Power Kite Forum

How do you inflate your ARC's?

jadog - 12-30-2014 at 09:41 AM

Looking for a way to quickly air up my new Phantom's. Even with the wind blowing steady, I know that I could get them up in the air sooner if I could use some sort of a blower to inflate it faster. So I'd like to buy something that is compact enough to fit into my duffle bag with the rest of my gear? Was thinking about use a portable mattress inflator such as below:

I've also heard that battery powered blowers work well, but I was thinking I may have trouble fitting that into my duffle. What are you guys using?

ssayre - 12-30-2014 at 09:52 AM

I used my gas powered leaf blower with the nozzle off of it for easy transport. Mainly because I already had it. It works very well. I have the battery powered pump you have shown and it won't move near enough air to inflate an arc in a timely manner.

Bladerunner - 12-30-2014 at 10:17 AM

I have used a mattress inflator like you show but it is VERY slow on larger arcs. The only advantage is for getting a good fill / topping it off if the wind isn't doing the job.

As a general rule I find that if there isn't enough wind to fill my arc there isn't enough wind to enjoy it. Even if I can make it fly.

Demoknight - 12-30-2014 at 10:23 AM

Yeah, I have stayed away from the assisted inflate. If I cannot inflate, I don't fly the Charger. I just put up the 8.6m Reactor and go about my business. If that doesn't pull me, I go back home and grab the Bonts for a few miles around town.

lasrocas - 12-30-2014 at 11:43 AM

the cpu fan off an old pc hooked to a small 9volt battery (square one)
had my 10mtr venom solid in under 1 minute.
small light and cheap.
must be the cpu fan not the ordinary coolling fans for the case.

sand flea - 12-30-2014 at 08:09 PM

i am impatient when I want to fly
I use a cordless leaf blower

that cpu fan will work best for small storage needs

Kober - 12-30-2014 at 09:11 PM

I did like my Synergy a lot ....

3shot - 12-31-2014 at 05:45 PM

CPU fan. Inflates in about 30 seconds

ssayre - 12-31-2014 at 05:52 PM

That thing looks awesome Jason. Hopefully you never have to fly with it. I think it would raise suspicion at an airport.

jadog - 1-1-2015 at 01:21 PM

Quote: Originally posted by 3shot  

CPU fan. Inflates in about 30 seconds

That's exactly what I'm looking for!!! Something small that I can stash in my bag. Can you tell me what parts you used to make that with? I've found a few high power CPU fans. One was nearly rated at 200CFM!

robinsonpr - 1-1-2015 at 03:44 PM

I'm interested in building something like that too! Why specifically CPU fan? Looks like some slightly larger case fans have higher CFM rating.

WackyWindsurfer - 1-2-2015 at 09:32 AM

Last season I also did use a 12V computerfan (120mm), which I then attached to a bucket with the bottom cut out off.
To power the fan I made use of a 3S LiPo (11.1V) battery I already had laying around (love RC also!).

The setup 3shot shows above is indeed a very nice workout of that concept! I really like the handle part.

The bucket was a little to bulky to take a long in the PL kite bag so I plan for coming season a new concept. It must be light, small and flat enough to carry in the bag. And of course powerfull enough to quickly fill the kite and start flying ASAP. :D

I created a little visualisation of the concept I am playing with in my mind, so it can sink in a little. Also I would like to share my idea with you, to give something back to the community, of which I gained so much!

Feel free to comment on it or make suggestions to improve it. Open source...

3shot - 1-3-2015 at 07:11 AM

Just checking back in guys. Sorry. I'll post up the details when I get home. Quickly, Its a 24v fan. A heat sink cooling fan to be exact. Same concept. I'll post the specs soon. I use 3 9v batteries. Simple push button on/off switch. 4" PVC duct. Fits right in the diddy bag. More info of my rig here, as well as a few other ideas.

Bladerunner - 1-3-2015 at 01:16 PM

I suspect your Phantoms are like mine and fill from the center?

What I do to aid / speed up my fill in very light wind is fill the bottom 1/2 and then roll the kite up pushing that air up to the top. Unroll, unzip and refill the bottom 1/2. It works pretty good. No fan required!

jadog - 1-3-2015 at 01:37 PM

Sounds good 3shot. Interested on how you secured the fan to the pvc. Also what you used to secure the battery pack to the pvc. I found a 12v fan capable of over 200CFM that should do the job. But I would prefer to use a 8 AA batteries rather than the 9-volts as it's considerably less money for these batteries. Could use something like this which has the switch already on the case.


3shot - 1-3-2015 at 07:03 PM

Jadog, it just so happened the pipe was almost an exact fit inside the fan housing. If you are seriously interested, I'm sure I have another fan laying around. Just pick up the postage, and ill send it on. I also have plenty of PVC. I like the 24v system. Less current draw to a comparable 12v fan. This means longer battery life!! You will use twice the AA batteries for the same runtime , which will be more expensive. Since the pipe is round, I made flat bracket out of some tin, then used pop rivets with washers to fasten the plate. You can use whatever to secure the power supply. I had some 3" Velcro strips, so I used that.

volock - 1-3-2015 at 08:05 PM

I've tried a few different things... as my main flying spot my car is parked close enough, I often use a 12V/DC powered fan with a long extension cable to the cigarette lighter... If I had to go battery I'd probably just wire my fan to it... I use a 12V Marine Bilge Blower, as it had the handy pipe (which I've added a handle to) low amperage and good air flow (~250 CFM).

I'd probably just mount an 8-Pack AA Battery Holder to the mounting bracket area on it, and call it a day if I wanted to battery power it, and not spend much time making it.

arc filler

lasrocas - 1-4-2015 at 05:40 AM

the normal cooling/case fans are bigger but the cpu fan has more through put of air.
i tried both and the cpu fan work great fixed to a cordless drill battery.
1 x fan
2 x length of wire
2 x small crocodile clips
job done

WackyWindsurfer - 1-4-2015 at 06:02 AM

After a search for cheap higher cfm 12V fans I have found some on Ebay.
I am planning on using either 2 or 3, as my concept above shows. When they arrive I will first test the airflow and see if they live up to what they claim to be.

Feyd - 1-4-2015 at 06:57 AM

Black and Decker electric broom.

BeamerBob - 1-4-2015 at 09:33 AM

Yeah, it seems all this DIY work is reinventing the wheel. I picked up a Ryobi battery powered blower that uses 18volt batteries that I already had for my drill, reciprocating saw and flashlight. I think it was about $30 shipped and they already shrouded the fan and put a handle on it for me. I take the tube off of it and its a small tidy package with only 1 thing to keep up with once I snap the battery in.

I understand wanting to have a project and tinker with motors and batteries but I wouldn't even start an internet search for parts with a ready made effective tool available for so little money.

3shot - 1-4-2015 at 06:12 PM

I had all the stuff laying around Bobby ;)

canuck - 1-4-2015 at 09:30 PM

I have a 12V battery with a cigarette lighter socket and a cheap 12v inflator kit that I carry in a shopping bag. The battery is a good dead weight to hold the kite in place until launch and is easy to recharge. Works well on my arcs and all of my closed cell foils.

Kite inflator.JPG - 87kB

BeamerBob - 1-5-2015 at 08:02 AM

Quote: Originally posted by 3shot  
I had all the stuff laying around Bobby ;)

Ok, that makes some sense then if you end up with a tidy package in the end and don't have perpetual battery expense.

Demoknight - 1-9-2015 at 12:06 PM

For those of you who are building these using computer fans, take this small bit of advice from a computer builder: Look for fans that have higher static pressure. Most CPU fans have high CFM, but very low static pressure, meaning they can move lots of air, but only if there is very little restriction. These fans may not put out enough pressure to get a full inflate on the arc in some cases. The best fans would be the ones made for radiators with high fin density. Those fans may have slightly lower CFM, but higher pressure, which will help inflate faster in the long run.

Bladerunner - 1-10-2015 at 12:55 PM

I notice that CanucS-P-A-M-L-I-N-K-s inflator is also a DE-flator. Now THAT would be useful ! :thumbup:

volock - 1-10-2015 at 01:30 PM

Quote: Originally posted by canuck  
I have a 12V battery with a cigarette lighter socket and a cheap 12v inflator kit that I carry in a shopping bag. The battery is a good dead weight to hold the kite in place until launch and is easy to recharge. Works well on my arcs and all of my closed cell foils.

I'd never thought of inglating my closed cell foils when the wind is light. Definitely food for thought.

Proletariat - 1-15-2015 at 12:04 AM

Anger. I fill my arcs with anger.

Demoknight - 1-16-2015 at 03:17 PM

Dave you sold all your arcs!

Proletariat - 1-17-2015 at 10:47 AM

I know. I need a new anger outlet. Need to buy a raft.

Demoknight - 1-27-2015 at 12:46 PM

Why buy a raft? Why not Zoidberg?

acampbell - 3-20-2015 at 04:31 AM

I picked up a 6 inch 12v muffin fan at Radio Shack, then a 9v RC car battery pack and charger on sale. Total cost maybe $25. All I had to do was crimp the snap wiring connector (included) to the the fan wires. Whole rig less than 1/2 pound and can fit in my cargo pants pocket. Zip the fan snugly into the inlet zipper, plug it in and long before I finish connecting lines, I can bounce a quarter off the kite skin - even my 18 m phanny. One charge will do a dozen launches or so.

All I would add is a wire protective grate over the fan inlet. (Also cheap at Radio Shack). My colors don't bleed but my fingers can!