easy. The orbital head wouldn’t fit so it would be hand welded but i would make sure it looked good.
Would it be better to weld 1/4” npt couplings to those regulators with the odd threads? Or just make special fittings to convert from one thread to another?
Here’s some pics of some of the stuff I’ve done. There’s an orbital welder on 1/4” tubing, a few hand welds before I polish the color off, and there’s a bottle cart I made for pushing my argon bottle around.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 05:22 AM
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I am in.

Give me some time, I will show you the good parts with VCR or compression tube ports, most are 1/4 OD stainless steel tubes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godbee View Post

Would it be better to weld 1/4Ē npt couplings to those regulators with the odd threads? Or just make special fittings to convert from one thread to another?
This sounds good too, I am sure adapter fittings are easy to find.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godbee View Post
Kinda wondering if I jumped the gun and paid too much or if I bought something unusable because after searching the forums I came up with zero people using this regulator.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godbee View Post
Any feedback on that regulator would be nice. Iíll be posting here as things come together too.

As to what you paid for the regulator, only you can say if it was worth it. If after receiving the regulator you are happy with the purchase then yes, it was worth it. The regulator is however most definitely usable. It is the regulator I myself use and have had zero issues with. I do believe that Bettatail is correct in it being a Concoa 312 rebrand.

I built a very basic regulator set-up with mine.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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That’s a nice build man. I checked out your other post where you list what you got going on with it, and it sounds like you lucked out with that needle valve.

I checked out the Tescom and APTech regulators. It’s hard to tell from the pictures what can be removed from them. Ideally the small nipples with vcr fitting can be removed and then I could weld either 1/8” or 1/4” threaded couplings directly over the empty port. I’m not sure how those vcr fittings attach to the body though...threaded...or all one solid piece?

What are y’all using to seal your threads? Teflon tape? Pipe dope? Both? On the cleaner builds no Teflon tape is visible outside of the joint, and clean is definitely the look I’m going for.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 01:30 PM
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Looks like the mech part is covered well so I can clear the air on the power supply for the solenoid.
There are vast numbers of the Clippard solenioids on E-bay. However, there are far more WRONG than right!
Step one of the powering is that the Clippard Mouse series using almost no power (.67 watts!) and that really is less than one watt, not a misprint! The thing to understand is volts is how bad the power wants to move and that part has to match. If you get a 12 volt solenoid it need a 12 volt plug in (wall wart?) power supply. I kind of search these out or have one in the left junk box but at worst, I pick them up for a couple dollars at the salvage stores like Goodwill. But you may find a 6, 12 or 24 voltage solenoid easier to find and then get a matching power supply.
Step two of the choice is much easier as almost any power supply for a phone charger or any other little gizmo puts out enough power and the nice thing is that too much power is no problem. As long as it putting out the .67 watt, it doesn't hurt to have more available and the solenoid will only use what it needs. Lower power is just often a smaller package! Lots os salvage supplies are out there but buying new is easy , too.
I like to get 12 volt on both as those are so common. One place to always find parts like solenoids is here:
https://www.diyco2regulator.com/
Possibly not the cheapest but it sure does cut the time, effort and potential for getting the wrong solenoid as learning the code on them is a bit of study all it's own. not hard but easy to screw up and order the wrong one! Sometimes ten bucks to make sure it is right is a good deal?
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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What’s a good gauge to replace what’s on there? If they look ok I’ll leave them but if they look dingey I’ll want to put new ones on. Maybe even a lower LP gauge...like 0-100. Is there a go to brand or anything?
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