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post #2 of Old 03-18-2004
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Small compressor for diving.

The short answer is errr...kind of...but it depends on how fond of your lungs you are.

Couple of things to consider form a technical standpoint. firstly, those little compressors work in "puffs" and do not provide a continous stream of air. This makes for lousy breathing.
So one of the first things you would need to do is create a "bottle" like the tank that ges with regular air compresors. This evens out the flow by having a pressure reserve an providing a stream of air-on-demand. There are numerouse things that can be used to "improvise" this device for non breathing use, things like propane cylanders, and such (or for thecase of an air-brush using friend of mine, the inner-tube to a wheelbarrow tyre).

Second tech point.
Compressors designed for providing breathable air have different seals, lines and piston rings (and lube) to the ones that are designed for inflating tyres. Basically the reason that a divers hookah is so much more expensive is that it has to emit NON TOXIC air fit for human consumption. On the other hand, the unit you are propsing uses mineral oil for lube, likely a fibre-lined aluminium for piston rings and vulcanised rubber seals and O-rings that happily send that fine black rubber dust along the line with the air.
Bad news for breathing.
Now combine the two issues of the improvised pressure bottle and the unsuitable compressor.... A screaming headache is the luckiest thing you could come away with.

Think of it this way, if even large type compressors (such as used at gas stations) produced breathing quality air, would not have someone come up with an adaptor to refill dive cylanders form the gas station by now instead of paying dollars to get it done at a dive shop?

All air aint good air, even for L.A residents.

If you have no real interest in diving apart from cleaning your boat hull, you can usually make a deal with local divers (usually kids) to turn up every few weeks and do it for you. Our 16yo entreprenaur gets $20Australian every dive, about once every month in these waters. Much cheaper the a PADDI course and regulator. He even checks the length of the mooring chain to see if shackles need replacing or anything.

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