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Thread: Looking for advice/tips/experience

  1. #1
    Boldy Go JAlpert is an unknown quantity at this point JAlpert's Avatar
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    Looking for advice/tips/experience

    Hi,

    I'm Jesse, I'm 24 years old and I'm looking to begin my venture into the rebreather world of diving. I've been diving since I was 12 and have about 800 dives under my belt. Currently stand at: PADI OWSI, IANTD Adv. Nitrox, NSS-CDS Cave I, and AAUS authorized. I am also a certified equipment technician, tank inspector, etc. Gear monkey, I love rebuilding regs. Studied marine science/biology at the University of Miami RSMAS.
    I just spent two years guiding in Palau and plan to return with vengeance and a rebreather. I joined this site in hopes of learning as much as I can from more folks with proper experience with breathers. I've already been pinging questions to my past instructors, 4 of whom now fly breathers (JJs, REvo, and O2ptima).
    Recently purchased Heinerth's book in basics and am ripping through it. Currently researching models, instructors, and courses. Right now the JJ CCR and IANTD's course are at the top of my list. I'm looking for devil's advocates for these choices, so as to not bias myself. I want to make the most informed decision I can.
    Any words of advice for a noob are welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
    RBW Member oya has a spectacular aura about oya has a spectacular aura about oya has a spectacular aura about oya has a spectacular aura about oya has a spectacular aura about oya's Avatar
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    Meg Apecs

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    Re: Looking for advice/tips/experience

    Just get a Meg.

    There. Saved you a lot of trouble.

  3. #3
    RBW Member tkfx2000 is an unknown quantity at this point tkfx2000's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice/tips/experience

    Buy a used unit on ebay. Have it inspected and checked by the manufacturer or qualified technician. Find the best instructor you can. After you have dove the unit for some time you will realize two things. 1) Whether a rebreather is worth the time, effort and expense for you on a personal level and 2) you now have enough experience to really make an informed descion on what qualities you want in a rebreather.

    There is no perfect unit just units with different trade-offs. Definitely get the opinions of others, but at the end of the day, it is similar to asking somebody what footwear you should buy. It might work great for them, but may not apply to you.

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    RBW Member LandonL is an unknown quantity at this point LandonL's Avatar
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    Evolution

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    Re: Looking for advice/tips/experience

    Have you considered an Evo/Inspo?

  5. #5
    dive! dive! dive! mmarcoux is an unknown quantity at this point mmarcoux's Avatar
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    rEvo 3 Micro FT RMS, JJ CCR

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    Re: Looking for advice/tips/experience

    Hi Jesse,

    There's a bunch of rEvos and a few JJ's up in Mass, let me know if you want to check anything out!

    Thanks,
    Matt

  6. #6
    RBW Member oya has a spectacular aura about oya has a spectacular aura about oya has a spectacular aura about oya has a spectacular aura about oya has a spectacular aura about oya's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice/tips/experience

    Quote Originally Posted by tkfx2000  View Original Post
    Buy a used unit on ebay. Have it inspected and checked by the manufacturer or qualified technician. Find the best instructor you can. After you have dove the unit for some time you will realize two things. 1) Whether a rebreather is worth the time, effort and expense for you on a personal level and 2) you now have enough experience to really make an informed descion on what qualities you want in a rebreather.

    There is no perfect unit just units with different trade-offs. Definitely get the opinions of others, but at the end of the day, it is similar to asking somebody what footwear you should buy. It might work great for them, but may not apply to you.
    Excellent post and excellent advice.

    Not to sound too gloom-and-doom to the OP:
    I did all the research that I could and talked to all the people that I could and meditated on it constantly and listed out what I saw as the benefits and drawbacks of certain units and winnowed down the list until I got what I thought was just right for me.

    And several hundred hours on the unit later I tried something else and discovered (finally) that I had made a big mistake and all the features I thought I'd love and thought made sense for me where a giant hassle. All the things that I thought I'd hate in a RB were no big deal and actually kinda nice.

    But there was no way of really recognizing what I liked and didn't like without a whole bunch of rebreather experience.

    I know a bunch of people who got super lucky and are still on the first thing they bought and still love it as much as the first day they opened the box.

    Definitely go used with something in good condition that you have an instructor/mentor you like and trust. There's lots of great deals to be had. Dive it a lot. Reassess after a while.

  7. #7
    RBW Member rjack will become famous soon enough rjack will become famous soon enough rjack will become famous soon enough rjack's Avatar
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    Meg

    Re: Looking for advice/tips/experience

    +1 on finding something used to get your foot in the door.

    The only other thing I would add is to look at what people doing the dives you aspire to are diving and how its configured. You don't need to reinvent the wheel - you probably aren't going to be qualified to actually redo something from scratch for a long time anyway.

    If you are in the USA a whole slew of units are either not popular or you can't get trained on them here etc etc. Just take all those off the table and start with a reasonable list of what is 1) available used, 2) is being used for the dives your aspire to 3) has an instructor with a decent reputation.

    That gets you down to about 5 or 6 viable units. revo, JJ, Meg and some of the Kiss units would be on the list and maybe 1 or 2 more.

  8. #8
    RBW Member tkfx2000 is an unknown quantity at this point tkfx2000's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice/tips/experience

    ... if you goal is to get to more advanced diving with a rebreather you should think logistically about that plan.
    Who are you going to build hours with?
    The options are generally: Find a friend who is near the same level and dive with the? Or an experienced rebreather diver who is willing to do some shallow and non deco diving while you build time to get to that next class? ...or are you going to solo it in the shallows or dive with OC buddies to get the time?

    If you have a buddy, have a long conversation about their kit. What do they like? Not like? One advantage of having the same kit as your buddy as you could conceivably share a spares kit. This can save a lot of cash and hassle, plus you have a cross check on somebody who know how the kit should work.

  9. #9
    RBW Member sea_ledford is an unknown quantity at this point sea_ledford's Avatar
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    SF2

    Re: Looking for advice/tips/experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JAlpert  View Original Post
    Hi,

    AAUS authorized. I am also a certified equipment technician, tank inspector, etc. Gear monkey, I love rebuilding regs. Studied marine science/biology at the University of Miami RSMAS.
    Another thing to consider if you plan on sticking with science diving is what dive programs are currently using. Most are probably Inpirations, Poseidons, Prism2s, and megs.

    I'm not a fan of proprietary electronics, so that kicked out all but the Prism for me. I actually ended up going with the SF2 due to training opportunities, its simple design, and ability to sidemount. JJ would also be on my short list if I were starting over.

    For science diving programs, showing up with your own rebreather will likely be a big plus too. We are about to hire a new tech, and an applicant with a CCR would move toward the top of the list for me. Assuming they were't otherwise a complete jackass . :)

    -Chris

  10. #10
    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
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    JJ Hybrid

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    Re: Looking for advice/tips/experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JAlpert  View Original Post
    Hi,

    I'm Jesse, I'm 24 years old and I'm looking to begin my venture into the rebreather world of diving. I've been diving since I was 12 and have about 800 dives under my belt. Currently stand at: PADI OWSI, IANTD Adv. Nitrox, NSS-CDS Cave I, and AAUS authorized. I am also a certified equipment technician, tank inspector, etc. Gear monkey, I love rebuilding regs. Studied marine science/biology at the University of Miami RSMAS.
    I just spent two years guiding in Palau and plan to return with vengeance and a rebreather. I joined this site in hopes of learning as much as I can from more folks with proper experience with breathers. I've already been pinging questions to my past instructors, 4 of whom now fly breathers (JJs, REvo, and O2ptima).
    Recently purchased Heinerth's book in basics and am ripping through it. Currently researching models, instructors, and courses. Right now the JJ CCR and IANTD's course are at the top of my list. I'm looking for devil's advocates for these choices, so as to not bias myself. I want to make the most informed decision I can.
    Any words of advice for a noob are welcome. Thanks.

    I have 11 years on CCR and have owned a Insparation Classic, Hammerhead-inspo, KISS, rEvo Mini Hybrid and a JJ Mk1 ECCR. I have over 150 hours on all of them except the rEvo. Some I have over 250 hours on

    I have dived many others including the Meg, Prism, Inspo Vison and looked at many more

    Bassed on that varied experiance I can say the JJ is an excelent choice

    If it has a drawback its that you will have to work hard to fit aftermarket displays on it and I always seem to strugle finding neg test failures on it but aside from that it ticks all the boxes and is the least modified CCR I have ever owned.

    Consdiering all the units currently available, if I were buying another new unit today id get another JJ.


    ATB

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