Keep in mind that this is just a basic overview of Air Systems, and it does not cover all questions about Air Systems. One thing you will not find here is biased opinions, I have not taken the time or wish to take the time to say which is better and which is not. Everone has their own opinions, and the fact is, some work great, and some dont, this opinion is in the eye of the user. If you want a general idea of what is good and what isn't, please be sure to check out the reviews on the different expansion chambers on our front page www.pbreview.com now for your reading pleasure
Why does my Co2 tank get cold?
When you are using CO2, you are actually carrying a tank that is filled with CO2 in a liquid state. The liquid must expand in order to "charge" your gun. This conversion from liquid to gas requires a great deal of thermal energy and causes the tank to get colder.
How can I tell if my gun is shooting liquid Co2?
Do you see snow flakes coming out of the barrel of your gun? If you are, then your gun is taking in liquid.
What is a Anti Siphon tube?
An anti-siphon tube, is a tube that is attached to the inside (the side that's inside of the tank) of your pin valve on your Co2 tank. This tube is designed to help prevent liquid Co2 from entering your gun, and damaging the internal seals or your marker. It is designed for those who have their tank mounted horizontally via bottom line adatper. ***DO NOT USE A ANTI SIPHON TUBE IF YOUR TANK IS MOUNTED VERTICALLY*** This is a very inexpensive way to keep your gun performing at tip top shape if you are using Co2.
An Alternative is to mount your Co2 tank vertically, this ensures that the liquid sits at the bottom of your tank, and only the gas enters your marker. I recommend having a local shop install a Anti-Siphon tank for your gun, instead of ordering one online. Anti-Siphon tubes are fully customized for your gun, and your alone. I highly advise against buying a Anti-Siphon tube from somone else... however the option is yours.
What is a Expansion Chamber?
An expanion chamber is used to help Liquid Co2 expand into a gas, and that is exactly what it does. There are different designs out there and some work better then others. Some X Chambers have different multiple chambers that the Co2 must pass through in order to expand or for the liquid to evaporate into a gas, While some are simple one chamber tubes. How to tell the difference? Stages! 4-stage, 6-stage, etc (or contact the manufacturer for more details)
You could also use a remote line as an X chamber. Remotes give the Co2 more time to fully expand into a gas before it enters your gun, much like an expanion chamber. This is another alternative, and is a added bonus for those who do run a remote set up.
What is a Inline Regulator?
What does it do? It regulates!!! It regulates the ingoing pressure into your gun, and in turn makes your velocity much more consistent. It ensures that the air coming into your gun is at the same/or close the same pressure after everyshot. Like I said before this leads to a much more consistent velocity, and a much tighter shot grouping. So for those of you wondering if it improves accuracy? yes, it does. A regulator is a must for those going the route of LP (low pressure) it simply cannot be done without one of these. If you have bought a regulator and are still getting inconsistent marks over the chrono, please check to ensure that you have the correct paint/barrel match, also please give you regulator time to break in, the break in period varies, and can be from 1000shots, up to 1 or 2 cases. Although it is not necessary to have a gauge for the regulator to work, it is handy, and it looks cool.
Do your research before you buy a regulator, some are designed for use with Co2, and some are not. Save yourself the stress, and get the right one. **If you use Co2, be sure to use have a anti-siphon tube installed on your Co2 tank for best results. A regulator is not designed to prevent liquid co2 from entering your gun!!
What is a Pre-Set tank?
Pre set systems have a fixed output pressure that cannot be adjusted, hence the name "Pre-Set" Adjustable tanks allow you to adjust your output pressure, simple as that.
Can I put Co2 in my Fiber Wrapped HPA tank?
Lets be smart about this. Just use a Co2 tank for Co2, and a HPA tank for HPA, simple as that. Using Co2 in a HPA tank will eventually cause the fiber lining to seperate from the composite shell on the inside of the tank. This weakens the HPA tank, and makes it very dangerous.
How to store Co2/HPA?
Simply disconnect it from your marker, or turn the on/off valve/switch to the off position and your all set. Be sure not to leave your Co2 tank in direct sunlight, or in a room where it gets really hot. Remember, Co2 is temperature sensitive! Do not leave your gun gassed up. Leaving it gassed up puts avoidable stress on your markers internals. Just disconnect it or turn it off. It's only going to take a few more seconds, no big deal. Ask yourself, would you want to leave your car running after your done using it? hmmmm
What's Better Co2 or HPA?
To answer this question you will first have to understand the dynamics of both air sources. Co2 is very temperature sensitive, meaning that ambient temperature has a direct effect on the tanks output pressure. Co2 is also stored as a liquid in your tank, there is a small area in your tank that contains Co2 in it's gas state called a "vapor bubble" As you fire you gun you notice how the tank gets cold? well like i said before this is cause by the liquid co2 changing into a gas, and as your tank keeps getting colder the more you fire, it also lowers your operating pressure. This drop in pressure results in a not so consistent velocity. Ever play in the winter time, or in a super cold environment, and all of a sudden your tank gun starts to spudder after you filled it? It's so cold outside that there is barely enough pressure in the tank to recock your gun. Being Temperature sensitive is the draw back to Co2. However just because your using Co2 doesn't mean you can't gog that guy with that Blue Dark Angel on the other team!
HPA on the other hand is not prone to these same conditions. Summer or Winter, the pressure in a HPA tank will always be the just about the same with maybe very very very minor fluctuations, but nothing that you will notice, it will not prevent you from playing at all! N2 or compressed air its a much more cleaner gas then Co2, and also this makes your marker a lot happier. HPA is just much more consistent then Co2, and this is the main reason why HPA is a better air source. The drawback to HPA is that it's not as widely available as Co2 is, and the cost of an actual tank is much more expensive then a Co2 tank. You should always make sure that you have a way to fill your HPA tank before you purchase one. Not all fields have HPA fill stations for players that need it.
Low Pressure isn't just lowering your operating pressure of your marker. Low pressure requires you to buy a few upgrades, and have them properly work together to achieve on common goal.
"Low Pressure" is a *result*, not a goal. It's a *side effect*. You do NOT modify your gun (any gun) simply to get the operating pressure down. You modify your gun for better *efficiency*, which, in turn, allows you to lower the operating pressure
Read that again if you don't quite have it, and when you do, read it for the 2nd time!!!! *quoted from Doc's Machine
Through low pressure you can gain Better Gas efficiency, Better Velocity stability (increased consistency), and quieter operation. Less ball breakage and the ability to shoot brittle paint. Even then it is still possible to chop or break paint, but the chances have been minimized.
Lowering your pressure required to operate your gun means that less air is being used, and in order to maximize usage you will need to upgrade to high flowing parts. You will need a High flowing valve, a high flowing bolt (no venturi stuff!), A barrel with little to no porting, an adjustable inline regulator, and you will also need to buy a aftermarket spring kit. I am not going to go into full detail on how to set your gun up, because i can't cover all guns out there. You can refer most of your questions to the gun specific forums for more ideas on how to set up your gun. Keep in mind that it is more then just adding these parts together, expecting them to work, and a cloud of smoke! *POOF* Low Pressure. It can be kind of tricky getting everything to work right, and if it's not done right, your gun can be set up to be a horrible inefficient gas hog! Just remember that the goal is to increase efficiency, not just to lower the operating pressure.
Low Pressure Chambers/Volumizers
LPC's and Volumizers, the same thing. It's like an extra resovoir of air to help aid low pressure guns. Just adding one really wont give you a super increase in performance, it's mainly an upgrade for those who have LP set ups.
Well, that's it for now, like i said before this is just meant to cover a few of the basics, you will gain the most by posting a question in the forums! after all, thats what it's here for
jeez... you suck!
Pewter Shocker NXT
Last edited by BourneKiller : 05-29-2003 at 03:36 PM.
Yes, a HPA tank is quite an investment, and the fact is if you want better performance, your going to have to pay more for it. I highly suggest buying a BRAND NEW HPA tank! However if you do want to buy a used tank it's totally up to you, but please consider this... What is the date of the tank? how soon are you going to have to re hydro the tank? Is it in good condition? Is the seller honest, and telling you all there is to know about the tank, or is there something wrong with it?
I have seen a lot of people buy used tanks without knowing what they are getting into, and in the end the buyer ends up with a broken, out of date tank. If you are going to buy online, please buy from a trustworthy online store. I do not suggest buying a used tank off of Ebay! Just be cautious when buying used...
Co2 Tank Pressure
"What's the pressure in a CO2 tank?s long as there is liquid in the tank, the pressure in a CO2 tank is determined ONLY by the temperature"
How Do I Fill My HPA Tank?
Simple, take it to your local paintball shop, and they'll be able to hook you up there! If you are looking to fill your own tanks, then first you will need a Scuba tank, be sure you are getting a scuba tank that is rated for at least 3000psi, not getting a 3000psi tank doesn't mean you cant fill your HPA tank. It just means you wont be getting a good fill. After you have acquired your scuba tank, the next item you will need is a Fill station, the fill station attaches to the valve on your scuba tank, and aids the transfer of air coming from your scuba tank, going into your HPA tank. That is pretty much it. Before even buying a scuba tank, make sure you have a way to fill it when you run out of air, some places require a C-card, or divers certification. Just make sure you can get your scuba tanks filled before even buying one. Please keep in mind that only certified techs should be conducting air fills for high pressure air systems. Please make sure you know what you are doing before you even attempt to fill your tank *I am not liable or either is www.pbreview.com if something happens to go wrong. Fill at your own risk.
HPA, N2, & Compressed Air... Whats the difference?
For the use of paintball, they are all considered the same thing. Both N2 and Compressed air are the primary air sources used in a High Pressure Air System (HPA)
3000psi/4500psi HPA tanks
The difference? capacity... the 4500 psi tank holds 1500psi more! because 4.5k tanks have to hold a larger volume of air, these tanks must also be constructed to hold more air(larger tanks) The ability to get a full fill (4500psi) is a bit hard to achieve. Most common scuba tanks are rated for not much more then 3000psi. There are bulk tanks that can hold enough pressure to fill 4500psi tanks, but they are costly, and a lot larger to lug around in the back of your truck. Shops or fields often use booster, or large capacity air compressors that are capable of filling those 4.5kpsi tanks.
3000psi tanks are often a lot cheaper then their 4500psi counterparts but don't hold as much air. If you don't go though that much paint then it's not really a big deal. Getting a 3kpsi tank is inexpensive and may suit your needs just right. There are various sizes all ranging from 68ci up to 114ci in both 3k, and 4.5kpsi pressure ranges.
Here are several thinks you might want to consider when you are looking for a new tank
*First figure out how much paint you go through. buying a tank that will five you enough air to shoot all of your paint you can carry in a single game is pretty much ideal. You don't want to have to worry about running out of air on the field. You can always refill before the next game. If your field doesn't have a set rate for all day air, then it can be costly to fill after every game, and then perhaps you should go for a larger tank that will last you several games.
*Filling availability? Does your field have compressed air or n2 air fills? Can your field fill to 4500psi? It's kind of pointless to buy a 4500psi system if your field cant even offer 4500psi air fills. otherwise your better off saving your money and sticking with a 3k tank.
*Fiber wrapped, if you have the money buy it. fiber wrapped tanks are lighter and it'll make your paintball experience on the field much more comfortable. And don't forget to buy a tank cover for your investment.
Buying a HPA tank, what size should I get? (Price VS Size)
Recently quite a few people have been asking this question, and since it has not been addressed in the FAQ... *ala peanut butter and jelly!* here it is! HPA obviously has a performance advantage over co2 no matter how you look at it. What has already been clarified is that you get more shots out of a co2 tank for the price. None the less, performance wise HPA is much better to use on your marker, electronic or not it's a good investment.
What do we know? We know that HPA tanks are expensive, sad but true solution... Get a job you bum! but seriously I always see people who first make the venture into HPA buy the smallest cheapest tank out there... Don't be cheap, get a tank that will provide you with more then enough air to last one game, you don't want to be running out of air in the middle of a game. And if you are cheap, i don't think you want to be paying for air fills after every game. A tank large enough to accommodate a few games is even more ideal. a bit more expensive yes, but in the long run a much better investment. Do you plan on upgrading to a better marker in the future. I can assure you that if you plan on playing paintball for quite sometime you'll be shooting much more paint then what you shoot now, a 47ci tank will not cut it. and buying a new tank after every marker upgrade can be even more costly then it needs to be.
What's Output Pressure mean?
High Pressure Air systems are available in various output pressures. the term "output pressure" refers to the amount of pressure (measured in PSI) exiting your tank. Some tanks are available in preset & adjustable versions. Adjustable versions as already explained, feature an adjustable output pressure which the user can set to his/her needs. Preset tanks, as already explained are not adjustable, and feature a single fixed output pressure. These vary from a low output about 450psi (pressures may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer) and high output, 850psi or so.
It's best to choose your preset tank according to your own marker's operating pressure. Do not purchase a low output preset tank, for a spyder which is a HP (high pressure) marker. And it's a bit more ideal to purchase a Low output tank for a low pressure marker. A low pressure marker will still function operating off of a high output tank, but a HP marker will not operate correctly off a LP tank. Make sure you choose the right tank.
Carbon Fiber VS Steel? which one is for me?
The basics... Carbon Fiber tanks are built to be lightweight compared to their steel counterparts there is a noticable difference in weight. It's made of a composite shell wrapped by layers of carbon fiber skin. Considering how much pressure carbon fiber tanks can hold the material is very strong, and is used in various applications other then paintball. A steel tank is physically more durable then CF (carbon fiber). Scratch a steel tank, no bid deal. Scratch a fiber wrapped tank, and you run the risk of not passing your next hydrostatic test, or even worse. With that note extra care must be taken when using a fiber wrapped tank (*Please buy a tank cover) buying larger tanks is not so much of a physical burden on the field now as it used to be. There is a minimal sacrifice of agility as compared to using the pre fiber wrapped High Pressure Air systems. It's obviously much more comfortable to have on the field, at the expense of a higher cost. The majority of experienced / hardcore players use fiber wrapped systems for those very reasons. As air transfers from your bulk tank or compressor to your paintball high pressure air tank, this transfer results in heat that is why your tank gets a little warm when you get your tank filled. heated air is expanded air, as the tank cools down the air in your tank contracts, thus you notice a slight loss in air pressure. Steel tanks tend to heat up faster, getting hotter... and therefore more cooling is needed, and more pressure is lost. fiber wrapped tanks cool down too, but dont heat up as much as steel tanks to begin with so the loss in pressure is minimal compared to steel tanks.
jeez... you suck!
Pewter Shocker NXT
Last edited by Silent Knight : 12-04-2002 at 10:12 PM.