Haskel Booster Rebuild

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BillZ
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Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by BillZ » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:51 am

So last week I picked up a Haskel Booster at a local dive businesses garage sale. It's branded SCUBAMP and the model number is 28153, which I believe is a AGD-15. It's born on date is 7/75. The booster is a bit of a project, the person I bought it from said that the booster works but that it leaks on the drive side. My intention is to go through it, replace all of the seals and it and use it in my (yet to be completed) fill station for boosting Helium, Argon and topping off tanks. I probably won't bother cleaning it for O2.

So - A few questions:
- Does anybody have a parts source for Haskel boosters?
- Do they make a rebuild kit for Haskel boosters this old?
- The booster is currently plumbed so that the source gas is also being used as the drive gas. I plan on changing this but was curious if this was common.

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CaptnJack
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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by CaptnJack » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:09 am

Couple thoughts...
Get it cleaned for O2, you will want this soon enough. Particularly for dives in the 90-130ft range. O2 is actually a lot easier to boost than helium since there's a fraction of the blow by (being denser).
Haskel will sell parts to consumers (and rebuild things at the factory too). they are not cheap but you won't find aftermarket parts either. You'd have to ask them if they still stock parts for a 1975 unit, I suspect they will or have a substitute.

This
BillZ wrote:- The booster is currently plumbed so that the source gas is also being used as the drive gas. I plan on changing this but was curious if this was common.

This is the most bizarre concept I have ever heard about. I have no idea why someone would do this and it seems like a colossal waste of helium, Ar, or O2.

Given that its been modified in some unusual ways already, you might want to return it to Haskel to have it returned to design specs. There are other rebuilders of boosters, searching on TDS might give you some leads.
Sounder wrote:Under normal circumstances, I would never tell another man how to shave his balls... but this device should not be kept secret.

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BillZ
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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by BillZ » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:16 am

Thanks!
CaptnJack wrote:Couple thoughts...
Get it cleaned for O2, you will want this soon enough. Particularly for dives in the 90-130ft range. O2 is actually a lot easier to boost than helium since there's a fraction of the blow by (being denser).


I was thinking about that - This booster is so old I was a bit worried about blowing myself up :)

CaptnJack wrote: Haskel will sell parts to consumers (and rebuild things at the factory too). they are not cheap but you won't find aftermarket parts either. You'd have to ask them if they still stock parts for a 1975 unit, I suspect they will or have a substitute.


I'll give Haskel a ring. I also need some engineering drawings or other documentation for the booster in order to rebuild it.


CaptnJack wrote:
BillZ wrote:- The booster is currently plumbed so that the source gas is also being used as the drive gas. I plan on changing this but was curious if this was common.

This is the most bizarre concept I have ever heard about. I have no idea why someone would do this and it seems like a colossal waste of helium, Ar, or O2.

I thought this was odd too. The only thing I can think of is that maybe they used it to top off air tanks from a bank and didn't care about wasting the gas.

Here's a pict of how they have it plumbed:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/28565788@N00/14212730589/




CaptnJack wrote:Given that its been modified in some unusual ways already, you might want to return it to Haskel to have it returned to design specs. There are other rebuilders of boosters, searching on TDS might give you some leads.

If I sent it out to be rebuilt I'd miss out on half the fun :)

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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by CaptnJack » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:18 pm

That is an odd looking thing. It looks like a exhaust muffler sticking up on the left hand side but that's not a drive gas side (too small). I think you have some sort of double stroke single acting booster there.

It may be an inert gas booster and not be O2 compatible.
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BillZ
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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by BillZ » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:56 pm

CaptnJack wrote:That is an odd looking thing. It looks like a exhaust muffler sticking up on the left hand side but that's not a drive gas side (too small). I think you have some sort of double stroke single acting booster there.

It may be an inert gas booster and not be O2 compatible.


So I did as you suggested and did some research on TDS, which lead me to Peter at High Pressure Technologies. Here's what I found out:
- The Scubamp series of boosters was made by Haskel in the late 70's/early 80's to provide a product for dive shops that needed boost from medium pressure banks into the new (at the time) high pressure cylinders.
- Since voodoo gases like Nitrox and Trimix weren't widely used at the time it was pretty common for the drive and source gasses to plumbed together. The system drawings that HPT emailed me show the booster configured both ways.
- This booster isn't very efficient when the source gas is below 1000 psi and pretty much useless under 500 PSI- It's really designed for quickly boosting from a bank
- O2 rebuild kits are hard to come by for this booster. HPT told me they don't have kits anymore, but if I told them which seals were bad they could send them to me.

So this booster isn't really the gas scrounger that I was hoping for but for the price I paid I could fix it up and either punt it on ebay or keep it until I get to the point where I want to set up a bank.

PS - Yep, it's a double action single stage booster. The muffler that you see on the left is missing the 90 degree elbow and someone screwed the muffler directly into the booster body.

One question that may seem a bit silly......
If I drain a HE tank down to 500psi, is there any reason that I couldn't top the source HE tank back up to 2000 PSI with Nitrox and make a batch of 25/25?

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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by Jeff Pack » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:01 pm

You can do anything you want with the leftover He. I sometimes use an empty tank, and salvage the bottle as low as I can get it. I hate giving back He.
=============================================

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.

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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by CaptnJack » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:36 pm

BillZ wrote:
One question that may seem a bit silly......
If I drain a HE tank down to 500psi, is there any reason that I couldn't top the source HE tank back up to 2000 PSI with Nitrox and make a batch of 25/25?


Just run the He through your compressor. 2000psi of 25/25 in a storage bottle isn't doing you a whole lot of good. oil lubed compressors can take 100% and boost it up to moderate pressures (up to ~2500psi or so) without much hassle at all. Oxyhacker calls this a "trash bag booster". I have a wine cork with a hole in it that has a vegetable baggie attached. Just keep the bag at ambient and let the compressor suck the supply bottle to 20psi.
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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by pensacoladiver » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:41 pm

If you use a big enough trash bag, you can drain the bottle down to empty

14.7 psi to you Richard! Lol

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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:19 am

pensacoladiver wrote:If you use a big enough trash bag, you can drain the bottle down to empty

14.7 psi to you Richard! Lol


Trash bag need not be huge. Here's a pic of mine in action.

Image

You do have to watch it and adjust the supply reg flow accordingly. Reality is that at a certain supply pressure my helium regulator can't dump it into the mixing stick (which has 100% in it) fast enough and the bag starts to collapse. I'm guessing that's about 20psi, its far too small to register on any gauge I have.

You do need to have a decent guess as to how many cf your filters hold at any given pressure, to know when to switch from He to your nitrox top off and get the end mix right. My P0 tower plus my 16" tower hold between 15cf at 1500psi (minimum pressure due to the backpressure valve) and 25cf at 2800psi. Its a big of a WAG but with experience you get close enough. A helium analyzer is obviously helpful to see what you did and how to adjust next time.
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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by pensacoladiver » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:25 am

CaptnJack wrote:
pensacoladiver wrote:If you use a big enough trash bag, you can drain the bottle down to empty

14.7 psi to you Richard! Lol




You do have to watch it and adjust the supply reg flow accordingly. Reality is that at a certain supply pressure my helium regulator can't dump it into the mixing stick (which has 100% in it) fast enough and the bag starts to collapse. I'm guessing that's about 20psi, its far too small to register on any gauge.


That's why when I start to get a low pressure in the supply tank, I switch to a huge ass trash bag.

The big bag allows a large volume of helium to be available to the compressor intake while the supply bottle is still barely pissing out the last few psi... Without collapsing the bag.

It may not be much, but at 400 bucks a bottle here, my supply tanks go back with ZERO psi in them. :-)

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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:54 am

A sorb pellet probably costs more than that dribble of He you cheapass :p

I could probably just hook up the hose to the bag and regulate the last bit of flow with the valve. But its not that big a deal and I'm not doing that many mix dives anyway.

In any case, a booster is not the way to drain a supply bottle, and definitely not a single acting booster. My HI won't work below about 4-500psi supply and it needs to be boosting into a near empty tank at that point.
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Re: Haskel Booster Rebuild

Post by pensacoladiver » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:16 pm

Now you are saying things we can agree on

I am a cheap ass

I use my compressor to drain helium

Although I did recently upgrade to the HI5. Sold my HI3.


If you ever wanna upgrade, let me know. I'll even throw in a few sorb pellets.

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