Trend Air Shield

I just thought that I would try to jot down some perceptions of the Trend Air Shield which I purchased a couple of weeks ago.
The unit works okay, not super but just okay.
I believe that after purchasing this unit and using it, If I could roll back time I would do so, and would have not wasted money on it for the following reasons.
1. The Air Shield comes with one battery that lasts for 4 hours. You can plug another battery into the unit with the first battery and increase your run time to 8 hours. At first glance this arrangement might seem okay.
2. The battery charger is a wimpy little plug in charger similar to an entry level cell phone. This charger takes 14 hours to charge one battery to full capacity. It would take 28 hours to charge both batteries to full capacity so I could use them for 8 hours. I've now used up the better part of two days to get one short day of use out of this thing. So I thought that I would purchase another charger. The price range for this charger is 75 to 120 dollars for a charger that probably cost $1.50 to make. I am not about to spend that kind of money on a cheap charger.
3. The replacement filters are also very expensive with the main filter costing as much as $40.00 and the prefilters as much as $8.00 a piece. At this time, I'm not sure exactly how long each filter will last.
4. The seal around your face is awkward to use and is a bit like peeking out from behind a curtain. Pulling the cloth material under your chin and to the sides of your face.
5. The headgear is a little uncomfortable and tight, even after adjusting the headband out all the way it is just to tight. I think that they designed this headband for people with small heads. If your head is average size or larger, you will have problems getting it to fit right.
All in all, I see this unit not being designed for efficiency of use or cost, with the best interest of woodworkers in mind. It was designed to see just how much money they could milk from people buying their overpriced accessories.
If I can help but just one person to avoid the same $300.00 mistake I made. Then this mini review is well worth taking the time to write.
Now, can anyone tell me about the Triton powered respirator?
Steve
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Steve wrote:

You can. Return it - it sounds like a POS. Any piece of safety gear that is that cumbersome to use will probably not get used anyway.
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Hey Steve: Thanks for the great and timely post. I have been considering the Trend unit. You have helped me from making a mistake.
Thanks, Mike

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You're very much welcome.
Steve

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You are right, I found myself today eyeing it over and trying to decide if I wanted to use it, and opted out.
Steve

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Steve wrote:

Return it or sell it on eBay. Disavow any knowledge of this newsgroup and your post in particular.
R
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Well now you've done it. Made me laugh so hard my ribs are hurtin'.
Steve
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Steve,
Thanks for the post also. I was going to purchase one and have now changed my mind. The battery recharging issue would really be a pain. 14 hours is ridiculous.

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You are most welcome. That was one of the big turnoffs for me too. I can charge my cell phone in about 2 hours and it will last all day and then some. Granted this unit requires a little more power than a cell phone, but the battery packs are no bigger than 4 AAA batteries bundled together and they can't provide a decent (fast) charger. My feeling is that it was designed that way in the beginning. With the intention to maximize as much profit from unwary woodworkers as they could. Why else would a simple wall charger cost so much and take so long to charge a battery.
Steve
wrote:

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Steve wrote:

I've had my Trend Airshield now for about 2 years and agree with all your sentiments. Unfortunately it was the only model available for me at the time. However, I bought myself 3 AA size rechargable batteries and the right size phone jack (2 of these) and made up an additional battery pack. It fits neatly into the battery space.
As additional back-up I have a battery pack using 3 standard AA batteries in a little box made from 3mm MDF, fitted the right in serie connections and wear this in my pocket, with the cable with phone jack over my back (underneath my shirt to keep it out of the way) into the helmet. The lid of the battery box is kept in place with a rubber band. Running both the battery packs (standard & rechargable) I get a full day's work out of the airshield (while the other pack is on charge for the next day)
Hope this helps Eric
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Hmmm, you've certainly given me a great idea. It would probably work quite well with nickel metal hydride rechargeables. Are you using NMH batteries or nickel cadmium?
Steve

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I got my Trend in July of 2006 and have used it quite a bit so far. I concur that the headband is not that comfortable. It would benefit from a cushioned center band. I simply vacuum the filters as needed and have yet to feel the need to replace either one. I've probably only got 20 to 50 hours of runtime on mine so far. However, the battery situation was also a concern. They could significantly improve the design be having an external jack to plug in the charger and also by having a smart charger that you didn't need to concerned about leaving plugged into the battery.
To get around the 4 hour runtime issue I rummaged through my bin of miscellaneous electronics stuff and found an AC adapter that had exactly the same mating connector as the battery. This adapter is rated at 5 VDC output at 1000 mA (compared to the 4.2v 140mA adapter that comes with the Trend). The 5VDC may shorten the life of the fan motor since it is made to run on the 3.6v battery pack, but it powers the fan nicely. Now I just hook the adapter directly to the Trend. Yes, that means I've got an umbilical cord which limits mobility. But, it means I can use the Trend at any time for as long as needed without worrying about having forgotten to put the battery on the charger the night before.
This may not be a solution for everyone, but it works for me so I thought I would share it with the rest of you.
While the Trend has its faults, I am very happy I got it and I always wear it while turning. The Triton has its own limitations and faults, but if you want ear protection and a hard hat as part of the package it would be a better solution. I like the Trend because it is superior protect for my eyes and lungs than just using a dust mask and/or face shield. It doesn't fog up at all, but the fan could be quieter.
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Am catching up on this NG and saw your post. I recently bought a Trend Airshield, and while I agree with one of your points, i disagree with your conclusion.
First I wear glasses, at least when I want to see anything more then 3 in from my nose clearly!! Goggles etc fog up on me, I cant wear them. As a result, i was getting a lot of dust/chips in my eyes while turning. - Not Fun. Goggles didn't work. The Airshield solves this problem nicely, keeps dust/chips out of my face, and my glasses don't fog. Score a big point here!!
I agree that the head band is a bit tight, particularly for those of us who have large crania to hold all that grey matter!! :-) They could make it bigger.
I also agree on the Battery issue. They are expensive and the recharge is a pain in the ass!! However problem easily solved with a dive into my copious parts bin and (I hate to admit it), a quick trip to radio Shack.
Results, one 3 volt DC, 400 ma wall wart tupe power supply with the correct power connector on the end replacing the (wrong) one that originally came with the wall wart. I now have a batteryless Airshield that supplies me steady air long after I have otherwise worn out on my turning session. As I am standing in front of the lathe, and not roaming about the shop, the lack of portability in eliminatig the battery is not a problem.
So while it is not cheap, I am happy with my purchase.
BTW I also looked at the Triton, and concluded thast there was no way I could get it on or off while wearing glasses. It was far too cumbersom.

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On Tue, 06 Feb 2007 22:07:36 -0500, Bradford Chaucer

Did you try it? I don't have any trouble getting it on or off over glasses, not that it's all that burdensome to take the glasses off, put it on, and put the glasses back on.

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I bought the Trend too. I don't regret it as I wear glasses too & goggles are pain/fogging. I paid around $200 not $300 so it seems better value. I found it a bit heavy but other than that I like it, I looked into some of the others but they seemed way to cumbersome.
Chris
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http://www.batteryspace.com /
I can't find exactly what kind of battery pack the Trend uses. But the above place sells welded together battery packs in whatever voltage and type of battery cell you want. Also check NiCad Lady for battery packs. NiCad Lady uses name brand quality battery cells instead of no name ones. The above link does have battery chargers for any and all kinds of batteries. Smart chargers that have various protection circuits built in and sense the amount of charge necessary, etc. $30 or so. I have one and it charges 4000mAh 6 volt NiMH packs just fine at a 1Ah or 2Ah (selectable based upone mHh of pack) rate until it senses the battery is charged. There is no law in this country that requires you to use the official brand name accessories on a product. No one questions whether you can use a Freud or Forresst sawblade on a Unisaw. Or use a Milwaukee bi-metal reciprocating saw blade in a Makita reciprocating saw. Why would someone think they are required to buy Trend brand batteries and chargers for their Airshield?
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