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Re: [GPSL] WB8ELK Fill Nozzle

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  • Pete Lilja
    Very nice. I picked up one of those repair couplers the other day and looked it over for similar use. I hadn t thought through as completely what you ve
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 29, 2009
      Very nice.  I picked up one of those repair couplers the other day and looked it over for similar use.  I hadn't thought through as completely what you've done.  It does seem like another good idea.  Thanks for sharing.  I enjoy seeing how others solve these HABing problems.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 6:14 PM
      Subject: [GPSL] WB8ELK Fill Nozzle


      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 filler.
      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 them.
      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

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Pete Lilja <plilja@...>
      To: GPSL@yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Thu, Nov 26, 2009 6:12 pm
      Subject: [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 lift.
      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.

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