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CO2 ballast

R/C Submarine modelers

Postby KevinG » Wed Jul 16, 2003 1:02 am

Hello
I was at my local bicycle shop and I noticed a portable tire filler using a 12g CO2 containers simular to those used on pellet guns. There are differences. Has any one used this type of system to recharge their onboard propel tank. Are there PSI problems? I also noticed with a small bit of engineering it could be installed as part of the ballast system, therefore one just changes the CO2 container instead of filling a onboard propel tank. Some parts are also available from Swampworks. Are there any advantages to CO2 over propel?
Thanks
KevinG
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Postby subdude » Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:47 am

Kevin,
Please, please don't consider using CO2 in your sub unless you know exactly what you are doing with it, and the system is designed for it. CO2 is stored at very high pressures (800+ psi) and can be deadly. For comparison, Propel stores liquid at about 75 psi. If you were to try and "refill" your onboard Propel system with CO2, you'd blow it to bits, destroying it, probably destroying your boat, and almost certainly injuring yourself and maybe others nearby.
Having said that, I have been running CO2 ballast systems for almost 10 years, and they can be very reliable. They are most useful in larger boats, where you have the room for the extra componants required and safety devices, but also due to it's high expansion rate, you get more "blows" of your ballast tank per fill.
Several years ago, one issue of The SubCommittee Report (#35, I think) had numerous articles concerning the types of ballast systems, their implementation, and the inherent risks and safety requirements. I would urge you (and anyone getting into the hobby) to get a copy of this issue and read it before making any decision on a type of ballast system. Please use caution, and make informed decisions. We want you to be around for a long time!

Jim Butt
Membership Chairman, The SubCommittee




Edited By subdude on 1058357793
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Postby Art Broder » Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:33 am

Kevin,
Taking note of the above precautions, I think the reserve capacity of CO2 in the Ultraflate bicycle tire inflator also may not be adequate, except perhaps as in a back-up ballast system.
I have been using the inflator to launch missiles from my L.A. for several years now. I had to use a high torque servo to depress the trigger, and I moved the inflator and servo into the free flood area so I don't have to open the WTC every time I want to change the CO2 cartridge. I get about 4 or 5 missile launches, 30-50 feet high, before the cartridge empties.
I also use a very safe and simple low pressure Recirculating Compressed Air Ballast System, powered by a very small air pump, not CO2, for static diving and surfacing.
Hope this helps you make your decision.
Art Broder
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Postby purser » Tue Jul 29, 2003 2:48 am

Hello;
First of all I am new on the forum, so if I make a misstake I'm sorry. I use the Co2 for emergency blow out of the ballast tanks. I found something in the sporting store called a pressure mate mads by coleman, which is used on liq. gass lanterns. This unit has a low pressure end with with a valve that I open and close with a servo.
I am scratch building the Bowfin World War 2 fleet sub. 3/16 scale 59" long 6" beam (Wood)
Fred
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