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Thread: Compact battery for 3M AirStream or BreatheEasy respirators

  1. #1
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    Compact battery for 3M AirStream or BreatheEasy respirators

    I know that some of you use 3M AirStream or BreatheEasy respirators.

    I finally got around to making a video that shows the way I am using an alternative to the stock 3M NiCad battery.

    This tiny rechargeable lithium battery lasts longer, and is a small fraction of the weight and cost of the original.

    Because of its size and USB connectors, it lends itself to mounting on the helmet, eliminating a cord going to your belt.
    I hope this gives some folk ideas for use in their own configurations.

    Lathes: Nova DVR XP, Delta 46-460, Jet 1014vsi; Bader III 2"x72" belt grinder; Triton 2.25 router; CMT Industrio table; Jointech fence; SC planer; Dewalt miter; Delta 14" bandsaw; Festool TS55, MFT/3, CT22, ETS150/3, OF1400, PSB300EQ, CXS; Hegner Scrollsaw; JJ-6CS jointer; Grizzly 1023s cabinetsaw, Jet 17" drill press; Rigid OSS; 9" SandFlee; 3M AirStream & Breathe Easy PAPRs

  2. #2
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    Alan,

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together - great information on a great alternative! I ended up with the 3m as well. Price actually went up at Airware America about $125 since, so my timing was good!

    Joe V

  3. #3
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    Joe,

    I thought you'd get a kick out of this configuration.

    Are you enjoying your new AirStream... and using it whenever you turn?
    Lathes: Nova DVR XP, Delta 46-460, Jet 1014vsi; Bader III 2"x72" belt grinder; Triton 2.25 router; CMT Industrio table; Jointech fence; SC planer; Dewalt miter; Delta 14" bandsaw; Festool TS55, MFT/3, CT22, ETS150/3, OF1400, PSB300EQ, CXS; Hegner Scrollsaw; JJ-6CS jointer; Grizzly 1023s cabinetsaw, Jet 17" drill press; Rigid OSS; 9" SandFlee; 3M AirStream & Breathe Easy PAPRs

  4. #4
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    Just beginning to get back to turning. Was very sick for about 2 1/2 months - lost so much weight and strength that I went from the ability to do about 30 pushups to 3. Still a bit weak, but luckily recovering.

    I will be using it whenever I turn!

    Joe

  5. #5
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    Cornell,MI
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    Thanks for posting this Alan. I may do this for my breath easy just to reduce the weight on the belt.
    Whippingwater
    What if the Hokey Pokey REALLY IS what it's all about.

  6. #6
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    Great thread Alan, I believe the third pin on your stock helmet cable is for the thermistor, which cuts the charging if the battery gets too hot.
    When you approach the lathe you have "the plan", after your first catch you have "the intent".- P. Harbeck

  7. #7
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    Alan,
    This is an excellent post and a very well done presentation. Thanks for providing an option that, for me fixes one of the major drawbacks to the Airstream (other than price ). Two much lighter and longer lasting batteries for less than the price of one original is very attractive. I need to replace my eight year old Trend and it looks like the 3-M with this battery set up might be for me.

  8. #8
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    Great video Alan. Going to look into it today.
    Bernie

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.



  9. #9
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    For some reason the MP1860a has disappeared from the product section of the Tekkeon web site (the documentation is there under the Support tab).

    In case anyone is interested, I bought my units from Amazon.

    I rather like the Tekkeon products... I also have a MP3540 R2 that I use as auxiliary power for laptop computers, video cameras, etc. It provides from 5 to 19 volts. Cool toys <s>
    Lathes: Nova DVR XP, Delta 46-460, Jet 1014vsi; Bader III 2"x72" belt grinder; Triton 2.25 router; CMT Industrio table; Jointech fence; SC planer; Dewalt miter; Delta 14" bandsaw; Festool TS55, MFT/3, CT22, ETS150/3, OF1400, PSB300EQ, CXS; Hegner Scrollsaw; JJ-6CS jointer; Grizzly 1023s cabinetsaw, Jet 17" drill press; Rigid OSS; 9" SandFlee; 3M AirStream & Breathe Easy PAPRs

  10. #10
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    It turns out that there are different versions of the 3M batteries.

    The one shown in my video is original NiCad for my BreatheEasy.

    There is a more recent NiCad pack specifically (and only) for the newer revisions of the AirStream motors that weigh a bit less than the one shown in my video, lasts 9 hours, and recharges in about 6 hours.

    Price for a battery and charger are still way up there though.

    So rather than go through all the permutations of 3M battery and appropriate chargers, I thought it was time to take another approach.
    Even if I wasn't using the Tekkeon units with my respirators, I'd be content using them as portable power supplies for varmy ever increasing number of USB devices.
    Lathes: Nova DVR XP, Delta 46-460, Jet 1014vsi; Bader III 2"x72" belt grinder; Triton 2.25 router; CMT Industrio table; Jointech fence; SC planer; Dewalt miter; Delta 14" bandsaw; Festool TS55, MFT/3, CT22, ETS150/3, OF1400, PSB300EQ, CXS; Hegner Scrollsaw; JJ-6CS jointer; Grizzly 1023s cabinetsaw, Jet 17" drill press; Rigid OSS; 9" SandFlee; 3M AirStream & Breathe Easy PAPRs

  11. #11
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    Alan got your last PM and you were right on the voltage. So guess I will build one. I am definitely going to get your setup for the Airstream.

    Oh and I tried to reply to your last PM and it said your box is full and couldn't accept anymore PM's.
    Bernie

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.



  12. #12
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    I just annotated the video at around the 4:50 point, adding notes that there is a newer 3M AirStream specific NiCad battery that weighs less and charges quicker (with a newer charger) than the one from my BreatheEasy.

    So for some users, the run time and charge time is comparable to my configuration.

    However the setup I use is a small fraction of the weight and cost of the OEM version.

    Just more food for thought
    Lathes: Nova DVR XP, Delta 46-460, Jet 1014vsi; Bader III 2"x72" belt grinder; Triton 2.25 router; CMT Industrio table; Jointech fence; SC planer; Dewalt miter; Delta 14" bandsaw; Festool TS55, MFT/3, CT22, ETS150/3, OF1400, PSB300EQ, CXS; Hegner Scrollsaw; JJ-6CS jointer; Grizzly 1023s cabinetsaw, Jet 17" drill press; Rigid OSS; 9" SandFlee; 3M AirStream & Breathe Easy PAPRs

  13. #13
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    I ordered the MP1860a last night on Amazon. Got mine for $54 from one place, the other sellers had theirs at $61 which is still a great deal.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the demo Alan. My battery doesn't seem to have the staying power that it used to so I can see giving this a try before too long.

  15. #15
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    Those that know me, know I'm not much for cosmetics, but this was an entertaining little project.

    Over the years I've been keeping my eyes open for deals on used 3M AirStream and BreatheEasy units. I've gotten some pretty good deals on eBay and Craigslist... especially when I didn't need anything.

    I recently acquired a Racal AirStream AH5 (now the 3M AirStream AS400), and the white shell was a little grungy, so I had a thought... I wondered if I could create a black AirStream.

    A few months back I bought some BreatheEasy helmet shells (just the black plastic, no other parts) from a guy on ebay, at a VERY reasonable price. Like all of the BreathEasy helmets, it was configured to accept the air tube that extends from the belt mounted blower into a pvc connector inside the helmet. This connector is the only significant difference from the AirStream's shell.

    With some judicious cutting, I removed the inner pvc helmet connector and platform, leaving the outer oval so it now accepts the AirStream blower motor into the helmet, just like the AirStream does.

    Then with my best Dr. Frankenstein attitude, I set about cannibalizing the AH5, moving its faceshield, motor and assorted parts to the new shell. I had a new headband, foam temple shields, and tyvek skirt... and used them in the new configuration.

    Finally, I did the compact battery modification for the new-to-me (actually the oldest) AirStream.

    So, why go through the trouble?

    1. It was fun (I clearly am easily amused)
    2. I now have what is likely the only black 3M AirStream helmet on the planet, rendering me incredibly fashionable, and admired by hoards of female PAPR enthusiasts
    3. If Bill Grumbine and I are in the same shop, with our helmets on, it will be easier to tell us apart


    Of course, that last item also applies if Lauren and I are in the same shop <vbg>

    The photos show the FrankenStream creation, the pair of AirStreams, and a bevy of BreatheEasy units (one a rather rare welder's version).

    When the most recent of the AirStreams showed up, Lauren said "Are you done now???"

    Oh, and yes... when I got the new little monster completed, and powered it up for the very first time, I yelled out "IT'S ALIVE!!!!"
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Alan Zenreich; 03-10-2012 at 5:38 PM.
    Lathes: Nova DVR XP, Delta 46-460, Jet 1014vsi; Bader III 2"x72" belt grinder; Triton 2.25 router; CMT Industrio table; Jointech fence; SC planer; Dewalt miter; Delta 14" bandsaw; Festool TS55, MFT/3, CT22, ETS150/3, OF1400, PSB300EQ, CXS; Hegner Scrollsaw; JJ-6CS jointer; Grizzly 1023s cabinetsaw, Jet 17" drill press; Rigid OSS; 9" SandFlee; 3M AirStream & Breathe Easy PAPRs

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