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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Diy 2 stage co 2 regulator builds offer a better product AKA overkill at a price similar or slightly more than most of the readily commercial units available
Sourcing of parts required is mostly done via auction sites such as E bay, the hardest part is knowing what to look for, in this regard they are a few threads on forums that have documented some of the parts & #
compliments of darkblade from the planted tank:
Pressurized CO2...Just thought I'd share. - The Planted Tank Forum
They are quite a few threads that deals with other parts etc. just do some digging around on that site.
For this build i will be using a"Linde Gas Regulator - Baseline C1062 Dual Stage Regulator" i picked up from a Canadian vendor in good condition.
Always try & buy parts that offer a warranty from the vendor, e bay is pretty good at protecting you , but you need to do your due diligence,i also stay away from units that were used for Oxygen, as it is a corrosive gas & most often they fail.
So with that out of the way , here is the regulator i`m working with:


On receipt the first thing i do is pressure test it for any leaks especially internal leaks, internal leaks is = to a dad regulator , although fixable the cost is prohibitive.
To pressure test it, we need to first use an adapter from the CGA fitting it came with to a CGA 320 connection ( CO2 connection)
Complete Leak Check, CO2 pressurized system - The Planted Tank Forum

In this case i had the required adapter so unto the testing, had i not have the adapter, i would just have removed the CGA nipple from the regulator & install the appropriate one ( CGA 320) as i did later.


More to come
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After leaving it overnight and no drop in pressure , it was time to start stripping away the not needed parts, such as the CGA 580 connector & Nut to make way for the CGA 320 nipple & nut



At this time all port threads are cleaned of any seal remnants - sealing tape or other, this is very important ,if not done properly any itty bit of tape etc. will get lodged down stream and create internal sealing & blockage issues , this hold true for any parts removed.

The other non essential is the output shut off valve, this optional but i prefer to get rid of it for a cleaner stream lined build.


and then the safety blow off valve, also optional, i remove it for the same reason as the shut off valve, sine at the low operational pressure for our purposes it`s not essential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At this point with all the non essential parts removed and all ports checked and residual sealant remnants removed, it was time to install the CGA 320 stem & nut( this makes the sealed connection from regulator to CO2 bottle.
I should let you know that almost the threaded ports in the 2 stage bodies are 1/4" NPT R.H. thread, the single stage beer keg regs are mostly 1/8" NPT.
Thread tape is then applied to the first 3 or 4 threads of the CGA 320 nipple, 2- 3 wraps is sufficient as the adage less is good, applies here , care should be taken to start the wrap one thread from the end that screws into the regulator, reason is if you wrap from the very end or have some over hang , you run the risk of having the thread tape cut away & lodge up stream ( not good).
All wrapping of thread tape is applied in the clockwise direction/in the direction of the thread.
Don`t forget to fit the CGA 320 nut through the CGA 320 nipple before installing.




I find if the c02 bottle is big enough it`s easier to proceed with the build with the regulator is mounted to the bottle, it can also be done off bottle.
Next stage is what is referred to as the post body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awesome thread Charlie1. Are you going to build a few of these for sale?
Thanks.
I do put together the odd one & post it in the classifieds on several forums but not on a regular basis.
I have in the past had a couple of hobbyist buy the parts & drop ship it to me for assembly & shipping, if i maybe honest the actual assembly is a cake walk, the tough part is researching what is applicable & sourcing the parts at an affordable price, some of these units if bought at full retail cost would run into the Thousand + dollar mark easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now we move on to the post body, simply put all the necessary pieces ( fittings, solenoid & needle valve etc.) after the regulator body to deliver the gas, at this stage the configuration of the post body will dictate what is used.
The output port is usually 1/4 " NPT it is common practice to step down that NPT size to 1/8 "NPT so that everything thereafter is a uniformed size of 1/8 NPT.
TO achieve this step down we use a reducer from 1/4 to 1/8, there are 2 main fittings that accomplishes this - the reduce bushing & the male NPT reducing nipple.


Remember that you need some thread sealant on the threads for every threaded connection, most commonly used is thread sealant tape , optional Locktite 242
Earlier in this thread i addressed how to apply the tape , youtube is also a good reference.
Here is a link to a online vendor that has most of the various fittings one would need along with other parts, the simple brass fitting could probably found at your local Hardware store or fastener supply store, obviously the material & finish will dictate the cost
CO2 Regulator Parts | CO2 For Planted Tanks And Home Brewing. Fittings

I will next post some images of various configurations that can be done, the way you do it is all up to your choice .. Since i don`t have all the fittings i need in Swaglelok stainless steel , i will do some dry fitting mock up, of various configurations tomorrow, it may demonstrate mix material( stainless & Brass or nickel brass) for illustration purposes , i advice to not mixing different materials in your build.
This personal build will be done with Swagelok Stainless fittings, just my personal preference :)
more to follow
 

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if i maybe honest the actual assembly is a cake walk, the tough part is researching what is applicable & sourcing the parts at an affordable price, some of these units if bought at full retail cost would run into the Thousand + dollar mark easily.
Yes, I have seen quite a few DIY threads on TPT and The Barr Report, but the intimidating part for me was getting all the right parts and knowing which ones to order online since a lot of the stuff isn't available locally. Once it's been done once then I guess it'll be easier, but you're right some of the new dual stage regs are quite pricey. Like I know a member here recently got a stainless steel dual stage custom reg recently and it was $$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here are a few of several post body configurations, as mentioned earlier the parts & thread type ( male or female) along with your configuration will dictate the fittings used.






The last image is the set up i will be using for this build, out from the very precise Parker Metering valve is a Swagelok Check valve terminated by a push to connect fitting, as can be seen , there is no Bubble counter affixed to the regulator as i will be using an in line bubble counter by choice.
I hope this build thread will inspire some of you to try a build, feel free to post any questions & i will try my best to find the answers.
Finally i will include a few links from Ebay & CGA320.com that are the ideal starter kit at a fair price ( Mods if i`m breaking any rules via the ebay or other links please feel free to edit)
I will post a final picture of the build when it`s completed.
Thanks for following.
http://www.diyco2regulator.com/post-body-kit-1
http://www.diyco2regulator.com/brass-cga-320-nut-and-nipple-for-co2-regulator
Depending on the voltage of the Clippard solenoid
http://www.diyco2regulator.com/12v-dc-power-adapter
http://www.diyco2regulator.com/co2-regulator-solenoid-24v-dc-power-adapter
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Matheson-31...823965?hash=item35fd97645d:g:J0kAAOSwewJToHiM
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, that Matheson reg looks great. I should really try my hand at building one based on those links and your instructions. This is an awesome resource. Thanks for posting all this up for us.
It`s a pleasure sharing info. it`s all part of the hobby i enjoy.
Maybe the mods can stickie this thread for future reference
 

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this is awesome build thread, thanks for sharing! and loving the links. if you have more links on where you can buy parts that would be great too!
 

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I'm glad you put this thread here, after reading and researching I will be getting a good quality 2 stage regulator for sure. :bigsmile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm glad you put this thread here, after reading and researching I will be getting a good quality 2 stage regulator for sure. :bigsmile:
That was my intent, to help fellow hobbyist get better mileage for their dollar.
trust me building and selling quality custom co2 regulators will not get you an earning to buy groceries.
The time invested to seek out quality functioning units at a decent price , not to mention the almighty US$ + shipping cost will leave you hungrier than making money from reselling these units can buy groceries ;).
I can post some e bay links to what i believe is a safe and decent price for these regulators, if it`s not against the forum polices.
Regards
 

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That was my intent, to help fellow hobbyist get better mileage for their dollar.
trust me building and selling quality custom co2 regulators will not get you an earning to buy groceries.
The time invested to seek out quality functioning units at a decent price , not to mention the almighty US$ + shipping cost will leave you hungrier than making money from reselling these units can buy groceries ;).
I can post some e bay links to what i believe is a safe and decent price for these regulators, if it`s not against the forum polices.
Regards
We here at BCA must protect our sponsors that carry co2 products. So posting these eBay links can not be allowed. I know your intentions are to help out fellow aquarists with good information which you have done with this sticky and is very much appreciated. :)
 

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We here at BCA must protect our sponsors that carry co2 products. So posting these eBay links can not be allowed. I know your intentions are to help out fellow aquarists with good information which you have done with this sticky and is very much appreciated. :)
Laurie:

Charlie1 is not proposing finished units on Ebay. They are not cost effective. He's proposing links to components and the regulators themselves which still require a lot of DIY to fit our needs as most of these are for welding or hospital use. I thought about making one based on different links in the past and really in the end it was cheaper for me to buy one that was premade because I didn't want to do a lot of trial and error to get all the right parts and make it all fit and have it all tested. But I guess if it's against forum rules it's against forum rules....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Laurie:

Charlie1 is not proposing finished units on Ebay. They are not cost effective. He's proposing links to components and the regulators themselves which still require a lot of DIY to fit our needs as most of these are for welding or hospital use. I thought about making one based on different links in the past and really in the end it was cheaper for me to buy one that was premade because I didn't want to do a lot of trial and error to get all the right parts and make it all fit and have it all tested. But I guess if it's against forum rules it's against forum rules....
That is correct. But if it`s against the forum policies for the stated reason, i fully understand.
On another note , just to give the hobbyist some perspective of what a different market will pay for these custom builds.
For the record regardless of if it`s all stainless steel , a mix with brass or plated brass, the performance is the same. The thing that separates theses high purity regulators is the inner construction & quality.
The Planted Tank Forum
 

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Most of our sponsors carry or can get co2 parts for DIY builds as well, but after anyone reads this thread they will know where else they can look for parts and pieces. :eek:
 

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I don't believe any of our sponsors carry the high end parts charlie1 is proposing for more accurate CO2 dispersion. All of our sponsors only carry single-stage plug and play models which are good introductory models (and they can work quite well). They do not carry 2-stage regulators or high end needle valves which have been hard to source in the Canadian market.

JMHO.

Respectfully,

Stuart


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just to clarify, my intent was to post links from e bay or other auction sites mainly of 2 sage regulators, simply because it can be a hit or miss with these units given most of them are either used or liquidation stock . It can be daunting for some to weed out what is appropriate or not .
Things like picking one that has not been used for Oxygen, non returnable etc..
Not a biggie guys, i will abide by the rules, i`m a peaceful old man:bigsmile:
 
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