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Versaflo - what to buy

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I was going through some of the older threads on respirators. I see lots of different configurations between the different forums threads on what you and Bill have, But, I'm trying to consolidate all the different helmet models, blower units, filters, batteries, chargers, etc down to just one or two systems so I can start watching Ebay for the necessary parts.

My budget is limited due to disability income so I have to be frugal when possible. What specific configuration and parts did you end up buying off Ebay?

I see the helmet was the M407 and you mentioned a BreatheEasy blower. But, which blower?

Which filters?

Do you wear the blower on a belt or vest?

One of the foum discussions I was reading was from 2019. https://aawforum.org/community/index.php?threads/3m-respirators-what-parts-to-look-for.15095/ Since it's been a couple years from that forum discussion is there any changes or other things you recommend?

Thanks
Ricc
 
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FWIW, I found this chart from 3M very helpful:
https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media...d-air-purifying-respirator-systems-matrix.pdf

I bought my system a piece at a time on ebay and saved significant money, but I figured out my options ahead of time and waited for the best deals.
Here's what I'm getting:
TR-307N blower assembly, includes blower, filter, battery & charger
M-307 helmet
BT-30 hose
M-928 peel off visor covers

To my knowledge (that's not saying much), there's only one filter made for the TR-300 series and that's the particulate filter. To filter anything like gases and vapors you have to move up to the TR600 or TR-800 series and of course, they're more expensive.

I didn't realize it until I got the M-307 helmet, but one advantage of the M-407 helmet (once you remove the shroud and replace it with the face seal from the 307) is that the 407 has a lower stationary frame that the face seal attaches to, so when you raise the visor, the face seal stays in place. With the 307, when you raise the visor, the face seal goes up with it and can snag your glasses, then when you lower the visor, you have to put the face seal back over your face. It's really just a convenience issue, so it'll just be a matter of getting used to an extra step. Just the fact that I can raise the visor at all is a big improvement over what I've been using.

I bought the TR-300 knowing that it's been replaced in their line by the TR-300+, which has a couple of improvements, but it was a killer deal, so I can live with one fan speed instead of two.

HTH,
Ric (really)
 
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Roger Wiegand

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I just received (today!) the 3M™ Versaflo™ Heavy Industry PAPR Kit TR-300N+ HIK 1 which sells for $1100 with free shipping to replace my aging and somewhat creaky Racal Airmate 3 that I bought used 25 years ago. It has served spectacularly well all that time The website lists all the kit components. It contained everything I wanted and a couple of small items I didn't really need (a heat-resistant tube cover?). I'm sure I could have pieced together something cheaper but the hassle wasn't worth it for me.

I haven't really used it yet, but it seems like it will meet all of my needs very nicely.

I've always used a belt blower, but am considering the backpack-- the belt blocks access to the rear pockets in my smock.
 
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That's pretty much the kit I was trying for, but couldn't afford. I saved a bunch buying it piece by piece, but gave up any kind of warranty. I guess it's a calculated risk.
 
Joined
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FWIW, I found this chart from 3M very helpful:
https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media...d-air-purifying-respirator-systems-matrix.pdf

I bought my system a piece at a time on ebay and saved significant money, but I figured out my options ahead of time and waited for the best deals.
Here's what I'm getting:
TR-307N blower assembly, includes blower, filter, battery & charger
M-307 helmet
BT-30 hose
M-928 peel off visor covers

To my knowledge (that's not saying much), there's only one filter made for the TR-300 series and that's the particulate filter. To filter anything like gases and vapors you have to move up to the TR600 or TR-800 series and of course, they're more expensive.

I didn't realize it until I got the M-307 helmet, but one advantage of the M-407 helmet (once you remove the shroud and replace it with the face seal from the 307) is that the 407 has a lower stationary frame that the face seal attaches to, so when you raise the visor, the face seal stays in place. With the 307, when you raise the visor, the face seal goes up with it and can snag your glasses, then when you lower the visor, you have to put the face seal back over your face. It's really just a convenience issue, so it'll just be a matter of getting used to an extra step. Just the fact that I can raise the visor at all is a big improvement over what I've been using.

I bought the TR-300 knowing that it's been replaced in their line by the TR-300+, which has a couple of improvements, but it was a killer deal, so I can live with one fan speed instead of two.

HTH,
Ric (really)
Thanks Ric, I just checked ebay for the blower assembly kit. So far what I see is $650 then $299-$400 for the helmet. Not a big savings so far over the deal Roger got.

I'll have to keep checking and hope for a deal. Do you mind me asking what you paid for each of your items so I have a rough ball park on what kind of pricing to look for?

Thanks
Ricc
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
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Location
Elkhart, IN
Website
www.riccsdesigns.com
I just received (today!) the 3M™ Versaflo™ Heavy Industry PAPR Kit TR-300N+ HIK 1 which sells for $1100 with free shipping to replace my aging and somewhat creaky Racal Airmate 3 that I bought used 25 years ago. It has served spectacularly well all that time The website lists all the kit components. It contained everything I wanted and a couple of small items I didn't really need (a heat-resistant tube cover?). I'm sure I could have pieced together something cheaper but the hassle wasn't worth it for me.

I haven't really used it yet, but it seems like it will meet all of my needs very nicely.

I've always used a belt blower, but am considering the backpack-- the belt blocks access to the rear pockets in my smock.
Roger, that seems like a very good deal! the link you provided shows it to be over $1700. Can you share the source of the deal you got?

thanks
Ricc
 
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Thanks Ric, I just checked ebay for the blower assembly kit. So far what I see is $650 then $299-$400 for the helmet. Not a big savings so far over the deal Roger got.

I'll have to keep checking and hope for a deal. Do you mind me asking what you paid for each of your items so I have a rough ball park on what kind of pricing to look for?

Thanks
Ricc
I lucked out and found a brand new TR-307N kit, which is the blower, filter, high capacity battery and charger for $318 (!!!) Buy It Now, right after it was listed. Needless to say, I jumped on it right away.
I had been watching listings for helmets and hoses and a new open box M-307 for $270 shipped and a BT-30 hose for $50 shipped, and a pack of 10 M-928 peel off visor covers for $21.
All together it came in at $659. I've received everything but the TR-307N kit and it's somewhere between Seattle & Detroit.
If you can wait long enough, those kinds of deals pop up, but you have to be prepared to act fast in some cases.
Good hunting!
 
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A friend made a cheap version of this. He got a versa flo helmet off ebay for really cheap. And then hooked a line up to the helmet to a bathroom vent fan that he was drawing warm air from inside the house. Always knew what was for dinner and worked really well. No Batteries. That is the whole principle of the system blowing air through the helmet that is clean . His inlet was hanging from ceiling above his lathe. He added over time extra inlets over his table saw and bandsaw.
 
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One danger with a belt mounted system that may be a problem (especially for me), is the air intake is located right above the exit point of odorous digestive emissions. o_O
I may have to pack my underwear with activated charcoal.
 
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A friend made a cheap version of this. He got a versa flo helmet off ebay for really cheap. And then hooked a line up to the helmet to a bathroom vent fan that he was drawing warm air from inside the house.
I considered doing something like this. But my shop is in my basement, so if I brought in clean breathing air from outside the shop, dirty shop air would have to leave to keep things balanced. And I didn't want that dirty shop air getting into the rest of my house.

I guess this would work ok if the shop was sealed off from the house well, like being in a garage. Or if you had an exhaust fan from the shop to the outdoors to match the incoming air rate.
 
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I considered doing something like this. But my shop is in my basement, so if I brought in clean breathing air from outside the shop, dirty shop air would have to leave to keep things balanced. And I didn't want that dirty shop air getting into the rest of my house.

I guess this would work ok if the shop was sealed off from the house well, like being in a garage. Or if you had an exhaust fan from the shop to the outdoors to match the incoming air rate.
You could push the dirty shop air through a homemade hepa filter, or furnace filter box setup. Having a shop in a basement is hard as in winter dirty air is probably getting into cold air return and going through furnace and then next through house.
 
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For those of you who have this system, how have you found the comfort level after a couple hours of use? did it take a while to get used to the weight? did your neck hurt? I am a little concerned about the weight on my head and maybe getting neck aches or headaches.
 
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Yes, the helmet/shield is very light. Some may have an issue wearing the belt, doesnt bother me. Get used to the hump on your backside (blower/filter) bumping into things, other than that it works great.

I have the M207 helmet ($220), TR-613N blower assm w/tube ($401 NIB on ebay). This blower has organic vapor cartridges available, and it is very nice for spraying. A spare battery, and a charger, were another ~ $450. The organic vapor cartridge takes a different filter cover, and the filters arent cheap but last a long time. Had my setup for 2 years, still using the original particulate and vapor cartridges. I remove the filters and vacuum/blow them out every so often.
 

Roger Wiegand

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The M-307 helmet weighs a few ounces more than the Racal Airmate 3 helmet I've worn for years, but has much nicer suspension in the hard hat. I haven't had the chance to use it for more than a short period yet so can't tell you if that's enough to make a difference. I never really noticed the weight of the Airmate helmet; not all that much more than an ordinary hard hat.
 
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I've been using a JSP Powercap for about 1.5 years. It's OK, but I was never impressed with the construction quality, it's kinda front heavy and it turns out that it's not rated any higher than an N95 mask. I weighed it and the M-307 I just got and the M-307 is several ounces heavier, but it's really well balanced, especially with the hose attached, so I think my arthritic, rebuilt neck will be OK with it. The Versaflo stuff is WAY better quality, as it should be. I was hoping to try the whole system out when the Tr-300 arrived today, but the battery pack had sat for too long and the charge was too low, so the charger didn't recognize it. The seller was cool about it and is sending a known good battery and charger and a new filter, because that was past the expiration date too. New old stock didn't work out too well with the Versaflo and Li-Ion batteries, but I should be able to replace the cells in the dead one and end up with two battery packs and an extra charger for my trouble. Live & learn.
 
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Joined
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I've been using a JSP Powercap for about 1.5 years. It's OK, but I was never impressed with the construction quality, it's kinda front heavy and it turns out that it's not rated any higher than an N95 mask. I weighed it and the M-307 I just got and the M-307 is several ounces heavier, but it's really well balanced, especially with the hose attached, so I think my arthritic, rebuilt neck will be OK with it. The Versaflo stuff is WAY better quality, as it should be. I was hoping to try the whole system out when the Tr-300 arrived today, but the battery pack had sat for too long and the charge was too low, so the charger didn't recognize it. The seller was cool about it and is sending a known good battery and charger and a new filter, because that was past the expiration date too. New old stock didn't work out too well with the Versaflo and Li-Ion batteries, but I should be able to replace the cells in the dead one and end up with two battery packs and an extra charger for my trouble. Live & learn.
Ric, that's a bummer! I know a few others here on the forum have gotten older NIB units of ebay. But, those issues you are dealing with make me hesitant. I have had mixed results dealing with sellers and trying to get issues resolved.
 
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