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Thread: Rebreather Reccomendations

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    New Member Rob Johnson is an unknown quantity at this point Rob Johnson's Avatar
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    Rebreather Reccomendations

    I've been thinking about getting a rebreather for a while and have been looking around reasearching different models. Right now all that I want is a SCR that will prolong my po bottom times while doing rec diving and reduce the ammount of tanks needing to be hauled for a longer day of diving (one of our main dive spots is on a fairly steep downhill slope that is pure torture to come back up with . Eventually I would like to get into tech diving eventually and when I did I would like to use a CCR as this is what my instructor uses and recomends. I am thinking that a Drager Dolphin would serve my needs fairly well as it seems relatively easy to convert it to closed circuit when I am ready. My instructor uses a converted dolphin as well so I could get some help converting it and he is knoledgeable about it. Would this be the best way to do it or should I buy a SCR and then a CCR when I am ready to go further? What rebreather would you reccomend if you think I should do the latter?

    Thanks for your time, Rob

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    Johnny The Hatch Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad's Avatar
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    CCR2000, Megalodon, Homebuilt

    Norge, FGT, mk15, KISS, Inspo

    Hi Rob,
    Well first of all when you look at SCR's you have two different kind of them that you need to choose from, passive and active. Where the dolphin is an active version, basically this means that the rebreather will constantly add a preset amount of oxygen for you. I find this a drawback for many reasons. The second choise you have is a passive SCR, this is like the RB80, the idea behind this is genious, but the cost of such a machine is rediculous. Basically a passive SCR is adding oxygen to compensate for you consumption of Oxygen instead of adding a constant flow. This give you a much more gas economy and not to mention safetyu factors.
    The active rebreathers can further be devided into two groups, the first group is the one that the constant flow of oxygen is set before the dive, just like the dolphin, this for me is not a very efficient way to dive nor is it safe (by my standards). The other group is the ones that you can actually change the flow during the dive, this is like the azimuth and this is the rebreather i would recommend to you in case you are interested to own a SCR.
    Furthermore there are some passive SCR's that are cheap, but i am not familliar with the quality of them, there is the EDO04 and the EDO05 (There is an EDO owner here on the board that might give you some info on these machines, i wouold love to have a look at them myself), there is another one called DeepAccess and if you have a look at therebreathersite you will find another RB80 clone that is being developed right now which will be at a good price.
    If you look into CCR's then there are many options to go over, it basically depends on your ability to print $$$ hehe, as i do not have a good color laser printer i was not able to make enough money to buy a fancy CCR, i settled with the classic KISS. And it works great for me and i am very happy with it. But there are many units out there that are worth mentioning and that i would love to drewl upon. The Prism, my first choise for a very long time, the meg, my dream machine, inspiration/evolution, the optima, ouroboros, cis lunar etc etc

    hope this has helped you abit on your way, try to read as much as possible about different rb's and i recommend reading Mastering rebreathers by Jeff Bozanic before you buy any unit. And Remember allways know you ppO2...

    kind regards
    Jonny

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    RBW Member decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie's Avatar
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    Don't know if you are awared or not, but just want to mention that the gas added in SCR units described above by Jonny is not pure O2 (i.e. "oxygen" was written).

    In the RB-80 case, it ranges from trimix to nitrox depending on depth. And in the Dolphin case, it is nitrox even though people have used trimix as well.

    Lastly, eventhough the KISS was not Jonny's first choice of unit and sounds like was bought only due to economic constraint, it has been mine for the last 3-4 years even though I had other more expensive units laying in the dive room (i.e. MK-15, XCR, BMR-500, etc).

    I personally know a lot more people also chose the KISS due to its simplicity instead of the low(er) retail price. I often refer to the KISS as the "Hogarthian CCR"!

    IMHO, SCR is a dying technology that will fade away except for specific applications and group of divers. With the advance of sensor and electronic technology, the prices of CCR has been lowered in the last few years from over US$10K to a range of US$4-10K depending on models. And more CCR models are still coming...

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    RBW Member decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie's Avatar
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    Also, I would think the total cost of buying and converting a Dolphin to CCR would be very close to the cost of the Sport-KISS, for example.

    I might have lost tracked of the selling cost of the Dolphin but I had one 6 years ago, and converted into CCR using parts available in Germany. This was before the introduction of the KISS valve which prompted some Dolphins owners to convert their units since it was so easy then.

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    Johnny The Hatch Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad is just really nice Johnny Bekkestad's Avatar
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    CCR2000, Megalodon, Homebuilt

    Norge, FGT, mk15, KISS, Inspo

    Hey Phi, i really made a mistake there when i said adding oxygen, ofcourse i ment adding oxygen in a preset bottle of trimix or nitrox.
    The reasons i biught the classic kiss is:
    1. I wanted a manual rebreather
    2. If someday i want an ECCR i will buy the hammerhead, so why pay of an ECCR now and then remove it later, like i would with an inspiration.
    3. Size, i love the small size of the KISS, especially the way it will look when i am done with it...
    4. Money... I had no more money
    5. Customer service, i have been talking to Kim and Gordon and i met them when i went to Vancouver and it was a very good reason for me buying their unit. Overall i think the KISS is a great CCR to the cost of an SCR. Anew Dolphin or an Azimuth are not much cheaper than the KISS is.

    kind regards
    Jonny

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    RBW Member Crazyduck is a jewel in the rough Crazyduck is a jewel in the rough Crazyduck is a jewel in the rough Crazyduck is a jewel in the rough Crazyduck is a jewel in the rough Crazyduck is a jewel in the rough Crazyduck is a jewel in the rough Crazyduck is a jewel in the rough Crazyduck's Avatar
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    Dolphin

    Realties of Conversations-

    Right now I am in a similar boat as yourself for limited expenditures and wanting to get the most for your money. I am not going to comment on your instructor’s comments because they are important to you and you need to keep them separate from a rogue element such as myself. These are my comments and should be kept by themselves.

    Cost of an SCR and Goodies
    Currently, I am seeing Dolphins selling for $3500 new. That is the basic model and nothing like sensors add on- just the rebreather. I have seen used Dolphins selling for $1500.00 to $2500.00 used depending on condition and add on such as the Oxy gauge or Uwatec computer addition. By the way the computer addition is something like $700.00 for the unit and the computer is sold separately- ouch. So saying you buy a unit used watch out and make sure you are buying a used Dolphin and not an old Atlantis unit. Then you will probably will want some kind of Backplate/ or BC upgrade. Guess what mo… money.

    Converting to an CCR

    Then if you want to convert it to a CCR you are going to need a Kiss Valve- $250.00 estimated cost. Plus three sensors $90.00 each, a Drager p-connector and then something to mount all the sensors in. On top of that you have to cut a hole in your counterlung- shudder (I have a hard time with this.) PLus, you need something to read the three sensors. I bet you could drop $750.00 in the blink of an eye.




    Computers

    Then we get into computers, if you want an integrated computer estimated cost $1500.00. Also keeping in mind the Uwatec unit will not work on a CCR unit. So that leave you with something like a VR2/VR3 or an HS Scientific; if you want to go experimental then call Kevin and get a modified Hammerhead handset and still I be the cost is about $1500.00. Wow, the money we spend.

    Used CCR Units-

    So were does that get you? Really

    For me possibly a used Classic Kiss rebreather or something in the 3k to 5k ballpark. Kiss Classic units new are something like $5500.00 and I have been seeing them sell for about three quarters of there cost new. That’s if you see it for sale longer than 24hours. Poof- they are flying off the shelf right now. This price does not even start to cover special options; those can really rack up. Also you have to watch out for shipping costs if it is outside of the US. Especially if it is shipping from the other side of the world.

    Exchange Rate

    While on that topic the exchange rate right now is about two to one for the British Sterling Pound against the US Dollar that is not good for British products. At $6500.00 Pounds Sterling you are looking at approximately $12,500.00 Dollars YIKES.

    Problems with SCR-

    There are some specific issues with the SCR units. If you are just sitting there your system is still adding gas at a specific rate (constant flow) and soon your system will start to burp- not good. If swimming in a heavy current guess what you will use more O2 than what is available in the loop. Not good. Plus, you still need the O2 sensors I can’t imagine diving the unit without them. Also please keep in mind the flow units are specific to certain depths, gasses, and MOD times and that can be very limiting to your ability to camp out at the deeper depths. This can be resolved by using different EAN gasses in the flow jets but you better be sure of your math and what you are doing; I am not trying to be negative but this is not covered in SCR-101 if you know what I am saying.


    Good luck with your decision and as someone told me- start saving your pennies. Hey, let us know what you decided; its always interesting.

    Best Regards, Andrew

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    not RBW staff. EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT has a reputation beyond repute EBT's Avatar
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    Forget a computer, theres many of us happily diving on tables. A far cheaper option.

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    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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    Quote Originally Posted by wreckweasel
    Forget a computer, theres many of us happily diving on tables. A far cheaper option.
    While I generally agree with you, using a cell integrated computer with an active addition SCR like the Dolphin, Ray and Azimuth is actually helpfull and I wouldn't want to do witout it.

    An O2 monitor does give you the pO2 reading, but the computer will use it for both alarms and deco calculation. The O2 content can vary by several % from the mix in the tank, so you simply get more out of your SCR with a higher safety margin when you use one. Since they're the least efficient of rebreathers which makes it worth the investment, I agree with Andrew in that regard.

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    RBW Member decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazyduck
    ...Currently, I am seeing Dolphins selling for $3500 new...
    If anyone is considering to pay US$3,500 for a Dolphin, talk to me as I could put you on a CCR for around that price...

  10. #10
    RBW Member decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wreckweasel
    Forget a computer, theres many of us happily diving on tables. A far cheaper option.
    Tables are only good when you know the exact profile of the dives - and people will argue that "plan your dive, dive your plan" which is fair but the recent trip to Sharm changed my mind a little. Here goes...

    Week in and week out, we dive the deep wrecks off both coast of UAE ranging from 70 to 110m. It get to the point that I memorize the typical deco profile of each wreck, and don't even bother to pull the Wet-Note out.

    However, when I was in Sharm diving with some friends to test the Sport-KISS, we were planning a max depth and max bottom time (i.e. squarish profile) for bail-out gas, etc. but we don't actually follow the plan exactly based on what is interesting along the bottom/wall. Of course, we don't exceed the max depth or max bottom time, but we do shift the profile somewhat in the intermediate range. The guys I dove with have VR-3 so I simply follow their deco profiles - while referencing my own tables and make on-the-fly adjustments for comparison.

    In those situations, simply following the tables for max depth and max bottom time will end up with a lot more deco than necessary as I have compared on those dives. The actual difference will (of course) depend on the depth and how the bottom profile was shifted.

    Just food for thoughts...

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