Thought I'd show how I build a filling nozzle.
The main filling nozzle part is a 1" Quick-Fix Repair Coupling from
either Lowes or Home Depot in their PVC pipe area.
The Repair Coupling part has a 1" PVC pipe that slides in and out of a
larger piece to allow you to hook up two PVC pipes with an adjustable
distance. It's a part that just seems to made for use as a balloon
I glue in a 3/4" to 1/2" threaded plastic reducer adapter. Then put
a 3/4" to 1/2" M-F brass adapter following by an NPT pressure fitting (either
male or female depending on what you have on the end of your filling pressure
hose). Make sure to use nylon tape on the threaded fittings to seal
The top nozzle assembly is the one from Home Depot...the bottom one is
from Lowes. Either one will work but the one from Lowes has an indented area
near the end that will help hold the balloon on. These are pretty thick so you
can also file, Dremel or lathe a groove in it as well.
I tie on a string over the lip of the bottom part of the
nozzle filling adapter to hold the balloon down and to measure the
lift...it works pretty well.....The NPT fittings allow you to quick release
the nozzle from the hose (make sure to close the helium tank valve first) to
allow you to accurately measure lift without the helium dumping out...provided
you use the female NPT fitting on the nozzle. I also have these fittings on
both ends of the fill hose as well as the pressure regulator which allows me
to quickly disassemble and pack away the filling system.
Just remember to use a pressure regulator on the tank...the pressure hose
from Lowes or Home Depot is only rated to about 300 PSI.
If you want to bypass the use of a regulator, then make sure you have
male NPT fittings on each end of the filling hose....but I still recommend
using a regulator.
One nice feature when packing things away is that the business end of the
nozzle filler is adjustable and can be pushed into the adaptor housing to make
it very compact for storage. Just pull it out again for filling...it has a
rubber seal inside.
- Bill WB8ELK
From: Pete Lilja <plilja@...>
Sent: Thu, Nov 26, 2009 6:12 pm
[GPSL] Mike's Fill Nozzle
A few months ago Mike Manes described and sent
some photos of his design for a balloon nozzle fill plug made from PVC
plumbing pieces. I made a couple last week and used one on our most
recent HAB flight. It worked beautifully for filling, sealing and
attaching the 1200g balloon and also for checking adequate
Since our flight team consisted of only two
people and four hands on the last two flight this set-up made things much,
much easier for us.
Thanks for the idea, Mike. This is too good
not to share.