Special Ops Paintball: Answer to all your HPA questions! - Special Ops Paintball

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Answer to all your HPA questions! (Version 2.1) Rate Topic: ***** 1 Votes

#1 User is offline   chikin pickle 

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 06:45 PM

Ok I have seen about five thousand questions about HPA tanks, I have put together a list of the most common ones that I have seen and will answer them to the best of my ability.

1. Which is better nitro (n2) or HPA (high pressure air)?
A: Both, HPA and "nitro" or n2 are one and the same, the reason that it is referred to as both is that some stores fill the tanks with compressed air, and some fill the tanks with dry nitrogen (compressed rather than liquid). Either of the gasses give you the same performance.

2. Which is better co2 or HPA/n2?
A: It depends on the weather; in hot weather you can get regulators for co2, such as the palmers stabilizer that will offer a more consistent shot on co2. However once the temperature drops the performance of co2 goes down. This is because the liquid inside the tank cannot evaporate fast enough to make the required amount of pressure. HPA is stored as a gas and is regulated down to the required pressure; this means that you will get the same pressure no matter the temperature until the tank pressure drops below the reg's output pressure.

3. Should I get a high output tank or a low output?
A: It depends on the gun you are using, A tippmann with stock internals will require a high-output tank as it is designed to function on co2 which has a high output pressure (between 600 and 2000 PSI depending on temperature) If you have something such as a DM5 which is designed to run on low pressure then a low-output tank will work just fine. You can also buy tanks with adjustable regulators; however these regulators do not have ASA threads.

4. What is the difference between a high and a low output tank?
A: The difference is that a "high output" tank has a regulator that is preset between 800 and 850 PSI, of pressure going into the gun. A Low output tank has a preset regulator with an output around 400 PSI of pressure going into the gun.

5. I just switched to HPA and my response trigger stopped working, what's wrong?
A: I see this one all the time and usually the guy has just made the switch from co2. All you have to do is play with the adjustment screw until it starts working again.

6. Should I get a fiber wrap tank or a metal tank?
A: There are several differences between the two. A FW (fiber wrap)* tank is lighter than a metal tank; this is good if you have an on-gun setup. Metal is less expensive than carbon fiber. Carbon fiber tanks can be made much bigger than metal tanks and can be rated to higher pressure. Metal tanks do not require a bottle cover to keep them from scratching. Carbon fiber tanks are made by taking an aluminum "pressure vessel" which is basically a thinner version of a metal bottle and wrapping it in layers of carbon fiber material. This is a very strong and very light material. Then a layer of fiberglass is added. Some manufacturers apply a "flow-coat" or "tuff-skin", this is a resin-like material that hardens and protects the carbon fiber from being scratched (I still recommend a bottle cover though). In then end a CFW tank is more expensive but in my opinion worth it. It is all up to your preference and your wallet though.

7. How many shots do I get off of a __/____ tank?
A: This is a hard question to answer. The number of shots per tank varies a LOT from gun to gun. Some factor that determine how many shots you get off of a fill are the operating pressure, and the guns air efficiency, among another things. For example my autococker gets in the area of 1000 shots off of my 68/3000, where my tippmann got only around 600-650 shots. However for tippmanns with stock internals tippmanns get about 10 shots per cubic inch (cu.in.) at 3000 PSI, and 15 shots per cu.in. at 4500 PSI.

8. Where can I get a HPA tank filled and how much does it cost?
A: Well, cost of fills is not much of a problem for me as my field has free both. However At the pro shop I go to (APD for all you Arizonans) 3000 PSI fills are $1 and co2 fills are more expensive than that. As to where you can get them filled the list includes fields, pro shops, scuba shops (depends), and fill them from scuba tanks connected to a fill station.

9. How do I fill my HPA tank?
A: This is a very simple procedure; connect the fill hose to the nipple, close the pressure release valve (the one that is open to the air). Then open the fill valve and let air flow into the tank until the gauge is at the rated capacity (never overfill!!!). Close the fill valve, and then open the pressure release valve. You should hear a loud, sharp hiss. You can then disconnect your now full tank.

10. Is HPA safer than co2?
A: It depends on how well your gear is maintained. HPA is usually safer than co2, it is much more stable than co2, there is no risk of freezer burn from a blown tank o-ring or rupture disk. HPA tanks are better designed to prevent "bottle rockets" and are much harder to overfill than co2 tanks. The pressure gauge tells you exactly how full the tank is. If you don't have a scale for co2 then you have to guess and they usually get overdone. Also HPA tanks are tested to hold twice their operating pressure and have dual rupture disks. One up flow of the regulator for tank overpressures and one down flow of the regulator to protect the marker in case of a reg failure. Here is another scary fact about co2, the only paintball related deaths are attributed to co2 bottles that came off the valve and propelled themselves into someone.

11. What do I need to put HPA on my 98 or A-5?
A: Absolutely nothing! As long as your HPA tank has a High output regulator (800-850 PSI) then just screw it in and your good.

12. What remote should I get for a 4500 PSI tank?
A: Any remote will work fine. The remote line is rated up to 3000 PSI but the 4500 only means the pressure in the tank. The output pressure of the tank is regulated down to 800-850 or 400 PSI (depending on the reg) before it enters your remote line. Even if the regulator fails completely your low pressure rupture disk will fail and the line won't break. Basically any remote will work fine.

13. Can I fill my co2 tank with n2/HPA?
A: No! Do not try to or even think about it. A co2 tank is only rated for 1800 PSI of pressure, and has no regulator. If you tried to do that you would be running your gun on 1800 PSI of pressure. More than twice the pressure of any air bottle. I have only seen the question a few times but it needs to be addressed. Compressed gas bottles require HazMat certification and trying to fill them with compounds they are not certified for is not only dangerous but potentially deadly. If you are really desperate for an air tank buy a used one.

14. Does co2 work /work better for the tippmann low pressure kit (LPK)?
Co2 will absolutely work. As long as you have a reg designed to handle co2 such as the palmers stabilizer then it should work fine. Just make sure that you have a reg with the correct output pressure. Optimal is around 375 PSI. As far as work better I will always tell people to use HPA if they can afford it, plus if you have HPA you can use a much wider variety of inline regulators.

15.Which is better, a high pressure gun, or a low pressure gun?
Now a low pressure gun uses a higher volume of gas at a lower pressure to fire a paintball. Even though they use a higher volume of gas they still use less gas overall than a high pressure marker. Now, my autococker gave me a 50% increase in shots per fill over my tippmann from my crossfire 68/3000 tank. Now this does this in a number of ways, first by using less gas overall per shot, draining the tank slower, and allowing you to shoot more. Secondly by giving you more tank pressure to work with. With my tippmann I could only drain the tank to 800 PSI before I began to experiance shoot down, that is almost a full 1/3 (33-1/3%) of my tanks capacity that I could not use, now with my autococker I can drain the tank down to 350 PSI. So now only about 10% of my tanks capacity is being wasted. Lastly LP guns are very quiet, because there is less pressure being released, less noise is being created, so you have a quieter gun. You can choose for yourself, but in my opinion low-pressure is the way to go.

*a note, fiber wrap tanks can be made with either a wrapping of carbon fiber, or fiberglass. Whether it's carbon fiber or fiberglass depends on the manufacturer of the tank.


Now, for the reg recharge rates. Here is a chart courtesy of shockergeek on PBN, posted here by jordan89.

Quote

ACI bulldog
pressure prior to shot PSI---710
lowest pressure during shot PSI---487
% pressure drop---31%
recovery time 95% of pressure in MS---122

Armeggedon 807 psi >661psi >18% >90ms

Centeflag 801psi > 675psi > 16% >14ms

Crossfire 770psi > 662psi > 14% > 10ms

DYE throttle 830psi > 573psi > 30% > 173ms

EVIL Scion 556psi > 472psi > 15% > 18ms

Pro Toyz 804psi > 508psi > 26% > 41ms

Pure Energy 840psi > 724psi > 14% > 10(30*)ms

WDP A.I.R. 797psi > 648psi > 19% > 45ms


* Pure Energy reg initially recovers within 10ms, although the pressure oscillates and full recovery is not achived for another 20 ms.


Those are some the questions I think need to be answered, If I have left out anything fell free to post it or PM me with it and I will add it to the list, If I have any incorrect information please PM me with it, rather than post it and I will correct it accordingly. Lastly, please don't spam up this thread with random questions, if you want to know something remeber, the PM is your friend.
ENJOY!!

The above document (excluding quoted information and webpages any hyperlinks may lead to) is © 2006 chikin pickle, all rights reserved. If you wish to repost it I ask that you obtain my permission first and repost the copywright along with it.

This post has been edited by chikin pickle: 26 June 2006 - 01:18 PM

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 06:54 PM

Good job.


Air systems is really in need of the good information and this definately is worth of being pinned to the top IMO...


Again, good work Chikin :angry:



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#3 User is offline   chikin pickle 

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 07:06 PM

At last, my work here is done gentlemen. *Tilts hat brim, rides off into the sunset* :D
I couldn't resist.
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#4 User is offline   ninja monkey 

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 08:51 PM

that is a good post....well done :D
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#5 User is offline   Lit 

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 08:52 PM

One of the more informative posts I've seen on these forums.

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#6 User is offline   chikin pickle 

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 08:54 PM

Lol, you gusy don't pay that much attention to things do you? This has been around for a while, I just managed to clean it up a little bit. you should have read the first paragraph. I always appreciate the compliments though.
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#7 User is offline   bob 

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 08:51 PM

Yay! Less noobish questions!
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#8 User is offline   Chubbs77 

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 06:43 PM

Nice job, I have always wanted hpa but dont know much about it, now I feel fairly confident getting one.

Thanks
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#9 User is offline   sniper_GC 

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 04:30 PM

I would agree with Chubbs. I never really knew that much about HPA, but as Chubbs said, I now feel confident in being able to talk to the guys at my local paintball shop and actually know(if not sound like I know) what I'm talking about.
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#10 User is offline   Craig Niland 

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 02:31 PM

I was reading a review on the Dye Throttle HPA tank at pbreview.com/. One guy complained there was alot of velocity fluctuations using the tank. His gun setup (Tippmann I think) had a Palmer Regulator (I now have one too). So, he gave the tank a bad rating. Everyone started busting on him, saying how the Palmer Reg isn't going to work very well with HPA. Is this true? I know it can work with it, but how is the overall performance? They said he needed a regulator, not a stabilizer. Was he just doing something wrong, or were they actuallly right?
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#11 User is offline   LONG_SHOT 

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 04:19 PM

I heard something today and im not sure about the validity of it. Is it true that if you have used CO2 with your gun for a while, like lets say a year or 2, that you shouldn't switch to HPA because your internals will freeze up. Does this have any truth to it, or is it just a false statement?
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#12 User is offline   Pneumaniac227 

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 11:56 PM

You can get HPA fills for a $1 in Arizona? Glad I might be moving there in a year. Up here, in Alaska, cheapest is $6.50.
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#13 User is offline   sartek 

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 01:10 AM

Long_Shot: This is a false statement.

Craig Niland: The Palmer's Stabilizer IS a regulator. It's simply the make and model name. No different than if someone were referring to a Bob Long Torpedo. Stabilizers work very well for HPA. They don't have as low of a recharge rate as most, but then your shot timing isn't going to be in the milliseconds either. They are designed as a very simple, and very safe regulator that liquid gasses wont cause catastrophic failure with.

This post has been edited by sartek: 05 May 2006 - 01:10 AM

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#14 User is offline   Ghost Bear Reborn 

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 03:33 AM

May I suggest another question for the FAQ?

What sort of modifications do I have to make to my marker to upgrade from CO2 to HPA?

I bet lots of people are wary of making the switch because they think it's a big hassle to modify their marker.
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#15 User is offline   sartek 

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 07:11 AM

View PostGhost Bear Reborn, on May 5 2006, 04:33 AM, said:

May I suggest another question for the FAQ?

What sort of modifications do I have to make to my marker to upgrade from CO2 to HPA?

I bet lots of people are wary of making the switch because they think it's a big hassle to modify their marker.


No modifications are required for any marker that I know of to switch from CO2 to Comp Air, as long as teh CompAir tank is a High Output tank.
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