I finally got tired of the constant uncertainty of not being able to get air when I needed it, and especially the uncertainty of ever getting an honest 4500 psi fill. S0 the solution was to just bite the pellet, and buy my own compressor. The name of the unit seems to have changed a couple of times over the past year, but the one I got is called the Omega Super Charger.
The last year has been a real adventure getting air. My local source became a hit and miss situation. Only the owner would do 4500 psi fills, and he wasn't available a lot of the time. The fills were really only about 4200 psi, and by the time the air in the tank cooled, it was more like a 3900 psi fill. My source in California was even worse. I was lucky to get a 3900 psi fill, and when the tank had cooled, I really had a 3600 psi fill.
I looked at several different units, but the deal killer for me, on all of them, was the fact that they required 230 volts to run. I don't have that available here at the house, and to have it put in is very expensive. I had checked out the Shoebox compressor, that runs on 110v, but that system is a bit more complex than what I'm looking for.
I want a turnkey, plug and play type unit. Somewhere along the way, I came across the Omega, and because it runs on 110 volts, it immediately caught my attention. After reading, and watching everything that I could find on the unit I decided to buy one.
The carton that the unit comes in is a genuine piece of work in itself. The outer carton is made of cardboard that is about one inch thick. Inside of that is a two part, form fitting, styrofoam insert that the unit is encased in while traveling. The machine weighs 75 pounds, so it needs a good sturdy system of packaging, and this carton certainly meets that need.
There are a lot of good reviews of the unit on YouTube, so I'm not going to do all of that again here. The unit is about as ready to run as they can make it. All I had to do was plug it into the wall, connect the fill hose to the compressor, connect it to the tank to be filled, hit the on switches, and let it do its thing. Mine came out of the box already set to fill to 4500 psi, so I didn't even have to adjust that.
There are two power switches, one for the cooling system, and one for the compressor unit itself. That's so that you can let the cooling system continue to run after the compressor shuts off, continuing to cool the compressor mechanism for an additional 15 minutes or so.
I have limited space in the garage, so I put the unit on a furniture dolly, so that I can easily roll it out of the way when not in use.
It took me maybe 30 minutes of set up time, and we were ready to go. The only reason it took that long is because I read through the manual three times to make sure I wasn't missing anything.
I have four tanks that I wanted to fill. First up would be my AirHog Pigmee tank. It's a 4500 psi tank, and holds 9.5 cubic feet of air. It is the one that always goes into the field with me on hunts. I checked the air level in it, and it was down to 3500 psi. I hooked her up to the Omega, turned on the cooling system power, checked that the coolant was flowing through the system, you can see it through a window in the fill cap, and hit the compressor power switch. Everything lit right up. I opened the main valve on the Pigmee tank, and we were off and running.
Like a new father, I was constantly checking everything. It was running like a charm, and the needle on the tank gage showed she was receiving air. It took the unit 17 minutes to fill my Pigmee tank from 3500 psi to 4500 psi. When she hit the prescribed fill pressure, the compressor automatically shut off, leaving the cooling system running to continue cooling down the compressor mechanism. I closed the main valve on the Pigmee tank, opened the bleed valve to drain the fill hose of air, disconnected the foster fitting and I was done. Wow, this thing is slick, and well thought out.
That was almost too easy. Next up would be one of my 88 cubic foot units. I checked the remaining air pressure in it, and it was the same as in my Pigmee tank at 3500 psi. I replaced the Pigmee tank with the big tank, connected the fill hose, hit the compressor power switch, opened the main valve on the tank, and away we went. It took one hour and twenty minutes to fill this tank. Next, I put 88 cubic foot tank number two on the compressor, and it took fifty five minutes to fill her from 3800 psi to 4500 psi.
The last 88 cubic foot tank had the least amount of air in it at 3100 psi. It took the Omega two hours and 15 minutes to bring that tank up to 4500 psi. I filled all of these tanks consecutively, without any real cool down time in-between. However long it took me to disconnect one tank and hook up another, is the only time the compressor was not running. While filling the four tanks, the unit ran for just shy of five hours. It did exactly what I expected it to do, without any hiccups at all.
I was out shooting yesterday, and took one of the 88 cubic foot tanks with me. I was testing two guns, and filled each of them twice during each shooting session. When I got back home, the first thing that I did, was to remove the tank from my vehicle, roll the compressor into place, and start filling that tank while I was putting everything else in the vehicle away.
Eighteen minutes later I had a full tank again. This is how I intend to use this compressor. It will essentially be used to top off my tank after each trip to the field. Now, I don't need to run the tanks down to 3000 psi, or so, before I head into town to get them filled again. No pain, and no strain on the compressor, to just top off the tank after each use. I know some guys will want something that fills faster, but for the way that I'll be using this compressor, 15 or 20 minutes to top off a tank, is plenty fast enough for me. Am I loving this or what. LOL.
The unit also comes with a very nice slip over dust cover. But, to use it as it comes, you will have to remove the fill hose each and every time you put the compressor away. Since the fill hose mounts to the top of the compressor chassis, it is in the way of letting the dust cover slip all of the way down to the top of the unit. There is a rubber washer, on the end of the fill hose, that seals against the fill outlet on the top of the compressor, and I just don't like the idea of unscrewing that fitting after each use, and putting unneeded wear and tear on that seal.
I took a couple of measurements from the top of the Omega's case, and using them to locate the correct spot on the cover, made a couple of small incisions in the top of it, to let the hose slip through, and the cover now slides right down onto the top of the unit. There is also a small button type plug that goes into the end of the fill hose, when not in use, to keep dust out of the hose.
Well, at first blush, I must say that I am thrilled with the performance of this unit. It is well thought out, super easy to use, and not very loud at all, at least not to me. It takes maybe two minutes to roll the unit into place, connect it to a power outlet, pop the foster fitting onto a tank, and start filling it. It just doesn't get any easier than that, and it runs on 110 volts to boot.
I purchased mine from Precision Airguns and Supplies. Nice folks. If interested, give them a call.
Until next time, thanks for reading.