+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: JJ vs. Ourorobors : A philosophical question

  1. #1
    RBW Member Redshoerider is an unknown quantity at this point Redshoerider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    2

    JJ vs. Ourorobors : A philosophical question

    I suppose this is more of a philosophical question than anything else, but…..

    The short question: Today, purely on technical merit (that is, excluding price, condition, availability, support, etc….), would you buy a JJ (the CE version) or a VR Ouroroboros?

    The longer question: This is more of a mental exercise for me than anything else, as I’m not buying either one today (or tomorrow, for that matter). I know it’s a strange comparison, but here’s why I ask. I remember when the Boros came out nearly a decade ago and thought to myself “Holy cow, that’s amazing”. I’ve long been a fan(?) of the Mk.15 design, but thought that the “perfect” CCR would be an Mk.15 with real electronics on it. At some point, I started designing (on paper, later AutoCAD) taking a 15.5 and adding VR electronics on it. Enter the Boros, stage left.
    At about that same time, I got married, bought a house, got a dog or four, etc…..so that was sort of that for a while.

    So, now almost a decade later, I’m starting with the idea again. I can find precious little information about the Boros compared to more modern equipment, as there were only 120ish of them made. I see that the folks who own the Boros fairly well love them, despite their size. I also see that the JJ’s are very, very well loved, too, and it’s much easier to find reviews and such saying that the JJ is the bees knees. But, purely on technical merit, both sides seem to be almost equal.

    Before someone else says it: I know there' a LOT more to rebreather selection than just technical merit than that. The Boros a decade old, VR isn't around anymore (though there's still support), it's a rare unit, etc.... I'm more asking on just on how it's built, not how it is to own.


    Cheers,
    -Red
    Last edited by Redshoerider; 9th July 2015 at 16:59.

  2. #2
    RBW Member Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse is a glorious beacon of light Packhorse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Auckland New Zealand
    Posts
    1,646
    rEvoIII mini hCCR

    RG-UMF,IDA 71,rEvo mCCR

    Re: JJ vs. Ourorobors : A philosophical question

    Never owned or dived or really touched either.

    But I have owned electronics used on both. eg VR vs Shearwater.
    VR sucks arse, Shearwater on the other hand is a great product with fantastic after sales service.

  3. #3
    Blinded with science... deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    199
    rEvo Micro FT

    MK15.5, MK15

    Re: JJ vs. Ourorobors : A philosophical question

    Hi Red,

    Just a little food for thought here, but why not simply go for what you already appreciate? Get a MK15.5. Based on what you said, the "perfect" CCR would be a MK series with modern electronics. That's completely obtainable. I have two, in fact (neither for sale). I completely agree with you: the design has stood the test of time, and regardless of what anyone might say to the contrary, the Boris is NOT a "better" MK15.5.

    Go back through the MK15 series archives on here and you'll see this mentioned many times: these rebreathers (and the MK16 successors) were designed by professional life-support engineers, and no expense was spared. The fact that the US Navy has used this line of rebreathers for decades (in many cases with NO bailout) and the ocean floor is not littered with the bodies of dead MK15/16 divers tells you something about just how reliable and safe these systems really are (when properly cared for). It would take many pages to lay out all the fine details and nuances that make these systems excellent, but rest assured - a close and thorough inspection will give you a great deal of respect for the engineering that went into them. Most of the really neat features aren't immediately obvious to the untrained eye, but after 8 years of diving these rigs I've come to appreciate the innovations made over 30 years ago. My rigs are both almost as old as I am, but they will continue to take me wherever I wish to go.

    The caveat to all of this is: you HAVE to be not only willing, but also careful, disciplined, and enthusiastic about maintaining these rigs. Many of the critical parts and pieces are either unobtainable or prohibitively expensive if you need to replace them. Basically the only safe way to dive a MK series rebreather is to know them down to the last nut, bolt, o-ring, and Swagelok connector. The information is out there (much of it compiled by Kevin J.) to maintain them properly, but you have to be something of a tinkerer to keep these rigs in top shape. I like that personally, but it isn't for everyone.

    A word on electronics: almost everyone who dives these rigs does so with modern, digital electronics. There are options. Kevin J's Hammerhead is probably the most common, well-supported, and mature solution. Integrated deco, tight control of PPO2, HUD, and a plug & play digital secondary. I've used it and it is very slick. Colkan in Australia also will sell you a digital electronic control package that essentially replicates the form and function of the old analog electronics, but in a lower-power, much more reliable manifestation. This is actually perfect for anyone who wants to set up a rig "old school". It is the system I use on my MK15, which I have configured as close to "stock" as possible, with the military harness, analog secondary, etc. I think the best electronics of all was the Laguna Research digital controller/secondary/HUD system. This is the system I use on my MK15.5 for any serious diving I do. Replaces the entire original O2 monitoring/addition system right down to the sensors and solenoid. I've had mine for 6 years and never had a problem. Unfortunately these aren't made anymore, but every now and then I see one come up for sale on the secondhand market. As another option, there is no reason why you couldn't put a Petrel- or NERD-based controller on a MK15x. This has been done by others, and I've been considering it also. Finally, some intrepid souls build their own electronic controllers (far out of my capabilities). I believe that Chris (CYS on here) did a really cool job of this a few years ago.

    Bottom line is: don't think that "newer" necessarily equals "better" in the world of CCRs. If you want something that is as good as a MK15.5, then get a MK15.5 and put your choice of new electronics in it. Notice that I said MK15.5 and not MK15. They aren't the same. I love my MK15 for what it is, but the 15.5 is an entirely different class of rebreather.

    My two cents, worth exactly what you paid for it

    Lee

  4. #4
    So many CCR So little etc Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    5,209
    JJ Hybrid

    Inspo, Hammer Head, KISS rEvo

    Re: JJ vs. Ourorobors : A philosophical question

    ANdy P and I stto at the dive show with out cheque books and were willing to write a cheque to Kevin on the spot for ourt pre order Borris units.

    We didnt because he still hadent sorted out a price.

    When that price turned out to be near 8K in 2006 we thaght, sod that

    Now I dive a JJ and I am very very pleased we didnt go the Borris rout.

    Nice idea to copy the MK15.5 but its a total fail.

    ATB

    Mark

  5. #5
    RBW Member Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike has a reputation beyond repute Drmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    tokyo
    Posts
    4,504

    Re: JJ vs. Ourorobors : A philosophical question

    in my experience boris is better than mk15.5 in almost every way

    - more flood tolerant
    - far far better electronics
    - no fragile, expensive spheres that some wont fill
    - better wob (in prone position, mK15.5 were not really designed for swimming but working upright on mines)
    - significantly cheaper
    - spares more available
    https://www.facebook.com/vobstermarinesystems?fref=ts
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/218019571736070/

    thats not so say mk15.5 isnt a very well engineered machine with some neat features - its the e type jag of the rb world. great design but getting on a bit now


    source: owned and dived both

    if i had to do a sub 200m dive and could choose any rb in existence it would be a boris...with co2 sensor
    Last edited by Drmike; 15th July 2015 at 02:57.

  6. #6
    RBW Member Redshoerider is an unknown quantity at this point Redshoerider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    2

    Re: JJ vs. Ourorobors : A philosophical question

    This is why I love forums! Ask a rather out-there question, get some serious, thought-out answers. All for less than 0.02!

    I didn't realize that it was possible to equip a 15.5 with modern day electronics (though, I'll also admit I didn't do too much digging before I asked). It's funny that DrMike mentioned the e-type Jag: I worked on a a few of those those back when I slung wrenches for a living. Still one of my favourites at any car show. Of course, mentally, that does complicate things for me, as having this new knowledge resurrects the idea of a 15.5 like I wanted to do a decade ago.

    Lee: one more question about your 15.5: where would you find training on a non-stock one? The Laguna electronics sound remarkable (more reading to do!), but how does certification on a modified unit work?

    Thanks again!
    -Chris

  7. #7
    Blinded with science... deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc has a spectacular aura about deepwrecksc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    199
    rEvo Micro FT

    MK15.5, MK15

    Re: JJ vs. Ourorobors : A philosophical question

    I will definitely concede the point to Drmike - the MK15.5 isn't a spring chicken anymore! I certainly didn't want to imply that the Boris isn't a really awesome rig with lots of cool features. I simply don't have any direct experience diving it, so I can't offer a comparison - only my own experiences with the MK15.5. Mike is likely one of the very few to have owned both rigs, so he knows what he's talking about! The main point I was trying to get across is that the Boris is not a "remanufactured" MK15.5. I've been surprised over the years how many people have had that impression...

    Anyway, as for training on the MK15x series, that's always been a bit more difficult than with other, more "mainstream" rebreathers. The answer to your question is: there are almost no "stock" MK15x series rebreathers out there right now being used regularly, so each is more or less unique in its own way. The training you'll get from an instructor for one of these probably won't focus as much on the "nuts & bolts" of the electronics anyway, although it is obviously good to have an instructor who is knowledgeable about the particular controller you are planning to use. In reality, the burden will be on you to know the electronics system well before training, either through installing it yourself or familiarizing yourself with whatever is already there when you buy it. Much of the "unit-specific" training that you'll get will focus on stuff like how to pack the scrubber correctly, what to do in case of a flood/gas leak/etc. etc., how to maintain the mechanical systems, bailout procedures, etc., and these will be pretty much in-common across even relatively "non-stock" MK15.5 rigs.

    As for who to get as a MK15x instructor, there aren't a huge number of options out there in the USA as far as I know. Granted, I haven't needed one since 2008 so things may have changed. Off the top of my head - Joe Dituri is an old friend of mine and probably one of the most knowledgeable/experienced MK15x instructors out there. He's in the Tampa area, but isn't on this board as far as I know. Dan Crowell is a very good option up in the Northeast (NJ). Finally, I think Robin Jacoway in San Diego (Amphibiman on here) instructs on the MK15x series. In fact, if I recall correctly his personal rig is (was?) set up with a Laguna controller so if you bought a system with that electronics package, he'd know it very well. I am sure there are others who are excellent, but I don't know them.

    Lee

  8. #8
    RBW Member sea_ledford is an unknown quantity at this point sea_ledford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Galveston, TX
    Posts
    59
    SF2

    Re: JJ vs. Ourorobors : A philosophical question

    Todd Winn (Dzlhed on here, but not on much) is also a Mk15 instructor and has a Borris as well. I'm not entirely sure of the functionality of it at the time. He's in Hawaii, but has been making semi regular trips to Florida lately it seems.
    Contact info is here:
    http://www.silentosolutions.com/contact-us.html

    I've played a bit with a Mk15 and decided it would be a great 2nd rebreather. Awesome for big or working dives, but compete overkill for most of them. And they are definitely the hot rods of the CCR world.

    And no matter what boat you get on with one, it will be the star of the show. Especially if you leave the cover off. :)

    -Chris

  9. #9
    Acme Serpentine Lubricant lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland has a reputation beyond repute lizardland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North...
    Posts
    2,373

    Re: JJ vs. Ourorobors : A philosophical question

    Personally, I far prefer the old electronics. The simplicity of a 15 primary handset is hard to beat. The secondary is a genius piece of engineering. The downside is reliability of the analogue pod and the power draw. A digital version like Colkan's would be my ideal solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by sea_ledford  View Original Post

    I've played a bit with a Mk15 and decided it would be a great 2nd rebreather. Awesome for big or working dives, but compete overkill for most of them. And they are definitely the hot rods of the CCR world.

    And no matter what boat you get on with one, it will be the star of the show. Especially if you leave the cover off. :)

    -Chris
    I'd disagree about them being overkill. The 15 is pretty compact in comparison to a lot of other units. It doesn't have the same bulk as, say, an Inspo or Meg. The capabilities... no-one ever died from their unit being too good. The scrubber is bigger than most common units, for shallow diving I leave mine alone for 2-3 days at a time whilst others are filling lime at the end of each day. They are also on a decent price comparison. I use mine for all dives, in fact I really enjoy it on shallower stuff as I tend to dive it with minimal bailout.

    It does attract attention, especially here as there are very few in use.

    I was on a boat a couple of years ago with a PADI super-instructor and all his little disciples. He pointed at my 15 and told them: "that's a Draeger, it's a beginner's rebreather".

    I smiled. I guess I was intimidated by his expertise :D

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts