Any good alternatives to the Bravo BST yet? Something more durable? So much potential with this pump, but mine has been far from reliable. First I replaced the infamous low pressure pump and added the manual control switch mod. Next I replaced the high pressure pump b/c of pushrod failure from the mysterious loss of the pushnut that holds the pushrod on to the crank on the gear. Next I had pushrod failure again from the gear shaft wearing out the gear. Unknown cause. It seems like heat and vibration just eats these things up- not surprising since it's all plastic.
Very sorry to hear that. I've had my pump for years. I did the manual switch mod, and replaced a couple of low-pressure stages before they upgraded the impeller. But it's been rock solid after that.
Also, changed the battery, but it can only fill 1 1/2 kites at best before it gets too hot.
One thing to watch out for (that you probably know), is kite valves. Many valves cause enough back pressure that the pump will either go into high pressure mode prematurely, or simply take forever to pump in low-pressure mode. I hate valves, so the first thing I do is tear them out when I get a kite.
I am looking for inexpensive and reliable alternatives, preferably not requiring manual labor so I can save my energy for the water. The Volo Kite pump
looks interesting but expensive and impractical to always have to go have it filled.
You should be able to fill it for free at some gas stations, but I tried that approach briefly and didn't like it. A tank big enough to give me two fills is just too cumbersome to deal with.
I am thinking of developing my own two stage pump, but would way rather buy an existing pump if it met my requirements.
I've thought of that too. The low pressure stages are a dime a dozen. The problem is that the high pressure stage is really an in-between stage for most purposes. The 12V pumps to fill car tires will go to much higher pressure, but much slower. I've never found a good intermediate reciprocating pump that can do 10-15 psi with reasonable flow rate.
If only there was a 110 V AC power outlet at the launch site!
How about an inverter?