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Turn your existing air inflation device into an automatic cyclic tension device.

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  • Turn your existing air inflation device into an automatic cyclic tension device.

    Turn your existing air inflation device into an automatic cyclic tension device.
    Got a DTR or hype restore and want to try automatic fixed duration cyclic tension? (e.g 30 seconds on 20 seconds off or any other cycle time). Well, I got you

    Ever since I first heard about cyclic tension many years ago I thought that a cheap aquarium air pump might be a possible way to go. As far as I know no one else has come up with something CHEAP and EASY to achieve this and after seeing a fellow restorer on reddit say he has come up with a machine ($250 USD) for cyclic air tension and attesting to the effectiveness of it I thought I would investigate.

    I managed to put together such a device for ~$40-$45 USD (Not including DTR/Hype restore/other air inflation device that connects using a tube that can easily connect to aquarium tubing).

    You need an aquarium pump. I bought a 5 L per minute pump for $15.

    An infinite loop interval timer with 1 second intervals (so you can set time in seconds on/off and infinite loop means it just keeps turning on/off at your programed intervals until you unplug it). I had some trouble finding this in Australia and it was more expensive but Amazon seems to have them for as cheap as $16 USD for the American folks (link below, not affiliate).

    Now if you just connect the aquarium pump to your device it will keep pumping air in until the device falls off, it gets too painful or the psi exceeds the pumps ability to pump. So you need a way to release "excess air" so the tension is just right.

    My solution was to try a Y connector for aquariums with multiple one way air valves chained together to release some air as multiple valves require more air pressure before it is released. I found three valves was not enough pressure (tension) and four valves was too much pressure (painful). I then found Aquariums have something called a control valve. This is perfect as it lets you control how much air is released by twisting the top.

    Currently I have two chained one-way valves and a control valve. I feel this gives me the most control rather than just connecting the control valve directly to the y connector. Easier to do that fine tuning of tension on a stream of air rather than a raging river.

    So you need:

    Timer ~$16
    pump ~$10-$15
    Control valve for aquariums ~$3
    2 one way valves for aquariums ~$3
    Y connector for aquariums ~$3
    1m (or longer or shorter depending how far from the pump you will be) aquarium tubing ~$3

    Obviously this is intended only for use when relaxing at home. I make no claims as to the effectiveness or make any money. Just sharing what I came up with. I thought I would post this on Reddit and the 2 foreskin restoration forums so anyone who is interested can easily find the information.

    3 Photos showing my setup.
    Timer on amazon 02751652&sr=8-9

  • #2
    This is fascinating. I always like when people do real work and show their results. I have attached your photos to this post so people don't have to go to a file sharing site to download them. Let me know if that's a problem and I will delete them.

    I am curious about the longevity of the pump in this situation. Frequent on/off cycles are generally killers for cheap pumps. One-way aquarium valves are also notoriously inconsistent from valve to valve in their behavior, at least in my experience. Also, is this setup noisy with the pump and the control valve? I've thought about cyclic setups before but I couldn't figure out the pressure control issue and what should the cycle length should actually be. Also, the medical use of skin expansion in papers I've looked at (balloon expanders under the skin) nearly always is constant pressure/tension, so there just wasn't much data to go off of. I hope you'll consider sharing results in a progress gallery. There is just about zero data out there about what would actually be an effective procedure with something like this.
    Attached Files
    Visit my restoration progress journal.


    • #3
      Hey MJ, Thanks for posting the photos, all good there . I have only been using it for 2 weeks 2-3 hrs per day (and tugging another 3-4 hrs) so cant speak to the longevity of the pump yet but that was my one point of worry too. Will see how it goes. The valves just need to slow the air flow a little so its easier to control the pressure with the control valve. Come to think of it you could just use multiple control valves in a row with no one way valves to get the same result.

      I can remember only one study showing 2 mins on 1 min off (in rodents I think) and it had better results than constant tension. But Im using 30 seconds on 20 off and it takes about 10 seconds to fully deflate to zero tension.The guy on Reddit that made the other device says he has about 8 customers using short cycles of 12 seconds on and 3 seconds off making 4 Cycles per minute or 240 Cycles per hour. He says all his customers have advised better than static stretching results. But no photos...

      As to noise. Not much of an issue for me. I did search for silent aquarium pumps and this one was supposed to be silent and it's definitely not silent though it is quiet. I'm usually watching TV with it on and it doesn't bother me at all. My partner and dogs all seem able to fall asleep next to me on the lounge while I'm using the device with no issue :-). The air released from the control valve also makes an audible hiss/whine and is probably the loudest part. Just tested and if you attach an air stone after the control valve the air exiting is silent.

      Personally I have super slow results. I suspect this is because of an autoimmune disease I have. I've actually been at this since 2005 and I've only gone from CI 0 to CI 2. Though I do get discouraged by lack of results and give up for a while before coming back to it. I`ve probably been consistent (trying every method / tension setting / time under tension) all up for 7 to 10 years. That's the real reason that I wanted to come up with such a device as I've tried pretty much everything else without great results so getting desperate :-(. So for all that I just mean my photos probably won't mean anything as my results have always been super slow to none. Though if I do actually start getting good results I will post photos.