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Old 17-02-2017, 13:59   #31
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Re: Portable dive tank compressor - which one?

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Originally Posted by paccrest View Post
We live aboard cruising throughout Mexico and south. We have 2 tanks on board but no compressor. Next season we will go to the Socorro Islands to dive and there are no services for refill. So we are looking to add a portable dive compressor. We could go gas or 110v AC, either way. I have looked online and am finding they are fairly expensive, around $3k. I would love to hear some suggestions about which ones are recommended and why. We are a 1988 Hunter Legend 45. The lazarette could handle a portable unit. Thoughts?
The two you should be considering are the Bauer Oceanus and the Rix SA-6. I believe Coltri makes a high quality unit also. The Bauer Oceanus is a traditional oil-lubricated compressor as are the Coltri compressors. The Rix is an oilless design.

Any of these will work for you, but I personally would prefer a Rix. They require more frequent overhauls but for individual or small group use they'll still last as long as you'll be diving before an overhaul is necessary. Because they are oil free, there is less dependence on filtration. The Rix is slightly smaller.

A fact to consider is that a small compressor is roughly the same size and cost as six 120cf steel cylinders (though the cylinders would weigh more). Everyone's situation is different but there is much to be said for simply bringing more cylinders. I dive in some remote locations and have bought larger steel cylinders whenever they come up for sale used. I have about 15 and bring enough for me and my family for whatever backcountry trips we take.
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Old 17-02-2017, 15:12   #32
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Re: Portable dive tank compressor - which one?

PACCREST,

I could not find a way to post the photos on the pm so I just took a couple and will post them here.

M
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Old 17-02-2017, 16:48   #33
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Re: Portable dive tank compressor - which one?

Dougtiff

What size inverter are you running to run the SCUBA Compressor?

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Old 17-02-2017, 17:33   #34
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Re: Portable dive tank compressor - which one?

For those wishing to recharge their tanks themselves just remember that the air entering the compressor needs to be free of contamination. Don*t just turn the compressor on and go below for "tea" and hope the wind stays in the same direction:keep the compressor in the shade and the tanks in cold water to dissipate the heat generated by compressing air.
As for training it is so simple today to get certified it horrifies me. The son of a relative did his training in South America and has possibly 30 hours dive time yet he is a Dive Master now and takes novices out!!! More than 50 years working as Salvage diver.Oil rig diver and chief Diving instructor I still cannot claim to know it all.
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Old 17-02-2017, 18:31   #35
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Re: Portable dive tank compressor - which one?

I no longer dive, but use to run a belt drive compressor off a main or bigger generator. I never liked carrying gas.
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Old 17-02-2017, 18:48   #36
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Re: Portable dive tank compressor - which one?

We W did a 10 year circumnavigation with a Gasoline powered Bauer Junior on board. Got to dive in a lot of places that are very rarely dived and. Pristine walls, caves, un touched coral.... Hundreds of dives we never could have done without having our boat there and having the compressor.
We carried gasoline in jugs. Compressor and our old outboard both use straight gasoline. We kept separate jugs to make sure premix did not get near the compressor.

You probably can find a good used compressor for half of new or less. Lots of folks buy them to dive and find out they don't like diving without a guide.

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Old 17-02-2017, 19:19   #37
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Re: Portable dive tank compressor - which one?

doesn't seem to be anyone with 110V system? all petrol powered?
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Old 18-02-2017, 09:59   #38
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Re: Portable dive tank compressor - which one?

The yachts that have big generators have electric compressors. Most cruising boats do not have a big enough generator.
Our 30 year old generator died recently has just been replaced. We explored the idea of going to electric compressor. Spent some time learning about the issues. The big problem with an electric compressor is the startup surge. We talked to a number of installers that said they would NOT be responsible for any of the motor startup problems. The huge startup power requirement is often more than the generator can provide.
I talked with a few of the compressor vendors for Bauer and was told that they could not be responsible for the startup problem and that the generator installer needs to be responsible. I ended up talking with the expert at Bauer to get some numbers for startup and then confirmed with the Northern Lights dealer to determine the size of the generator. Just had the new 6k Generator installed. Old 5k generator that lasted 25+ years was starting to fail and needed to be replaced. Dealer price is 13 k not installed

Have not yet traded in my Gas compressor for electric yet. I plan to buy the electric one.

NOTE - I already had a Bauer Junior gasoline powered and planned to just change the motor to electric.

There are a number of compressors that come with some form of "Soft Start" that lets smaller generators run compressors.

I'm still not sure I want to go to electric. The gas one has been easy to maintain. And it is very portable if we want to take it out on another boat or for diving off the beach
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Old 18-02-2017, 10:02   #39
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Re: Portable dive tank compressor - which one?

Good morning everybody,
I'am using a Bauer Junior II electric, with genset Mastervolt Whisper6 (5,5KW /220V/50HZ). That's the minimum to start the compressor. During starting the electric motor need a lot of power. To help, I open all valves on the compressor (second and final filter). Take a lot of spare filters (P21 final filter) they are not aviable everywhere.
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Old 18-02-2017, 10:49   #40
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Re: Portable dive tank compressor - which one?

I ran my Bauer compressor for about 5 years with an electric motor off a little 5kw Fischer/Panda gen set. I had heard not good things about this Fischer/Panda brand gen set but I had no trouble with it in the five years I had the boat.

It was very small in its own sound housing (less than 2 feet square and about 18" high). I did put a big capacitor (soft start) on the input to the compressor and found it worked well. Only thing was I could not have anything else running off the genset when I started the compressor.

I did switch the motor(simple switch of wire terminals) to 220 as the little genset had 110 and 220 out (most gensets do) and it ran much easier. I also put a large muffin fan mounted on the side of the motor to keep it cool, and I had a snorkel hose going out to feed the input air.

I was very happy with the compressor running on 220V, and it seemed to be as well.

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