Need compressor advice whenever, and best PA code now please
I know everyone says buy a Bauer if you can. I could, it'd just take me 4 to 8 months to save for it. How are The Daystates? Just rebranded ones from Italy right?
I may just buy a cheap Song Heng until I have $ for a Bauer. I just saw a rebuilt/refurbished Capitano on Ebay for like 5K but it's 8CFM. The new 3CFM ones are $4500. Come on?
Notice how Hill pimps were $287 forever. Now, a Gen 4 is $199.00 I hope Bauer takes notice.
Can anyone point me to the cheapest dealer in Bauer compressors, or honestly tell me what would last with no problems when taken well care of, and used sparsely. I don't see me topping a tank off from 3to 4500psi more than twice a week IF that much.
JD - I've been using my Shoebox F8 for a few years now, filling 3 or 4 tanks without issue. I did rebuild it once just as preventative maintenance but that's it. Only other issue i had was a burst disc wore out. Just got to about 4200 one day and it blew. Replaced it and she keeps chugging along.
There is nothing better than a Bauer compressor, maybe a little spendy but there is nothing better or more reliable, you either pay now or you will have to pay later with other brands...We have used them in our lab for 30-40 years without any issues other than maintenance, they are working horses....Oil lasts 2 years or 2000 hours and the filter is good for 1-2 years depending on use and humidity in the environment...A $35.00 filter will provide you breathable air for 1-2 years!
I recently bought a brand new Bauer Jr II for my home and added the B Timer computer and a custom panel with a Dial In Pressure switch which is very nice if you fill 3000 and 4500 psi tanks, it additionally has an hour meter, on-off led lights, etc. The Bauer B timer is actually all you need to monitor your compressor and its maintenance, it tells you when to change oil, when to do the 500-100-2000 hour maintenance and even when to change the air filter because it senses humidity and temperature in the environment + hours of use...The monitoring is DEAD ON every time.
The filling times are ridiculous fast, this little unit will fill a 97 cu./ft. from 3000 to 4500 in 3+ minutes...And yes, it is very quiet, it makes about the same noise as my 150 psi California compressor (have both inside my house). The Daystate and Coltri brands are probably next to Bauer, oil changes need to be more frequent (either 25 or 50 hours) and valves only last 200-250 hours vs. 2000 to 3000 on the Bauer units, thus the say: "Pay now or pay later"
Please see attached pics of my Bauer Jr II...
Note: I previously had a Shoebox Freedom 8 and that was an excellent alternative and it still is if you are not in a rush or have to fill yours and your buddy's tanks, or are old like I am. With age you realize that simpler easy to use things work much better for you.
I tired the Chinese options first. Didn't end well for me. Found a mint Bauer JuniorII that got wired to run backward. Learned the hard way that it is designed for one direction only. That hurt the wallet. Called Joe Brancatto of Airtanksforsale for a Bauer replacement. Price was competitive and he has always been great to work with. I fill for several family members so I like the fast fill time. No water jacket and so far the new one has been flawless.
For your rate of fills, I would think that a Bauer is gross overkill.
I have tested some of the chinese versions and for small needs, the Nomad, or the Nomad II style of compressors are great little machines.
If you want to fill tanks, however, they are small for the task.
Let me offer you an alternative viewpoint: In the job of compressing air, you need to think of speed of fill as the "enemy". The faster you need to fill, the more money you will have to invest.
In other words: machines that drive air at high speeds, inherently work at high speeds.
High speeds=high cost and high wear=high maintenance. There is no science in that.
Since you are going to top-off one tank around twice a week, I would strongly suggest you look into an Altaros booster:
There are two versions, basically identical to each other, except for the housing.
Yes you will need a "feed" compressor, but you probably already have one and those are not expensive and, even at a total investment of around $1,500, in the long run, FOR YOUR STATED NEEDS, you will be far ahead of those that buy high speed machines. It is not only the cost of the maintenance parts themselves, but the "down time" of having the compressor down.
I use an SPA THREE cylinder air-cooled compressor, with digital runtime indication that is far ahead of any other paintball compressor I have seen, but then I do use a LOT of air in testing in the workshop. WAY more than you. Yes, it does not put out breathable air (like the BAUER), but then the question is: ¿Do you really need it?
Now, if you are ALSO a SCUBA diver, then the situation is different.
What damage resulted from wiring and or running the compressor backwards?
Hector: The wear issue you mention is very important...Fast flow compressors that attain fast fillings by increasing the pumping speed as you mention: High speed = High wear is a negative, but then fast flow can also be achieved by increasing the Bore and Stroke of the pistons while keeping low RPM's without any wear/heat compromises...
The advantages of a "breathing air quality" are two (in my perspective): You will be assured that there is no humidity nor contaminants in the air filling your gun/cylinders and the second is the resale value of the compressor if you ever need to sell it...A Scuba compressor has a huge market and high end compressors retain a large % of their value while Paintball compressors don't.
Let me pass a couple of experiences I had: I recently overhauled a gun for a friend and while re-sealing the Titanium cylinder I noticed abundant grime that was like grease but black in color inside the cylinder, it fortunately didn't get into the regulator/plenum/valve areas...I asked this friend about the compressor he was using and he stated that he had recently acquired a Coltri Max Air 35 because his little compressor was not good enough for his use...Well, this small compressor was surely passing oil and no filter other than a breathing air quality filter that I know will remove oil fumes and other contaminants at 4500 PSI...
I used a Shoebox (very good easy to operate and maintain compressor) for 3 years and my only complaint was always the humidity in the air, I used 2 Diablo filters in series at the 4500 psi outlet and another 2 industrial quality water filters and 2 oil separators after my 150 PSI compressor...When rebuilding my Steyr cylinder I once found lots of condensation inside and this forced me to rebuild all the internals of this rifle as a precaution...I constantly needed to unpack the Diablo filters for drying out and changing the media. These kinds of issues are what make me believe in using breathing air quality for guns and while the initial investment is high, in the long run you will be much happier, but that is me talking and other than huge Bauer Industrial HP compressors, this little Junior II and the Shoebox, I don't have any more HP compressor experience.
Hopefully people using some of the latest additions to the PCP compressor market chime in for passing their experiences.
What damage resulted from wiring and or running the compressor backwards?
It made a VERY mechanical noise and stopped compressing. The clatter was horrible when I tried to run it. Took it to a local Bauer repair place and they were quite honest with me in that they mainly do fire station size compressors and didn't feel they had the expertise to deal with it. I think it may have starved for top end oil? Once in a while when I start my new one it will make the same sound for a nano second. Heart stops, then it's fine. I was going to tear into it myself but after the Chinese compressor experience didn't want to become a compressor mechanic.
I agree with Hector that it could be overkill for what your current use may be. I tend to keep several topped off tanks lying around and then fill them again at one time. I'm good with knowing this should last me the rest of my shooting years and then my son can have it.
Make sure you DEPRESSURIZE your Junior II by opening the drain vales before you start it EVERY TIME, this will ease off the mechanical and electrical loads and the noise will be tamed off or it will disappear...Sometimes there is noise coming out of the inertia mechanism in the motor, the capacitors or the on/off switch resonating to the spark upon contact and high current demand, other common issue are resonances derived from the construction of the motor; I've seem motors using pressed cheap steel vs. Iron around the internals and this surely generates audible resonances...
I asked you about the damage caused by wiring the motor in opposite rotation direction because a compressor is a reciprocating mass where the motor is usually moving a flywheel connected to the crankshaft and in theory it should work in either direction, unless there is something directional connected to the motor or flywheel like the oiling system, there shouldn't be any damage. We have several larger industrial compressors that work in either direction using external oil pumps, but there is a factory label indicating the rotating direction; I will check on the Junior II diagram and verify the oiling system and if it is directional I will post it.
Absolutely, Carlos' statements are right and dead on in the sense that NOBODY needs a Bauer, a Coltri or a scuba diving compressor for air gunning, it surely is an overkill...But hey!, life is too short for failures and breakdowns found in small unreliable compressors and if you have some $$ saved you might as well ease off your mechanical skills and dedicate your time to shooting...Don't you think?
A Bauer JR II lasts 2000 hours before you need to change valves or maybe rebuild it, in the meantime you will only spend 1 quart of oil every 2 years and an air filter also every 2 years or maybe once a year if you are the air supply for the neighborhood...Topping a 97 cu./ft. from 3000 to 4500 psi takes 3+ minutes, let's exaggerate and say 5 minutes for this exercise, then you can top it off 12 times per hour or 24,000 times before mayor maintenance is required...And that my friend, IS A LOT OF SHOOTING!!! 😀
I don't know the specifics but it definitely has a designated rotation. There are directional arrows indicating the direction to run. On my first one my son wired it while I was at work. So when I got home it was ready to use. Covers were on and I had no idea of the directional issue. It worked for a while then failed. After calling around and finding out the directional thing I blamed the failure on human error. My son was just trying to help so I never told him what happened. Had an electrician wire the new one. Even he originally had it running backward.
Cultural follow up for reverse operation....
Bauer Technical Assistance: Oceanus and JR II are indeed directional, the "Splash" part of the oiling system works in either direction but there is an internal small oil pump that supplies additional lubrication mainly to the 2nd and 3rd stages, this pump is also directional. The fan would be pulling air instead of blowing but the cooling would be marginally sufficient...These compressors can be ran for about 1.5 hours in the opposite direction before overheating the 3rd stage and causing serious damage. Users will smell an oily environment when operating in reverse direction. When damaged it is usually the 3rd stage.
Azuaro ... what did you do with the Junior that you ran backwards? I would bet that the major damage was done to the motor. The Junior does not have an oil pump so lubrication would still have been OK. If you still have it, you might send it to a QUALIFIED Bauer dealer to get it back up to snuff. THEN, you either have a back up or you can sell it and help pay for the replacement since you obviously spent a TON.
I sell both the Bauer (since 1982) and the Coltri (since 1990) but am a master distributor for the Coltri and have one of my guys do the Bauer work. If you need a recommendation for Bauer service, there is nobody better than August Industries in TX. They stock more and do better service than Bauer USA.