Pimp my regulator

Discussion in 'DIY' started by iani, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. iani

    iani Supporting Member

    A few weeks ago my regulator went down. I picked up another regulator (thanks Dudley) as a quick fix. I then remembered that the people on the planted tank forums were always talking about DSRs (dual stage regulator). After asking some questions to the local expert on the subject (Matt on SFBAAPS) I decided on getting a Matheson 3810 regulator off ebay. The Matheson I picked up on ebay has a full stainless steel body and was brand new. I got a steal of a deal on the regulator at 115 shipped. Retail price on one of these is ~1000 dollars.

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    From what I've gathered the big difference between a dual stage regulator and a single stage regulator (what all typical aquarium regulators are) is that the dual stage will keep the working pressure constant no matter what the tank pressure is. A constant working pressure will give you a rock solid bubble count through the life of a co2 tank. No more fiddling with your needle valve to get the right bubble count.

    This regulator was made for a different type of gas, so I ordered some stainless steel cga320 fittings off the internet. I also purchased a stainless steel check valve swagelok/nupro 1/3 psi 1/8" FNPT.
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    I also went with an all stainless steel post body kit from someone local.

    Kit included

    1/4" to 1/8" npt reducer
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    1/8" npt nipple
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    1/8" female npt elbow
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    manifold for block solenoid
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    numatics stainless steel block solenoid
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    Swagelock 22 series metering valve with adapters
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    First I removed the working pressure dial
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    Next I removed the 1/4" valve from the output.
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    The reducer went in
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    Then the elbow and nipple
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    Manifold went on the elbow
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    Metering valve then got added
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    Added the check valve and the JBJ bubble counter to the elbow after the metering valve
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    And attached everything together
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    Finally the solenoid was added to the block manifold
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    I have yet to add the stainless cga 320 fittings, as I am waiting for them in the mail. I will update when I add them.
     
    Rostato likes this.
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Hmmm that is a fancy toy you got there, dual stage keeps the pressure constant? How does that work? I would think pressure would be dictated by the canister of CO2 regardless of the regulator, but I guess if the supply side (tank) is already at a pressure above what you want on the output the regulator could in theory correct itself. Gotta keep my eyes open though, I've been thinking of doing CO2 + Calcium reactor and ditching 2 part, but the constant fiddling of the reactor due to dropping pressure has always worried me.
     
  3. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    lets see if this is a real or dynamic link...
    http://www.scottecatalog.com/scotttec.nsf/74923c9ec562a6fb85256825006eb87d/057078ba0233fc8a85256b8f0059ad09?OpenDocument
     
  4. houser

    houser Past President

    Next time we'll save you the wrenching and get you some nifty swagelok adaptors!

    MTG regulators for $100 brand new? Sounds like they fell off the truck.

    2 stage tells you bottle pressure which is very nice.
     
  5. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Dave,

    LMK if you can get any swagelok adaptors...I still have to put mine together. ;)
     
  6. iani

    iani Supporting Member

    Dave or Tony, what do you think about this solenoid. This is for my second regulator haha.
    Its a 3 way solenoid that allows venting. I purchased it off ebay just now for $18.00.
    53JJ8DGB

    http://www.peterpaul.com/catalog/12-13.pdf
     
  7. houser

    houser Past President

    If it exhausts then you better have that check valve on that gas line or you just gave your pressurized reactor an overflow path back through the exhaust port!!!
     
  8. iani

    iani Supporting Member

    I will have two check valves like this setup. The bubble counter is a check valve along with my swagelok check valve. The reactor also runs pressureless.
     
  9. iani

    iani Supporting Member

    Double post
     
  10. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Ian, you get that cga 320 nipple and nut on?
     
  11. iani

    iani Supporting Member

    Have not yet Marc.
     
  12. iani

    iani Supporting Member

    Built this one up for Jon (Jar). All stainless body concoa 432. All swagelok/nupro parts including metering valve and check valve.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    freakin' nice Ian!!!
     
  14. iani

    iani Supporting Member

    Haha, I'm sure you are going to love it. Eric and I also pressure tested the regulator. No leaks.

    Here is Eric's.

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  15. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    i wasn't even going to ask :bigsmile:
     
  16. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    So for those of us that don't know, what makes this so much better than a run of the mill regulator?
     
  17. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    Ian made it! :D
     
  18. iani

    iani Supporting Member

    Yes, that and the following:
    1. Dual stage regulator, not subject to the rise and fall of the the co2 tank pressure. When the CO2 starts to run out, the pressure will tend to increase than eventually decrease until the CO2 runs out. With your typical run of the mill regulator you will first see an increase in the bubble count (called end of tank dump) then a decrease in the bubble count. DSR regulators are immune to this issue.
    2. 316 Stainless barstock regulator body. Brand new these regulators cost ~1000 dollars.
    3. 316 stainless post body, the above two make it very corrosive resistant to salt water.
    4. The metering valve has much finer adjustment when compared to your typical needle valve. Its a lot easier to dial in the bubble count.
     
  19. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

  20. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    I love the fact there is 0 brass on the entire set-up... simply gorgeous :D
     

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