Inexpensive oxygen for 2

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by AnthonyS1, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. AnthonyS1

    AnthonyS1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So a friend of mine let me borrow his 02 rig for a short 300mile cross country trip I did today in my bonanza. Went up to 15.5k on the eastbound leg, picked up a 50 knot tailwind and saw personal record groundspeeds at personal record fuel burns. Wow I've really been missing out on this high altitude stuff even in a NA engined bonanza.

    My friends rig is a super basic small medical o2 tank with a continuous flow regulator ported to a cheap nasal cannula. At 15.5k i set the regulator to 1.0 and it kept my pulse level at 95% the whole time. I would like to have something similar to what he has but I would want something for when I have a passenger with me as I typically travel with 1 passenger. My friend suggested just getting a tee fitting for the oxygen line, adding a second cannula, and then turning up the o2 output on the regulator. This seems way too ghetto to me. Will both cannulas receive the same amount of o2? Can two people actually use a medical oxygen rig or would I need two separate tanks and regulators? I looked at the mountain high o2d2 system but it is just more than I'm willing to spend at this time considering I was very happy with my friends rig and it cost him about $125.00.

    Need input on an affordable setup for two people. Also I've been reading that it's better to go with a pulse demand regulator as it will save o2 tremendously. If anyone has an links for setups or regulators they use please share!
     
  2. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If you’re not two crew do you reeeaaallllyyy need a 2 person o2?
     
  3. RingLaserGyroSandwich

    RingLaserGyroSandwich Pre-takeoff checklist

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    At 15.5 I’d say yes. Do you mean just stick to 15k with a passenger, or give them just a bit of hypoxia in violation of the regs?
     
  4. farangutan

    farangutan Filing Flight Plan

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    Tee the line. As long as there is no blockage and the branches from the tee to each cannula are the same length, both of you will enjoy the same pressure from the tank. Now, whether that tank will be enough for both of you is another thing.
     
  5. Landing Fees

    Landing Fees Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you intend to fly high a lot then consider a mountain high pulse demand system. Or if your friends rig is the cats meow, build 2.
     
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  6. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Meh, they’ll wake up when you land, probably ;)
     
  7. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    I have a medical 02 setup. The only tricky part is getting a adapter so that the FBO will fill it which my goto FBO did with no questions asked.

    The trick to medical 02 setups is that the regulators aren't quite as friendly as the aviation setups as you have found because they only have 1 port. But do not worry, just get a simple medical O2 'Y' adapter.

    Here's a bit more about flow rates. If you use a standard cannula you will waste air from the bottle. If you set 1 liter/minute its gonna dump out that much whether you breath it or not. So your first option is to get a inline flow meter with adjustable flow rate. Here you might want to buy from aviation site as they are indicated in flight levels vs feet.

    Secondly and more important - get the oxisaver or oximizer cannulas. They are awesome and will save you a lot of 02. Basically, with these cannula's you can set the flow rate much lower. In my last test (similar altitudes as you) I had my medical o2 regulator at 0.5lpm and was holding well over 95% until the last 1000feet where I increased to 1.0lpm just to be safe. But it wasn't needed. Without the oxisaver/oximizer cannula you probably would have needed over 1lpm just for yourself. For two people with the better cannulas you will probably be able to set it to 1lpm for both.

    Yeah those tailwinds up there are awesome and in the summer its nice and cool.
     
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  8. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    Can you please expound on the adapter medical-to-aviation needed, a link to a source?
     
  9. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    They’re annoyingly expensive, but it’s worth just buying a Mountain High or Aerox system in my opinion. I tried to piece together my own system and found that it was kind of a pain, wouldn’t be as good, and wouldn’t save as much money as I expected. I inherited the biggest Mountian High version with my most recent plane purchase and it is really nice with regulators, cannulas, oximizers and the whole works. It would be worth the $500 or whatever they cost.

    There’s a great old article about refilling with welder’s O2 and I have found in non-nanny flyover states (sorry, can’t help it, ‘Merica) the medical distributors will fill me up no questions asked for about $25, where in the nanny states they won’t even talk to me without a prescription.
     
  10. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Cleared for Takeoff

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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  11. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

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    There's no reason to use medical O2 or medical O2 equipment. It's a lot more expensive due to government certifications than Aviation set-up. Yes something actually more expensive and regulated than Aviation!

    If available, dive shops are 5x cheaper to refill an an FBO. Our area dive shops $8, the local aviation outlets $40.
     
  12. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    upload_2019-11-9_9-33-17.jpeg

    (Ok, not really...)
     
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  13. AnthonyS1

    AnthonyS1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No way. The aviation oxygen system are conservatively 4 times more expensive than a typical medical setup.
     
  14. G-Man

    G-Man Line Up and Wait

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    I thought dive shops use compressed regular air, not straight oxygen?
     
  15. Sinistar

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  16. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Agreed!

    If you are going to routinely make flights needing O2 then get a good pulsed system as others have mentioned. And if you're gonna fly with the whole family (4 stations) then a aviation medical setup is probably better.

    I think I spent the following on my system that I would use up to the 182's max ceiling and preferably 2 people but a 3rd would be okay:

    $45 Brand new medical o2 bottle with built in valve so no tool. 411 liters.

    $50 The fill adapter.

    $25 Medical o2 regulator adjustable 0.5lpm to 8lpm

    $50 (2) Medical oximizer cannulas

    $30 A couple extension tubes and adapters.

    $27 Fitbit style wrist band with heartrate and SPO2.

    Add another 10% in case I under estimated, shipping, tax.

    Now the fill at the FBO seemed like robbery...$45!

    If you want I can start another thread with exact links and prices.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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  17. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Many dive shops (not tech) might only have compressed air. But some dive shops can fill Nitrox up to about 40% O2 and remainder is mostly Nitrogen. Those fill systems often make that mix and dont go to 100% O2. But some tech divers might also need pure O2 for shallow (10ft) final deco stops or to use in closed or semi closed circuit rebreathers. I am pretty sure the dive shops just get pure o2 transfills from other larger o2 suppliers just like the FBO would. Some dives shops also carry Argon for filling dry suits. And there is also Helium for tri-mix for tech diving. Sometimes you see divers with a small "pony" bottle. It might just have air or might have nitrox or pure o2. You'll often see paint ballers at dive shops getting compressed air.
     
  18. Landing Fees

    Landing Fees Pre-takeoff checklist

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    O2 is cheap. Pilots are cheaper.
     
  19. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Haha - totally.

    /thread
     
  20. AnthonyS1

    AnthonyS1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A thread with links to the exact parts may be very helpful.

    So for two people you just use a "Y" fitting off of the regulator so it feeds two cannulas? What is the $50 fill adapter for? Is that so an FBO can fill the tank vs a medical/welding supply place?

    I live on the east coast at sea level and none of the FBOs even do oxygen around here. Most everyone that has o2 seems to go to a medical/scuba/welding supplier for refills.
     
  21. Shuswap BC

    Shuswap BC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Another way to refill your small bottles for flight, is have a large bottle dropped off at your home, keep it in the garage. When done flying tske your small bottles home, and refill them. When the big bottle gets low, call them, they come and swap it out. Not the most convenient way, but if you have no better alternative it works, I did it for years.
     
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  22. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    High pressure oxygen gives me the willies for trans filling small bottles. There are some special procedures that you have to follow or the result is spectacular. I have an oxygen torch and two 300cuft bottles at home, but unless I start flying enough to need to fill them every week, I’ll pay the extra $10.
     
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  23. Shuswap BC

    Shuswap BC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Which makes sense for those like you that have that option.
    Some places don't have an FBO or other good option for filling.
     
  24. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    I got my regular doctor to write me a basic prescription for medical O2, just stating that it is required for flights above 12,500. I didn’t even have to go in for an appointment, just picked up the script the next day on their desk.

    The welding supply store fills my bottles, and anyone else will as well. There are places everywhere for medical O2. Just ask your doctor.
     
  25. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    @AnthonyS1, here is a better breakdown of what I used right from my previous orders. Some stuff is showing out but I am sure there are equivalents:

    (~$45) 415 liter medical oxygen bottle
    This one comes with a built in post valve so no tool required. When I received mine the hydro date was only 3 months old. Very light at about 6 lbs. With oximizer cannula's 2 people should be able to split 1 liter per minute at 15,000ft and it would then last around 400 minutes or over 3.5hrs.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KNBER00/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    (~$23) Medical Oxygen Tank Regulator (0.5 to 15 liters per minute)
    From the pictures its quite small and compact. The flow rate starts at 0.5LPM which is just a bit too much with a oximizer cannula when down between 9K...13K or so. The next step is 1 liter per minute. Once nice thing is that the flow rate knob has clicks/detents. So even if you couldn't see the indicator you could close it and count the clicks and be right where you expect.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GGL08C6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    (~$50) CGA870 to CGA540 fill adapter.
    Use this to get your tank filled at a FBO. Just remove the regulator and place this on the tank instead. The shop will fill the bottle thru this adapter and then you can remove it and put the regulator back on.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N1S89ZX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    (~$11) Swivels / Y-Adapters
    Just a simple kit of various adapters.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WKW3XLF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_image?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    (~$11) Extension Tubing (10pack)
    A pack of 7ft long oxygen extension tubes
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LPICZEK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_image?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    (~$23) Medical Oximizer Cannula
    They only seem to offer the pendant style and not the mustache ones like the aviation suppliers do. I prefer the pendant style. I compared this to a aviation oximizer (oxisaver) cannula and the loop from the pendant up to the nose is a bit shorter - probably because they aren't considering a headset. I wore mine under the Light Speed Zulu 3's and wear them over the QT Halo's...the later being the easiest to wear along with the O2 setup.
    https://www.saveritemedical.com/pro...59ibNKn4PRf07-GcgSDJhGDJr_DV-y8hoCXVIQAvD_BwE

    (~$33) Wrist Wearable Fitness Tracker With SPO2
    I didn't like using the finger pulse oximeter so gave this a try. The menu system kinda sucks but the measurements seem right on and it even has a blood pressure monitor which matches a blood pressure cuff we have in the house. It has a haptic buzz when the reading is done. But it is slow. Think 40 seconds to get a reading. But it worked just fine.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VMC6DCM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
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  26. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

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    The dive shops in our area offer a variety of breathable gasses, including oxygen.
     
  27. AnthonyS1

    AnthonyS1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much gonna order up my rig tomorrow. What is the main difference between the pendant style and the mustache style cannulas? Is one supposed to be more comfortable?
     
  28. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is almost $200 worth of stuff. What’s the equivalent size Mountain High system cost?
     
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  29. AnthonyS1

    AnthonyS1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Probably about $2000.
     
  30. AnthonyS1

    AnthonyS1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Also do I need that CGA870 to 540 adapter if I plan to just get the tank refilled at a local welding or medical supplier?
     
  31. Snowmass

    Snowmass Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There are auto roads over 14,000' and very few drivers have oxy tanks. And people routinely hike at these altitudes which is really demanding and rarely use oxy. I wonder how they manage.
     
  32. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    You will need the adapter if you get it filled from local welding supplier. I dont think you would need it for a medical refill but then again they might just exchange your tank. Just dont get stuck with a different tank that is out almost out of hydro.
     
  33. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    @WannFly picked up a nice system from Aircraft Spruce or Sportys (?). It definitely wasn't $2000. Actually it probably wasn't even 2x. It did come with a nice flow meter which isn't in the kit I listed. It's the pulsed systems that are kinda spendy but worth it of you're flying up there all the time. I did the home brew to have some o2 for a trip out west (that didnt pan out), for night flight and just what @AnthonyS1 is doing - the occasional higher flight for tailwinds.
     
  34. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    I got a pulse demand regulator on eBay for my medical oxygen tank setup for $38. Look there because there is so much used stuff. People on medical oxygen are dying all the time and they don’t take their regulators to the grave. Sad but true.
     
  35. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Is this a serious post? Can’t tell.
     
  36. Mike Blackburn

    Mike Blackburn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You’re joking right?
     
  37. Landing Fees

    Landing Fees Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My two person system was $1255.
     
  38. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    Depends on the bottle you want. More like $1100-$1800 for a complete ready to go 2 place MH System

    https://wingsandwheels.com/oxygen-equipment/mountain-high/complete-systems.html

    I use a single place system that I picked up used minus the bottle for about $400.
    I highly recommend the MH system.

    I used it for all my Soaring flights above 5000 feet this year, About 60 hours worth. I think I filled my 18 cu ft bottle 3 times. I transfill from a large welding bottle and fill my bottle and several of my friend bottles, the large bottle will often last me 2 years and cost under $40 to refill so after the initial cost of the equipment I am paying something like $20 year for O2. Actually it is probably free since my friends often pitch in a few bucks for me to refill their bottle.

    Brian
     
  39. Landing Fees

    Landing Fees Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Exceptional point and mountain goats don't need O2 tanks either. I mean what could possibly go wrong? Ladies and Gentlemen who needs O2 when all those drivers and hikers don't need no stinking O2?
     
  40. Shepherd

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