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Questions about Forced Air Helmets and Helmet Cooling Systems

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#1
Alberto

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I'm contemplating a Forced Air Helmet.  Never bought one before so am looking for advice and have some questions.

 

First off, I don't have crew so I need to be able to connect and quickly disconnect the tubing myself.  

 

Questions about Helmets:

 

1. According to Bell Helmet's web site, the top mount is the way to go if the intention is to cool your head.  The side mount appears to be better for fogging with some cooling.  Anyone have any experiences and advice on side vs top mount?

 

2. I've noticed that the intakes are either on the top of the helmet or the side of the helmet.  Since this is a Miata, I don't think I have enough room for a top mount.  I also don't think I'd be able to easily connect and disconnect  myself since it is at the top of the helmet.  Anyone have any experience with this?

 

3. The side mount intakes all point toward the back of the seat / car.  I have an OMP HTE-R halo seat.  How would I route the intake tube through the seat so that I could connect it?

 

Questions about the cooling system:

 

1. I'm assuming the duct for the intake system will be mounted in the passenger window.  Correct?

 

2. Do I need a helmet cooling system with a pump or can I just buy or build a system with an air filter?

 

Thanks.

 

PS - I already have a Cool Shirt


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#2
Brandon

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I can't personally speak to the forced air coolers, but I have heard anecdotally they aren't worth the money.  Often the air wouldn't be cooler than ambient and it had a negative secondary effect of reducing your available cooling for the shirt/suit (more heat transfer via air/ice exchange).

 

If you already have a Cool Shirt product, you might investigate their product that incorporates a hood with the water tubes.  I've seen a number of people here in the NE who have these types of shirts and I'd claim you will get better cooling via that mechanism.

 

Best of luck!


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#3
wheel

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I have used both top and side inlet helmets.  Currently, I am running forced air through the cool shirt cooler to the top of my head.  There is an aluminum tube (1-1/4") in the cooler that cools the air to the helmet.  The down side is that is does not really give clean, filtered air for breathing and I still get some fumes.  That is the benefit of the side mount that pumps filtered air to you mouth and nose.  When I get my new helmet (all mine are expiring) I will probably go with the side mount for breathing.  I will still run it through the cooler.  Since I have a history of CO problems through 40+ years of motorsports, I think fresh air to my face is more important that slight cooling to the top of my head.  This is all driven by budget, to some extent, since there are some really great, high dollar, systems that actually refrigerate the air.  Not in my budget.

 

There is also a carbon filter that removes most of the CO from the air.  That will be incorporated in the new helmet.



#4
MotoFusi

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I can't speak to weather the Cool Shirt system works (Blowing air through the box). I just blow ambient air to the right side of my helmet. Moving air across my face gives me the illusion of cooling. Keeps things from fogging too.

 

Most helmets are left side mount. This would not work for me in my car as there is no room for the hose. I had Simpson do a right side mount. I have no trouble putting it on myself as I have the hose suspended with a rubber cord from the roll cage..

 

I would take a good look at your seat and see if it will work with a hose. I have a RaceTech full containment and it works fine but it does slightly limit how far I can turn my head to the right. I can still see the right side mirror, no problem.

 

The intake is attached to get air from the passenger window. The only time I got fumes was on a windless day sitting near another car waiting to grid.

 

As far as routing goes, there is a 45 degree on the end of the hose so I just point the hose mostly down to get more clearance for the seat.

 

Was it worth $100? Yes. If you have to chose between a Cool shirt and forced air, take the Cool Shirt.


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#5
steve

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The top mounts are somewhat better than the side mounts at equalizing air flow around the head, but if there's no clearance for a top mount, then a side mount works just fine.

My mount is on the left side, this makes it easier for crew to help hook it up and, if need be, lets me get out of the car faster in an emergency.

The mount came facing the back, I simply flipped it so it's facing forward. I pull the hose from behind the seat through the gap between the seat and the net and have no problem moving my head given the confines of a halo seat.

Up to early last year, I used a fan without running the line through the cooler and didn't notice much of a temp difference compared to the guys running the line through the cooler, and a whole lot better than just the cool shirt.

But, if you're looking to really stay cool, an A/C system is the way to go. It's a little pricier than the fan systems, but it lets you get rid of the cool shirt and cooler, weighs less than a cooler full of ice, draws a minimal amount of power, you don't have to worry about your crew forgetting to restock the cooler with fresh ice, and, best of all, you get real cold air (40 degree drop from ambient). It almost makes a hot and humid August day in the car enjoyable.

If anyone's interested, I think Mike Collins reps the A/C units.
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#6
davew

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IMHO:

 

Trying to cool the air through the cool suit cooler is worthless. The efficiency just is not there to cool the air enough to be noticable

Top mount is better for head cooling

Side mount is better for fresh air to breath

Left side is easier for crew to hook up but the hose routing can get complicated.

Right side is easier for driver to hook up and easier for hose routing

Using a blower fan allows the system to work at low speeds

using a forced air hose out the window is cheaper

When I have a car with helmet blower, I always run it. I only run the cool suit when needed.

Non forced air helmets can be converted. Contact Jill at Fresh Air Systems technology (FAST) at 847-255-9200

There are several electronic air conditioner.coolsuit systems out there. If you watched the start of NASCAR on Sunday they showed what Jimmy Johnson is using. Made by FAST

 

dave


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#7
av8tor

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There are several electronic air conditioner.coolsuit systems out there. If you watched the start of NASCAR on Sunday they showed what Jimmy Johnson is using. Made by FAST

 

For the low low price of 6k - 8k.  Would be fantastic at 2k!



#8
Danny Steyn

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IMHO:

 

Trying to cool the air through the cool suit cooler is worthless. The efficiency just is not there to cool the air enough to be noticable

Top mount is better for head cooling

Side mount is better for fresh air to breath

Left side is easier for crew to hook up but the hose routing can get complicated.

Right side is easier for driver to hook up and easier for hose routing

Using a blower fan allows the system to work at low speeds

using a forced air hose out the window is cheaper

When I have a car with helmet blower, I always run it. I only run the cool suit when needed.

Non forced air helmets can be converted. Contact Jill at Fresh Air Systems technology (FAST) at 847-255-9200

There are several electronic air conditioner.coolsuit systems out there. If you watched the start of NASCAR on Sunday they showed what Jimmy Johnson is using. Made by FAST

 

dave

 

I agree with everything Dave said above, but he missed one key element. NEVER USE THE SYSTEM WITHOUT AN AIR FILTER IN PLACE, as on off track excursion ahead of you will result in dust and debris being force fed into your helmet and there is a chance that you might not be able to see sh1t for several second and have eyes that dont stop watering for the entire session. Don't ask me how I know


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#9
DavidNJ

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Do the side mounts interfere with the head restraint on a containment seat?

Some of the high end helmets and the Zamp RZ-44/42 are configurable for top mount, side mount, both, or neither. The Zamp has both a low profile and round top mount. The Bell KR.1 (top), BR.1 (top or side), and Pyrotect Tri-flow (top or side) are also configurable.



#10
Danny Steyn

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Do the side mounts interfere with the head restraint on a containment seat?

Some of the high end helmets and the Zamp RZ-44/42 are configurable for top mount, side mount, both, or neither. The Zamp has both a low profile and round top mount. The Bell KR.1 (top), BR.1 (top or side), and Pyrotect Tri-flow (top or side) are also configurable.

 

I have used side mounted air feed hoses, and side mounted drinks hoses with my Racetech HRW4119  Full Containment  & Halo Seat with no issues, and no reduction in side to side head movement. 


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