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Sonic flow

>Yes, I was running my regulator flat out into the needle valve.  Unless 
>there is quite a pressure drop across the valve, the flow will not go sonic 
>and the valve will not restrict the flow as desired.

Sonic flow is achieved roughly when the upstream pressure is 2 times the 
downstream pressure.  And for a fixed opening ( a needle valve kept at a 
constant setting ), increasing upstream pressure increases flow 
regardless if you are sonic or not.