The noob guide to building your own regulator: part numbers, sources, and other tips!

Matt F.

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Victor regulators come in two catalogs if you buy from a dealer/distributor. Some regulators are to be found in the industrial catalog, such as the VTS series. HPT and SGT regulators are found in Victor's Specialty Equipment Catalog.

To help decipher the specialty catalog part numbers for various regulators, I will show you a breakdown of what the numbers/letters mean. This is for an HPT500 or SGT500, but works for all of their specialty regulators (taken from the Victor Specialty Catalog):

 

Matt F.

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For those of you who have order or are planning to order a custom unit from me, please read here:

Directions for set-up and use of your new regulator and post-body

When you first unpack your regulator, please pay attention to the alignment of the post body in relation to the regulator. Occasionally the regulator or post body might shift during shipment. So, minor adjustment may be needed prior to use. I have marked your pipe fittings with a single dot on either side of a connection in magic marker to show orientation. In some drastic cases if these dots do not line up, you may need to adjust them so that they do. Very minor shifting is okay as long as there are no leaks. Should adjustment be needed, please contact me. I recommend using two small to medium sized adjustable wrenches to do this. Once things are aligned, you may remove the magic marker dots by using rubbing alcohol and a paper towel.

Things you will need in order to be able to use your Swagelok tube adapters:

1) You will need 4mm/6mm (ID/OD) pressure resistant tubing. I recommend the use of ADA pressure resistant tubing along with their whole distribution system.
Here is the link for the ADA pressure resistant tubing:
http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_1_53&products_id=68
2) Run the pressure resistant tubing to your in-line check valve. I recommend ADA plastic check valves, which can either be bought in the “Parts Kit” or individually.
Here is the parts kit that contains the check valve, silicone tubing, and suction cups you’ll need to connect your line to a diffuser:
ADA Gray Parts kit ~ http://www.adanausa.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_1_53&products_id=65
ADA Clear Parts Kit ~ http://www.adanausa.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_1_53&products_id=732
You can buy an individual check valve here:
http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_1_4&products_id=64
If you opt for a bubble counter, I recommend this one:
http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_2_15&products_id=7
Your regulator will come with all the paperwork and extra parts necessary to connect your CO2 tubing. In the plastic bag is a CO2 washer and the tubing insert(s) needed to attach your pressure resistant tubing to the Swagelok tube adapter. Please read here for directions on how to connect your CO2 line:
http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8226-How-to-use-Swagelok-tube-fittings
Should you need to adjust either your Ideal Valve’s micrometer handle, the tension, or your black knob, please see this thread for directions:
http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7971-How-to-adjust-your-Ideal-Valve

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact me without hesitation. I’m here to help, and I want you to enjoy your new regulator.
 

Matt F.

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Here are a few brand new units I've build recently for fellow hobbyists:

Camilo:








Gregg:












I am currently working on a couple more projects. I'll upload some pics once they are complete.
 

oldpunk

Guru Class Expert
Dec 1, 2009
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Why didn't you use a smaller postbody configuration to compliment the smaller size of the regulator? (Not hating, just curious.)
 

Matt F.

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Hi,
The post body actually looks more balanced in person. Tried to capture that, but the camera I was using has some distortion. That said, I am open to more compact designs. Just need something with the correct amount of clearance for the solenoid. The HPT100 has 1/4"npt ports just like the larger regulators. We still need to reduce down to 1/8"npt. There is only so much I can do as far as size using the components I use. The only variable we have to work with are what fittings we use. This will influence the shape of the post body. Maybe we can put our heads together?

oldpunk;118182 said:
Why didn't you use a smaller postbody configuration to compliment the smaller size of the regulator? (Not hating, just curious.)
 

oldpunk

Guru Class Expert
Dec 1, 2009
427
4
18
Ya, not many options. The smallest way I know to it is:

B-4-HRN-2
B-2-SE
Burkert
B-2-ME
Ideal

It would force you to have the coil pointing back instead of your usual tucked inside look.
 
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Matt F.

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We'll call that the "oldpunk" post body configuration. Yes, that sure makes it tight against the body of the regulator. Much more compact. the way I have it. the B-4-HLN-2.00 and B-4-RSE-2 is about as long as the CGA320 nut/nipple. Makes a symmetrical look. But as you point out, the post body configured your way takes up less valuable space (the whole point of buying a compact regulator). If someone wants a unit configured the way you suggested, just ask for the "oldpunk configuration," and I'll know what you are talking about.

oldpunk;118207 said:
Ya, not many options. The smallest way I know to it is:

B-4-HRN-2
B-2-SE
Burkert
B-2-ME
Ideal

It would force you to have the coil pointing back instead of your usual tucked inside look.
 

Matt F.

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Just a heads-up:
For those of you in Europe, I am able to order CGA320/BS341-8 Adapters. This means you can use a CGA320 (U.S. Standard for CO2) regulator on your British gas tank! PM me for details.
 

Tom Barr

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No, just the semi soft plastic thread protector for the tank that comes from tank exchange swaps from welding or beverage or fire supply places.
 

kevmo911

Member
Oct 19, 2010
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I know it would dramatically increase the price, but since you're using (I assume) new HPT-100's... stainless fittings, Burkert , and Ideal might seem like they would match the reg and CGA stem/nut much better. Is cost a huge issue for the last sets of builds? I assume it was for the one that had the NV-55-18's, but how about the others?

Also, I wonder if the straight pattern Ideals could make it more compact.
 

Matt F.

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The last build was an HPT500. I use whatever Victor regulator the client requires. Generally the stainless fittings are roughly twice the cost of the brass. Same goes for the stainless solenoid and the stainless Ideal Valve. I personally went with a Victor SGT500, stainless fittings, stainless check valve, stainless tube adapter, and stainless Ideal Valve. I lucked out and saw a new Victor SGT500 on ebay and paid a fraction of what they cost. The output was still plugged, so it had never been used. That regulator alone would cost nearly $1000 if you bought new. So to answer your question, I choose to use brass fittings, solenoids, and needle valves by default to keep the cost down for my clients. There is nothing gained functionally from using stainless steel over brass with CO2 since it's an inert gas. But I will build whatever you want me to build if you are willing to pay for it. Not many people want to spend over $1000 on a build--remember the units I build are built from 100% factory new components.

About the orientation of the needle valves...

It's personal choice. I leave that decision up to my clients. It's a collaborative process to design these units. I want my clients to has as much input in the design phase as possible.

If you want me to build an all stainless unit or post body all you have to do is ask, and you can request any configuration you want provided you use the parts that I work with (e.g. Swagelok, burkert, ideal or fabco, and victor). My main goal is to provide a high quality functional unit that will last a lifetime. I also try to use the fewest number of fittings to save money where I can. But if you want a specific configuration, I can do that provided you can afford it.

Hope this helps.

kevmo911;120184 said:
I know it would dramatically increase the price, but since you're using (I assume) new HPT-100's... stainless fittings, Burkert , and Ideal might seem like they would match the reg and CGA stem/nut much better. Is cost a huge issue for the last sets of builds? I assume it was for the one that had the NV-55-18's, but how about the others?

Also, I wonder if the straight pattern Ideals could make it more compact.
 
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kevmo911

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Clearly poor wording in my last post made it come across as overly critical, and I apologize for that. I was wondering about the SS vs brass choice in the context of overall cost, and you answered that. I have a great deal of respect for your builds, and I don't want you to think otherwise.

As for the comment about straight pattern versus angle pattern Ideals, I was thinking about your post about the HPT-100's having the advantage of being compact, for those who didn't have a whole lot of space. I made the comment only as a suggestion toward that purpose. Again, I apologize for the unintentional criticism that you did something wrong.
 

Flyinghellfish

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Dec 26, 2011
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Concoa "Praxair" "Linde" etc. 3123's

Testing this regulator out, she will be the last addition to the Co2 line.

pSbz8Til.jpg

=======
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Was thinking of leaving the manual on/off and just having it inline. I also never realized how small Concoa regulators were, or how big Mathesons were. Does anyone know how to take off the cap on the adjustment knob? It's glue on or something, I can take the Matheson cap off but not this.
 

Matt F.

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Not a problem at all. Didn't take anything offensively. I think what it comes down to is aesthetics and ergonomics when you build these things. Everyone is different. If you're building something for yourself, then all that matters is if you like it. If you're building something for someone else, the most important thing is to make sure it works and is proven to work well. I personally like the knobs on my valves facing me (mirroring the main working pressure knob on the regulator. that way you can have the unit facing you and there is no fiddling around. I also like the tubing vertical to the unit. Some people like being able to access the knobs from the side. It's all a matter of preference and style.

Happy holidays!

kevmo911;120262 said:
Clearly poor wording in my last post made it come across as overly critical, and I apologize for that. I was wondering about the SS vs brass choice in the context of overall cost, and you answered that. I have a great deal of respect for your builds, and I don't want you to think otherwise.

As for the comment about straight pattern versus angle pattern Ideals, I was thinking about your post about the HPT-100's having the advantage of being compact, for those who didn't have a whole lot of space. I made the comment only as a suggestion toward that purpose. Again, I apologize for the unintentional criticism that you did something wrong.