Drivel Starved Nation; A couple of months ago, I broke the news about a new dust collector technology that we are employing in our prototype shop – the Gyro Air. Before I get into the details of this collection system, it is important to understand why I want to ditch my standard cyclone collector — which likely looks just like yours. I am allergic to wood dust, and in 1983 I gave up a promising furniture making career on the orders from my doctor. (Bridge City came to be, so don’t feel sorry for me.) Today, I can work in our prototype shop for maybe 4 hours when I start to feel pressure in my sinus cavities. It takes me about half a day to get back to normal. The cause: our current collector leaks. In addition to the leaks, changing the bag is a major pain, so it gets changed when half-full. The noise is awful and the thing is just ugly. So, when I discovered the Gyro Air on one of my trips to China I was more than curious. Caveat: I am not a dust and fume control expert, nor do I know much about sound control. But I will do my best to display my ignorance in such a compelling way that you will think I am an unqualified genius! Furthermore, I will do so without confusing you with engineering jargon or big words like static pressure, velocity pressure and other such data that hurts your ability to comprehend. Ready? In a traditional cyclone dust collector with a bag filter, the dirty air is pulled into the system by a paddle wheel fan. Once inside, the air is spun, and the centrifugal force created by this mini-cyclone slams all the fine dust against the filter bag, the big chunks find their way into the center of the cyclone which gravity helps move to the poly collection bag. The really fine dust creates a dust cake, and it helps plug all the holes in the fabric filter contributing to the efficiency of the system to remove particulate. So yes, you need dust to remove dust. Moving air in a dust collector is a zero-sum game, what goes in must come out. As the filter becomes clogged with fine dust (by design) the motor must work harder to get the air out. This restriction of the air flow escaping, reduces the flow of air at the intake. And you can tell the air had to fight like hell to get out of the filter bag by the heat that is created. Cyclone dust collectors are good at creating heat. (Great in the winter, bad in the summer.) At some point, you need to remove some of the cake so the system becomes a bit more efficient. This is typically accomplished by rotating a scraper against the filter shaking some of this cake dust into the poly bag. When is the last time you did this to your collector? Shame on you! (FYI, it should be done weekly or maybe more depending on your activity.) Because of this resistance to moving air, a larger horse power motor is required. And you need more HP for the “instant on” of AC motors. It is here where the BIG LIE appears. In America, we tend to look at simple benchmark numbers like cubic feet per minute (CFM) to compare one dust collector against another, and of course, more is better. Manufacturers are happy to provide you with this benchmark number and you have every right to confront their BIG LIE, but you don’t, you believe them because you have no way of proving them wrong. For CFM to be a meaningful number, you need compare one collector to another with the exact same “under load” criteria. Of course, this is inconvenient for the manufacturer and, as mentioned earlier, it doesn’t matter — you believe the brochure. It is here where I will depart and describe how the Gyro filters air with a new and much more efficient approach. The Gyro Air also moves air via a paddle wheel fan, and it too has a filter. What happens before the moving air hits the filter is the news here. The Gyro Air intakes dirty air and splits it into two cylindrical compartments. Within each compartment is a sheet metal separator that would make Archimedes proud. These giant tapered “screws” have one function and that is to quickly spin the dirty air. Now for an analogy… Remember the amusement park ride where you stand in a giant round metal cage and it starts to spin “sticking” you against the wall — then the floor drops out from beneath you? Imagine what would happen to you if you did not have the metal cage behind you? Bye Bye! Located beneath the two sheet metal screws are holes where the dust is literally flung into two collection bins. In short, the Gyro Air is insanely efficient at separating the dust from your shop air by using simple physics. Now here is what is interesting. There is a filter on the Gyro Air, but per recent certified tests by government labs (in China), the air leaving the two chambers is so clean, a filter would not be required at all! (0.01 percent of the dust hits the filters) Selling a dust collector without a filter is simply not believable, hence the filter. The Gyro Air runs on 220-volt AC (20 amps) and this is converted to DC by a Siemens phase converter. By using a DC motor, variable speed (and CFM) is possible. Why is this important? You may not need the full capacity of the Gyro for every machine you are collecting. Reduced air flow dramatically reduces the noise output of the unit. Now that you understand the basic difference as to how the Gyro Air works, here is my unvarnished review. WHAT I DISLIKE ABOUT THE GYRO AIR • The cord on my unit was ridiculously too short. I spoke to the factory and this has been addressed. • The variable speed indicator is in hertz (which is a linear relation with fan speed, the more hertz, the more air you are moving). The readout currently makes no sense to me even though I understand it. That said, in use, you tend to dial down the airflow by sound. Pressure indicator on the left, bin full indicator in the center, control panel on the right • This thing is heavy. I am not sure this should be a complaint, the weight is the byproduct of making an incredibly robust machine. I mention this because getting this unit down a flight of basement stairs may be a major chore. • The front intake port is in the lower left corner of the unit. This means that the ducting (which tends to run on walls), needs to make a couple of turns to get to the front port. I think the unit could be improved if they reversed the intake port to the rear. The front of the machine would be unfettered and you could save some space by backing it up to existing ducting. That said, there are a couple of advantages of having it on the front. The included step down reducer that allows you to use your shop vac hose on the Gyro is a cool feature for cleaning out the bottom of my table saw cabinet. The other positive front feature is you can see if the Gyro has attempted to digest a shop rag, or rodent… • I had to purchase a 220v 20 amp to 220v 30 amp adapter plug as all our circuits are 30 amp here. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE GYRO AIR • At full throttle, the Gyro breaks into the high 70’s decibel (dBa) range. My existing cyclone hovers between 84-86 dBa. OSHA recommends hearing protection for prolonged exposer of 85 decibels or higher. (Decibels are a ratio and the difference between two decibel readings is not linear.) In addition, noise is a perceived annoyance — the same decibel reading of noise at one frequency compared to another may create different perceived levels of annoyance. In practice, the noise of the Gyro air at full throttle is less annoying than my existing cyclone as the numbers indicate. At less than full throttle… OH MY, what a difference! I really like this feature. For example, I do not need full throttle to collect my 12” planer. I need full throttle to collect both sanders simultaneously. Here’s a pic of the Siemens converter… • The Gyro Air is incredibly well made. Here’s a pic of the machine guts… • I love the dust collection bins. As in LOVE! You open a door, release a latch, and both bins, one with large chips, the other with fine, roll forward and are easily emptied. And get this, because I currently empty my leaky cyclone collector when the bag is half-full, the capacity of the Gyro Air (120 liters) is greater than my current practice. Dust Collection Bins in the Unit Here they are ready to be easily emptied… • Since the collection bins are hidden, I like the indicator light that reminds me they are full. • You do not HAVE to use poly bags in the Gyro. If you were to fab a plastic liner out of sheet stock, you could simple pull the liner, empty it, replace and get back to work. • The CFM comparison… without a way to measure under load, I can say that comparatively, they are the same. I have the system connected to a dual, 4” splitter, one line collects my 12” planer and a 12” disc sander. The other line collects 2, 6” industrial horizontal belt sanders. All machines have blast gates. I tested them all and as mentioned, I cannot tell a difference. • WAY LESS HEAT • The air moves more efficient through the Gyro Air which I believe will save me some money on my electrical bill. • Only 0.01% of the dust will go into the filters. This means that if you forget to clean the filters for 3 months, the Gyro Air will still work without a noticeable change in air flow. By the way, cleaning filters on the Gyro is easy; turn the two aluminum knobs for 5 seconds. The filter cleaning knobs… These two little containers trap the dust from cleaning the filter. I think it will take a decade for these to fill… This is an inside view of the Gyro Air system… • I really like the professional looks of the Gyro Air, and I think the technology is fantastic. There you go Drivel Starved Nation. In short, I am thrilled with the Gyro Air for our shop. As mentioned in my previous post, the Gyro Air 2016 introductory price is $3995 with free, drop gate delivery in the lower 48 states through December 31st, 2016. The first shipment will arrive in the states the last week of November. So, if you are looking to buy your shop an awesome holiday gift, give us a call; 1-800-253-3332. Lastly, we will not ship any unit until we have a verbal agreement that you can maneuver the crate to its final resting place. If you have questions, ask, I will do my best to answer. All pertinent specs are listed below. (Regarding the factory dBa data vs my measurements, factory numbers are the result of lab measured noise in a sound proof room.) -John GYRO AIR TECHNICAL SPECS Electrical Power Requirement: 230V, 1PH, 60 HZ Breaker Size: 20A Internal Inverter Type: Siemens V20 Motor Type: TEFC Induction Power: 2 HP Speed: 2,280-4,275 RPM Performance Max. Air Flow: 1,110 CFM Max. Static Pressure: 18-1/2 inch/water Impeller Size: 12″ Main Inlet Size: 6″ Adapter Inlet Size: 4″ x 2″ Filter Emission Rating: 0.05mg/m³ Filter Surface Area: 75 SF Noise Rating: 61-72 dBA Max. Dust Bin Capacity: 32 Gallon Manual Filter Cleaning: Yes Intelligent Dust-Full Monitoring System: Yes Pressure Gauge: Yes Product Dimensions Overall Dimensions: 56-1/4″ x 23-1/2″ x 33-7/8″ Packing Size: 59″ x 28-1/2″ x 42-1/4″ Product Weight Net/Gross: 445 lbs./510 lbs. Shipping / Billing Info: This product ships direct from the manufacturer: • Your order will ship in approximately 2 – 4 business days. • Express or overnight shipping is not available for this product. • Ships via ground to the 48 contiguous states. Cannot ship to Alaska, Hawaii, PO Boxes, APOs, US Territories, Canada or other foreign countries. Return Information All returns must have prior authorization. Freight is customer’s responsibility. Warranty Information Harvey Supply offers a two-year warranty. If you have warranty questions, please contact Harvey customer service @ 1-888-211-0397.