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DIY regulator test/flow panel

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself - DIY' started by Thadmn, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Thadmn

    Thadmn Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Minnesota
    109
    0
    I would like to make a reguletor test panel at home and was wondering if those of you who had done this would share any pictures, parts list, schematics, or other advice.
    Thanks
     
  2. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    9,709
    2,504
    One simple but effective test item you can build for little of nothing is a U tube manometer. It's a simple U tube of water (1/4 in plastic) with a ruler attached. Cracking pressure is rated in "inches of water" and that is the scale a water filled manometer displays (or mm of water if you prefer). You can read both cracking pressure and exhaust pressure. It's not as cool as a magnehelic gauge but it's simple and effective. Total cost of this one was less than $10. All parts were purchased at Kmart or Lowes except for the used mouth piece. The can of spray paint was the most expensive item and I have enough clamps and tubing left over for a couple more. The mouth piece is shown connected to an old US Divers second stage.

    While your at the hardware store you can also pick up parts for a $15 IP test gauge. The hose is an old LP hose. This one includes an overpressure valve rated at 150 psi. A really good addition but a little nerve wracking when it opens up the first time.
     

    Attached Files:

    TTPaws, AfterDark, divad and 5 others like this.
  3. Thadmn

    Thadmn Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Minnesota
    109
    0
    Yea, looks good and cheap. I might find and old magnehelic gauge around work, but your set up looks like a great way to go. So, you just seal up the mouthpiece and suck on the tube, or use the mouthpiece. I suppose it would work either way!
     
  4. james croft

    james croft Solo Diver

    1,633
    52
    I have a similar set up. The magnahelic gauges are nice, but the DIY manometer is extremely accurate as it is measuring actual inches of water and does not need to be calibrated like a magnehelic gauge.
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  5. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    9,709
    2,504
    You can use it one of 2 ways. The mouth piece in the photos has been drilled out and the hose barb installed. I install it on the reg and test- no need for a tiewrap, it fits fine just for testing. If you already have a mouthpiece on the reg, you can work the hose in the side of your mouth along with the mouthpiece. It's somewhat of a PITA to do but it does work. If it's more that a quick check I go ahead and remove the mouth piece and use the manometer one.
     
  6. do it easy

    do it easy Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicagoland, USA
    5,022
    6
    At a minimum, I would start with an IP gauge and a bucket of water. The IP gauge will tell you a lot about the reg and the bucket of water can be used to set the cracking pressure. It won't be as accurate as a manometer but it will work.

    If you want to go the extra $10, then herman's mano-mano-meter is a pretty slick setup.
     
    AfterDark and Bob DBF like this.
  7. Thadmn

    Thadmn Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Minnesota
    109
    0
    Yes, I agree it must have great resolution.
     
  8. Thadmn

    Thadmn Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Minnesota
    109
    0
    I'm trying to avoid they bucket 'o' water technique, but thanks for the suggestion.
     
  9. Luis H

    Luis H Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Maine
    3,031
    1,374
    I like that manometer that herman posted, but Magnehelic gauges are often available (new in the box) from eBay for about $20 (with a buy it now option).

    I have bought several in the appropriate range (a couple went to where I used to work).

    I still own one that reads 0 to 3 inWC, one for +5 inWC to -5 inWC, and a couple more that I don’t use. One even came with an electrical output signal that I could use to do transient testing recording if I could by an oscilloscope for…$20. :rolleyes:


    The Magnehelic gauges are used in many industries and it seams that they buy many extra spares or what ever the reason, it just seem that they are often available at eBay.


    What I would like to find is a Dwyer Visi-Float flow meter, calibrated to measure 2-25 SCFM (or similar) for about $20.
     
    Para Goon, Bob DBF and AfterDark like this.
  10. DiveBandit

    DiveBandit Captain

    1,546
    0
    I know nothing about working on regs, but I was wondering what you use this device for??
     

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