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High Capacity 12-Volt Powered Air Compressor
"It's the only high capacity 12-volt air compressor that'll let you run high torque air-powered hand tools anywhere your pickup can go," says Tom Panka, Thunderbird Engineering and Manufacturing.
The new air compressor reaches 125 psi in less than a minute and can be used to power 400-lb. torque air tools. Its operating range is 70 to 120 psi. The special-built electric motor will produce 3 hp. with a good battery.
Key to compressor is the special-built electric motor. It's housed in a Delco starter case but is wrapped with copper bars rather than wire, each of which is coated with ceramic to stand up to the high heat generated. The motor has been widely used as a truck box shaker motor on highway sand and gravel trucks.
"Conventional 12-volt starter motors can't stand up to the wear and tear of this type of application," says Panka, noting that the starter motor draws 30 amps at 30 psi pressure and as high as 160 amps at 100 psi. It only draws the upper amount for a few seconds, however, just before it shuts off.
"Other under-the-hood pickup air compressors are belt-driven by the engine. They're expensive and have been primarily used to inflate tires, not to work as a high quality, on-the-go compressor," notes Panka.
Panka, who has his own farming operation, says the compressor pays its way in time saved working in the field on equipment, such as putting on and taking off cultivator shields, or many other types of maintenance work.
The compressor mounts either under the hood or in the pickup box. Panka recommends running heavy welding cable from the compressor to the battery for the best connection.
The new compressor sells for $429 with a 4-gal. tank. An optional 10-gal. tank is available, as well as special under the hood models. The compressor is $395 without the tank.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Torn Panka, Thunderbird Engineering & Manufacturing, HCR-3, Box 372, Deer River, Mnn. 56636 (ph 218 798-2759).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #5