Special Ops Paintball: Newbie Questions About Air Tanks - Special Ops Paintball

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#1 User is offline   Sport351 

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 07:47 PM

Hey, I'm pretty new to the sport of paintball, and I'm saving up for a 98c. I read in a couple topics that a 98 can take basically any kind of air. Both of my nearby fields refill compressed air for cheap (one only supplies that). Now, this question is probably going to seem dumb but..Is there a difference between Compressed Air vs. Co2 or HPA? I honestly have no idea. Oh, and sorry if this is in the wrong place.
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#2 User is offline   5N1P3R 

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 07:55 PM

Compressed air is pretty much the same thing as HPA (High Pressure Air). HPA gives you a cleaner shot and the velocity is more consistent. The only advantages of C02 are that its cheaper in some places...

I will give you some links:


http://www.youtube.c...h?v=alc0650GY0w
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#3 User is offline   slinkyaroo 

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:00 PM

Compressed air is the air you breath compressed to pressure of 3000 psi to 5000 psi.

HPA = high pressure air.

N2 is nitrogen. It is pressurized up to 4500 psi.

HPA tanks may use compressed air (HPA) or N2.


CO2 is carbon dioxide. It is stored in a liquid form in a tank. It's pressure changes dramatically with the temperature. It's pressure at room temp is about 800-850 psi in the tank. The CO2 is stored liquid and turns to a gas state with it enters the atmosphere.


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This post has been edited by slinkyaroo: 20 January 2010 - 08:01 PM

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#4 User is offline   The Bear 

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:48 PM

A 98C will work fine with either HPA/N2 or CO2. Buying tanks for HPA/N2 is more expensive by far than CO2 but the fills (at least where I play) are usually cheaper or even free so if you play a lot it will pay for itself soon enough.

Also generally due to the difference in the way the propellants are stored (HPA/N2 stored as compressed gas, CO2 stored as liquid) you will need a physically larger tank than CO2 for a similar shot-per-tank count.

HPA/N2 will not freeze you marker up during high speed firing or during winter play either, a nice feature for Northern players like me. I'm not saying CO2 definitely will freeze your marker, but I've had issues with it.

And one more thing to keep in mind is that HPA/N2 tanks will need to be hydrotested (a test to make sure the tank is still safe to pressurize) every 3 to 5 years and CO2 does not.

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#5 User is offline   Sport351 

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 01:47 PM

Thanks guys for all the information.
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#6 User is offline   Simmons 

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 02:37 PM

View PostThe Bear, on Jan 20 2010, 10:48 PM, said:

...

And one more thing to keep in mind is that HPA/N2 tanks will need to be hydrotested (a test to make sure the tank is still safe to pressurize) every 3 to 5 years and CO2 does not.

Bear


I just wanted to clarify that aluminum CO2 tanks (which constitutes almost all of them) also need to be tested every 5 years. Steel CO2 tanks do not ever need to be tested/re-certified. Steel tanks have a ROUND bottom. Aluminum tanks have a FLAT bottom. For the most part, once a CO2 cylinder is out of date, it is cheaper to just buy a new one. The hydro date of a CO2 tank is stamped into it, usually in the format MM A YY (04 A 09 = April 2009). This is the date the tank was 'born'.
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#7 User is offline   TeleFragger 

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 02:59 PM

View PostSimmons, on Feb 7 2010, 04:37 PM, said:

View PostThe Bear, on Jan 20 2010, 10:48 PM, said:

...

And one more thing to keep in mind is that HPA/N2 tanks will need to be hydrotested (a test to make sure the tank is still safe to pressurize) every 3 to 5 years and CO2 does not.

Bear


I just wanted to clarify that aluminum CO2 tanks (which constitutes almost all of them) also need to be tested every 5 years. Steel CO2 tanks do not ever need to be tested/re-certified. Steel tanks have a ROUND bottom. Aluminum tanks have a FLAT bottom. For the most part, once a CO2 cylinder is out of date, it is cheaper to just buy a new one. The hydro date of a CO2 tank is stamped into it, usually in the format MM A YY (04 A 09 = April 2009). This is the date the tank was 'born'.


wow i never knew that... i have one round 12oz and 1 flat 12oz and 2 flat 20oz.... guy never checked them when he filled them....
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#8 User is offline   rjdeyoung 

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 02:53 PM

View PostTeleFragger, on Feb 7 2010, 03:59 PM, said:

View PostSimmons, on Feb 7 2010, 04:37 PM, said:

View PostThe Bear, on Jan 20 2010, 10:48 PM, said:

...

And one more thing to keep in mind is that HPA/N2 tanks will need to be hydrotested (a test to make sure the tank is still safe to pressurize) every 3 to 5 years and CO2 does not.

Bear


I just wanted to clarify that aluminum CO2 tanks (which constitutes almost all of them) also need to be tested every 5 years. Steel CO2 tanks do not ever need to be tested/re-certified. Steel tanks have a ROUND bottom. Aluminum tanks have a FLAT bottom. For the most part, once a CO2 cylinder is out of date, it is cheaper to just buy a new one. The hydro date of a CO2 tank is stamped into it, usually in the format MM A YY (04 A 09 = April 2009). This is the date the tank was 'born'.


wow i never knew that... i have one round 12oz and 1 flat 12oz and 2 flat 20oz.... guy never checked them when he filled them....



Yeah a lot of people don't check them...kinda worries me sometimes. OH and if some moron tells you that they don't need to be checked or hydro'd slap them (Co2 tank or HPA tank)!
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#9 User is offline   Legato 

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 11:55 PM

technically 9 oz or smaller tanks (7 oz, 3.5 oz, 4 oz, 13 ci, and 22 ci) are exempt from hydro by the 2 x 2 rule. But that's it. Everythign else needs to be hydro tested...and yeah for CO2 tanks, cheaper to just buy new ones.
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#10 User is offline   The Bear 

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 05:46 PM

View PostSimmons, on Feb 7 2010, 04:37 PM, said:

I just wanted to clarify that aluminum CO2 tanks (which constitutes almost all of them) also need to be tested every 5 years. Steel CO2 tanks do not ever need to be tested/re-certified. Steel tanks have a ROUND bottom. Aluminum tanks have a FLAT bottom. For the most part, once a CO2 cylinder is out of date, it is cheaper to just buy a new one. The hydro date of a CO2 tank is stamped into it, usually in the format MM A YY (04 A 09 = April 2009). This is the date the tank was 'born'.


Thanks for the correction Simmons, I wasn't aware. The airsmith at my field told me I didn't need to hydro my CO2 tanks, so I went with that.

View PostLegato, on Feb 9 2010, 01:55 AM, said:

technically 9 oz or smaller tanks (7 oz, 3.5 oz, 4 oz, 13 ci, and 22 ci) are exempt from hydro by the 2 x 2 rule. But that's it. Everythign else needs to be hydro tested...and yeah for CO2 tanks, cheaper to just buy new ones.


That could explain it, all mine are 9oz or smaller.

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#11 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:50 AM

Even the chrome molly tank (steel) ones will need to be tested if they fall outside of the 2x2 rule. There's a bit of rumor out there that they do not. Awhile ago there was a run of chrome molly tanks that had a special number stamped designating that they did not need to be hydroed. That has since expired, and all current chrome molly/steel tanks need hydroed after 5 years.

As for actual differences between CO2 and HPA it comes down to preference. HPA is more expensive, but offers very good shot consistency in pretty much all weather conditions. The tank has a regulator built onto the end of it that is required for its operation which allows the marker to receive a consistent pressure input. Overall it's a lot simpler to use, and required for most fast shooting markers and more modern valve systems.

A lot of people consider CO2 to be old or inferior, but it does have its advantages. It's a lot less expensive, and you have access to the smaller, slimmer 9oz or 12oz tanks. It also gets a better shot capacity-to-tank size ratio. Depending on where you are and how much you shoot, fills can also be less expensive. Around here its $2 for a 9oz fill and $5 for 20z. HPA is a flat $5 rate. CO2 doesn't have a regulator as part of its function. CO2 is more or less a self-regulating subtance. The tank is half filled with liquid CO2, half with gas. Ideally you fire some of the gas, pressure drops, the liquid expands, and pressure is restored to what it once was. It's a naturally occurring cycle. The problem is that the pressure it puts out is relative to the temperature it's at, and the cycle also produces a cooling effect. So with fluctuating temperature you get generally less consistency. They do make CO2 regulators which minimize the gap in consistency. A lot of older markers worked on liquid CO2 which also produce similar consistency to HPA

This post has been edited by Piller: 11 February 2010 - 11:52 AM

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#12 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 12:26 PM

I have a question while we are at it - people often talk about depressurizing and empyting their tanks (HPA) until next time...

1) Is it safe to leave a tank pressurized?
2) What is the fastest way to depressurize it? Just shoot it on empty repeatedly? That could take a while :P
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#13 User is offline   Tommikka 

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 03:01 PM

View Postcdrinkh20, on Feb 11 2010, 07:26 PM, said:

I have a question while we are at it - people often talk about depressurizing and empyting their tanks (HPA) until next time...

1) Is it safe to leave a tank pressurized?
2) What is the fastest way to depressurize it? Just shoot it on empty repeatedly? That could take a while :P

1) Yes - With HPA the only real risk is that an atmospheric condition may expand and cause failure. If so the burst disk will release. There are reports of severe incidents with stored CO2 because of the way the valve is screwed in.


2a) Attach a remote line, and open the slide check

or

2b) Detach the front of your markers ASA line from the marker, screw the tank to the ASA

Either way make sure the released air is blown in a safe directoin
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#14 User is offline   The Stuntman 

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 03:27 PM

View PostTommikka, on Feb 11 2010, 02:01 PM, said:

View Postcdrinkh20, on Feb 11 2010, 07:26 PM, said:

I have a question while we are at it - people often talk about depressurizing and empyting their tanks (HPA) until next time...

1) Is it safe to leave a tank pressurized?
2) What is the fastest way to depressurize it? Just shoot it on empty repeatedly? That could take a while :P

1) Yes - With HPA the only real risk is that an atmospheric condition may expand and cause failure. If so the burst disk will release. There are reports of severe incidents with stored CO2 because of the way the valve is screwed in.


2a) Attach a remote line, and open the slide check

or

2b) Detach the front of your markers ASA line from the marker, screw the tank to the ASA

Either way make sure the released air is blown in a safe directoin


or 2c...
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#15 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 04:18 PM

View PostTommikka, on Feb 11 2010, 03:01 PM, said:

View Postcdrinkh20, on Feb 11 2010, 07:26 PM, said:

I have a question while we are at it - people often talk about depressurizing and empyting their tanks (HPA) until next time...

1) Is it safe to leave a tank pressurized?
2) What is the fastest way to depressurize it? Just shoot it on empty repeatedly? That could take a while :P

1) Yes - With HPA the only real risk is that an atmospheric condition may expand and cause failure. If so the burst disk will release. There are reports of severe incidents with stored CO2 because of the way the valve is screwed in.


2a) Attach a remote line, and open the slide check

or

2b) Detach the front of your markers ASA line from the marker, screw the tank to the ASA

Either way make sure the released air is blown in a safe directoin


Curses :P I lack a slide check because I had read they get full of crud really easily (ie. dirt)... although I suppose it would work to just hold a remote line out hold it away too..?
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