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Cheap efficient Aerator setup

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Everyone is familiar with the big issue facing fishermen and Aerators. Basically you can buy small inefficient 1.5 volt units for around $15, or you can buy a small inefficient 1.5 volt units for around $15.! No one makes a 12 volt unit (the 12 volt ones that you can get are just 1.5 volt units with step down built in to them).

There are various forms of water moving devices (usually based on bilge pumps) starting around the $50 mark, and they are really designed for large size tanks, and they suck a fair amount of juice and are a bit rough on live bait. (Read shrimp soup unless you glue flyscreen all over the inlets)

Well the other day I noticed that my 1.5 volt unit was getting so worn out it was hardly pumping any air. I plugged in my spare and made a mental note to buy another one to replace the spare.

Then I got to thinking about the amount of air moved by the setup that runs off 240 volt in the shed, a basic $15 twin feed 240 volt pump from Big W. Moves heaps of air, has been running more or less for a year (I always have some shrimp in the shed) and no 1.5 volt batteries!

 The added advantage is its almost silent, particularly compared to the surecatch 1.5 volt units I favour,  which make quite a deal of noise.

I had a root around in the shed, and dug out a couple of old inverters from my camping, am 80 watt and a 150 watt unit. I opted for the 150watt unit as it was a little larger with a decent heat sink and no fan (going for the low noise, the 80 watt unit is built to save space, and has a small fan). Note you must use a small one, as bigger ones have new fangled power saving technology which turn off when they dont sense a current being drawn. These pumps are only 5 watts, I wouldn't trust a big inverter to keep running with that small a power drain. (I use these mainly for laptop power supplies, which the bigger units will definitely shut down on).

So I connected it up to an Anderson plug so it would plug easily in to the boat and took it with me for the last two fishing trips.

Ah shear bliss, hardly any noise at all, shrimp very healthy, worked a treat. The added advantage I can aerate two buckets at once, so I can keep the fresh shrimp seperate from the older shrimp (If I still have fresh shrimp left over to take home at the end of the day, I usually let the older shrimp go).

Cost whatever you can get a small inverter for, usually $20 on Ebay, or $60 at Supercheap. The pump is the same price (if you dont count the hoses and stone / air curtains). A Little bit of time to set it up

So my Verdict, I wont be going back to a 1.5 volt unit anytime soon.

Note you will notice I am using the air curtains rather than stones, they dont break when you step on them and they distribute the air over a much larger area. About $8 each at Big W, cheaper on ebay.
picture 1.  The new setup
Picture 2. Your standard 1.5 volt setup
Picture 3 The new setup running in a bucket
Picture 4. My worn out 1.5 volt pump running an air curtain
Picture 5. New 1.5 volt pump running an air curtain
Picture 6. New 1.5 volt pump running standard stone

PS,. I am now using the 80watt inverter. Seems the 150 watt unit didn't like being plugged in to the 24 volt Anderson plug at the front of the boat........ Apart from a  spectacular amount of smoke, it dont work no more! Also get the black pump from Big W, the white ones are old models and do make a lot of noise, I've got one as my back up in the shed)

What a great idea just dug up an old 150w inverter and a 3w single outlet 240v air pump and hooked it all up complete with anderson plug. It draws .4 of an amp running nthe air pump and a couple of milliamps when turned off. Ordered a couple of air curtains from honglong on ebay for just over 2 bucks each.
 The inverter makes a bit of noise as it has a fan but so much quieter than battery operated ones and no need to worry about batterys.

... and if the fish aren't biting, you can just drop the leads over the side.  Perfect!  :P

Seriously, though, 240V in a small boat?  Might want to be careful with that.  Will it be safe if it ends up in the water?

How about something like this?  It's perhaps a bit over-powered at 25W, but it's cheap and runs off 12V.

Drags 5 times the power than an inverter set up and doubt its durability on continious operation. Its only designed to pump up air beds etc.
My inverter is solidly mounted in a waterproof location  and the air pump is double insulated so the only way you could get a shock is if you grabbed two bare wires as the inverter is not earthed to the hull

Fair enough.  Glad you've got your bases covered.  Still, for the less experienced it's probably worth repeating that 240V and water is a combination that should be treated with respect.


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