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By Bill Mills - Sept 2005
At four inches in length, the Power Station vertical regulator from CheckIt Products screws into the vertical ASA port on paintguns so equipped. It is fitted with two 1/8Ē NPT ports, one for the gas line in, and a second linked to the output, to be used with an optional pressure gauge.
Pressure adjustment is achieved with a hex wrench on an adjustment nut at the bottom of the regulator, which is marked with laser engraving, to turn clockwise for a pressure increase, and counter-clockwise for a pressure decrease.
One of the strong points of the Power Station its simplicity of design. Because its layout is simple, so is disassembly for maintenance.
The regulatorís body is machined in two halves which screw together. Unscrewing the halves reveals the regulator piston in the lower half, and the pin and seal in the top.
The regulatorís method of operation is straightforward. Gas enters into the upper section. The mainspring in the lower section pushes upward on a piston, causing it to press up on the pin, and open the regulatorís valve. Gas flows through the pin valve, into an accumulator area above the piston, and out through air passages to the top of the regulator. When enough gas has flowed into the regulator that the output pressure has been reached, the gas pressure on the piston pushes it down, away from the pin valve, allowing the pin valve to close.
The level of output pressure is adjusted by increasing or decreasing pressure on the mainspring. With more pressure, a higher gas pressure is needed before the valve closes. As the paintgun is fired, the pressure in the chamber drops, and the spring pressure is once again enough to press up on the pin valve and allow more gas through to the paintgun. In this way, the regulator acts as an intelligent valve, only letting through enough gas to keep the paintgun supplied with the proper pressure level.
The piston can be removed from the lower half to check its seals and make sure that both it and its spring are lightly lubricated with paintgun grease.
A brass nut forms the regulator seat, and out of its center protrudes the brass regulator pin. A slot cut in the nut, gives the impression that a screwdriver might be a good tool to remove it, but that could result in bending of the pin.
Instead, a 3/8Ē socket is the proper tool to unscrew the nut, which releases the regulator pin. Centered on the pin is a clear flexible seal, which presses up against the seat on the back of the brass nut. Both of these surfaces should be kept clean and inspected to make sure they are free from debris or scratches, which could cause the regulator pressure to creep.
With the regulator open, it is easy to see the 5 gas ports that pass between the main chamber and the regulator output on top. The multiple air paths are used to ensure that they do not restrict air flow.
Field testing of the Power Station was
performed on an LCD Matrix, on which the Power Station proved to be both
reliable and trouble free. Of note was that compared to vertical
regulators featuring side adjustment knobs, the Power Station was easier
to dial in to the desired velocity.
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