Flow Meters vs. Regulators

Hi everyone,

After my recent cry for help concerning CO2 hardware and the number of
helpful responses I received, I sat down this morning with the Yellow
Pages and the phone book and let my fingers do some walking.

I found a local (Toronto) source for the Nupro B-4MG2 and the chap at
the company told me that I only have to bring in my regulator and
solenoid and he will hook them together for me.

I had a bit of trouble finding a welding supplier that wanted to get
involved in a "small" tank (15 - 20 lbs.), it seems that they mostly
deal with bigger "industrial" sized containers of CO2. But I guess
persistence pays off as I did find one who claimed to know exactly what
I was trying to do.

But he recommends that I use a "flow-meter" instead of a regulator -
needle valve combination. Yi-Meng Yen at UCLA is apparently using a
Victor Flow Regulator and says that it works well (Thanks for posting
that one George.). My local source doesn't have the Victor (he can get
it if I insist) but says that the model he has works as well (brand

I seem to remember several references in the archives which said that
flow meters/regulators were more designed for hydroponics applications
(and my local hydroponics store gets it's stuff from the same source).

Sorry for my thick headedness, but I don't understand the difference.

I have been told that if I go the flow regulator route I won't need the
needle valve, but could use one if I wished, although it would be

Or, I could get a regular regulator and pair it with the Nupro needle
valve, which is what a lot of people seem to do.

Are all regulators pretty much alike, in terms of quality? I have read
that the Nupro needle valve B-4MG2 is top notch. I would like to match
it in quality when I pick out the regulator to go with it. I am a firm
believer that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. In this
case, I fear that I am the weakest link in this chain.

Are there any regulators that are better than the average in terms of
quality? Brand names would help. Or is the guy right in suggesting that
I stay away from a regulator and get a flow meter instead?

As always, thanks for your suggestions.

James Purchase
jpp at inforamp_net