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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://greenleafaquariums.com/co2-regulators/choice-co2-regulator.html

I'm looking to upgrade to from my MA957 to something better, but not the top of the top. I want something for less than $200, and I know I can build my own, but I worry about the work and making mistakes. I looked at GLA first because I trust them and they seem reliable. Should I pick up this regulator? Or are there other ones that are better for less?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you are worried about building your own, you can always check on the SnS of these forums; there are many users that will build a pressurized CO2 setup for less.
Yeah, for more than $200.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No one has answered my question yet...
 

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http://greenleafaquariums.com/co2-regulators/choice-co2-regulator.html

I'm looking to upgrade to from my MA957 to something better, but not the top of the top. I want something for less than $200, and I know I can build my own, but I worry about the work and making mistakes. I looked at GLA first because I trust them and they seem reliable. Should I pick up this regulator? Or are there other ones that are better for less?
No one has answered my question yet...
GLA has a good reputation. That said, your choice of regulator is fine except for its needle valve. I would suggest that you get one with Ideal needle valve either with or without the bubble counter. I would get the one without the bubble counter and use an auxiliary bubble counter. The ones with the Fabco NV-55 needle valve look like the #10-32 models and not the 1/8" models. Orlando could build you one with the 1/8" NV-55 needle valve. Fabco is practically in Orlando's back yard. I would still go with the Ideal needle valve models though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There are setups that use better parts for the same amount of money or slightly more.
Can you link me to any? Specifics are important to me. If it's ebay you can just PM me a link, if that's okay with the mods.
 

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Let's go for a Lexus:

2-stage brand new SS regulator (Item 261122941006) ~$110 shipped
Top of the line brand new SS solenoid (150936952401) ~$43 shipped
Top of the line brand new SS needle valve (130798547411) ~$28 shipped
JBJ-style BC: ~$12
Power converter ~$6
NPT Brass connectors: say, $30

Grand Total: ~$230

You can build a Camry for ~$50 less
 

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Let's go for a Lexus:

2-stage brand new SS regulator (Item 261122941006) ~$110 shipped
Top of the line brand new SS solenoid (150936952401) ~$43 shipped
Top of the line brand new SS needle valve (130798547411) ~$28 shipped
JBJ-style BC: ~$12
Power converter ~$6
NPT Brass connectors: say, $30

Grand Total: ~$230

You can build a Camry for ~$50 less
Lexus!!! :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And where does one buy the parts to make a regulator?
 

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You do not make the regulator yourself, you buy it. Please see the first item of my post. Then you connect all the parts together with NPT connectors to make a complete working 'system': regulator + solenoid + needle valve + co2 line connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You do not make the regulator yourself, you buy it. Please see the first item of my post. Then you connect all the parts together with NPT connectors to make a complete working 'system': regulator + solenoid + needle valve + co2 line connection.
Yeah, I meant regulator + postbody. :p
 

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I got mine from bettatail for $190 shipped a few months back that hasn't given me any problems ever. Im sure its not these fancy parts that everyone covets, but it gives me no grief and is no maintenance. Perfect if you ask me. And its dual stage.
 

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If you want to build a set, darkblade48 and oldpunk78 both have detail instructions, in FAQ and this section.

And there are some good parts available currently, really good price, on evilbay.
They are the Parker Hannifin high precision metering and low power consumption Burkert 2822 solenoid, both are stainless steel
 

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Matt F. wrote an excellent article about building regulators. He used very good two stage regulators, Burkert solenoids, Ideal needle valves and Swagelok pipe fittings. There are lots of pictures and links to various items. I hope this helps you.
That, and many other how-to threads over at TBR are awesome reads for anybody who wants to build their own rig. However, those threads are designed by and for people who have some serious cash to blow on a rig. Using the regs they advocate, with the stainless Swagelok fittings they link, and the Burkert and Ideal valves will cost you several hundred dollars (best guess, $200-500 depending on brass/SS, check valve or no, bubble counter, and cost of Evilbay regulator).

You can dramatically cut that cost down. Brass works just as well as SS, there are a number of solenoids that work just as well as a Burkert, there are several models of metering valves that are more precise than an Ideal, barbs are much cheaper than compression fittings, and you can buy (much cheaper) interchangeable and identical, or almost identical, parts from Evilbay instead of Swagelok (Kor-lok, Tylok, Hylok, Let-lok, A-lok, D-lok, Dk-lok, Duolok to name a few). Heck, even Swagelok parts can be much cheaper on Evilbay. And, as far as the regulator itself, any functional dual stage reg with a 60 to 200 max psi gauge will work for our purposes (30 psi, or even down to 15 psi if you go with a reactor rather than diffuser). Remember, this is the gauge range I'm talking about, not actual max output pressure.

So, to answer an earlier question - where do you find the parts for a rig? - the answer is Evilbay. And it takes some work. But, financially, it can be a massive savings over buying the standard "stock" parts from regular online dealers.

Do some (a *lot*) of reading, making sure to take not of when "facts" are disputed by a number of people, and also taking note of the people who seem to actually know what they're talking about (not me - I lie!) and what they say. And then pick something you'd like to either copy or use as a base model, and figure out what all the parts are, and what you'd like to use.

The most difficult decision will be the solenoid - everybody has an opinion. The Burkert wins, no contest. Because it's the best? Well, no. Because it's very dependable, at a high, but not too high, price, and has 1/8" ports, and doesn't require any adapter - just a basic power cord. You can absolutely find solenoids that will run just as long, at a lower temperature, for a lower price, but the disadvantages are that almost nobody in this hobby has ever heard of them (so almost nobody can recommend them), and you'll need to spend $3-5 on an AC/DC adapter, and then connect two wires with a method of your choice. Price difference? Maybe $15-30 all told, plus an extra 20 minutes of your time. Worth it? Depends on whether you're a "sticks and rocks??? F*** that, I'm not paying for that s***" kind of person.

Metering valve, right now, get a Parker H3L from Evilbay. You won't find anything of that value (as in, the value it has for our purposes, not any sort of financial value) at that price ever again. It kicks the crap out of anything that anybody here or at TBR has ever advocated using, and is (currently) cheaper than pretty much every single one of them.

Okay, this started as a simple commentary on the TBR reads, but it evolved. Sorry ;)
 

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Help me finish this, Please!

ok. I bought the regulator, the solenoid and the needle valve. The regulator is a CGA 590. Where do I get the fittings to put all this together? I am sure I will need an adapter to connect the regulator to a co2 tank.

Let's go for a Lexus:

2-stage brand new SS regulator (Item 261122941006) ~$110 shipped
Top of the line brand new SS solenoid (150936952401) ~$43 shipped
Top of the line brand new SS needle valve (130798547411) ~$28 shipped
JBJ-style BC: ~$12
Power converter ~$6
NPT Brass connectors: say, $30

Grand Total: ~$230

You can build a Camry for ~$50 less
 
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