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"Rex Grigg" Bubble Counter & Fabco valve - Panel mounted w/simple vernier mod

Discussion in 'Articles' started by pat w, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Nothing to do -- Waiting for my plants -- bored out of my skull so I did this ...

    [​IMG]

    That's a Rex Grigg's bubble counter with the Fabco Needle valve. I did a quick vernier design in AutoCad that gives 100 repeatable divisions per turn and now I have 900 repeatable steps for a 9 turn valve. This way when I find a regulator pressure and needle valve setting that works, I can still experiment and get back close to the staring point with a minimum of trial and error.

    Pat
     
    #1 pat w, Feb 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2010
  2. S&KGray

    S&KGray Guru Class Expert

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    Nice job! It looks good.
     
  3. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Thanks,

    Here's the print of the scales, for anyone who's interested. It's in .pdf format so the scale my be off. Let me know if it is and I'll see what I can do to correct it.

    View attachment 1234

    I made four of each, which was good, because I messed up three of one and two of the other trying to get the center hole 'centered'.

    Also, I was warned by the guy at Office Depot to cut them out before laminating them or they'll peel too easily.

    Pat
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Machining & Materials

    Hi Pat,

    That is a nice job! :D

    I am an Ideal 52-1-12 Needle Valve kind of evil plant monster. I am not so sure about the precision of the Fabco Needle valve. Then again, I tend to trust Rex.

    The trick with needle valves and such is the precision of the machining and the materials used.

    Biollante
     
  5. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Yeah, it was the middle pick on his site between the Clippard (widely regarded as inadequate) and the Ideal (personally regarded as more than I could afford).:p

    Anyway, it came bundled with the bubble counter and two check valves for a decent price. I'll just have to wait and see if it meets the need.

    Later,
    Pat
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Did Not Mean To Be Snarky

    Hi Pat,

    I am quite sure with a little fiddling it will serve you well.

    I did not mean that in a snarky sort of way.

    Biollante
     
  7. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Very cool. Just curious -- making one for your regulator, too?

    You know, if you have the capability of making a grip of those dials you could probably easily trade them with hobbyists for plus plants and fill up that 90 gallon from the start.

    * Biollante - I am an inline Fabco NU-55 needle valve kind of plant monster. I have an evil Clippard still connected at the regulator run open, too (laziness). Fabco is nice and feels well built (heavy, has a nice movement). I have not tank dumped with it in line yet. If it ever drifts I can't tell. I am the kind of plant monster who adjusts CO2 pretty regularly (at least every month?) because I am OCD like that, so I agree pat w's idea is very useful. I have never tried another needle valve (besides the Clippard). The Ideal 52-1-12 does look very nice.

    A stepped valve could be cool? As in not these smooth turns but, say, 40 increments/clicks around.
     
    #7 Wet, Mar 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2010
  8. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Bio,

    No snarkiness taken, I was just lamenting my lack of funds.

    Did you get a look at my tank progress thus far? You've helped me out so much, I was just wondering what you thought about my 'river channel' solution.

    The thread is Here

    * Wet - No plans on the regulator. I got pointed to a Victor 450D on Ebay by LeftC and replaced the output guage with a 0-60 psi I bought from McMaster-Carr. I'm going to close it down, then open up the Fabco all the way. I'll then open the Victor up slowly until I get some acceptable upper range bubble count (6,7,8? per sec) and note the reading on the guage for my 'calibration point'.

    Listen, if you really think anyone would trade plants for the mod, I'm game to try. I just don't know how to get the ball rolling.

    Pat
     
    #8 pat w, Mar 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2010
  9. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    No Intention To Offend

    Hi,

    As I said if Rex Griggs recommends the Fabco NU-55 needle valve as a good alternative, I have no reason to doubt that it would be an excellent choice.



    I operated for decades with inexpensive ( avoiding the pejorative) needle valves, some worked remarkably well. Most took a lot of messing about, which I really did not mind. I know folks who are happy with the Clippard or even Milwaukee. :)


    I am also a believer that a hobby should not be a cause for more stress, it is after all a hobby, not…well, er… Golf. That includes not going into debt for a hobby, I do not want to tell anyone how to run their financial life, however if they asked, that is what I would counsel.

    If you were adjusting your CO2 to try another flow rate, no problem, if you are adjusting the flow to maintain a level, then I would see that as a deficiency in the needle valve (likely) or the system. As with my watch, I could afford a better watch, but I like the one I wear, though I have to set the time a couple of times a month.

    I am going avoid out running my knowledge and stick with my experience, I will defer to experts on the issue of stepped valves to control the flow, as well as the differences between mass and volumetric flow.

    Having said that I believe there is a reason we use infinitely adjustable volume control valves versus step valves. My experience is that even with expensive lab grade needle valves, getting the flow back to an earlier setting is difficult. :eek: Then I may just be incompetent.:(

    I do not think that for most hobby needs it makes any difference. :)


    My general advice to people matches Tom Barr’s, for whatever reason it often upsets folks when I suggest observation is all you need.

    You do not need expensive equipment to grow wonderful plants along with awful weeds. I am more and more coming to the view most may not even need pressurized CO2.

    Biollante
     
    #9 Biollante, Mar 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2010
  10. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    I Like It

    Hi Pat,

    I like the river channel; I like the use of vinyl. I have done some similar things using acrylic sheets and a heat gun. Yours looks smoother I suspect you may find the channel may be somewhat shallow.

    Keeping with your “Lost City” theme, you may wish to add some contrasting stone and if you are a little playful, dare I suggest some blue enamel gravel down the riverbed.

    I might also suggest a cork background Tom Barr has a great riff on it around here.

    I think it is going to be a gorgeous tank.

    Biollante
     
  11. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    pat w,

    I would try making a For Trade or Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) thread in various forums showing detailed pictures of your current disk and a list of plants you want and some reasonable amount of time you need to make the disks, if you can't make them before hand. If any takers you make them say over the next weekend. I'd highly suggest doing this at Aquatic Plant Central as the member base and plant quality/accuracy of species is excellent in their very active FS/FT Forum.

    Biollante,

    No offense taken plant monster! Just a couple cents for whatever it was worth and the sake of discussion amongst monsters and people who like plants ;) The below is in the same sprit :)

    Agree with the majority of your points here in your most recent post as well. I
    A little of both. I use (and prefer) very high light/growth/CO2, and find I do have to increase CO2 (and dosing) over the months to control algae. Also, when I see any issues in plants and think I need to adjust some nutrient but no desire to isolate it, I tend to adjust CO2 as well as the likely nutrient, since CO2 is a pretty good bet (~40%) to be the root cause of the issue. I believe this to be at least in part because my plant mass in my tanks tend to change drastically over any given, say, 3 month period, and in part because I use sunlight from a South facing (Northern hemisphere) window, so my photo period also changes.

    I like dynamic tanks and my CO2 reflects that :)
     
  12. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Bio,

    Actually I was planning on Ricca in the river, tied down to something like plastic kitchen cutting board material cut and shaped to match the pattern. I thought if I could get it pearling the effect could be pretty cool.:cool:

    The wife likes the blue though. Got an immediate 'ooo' when she read your post. ... Hhmmm:confused:

    Votes? ...

    Pat
     
  13. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Wet,

    I'll shoot over APC and check it out. Been there a few times off google searches and it seems like a good board. (note old school term). Who knows maybe I'll get a nibble.

    The only problem is I'm just moving into the DSM phase and I have a source right now for HC and Riccia (should be in LFS on Thursday). ... I haven't really thought that far ahead yet. Guess it's time. Maybe some Anubias nana 'petite' for the columns around and on the temple ruin.

    Later,
    Pat
     
  14. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    pat w,

    I'll be your first order if you want. I'm offering the trims of the Lindernia rotundifolia 'Variagated' and HM from this pic for 2 sets (top and bottom) of disks. Some emergent Rotala indica (erroneously Ammania sp. 'Bonsai') and Polygonum sp 'Sao Paulo' if you'd like to try to fit it into your new layout, too. The Lindernia is especially cool looking and I think it could add even more interest to your tank. It looks almost exactly the same emersed and I think your lady and kid will like it during the start phase, too.
     
    #14 Wet, Mar 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2010
  15. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    In Addition Too

    Hi Pat,

    The blue does not replace the plant idea, which for what it is worth I think is a good one. The blue just lends definition and may well be grown over, it is funny though the image remains. :cool:

    Again for what it is worth, I like the Anubias nana 'petite' idea as well.

    Though taking decorating advice from an evil plant monster is a notoriously bad idea. :eek:

    Biollante
     
  16. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Deal!

    I'll make a few sets this weekend. I'll write up a brief install PDF to go with them (Drill sizes, How to read the vernier{whether you need them or not}).

    I'll take anything you're willing to send esp. the Lindernia and the Polygonum.:D

    PM me and we'll work out the details.

    Pat
     
  17. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Instructions

    Wet,

    (and anyone else who's interested)

    Here are the mounting and use instructions for the vernier mod.

    View attachment 1279

    And a copy of the latest drawing of the dials

    View attachment 1280

    Thanks again for the plants, they're doing great.

    Pat
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Awesome instructions, Pat. Thank you.
     
  19. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Got the pieces today, Pat. Much easier to understand with having the dials in front of me -- what a great idea for incremental changes!

    Anyway, another bump for a great trader and neat idea.
     
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