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Jul 19, 2005

I get suggestions...

I like suggestions. I encourage them with a suggestion box outside the pro-shop. Some of the suggestions leave me grumpy. Here’s one that left me baffled:

"You need a vat of ice water for high pressure fills - gives a cleaner more accurate fill."

I actually know where this suggestion is coming from. It’s the cleaner more accurate part that leaves me scratching my head.

When you jam air under a lot of pressure into a metal tank it will expand in size. You can’t see it expand but to the bazillions of molecules that make up the tank its a veritable earthquake. Anytime you go jostling molecules around you get HEAT as a by product.

When you have a scuba tank filled the shop owner has two options - fill the tank very, very slowly so you don’t have to carry the tank back to your car wearing oven mitts, or put the tank in a vat of cold water to cool it down while it is filled. Scuba shops fill using cold water. Keeping the tank cool also reduces the wear and tear on the tank.

To get a clean fill you have to have a clean source of air. Scuba compressors are strictly filtered for particles as well as moisture. To get an accurate fill you need accurate gauges.

Which brings me to paintball high pressure tanks. The gauges on these tanks are not very accurate. They are known to vary as much as plus or minus 500psi. If you want an accurate gauge the price of your tank will almost double. Since no one’s life is at stake (as with scuba air) and since the tank will not blow up with 500 extra psi*** the paintball industry can get away with a cheaper gauge.

Cold water fills are not required for paintball tanks. Sure the tank gets warm, but the level of molecular jostling is much smaller. Good thing, too, since I doubt you would want to wait in line behind people filling their tanks very, very slowly or using a cold water vat to cool them down. A particle and moisture filter on our compressor assures a clean fill and the gauges on our compressor, regulators and fill station are much more accurate than the gauge on your tank.

Now, it’s true when you leave the fill station with 3000 psi and a warm tank you will read around 500 psi less when you get to the field. But this is a matter of air pressure vs. temperature rather than accuracy. When you fill a tank it heats up, which heats up the air inside and increases the pressure. As the tank cools, the air cools and your gauge will read lower. But who cares? You have plenty of air for a couple of games and an unlimited supply for the $5 all day air fee! If you stop by for a fill up to take home we fill the tank slower to insure a true 3000 psi fill.

***Just a "DUH" note: I DO NOT suggest you put an extra 500psi in your tank. A 3000psi tank will actually take an accidental 9000psi fill without catastrophic failure but I DO NOT suggest trying that either!


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Yakity yak.... 3 shot rulz... take 3 shots at my field and take a break. what's the hurry? who ya tryin to impress? this aint no freak show! why waste paint? can't hit em with three? throw three more. can't hit em with them? go fishin~ (me, on Facebook)

Yes, I know Steve Davidson found the property that was the site of the first ever paintball game. No, I don't care. (Dale from the Ford Report)

"How is paintball like golf? Golf is played outdoors on nice, well kept grass or, if something goes horribly wrong, off in the woods. Same with paintball." (Baca Loco)

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