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DIY concept for PROPANE driven Hookah diving compressor.

I am thinking that a DIY concept for a Hookah diving compressor might be interesting for cruisers.

A couple of initial ideas:
1. gasoline pancake oiless compressor with 2 tanks. 150psi
2. propane conversion kit for above compressor (another one for the dingy outboard)
3. ingress air filter and distance hose (to ensure you don't get any CO into the lines)
4. egress air filter (to ensure you don't get any oils or particles out of the tank)
5. lowes air line spliced with regulator (1st stage=150psi)
6. normal diving regulator.

thats cheaping it out at about $600 all said. I like the aluminum double tanks.
plus you get compressed air onboard for pneumatic tools ! ALL OPERATED ON PROPANE
 

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DIY concept for PROPANE driven Hookah diving compressor.

I am thinking that a DIY concept for a Hookah diving compressor might be interesting for cruisers.

A couple of initial ideas:
1. gasoline pancake oiless compressor with 2 tanks. 150psi
2. propane conversion kit for above compressor (another one for the dingy outboard)
3. ingress air filter and distance hose (to ensure you don't get any CO into the lines)
4. egress air filter (to ensure you don't get any oils or particles out of the tank)
5. lowes air line spliced with regulator (1st stage=150psi)
6. normal diving regulator.

thats cheaping it out at about $600 all said. I like the aluminum double tanks.
plus you get compressed air onboard for pneumatic tools ! ALL OPERATED ON PROPANE
Interesting. Why propane and not leave it running on gas?
 

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you may search here and see the oft posts of this idea, and all the pros and cons.

Propane adds another layer of risk to the DIY, why not save up another $400 and buy a commercially available one, that has the proper components for safe breathing and a record of reliability.

If you insist on this, at least get properly trained on diving. And read up on labeled air lines for breathing and chafe.

Be safe.
 

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Along with air, in your system you will also be breathing in lubricating oil found in the air stream of tool compressors. You can do it, but its terrible for you... Pretty much like inhaling wd-40 every time you use it. This is part of why SCUBA compressors are so expensive, they use special engineering to ensure that no oil is transmitted to the tank, while many pneumatic tools rely on this oil to lubricate themselves.

Oil filters do not completely eliminate this unless they have been rated for breathable air. And when you look at the ones rated this way, you get really close to the $1,000 price for a commercial unit.
 

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First of all, I should admit that I know next to nothing about dive equipment, but we ran into a cruiser who had an interesting device onboard for doing quick checks and repairs. He had taken a dive regulator and separated the primary and secondary stages of the regulator (if I understood his description). He left the primary stage attached to his tank, which stayed on deck while the secondary stage was attached to the mouthpiece by a hose long enough that he work on his keel or whatever. He said that this arrangement allowed him to get in the water much quicker than with tank he wore or setting up a hookah? Comments?
 
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First of all, I should admit that I know next to nothing about dive equipment, but we ran into a cruiser who had an interesting device onboard for doing quick checks and repairs. He had taken a dive regulator and separated the primary and secondary stages of the regulator (if I understood his description). He left the primary stage attached to his tank, which stayed on deck while the secondary stage was attached to the mouthpiece by a hose long enough that he work on his keel or whatever. He said that this arrangement allowed him to get in the water much quicker than with tank he wore or setting up a hookah? Comments?
It's a good idea. He didn't really do anything more than add a longer hose between the first and second stage regulators. They are naturally separate.
 

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While in Cuba, I came across an interesting setup, used it in fact to change a prop. A former commercial diver had taken an electric air compressor, just a cheapie one probably worth about $110 at Northern, put a long hose and scuba mouthpiece on it, plugged it in at the dock and it worked just fine. Had to suck a bit harder than one might like if the job was a long one, but it gave me enough air to get 'er done.
No issues with oil, etc.
I've been thinking of setting up something similar for my own boat. Thoughts?
 

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the pancake compressors are oilless which makes them popular for that purpose. my buddies built one for mainly under hull work but I dont think they have used it for recreational purposes.
 

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The first stage is always on the tank, the second in your mouth, connected to the first stage with a 3 ft hose.
He apparently replaced this hose with a longer one, allowing him to leave the tank on deck instead of carrying it on his back.
There is one drawback to this idea: You need the weight of the tank to actually get and stay under water; some even need extra lead besides the tank.
Without that weight, you bob up like a cork, or have to paddle like crazy, just to stay under water.

First of all, I should admit that I know next to nothing about dive equipment, but we ran into a cruiser who had an interesting device onboard for doing quick checks and repairs. He had taken a dive regulator and separated the primary and secondary stages of the regulator (if I understood his description). He left the primary stage attached to his tank, which stayed on deck while the secondary stage was attached to the mouthpiece by a hose long enough that he work on his keel or whatever. He said that this arrangement allowed him to get in the water much quicker than with tank he wore or setting up a hookah? Comments?
 

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Wish I never found SN!
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12v electric diaphragm air pumps are readily available from aquarium shops.
 

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I have a 30ft hose on one of my tanks, I carry on the boat. I have a yoke to hook (2) tanks together, but haven't had the need. Remember, even a 'hooker' rig has 'bottom' time, don't get into trouble by thinking you can STAY down forever,(like cleaning a couple of hulls at one time). .02
 

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If you mean decompression time, its all but impossible to have an issue when your max depth may be 6 or 7 ft.
 

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Let's slow down a bit here.

If you are unfamiliar with safe diving principles, then please take the time to learn them. It's not rocket science, and ultimately can make the difference in whether or not you injure yourself or do long term damage to your body. If you don't want to shell out the money to get certified, at least find the texts that go with a cert course that will lay everything out for you. At a minimum, learn how to read dive tables and know what the concept of bottom time really means.

If you want to go with a remote tank set up, then most places are going to want to see a cert card when you take your tanks in for a fill.

A couple of things mentioned got my attention.

There is one drawback to this idea: You need the weight of the tank to actually get and stay under water; some even need extra lead besides the tank.
Without that weight, you bob up like a cork, or have to paddle like crazy, just to stay under water.
This is actually incorrect. Buoyancy control when under water is a continuous process. One of the forces at play is the air tank (others are the water density, your own body composition, the amount of gear you carry, the size and type of exposure protection you wear and at what depth, etc.) When a dive tank is full, it is negatively buoyant -- i.e. is acts as a weight. As the tank empties, it becomes negatively buoyant -- i.e., it acts as a float. Using a remote air supply removes the changing buoyancy variable of the tank.

I have a 30ft hose on one of my tanks, I carry on the boat. I have a yoke to hook (2) tanks together, but haven't had the need. Remember, even a 'hooker' rig has 'bottom' time, don't get into trouble by thinking you can STAY down forever,(like cleaning a couple of hulls at one time). .02
AirborneSF and Minnewaska are both right. Here's a table that shows the increasing water pressure at the depths we're talking about:



As you can see, even at the relatively shallow depths we are talking about you need to consider overall increased nitrogen absorption. But as Minne mentions, rarely does the absorption level reach something that must be taken into account. Most recreational dive tables set 120 minutes as a max bottom time for depth of less than 1 atmosphere (1atm, or <33').
 

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If you mean decompression time, its all but impossible to have an issue when your max depth may be 6 or 7 ft.
The danger would be in surfacing without exhaling more than a concern with decom times. It's possible, even at very shallow depths, to cause an air embolism.
 

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1. gasoline pancake oiless compressor with 2 tanks. 150psi
Mild steel accumulator tanks kept in a marine environment will become unsuitable for breathing in short order. Stainless or plastic only.

3. ingress air filter and distance hose (to ensure you don't get any CO into the lines)
Mounting the intake filter on a tall snorkle is the safest bet.

5. lowes air line spliced with regulator (1st stage=150psi)
Never ever use pneumatic tool hose as breathing hose. You should only use hose rated to provide clean breathing air.

6. normal diving regulator.
Maybe. Not all off the shelf 2nd stage regulators will perform well in a hookah rig.

thats cheaping it out at about $600 all said.
They're your lungs and it's your life. But breathing compressed air underwater is not the time to be "cheaping out." Are you even SCUBA certified?
 

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Propane makes sense as a motor fuel when you need a clean burn, i.e .when the motor will be used once every six months and then put away,and you don't want to clean it out, pickle it, worry about varnish and gums forming in the fuel.

But if you're going to use the motor more frequently, propane also has the lowest energy density and will be the most expensive fuel you can burn. Propane for the air compressor? Sounds like a waste of time and money if you are going to use that compressor regularly, i.e. once a month or more often to clean the bottom.

Of course if you have propane and diesel onboard, it still may make more sense than going out for gasoline. Damned hard to find SMALL diesel-powered anythings.
 

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Regarding Propane vs Gasoline vs Diesel vs Electric; for this application, I would prefer an electric pump versus one powered by any form of internal combustion engine (ICE). The ICE will need an oil change at least yearly to remain operational. Electric should not.
 
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