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Thread: new SK-alum or steel case??

  1. #1
    RBW Member tomhanaway is on a distinguished road tomhanaway is on a distinguished road tomhanaway's Avatar
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    new SK-alum or steel case??

    Just ordered two sk's for self and wife. We primarily dive in ocean locally. Will be doing some travel to Mexico for caves. Both of us are OC trimix and cave but anticipate a 100+dive recreational use to get familiar with rebreathers. Generally dive w/ 5mil wetsuit or dry in winter (in South Florida-77F is getting cold :o ).

    What are benefits/downsides to steel vs. aluminum?
    Obviously weight, presumably steel is more durable and aluminum will probably be more affected if sodasorb is spilled on it.

    Thanks in advance,
    Tom Hanaway
    Boynton Beach, FL

    To keep separate threads, I'll post a second one related to 13-19 cu. ft tanks.

  2. #2
    Administrator ROB DAVIE has a spectacular aura about ROB DAVIE has a spectacular aura about ROB DAVIE has a spectacular aura about ROB DAVIE has a spectacular aura about ROB DAVIE has a spectacular aura about ROB DAVIE has a spectacular aura about ROB DAVIE's Avatar
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    Interestingly enough, Decoweenie did a test recently in which he put sodasorb directly on aluminum, wet it, and left it for quite some time. It did absolutely nothing, according to his report. I know that surprised the Hell out of me, since I had always thought otherwise!

    If you travel a lot, I'd go for the lighter weight myself.

    Cheers!

    Rob

  3. #3
    Stefan Besier caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7's Avatar
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    PRISM Topaz & Sport KISS

    (still owned) MK15

    Shouldn't be much of a problem, I remember a post from a Meg diver who left his absorbant in the anodized alu cannister for several days after diving and only had some discoloration. and from what I gather that could be refinished. It's not an instant and quick reaction. You'll likely fill the scrubber outside the unit as you don't want dust in bags, and will likely take it out to dump it as it's easier that way. So I wouldn't be concerned about it.

  4. #4
    Scuba Imports Australia Chris is a name known to all Chris is a name known to all Chris is a name known to all Chris is a name known to all Chris is a name known to all Chris is a name known to all Chris is a name known to all Chris is a name known to all Chris is a name known to all Chris is a name known to all Chris is a name known to all Chris's Avatar
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    rEVO III rMS

    Inspo, Kiss, Prism, Meg, Pos

    Having had the opportunity to dive both Ally and Steel SK's, unless you are planning heaps of air travel, I would go the Steel over the Ally case.

    With identical set-ups I found the Ally case dived like a real PITA, I needed to cable tie 6 pounds as high as I could on the backplate to trim it out, otherwise I just could not get my head down and Horizontal with the Ally case.

    The Steel case sat better due to the extra weight while the Ally seemed to almost float up, I found it an un-comfy feeling.

    The Steel case just all round felt more comfortable especially in trim.

    Anyway just my thoughts after diving them

    Cheers
    Chris

  5. #5
    No bubbles photo anny is an unknown quantity at this point anny's Avatar
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    Hi I would definitely go for the steel one.

    I dive steel and a friend dives alu. The alu ones get scratched all the time when put flat on the ground and the nice black anodizing does not look that good after a while.

    Also if you would like to add heavier bottles or do some other mods in the future, the steel one will be more sturdy.

    We always dive the unit wih drysuit (so far, in Sweden) and then you want the extra weight.

    Rather a heavier machine an less weights than carrying weights.

    My thougths

  6. #6
    Sporty, Spritely KISSer nl_carey is an unknown quantity at this point nl_carey's Avatar
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    Definitely another vote for the steel. The trim and corrosion characteristics definitely sway towards the steel, and I like using 3L faber steel tanks on mine to protect the pods (I'll make up a shield sometime).
    The only problem I see is when diving a 3mm wetsuit in this configuration (potentially steel BP, steel case and steel tanks) you might be overweighted, but you could always just use a transpac or plastic/travel BP and it would be fine.

  7. #7
    RBW Member Andy T is just really nice Andy T is just really nice Andy T is just really nice Andy T is just really nice Andy T is just really nice Andy T is just really nice Andy T is just really nice Andy T is just really nice Andy T is just really nice Andy T is just really nice Andy T's Avatar
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    Mk 15

    Classic KISS

    I opted for a steel case and would not want to change for an ali one. The water is very warm here (35 degrees centigrade), so no need for a wet suit. I use a plastic backplate and 13 cf ali cyclinders - the weight is good and I can dive comfortably without a weightbelt. When winter comes and it is time to dust of the dry suit I will replace the plastic plate with a stainless steel one.
    One thing to watch out for if you do go for the steel case. Initally both my buddy and I had probelms with the oxygen cylinders oxidising. The steel braided hose runs against the case and turns the whole unit into a giant battery with the oxygen tank acting as a sacrifical anode. Wrapping the hose in a length of rubber inner tube proved to be a cheap and simple solution.

  8. #8
    RBW Member Chris Gregory is an unknown quantity at this point Chris Gregory's Avatar
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    Hi Tom,

    The SS will definitely trim out better but if you do go that route you will more than likely be needing two sets of bottles, ali for the 5 mil wetsuit and steel for drysuit, I personally prefer lp steels for two reasons 1st if you can't get the proper fills-3000 in the ali you will have to keep a close eye on your O2 consumption which in most cases shouldn't be an issue but if you're planning on getting two dives out of a fill you will be cutting it dangerously close, secondly the rig does trim out very nicely with the steels.

  9. #9
    DeepSeaCowboy deepseacowboy is an unknown quantity at this point deepseacowboy's Avatar
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    I dive the Steel case with both AL 13s and AL 19s and don't have a problem with bouyancy. I am wearing a DUI TLS suit and with the 13s I put 4 lbs of shot between the backplate and the case and am fine. With the 19s I don't even need weight.

  10. #10
    New Member WBA is an unknown quantity at this point WBA's Avatar
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    Exactly the same for me and I don't even use a SS plate.

    Quote Originally Posted by deepseacowboy
    I dive the Steel case with both AL 13s and AL 19s and don't have a problem with bouyancy. I am wearing a DUI TLS suit and with the 13s I put 4 lbs of shot between the backplate and the case and am fine. With the 19s I don't even need weight.

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