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Thread: Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

  1. #1
    Jeff Tindall icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac's Avatar
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    Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

    Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******


    January 6-8, 2010

    Choice of Rebreather
    I had been diving an eCCR for about a year and decided I wanted a unit that was more streamlined and preferably with Shearwater electronics. The rEvo really stood out and the more I read about it, the more I liked it. I really liked the idea of the hybrid system and the frame looked like it would allow me to stream line my gear by moving some gear onto the frame (primarily can light and suit gas).

    I ended up with a Standard rEvo II Hybrid with the Shearwater controller and a single rEvo dream and HUD. The unit is very well built and trims out great in the water (although a bit more negative than I expected). I chose the rEvo II over the rEvo III due to its slightly thinner form factor, the quick disconnect p-ports for the loop, and the fact that I have no use for the CE certification.

    Choice of Instructor
    I primarily cave dive, so my most important criteria was to find someone who could kick my butt. I wanted someone with the experience to teach me how to deal with as many failure scenarios on the unit as possible. I went to the rEvo website and was a bit surprised to see such a small number of instructors in the US. I had read a number of Dave’s posts before and felt he had a lot to offer. I also liked the idea of getting some different perspectives on gear configuration that what I was used to in North Florida. I felt that it was a great opportunity to get a lot of knowledge from a number of areas that I had little previous experience. I contacted Dave and we had a few phone calls about choosing the right rig and how he conducts his training. After a few more calls discussing different configurations and what type of diving I was doing, I had my rig picked out and we setup a timeframe for training.

    Training

    rEvo Teardown: On my first day, Dave met me at my hotel and we had a short breakfast. There was no time to waste, so we went over to Wakulla Dive Center and began the training. We started by going over the unit. Dave showed me how to break it down and what each part did and how it worked. Once we got the unit reassembled, we started working on getting it fitted and squared away for me. The two main modifications we made to the stock unit were the addition of a JJ-BOV and an Omniswivel offboard gas block.

    Couch Discussions: Some of the best training was not even around the unit or in the water. We spent some time the morning after configuring the unit just sitting on the couch talking about different scenarios, how the unit reacts, and what to do in those situations. Dave is a treasure chest of experience and it was very interesting listening to his stories and lessons to be learned from them. But after the stories, we would discuss a dive scenario and he would ask questions and want me to answer. It was a great exercise and he really made me think. Through all of this, I noticed some patterns and was also able to relate scenarios to how the internals of the unit would be acting. By helping me understand the unit at this level, it allows to me think through solving problems that I had not discussed or did not think of yet.

    Dives
    During the training, I was diving with my Hybrid rEvo II standard while Dave was diving with his Hybrid rEvo III standard. Both rigs are very well built and there are just a few things that differentiate the rigs. In the end, I chose the rEvo II because it was slightly thinner and CE certification added no value to me. I also preferred the quick disconnect ports for the loop over the threaded style on the rEvo III.
    Dive 1: Ginnie Springs Basin – In about 10 feet of water, I finally got to swim the rEvo for the first time and it felt great. The goal of this dive was just to get a feel for the unit and make sure our out of water fitting was comfortable. We did a few emergency drills and identified a couple of items that needed to be tweaked – such as a shorter hose for the offboard gas block.

    Dive 2: Ginnie Springs Basin – We went back down and stayed between 30 and 45 feet. We did some more drills while I was getting a feel for the new unit. Coming from a strictly eCCR unit, we focused on how the unit worked in a purely manual fashion and we monitored the PPO2 to ensure the orifice/IP were configured properly for me. We did a number of experiments to see how the unit worked in different failure modes so I could get a feel for just how much time I had and what the appropriate corrective action would be. The dive was very enjoyable and the time just flew by. This surprised me a bit because I was prepared to be bored stiff while trying to get some hours on the unit. I was very happy to be so active and involved.

    Dive 3: Ginnie Springs Basin – On the last dive in Ginnie Basin, we went back down and Dave started throwing me through the gauntlet. Failure, stabilize, diagnose, recover. We did a number of different permutations. By the end, we were doing out of DIL + O2 failed open and SCR via offboard gas. Finally, we simulated a complete failure that would require me to bailout at depth and manage to do a controlled ascent with the unit. I thought I was doing really well with the ascent – it was very controlled and I was only venting the loop a little bit at a time. I did raise the DSV too high a few times and did not close the loop soon enough so when we opened the unit, we found a bit more water than expected… and it burned! This was my first experience with caustic cocktail and I was glad to have it. I learned what it was like and know I don’t ever want to get it in my mouth. I also felt better after realizing how easy it was to clean it out of the unit.
    By the end of the first day of diving, I felt very comfortable with the unit. I still had a few things that I wanted to work on, but I had learned a lot and felt comfortable with a variety of failure scenarios.
    Dive 4: Orange Grove Basin – On the first dive in Orange Grove, I took Dave on a tour of the basin and pointed out the main cave entrance, the keyhole to get down to Lower Lower Orange Grove, and the massive cavern. Then we went through more drills and some what if scenarios.

    Dive 5: Orange Grove Basin – On the second dive, it was my turn to lead. I went through the pre-dive checks and devised a dive plan. We spent a lot of the time changing depths and managing the unit, wing, and dry suit. This was a very enjoyable dive. We spent the better part of an hour just looking through all the breakdown and finding all sorts of old fossils of reefs and shellfish. It was a great dive!
    By the end of the second day, I felt comfortable going out on my own to gain some more experience. Dave ****** is a wealth of knowledge and I was fortunate to have him as an instructor. He definitely gave me the knowledge to start my journey with the rEvo.

    Lodging

    We started out at Greg Stanton’s shop in Wakulla. He was a great host and allowed us to use his shop to completely breakdown the unit and reassemble it to my needs. He had some great discussion points to add and I had a great time. Given the recent temperature drop, we decided to change our plans and head east since the water was clear and warmer.

    After we left the Wakulla area, we headed East and stayed at Randy Thorton’s Cave County Lodge (http://www.cavecountrylodge.com/). I remembered reading about the place on Cave Diver Forum and decided to call in to see if it was available. This was at 7:30PM and it just so happened that the place was available for the weekend. Wayne at Amigos was kind enough to drive us to the house since it was already dark. The place was AMAZING. It is like staying at the Ritz. The house was nice and warm, spacious, and clean. There is a garage and screened in porch to stow your gear and there are already rack to hang your stuff. The people are great (THANKS Randy and Wayne), the price is right, and it is only minutes from Ginnie. I will definitely be staying here again.

    Overall Impression
    I was happy with my training. I wanted someone to put me through the paces and I feel like I know the rig better for having done so. I am hoping to get to dive again with Dave one day soon – either on his boat or in the Florida caves.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

    Quote Originally Posted by icestac  View Original Post
    During the training, I was diving with my Hybrid rEvo II standard while Dave was diving with his Hybrid rEvo III standard.
    Looking at the photo, Dave's unit looks shorter. Are you sure his is a standard and not a mini?

    Congrats on your crossover. Nice job to you and Dave.

  3. #3
    So Cal Tech Diver aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie has a reputation beyond repute aainslie's Avatar
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    Re: Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

    Wait a minute... You did your corssover... in CAVERNS? And you thought THAT was "getting your butt kicked"?

    Why not just use a freaking swimming pool? Or even better, a hot tub?
    Last edited by aainslie; 12th January 2010 at 15:33.
    Andrew Ainslie

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    Re: Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

    If you edited your own post, Andrew, then thanks. You can't bitch about the personal attack ethos and then join the fray. Posts need to be on topic, right?

    If the post was removed by a mod (new or old), then the thanks go to you.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

    well done,

  6. #6
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    Re: Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

    Quote Originally Posted by aainslie  View Original Post
    Wait a minute... You did your corssover... in CAVERNS? And you thought THAT was "getting your butt kicked"?

    Why not just use a freaking swimming pool? Or even better, a hot tub?
    I would normally never reply to this, but Andrew, does it really make you feel that good, to jump in whenever the name ****** is mentioned in a post?

    as for 'icestac'

    congrats on the good choices!

    paul
    www.rEvo-rebreathers.com
    ...."Yes you have to pre-breathe to activate the scrubber sorb, anyone who says different doesn't know what they are talking about!"...
    .... to get more accurate CO2 injection in the breathing machine we put 2 mass flow controllers in series ...
    .... The noise is a few tens of nano-volts, so DL were able to reduce the output voltage ...
    .... radial scrubbers give longer dwell time than axials...
    .... the earth is flat and ...

  7. #7
    Jeff Tindall icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac's Avatar
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    Re: Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

    Quote Originally Posted by kwinter  View Original Post
    Looking at the photo, Dave's unit looks shorter. Are you sure his is a standard and not a mini?
    His is a rEvo III and mine is a rEvo II. Both are hybrid and both are the standard frame.
    Last edited by icestac; 12th January 2010 at 17:17.

  8. #8
    Jeff Tindall icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac is just really nice icestac's Avatar
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    Re: Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

    Quote Originally Posted by aainslie  View Original Post
    Wait a minute... You did your crossover... in CAVERNS? And you thought THAT was "getting your butt kicked"?
    As for the cross over part, my main concern was getting my butt kicked on the unit -- not in the cave. I have had excellent cave instruction to date and feel comfortable planning and executing dives in that environment.

    After the course wrapped up on Friday, I did do some cave diving in Devil's as I put more time on the unit. I do not feel that I would have been as comfortable taking the unit into the cave at this point without the paces that Dave put me through.

    I want to be prepared in the worst of circumstances, so I am all for learning from everyone's experiences and trying them out in the water too. If we're ever down in Florida at the same time, I'd love a butt kicking from you too!

    Quote Originally Posted by aainslie
    Why not just use a freaking swimming pool? Or even better, a hot tub?
    We had originally planned to use Greg Stanton's swimming pool as we were tweaking the rig on the first day, but it was just too darn cold.

    Cheers!
    Jeff

  9. #9
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    Re: Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

    Quote Originally Posted by icestac  View Original Post
    After we left the Wakulla area, we headed East and stayed at Randy Thorton’s Cave County Lodge ([/SIZE][/FONT]http://www.cavecountrylodge.com/). I remembered reading about the place on Cave Diver Forum and decided to call in to see if it was available. This was at 7:30PM and it just so happened that the place was available for the weekend. Wayne at Amigos was kind enough to drive us to the house since it was already dark. The place was AMAZING. It is like staying at the Ritz. The house was nice and warm, spacious, and clean. There is a garage and screened in porch to stow your gear and there are already rack to hang your stuff. The people are great (THANKS Randy and Wayne), the price is right, and it is only minutes from Ginnie. I will definitely be staying here again.
    Hey Jeff,

    Glad you liked my place. Thanks for your kind words. Congrats on your new rig and certification. I hope you get many hours of safe diving out of it!

    Regards,
    Randy

  10. #10
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    Re: Hybrid rEvo II Crossover with Dave ******

    Quote Originally Posted by icestac  View Original Post
    His is a rEvo III and mine is a rEvo II. Both are hybrid and both are the standard frame.
    for those who don't believe, the weight pocket on top of Daves unit hides the rest of the chassis
    rEvo III does have a smaller cover then the II standard, but the chassis is +/- the same hight

    (I also had to look twice first, to see it!)

    paul
    www.rEvo-rebreathers.com
    ...."Yes you have to pre-breathe to activate the scrubber sorb, anyone who says different doesn't know what they are talking about!"...
    .... to get more accurate CO2 injection in the breathing machine we put 2 mass flow controllers in series ...
    .... The noise is a few tens of nano-volts, so DL were able to reduce the output voltage ...
    .... radial scrubbers give longer dwell time than axials...
    .... the earth is flat and ...

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