HPA vets - Filling method advice needed! - Paintball Forum - Paintball guns and gear forums
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Old May 1st, 2012, 09:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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HPA vets - Filling method advice needed!

I have a predicament,

I live in a very remote location with 0 paintball fields and 0 sport stores to fill our HPA tanks.

Thus far we have been getting our tanks filled at the local fire hall. I think they only have a low pressure system because the tanks are only getting filled to 2300ish PSI and we are told they can go no higher. Aside from nagging them every weekend for refills (5 people, 8x 3000 PSI tanks, 1x 4500 PSI tank) we are looking to increase the PSI we are getting.

I would really appreciate some advice as to our best course of action here:
1) Shoebox compressor - Able to get up to 4500 PSI I believe.. but takes several hours per fill and we would have to fill them up at work.

2) Hand pump - only able to get to 3000 PSI if our muscles allow us to do so over the course of several hundred pumps.

3) SCUBA tank + refill station - The only way to get this filled is at the firehall which again, and although the tank can hit 3000 PSI would only be filled to 2300 psi max (Right?)

4) A high pressure compressor is out of our price range.

Any tips would be very appreciated,

Thanks!
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Old May 1st, 2012, 10:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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you can use the shoebox to fill your own scuba tank

any reason why you cant use co2?
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Old May 1st, 2012, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Look into getting some used scuba tanks. You can get quite a few fills from these things...
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Old May 1st, 2012, 10:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Neat idea,

I am thinking that the equipment required for that setup is well over our price range though. It would also take like 8-10 hours to fill the scuba tank.

We do not have any paintball proshops in town, there is no where to get C02 refilled. The only access outside of town is by train or airplane so we have very limited options.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 10:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We considered that, but the fire hall is the only place to get HPA filled up, so we would still only be getting 2300 PSI to start with and then qill dwindle quickly.. 9 tanks worth would require a lot.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 05:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Besides the fire station, how far is the closest paintball shop? If it's really that bad, and you're that in to paintball, consider buying hand pump, and convert it so that you can use your legs...
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 06:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you have a welding shop or a air supply shop you can lease a hp bulk tank. You can get a 4500 or 6000 psi tank and use a fill station to regulate that down to fill your tanks.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 10:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The nearest proshop is a 24hr train ride.. It sucks!

We do not have an air supply shop in town either (population <1000). We only have one home hardware and one mechanical shop (doubtful they will have HPA)

Unfortunately I think the handpump is looking to be the more logical option here. Is there one that can even get close to 4500 PSI or should we just fill that tank to 3000 psi with the rest of them?
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Probably only to 3000. Look at making that foot pump conversion though!
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 02:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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iv never heard of anyone getting a full fill from a hand pump, problem is it gets harder and harder as you go not to mention with so many tanks I dont see the hand pump saving you any time in the long run

take this into consideration, 2-3 scuba tanks in a cascade setup to fill the bulk of air in your tanks and then top them off with a shoebox compressor. you will not have to bug the fire station so much since you will only need the scuba tanks filled by them every so often and especially if you have a garage compressor pumping around 100psi into the shoebox compressor the only one that would take a while is the 4.5k tank

side note: do you guys think it would be possible to hook the scuba tanks into the shoebox compressor? basically using it as a booster at that point?
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 02:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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you can DIY an "automatic" hand pump

Homemade Sterling Hot Air Engine - YouTube
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 03:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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There's no way that pump will fill more than tires on a car or bike
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 03:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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@ Turbo
Buying 2-3 scuba tanks AND a shoebox compressor is definitely out of our price range. Each person basically has 2x 3000 psi tanks and we were just going to circulate the hand pump during the week for each person to fill on their own time. Even with 2 scuba tanks though, we would likely need to get them refilled each week with so many tanks.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 04:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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ok and? same situation you only have to ask the fire station to fill 2 scuba tanks vs 8 smaller tanks. not to mention with 8 tanks only being filled once a week which is what it sounds like you are doing you are only going to have to stop by the fire station every month or so. with the scubas you cascade fill your HPA tanks and them top them off with the hand pump. personally i think you are really over-estimating the hand pump alone and exactly how long it will take to fill all those tanks. personally i think the situation you described above works for 2 weeks before people no longer want to spend a few hours at the end of a work day pumping for an hour or two and start looking for another way to fill the tanks
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 04:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Come on over to the stockclass side.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 04:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 12:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The 2-3 scuba tank approach sounds reasonable but even so.. Due to the fact that the fire hall can only fill to a max of 2300 PSI that would mean that both scuba tanks can only put out pressure equal to that and lesser for consequent tanks. We would like to keep the costs within a reasonable price range.

Meaning - > 3 scuba tanks and a hand pump sounds pricey
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 01:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pest64 View Post
The 2-3 scuba tank approach sounds reasonable but even so.. Due to the fact that the fire hall can only fill to a max of 2300 PSI that would mean that both scuba tanks can only put out pressure equal to that and lesser for consequent tanks. We would like to keep the costs within a reasonable price range.

Meaning - > 3 scuba tanks and a hand pump sounds pricey

welcome to paintball, its expensive, you guys already have free fills to 2300, to me it looks like you are now trying to find a way of getting a free 3k fill and again i really think you are under estimating how long and how hard it is going to be to fill your tanks from empty only on the hand pump. however getting even 2000psi in there to start and then topping off with the hand pump is a much more fesable idea

option 1) $200 ish, just use the hand pump from 0, it will take forever, it will be very difficult and i think it will be 2 weeks at most before your crew starts looking for a better way to fill

option 2) $200 ish, fill at the fire station first then top off with the hand pump, much easier to top off the tanks but you will still have to bug the fire station ever week

option 3) $500 ish assuming you can get 3 scuba tanks at around $100 used, not that difficult and chances are you can probably get them cheaper if you look around enough. fill the scuba tanks at the fire station around once a month, then use the hand pump to top them off. this would also give you the option of bringing the scuba tanks out to the field with you to have at least partial fills while you are out there (you would go through the scubas faster this way though)

option 4) $500, shoebox compressor, plug it in, throw a garage compressor on it and let it run, never have to bug the fire station again

if you have 5 players already, your looking at $100 at most from each
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 05:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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A hand pump costs about $180 just so you know, but like previously discussed that would be hard work and would be short lived before you are looking for a different way. To me the shoebox compressor seems like the best way for you.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 06:26 PM   #20 (permalink)
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If it was me, I would get the Scuba tanks first, then try to get the Shoebox compressor in the future.


Getting the scuba tanks, even though it will only fill to 2300, you will be able to refill all of the tanks for a while, if you do it correctly using a cascade set up. I have 3 scuba tanks we fill to 2800 and we can make them last a few weekends of playing.
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