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Thread: Afterthoughts after a test dive...

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    RBW Member uwxplorer is on a distinguished road uwxplorer is on a distinguished road uwxplorer's Avatar
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    Afterthoughts after a test dive...

    I have been investigating and trying CCR diving for a while now and I thought I had it nailed down to the Titan. Multiple pool demos (thanks to the indefatigable Elaine) had made me a big fan of its simplicity (at least from a user points of view), light weight, back-mounted counter lungs. And it did not hurt that Jeff Bozanic, who had been very patient with my cautious approach, was a big proponent of it...
    Still, I thought that an ocean dive would not be a bad idea, considering that everybody here concurred in saying that things start becoming interesting below 20 ft. What would it be to dive with a drysuit? Would it indeed be more enjoyable than OC during the long period preceding MOD1 during which I would have to get used to the unit?
    I remembered that Elaine had once told me that she was organizing test d(r)ives in the ocean and after confirming with her, I decided to go for it. Part of the rental cost goes towards the purchase and even the bottom time could conceivably go towards the minimum flying time on the unit before future training for MOD1.
    So did we and we boarded the Peace boat on April 1st, for 4 dives around Anacapa. Elaine was diving OC (my rig, as a matter of fact), for lack of a unit (rental units hadn't been returned on time for the demo) and I dove hers. After some briefing (I had already attended quite a few) and prebreathing, I jump in the water with a 80 cft bailout cylinder and... impossible to descend! Wow, I had already 20+ pounds of weight, which is a bit less than what I usually take, but eventually I had to load 30 lbs of weight and still needed to dive down head first and pull the anchor line during the first few feet. That was a first shock...
    We went down to around 40 ft and swam around, without any problems. Of course, my buoyancy sucked and I bounced up and down as I struggled with my BC. Swell close the shore at around 20 ft is actually hell. Other than this, I enjoyed being able to approach fish without spooking them and lobster...well those were apparently terrified by this bubbleless monster and one of them just ran away from his perfectly safe hideout and was instantly torn apart by a few sheepheads sneaking on me... Never seen a reaction like that before.
    Anyhow, the rest of the dives were pretty uneventful, except that I really did not like to be loaded like a mule and still struggle to go down and not pop-up at the end of the dive...
    At the beginning of the last dive, I head down again and at around 6 ft, suddenly can't catch a breath. I tried to inspire harder to trigger the ADV, once, twice, fumble trying to reach out for the manual addition valve, of course I can't figure out which button to press and in any case I can't press it, running out of time, do not panic, think, OK, bailout. I grab the regulator on the bailout cylinder, close my mouthpiece, put the reg in my mouth, purge, breath...AIR!!! After a few seconds of stabilization, I signal Elaine that everything is OK, but I'd like to talk and understand what happened, so we head back to the surface (really close) and conclude after a while that the unit is fine, so I must have done something wrong. All right, so let's go down again, this time very carefully.
    The rest of the dive went fine and we headed back to Ventura Harbor safe and as for myself, a bit shaken in my conviction that the next step was the big order.
    I sat a few months on this story, trying to figure out what went wrong. Eventually, talking with Jeff, it appeared likely that this was a case of rapid descent in a head down position, which is very bad for WOB, especially for BMCL CCRs. That cleared things up and left me with the question: Titan or not Titan?

    Let me back track a little... I had been at the Tec Xplor day 2011 in SoCal (couldn't make it this year) and had tried 4 units: rEvo, Titan, Discovery and Evolution. I kind of hated the OSCL CCRs (Poseidon and Evolution), although I later tried the Poseidon once more and with a little unit adjustment managed to dive it all right. It just seemed much more of a pain to handle, especially with a drysuit and my video rig, I did not look with too much excitement to have to deal with a paddle, lots of tubing and cabling, etc...
    On the other hand, I loved the BMCL CCRs (rEvo and Titan), although I felt that the rEvo was way more heavy than the Titan - remember this was a pool demo, so I was wearing a 3 mm wetsuit. I also kind of struggled with the concept of manual O2 addition in the back and at the bottom of the unit (although we did not really have to add much during a 5 min dive). So basically, I early on sort of move the rEvo aside and focused my later attention on the Titan.
    With the experience of these ocean dives in which I had to put 30+ pounds to go under, this puts that criticism in perspective. Now the rEvo looks much more attractive (well, not for travel, it doesn't) and the bonus is that it seems to have quite a few followers among the hard core deep divers of SoCal, whereas I am not quite clear who the local Titan divers
    are and what they do.
    So basically, I am sort of back to the drawing board. I would not discount the Titan, but one of its attractive points went away...

    Any comments would be appreciated.

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    Re: Afterthoughts after a test dive...

    Quote Originally Posted by uwxplorer  View Original Post
    Any comments would be appreciated.
    Most of the weighting issues (and excess weight) will go away as you gain experience and comfort with rebreathers.

    To me it sounds like you could have benefitted from more pool experience and muscle memory training before tackling an ocean dive, as many of the issues you described can usually be attributed to unit unfamiliarity. While I know it could be a significant investment, it might be a good idea to take a full RB class before making a final judgement, as much of the proper operation, and ease use on any rebreather depends to a very large degree on operator familiarity and time on the unit.
    Enjoy the hunt, you are in good hands with Elaine and Jeff.
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  3. #3
    RBW Member mr.wolf is an unknown quantity at this point mr.wolf's Avatar
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    Re: Afterthoughts after a test dive...

    First off just want to say I dive a Titan here in SoCal and was trained by Jeff (great guy by the way).

    Yes most of the issues regarding weighting will be gone after you get some time on the unit, the first 30hrs or so will be just to get use to how the unit works.

    Believe it or not but even thought you were having problems getting down I bet you were still over weight. Once you get some time on it and learn how to play with things like loop volume as well as a loop flush on the way up it becomes a joy to dive.

    Let us know what unit you end up going with.

  4. #4
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    Re: Afterthoughts after a test dive...

    The rEvo is not difficult to travel with as long as it is not the "standard" model, which is too large for the overhead compartment. It works fine as a carry on and many divers have been doing it for years now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dsix36  View Original Post
    The rEvo is not difficult to travel with as long as it is not the "standard" model, which is too large for the overhead compartment. It works fine as a carry on and many divers have been doing it for years now.
    No problems with the standard neither , I just bought a carbon samsonite suitcase and it take's it perfect, I do have to pay another 30€ a flight but I don't think that will make the difference


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  6. #6
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    Re: Afterthoughts after a test dive...

    Quote Originally Posted by uwxplorer  View Original Post
    I have been investigating and trying CCR diving for a while now and I thought I had it nailed down to the Titan. Multiple pool demos (thanks to the indefatigable Elaine) had made me a big fan of its simplicity (at least from a user points of view), light weight, back-mounted counter lungs. And it did not hurt that Jeff Bozanic, who had been very patient with my cautious approach, was a big proponent of it...
    Still, I thought that an ocean dive would not be a bad idea, considering that everybody here concurred in saying that things start becoming interesting below 20 ft. What would it be to dive with a drysuit? Would it indeed be more enjoyable than OC during the long period preceding MOD1 during which I would have to get used to the unit?
    I remembered that Elaine had once told me that she was organizing test d(r)ives in the ocean and after confirming with her, I decided to go for it. Part of the rental cost goes towards the purchase and even the bottom time could conceivably go towards the minimum flying time on the unit before future training for MOD1.
    So did we and we boarded the Peace boat on April 1st, for 4 dives around Anacapa. Elaine was diving OC (my rig, as a matter of fact), for lack of a unit (rental units hadn't been returned on time for the demo) and I dove hers. After some briefing (I had already attended quite a few) and prebreathing, I jump in the water with a 80 cft bailout cylinder and... impossible to descend! Wow, I had already 20+ pounds of weight, which is a bit less than what I usually take, but eventually I had to load 30 lbs of weight and still needed to dive down head first and pull the anchor line during the first few feet. That was a first shock...
    We went down to around 40 ft and swam around, without any problems. Of course, my buoyancy sucked and I bounced up and down as I struggled with my BC. Swell close the shore at around 20 ft is actually hell. Other than this, I enjoyed being able to approach fish without spooking them and lobster...well those were apparently terrified by this bubbleless monster and one of them just ran away from his perfectly safe hideout and was instantly torn apart by a few sheepheads sneaking on me... Never seen a reaction like that before.
    Anyhow, the rest of the dives were pretty uneventful, except that I really did not like to be loaded like a mule and still struggle to go down and not pop-up at the end of the dive...
    At the beginning of the last dive, I head down again and at around 6 ft, suddenly can't catch a breath. I tried to inspire harder to trigger the ADV, once, twice, fumble trying to reach out for the manual addition valve, of course I can't figure out which button to press and in any case I can't press it, running out of time, do not panic, think, OK, bailout. I grab the regulator on the bailout cylinder, close my mouthpiece, put the reg in my mouth, purge, breath...AIR!!! After a few seconds of stabilization, I signal Elaine that everything is OK, but I'd like to talk and understand what happened, so we head back to the surface (really close) and conclude after a while that the unit is fine, so I must have done something wrong. All right, so let's go down again, this time very carefully.
    The rest of the dive went fine and we headed back to Ventura Harbor safe and as for myself, a bit shaken in my conviction that the next step was the big order.
    I sat a few months on this story, trying to figure out what went wrong. Eventually, talking with Jeff, it appeared likely that this was a case of rapid descent in a head down position, which is very bad for WOB, especially for BMCL CCRs. That cleared things up and left me with the question: Titan or not Titan?

    Let me back track a little... I had been at the Tec Xplor day 2011 in SoCal (couldn't make it this year) and had tried 4 units: rEvo, Titan, Discovery and Evolution. I kind of hated the OSCL CCRs (Poseidon and Evolution), although I later tried the Poseidon once more and with a little unit adjustment managed to dive it all right. It just seemed much more of a pain to handle, especially with a drysuit and my video rig, I did not look with too much excitement to have to deal with a paddle, lots of tubing and cabling, etc...
    On the other hand, I loved the BMCL CCRs (rEvo and Titan), although I felt that the rEvo was way more heavy than the Titan - remember this was a pool demo, so I was wearing a 3 mm wetsuit. I also kind of struggled with the concept of manual O2 addition in the back and at the bottom of the unit (although we did not really have to add much during a 5 min dive). So basically, I early on sort of move the rEvo aside and focused my later attention on the Titan.
    With the experience of these ocean dives in which I had to put 30+ pounds to go under, this puts that criticism in perspective. Now the rEvo looks much more attractive (well, not for travel, it doesn't) and the bonus is that it seems to have quite a few followers among the hard core deep divers of SoCal, whereas I am not quite clear who the local Titan divers
    are and what they do.
    So basically, I am sort of back to the drawing board. I would not discount the Titan, but one of its attractive points went away...

    Any comments would be appreciated.
    as with most units on try dives my buoyancy sucked,but after they MOD 1 user i had that all under control,i went for the rEvo lll mini rms for many reasons,simplicity,RMS,redundancy,streamlined,twin scrubbers and easy to travel with.it ticked my boxes,good luck mate

  7. #7
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    I just traveled from Europe to Asia with my micro FT as carry on... Be prepared to be asked a LOT of questions but 99% out of curiosity and people will then start oh I just started diving myself on the Maldives it's so nice... Blabla... But had zero issues.
    They were so curious about the ccr as such so they had no time to question the size which would have been fine anyway nor weight which might have because of the 14kg revo and I already had a briefcase with me with about 8kg as I was on a business trip...

    But I can't remember when my carry on was weighted for the last time...

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  8. #8
    RBW Member uwxplorer is on a distinguished road uwxplorer is on a distinguished road uwxplorer's Avatar
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    Re: Afterthoughts after a test dive...

    I finally decided to go for a rEvo. Two main reasons for that:
    - there is much more feedback (positive, which is good) on this unit, especially from the tec community (SoCal in particular, where I am located). That's where I want to go in the future.
    - the number of units sold is larger than the Titan, and there is continued technical development around a proven design. I would have loved to support a local company, but maybe for the wrong reasons, I just don't see them gathering the momentum that I wished they had...
    Anyhow, that's it, for what it's worth...

  9. #9
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    Re: Afterthoughts after a test dive...

    Quote Originally Posted by uwxplorer  View Original Post
    I finally decided to go for a rEvo. Two main reasons for that:
    - there is much more feedback (positive, which is good) on this unit, especially from the tec community (SoCal in particular, where I am located). That's where I want to go in the future.
    - the number of units sold is larger than the Titan, and there is continued technical development around a proven design. I would have loved to support a local company, but maybe for the wrong reasons, I just don't see them gathering the momentum that I wished they had...
    Anyhow, that's it, for what it's worth...
    Thanks for the update - What options did you go with?
    III vs II?
    Micro/Mini/Standard?
    mCCR/hCCR/RMS?
    Front Injection Block?

    There is certainly a bunch of rEvo divers here in socal. We should plan on an oil rig dive once you are certified!
    Last edited by DwayneJ; 2nd February 2013 at 04:55.

  10. #10
    RBW Member uwxplorer is on a distinguished road uwxplorer is on a distinguished road uwxplorer's Avatar
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    Re: Afterthoughts after a test dive...

    Mini rMS + 2 dreams
    Bells & whistles will come later
    The rigs sound like a plan!

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