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Thread: VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

  1. #1
    RBW Member wilko7 is an unknown quantity at this point wilko7's Avatar
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    VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

    Ok I have recently bought a sentinel expedition rebreather and it seems that I may have made a huge mistake with the choice.
    I have recently found out from a local dive shop that vr are now withdrawing warranty support and no longer honouring them.
    Does anyone know the future plans of vr? I know they have been bought out by avon rubber plc but wanted to know whether I should be looking for another rebreather?

    Please everyone I am looking for your expertise for advice!

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    Re: VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by jont  View Original Post
    DOn't beat yourself up to much you can always sell it and move on, contact VR directly so that accurate first hand information can be obtained directly from the source.

    The VR is HUGE but it does have some cool features however like all English high end products they are a bit temperamental.
    Like an Aston Martin Vanquish DBS

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    Karlos (FrogTec) karlos1968 will become famous soon enough karlos1968 will become famous soon enough karlos1968 will become famous soon enough karlos1968's Avatar
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    VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

    When did you buy it? If new after May (I believe) you bought from the new company you will be OK, if older you will be dipping in your pocket, like me!

    Good luck

    Karlos

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    Re: VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by wilko7  View Original Post
    Ok I have recently bought a sentinel expedition rebreather and it seems that I may have made a huge mistake with the choice.
    I have recently found out from a local dive shop that vr are now withdrawing warranty support and no longer honouring them.
    Does anyone know the future plans of vr? I know they have been bought out by avon rubber plc but wanted to know whether I should be looking for another rebreather?

    Please everyone I am looking for your expertise for advice!
    Hi Mate, no need to panic you won't have many problems with it.
    You will be able to change what needed without many efforts.
    The biggest trouble in the Sentinels are the HP sensors where you need to change batteries too often but this is no warranty issue.
    Most of the time the HP sensors problems are related to the FO not mounted correctly, always check it carefully.
    For the rest you wouldn't have big problems so no worries, you will enjoy the unit.

    Best,
    Nad

  5. #5
    Mostly cold ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown has a reputation beyond repute ChrisBrown's Avatar
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    Re: VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by wilko7  View Original Post
    Ok I have recently bought a sentinel expedition rebreather and it seems that I may have made a huge mistake with the choice.
    I have recently found out from a local dive shop that vr are now withdrawing warranty support and no longer honouring them.
    Does anyone know the future plans of vr? I know they have been bought out by avon rubber plc but wanted to know whether I should be looking for another rebreather?

    Please everyone I am looking for your expertise for advice!
    Time will tell. As usual in the dive industry, you get horror stories from those without a vested interest and reassuring 'facts' from those in the know.

    For what its worth - heres how I view it:

    - Avon did not buy VR Technology LTD. That company ceased trading. They bought the stock and its now VR Technology Holdings owned by Avon. This has to be a good thing. Im being told Kevin is still in control, so that is also a good thing.

    - VR came up with the Explorer, licensed to Hollis. EVERYONE was running around telling us that Hollis bought VR, so this should be an indicator of how much you should read into the stories going around town:)

    - The Explorer is also an indicator of what the company can do with technology from past projects and theres also emerging technology. That has to be a plus and give the company some security and value with its parent company.

    -VR customer service has always been top notch. I dont know the exact details of the warranty issues but it makes sense that Avon would question the extent they were to keep doing work and providing parts for free for units sold by a company that no longer exists.

    I can tell you that everyone Ive talked to at the factory is upbeat and positive about the future. Its been a stressful time for them too and not everyone kept their jobs.

    You can still buy Sentinels just as before. Except now it will come with a warranty from Avon. Units bought within the last 12 months of VR Technology LTD seems to be the only question. Hopefully well get a statement from Avon shortly.

  6. #6
    All IMVHO obviously... Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field's Avatar
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    Re: VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

    In contrast-

    VR Tech has good customer service, yes- ask yourself why?

    It has 4-5 products none of which are suitable for use by recreational users ('boris & sentinel, over complex expedition units requiring regular back to base service, Explorer- pointless marketless toy which no ones knows who will buy, VR range of computers- long since superceeded by everyone else and regularly seen left on boats as paperweights)

    Thats just my experience in 15yrs diving in UK, when they work- they work, when they don't you have no chance of a field repair.

    As Chris says, only time will tell what happens but the second hand units and prices tell what owners and buyers think, people don't spontaneously laugh when you say you dive most other units either...

    This is of course terribly unfair and if it where just my personnal feelings I wouldn't post them. Last weekend we had 3 Sentinels on the boat, only one went diving (with errors and several alarms turned off) the users spent alot of time fettling and prepping... the Inspirations, rEvo, JJ, CK and OC divers just got in and went diving... the Mk6 diver had an unexplained flood This is a typical situation and drew no comment as it was expected, Sentinel diver even bought Kindle on the board to read while we where diving...

    As far as I'm aware this view is common at least Europe wide, its really sad as VR Tech where/are a UK company we should be proud of them, I just try to keep my fingers crossed diving with buddies on their kit :-(

  7. #7
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    Re: VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Field  View Original Post
    In contrast-

    VR Tech has good customer service, yes- ask yourself why?

    It has 4-5 products none of which are suitable for use by recreational users ('boris & sentinel, over complex expedition units requiring regular back to base service, Explorer- pointless marketless toy which no ones knows who will buy, VR range of computers- long since superceeded by everyone else and regularly seen left on boats as paperweights)

    Thats just my experience in 15yrs diving in UK, when they work- they work, when they don't you have no chance of a field repair.

    As Chris says, only time will tell what happens but the second hand units and prices tell what owners and buyers think, people don't spontaneously laugh when you say you dive most other units either...

    This is of course terribly unfair and if it where just my personnal feelings I wouldn't post them. Last weekend we had 3 Sentinels on the boat, only one went diving (with errors and several alarms turned off) the users spent alot of time fettling and prepping... the Inspirations, rEvo, JJ, CK and OC divers just got in and went diving... the Mk6 diver had an unexplained flood This is a typical situation and drew no comment as it was expected, Sentinel diver even bought Kindle on the board to read while we where diving...

    As far as I'm aware this view is common at least Europe wide, its really sad as VR Tech where/are a UK company we should be proud of them, I just try to keep my fingers crossed diving with buddies on their kit :-(
    Not sure what relevance this has to the OP's concerns though Ben? He wants to know if his unit will be supported doesnt he?

    If he did his homework, hed be aware of peoples opinion on the unit before he bought it. I agree its a bit finicky, but I dont miss anywhere near the number of dives or have anywhere near the number of issues others are reporting.

    Why? (because I dont dive it very often:) - NO - joking. See below:

    Because I understand its an expedition level piece of kit and it cannot be used without proper care, maintenance and preparation. It has more orings and LP fittings than a lot of units and you can just chuck it in the back of the van like you can an inspo. UK divers are extremely hard on their gear and the slack tide window means that boat diving in the UK and the sentinel wont mix unless you are properly prepared. Compare that to the inspo divers still diving classics with teledyne sensors in them that are over 3 years old.

    I was frustrated with my sentinel early on because Id been absolutely gold plated categorically assured under oath by my IT that there were zero issues with the unit and he couldnt understand why others had problems. Of course, 1 year on and several discussions later it transpires hes aware of all sorts of stuff. I think hes meticulous by nature, so perhaps it was nothing new / different to him.

    If Id been told about it up front, I could have avoided all the early niggles I had. I had to make the decision to prep and maintain the unit with a greater degree of care and attention.

    Its a bit like the co2 sensor. IT WORKS! If you calibrate the damn thing and change the sponges out, yet people are just turning it on an expecting it to work. Its no different than an 02 sensor. You need to maintain it, check it and calibrate it.

  8. #8
    All IMVHO obviously... Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field has a reputation beyond repute Ben Field's Avatar
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    Re: VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisBrown  View Original Post
    Not sure what relevance this has to the OP's concerns though Ben? He wants to know if his unit will be supported doesnt he?
    ok, well he asked- "What is their future" Only they know.
    "Did he make a mistake" IMO Yes.
    "Should I look elsewhere" IMO Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisBrown  View Original Post
    UK divers are extremely hard on their gear and the slack tide window means that boat diving in the UK and the sentinel wont mix unless you are properly prepared. Compare that to the inspo divers still diving classics with teledyne sensors in them that are over 3 years old.
    Because it was built for the conditions (The Inspo,although with well known issues of its own) Perhaps they should have sold it purely as a cave unit?
    IMO a rebreather sold to the general public must be capable of shore, RIB, hardboat, cave, wreck, drift, penetration diving and everything in between.

    Are we hard on our kit or is some nasty kit not up to the job? The later IMO.
    I make dive accessories, I assume it will be driven over, thrown on the floor, dragging through mud and not washed and stored properly- that IMO is the bear minimum spec diving kit must meet.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisBrown  View Original Post
    yet people are just turning it on an expecting it to work. Its no different than an 02 sensor. You need to maintain it, check it and calibrate it.
    Totally agree- sadly that doesn't represent the lowest common denominator of users. I know CCR users who blend in their garage without certs and oily compressors, no cert past decade old mod1, don't service their units ever, rarely wash them etc. I've seen folk poor flooded scrubber out through the head then just shake out the sofnolime juice and go diving, if it can be done then divers are doing it, does a unit needing space shuttle prep fit that demographic?

    One could childshly wheel out the CE nonsense and point out the exceptions it has but thats a plow for others to dig


    Obviously- other units far from perfect too. JJ, Vision and rEvo seem safe bets though- from what I see.

  9. #9
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    Re: VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisBrown  View Original Post
    Because I understand its an expedition level piece of kit and it cannot be used without proper care, maintenance and preparation.
    Meaningless drivel....

  10. #10
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    Re: VR sentinel rebreather mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by barney  View Original Post
    Meaningless drivel....
    Really???

    OK then Ill explain a bit more incase anyone reading was thinking of putting more an ounce of worth into that comment.

    1) - It has a CO2 sensor. Only one currently available on the commercially available sport rebreather market AFAIK.

    It gives you additional information over and above what you get from a normal rebreather. You probably dont need one on a regular dive, but if you are doing a long EXPEDITION cave dive or deep wreck, the idea is that you have this information plus the digital HP data and the temp stick that combined, give you a picture of your life support equipment. so if the dive exceed 3 or 4 hours and theres some huffing in a current, then this data is available to you. Most people are well within their sorb use for all of their dives so its not relevant. It takes extra maintenance to keep it working, (calibration and changing the sponge out and checking the oring)

    Of course the C02 sensor gets flack from those who dont understand it or who have heard from their mates that it doesnt work.

    2) The electronics have additional life support information 'health' screens that you can scroll through on the dive that show a whole raft of info such as gas consumption rates, po2 graphs etc. Again, this is intended to give the expedition diver more information on long dives. This requires the TPM to be maintained (batteries) and the HP senders to be maintained (batteries, orings, fibre optic connections)

    all of this is over and above what a regular CCR diver has to do on their machine. My point was that if you jump in without understanding this, then you are asking for trouble. You are likely to get leaks. I think Ive been on at least one dive with you when I took a sentinel. Did it fail? No.

    So wether you personally like the unit or not is irrelevant. Whether you think its as capable as it claims isnt the point either.

    My point is that if you buy one because you buy into the capabilities, then you have to maintain and prep it to the same level. It was designed that way. Its even called the Sentinel EXPEDITION level III.

    Hope that clarifies it

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