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antique diver
Master Diver
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First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

World's largest Scuba Compressor!

Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:37 pm

Thought that compressor buffs might like to see what was proudly called the largest Scuba Compressor in the world. It resided at historic Scuba Point, on Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas. Tom Davis was a mechanical whiz that started that early dive business on the lake in the 50's. It was the go-to place for diving at PK, with great diving from shore for free, air fills, rentals, classes and the works... and Tom was as well known among Texas divers as Mike Nelson was.

Image

This huge Norwalk water-cooled compressor was about 20 feet long, and was originally used in a commercial gas plant for compressing oxygen at 360 CFM! Tom tamed it down some by removing the original motor and replaced it with a puny 100 HP amp-sucking beast, but it still put out an amazing 160 CFM or more at 3000 psi. What a sound this baby made when it started up, churning at about 120 rpm, and creating a "Thump - Thump - Thump" that could be heard and felt by all nearby. Cold water from 60' down in the lake was pumped up to keep the monster cool. Check out the size of the two flywheels.
The older I get the better I was.

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Bryan
Plank Owner
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Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:40 am
First Name: Bryan
Location: Wesley Chapel Florida
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Re: World's largest Scuba Compressor!

Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:43 pm

Taking the Jet Fill to a whole new level.....wow!
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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antique diver
Master Diver
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Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:50 pm
First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: World's largest Scuba Compressor!

Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:12 pm

I forgot to mention that the lake water from below the thermocline was also circulated into the Scuba tank filling containers. You left there with a full diving Lung, bottle, tank, cylinder or whatever else they were called over the 45 to 50 years at Scuba Point.
The older I get the better I was.

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Drado
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First Name: Eduardo
Location: Manila, Philippines

Re: World's largest Scuba Compressor!

Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:01 pm

Would they fill individual cylinders, or did they fill a bank from which they would fill cylinders?
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Ed

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antique diver
Master Diver
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:50 pm
First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: World's largest Scuba Compressor!

Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:19 pm

Drado wrote:Would they fill individual cylinders, or did they fill a bank from which they would fill cylinders?
They had a huge amount of stored air in large ASME cylinders. The fills were done from storage, with "Goldfinger" keeping the banks pumped up as needed. Seems like there were about 8 fill hoses at the water bath fill station.
The older I get the better I was.

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