Using The Benjamin Traveler Compressor – Part 2
Today we bring you the final part of our exclusive coverage of the Benjamin Traveler Compressor. This portable HPA compressor is the first of a new breed of filling solutions to be offered by a major industry player.
At a weight of just 15 Lbs 6 Oz for the Benjamin Traveler Compressor and hose, this is a truly portable device. The transformer and cable weighs 2 Lb 14 Oz, as a separate item.
There’s no doubt in my mind that small, (relatively) low-priced electrically-operated pumps like the Benjamin Traveler Compressor will open-up the PCP market even more airgunners. They give the ultimate freedom from “air anxiety” – that question every PCP user asks himself before shooting: “Do I have enough air?”
Below, the Traveler is also supplied with a fill probe for use with the Benjamin Airbow.
In the previous part of this review, I tried out the Benjamin Traveler Compressor using a minivan to provide the power.
Since that story was written, I received the Traveler Owner’s manual from Crosman. This confirms that the Benjamin Traveler Compressor is equipped with a Low Voltage Protection feature. If the battery voltage is less than 10.5 volts, the compressor will alarm and not start, or it will alarm and shut down. This is a safety feature to protect the vehicle’s battery.
Crosman also directs you to review your motor vehicle’s owner’s manual before connecting the compressor. This is good advice and I endorse it. With the amount of complex electronics in today’s cars and trucks, it makes sense to be really, really sure that you’re not going to fry the vehicle!
Also, HAM reader Alan Applegate emailed with some more expert advice. Here’s what he says…
“You were wise to keep the engine running! There are two issues with this, and you only mentioned one.
Drawing ≈30 amps on a resting SLI battery (starting, lights, ignition) will draw the voltage down to about 11 volts depending on the size, age, and its SoC (state of charge). But if that voltage in allowed to drop below 10.5 volts, the CCL (charge cycle life) will drop, sometimes drastically. It’s best to keep the engine running no matter the vehicle.”
(This is exactly what is mentioned in the manual for the Benjamin Traveler Compressor).
“The second part is perhaps more important than the first. All modern vehicles have battery monitoring systems. The main part of this, is a Hall device mounted around the battery’s negative lead, or built into its negative connection. Bypassing this device by connecting directly to the battery’s negative connector, can cause all sorts of maladies, including turning on the MIL (Maintenance indicator light).
Users should be advised to connect the negative lead of the pump to a hard point near the battery’s negative chassis connection instead.”
(Again, this is what is confirmed by the Traveler’s manual).
Crosman’s website gives a number of sample fill times for combinations of the Benjamin Traveler Compressor, mains and battery power and airguns. However, here are the results I found…
Fill Times For Benjamin Traveler Compressor
As the most common use of the Benjamin Traveler Compressor will be to top-up PCP air rifles, rather than to fill them from empty, that’s what I did!
Note that I used the pressures listed are those read from the gauges on the guns and the Benjamin Traveler Compressor. Yes, I know that the tiny gauges on guns can sometimes be inaccurate, but this will be the basis for a top-up decision in the field.
Also, I made these timings using a 110 Volt domestic electrical supply and the transformer.
– Benjamin Maximus – 1 minute 58 seconds from 1,000 PSI to full at 2,000 PSI.
– Benjamin Discovery – 2 minutes 5 seconds from 1,000 PSI to full at 2,000 PSI. (The difference from the Maximus was almost certainly due to slightly different start pressures on the guns’ gauges).
– Benjamin Marauder – 4 minutes 57 seconds from 1,100PSI to full at 3,000 PSI.
– Benjamin Marauder – 2 minutes 37 seconds from 2,000 PSI to full at 3,000 PSI. (Note that Crosman says that the Benjamin Traveler Compressor will fill an Armada or Marauder from 2,000 to 3,000 PSI in 3 minutes using a car battery).
– Benjamin Bulldog – 6 minutes 8 seconds from 2,000 PSI to full at 3,000 PSI.
User Feedback on the Benjamin Traveler Compressor
As this was the first time I’ve used a small, portable HPA compressor, there were a number of things I noticed when operating the Traveler.
At first, I was surprised to see the hose assembly vibrating when the unit was running. But that soon became a non-issue.
Like all compressors and pumps, the Benjamin Traveler Compressor generates heat in use. You will find that the hose assembly also becomes quite hot where it connects to the box.
The large LED that’s visible when running indicates the temperature of the Benjamin Traveler Compressor when running. This display is in degrees Centigrade. The Crosman manual confirms that the unit has a temperature protection cutout and that this will function at 80 degrees Centigrade to protect the Traveler.
I found the PSI ratings on the gauge almost impossible to read. They are at the extreme outside of the gauge. So I did a quick conversion and set the output pressure shutoff using the bar scale. Output pressure was easy to set using a small screwdriver in the end of the adjustment dial.
The pressure shutoff worked just fine every time I used it. However, I’d stick with Crosman’s advice and not leave the Benjamin Traveler Compressor running unattended at any time.
Finally, after the testing, I removed the oil/water separator filter from the Benjamin Traveler Compressor using an O ring pick. As you can see from the photograph below, the filter had turned black and started to decompose – probably from oil pumped out by the running compressor.
I would expect this effect to reduce with use. However, it clearly pays to check this filter frequently and that’s obviously why many spares are included with the Traveler.
Overall, I feel that the Benjamin Traveler Compressor clearly points the way towards the future for charging PCP airguns.
It works, it’s small and portable. It’s relatively inexpensive and it eliminates “air anxiety” for the PCP owner. And it’s backed by a warranty and support from a major player in the airgun market. That’s a lot to like!