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Jelveh Designs - Glass Beads Torched One-by-One

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  #1  
Old 2006-08-14, 6:19am
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Default betta vs. piranha

I've been combing these threads, but haven't really found a direct comparison of the two. I know betta runs at lower pressures, but heat wise, which is hotter. And also will the piranha run on NG and propane? Is the flow rate of household gas too much for the piranha? I think I can still find a piranha, so I'm trying to hurry and make a decision! Will be doing this at home, boro beads, small sculpture. Both will run on one oxy, right? Does it really matter which oxy? Thanks a ton!
Angie
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  #2  
Old 2006-08-14, 9:40am
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The flow rate of household natural gas is actually too low for most torches. The Betta was designed to use very low pressures.

I would recommend the Betta for what you want to do. I sell them as fast as I can get them...
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Old 2006-08-14, 9:52am
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thanks Chad! Everyone is so gung ho for the pirahna I thought I was missing something. Do you know anything about the oxycon? Do I have to get a specific output to make the betta run great?
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Old 2006-08-14, 12:06pm
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We use them on a single DevilBiss MC4490 concentrator and they run great. They put out 5LPM at 8PSI. We have those as well...
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  #5  
Old 2006-08-14, 2:19pm
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Well, That was easy! I'll be in touch! I'm still working on where I'm going to put all this stuff! Thanks a lot!
Angie
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  #6  
Old 2006-08-15, 6:05am
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The Betta will run on lower pressures, but it will also use more volume if it's available... making it even hotter than the Piranha. I love my Betta. It's so versatile. I sell quite a few as well. They are an awesome bead torch. I'm putting about 12 LPM through it at 20 PSI and I'm getting even more range. If you have NG, I would highly suggest this torch... I don't have NG and I still love it!
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Old 2006-08-15, 9:01am
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Yeah. We run them on propane as well. We are getting rid of all our Minors and going to Bettas for teaching. I have heard rumors that Bethlehem is going to redesign all their torches to have a Betta center fire (like they did with the Pirhana). Not sure if that is truth or just a rumor, but it does sound very interesting...
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  #8  
Old 2006-08-15, 1:10pm
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Thanks you guys - that's one less decision I have to make to get started. Everything is so expensive and when you haven't been there before it's very intimidating! I fear making costly mistakes. I really appreciate you taking the time!
Angie
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Old 2006-08-15, 2:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo
Yeah. We run them on propane as well. We are getting rid of all our Minors and going to Bettas for teaching. I have heard rumors that Bethlehem is going to redesign all their torches to have a Betta center fire (like they did with the Pirhana). Not sure if that is truth or just a rumor, but it does sound very interesting...
I had asked Marci if they were planning to do that, and at the time, she said no, but that it was a good idea. So, who knows.

But what's the point? The only difference between the Betta and the Piranha is the pirated cooling system and bigger manifold/valves (oh, and $$$$).

The theory behind the Betta is that the less restriction there is (hence the bigger inlets, manifold, valves, etc.), the more free-flowing the gas, and the lower the pressure you need. But the funny part is that all the big valves and stuff means nothing as soon as you get into the actual body of the torch because the jets are THE SAME SIZE/NUMBER/CONFIGURATION AS THE PIRANHA. All that free flowing gas gets restricted after all. It still requires the same old pressure to get the gas through those tubes.

I have not seen anyone post a side-by-side comparison of the Piranha and the Betta. All I hear is hype like, "This torch rocks!" and "It runs well on low pressure." I'm not saying that it doesn't, but I would love to hear someone actually quantify those claims.

And for the record, other small torches run on low pressure, too. The Mini CC, Minor, Bobcat, and Piranha ALL will run on household pressure natural gas and a 5 LPM concentrator.

If someone wants to say that the Betta actually runs better than these torches under those conditions, then they ought to back it up with some numbers. How long does it take to cut through a rod of boro with the Betta? How long does it take you to cut through the same sized rod on those other torches? Answers to these and similar questions would certainly be more useful than the subjective one-liners out there now.
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  #10  
Old 2006-08-16, 6:18am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbinkster
The theory behind the Betta is that the less restriction there is (hence the bigger inlets, manifold, valves, etc.), the more free-flowing the gas, and the lower the pressure you need. But the funny part is that all the big valves and stuff means nothing as soon as you get into the actual body of the torch because the jets are THE SAME SIZE/NUMBER/CONFIGURATION AS THE PIRANHA. All that free flowing gas gets restricted after all. It still requires the same old pressure to get the gas through those tubes.
They are different. The Piranha has 6 ports. The Betta has 5. I don't know about the rest of it, but I can tell you it's not the same torch.

I have used them side by side, and the Betta is hotter. As I'm sure you know, just like GTT torches, Beths use the same center fire on all their larger torches. Bethlehem uses the Piranha as the center fire on the Barracuda and everything larger. I own a Tiger Shark, Barracuda, and Betta. I have used all of them on the same settings. I have used them all on tanked oxygen and on single and dual concentrators. I have not used any of them on natural gas since we don't have a gas connection - they have all been on propane. But, I can tell you that the Betta is hotter on the same pressure than the center fire (Piranha) of either of my larger torches. I don't have any way to measure the actual temperature, obviously, but just form using them, I can tell you the Betta is hotter.

I'll be glad to perform some test cuts if anyone would find that info useful. However, I've never done that, so someone would have to share some insight as to the best way to do it consistently from torch to torch. I would imagine on a lathe, but I don't have access to one.

The Betta does run better on a single concentrator than a Minor. A lot better. We own 6 Minors that we use for classes. I'm getting rid of all of them and replacing them with Bettas. I haven't compared the Betta to a Mini CC or anything GTT, so I can't comment on that.
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Last edited by Cosmo; 2006-08-16 at 6:23am.
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  #11  
Old 2006-08-16, 9:06am
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BETTA PERFORMANCE REPORT




Why the Betta Out Performs the Retired Piranha

Propane to Propane Comparison
Propane Max flame Propane Max. btu/hr Cost to Operate/hr. Propane
Min flame Propane Min. btu/hr Cost to Operate/hr.
Piranha 4.6 ft3/hr 11,789 $0.32 Fails to operate Fails to operate Fails to operate
Betta 5.4 ft3/hr 13,840 $0.378 4.8 ft3/hr 12,302.4 $0.336
Betta Efficiencies 17% more fuel/hr 17% more btu/hr 18% more to operate/hr 100% 100% 100%

Natural Gas to Natural Gas Comparison
Natural Gas Max flame Natural Gas Max. btu/hr Cost to Operate/hr. Natural Gas
Min flame Natural Gas Min. btu/hr Cost to Operate/hr.
Piranha
Betta 15.3 ft3/hr 16,065 $0.24
Betta Efficiencies 17% more fuel/hr 17% more btu/hr 18% more to operate/hr

Piranha Maximum Flame on Propane versus Betta Maximum Flame on Natural Gas
Gas
Max flame Gas
Max. btu/hr Cost to Operate/hr.
Piranha 4.6 ft3/hr 11,789 $0.32 Propane from a traditional tank at 3 psi
Betta 15.3 ft3/hr 16,065 $0.24 Household pressure of 6” water column
equal to 0.2 psi
Betta Efficiencies 332% more fuel/hr 136% more btu/hr 25% less to operate/hr
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  #12  
Old 2006-08-16, 9:18am
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The last line says it all. There is more enginerring involved than just larger valves. Precise mathmatical calculation was used to get the performance up. The size of manifold volume vrs valve openings, length of tubes, etc.... were all designed to work together to create a venturi effect. This is where you take a larger space (manifold) and taper it down which creates a "pulling" effect on the fuel, speeding up it's flow and the ability to burn more fuel. This wasn't a "guess" in design, it started as a math equation applied to flow and heat to create a product.
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  #13  
Old 2006-08-16, 9:28am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo
They are different. The Piranha has 6 ports. The Betta has 5. I don't know about the rest of it, but I can tell you it's not the same torch.
The two Bettas I saw had six ports. I saw one at a glass supply shop and another at the ISGB Gathering last month. Are there two versions?
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Old 2006-08-16, 9:36am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R4GlassStudio
The last line says it all. There is more enginerring involved than just larger valves. Precise mathmatical calculation was used to get the performance up. The size of manifold volume vrs valve openings, length of tubes, etc.... were all designed to work together to create a venturi effect. This is where you take a larger space (manifold) and taper it down which creates a "pulling" effect on the fuel, speeding up it's flow and the ability to burn more fuel. This wasn't a "guess" in design, it started as a math equation applied to flow and heat to create a product.
What a coincidence! That's how the Bobcat was designed!

Last edited by kbinkster; 2006-08-16 at 10:12am. Reason: typo
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  #15  
Old 2006-08-16, 10:21am
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Maybe, but the Bobcat didn't end up being an awesome torch.
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  #16  
Old 2006-08-16, 10:37am
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So...what I really want to know is if the betta will do boro, including beads, pendants, small sculpture, ornaments, etc, easily, while on one oxy con and natural gas. Or am I going to get it and need another oxy con? Also, do any of you know how big the flame is? Or am I better off getting like a Nortel Mid since it has way more ports and puts out a 1" flame, and run on 2 oxy cons. They are about the same $ but I guess I need to know what pressure my natural gas is putting out, right? Or is all household output pretty standard? Because with anything other than a betta, I might need a booster? I dont mind spending the money, I just don't want to have any problems!
Angie
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  #17  
Old 2006-08-16, 10:49am
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I love my Pirahna torch. I use propane and can do soda and boro work on it. I have heard from someone who tested the Betta that you do need 2 oxy cons to do boro with the Betta. I only need one oxy con to do boro on my Pirahna. I have never tried the Betta and am only saying what I have heard.

No matter how great the marketing and techincal stats of a product are, the true success is in the actual performance of the product in the hands of laymen and pros.

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  #18  
Old 2006-08-16, 11:24am
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Angie, the household pressure for Natural Gas is pretty standard: 1/4 psi. Like I said earlier, there are torches that will definitely run on 1/4 psi NG and one 5 LPM concentrator.

The bigger the torch (the more jets), the more fuel you will need to run it. The Nortel Midrange may or may not run well on 1/4 psi NG. Call Jean at Nortel and ask her if it can.

As far as the flame size of the Betta... I have seen two of them at two different places (both a while ago and as recently as last month) and the flame looks pretty much the same size as that of a Piranha. Of course, the ones I saw had six jets. Chad says that they now have five jets.
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Old 2006-08-16, 11:52am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley
Maybe, but the Bobcat didn't end up being an awesome torch.
This is exactly what I'm talking about. "Awesome" is an opinion. What may be "awesome" to you may not be "awesome" to someone else and vice versa.

It would be much more useful to hear, "I tested torches ABC and XYZ and found that ABC did this and XYZ did that," than "My torch is awesome and yours isn't." That kind of stuff belongs on the Kindergarten playground. Deal with facts. Take the subjectivity out of the equation.
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Old 2006-08-16, 12:18pm
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Just to be clear... I added the info to help show the Piranha vrs the Betta. When I said the Betta was designed through engineering, I wasn't saying that other torch companies didn't engineer their designs... I was saying there was a lot more into the designing of the Betta vrs the Piranha.
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  #21  
Old 2006-08-16, 3:31pm
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Kimberly Kimberly Kimberly... "awesome" is descriptive and implies that the torch performs way better than expected at the low pressures I tested it at. Nothing subjective about it. It's got a pushing type flame at pressures other torches would barely perform at. So, when I say it's awesome, I mean just that. If I had ever thought a Bobcat was awesome at any pressure, I would have used the same descriptive term. Does it melt glass, sure... but the triple mix torches are my pick in the GTT line. I think they are awesome for boro. I beleive this thread was about the Betta vs the Piranha... the only kindergarden part of this whole thread is where you came in trying to bad mouth Beths again. If you need hard proof and really want a comparison, buy one of each and test it. Ron posted some hard data and then you divert the conversation by calling me childish. I don't have the desire or time right now to test the Betta or prove how fast it is. When I get torch time these days, I'm making something I can sell. I've got kids to feed. I'm off to let my 6 year old pluck my eyebrows... this should be interesting.
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Old 2006-08-16, 4:28pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley
Kimberly Kimberly Kimberly... "awesome" is descriptive and implies that the torch performs way better than expected at the low pressures I tested it at. Nothing subjective about it. It's got a pushing type flame at pressures other torches would barely perform at. So, when I say it's awesome, I mean just that. If I had ever thought a Bobcat was awesome at any pressure, I would have used the same descriptive term. Does it melt glass, sure... but the triple mix torches are my pick in the GTT line. I think they are awesome for boro. I beleive this thread was about the Betta vs the Piranha... the only kindergarden part of this whole thread is where you came in trying to bad mouth Beths again. If you need hard proof and really want a comparison, buy one of each and test it. Ron posted some hard data and then you divert the conversation by calling me childish. I don't have the desire or time right now to test the Betta or prove how fast it is. When I get torch time these days, I'm making something I can sell. I've got kids to feed. I'm off to let my 6 year old pluck my eyebrows... this should be interesting.
You're missing my point. I am not discounting your opinion. Opinions have their place. All I said was that it would be more useful to have actual test results quantifying what the Betta could do than just subjective descriptors.

I did not bad mouth Bethlehem and I did not divert the conversation. I simply put my personal observations out there and suggested that it would be a good idea to get some facts out there regarding this torch. Later, I replied to your post where you bad mouthed the Bobcat. If you look at the post above the one where I answered you, you will see that I answered a couple of questions. This thread is not about the Bobcat, and I never tried to make it about the Bobcat. It is about the Betta. So, in that spirit, I will once again suggest that it would be very helpful if someone could post some useful/practical facts about what this torch can do, exactly, in terms of melting glass. Surely someone out there with a Betta in hand has done a little testing or could easily find a few minutes to do some and post the results. I'm not faulting you for not doing any.

As far as Ron's data... it's nice that he posted that and all, and any information is better than none at all, but it still does not answer the fundamental question about how much glass the Betta can melt in a given time at given pressures and how that compares to the Piranha (and the other small torches out there, for that matter).

Oh, and maybe someone (you?) can answer the question I asked earlier... Are there two versions of the Betta? The two that I saw had six jets, yet Chad says that they have five (and I believe the product bulletin showed a diagram with five jets, as well).
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  #23  
Old 2006-08-16, 4:33pm
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Mine has 6 jets. Haven't seen a 5 jet.
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Old 2006-08-17, 5:13am
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Hmm... I wonder if they have been changed. The one I have set up is supposedly one of the very first ones they made. To be honest, I haven't really paid any attention to them since then. I get them in all the time, but I never open the box. I just send them on out. I'll have to take a look next time I get one.
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Old 2006-08-17, 8:47am
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Testing info..... Hmmm. At the Vegas show last April I was doing demos making Boro implosion pendants using 12mm clear rod. This was on a 5lpm concentrator at 12 psi. It worked "ok"..... I would much rather see the Betta on 8 lpm, where I think it would run at "tanked" performance. It runs fine at low pressure, but it does take volume to keep it happy... 5lpm being ok and still workable low side and 8 lpm being great on the higher side. I hope this helps.. I have also blown ornaments with the Betta on a 5 lpm concentrator..using 25.4 x 4mm wall Simax as well as 30mm scallop Simax tubing. The same hodls true.... it did it, but if I were making a living making those items, I would jump to a 8 lpm concentrator or two 5 lpm machines.
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Old 2006-08-17, 9:41am
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Thank you, gentlemen.

Ron, that is very helpful information and I'm sure anyone deciding what kind of concentrator to buy for their Betta will be very happy you posted!
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Old 2006-08-17, 10:02am
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Yes thanks a lot. You guys have helped my decision tremendously.
Angie
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Old 2006-08-17, 10:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R4GlassStudio
Testing info..... Hmmm. At the Vegas show last April I was doing demos making Boro implosion pendants using 12mm clear rod. This was on a 5lpm concentrator at 12 psi. It worked "ok"..... I would much rather see the Betta on 8 lpm, where I think it would run at "tanked" performance. It runs fine at low pressure, but it does take volume to keep it happy... 5lpm being ok and still workable low side and 8 lpm being great on the higher side. I hope this helps.. I have also blown ornaments with the Betta on a 5 lpm concentrator..using 25.4 x 4mm wall Simax as well as 30mm scallop Simax tubing. The same hodls true.... it did it, but if I were making a living making those items, I would jump to a 8 lpm concentrator or two 5 lpm machines.
My experiences are very much the same. I run mine on 2 5LPM concentrators and it's as hot or hotter than any other torch that size I have used. On one concentrator, it's all you'd ever need for soft glass.
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Old 2006-08-17, 10:38am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo
My experiences are very much the same. I run mine on 2 5LPM concentrators and it's as hot or hotter than any other torch that size I have used. On one concentrator, it's all you'd ever need for soft glass.
Wow, that's impressive. What other torches that size have you tried (besides the Minor and the Piranha (centerfire)you mentioned earlier)?

PS What kind of 5 LPM concentrator were you using? What psi?

Last edited by kbinkster; 2006-08-17 at 10:41am.
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Old 2006-08-17, 10:48am
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Piranha, Minor, Mini CC and whatever the small Knight torch is called. About the only torches I haven't been able to use are GTT. But, I got a distributor who is supplying me with them, so that will change soon enough. Pretty much the only thing I have used that size that hotter than the Betta was a Major with a pre-mix top. Those pre-mixes are HOT. Rough on color, but hot.

I'm running DevilBiss MC4490 concentrators. I honestly can't tell you what the pressure on them is. I believe Justin at Oxygen Plus said they were 8 psi. But, it was the same two concentrators running each of the torches in question. I also have a couple Airsep NewLife concentrators, but I think they are about worn out. I haven't used them in more than 6 months.
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