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air compressor question

2157 Views 22 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Industen
pretty new to pneumatics here wanted to know what will I need if I wanted to run a couple props to one air compressor?
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Frightprops.com has a fantastic knowledge base on pneumatics, that's a good place to start.

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As long as the air compressor can keep up with the demand you can hook up as many as you want. That being said, depending on the volume of air needed for each prop, you will hit a limit at some point. The larger the compressor the more props it will run.
Harbor Freight has a 1 to 3 out manifold, or you can make your own with pipe fittings. Best to run seperate air lines from compressor, but you can split the air off where ever you want.

I agree. Running multiple lines with parts from HF sounds like a good choice.
You can use a reservoir tank to give you extra volume when needed, these are pretty cheap and can easily double the volume of air available when demand goes up.
Just use 1/4 for all your props, buy union T for three way, four way, or manifold (more then four). These are all 1/4 hose quick connect.

This setup would run you two props

Attach a male 1/4 threaded quick connect into a female compressor fitting. Plug in compressor
Run 1/4 hose to location of split
Union T to split to two other props
Add a regulator before the prop put two 1/4 hose threaded fitting on each side

If you run multiple solenoids for props then you will have to split again or have a solenoid manifold

There is no need for 3/8 hose to each prop. I run 20 pneumatics no problem. Of course I have about 70 gal of air
Industen has given some good advice, sounds like from lots of experience. The air consumption or volume required will be your biggest factor label as cfm. If you will be using anything with a large amount of cfm's I highly recommend a belt driven two stage compressor, and obviously the bigger the tank the more reserve air. These compressors are not cheap but will last a lifetime.
Something like this http://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-1-9-HP-30-Gallon-155-PSI-120-Volt-Vertical-Portable-Electric-Air-Compressor/1000013900?cm_mmc=SCE_PLA_ONLY-_-ToolsAndHardware-_-CompressorsDiyAndStationary-_-1000013900:DEWALT&CAWELAID=&kpid=1000013900&CAGPSPN=pla&k_clickID=96685387-ffaf-4469-8cd1-f84ed405b233
You can use a reservoir tank to give you extra volume when needed, these are pretty cheap and can easily double the volume of air available when demand goes up.
whats that?
I've run 3 simple pneumatic props the last few years that all used a single, 12" dual-action cylinder each. And my compressor is practically running non-stop.

This will of course depend on the traffic you have, but we would hit periods of time where there would be a constant flow of people coming through. We queue them up into small groups, but even at that rate I could hear the compressor out back buzzing away.

Right now I have a Husky branded compressor, which is essentially this unit:

If I had to do it all over, I would've got this unit:

I have a single line running from the compressor into a manifold that splits the air lines out to the individual props.

The idea of using reserve tanks may help you get through peak periods, but a small compressor is still going to have to peddle to catch up and replenish those tanks as well. Lately I've been worried about what if my compressor were to die, that's pretty much the end of those props, so I've been thinking of adding some redundancy to cover the need for more air and as a backup.
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Did you look at the CFMs on those compressors, EviLEye? They're almost the same.
Yes, I had noticed that, but thought that with the extra air capacity I could get more cycles with the props and longer gaps between having the compressor spin up to replenish the minimum PSI.

I got this today from harbor freight how do I connect this to an air compressor?
On the bottom is a thread. Place a male 1/4 fitting there. When you branch of to other props make sure you buy the correct fittings for that manifold(automotive, Hiflo, industrial etc)
thanks the bottom is actually 3/8 in so I need a male plug. can I plug this straight to the compressors coupler or will it be best to run this from an air line hose?
You probably should run this off a hose. You have two options you can plug the bottom with a 3/8 plug this would give you two outputs after. I would just coupler the 3/8 down to 1/4(pipe fitting) and attach a male quick connect on the bottom...this ill give you three outputs.
The only thing that is bad about the manifold is you need 3/8 hose. You would be better using 1/4 throughout your haunt. It is a lot cheaper and hides very well.
thanks can I use a 1/4 hose with that by any chance?
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