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Julien

Sparmax TC-610H Compressor - Air-craft.net

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Sparmax TC-610H Compressor

From Air-craft.net


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Being a fairly new convert to airbrushing despite my many years of modelling I had a fairly simple tankless "continuous run" compressor, but was feeling of late I wanted a better quality, larger unit with an air tank. I had read with interest my colleagues review of the Sparmax TC-620X, so decided to look into it further. Speaking with John this seemed a good compressor to go with, however I realised the twin outlets and hoses were not needed for my use. A quick talk with Martin at Air-Craft confirmed this and he pointed me at the TC-610C. On first look the unit looks professionally and sturdily built, which was borne out on further use. The unit is 145 x 312 x 366mm and weighs a tad under 7kgs. The innards are contained in a good strong steel cover. The only little niggle is the power switch under the cover at the opposite side to the regulator, but that's hardly a major issue.

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When first switched on the motor will run for 20 - 30 seconds to pressurise the tank. From then on it will periodically switch on to maintain the pressure as you draw off air during spraying. The supplied handbook suggests that you should periodically flush both the moisture trap and the pressure tank by pressing/opening the respective drain valves, which is good practice to reduce the likelihood of corrosion.

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I've now had a chance to plug in and do some spraying with it, and find the motor is fairly quiet (53 dB is quoted in the handbook) but it takes some acclimatisation to the automatic on/off after my previous constant run model. The unit is no hassle to operate and the airflow is smooth and consistent. Initially I felt that the 3m braided air hose was going to be too heavy as it looked a lot more robust then my previous one. While it is much more robust it surprised me as it seemed no heavier at all, and doesn't affect handling of the airbrush. It is also more resistant to damage, and less likely to cause damage due to the cloth exterior.


Conclusion.
Even though the cost for a good compressor seems fairly high, when you compare to the cost of some kits these days it works out quite favourably. The unit is very well made and should last a fair number of years even if you are one of those modellers who can manage double figures or more in kits per year! If you are looking to buy for the first time, or to replace your current compressor I can recommend that you contact Martin at sales@air-craft.net for friendly guidance on what you should consider to suit both your needs and your pocket. I am glad that I did, and am now the proud owner of a very nice piece of kit.

Highly Recommended.

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Available from;

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Without wishing to be negative, I own one of these and had to have the water trap/connector housing replaced twice in the first year of ownership. I bought it from a good company and they replaced the items without any problem but still... Also, if I'm being picky, it's a heck of a lot noisier than the £25 eBay special that it replaced, something to bear in mind if you are a bedroom builder like me.

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That is strange as I dont find mine noisy at all. I have had no problems with it to date and find it a great compressor to use.

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Without wishing to be negative, I own one of these and had to have the water trap/connector housing replaced twice in the first year of ownership. I bought it from a good company and they replaced the items without any problem but still... Also, if I'm being picky, it's a heck of a lot noisier than the £25 eBay special that it replaced, something to bear in mind if you are a bedroom builder like me.

googsy - In selling the 610 over quite some time I can say that we have not experienced such an issue with the regulator assembly, not saying it's not possible, but two in a row seems odd.

Regarding the 610 being nosier than the eBay special, the 610 has a similar noise output to any other oil-free compressor in the 25L/Min class & I'm not aware of Chinese units in this power class being quieter. Oil-free compressors in the 10>15 L/Min class are noticeably quieter than the 610 (& other compressors with a similar output), for a like for like comparison to these you would be looking at the AC-501X.

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I have a compressor of some other brand, and I think I noticed that after screwing off the big metal shield and putting it back on, it sort of sounded like it made more noise after that. I guess, if you can, maybe best leave the metal plating shield alone.

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googsy - In selling the 610 over quite some time I can say that we have not experienced such an issue with the regulator assembly, not saying it's not possible, but two in a row seems odd.

Regarding the 610 being nosier than the eBay special, the 610 has a similar noise output to any other oil-free compressor in the 25L/Min class & I'm not aware of Chinese units in this power class being quieter. Oil-free compressors in the 10>15 L/Min class are noticeably quieter than the 610 (& other compressors with a similar output), for a like for like comparison to these you would be looking at the AC-501X.

What can I say, odd as it may seem this did happen. I'm not making it up, I assure you. Also, I didn't say my previous compressor was in the same class, it was a smaller machine. That said, the actual compressor itself was of a similar size, it just didn't have the tank, housing etc.

I have a compressor of some other brand, and I think I noticed that after screwing off the big metal shield and putting it back on, it sort of sounded like it made more noise after that. I guess, if you can, maybe best leave the metal plating shield alone.

I didn't touch the plating shield or adapt the machine in any way.

Bottom line, I find it noisy and I experienced the component breakdown noted above. That's just my honest opinion and experience of this compressor, apologies if that compromises anyone's good opinion of the unit or affects their interest in obtaining one. As a matter of interest I've been using it for about four years now and the aforementioned issues aside it's been fine.

Edited by goggsy

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I bought one of these recently and must say that I was pleasantly surprised at how quiet it was when placed on a suitably solid surface.
I'd have no qualms about using this in the wee hours of the morning.

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I bought the TC-620X about 18 months ago (there is a review on this site) and having used if regularly since, I would say it is far and away the best I have owned on 30+ years. Smooth and pretty quiet, the motor initially runs for about 20 seconds to fill the tank, and then only cuts in briefly to keep it charged.

And it has been faultless the whole time.

John

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