DaveK

Scuba Regulators?

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I need to buy one so why not ask here. There are 3 variables that I'm considering and one of which really doesn't matter. Maybe none of them matter. I got my open water in 1977 at he age of 15 in Naples FL. But I'm not a serious cold deep water diver. I have no desire for that shit and I really don't dive all that often. But I do want a quality regulator that at least has a balanced 1st stage. I don't think piston or diaphragm matters for me and perhaps sealed or unsealed doesn't either. I kinda think I do want sealed. But prices vary so much  with these things. I did find a Mares Abyss 22 used for $200 but not sure if its balanced. I do think it's the best deal I've found so far. Anyways, thanks for any ideas!! Much appreciated!!!

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3 hours ago, DaveK said:

I need to buy one so why not ask here. There are 3 variables that I'm considering and one of which really doesn't matter. Maybe none of them matter. I got my open water in 1977 at he age of 15 in Naples FL. But I'm not a serious cold deep water diver. I have no desire for that shit and I really don't dive all that often. But I do want a quality regulator that at least has a balanced 1st stage. I don't think piston or diaphragm matters for me and perhaps sealed or unsealed doesn't either. I kinda think I do want sealed. But prices vary so much  with these things. I did find a Mares Abyss 22 used for $200 but not sure if its balanced. I do think it's the best deal I've found so far. Anyways, thanks for any ideas!! Much appreciated!!!

man i got a set of dacor's that are made of metal.. that's how old.. they're like an old mercedes diesel.. just keep chugging along.

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10 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

man i got a set of dacor's that are made of metal.. that's how old.. they're like an old mercedes diesel.. just keep chugging along.

Old dacors, old us divers were great regs. Still very good for basic diving.

 

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ditto Scubapro.  I've dived several decades on a non-balanced MK2 first stage and the R190 second stage.  Been to about 45M/150' and it breathed fine, and I understand others have done double that.  Get balanced if you want, but don't necessarily feel you have to pass up a good used reg set that isn't

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27 minutes ago, Ease the sheet. said:

Old dacors, old us divers were great regs. Still very good for basic diving.

 

That's me, basic..    I believe there has been several generations of ski design as well since I had last been on some..   all my dive gear is ancient, but you don't want to throw that out.. the bc's good, but I don't even have a dive computer, just the old analog guages... I feel like loyd bridges running around..

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If you're going used, take it to a shop and have them check out the springs, diapharm, poppet etc.... before you get it in the water...  chances are it has probably been sitting around for a few years and could use a good cleaning and servicing...  

 

 

 

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I had to look up mine first  and only a Calypso J...with a tank with  a J valve 1966...then I went exclusively free dive.

With the J valve system when you sense it was difficult to draw air you reached around to the  finger pull on the side of the tank and pulled down releasing the reserve of air  :D

 

a Wiki description  

 In the mid-1960s, J-valves were widespread. J-valves contain a spring-operated valve that is restricts or shuts off flow when tank pressure falls to 300-500 psi, causing breathing resistance and warning the diver that he or she is dangerously low on air. The reserve air is released by pulling a reserve lever on the valve. J-valves fell out of favor with the introduction of pressure gauges, which allow divers to keep track of their air underwater, especially as the valve-type is vulnerable to accidental release of reserve air and increases the cost and servicing of the valve. J-valves are occasionally still used when work is done in visibility so poor that the pressure gauge cannot be seen, even with a light.[4]:167–178[23]:Sec 7.2.2

Calypso J.JPG

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Ahhhhh steel tanks and J valves. I bought a used one in the early 70's but the previous owner had reversed the operation of the J valve so you had to push it up to open the reserve. Apparently...unknown to me (and the dive shop dude who filled the tank) this modification was popular because the thought was that it was harder to accidentally open the valve when swimming through kelp or handling the tank if you had to push up rather than pull down the valve. So if the dive shop "filled" the tank with the valve down - as they are supposed to - they were actually trying to fill against a closed valve and stupidly (because the tank simply won't fill in that scenario) guessing "hey this tank is already full". So when you go to trip the valve you go from 300 to 0 in one breath. Bummer.......

Never mind how I know that.........

And..as I recall, they allowed an "extra" 300 of air on single tanks and 500 on twins........

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Anybody remember the reg's that made a sort of honking sound when you reached a certain low air threshold? I think they were scubapro?

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I'm actually looking forward to the responses here as my current rig (picture shown) is nearly 20 years old. I have it serviced every year but some of the new stuff (esp the dive computers - they don't even make or repair/service the Dacor I have anymore) looks pretty impressive.

Funny thing.........my UW camera and housings are only a couple years old and my reg/computer is around 20. Hmmmmmmmmmmm

 

IMG_7021.jpg

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That gear looks in great shape

I still have my 48 year old Nikonos II...took many great photos with it all over the world above and below the water...and it was always nice to be able to keep it on deck without a care in the world....the view finder is fogged for framing purpose but still worked fine last time I used it.

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6 minutes ago, SailBlueH2O said:

That gear looks in great shape

I still have my 48 year old Nikonos II...took many great photos with it all over the world above and below the water...and it was always nice to be able to keep it on deck without a care in the world....the view finder is fogged for framing purpose but still worked fine last time I used it.

I do tend to keep my stuff very well taken care of. After all.........you kind of depend on it. :D When traveling, we rented everything including BC's, but ALWAYS took our own reg's and computers. Not taking any chances with rental reg's.

Those Nikonos were/are great cameras. Indestructible. I'm driving an Oly 4/3 EM-5 (Mk1) with the matched Nauticam EM5 housing and Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobes. I like the rig but the housing upkeep is intimidating since a o-ring failure/leak (which sometimes does not appear till you hit depth) ruins a pretty expensive camera. I have been thinking about switching to video though.................

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All tanks get filled to their rating. Brand new tanks could be 'over filled' a certain amount. Been 50 yrs since I ran a dive shop, so can't remember specifics. J valves did not get any 'extra' air, they just held that 300 psi out until you tripped the lever.

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Just now, longy said:

All tanks get filled to their rating. Brand new tanks could be 'over filled' a certain amount. Been 50 yrs since I ran a dive shop, so can't remember specifics. J valves did not get any 'extra' air, they just held that 300 psi out until you tripped the lever.

Yep.....the spring in the valve was "set" at 300. So it would not let air below 300 psi to get to the first stage. When the valve was tripped, the spring is "released" allowing that 300 to be "seen" and used by the first stage. So the use was when the draw on the reg started to get difficult (or sometimes absent) then that was your clue you were almost empty. Flip the valve and the 300 left in the tank is now available.....if the spring tension is correct....and the valve lubricated and operating freely......and the valve was in the open position when filled...........and.............

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16 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

That's me, basic..    I believe there has been several generations of ski design as well since I had last been on some..   all my dive gear is ancient, but you don't want to throw that out.. the bc's good, but I don't even have a dive computer, just the old analog guages... I feel like loyd bridges running around..

No need to buy a Mercedes when you're just trundling around the block.

My basic kit was sherwood 1st and oceanic 2nds. The tech stuff was all poseidons. I'm of an age and fitness level where I should be selling the poseidons.

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22 hours ago, Point Break said:

I'm actually looking forward to the responses here as my current rig (picture shown) is nearly 20 years old. I have it serviced every year but some of the new stuff (esp the dive computers - they don't even make or repair/service the Dacor I have anymore) looks pretty impressive.

Funny thing.........my UW camera and housings are only a couple years old and my reg/computer is around 20. Hmmmmmmmmmmm

 

IMG_7021.jpg

what's the doo-hickey  switch on top of the second stage?

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4 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

what's the doo-hickey  switch on top of the second stage?

It is supposedly an adjustment of the amount of negative pressure it takes to open the second stage for a breath. Supposedly you can change it according to depth. I fooled with it on a few of the first dives I had the reg and never really noticed any appreciable change in effort so I leave it in the middle and ignore it.

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11 minutes ago, Ease the sheet. said:

It's a vane? Creates a stronger venturi effect to lower the pressure in the reg?

 

I don't know whether its a spring/poppet type adjustment or vane. The idea is as you go deeper the draw gets harder so the adjustment reduces the negative pressure demand on draw. I think its supposed to reduce the exhalation valve effort as well. Honestly I couldn't tell any difference at any depth no matter where I set the switch. Perhaps I was tainted by the very frequent use of SCBA's in firefighting. You aways had to pull pretty hard on those to trigger the positive pressure feed. Maybe I was just used to pulling hard. I just figured it was a gimmick.

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40 minutes ago, Point Break said:

I don't know whether its a spring/poppet type adjustment or vane. The idea is as you go deeper the draw gets harder so the adjustment reduces the negative pressure demand on draw. I think its supposed to reduce the exhalation valve effort as well. Honestly I couldn't tell any difference at any depth no matter where I set the switch. Perhaps I was tainted by the very frequent use of SCBA's in firefighting. You aways had to pull pretty hard on those to trigger the positive pressure feed. Maybe I was just used to pulling hard. I just figured it was a gimmick.

I've got regs that give adjustment to valve spring tension and vane/venturi assist to improve inhalation response.  On the surface,  its so effective it freeflows when you give it a sideways glance. At 150ft its like breathing silk.

It works, but only really noticeable  at the extremes.

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3 minutes ago, Ease the sheet. said:

I've got regs that give adjustment to valve spring tension and vane/venturi assist to improve inhalation response.  On the surface,  its so effective it freeflows when you give it a sideways glance. At 150ft its like breathing silk.

It works, but only really noticeable  at the extremes.

Curious. Is the adjustment mechanical or does it self adjust? I've really only owned 2 rigs, one ancient bought used in 1971...had that rig for a long time. Then this one which is - I think to the best of my recollection - around 20 years old. I got kinda bored with diving and didn't dive for years and then Mrs PB announced she was interested in picking up UW photography so we hopped back in at the "latest" technology back then. We upgraded cameras twice but never changed our gear. So I don't exactly have a ton of experience with different rigs.

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Changing spring tension is the mechanical bit. Changing the air flow by vane makes the out going air ie the air you inhale,  suck out faster,  creating a lower pressure on that side of the diaphragm and reducing the inhalation effort. Venturi effect.

Of course,  I'm using all the technical terms......

Im hoping the manufacturers website would be a better information source than my memory. Or mikey......

 

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@DaveK, I"m running an aqualung Legend LX reg.  It works really well and I dive a lot.  AS far as all the tech questions, I have no clue.  The extent of my indepth knowledge of the technical details is:  Does it work when I attach it to the tank.  So far about 95% yes. 

I learned the lesson the hard way of not servicing it on time on our most recent dive trip.  I'm usually a fanatic about making sure I take it in to the shop at the correct service intervals.  But before our trip to Egypt a couple of months ago, I got busy and forgot.  When I got the regs out to pack, I noticed they were 1 month past the service date.  I thought, ah its only a month, what could go wrong.  Literally on our first dive of the day  both regs were F'd.  My primary mouth piece would practically free flow after about 10m and below and SWMBO's reserve octopus mouth piece was doing the same.  We ended up having to rent regs for the whole week.  And we were lucky that it was the first dive as the boat had no backup regs on board.  So since we were close enough to port, they sent a RIB back to the shop to get some extra regs.  Had it been later, We would have been too far away by the end of the day and we would have been screwed for the week.  What a PITA!

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1 minute ago, TonyFromSheepsheadBay said:

I’ve still have my 38 yr old Dacor mask and reg. 

Both still fine except the mask leaves a black ring around my face. ;( 

Interesting...when getting certified 1966...the hard core instructor said they are all pretty good ,worked and not too much difference between the regulators on the market. I wonder with all these years passing what the differences are between the most expensive regs on the market today and the most basic, criteria the same as my instructor was speaking to all though years ago, the recreational/sport diving market not specialized diving and is it really worth buying the most expensive  BTW...Part of the training besides class and pool was  running a mile, sit ups ,distance surface swimming  as well as other physical conditioning....

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did our open water in lake travis, austin..   instructor had someone lakeside property ...  we took the usual thngs,  cheeze wiz , hot dogs.. etc..  found a friendly catfish.. by the end of the weekend he must have been 8" around he was so stuffed..

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8 hours ago, SailBlueH2O said:

Interesting...when getting certified 1966...the hard core instructor said they are all pretty good ,worked and not too much difference between the regulators on the market. I wonder with all these years passing what the differences are between the most expensive regs on the market today and the most basic, criteria the same as my instructor was speaking to all though years ago, the recreational/sport diving market not specialized diving and is it really worth buying the most expensive  BTW...Part of the training besides class and pool was  running a mile, sit ups ,distance surface swimming  as well as other physical conditioning....

Like cars. Heated seats are nice.....

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And, unlike heated seats, they are required TO BREATH!  In my mind, there are certain things worth finding "deals" on, and others that you GWYPF.......doesn't mean you need titanium everything, but maybe not the cheapest thing you can find.  Parachutes, airplanes, surgeons....things like that.

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2 hours ago, A.M.S. said:

And, unlike heated seats, they are required TO BREATH!  In my mind, there are certain things worth finding "deals" on, and others that you GWYPF.......doesn't mean you need titanium everything, but maybe not the cheapest thing you can find.  Parachutes, airplanes, surgeons....things like that.

This^^

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2 hours ago, A.M.S. said:

And, unlike heated seats, they are required TO BREATH!  In my mind, there are certain things worth finding "deals" on, and others that you GWYPF.......doesn't mean you need titanium everything, but maybe not the cheapest thing you can find.  Parachutes, airplanes, surgeons....things like that.

Agree

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8 hours ago, A.M.S. said:

And, unlike heated seats, they are required TO BREATH!  In my mind, there are certain things worth finding "deals" on, and others that you GWYPF.......doesn't mean you need titanium everything, but maybe not the cheapest thing you can find.  Parachutes, airplanes, surgeons....things like that.

I think my original instructor meant that they were all safe....my second inquiry was regarding the subtle differences  between low and high price points

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In '66 that was certainly true.  After all the first commercial single hose regulators were only 10 years old at that point.  The designs were all very similar and based on the Cousteau/Gagan model.  Might not be the case today........

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11 hours ago, SailBlueH2O said:

I think my original instructor meant that they were all safe....my second inquiry was regarding the subtle differences  between low and high price points

More important than that is getting a custom mouthpiece.

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7 minutes ago, Jammer Six said:

More important than that is getting a custom mouthpiece.

Hard to argue with that. I never knew how much it would inprove my comfort till I finally did that. I can remember after lots of dive days being all relaxed kicking along and suddenly having the reg drop out because I wasn't biting hard enough to hold it. When I got a custom mouthpiece many years later I was stunned at the improvement in comfort and no more sore jaw.

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My wife and I bought scuba gear in the Florida Keys in 1998, in a big "super scuba store". Got great deals on the CHEAPEST regs that were there. Mucho plastico. No titanium to speak of. We were broke after cruising for 3-1/2 years in Mexico and Central America. We used them scuba diving in Florida and then they sat in a bag for 10 years before we used them again while cruising.

Used them for a few more years and then decided it was time for their first annual service. Being in Australia it was crazy expensive to service them so I took them apart. They are simple devices and it's not surprising they work so well. Besides, you've got two if the first one fails. Well, unless it's the primary reg, but they are shiny and nice looking so they should last longer.

We were careful to rinse them always in a bucket of fresh water right after diving.

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The lowest cost Sherwood reg would suit the Op's need. Simple and reliable, proven design. The fancy stuff is for techies and hipsters. Most can't deal with the free flow stuff by themselves, anyway. And let's keep in mind that he's not a cave or deep or cold water guy.

Can be tough finding parts for the old stuff, too. By the time you buy a  used reg, and get it serviced, ya coulda bought a new completely adequate reg.

 

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On 8/10/2018 at 10:40 AM, SailBlueH2O said:

Interesting...when getting certified 1966...the hard core instructor said they are all pretty good ,worked and not too much difference between the regulators on the market. I wonder with all these years passing what the differences are between the most expensive regs on the market today and the most basic, criteria the same as my instructor was speaking to all though years ago, the recreational/sport diving market not specialized diving and is it really worth buying the most expensive  BTW...Part of the training besides class and pool was  running a mile, sit ups ,distance surface swimming  as well as other physical conditioning....

Now any pussy can get certified!! :) j/k!! I worked for a dive shop in 1977 in Dallas at the age of 16. The master diver was a Navy Seal from the Vietnam days. I just moved and filled tanks all day but helped out at the dive classes also went to the dive certifications on the Comal river in New Braunsfels TX. But the instructor was a tough guy and still has a shop in Cozumel. His name is Larry Cleghorn.

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On 8/10/2018 at 1:33 PM, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

did our open water in lake travis, austin..   instructor had someone lakeside property ...  we took the usual thngs,  cheeze wiz , hot dogs.. etc..  found a friendly catfish.. by the end of the weekend he must have been 8" around he was so stuffed..

We did that on Canyon Lake as well. You still live around Austin?

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Sorry for the hijack, what would be a decent and economical setup (yoke 1st stage, 40-50 foot hose, 2d stage) for connecting to an air cylinder on the deck for bottom cleaning?  (Local dive shop gave a rough estimate of $400-600)

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6 minutes ago, Leon T said:

Sorry for the hijack, what would be a decent and economical setup (yoke 1st stage, 40-50 foot hose, 2d stage) for connecting to an air cylinder on the deck for bottom cleaning?  (Local dive shop gave a rough estimate of $400-600)

https://www.theadventurejunkies.com/best-scuba-regulator/

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4 hours ago, Leon T said:

Sorry for the hijack, what would be a decent and economical setup (yoke 1st stage, 40-50 foot hose, 2d stage) for connecting to an air cylinder on the deck for bottom cleaning?  (Local dive shop gave a rough estimate of $400-600)

Seems a bit steep to me. 50’ of scuba hose is only around $50.......

https://airlinebyjsink.com/collections/long-scuba-hoses

 

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8 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Seems a bit steep to me. 50’ of scuba hose is only around $50.......

https://airlinebyjsink.com/collections/long-scuba-hoses

 

Don't mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, but where do you see $50? That link says $130 for just a 40' hose, $558 w/ the 1st and 2nd stages.

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Oh, yes, the equipment that supplies the air should be purchased at the very lowest cost possible!

P.S. There's no way I'd use surface-supplied air with a standard regulator. You make a mistake, the second stage gets ripped out of your mouth, and then it's gone. (Yes, I know that some "professional", non-union shops operate that way. But I wouldn't dive for them. Ever.) It'll happen so fast you'll need to inhale before you know you can't. With a sport regulator, you want personal control of the second stage and the entire hose back to the first stage and the first stage. If you have a custom mouthpiece, it can kill you, because the mouthpiece of the second stage can get ripped out of the custom mouthpiece, which can stay in your mouth. (Ask me how I know.) Then you have no gas and a mouthpiece with an enormous hole in it holding your mouth open. Underwater, that's a problem.

P.P.S. The whole point of surface supply is unlimited breathing gas. Without a compressor, you defeat that purpose and are left with the downsides of surface supply and without the main advantage.

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Easiest solution yet. Now everyone will be diving. Perhaps this should go in the Darwin thread?

 

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46 minutes ago, chum said:

Easiest solution yet. Now everyone will be diving. Perhaps this should go in the Darwin thread?

 

And only 19.99! I "ordered" 10,000 units with no problem in the shopping cart. Couldn't find the compressor tho.

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On 8/8/2018 at 8:31 AM, SailBlueH2O said:

I had to look up mine first  and only a Calypso J...with a tank with  a J valve 1966...then I went exclusively free dive.

With the J valve system when you sense it was difficult to draw air you reached around to the  finger pull on the side of the tank and pulled down releasing the reserve of air  :D

 

a Wiki description  

 In the mid-1960s, J-valves were widespread. J-valves contain a spring-operated valve that is restricts or shuts off flow when tank pressure falls to 300-500 psi, causing breathing resistance and warning the diver that he or she is dangerously low on air. The reserve air is released by pulling a reserve lever on the valve. J-valves fell out of favor with the introduction of pressure gauges, which allow divers to keep track of their air underwater, especially as the valve-type is vulnerable to accidental release of reserve air and increases the cost and servicing of the valve. J-valves are occasionally still used when work is done in visibility so poor that the pressure gauge cannot be seen, even with a light.[4]:167–178[23]:Sec 7.2.2

Calypso J.JPG

Keeriste - sounds like the reserve switch on an old Volkswagen Beetle.

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On 8/13/2018 at 7:36 AM, DaveK said:

Now any pussy can get certified!! :)

There is a more truth than fiction in that statement. My original cert in 1976 was NAUI and it was all ocean lifeguard class in San Diego taught by our lifeguard Lt. His intent was a to form a dive rescue/search team out of our lifeguard service. Duh........use watermen for water work......politics killed it but I got a great class. Even though I didn't go through a "civilian" class, the swim requirements and testing were obvious from the study/certification materials. So head 30 years downstream and Mrs PB (a remarkably water capable fit woman) and our youngest daughter wanted to become certified. Fine deal. So I enrolled in the class as well being way over protective and suspicious of what I had heard of the industry changes. In my mind the only way to be sure things were "safe" was to attend the training. Plus I thought it would be interesting. It was a PADI course taught through Sport Chalet. While I have no criticism of the course materials (which were really quality) or the instructor (who was really pretty darn good), and even the certification dives were appropriate - I think it was 1 pool dive and 4 ocean dives....don't remember exactly - I was near appalled at the unbelievably poor water/swim skills of people who actually passed the course and received certifications. I would never have put my name on their air cards..............

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I got mine from NASDS in '76 - taught by pro's at Camp Pendleton. It was pretty thorough.

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44 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Keeriste - sounds like the reserve switch on an old Volkswagen Beetle.

LOL......my first car a 61 VW had one of those foots switches....loved it !!!  that little vertical black thingee over gear box hump...no gas guage...when the car started chugging you'd lift your foot off the gas and flip the switch 90 degrees and after a few more chugs the reserve gallon would hit and off you'd go looking for the next gas station  :D...my VW was this same color

61 VW.jpg

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5 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I got mine from NASDS in '76 - taught by pro's at Camp Pendleton. It was pretty thorough.

I heard that was a good program as well. That one is defunct isn't it? Do you know if they still honor those air cards? I get some pretty funny looks at the shop when I plunk down my 76 NAUI card. Had one object briefly because it doesn't have a picture on the card. But they filled the tanks..........

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I'm a PADI  instructor. I'm almost embarrassed to say that because the course was so easy. My class passed a guy who couldn't swim in any reasonable way. In a pool! I think you had to have 100 dives to "qualify."

Heh. My pals had 100 ocean dives before we were certified in the first place. I'm dreading my next dive however to take place in the next few minutes. Gots to clean the prop. I've postponed it all weekend but de beeg win's be commin' mon.

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44 minutes ago, Point Break said:

I heard that was a good program as well. That one is defunct isn't it? Do you know if they still honor those air cards? I get some pretty funny looks at the shop when I plunk down my 76 NAUI card. Had one object briefly because it doesn't have a picture on the card. But they filled the tanks..........

No idea - I never took the sport up - the risk/reward ratio exceeded my personal limits. I understand it is higher risk than skydiving.

I live right near one of the most popular dive spots in Vancouver (Whytecliff) and they regularly haul divers away in bags.

It was fun but not that much fun.

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1 hour ago, Blue Crab said:

And only 19.99! I "ordered" 10,000 units with no problem in the shopping cart. Couldn't find the compressor tho.

Actually any compressor with a basketball needle should work.

Im not certified but some in my family are. Years ago I got to dive the Stienhart aquarium with my dad to help clean it. My little sister couldn’t let go of the ladder and she was hyperventilating. I seriously doubt they allow volunteer labor now. I’m pretty sure the biggest shark at the time was a Bull. He was fat, they said there was nothing to worry about. Many fish were missing large parts.

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On 9/3/2018 at 8:02 PM, Point Break said:

There is a more truth than fiction in that statement. My original cert in 1976 was NAUI and it was all ocean lifeguard class in San Diego taught by our lifeguard Lt. His intent was a to form a dive rescue/search team out of our lifeguard service. Duh........use watermen for water work......politics killed it but I got a great class. Even though I didn't go through a "civilian" class, the swim requirements and testing were obvious from the study/certification materials. So head 30 years downstream and Mrs PB (a remarkably water capable fit woman) and our youngest daughter wanted to become certified. Fine deal. So I enrolled in the class as well being way over protective and suspicious of what I had heard of the industry changes. In my mind the only way to be sure things were "safe" was to attend the training. Plus I thought it would be interesting. It was a PADI course taught through Sport Chalet. While I have no criticism of the course materials (which were really quality) or the instructor (who was really pretty darn good), and even the certification dives were appropriate - I think it was 1 pool dive and 4 ocean dives....don't remember exactly - I was near appalled at the unbelievably poor water/swim skills of people who actually passed the course and received certifications. I would never have put my name on their air cards..............

I got my Open water down in PR through SSI.  The instructor who ran the shop was a former Navy Seal, so needless to say we had to actually be decent to pass.  He was really strict on practicing lots of emergency procedures underwater.  The good news is that it was me and a chick fighter pilot going through the course together, so we were used to the pretty rigorous pace.  There was one other guy there taking the course with us and he was not used to quite such a hardcore regimen.  He did pass though, but he was a decent swimmer.

Fast forward 2 years and I got my AOW at the same time that SWMBO got her OW through a PADI course.  Compared to SSI, it was a joke.  Fortunately, we dived with a group of friends regularly that were all either Instructors, Dive Masters or Rescue Divers.   So our learning curve was definitely steeper than normal.  

We've learned from doing a lot of dive trips and seeing the caliber of people who are supposedly Advanced OW or even rescue divers that PADI = "Put Another Dollar In".

We had a so called Rescue diver on a recent trip on our boat that was a total nightmare.  There are routinely people we run across who are "Advanced Open Water" divers who have a total of 15 dives or so.  That's ridiculous!  We didn't even think about doing our AOW until we both has something like 75+ dives under our belt.

 

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22 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

We've learned from doing a lot of dive trips and seeing the caliber of people who are supposedly Advanced OW or even rescue divers that PADI = "Put Another Dollar In".

We had a so called Rescue diver on a recent trip on our boat that was a total nightmare.  There are routinely people we run across who are "Advanced Open Water" divers who have a total of 15 dives or so.  That's ridiculous!  We didn't even think about doing our AOW until we both has something like 75+ dives under our belt.

 

I honestly have no idea how many dives I have. When I started we really didn't log them as there really were no extra "merit badges" requiring proof of any number of dives, you just got your air card and off you went. I dove for about 10 years and never recorded a single dive. I was young and poor, so all of my dives were beach dives or dives from buddies boats off So Cal coast with an occasional splurge on a "real dive boat". After I went through the PADI course again with Mrs PB and daughter, they really stressed keeping a dive log. So I started. Eventually, since I had no interest in any merit badges after we did our nitrox course (in Saba)....I think PADI calls it Enriched Air Diving or some such...which was a very useful and informative course, after around 50 dives or so I got really bored with the whole dive log thing and just stopped. Then on one trip, per our usual selection of which dive company to use, we expressed our usual request to be allowed to not accompany the pack on the dive but meander on our own because we were taking pictures and want the subjects/lighting etc to determine our route and pace. The dive master said no problem after he watches us on the first dive (very reasonable request) but wanted to see our dive logs as well. He looked at mine and expressed concern that I had not dove in a while. Fortunately, Mrs PB continued hers diligently so when I explained my lack of continuing to log dives but showed hers and said we did all these dives together he gave me that "you're a dumbass" look and relented.

Dive logs..............pffffft.

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On 9/3/2018 at 7:23 PM, Point Break said:

I heard that was a good program as well. That one is defunct isn't it? Do you know if they still honor those air cards? I get some pretty funny looks at the shop when I plunk down my 76 NAUI card. Had one object briefly because it doesn't have a picture on the card. But they filled the tanks..........

My NASDS card is from 77 and I could still get refills with it, with an occasional eyebrow raise!   I still have the course book.

My daughter wanted to go scuba diving in the Keys for her high school graduation, so the whole family went and got certified NAUI.   I went along and did the course with them, so I could get refreshed on any changes since 1977 and be a calming presence for my wife.   The dive tables are a little easier to use, but they are more conservative than the prior tables (a few more minutes less bottom time and more time between dives to out-gas, likewise a 3-5 minute stop at 10' before surfacing.)   Biggest difference between the two courses was that NASDS required demonstrating a drowning rescue, swim/tow a rescue 'victim' the length of an olympic pool and demonstrate resuscitation technique on a live person.

I had a scuba pro Mk V regulator that I just loved for 25 years.   All metal, with a knurled knob to tune the diaphragm for a very light negative pressure draw.   I miss it.

I had about 20 hrs of recreational diving logged and about 2000 hours of cleaning bottoms of boats.

- Stumbling

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4 hours ago, stumblingthunder said:

My NASDS card is from 77 and I could still get refills with it, with an occasional eyebrow raise!   I still have the course book.

My daughter wanted to go scuba diving in the Keys for her high school graduation, so the whole family went and got certified NAUI.   I went along and did the course with them, so I could get refreshed on any changes since 1977 and be a calming presence for my wife.   The dive tables are a little easier to use, but they are more conservative than the prior tables (a few more minutes less bottom time and more time between dives to out-gas, likewise a 3-5 minute stop at 10' before surfacing.)   Biggest difference between the two courses was that NASDS required demonstrating a drowning rescue, swim/tow a rescue 'victim' the length of an olympic pool and demonstrate resuscitation technique on a live person.

I had a scuba pro Mk V regulator that I just loved for 25 years.   All metal, with a knurled knob to tune the diaphragm for a very light negative pressure draw.   I miss it.

I had about 20 hrs of recreational diving logged and about 2000 hours of cleaning bottoms of boats.

- Stumbling

When I certified NAUI they taught with the US Navy dive tables which did not really have a good mechanism to determine residual N  in repetitive diving. When a buddy showed me the new tables I thought “how cool” and wondered why our instructor used the Navy tables. Old school I guess. 

My first reg I actually bought and owned (it was a scubapro as well) had that adjustment for the negative required to draw. I liked it a lot because you could adjust it as your depth changed. It was pretty cool.

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I know this story is some six years old, and probably covered here, but I just came across it. Holy shit ...

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2191915/Dirk-Kann-Diver-Lake-Michigan-13-years-going-missing-perfectly-mummified-diving-suit.html

The article includes a first-hand account of how the shit hit the fan on that dive, and how one of the divers gave up his own life to save his friend.

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