Re:Flow Meters vs. Regulators

Most of the welding supply companies in Los Angeles recommended the flow 
meter rather than the regulator/needle valve combination.  To my 
understanding, the flow meter is basically a one-stage regulator combined 
with a needle valve.  You can set the flow to be zero or as fast as the CO2 
can leak out.  Of course, this lends itself to only a manual system: you 
set the flow to be one bubble per second and just leave it.

The Victor brand flow regulator is apparently the top of the line according 
to welding companies and runs around $120.  I'm sure you could find it 
cheaper, but I didn't really feel like running all around town.  I've also 
have another CO2 tank fitted with a Harris brand flow regulator, model#355-AR-
580.  This one cost me $65 and is basically the same thing as the Victor 
brand and works just as well if not better. 

If you plan to get one, make sure that the fittings are specific for CO2.  
You can buy flow meters for Argon, or whatever, but you need to change the 
fitting to CO2.

Yi-Meng Yen
yyen at biochem_medsch.ucla.edu