No Intention To Offend
Very cool. Just curious -- making one for your regulator, too?
* 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.
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.
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.