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Homemade Air Compressor

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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Homemade Air Compressor

Unread postAuthor: ralphd » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:11 pm

I picked up a little air compressors powered by a car's cigarette lighter as well as a 20.oz CO2 PB cylinder for 5 bucks at a garage sale today. I thought of using the cylinder as a reservoir tank. Has anyone tried a setup like this? Did you have any success? Any info helpful.
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Unread postAuthor: spudtyrrant » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:24 pm

no offense but i don't think one of those cigarette lighter pump will even fill up a good sized reservoir to a decent pressure. you would be better off getting a small engine and attaching it to the compressor and then attaching that to your reservoir.
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:42 pm

you got ripped off...:shock: and what is worse those emergency tyre compressors are no good

well I am getting a little repetitive with it but you should get a fridge compressor instead (keep the tank)

that shouldn't be too difficult for a HVAC guy :)




ohh I have an idea!! keep the tyre compressor and when you get a fridge compressor you could make a comparison between the two (a video would be the best)...

I've seen way too many threads like this one....
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:48 pm

I agree with the above, the compressor might work a few times but eventually it will break from the strain. They're not supposed to take that kind of 'abuse'. Mine broke after about 5 minutes, and they're painfully slow.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:34 pm

I keep thinking that these 12 volt compressors might not be so bad if only we gave them a chance in terms of lubrication and cooling, what if the mechanism was dunked in an oil bath and provided with a cooling fan?

You wouldn't get the same level of performance as from an a/c or fridge compressor of course, but it would make an interesting project.

Something like this perhaps, naturally making sure that you have an oil-proof duct for air intake.
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:13 pm

@JSR
it's not the best idea...
I suspect that overheating is not the biggest problem here.. on the one I had roughly 95% of metal parts were made from some cheapo zinc alloy... plus the gears were plastic

now about your link... that's a pretty good idea but for a fridge compressor...
but you can also use any large enough fan for cooling... most computer fans are too small but most car radiator fans have more less enough power
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Unread postAuthor: ralphd » Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:06 pm

The emergency compressor was housed in a case which held a emergency light and the hose. I just took the housing apart and was amazed how little and cheap the compressor was! I can't believe that it pumped up a flat. I can't get an airconditioning compressor right now because I'm on a layoff but I am still dumpster diving. My original design used a refrigerant cylinder as the reservoir tank but I was hoping to keep this light and portable.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:38 am

POLAND_SPUD wrote:I suspect that overheating is not the biggest problem here.. on the one I had roughly 95% of metal parts were made from some cheapo zinc alloy... plus the gears were plastic


Fair enough but keeping things cool will certainly give it a sporting chance, it will reduce friction and wear and definitely improve lifespan if not performance.

I'm a big believer in keeping the temperature down, check out the ghetto setup on my PC :D
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Re: Homemade Air Compressor

Unread postAuthor: boyntonstu » Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:39 am

ralphd wrote:I picked up a little air compressors powered by a car's cigarette lighter as well as a 20.oz CO2 PB cylinder for 5 bucks at a garage sale today. I thought of using the cylinder as a reservoir tank. Has anyone tried a setup like this? Did you have any success? Any info helpful.


All the theory a for a lousy 5 bucks.

I have been using a Campbell Hausfield $5 12 VDC compressor for 3 years.

Come down and take a look and try it for yourself.

I bought 4 refurbished units from the factory.

I kept 2, and the other 2 went to for my sons.

They are all still working fine after many uses.

It pumps a pneumatic chamber to 150 psi in about 2 minutes,

Try it and let us know when/if it burns out.

BoyntonStu

P.S. I am now converting an 8,000 BTU window A/C for higher pressure use.
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Last edited by boyntonstu on Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: cannon monkey » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:25 am

it possible if u wanna keep it at low pressures u can get maybe 1 or 2 shots out of it i dont ie before but u need a mini chamber
once u remove that vavle it is 3/8 inch flared fitting that works in it take the o ring off the vavlve that on the thank now put the, on ur flared fitting and ur set
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:34 pm

I suspect that there might be some well made tyre compressors that last longer... still, they offer rather poor performance as far as flow and pressure is concerned... in the long run it would be cheaper to get a fridge compressor...

@JSR
get a fridge compressor... you would have more high pressure air than most of your creations need

what about our deal? my sis and a fridge compressor for yours?
I hope it doesn' qualify as human trafficking... though there is nothing in the rules relating to it :wink:
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Last edited by POLAND_SPUD on Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:23 pm

I have some experiences with these compressors, so I thought it would be a good idea to share this relevant information here.
First off: those things suck.
Flow is crappy, pressure is too.
Instead of the 250psi it promised on the package it delivered under 200 psi according to its pressure gauge.
In reality, it merely produced 150psi, due to the cheap "bragging" gauge, which shows about 120% of the real pressure. I have found that almost all gauges from cheap bike pumps and compressors like these to be very inaccurate, and are always exaggerating pressure readings. "As if" the cheap pump could provide that pressure.


I built a small pc fan in it though (it runs on 12 volt so...), it tends to get very hot. Simply dremeled a hole and put the fan in. Never really used the thing though.

Oh, and I also have a fridge compressor. For the ones who do not know: these things rock! A nice flow, and high pressure (450psi+)
They are very very heavy though.
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