Air chuck/inflators with accurate gauge

SBSYNCRO

Active member
over the years I have collected half a dozen inflators and tire gauges, both analog and digital. My problem is that few of them match and I don’t have a “reference standard” with which to calibrate them! To make matters worse the TPMS in my Jeep rarely matches any of them...

I’m curious if anyone has found a surefire accurate gauge that you’ve tested to be accurate? (I’m also curious how people test the accuracy of their gauges).

Also, on a related note has anyone found an inflator hose/gauge combo that has a pressure cutoff built into the inflator handle?

I’ve never seen one but years ago I had one of those little ciggie plug compressors that took forever but it did have the ability to set the pressure at which it cut off which was supremely handy!


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Beowulf

Expedition Leader
Calibrated air gauges come at a cost. If you want a NIST certified gauge you can pull up McMaster.

Power tank has a gauge that comes with a cert that states it is within .25 psi accurate. Not sure who certifies their gauge. Plus it is on the cheaper side for a certified gauge at $175.

There are certification houses, but that is quite expensive as well.

In the end I went with a normal replacement digital gauge from PowerTank that they says is accurate to 1PSI.
 
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SBSYNCRO

Active member
I have the exact same “AstroAI” inflator in my bag and it *might* be accurate but it’s different from my old ARB analog and my other three or four digital and analog gauges. And when I say “different” I mean these things vary from each other by as much as 5-8 psi....

I just need to find a reference standard against which to measure all these to see which (if any) is accurate.

Even my TPMS sensors (OEM Mopar) vary from each other!


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SBSYNCRO

Active member
Another thought - anyone know if something like this could be added to an ARB compressor (no tank) in order to regulate the output to say 30 psi? That way you just hook it up to the tire and walk away until it shuts off, then go to the next tire, and so on. The plumbing would be compressor <-->pressure cutoff switch<-->adjustable regulator<-->inflation hose. My thought is that the regulator would cut off at the set pressure, causing the backpressure to exceed the cutoff switch's pre-set trigger (100psi IIRC), then the ARB would shut off.
 

jgaz

Adventurer
Another thought - anyone know if something like this could be added to an ARB compressor (no tank) in order to regulate the output to say 30 psi? That way you just hook it up to the tire and walk away until it shuts off, then go to the next tire, and so on. The plumbing would be compressor <-->pressure cutoff switch<-->adjustable regulator<-->inflation hose. My thought is that the regulator would cut off at the set pressure, causing the backpressure to exceed the cutoff switch's pre-set trigger (100psi IIRC), then the ARB would shut off.
I see no reason something like this couldn’t be plumbed in and why it wouldn’t work.

Ive used this regulator, or one like it, for years.
4C2A149D-A977-481B-8B6B-1B6922B7FD34.jpeg
I started using this set up when my son was growing up.
My compressor was always shut off, but I’d leave some pressure in the tank with this regulator and a hose installed. That way my son could in air up his bike tires to maybe 35psi without me worrying about him popping a tube.

I still have several of these regulators that I salvaged from some scrapped test equipment.

This set up still works great for my high pressure bike tires.
Set it and forget it.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Don't bother trying to find one that reads 100% accurate.

Most are not, but most are consistent enough that all you need to do is know how to read them.
Think of the gauge as a reference point.

We use a cheap inflation chuck, but it does read 3-5PSI low.
So I inflate it to 3-5 PSI higher that what it reads.

Problem solved...
 
As much as it drives me nuts to know the data I’m getting from the gauge is inaccurate, what really matters is consistency.

Once you determine appropriate pressures for your vehicle, tire, conditions you just need to repeat.

So I ask you, who cares if my 18 psi for soft stuff is really 15 or 21? As long as I can set my tires appropriately next time?


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slomatt

Adventurer
In my opinion precision is more important than accuracy. As long as I can get repeatable results, then I'm not too concerned if the gauge is 100% accurate.

Interestingly, the accuracy of many dial gauges is specified as "±3-2-3%" (Class B) which indicates that the middle 1/2 of the range is the most accurate (±2%) and the first and last 1/4s are less accurate (±3%). This means that when picking a Class B gauge you ideally want your target air pressures to be in the middle 1/2 of the range for best accuracy. You can also find Class 1 gauges which are ±1% across the range.

Also interesting (at least to me) is that many digital gauges read to at least 1 decimal point, but are still rated at only ±3% accuracy.

Back to dial gauges... most have a specified overpressure limit before they internally deform and become inaccurate. I've run into this before after hitting a 60psi gauge with 150psi from the compressor, and then realizing it started consistently reading 5+ psi high.

On my inflation kit I use a 60psi Winters gauge which is ±2% in the pressure range I'm interested in.


I also have a Accu-Gage RS60XA in the same range which I use for spot checks.
 

Heading Out

Adventurer
over the years I have collected half a dozen inflators and tire gauges, both analog and digital. My problem is that few of them match and I don’t have a “reference standard” with which to calibrate them! To make matters worse the TPMS in my Jeep rarely matches any of them...

I’m curious if anyone has found a surefire accurate gauge that you’ve tested to be accurate? (I’m also curious how people test the accuracy of their gauges).

Also, on a related note has anyone found an inflator hose/gauge combo that has a pressure cutoff built into the inflator handle?

I’ve never seen one but years ago I had one of those little ciggie plug compressors that took forever but it did have the ability to set the pressure at which it cut off which was supremely handy!


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I was in quality and calibration, just send the best gauge you have to a calibration house and have it calibrated.
use that as your standard to check the others.

Rule of thumb is the pressure you are monitoring should fall in the middle third of the gauges range,
so a 0-90 psi gauge is best in the 30-60 psi range

Fastenal can cal. or there is a place in Goleta. I've also used Precision Instrument Correction in LA, among others.
 

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Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
Another thought - anyone know if something like this could be added to an ARB compressor (no tank) in order to regulate the output to say 30 psi? That way you just hook it up to the tire and walk away until it shuts off, then go to the next tire, and so on. The plumbing would be compressor <-->pressure cutoff switch<-->adjustable regulator<-->inflation hose. My thought is that the regulator would cut off at the set pressure, causing the backpressure to exceed the cutoff switch's pre-set trigger (100psi IIRC), then the ARB would shut off.
Check this thread: https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/diy-automatic-tire-inflator.189623/

Author there did almost exactly as you propose. I have since also copied his idea and it's working well for me. My compressor setup is pretty much as you describe, with a pressure switch that shuts off when the "line" pressure gets high enough once the regulator stops passing air to the tire. The rating on the gauge from the compressor isn't 100% accurate because it's reading at the tire with pressure from the regulator behind it, but it is consistent. As it stands, I set the regulator to about 3-5psi higher on its gauge vs. what I want to see on my standalone gauge (which I use to verify everything after the compressor shuts off.)
 
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