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Old 05-03-2019, 14:35   #1
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Hookamax

My wife and I are considering buying an electric shallow dive compressor like the hookamax or brownie. Anyone using these or others and care to provide some counsel? Are they worth it? Is one brand better than another.? I did a search thinking this must have been discussed before but didn't find any threads. If I missed something obvious please let me know.
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Old 05-03-2019, 15:03   #2
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Re: Hookamax

We’ve owned and used a Hookamax for 4 years, the compressor is Junk with a capital “J.” directly from Harbor freight and will rust up within a week or two. The rest of the system including the hose and regulator are fine. The Brownie stuff looks like a step up from HookaMax.

Just purchase the hose, regulators and attachments from either company, then purchase a Porter Cable pancake type oil free compressor from the Home Depot for $90. Or for a step up, purchase an industrial quality compressor for around $600. We have all three options.

Either way, take some quality scuba lessons before using Hookah so you don’t kill yourself.... it’s actually quite easy to do. Most scuba related deaths take place in shallow waters.
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Old 05-03-2019, 15:14   #3
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Re: Hookamax

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Weíve owned and used a Hookamax for 4 years, the compressor is Crap with a capital ďC,Ē directly from Harbor freight and will rust up within a week or two. The rest of the system including the hose and regulator are fine. The Brownie stuff looks like a step up from HookaMax.

Just purchase the hose, regulators and attachments from either company, then purchase a Porter Cable pancake type oil free compressor from the Home Depot for $90. Or for a step up, purchase an industrial quality compressor for around $600. We have all three options.

Either way, take some quality scuba lessons before using Hookah so you donít kill yourself.... itís actually quite easy to do. Most scuba related deaths take place in shallow waters.
Spot on advice. I assembled my own using a 12 volt compressor, if I did it again I would go down the portable quality oil less compressor and an appropriate inverter. I second the need for decent scuba training.
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Old 05-03-2019, 16:47   #4
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Re: Hookamax

Speaking as someone who has earned his living with hookahs for several decades, I recommend you either DIY or go with the Air Line by J Sink, Brownie's or Nardi. None of these commercially available units are particularly cheap, but they are high quality. Hookamax, Gator Gill and other cheapo hookahs are based on POS Chinese-built air compressors and are (as Kenomac mentioned), inferior.

You can assemble your own hookah that will be essentially identical to the best commercially available units and every bit as safe to use and durable, but for a fraction of the cost. Search the forum, there have been many threads about this.
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Old 05-03-2019, 16:59   #5
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Re: Hookamax

We assembled our own hooka rig using a Porter Cable pan cake oil free compressor. Mostly use it to clean the bottom and prop. One addition to the set up that made a big difference was a water/oil/particulate separator similar to this one. While you wouldn't expect to need it w/an oil free compressor, it made a big difference in the quality of the air.
Have been a certified SCUBA diver for a very long time (does anyone remember dual hose regulators??) and also think it would be a good idea to fully understand/learn the concepts of SCUBA before using a hooka rig.


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Old 05-03-2019, 17:04   #6
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Re: Hookamax

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We assembled our own hooka rig using a Porter Cable pan cake oil free compressor. Mostly use it to clean the bottom and prop. One addition to the set up that made a big difference was a water/oil/particulate separator. While you wouldn't expect to need it w/an oil free compressor, it made a big difference in the quality of the air.
High quality compressors like those from Thomas or Gast do not require volume tanks and therefore also do not require water separators. They run quite happily for hours on end, providing clean, fresh air. This is why these are the compressors used in the best hookahs, like Air Line or Brownie's.
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Old 05-03-2019, 17:29   #7
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Re: Hookamax

I've used a Brownie's low pressure system for a few years and I can recommend it.

I'm not a diver because I have sinus issues (consistently over many years) as soon as I venture down below keel level, so it seemed pointless investing in PADI training. Brownie's, and no doubt other equipment suppliers, provide a waistband to clip on the airline and to add weights. I NEVER use this because it would be unsafe for me. I simply hold the airline by the mouthpiece so I am free to surface immediately if the compressor cuts out. This occasionally happens if it overheats. Obviously this means I am constantly fighting my own buoyancy and if I was using bottled air it would not last long - but that's the benefit of having an unlimited air supply..
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Old 05-03-2019, 17:38   #8
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Re: Hookamax

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Brownie's, and no doubt other equipment suppliers, provide a waistband to clip on the airline and to add weights. I NEVER use this because it would be unsafe for me. I simply hold the airline by the mouthpiece so I am free to surface immediately if the compressor cuts out.
Why would you not be free to ascend immediately if you were wearing weights?
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Old 05-03-2019, 18:06   #9
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Re: Hookamax

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Why would you not be free to ascend immediately if you were wearing weights?
I guess you are thinking as a diver thinks, with full confidence that you can avoid panic and swim up, without air, and without buoyancy. As a non-diver, I don't have that confidence.
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Old 05-03-2019, 18:10   #10
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Re: Hookamax

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I guess you are thinking as a diver thinks, with full confidence that you can avoid panic and swim up, without air, and without buoyancy. As a non-diver, I don't have that confidence.
No offense, but if you can't do that, you probably shouldn't be underwater breathing compressed air.
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Old 05-03-2019, 18:40   #11
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Re: Hookamax

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I guess you are thinking as a diver thinks, with full confidence that you can avoid panic and swim up, without air, and without buoyancy. As a non-diver, I don't have that confidence.
Chris, with all due respect, do yourself a real favour and get at least some basic diver training, it will make you feel more comfortable in the water and, who knows may one day save your life.
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Old 05-03-2019, 19:46   #12
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Re: Hookamax

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Originally Posted by chris in SG View Post
I've used a Brownie's low pressure system for a few years and I can recommend it.

I'm not a diver because I have sinus issues (consistently over many years) as soon as I venture down below keel level, so it seemed pointless investing in PADI training. Brownie's, and no doubt other equipment suppliers, provide a waistband to clip on the airline and to add weights. I NEVER use this because it would be unsafe for me. I simply hold the airline by the mouthpiece so I am free to surface immediately if the compressor cuts out. This occasionally happens if it overheats. Obviously this means I am constantly fighting my own buoyancy and if I was using bottled air it would not last long - but that's the benefit of having an unlimited air supply..
From what you wrote, you desperately NEED some PADI training asap before you blow a lung from doing what you’re doing.

You’re lucky you haven’t already died.
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Old 05-03-2019, 19:58   #13
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Re: Hookamax

Chris,
Are you saying the Brownie's compressor overheats and shuts down?
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Old 05-03-2019, 21:56   #14
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Re: Hookamax

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From what you wrote, you desperately NEED some PADI training asap before you blow a lung from doing what youíre doing.

Youíre lucky you havenít already died.
Ok, I should have been clearer. I use this equipment only for cleaning the bottom of a catamaran at depths not exceeding 1.5m.
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Old 05-03-2019, 22:00   #15
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Re: Hookamax

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Chris, with all due respect, do yourself a real favour and get at least some basic diver training, it will make you feel more comfortable in the water and, who knows may one day save your life.
Thanks for the good advice and I will consider again. This is my routine for hull cleaning but I was wrong to appear to advise others to follow my example. Apologies for that.

Ironic that I sail within a few miles of Malapascua in the Philippines. Was there last week with some guests who did their PADI open water. Will be back there later this month, so I really have no excuse..
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