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Thread: Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future for recreational divers?

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    Shearwater Copis Diver Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy's Avatar
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    Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future for recreational divers?

    In this thread, I would like to share our process of choosing to transition from eCCR's to mCCR's for the benefit of anyone thinking of buying their first rebreather or making a switch and get feedback from the wise and experienced ones on the exact configuration of our new Copis’s, which are due to hatch on june 20th. This is a summary and somewhat repetitious of other posts I have written over the last several months. My appologies in advance, in attempt to be comprehensive and thorough, it grew quite lengthy.

    My wife has recently decided to stick with CCR diving, but she is requiring we get something new and different, together and I have agreed. The repeated solenoid failure she had with her previous rebreather has made her quite leery of set point controllers and solenoids as a general rule, which is understandable, we bought what is arguably the most user friendly eCCR out there and she still missed dives. I realize the risk that we might be over reacting to her unique and uncommon experience by giving up on eCCR’s all together, but sometimes you just have to give something else a solid try to get the needed comparison. I see a variety of benefits with going mCCR so I’m not really putting up much resistance, in fact I’m excited for something new and different...we can always go back, and if we do, it will be with a lot more solid understanding of whether the benefits of automation are worth the price of additional failure points, additional maintenance and additional risk.

    I know many folks will say “Ive been using X eCCR for years without any problems, I think you are over reacting”. The bottom line is that all electronics fail at some point. The fact is that my experience on the Evolution has been virtually flowless too. This post is not about bashing AP, I think they have a great product that seems to be very effective at catching problems before they become fatal... hearing complaints is actually a better sign than not hearing from someone ever again, and vision has near zero fatalities. So i'm really opening this up to eCCR's in general, statistical analysis is impossible with a sample group of one or a small group of friends, so it’s difficult to draw solid conclusions from our own personal experience. The risk of death on eCCR’s is small enough that the average diver does not come across the lethal cocktail of circumstances that lead to death in ones years of diving, so the fact that one has survived is not actually that helpful in affirming which practices or style of rebreather are really the cause. To get valuable numbers to steer development trends you have to look at large sample groups. I’m talking about the big picture and applying pure outcome statistics because, frankly, quality imperical accident analysis, while worth attempting, has proven perpetually hypothetical due to the basic limitation of not being able to gather enough objective data in each incidence. I don't think this is going to change any time soon. At this point we have really one major thing to go on, that mCCR’s are associated with an infinitesimal number of accidents, while eCCR’s have a high actual mortality rate. The bottome line: an mCCR diver could die every month for the next couple of years and the difference would still be striking.

    I hear many folks say they drive their eCCR’s manually and use the Controller as “a safety net”, kind of like having the best of both eCCR and mCCR worlds. So you might ask why we aren’t simply changing our habits and keeping our Evo's? The trouble with this logic is that the very thing that you are relying on as a safety net is the most likely part of an eCCR to malfunction. I see value in the “fly manual” philosophy embraced by so many eCCR divers and see that it likely reduces risk and increases good habits on an eCCR, but I am skeptical that it truly matches the good habits and still results in the high maintenance associated with an eCCR. You are paying a premium and not even really getting to enjoy it’s conveniences. Furthermore, we have tried flying our eCCR’s manually, but it’s all to easy to get lazy and slip back into letting the controller take over, your life is not so apparently at stake. With mCCR’s, the right attitude is constantly being drilled into you, you don’t have a choice, pay attention or risk death. With eCCR’s you are constantly trying to convince yourself that you should have this attitude, but I think the lack of immediate consequence is just not convincing enough to the conscience mind to make it a continuous habit. The set point controller as “safety net” is tempting logic, and is probably a step forward in eCCR diving, but I am skeptical that it’s not really equivalent to CFO/+manual injection top off. I’ll go a step further and say I’m even concerned for eCCR divers that call the set point controller “a safety net”. It seems to me like a dangerous oxymoron, leading pardoxically to a false sense of security. Among other limiting factors, an eCCR has a very stilted voting logic capacity, as compared to the brain once entrained to truly engaged constant monitoring, able to verify which cell or cells is to be trusted, on the fly in the event a cell goes south. mCCR diving more deeply entrains one to truly factor cell verification in every time the manual addition valve is hit. As it turns out, the reverse paradox seems to be more true, that the lack of trust engendered by operating the mCCR system seems to breed true security. It has been uttered so many times “electronics can’t save you”. So it seems, all things equal, our best efforts at skill building and diligence will likely result in less overall risk if we go mCCR.

    Flying an eCCR manually is also not as convenient as flying an mCCR manually, having to inject so regularly, and lacks the more true safety net of a CFO that is less likely to fail you at the worst moment than an electronic set point controller.

    Further, CFO’s may be as responsible for the Zero fatalities with mCCR’s as the habit of flying manually. They seem to offer a safety net with fewer holes -do nothing and life sustaining oxygen will continue to flow- and requires infrequent injection if adjusted properly. Sure it could plug, but monitoring it constantly is already a must, so you are more likely to catch that and simply manually add more often as you abort the dive. It’s a natural conclusion to me that the Constant Flow Orifice, combined with manual injection actually strikes the best balance of simplicity and convenience.

    For me, insuring good habits and greater reliability comes before convenience of auto injection in the hierarchy of needs. Add a redundant po2 monitor to the robust build of a Copis and why would this not be the ultimate CCR for just about any kind of diving? Totally field serviceable, modular, incredibly reliable, fewer moving parts, less complex spare parts kit, true electronic redundancy… and they even offer a technician course for it. And you have your choice of computer type for deco and CNS to add, in line or stand alone, and you have a pretty bullet proof set up that you can take to the most remote places on earth with greater confidence that you won’t miss dives.

    But, still, mCCR’s are depth limited you say… or are they?

    It seems to me that the depth limitations of a constant flow orifice can be easily overcome by an additional, small bottle of off board o2 with a pressure compensating first stage for the short portion of a deep dive, below a depth where the IP of the CFO is exceeded and you already are carrying bail out on a pressure compensating first stage that can be used for dilluent.

    It seems that plumbing in a separate po2 deco computer has it’s advantages over having your handset be an all in one cambo. you have separate power sources, totally independent electronics, batterie compartments, displays, and if your preferences change you can buy a new constant po2 computer without buying a whole new rebreather:D (barrowing what I think is a valuable isolationist principle from the KISS). Again, I’ve gathered the only thing a Copis is missing is a truly independent second po2 display, which is a good idea at any depth, so we are planning on giving one of the three cells to a shearwater for in line deco and independent, mental voting logic.

    I just don’t see the need for putting all 3 cells on one monitor and adding a 4th for in line deco. 3 cells are really only needed for the voting logic of an eCCR set point controller. And I don’t like the idea of two po2 monitors sharing 02 cells, otherwise I’d parallel the shearwater and stock handset on all three cells. Instead, I’m barrowing the "two cell primary for po2 monitoring" concept from the Palagian design and adding the shearwater on the 3rd cell. If one of the cells goes south, I will abort the dive and ascend using the remaining two. If the remaining two start showing different readings then it’s time to bail out to OC and replace the offending cells back on the boat. And if either po2 monitor goes, i can hook up all three cells to the remaining monitor and continue diving on a trip with relative safety.

    After much deliberation, this is the direction my wife and I are going, not so much for deep diving yet, but I like knowing the Copis has that capacity and can even be upgraded to an eCCR if I find that that is necessary down the line.

    I’m ultimately pursuing what the best mix of simplicity and electronic convenience is, striving for the characteristics of mCCR diving that are resulting in the habits responsible for their zero fatalities and looking forward to ease of maintenance and added reliability for the relatively shallow, recreational diving we do. I’m looking to adjust my style and type of CCR diving to minimize, even eliminate fatal risk (within reason), skill and diligence notwithstanding, and to do our best to assure we can go to remote locations and deal with just about whatever problems might arise so we don’t miss any more dives. Being primarily a recreational diver, I’m also encouraged to find that mCCR’s may not only be the most affordable option, making them more available to the masses but they appear to be the safest and most reliable. I believe the development of this sector of the market is key to seeing rebreathers come within reach for the recreational diver who mostly just wants move beyond the bottom time restrictions of OC. Perhaps mCCR's are the wave of the future for the recreational market, and maybe even for the deeper divers as well.

    Give me your best affirmation, addition or argument against this thinking. I don’t want to leave any stone un turned as I further develop my knowledge base.
    Last edited by Gill Envy; 8th June 2007 at 02:06.

    Gill Envy

  2. #2
    So many CCR So little etc Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future?

    As someone who has recently switched from ECCR to MCCR i have to say MCCR is a pain.

    ECCR just works. The a red light flashes or a monitor shows an error and you have to do something. With my first unit i went many many dives before i had to worry about doing anything out of necessity on a dive.

    ECCR is not just a safety net, it's a way of diving CCR with nearly as little hassle as diving OC. Put loop in-breath-go dive. Similar to a twinset OC dive. MCCR you have to be constantly aware of whats going on. This really is a pain and it becomes apparent when task loaded with a camera or bagging up spidge, sorting line out etc etc.

    PP02's are all over the place so an integrated decompression computer is a nice comfort blanket on a big dive. It theoretically tells you what you need rather than you having to guess your average PP02.

    I am sure it gets easier and more instinctive but after about 20 hours on it so far I conclude its a pain.


    HOWEVER

    I think its safer because you have to be constantly in tune with your unit, i think it safer because you are more aware when it starts to act odd.

    In order for it to be safe it must have HUD. Because when you are task loaded you need something in your face telling you you need to pay attention to the unit. I would not like to be in a high task load situation with a MCCR with no HUD.


    ECCR is definitely a better way to dive but it breeds laziness and over confidence, despite the fact we all know electronics fail on a regular basis.
    MCCR has less to go wrong QED its a better unit for multi day diving and trips away. So the price you pay for improved safety and reduced down time is that your normal diving work load is increased.


    So IMHO MCCR is a pain but the pain is worth it.

    When someone brings out a faultless ECCR unit ill be back in the market place.

    ATB

    Mark Chase

  3. #3
    Steve C UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve is a splendid one to behold UKSteve's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future?

    Why don't you install a mCCR feed into your Evolutions, say via the manual O2 port and avoid having to sell and rebuy? That way you have the option of the best of both worlds... a constant flow orifice feeding your system and backed up either by you hitting the bypass or by the solenoid kicking in as a last resort.

    You get to keep the Temp Stick, built in Deco and HUD and put less load on the solenoid and batteries. You also have a very cheap conversion back to the real world (sorry ) should you decide that you have made a huge mistake!!

    Steve

  4. #4
    Banned MB is an unknown quantity at this point MB's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by UKSteve  View Original Post
    Why don't you install a mCCR feed into your Evolutions, say via the manual O2 port and avoid having to sell and rebuy?


    Because when you re-buy you'll get a better and more durable chassis with greater modular flexability and can cherry-pick the best displays and deco computers to suit your particular needs?

    I'm among those who abandoned eCCR's to dive mCCR's and I'll likely never go back. I disagree about the workload... overall work (including routine maintenance, cal, and setup) is less on a mCCR than any eCCR. Just my opinion.. worth what you paid for it.


    Dave
    Last edited by MB; 7th June 2007 at 21:20.

  5. #5
    Shearwater Copis Diver Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future?

    Steve, thanks for that. Your suggestion is the most hybridized version of eccr and mCCR i've heard of. It would be great if AP put out an expedition kit that would provide such an option in the event of breakdown in remote locations. Actually just being able to override the controller and run it manually would have been enough to save a lot of heart ache. All the mCCR is safer theory aside, the real deal breaker is weather or not you can safely continue to dive on a trip in the event of a system malfunction. I'll give that some more thought. Maybe something I'll do if I keep the Evo and have two reabreathers . My wife is going to kill me!

    g

    Quote Originally Posted by UKSteve  View Original Post
    Why don't you install a mCCR feed into your Evolutions, say via the manual O2 port and avoid having to sell and rebuy? That way you have the option of the best of both worlds... a constant flow orifice feeding your system and backed up either by you hitting the bypass or by the solenoid kicking in as a last resort.

    You get to keep the Temp Stick, built in Deco and HUD and put less load on the solenoid and batteries. You also have a very cheap conversion back to the real world (sorry ) should you decide that you have made a huge mistake!!

    Steve

    Gill Envy

  6. #6
    Shearwater Copis Diver Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future?

    thanks Mark, I always appreciate your candid posts... good food for thought! there's one way to find out, I'll be reporting back periodically as experience level builds.

    g

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Chase  View Original Post
    As someone who has recently switched from ECCR to MCCR i have to say MCCR is a pain.

    ECCR just works. The a red light flashes or a monitor shows an error and you have to do something. With my first unit i went many many dives before i had to worry about doing anything out of necessity on a dive.

    ECCR is not just a safety net, it's a way of diving CCR with nearly as little hassle as diving OC. Put loop in-breath-go dive. Similar to a twinset OC dive. MCCR you have to be constantly aware of whats going on. This really is a pain and it becomes apparent when task loaded with a camera or bagging up spidge, sorting line out etc etc.

    PP02's are all over the place so an integrated decompression computer is a nice comfort blanket on a big dive. It theoretically tells you what you need rather than you having to guess your average PP02.

    I am sure it gets easier and more instinctive but after about 20 hours on it so far I conclude its a pain.


    HOWEVER

    I think its safer because you have to be constantly in tune with your unit, i think it safer because you are more aware when it starts to act odd.

    In order for it to be safe it must have HUD. Because when you are task loaded you need something in your face telling you you need to pay attention to the unit. I would not like to be in a high task load situation with a MCCR with no HUD.


    ECCR is definitely a better way to dive but it breeds laziness and over confidence, despite the fact we all know electronics fail on a regular basis.
    MCCR has less to go wrong QED its a better unit for multi day diving and trips away. So the price you pay for improved safety and reduced down time is that your normal diving work load is increased.


    So IMHO MCCR is a pain but the pain is worth it.

    When someone brings out a faultless ECCR unit ill be back in the market place.

    ATB

    Mark Chase

    Gill Envy

  7. #7
    Shearwater Copis Diver Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future?

    And Dave, you are partly responsible for this radical departure of mine. thanks for taking the time in past posts to challenge my thining. oh, and I think the rEVO is great too!:D

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave ******  View Original Post
    Because when you re-buy you'll get a better and more durable chassis with greater modular flexability and can cherry-pick the best displays and deco computers to suit your particular needs?

    I'm among those who abandoned eCCR's to dive mCCR's and I'll likely never go back. I disagree about the workload... overall work (including routine maintenance, cal, and setup) is less on a mCCR than any eCCR. Just my opinion.. worth what you paid for it.


    Dave

    Gill Envy

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    Banned MB is an unknown quantity at this point MB's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gill Envy  View Original Post
    And Dave, you are partly responsible for this radical departure of mine. thanks for taking the time in past posts to challenge my thining. oh, and I think the rEVO is great too!:D

    Yup.

    It's not just the rEvo that's superior kit. The Copis Meg is a good one, and the KISS's are well proven. I'd take any of them over any YBOD no matter how modified. Heck, I'd prefer a modified Dolphin. I'd take the rEvo over any of the above though... lowest total workload rig (setup, maintenance, cal, and in-water use) I've ever had and utterly bulletproof mechanically. Simplicity inspires confidence.

    Mark Chase: I read carefully your reply. If your PP02's are all over the place, it's a matter of getting in tune with the rig. Maybe a little IP tweaking would make life good for you. My VR-3's PP02 recording graph shows almost "on setpoint" for all of the bottom time of my dives, and I only add 02 three or four times per dive. I think you'll get tuned in sooner than you think. And I agree 100% about the HUD. What's the new T-Shirt going to say? "Hammered my Hammerhead and went to the Grey-Side".. ?? :D



    Dave
    Last edited by MB; 7th June 2007 at 21:54.

  9. #9
    Shearwater Copis Diver Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy has a reputation beyond repute Gill Envy's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future?

    So Dave, the HUD display is a canundrum for me. The shearwater HUD requires the voting logic of all three scensors, so a fourth cell would be requiered to do that and still have total isolation on one cell. Any thoughts on how to get around that? ...besides buying an rEVO:D , i'm stuck on the real advantage of being just two hours from ISC.

    it seems that all third party HUD are stand alone po2 monitors, can anyone point me to one that can be added to an exhisting display?

    g


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave ******  View Original Post
    Yup.

    It's not just the rEvo that's superior kit. The Copis Meg is a good one, and the KISS's are well proven. I'd take any of them over any YBOD no matter how modified. Heck, I'd prefer a modified Dolphin. I'd take the rEvo over any of the above though... lowest total workload rig (setup, maintenance, cal, and in-water use) I've ever had and utterly bulletproof mechanically. Simplicity inspires confidence.

    Mark Chase: I read carefully your reply. If your PP02's are all over the place, it's a matter of getting in tune with the rig. Maybe a little IP tweaking would make life good for you. My VR-3's PP02 recording graph shows almost "on setpoint" for all of the bottom time of my dives, and I only add 02 three or four times per dive. I think you'll get tuned in sooner than you think. And I agree 100% about the HUD. What's the new T-Shirt going to say? "Hammered my Hammerhead and went to the Grey-Side".. ?? :D



    Dave

    Gill Envy

  10. #10
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    Re: Maybe eCCR's really aren't the wave of the future?

    Gill,

    I can see why you might want to split things - but I love the way Bruces HUD works - right in front of your eyes you can see when a cell starts lagging and you get a real early warning of potential failures as it starts being slow to respond compared to the other cells. With the HUD as well do you really need another monitoring device?

    1 - If the Handset fails you gonna bail anyway but will have the HUD there.
    2 - If the HUD fails youll have the handset and should bail.
    3 - If a cell fails you will see it on both of em...and should Bail...

    Plus you will only need one other external computer to have redundant deco information....

    As to the other bits I have to respectfully disagree with Dave here and agree with Mark - there is more work in setting up your mCCR than your eCCR and keeping it tuned (just checked the flow rate IP etc etc) Flying it I dont notice the difference as I always flew mine manually any way but if you didnt then the task loading is going to be way up for the first x hours.

    The COPIS is a great choice for you as you get the best WOB from any mCCR out there plus you got the flexibility of just plonking on a different head if you want to go eCCR for something really gnarly or because you jsut want to.

    I think the flexibility of having a COPIS head and a Shearwater eCCR head is gonna be great for me....It will be interesting to see how I feel in 6 months and which I use the most...

    Stuart

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