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Author Topic: Helmet blower tips
Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I'm installing a helmet blower this winter and could use some help troubleshooting my half baked ideas and tips for things I will probably do all goofy the first time by trial and error.

Rather than buying one out of the box, my thought was to use a bilge blower like this...

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1%7C6880%7C46775%7C732133&id=570334

adapt a K&N cone filter I have in a box somewhere, and install a rheostat in the radio blanking plate.

I've read references to squirrel cage blowers and have no clue why I'd want one over a propeller.

Any issues with using this kind of blower? Any tips on a rheostat? My experience with them is mostly home lighting.

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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a rheostat is a bad idea.... try:
http://www.allspectrum.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=783

It's an inexpensive pulse-width modulator motor speed control. Reliable, efficient and safer.

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Thanks Kent. Never even heard of that but it makes sense. Do they have some sort of filter to prevent start up voltage spikes or is that pretty much a non-issue with 12v motors?

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Keith in WA:
Thanks Kent. Never even heard of that but it makes sense. Do they have some sort of filter to prevent start up voltage spikes or is that pretty much a non-issue with 12v motors?

I'm no EE, but my guess is that with low voltage, low current motors this isn't a big deal.

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

Greg Bush Verified Driver
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Why do you want a rheostat?

Mine runs full tilt all the time with no problems.

Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be.

As to why a squirrel cage, it has to do with pressures, flow, and noise.

You can get the exact blower I use from West Marine, though I bought it as a helmet blower with all the hoses and stuff for around $100.

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I'm with Greg. Full power.

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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The Miata comes with a very powerful, variable speed air blower mounted on the right hand side of the car, right under the dash. Has anyone used it?

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Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

Greg Bush Verified Driver
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I use it to defrost the window and if I run hot in the draft.

The blower is nice on the grid, I can stay cool with the car shut off.

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I have used an in line brake duct fan, but I am thinking of changing to this one, with the carbon monoxide filter option. I have a problem with accumulated CO, over the years.

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Safety-Racing-Tru-Air-Pum...tml?parentDisplayId=46046

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I thought I'd want to control the flow since 150cfm sounded like a lot. If it's not, that's one less thing to wire and go bad. I like the system Wheel linked. It looks pretty complete and a CO filter sounds good.

I'm with Greg. I keep the blower for defrost and even if it's hot air moving around on grid, at least the air is moving. Even worse is when the field is neutralized during a race and I'm baking in a car that's too hot to touch.

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

CP Verified Driver
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I was thinking of adding a blower like that to the hole on the passenger side of the dashboard where the airbag used to reside. A guy in my region has one there and says he uses it to keep cool on grid. My only concern would be securing it so that it doesn't become a projectile during an incident.

--------------------
-Cy
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Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Cy,
It shouldn't be too hard to secure in there. Might take a little fab work but the airbag is mounted to two brackets attached directly to the dash bar giving you a convinient place to bolt things. (I'm looking at a picture of the whole back side of the dash while it was out for when I forgot where all the plugs are. [Smile] )

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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This thread got me off the dime. I just ordered the one with the CO filter.

davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I use the factory blower motor. I block off all AC vents except one, install a hose into the vent with a custom aluminum adapter and away I go. Works best in NA models with the removable radio panel that holds the eyeball vents.

dave

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wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I have to use mine in two cars, so that won't work. Plus, the CO filter is huge.

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by davew:
I use the factory blower motor. I block off all AC vents except one, install a hose into the vent with a custom aluminum adapter and away I go. Works best in NA models with the removable radio panel that holds the eyeball vents.

dave

That's how I picture it...

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by wheel:
This thread got me off the dime. I just ordered the one with the CO filter.

I ordered on too. For the price, the ready made solution will probably save me money over building one, definately save time, and I like the CO filter.

Thanks guys!

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Ron Alan Made Donation to Website
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This may be a dumb question but here goes.

You call these blowers so I assume air is pushed into the helmet which then escapes via other outlets. Do these systems exist that pull air...vacuum? Has anyone ever tried this? Not sure if the neg. pressure would be an issue but I would think the direction of flow might be more comfortable? Maybe i'll hook up my 6.5hp shop vacuum an test it out [Big Grin] (After I use my hole saw to cut a 2.5" hole in my helmet [Eek!] )

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-RA


"Happy birthday, I didn't get you a present...Oh, mom got you one? Well, that's from me then too, unless it's shitty."
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Greg Bush Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Alan:
This may be a dumb question but here goes.

You call these blowers so I assume air is pushed into the helmet which then escapes via other outlets. Do these systems exist that pull air...vacuum? Has anyone ever tried this? Not sure if the neg. pressure would be an issue but I would think the direction of flow might be more comfortable? Maybe i'll hook up my 6.5hp shop vacuum an test it out [Big Grin] (After I use my hole saw to cut a 2.5" hole in my helmet [Eek!] )

That would make you the filter in the system....

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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While you drill the hole in the helmet, just drill one in your head at the same time.

Ron Alan Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by wheel:
While you drill the hole in the helmet, just drill one in your head at the same time.

Knew that was coming [Big Grin] Was looking at a little 12v vacuum i have wondering if i could make use of it...ok bad idea [flamed]

--------------------
-RA


"Happy birthday, I didn't get you a present...Oh, mom got you one? Well, that's from me then too, unless it's shitty."
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Mike888 Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Parker Pumper, and mount it to the roll cage, it comes with mount and filter. Been using it for 3 years it is awesome and well worth the few extra bucks of trying to rig somethng. When I bought my cool suit cooler, bought the one with the air hose fittings in addtion to the water, and cool filtered air flows thru the helmet even on the hotest days.

Blake Thompson Verified Driver
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I did a ctrl-f for "relay" and don't see it mentioned. Use a relay. I melted some wiring when I started using mine. It draws more amperage than you would think.

--------------------
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Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by wheel:
While you drill the hole in the helmet, just drill one in your head at the same time.

Wheel only saw this today - damn you are one funny man!! Almost fell off my chair - still chuckling!

--------------------
Danny
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Mark de Regt Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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FWIW, my experience with a helmet blower was disappointing. I could feel little or no cooling effect, and the motor added a couple of pounds to a car already unable to get down to weight. It now sits on my shelf in the garage.

Newt Watson Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I use my helmet blower at full tilt 150cfm with good results. In the TX heat it make me barely break a sweat in my helmet during the summer.

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Maybe it's the helmet? I know several people who rave about having forced air. I'm giving it a shot at least. Sweat running into my eyes is distracting.

Side note...Mark, when you had your off in the Festivals and we were all parked in pit lane, they came by and handed us all bottles of water as we baked in our cars. Ever try to drink a bottle of water wearing a full face helmet? A few minutes later they came by and handed out straws. [Smile] By that point though I had resolved myself to squeezing the bottle shoved up under my chin piece, trying to get more water in my mouth than up my nose.

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

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The guys running the cool shirt pro with air and water here in Florida told me that there is a huge difference between a side air helmet and the top forced air helmets. They tested different types and found that the cool air being forced down over the entire head is much better. I bought the new Bell Star Infusion top forced air (which can be converted with a $35 kit to a side air) which has a bladder system in the top of the helmet to direct the air over the entire head. In addition to the bladder design they have a great anti-fog insert for the shield that eliminates the issue of fogging in the cold or high humidity. You should also look at insulating your air lines to alleviate any loss of cooling effect.

--------------------
Paul McLester

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Gator,
I just bought the same one. I haven't used it in anger yet, but the air flowing over the top of my head feels great. I have always been a hot head, anyway.
I also got the CO filter, since I have had races where that has been a factor in my performance late in a race.
One thing that really helps on hot races, is a drink tube to ice water. Keeping hydrated does more for me than a cool shirt.
wheel

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I am getting the Carbon Monoxide filter as well. I mounted the drink tube in my Arai and will probably do the same with the Bell. Even in a 30 min sprint race drinking water makes a huge difference. I watched Danny Steyn use the cool shirt and drink system in January when the temp was 26 deg to maintain hydration and keep the concentration level through out the race.

--------------------
Paul McLester

Blake Thompson Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by wheel:
Gator,
I just bought the same one. I haven't used it in anger yet, but the air flowing over the top of my head feels great. I have always been a hot head, anyway.
I also got the CO filter, since I have had races where that has been a factor in my performance late in a race.
One thing that really helps on hot races, is a drink tube to ice water. Keeping hydrated does more for me than a cool shirt.
wheel

many survival guides they say that ice water uses more energy than room temperature water... though my drink bag sits on my transmission tunnel and becomes something along the lines of spec miata tea at the end of a race.

--------------------
http://btdtracing.com - YOUR Miata Parts Pimp

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Blake,
It starts out as ice water, but for the first half of the race it is just pleasantly cool, then not so much. The bottle and tube are not insulated.
wheel

   

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