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Old 9th June 2013, 01:40   #1
AQUANOMAD
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Electric Oxygen Booster

Greetings All!
I have recently been reading the forums and educating myself about boosters. Living on the Oregon Coast I was finding myself tired of long drives to get to a LDS that pumps O2. Now living in Hawaii the urgency has increased. There is only 1 source on the island (and he is quite reasonable and knowledgeable) but its not the most convenient for me as I tend to be all over the island. Also O2 here from the distributor is 40-56 cents per cu' and helium is $1.66-$1.98. When you can get it. OUCH! As a reference the local sourse is 65-70 cents for O2 and $2.50 for helium.
My goals are simplicity (I know. Its boosting O2. And simple doesnt quite describe the process), relatively compact, and reasonable to maintain. I anticipate using it to keep my O2 bottles topped up (19s and 40s) and scavenging for trimix into 40s and 72s. Primarily a personal set up I will also use it for stints of supporting 4-6 divers.
I have (2) RIX compressors. An SA3 and SA6. My plan is to sell the compressors and use the money towards a booster. Luckily there are a few shops that will fill any size bottle for as little as $2.50 per with the purchase of a bulk fill card (100). Thats pretty damn cheap for 130cu' of air and with electrical rates at nearly 50 cents a kilowatt I dont think I can pump that cheap considering maintenance ect.
So I have a few questions and am open to any suggestions.

1. Should I keep one of the filters from my compressors to hyper filter the air I am getting from my LDS? I would be boosting O2, HE, AND AIR to top off my DIL bottles and want to keep any contaminants out of the booster.

2. I am looking at the Masterline and American Airworks models.
masterlineinc.com - Electric oxygen boosters - air, helium, and other specialty gas boosters
American Airworks electric booster for air, oxygen, inert gas
These things are insane. About $9k and $11k respectively.
Does anyone have any experience with either?

3. I have almost pulled the trigger on a Haskel Mini Sport Booster numerous times. I think it would be adequate for my needs but reading the posts it seems like any air driven booster takes a lot of drive gas and the system including piping, filtration, compressor, and upkeep can end up costly and take up a bit of space. Correct me if Im wrong here but its seems like a guy can easily be $5k-$6k into a finished product.

4. Am I going overboard even considering this? Should I just buy extra bottles and be happy there is someone on the island that offers fills at all?

I am diving a lot here for both work and exploration. I like having full bottles and am reluctant to watch them multiply anymore. I have (3) 19s for O2, (1) 19 for DIL, (4) 40s, (4) 72s, and (2) 130s.

Any advise, ideas, or insight is appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old 9th June 2013, 03:42   #2
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Re: Electric Oxygen Booster

If I was in your position I would look at getting a booster that can be driven by a shop compressor. The Stansead (spelling is probably not correct, it is made in Great Britain) comes to mind. Any booster where the drive side is isolated from the boost side would do.

I drive my Kiss booster with an oil-less shop compressor, but it is not recommended by Kiss. I try to be careful about drying and filtering the air, but.....

The advantage of using shop air is that you can run off of electricity when you are at home and rely on HP air for drive gas only when away from power.
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Old 9th June 2013, 04:03   #3
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Re: Electric Oxygen Booster

The Masterline booster is a great unit, I've seen them used in a busy shop for years and it's still going strong.
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Old 9th June 2013, 12:30   #4
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Re: Electric Oxygen Booster

You might consider keeping one of the compressors and building yourself a trimix stick. That way you can empty the O2 and He supply tanks.

Trying to mix trimix in a small tank with only a booster is not much fun if you want a specific mix %.

Also, trying to suck a supply tank empty with a booster very effective.

John
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Old 9th June 2013, 16:28   #5
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Re: Electric Oxygen Booster

Gas boosters - Diving - Trimix

works great even in Egypt at 42 C :)
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Old 10th June 2013, 16:38   #6
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Re: Electric Oxygen Booster

You can buy some sort of gas driven booster, and a fairly good sized shop compressor with some filtration for way less, and have more function. I have a haskel I got from flee bay for $1500, got O2 cleaned, get a nice big shop compressor (say 2K)and you are in business for less than 4000, plus you have low pressure air to play with.
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