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Thread: Looking for BMR-500 training

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    RBW Member cwelch is an unknown quantity at this point cwelch's Avatar
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    Looking for BMR-500 training

    Please contact me at cwelch@hughes.net

    I don't want to travel with the unit. So I'm looking for an instructor with the equipment.

    Tx much!

    Chris

  2. #2
    RBW Member decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for BMR-500 training

    I could be wrong, but I can't think of any instructor certified to teach the BMR-500 who has one.

    However, the BMR-500 is a poor attempt to copy the MK-15 so just look for a MK-15 instructor with one and go there.

    I did exactly that except I shipped my BMR-500 to Joe in Hawaii, dive with Joe and his MK-15, went home, sold the BMR-500 and bought a MK-15 right away... :p

  3. #3
    Reads fine print (mostly) Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather's Avatar
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    MEGALODON MK15.5

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    Re: Looking for BMR-500 training

    Hi Chris-

    There is no such thing as JUST a BMR500 cert course, just as there is no MK15.5 course. At the end of the day, all are covered under the MK15 cert. Yes, there are many (numerous?) MAJOR differences, but they are all the same family. In the case of the BMR500, it is the red-headed bastard step child, but it is still a member never the less.

    The basic gas plumbing and electrics of the BMR are essentially identical the MK15- just the placement of the bends is different, along w/ different valves used for manual bypass. Cylinders are very different- they are DOT approved. Regs are identical. Shell is enormous (so I designed & built a custom low drag replacement for mine). Stock center section is custom designed & built from less expensive materials to mimic the MK15.5- not the MK15- but utilizing a scrubber derived from the BP240 series SCBA that is good for 4 hours vs the 6 to ??? of the MK series.

    My experience was different- the reverse- from Phi’s. I trained on the MK15 and then stumbled onto a BMR at the right price. I dove mine for 3 years + an enjoyed it. Your experience will, I expect, depend on how you dive the rig. Crazy deep and/ or long and you’re gonna be shopping for a new rig soon. Reasonable depths and humane decos and you could be very happy- or not…..

    So your best bet- like Phi said- is to find yourself a MK15 instructor and you’ll be good to go. Good luck!

    Best,
    Ken

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    RBW Member decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for BMR-500 training

    Quote Originally Posted by Skipbreather
    There is no such thing as JUST a BMR500 cert course
    I have the IANTD cert card to prove it exists... :)

    If anyone is interested, I will try to search my archive for the old write-up about how the BMR-500 came about. In short, Dick King tried to make a civilian-copy of the MK-15-series with the BMR-500.

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    Marcin Krysiński marcinkr is an unknown quantity at this point marcinkr's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for BMR-500 training

    Quote Originally Posted by decoweenie
    If anyone is interested, I will try to search my archive for the old write-up about how the BMR-500 came about.
    Please do so.

    Marcin

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    RBW Member decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie has a reputation beyond repute decoweenie's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for BMR-500 training

    From my archive collection of posts from the NWRB list...

    This is the original post made by Will Smithers (in 1998) when he got p*ssed off with his BMR-500...

    It took me quite awhile to settle on that subject line, which I have indexed for archival purposes, but I think I succeeded in capturing the essence of my sentiments.

    I have spoken with quite a few BMR500 owners, and the one common thread among *all* of them is that the unit is a piece of crap, and BioMarine is pathetic. As far as I can tell, the only reason we haven't heard more about this is that everyone knows that Dick King casually follows the goings-on here, and owners are afraid they won't get parts and service if they speak up. Except few are getting parts and service now, anyway. I've had it.

    I will not dive this unit again - I feel it is too dangerous - when I can't trust my secondary PO2 display to give me an accurate reading, that's where I draw the line.

    Nor will I sell it, because I don't want someone else's death on my hands. So basically, I'm flushing a major investment down the toilet.

    I suppose I should articulate my rant, so here are the why's:
    • The O2 sensors have the response time of a drunken heroine addict.
    • The O2 sensor placement is exactly correct for attracting condensation.
    • The electronics are flaky - I've had no less than six electronics failures of one sort or another.
    • The cabling is cheesy and poorly engineered.
    • The diluent and O2 manual injection buttons are so slow that it's painful to dive.
    • The scrubber cannister is so flimsy that it actually leaks scrubber into the counterlung, regularly.
    • The work-of-breathing is not-so-hot, due to a stupid and totally avoidable restriction designed into the exhalent side.
    The O2 sensor issue cropped up one day when I was doing a short EANx dive to 130fsw, and upon arriving at the bottom, noticed that I was experiencing NO narcosis. My PO2 display said 1.25, and was properly calibrated. This scared the shit out of me, so I immediately ascended to 20ft, flushed the loop ten times with pure O2, and read the sensors.

    The display wouldn't go over 1.35, even when I briefly dropped to 30ft. to see what would happen. I pulled the sensors, and the voltage was fine.
    Then there was the fine day about a month ago when I was diving a 180ft wreck up here, and noticed that my solenoid was firing alot. I had a "1 lo" light on (meaning the PO2 was too low), but when I looked at my secondary display, it was flashing 2.0. The display only goes to 2.0, so all I know is that
    the PO2 was somewhere WAY up there.

    Of course, I had meticulously calibrated the unit pre-dive, as always.

    Then there's the fact that BioMarine is 100% completly irresponsible and unprofessional when it comes to any sort of customer service.

    To illustrate this, I am now going to tell you a horror story that I've told a few people privately, but not made publicly known.

    Sometime last fall, I was preparing for a dive, and acidentally leaned back and snapped the flimsy knob off of my secondary PO2 display, making the unit totally undiveable. I send the unit back to Dick King at BioMarine, who promises me he'll have the unit turned around in a week. Now, this is a 30-minute job for someone with the right parts to fix. Weeks go by. I call Dick. No answer, and no returned phone call. More weeks go by. I leave messages, and no returned phone call.

    Finally, I FAX him a really nasty letter, CC'd to my lawyers.

    Dick calls. He promises to have the unit back in three days.

    More weeks go by. I leave more messages. One day in mid-winter, I'm talking to another BMR500 owner, and it turns out Dick's been sitting on his unit for months, too. I'm only three hours from BioMarine, so I take the day off work, and drive down there, with a letter from the other owner saying to release his unit to me. I purposely didn't call ahead, because I had a strong suspicion that if they knew I was coming, they'd be conveniently closed for the day.

    So I get to BioMarine in Pennsylvania, walk in, and tell Dick I want my unit back. Now. We go back to the workshop, and there's my unit, still sitting in the case I shipped it in, except it's been opened, because Dick had cannibalized the SPG's off my rebreather!

    When asked, he says they were broken, so he removed them in order to fix them. Right, so where are they?

    He pulls out a couple of (not mine) SPG's without boots, and hands them to me, along with the parts I demand so that I can fix the unit myself. I grab the other guys unit and split.

    I wish I could say this was an unusual incident, but the truth is that it is just totally typical, and every BMI owner I know has similar stories. I've now been waiting a month and a half for a small plastic part that Dick promised he'd FedEx me overnight. And forget about things like O2 sensors - I've been waiting since late winter for a new set of those! I finally said screw it, and got sensors elsewhere, which, of course, don't work well with the BMR500, because BMI sensors have the unique property of putting out 24-29mV in air, instead of the more typical 17-20.

    So I have to dive the unit manually, after recalibrating the secondary display to the lower voltage (this was after the above incidents, which happened with BMI sensors).

    Then there's the issue of order fulfillment. This one sorry bastard plunked down his deposit and waited for over two years, literally counting the days, while others, who put their deposits down much later (like two years later), were getting their units.

    Yes, I've had it. And I strongly urge other people to NOT get suckered into buying a machine from Dick King.

    End of Rant.
    -Will Smithers

    This is the reply from Jim Brown...

    William, you're painting things with a rather broad, inaccurate brush when you when you lump CCR, Carleton, BMR500, and "BMI" under the term BioMarine.

    Bottom line up front when you're dealing with ANY rebreather purchase and particularly those peddling to the general public: CAVEAT EMPTOR "Let the buyer beware"

    Here are some facts, randomly related to the object of your present disgust: the BMR500.

    1. The "CCR" (do you mean the 1000?) developed and built from mid 70's to early 80's for US ARMY and later USN, later converted to MK 15 and subsequently produced as the MK 15, also provided to several commercial/research agencies, was built by "BMI", but not the BMI/BMR pretenders that you think built your BMR500. This unit was never produced for sport diver use. The BMI that built the CCR 1000 and MK 15 doesn't build diver's life support equipment anymore, and doesn't build the BMR 500.
    As a matter of fact, as I understand it, the original BMI took offense at the fact that the pretenders were using/claiming their name and identity, strongly influencing the pretenders to change their name to the present "BMR". The CCR 1000 is actually a pretty bitchen piece of equipment, properly taken care of, that outperforms by magnitudes any OC or SCR equipment. It's depth limited to about 170 FSW, and spares can be expensive and hard to find. The canister's hard to pack properly, and it doesn't perform as well as the MK 15.5/16.

    2. In the 80's, the USN tested and developed the "CCR" concept into the experimental MK 15.5; the most significant components produced from this effort were the center section and canister. The USN owns the patent (I understand that it expires in 1999). When the USN decided to field the unit, it put production out to the normal contract bidding process. Here's where Carleton comes in: Carleton won the contract to produce the MK 16.
    Carleton is a huge company that produces alot of different gear for the USG, from missiles to rebreathers. Since it's inception, the MK 16 has undergone many mods, some good and some stupid. The MK 15.5 and MK 16 will support a diver to about as deep as any sane person might wish to go on a bounce dive, and have been used even deeper on sat lock-out dives. Neither of the two BIOMARINE entities have jackshit to do with these units, except to be lumped together by the uninformed. The MK 15.5/MK 16 for the sport diver are rare as hen's teeth, so are spares, and they're godawful expensive. They are exceptionally righteous rebreathers. Steam Machines, Inc, and Carleton are working to get one to market for sport divers some day; maybe our kids will be diving them.

    3. The "BMI 500" was originally going to have a copy of the MK 15.5/16 center section, but production rights holder Carleton shit in that bowl of cornflakes, so the inventor/pretender "combined the Biopack 240 and MK 15.5/16" (see Rebreather Forum 2.0 book, available from DSAT) in a smaller package. This was done via eyeball and SWAG, with no independent testing to any standard that I am aware of. Any rebreather savvy individual knows that you can't eyeball and SWAG a predictable dimensional change to a canister.

    Besides that, the Biopack 240, which was a terrestrial oxygen rebreather, tested as an absolute piece 'o crap in NEDU tests (I've got a copy of that test and others if you'd like, also I posted to this forum on the subject about 18 months ago). The rest of the "BMI/BMR 500" components quality and reliability I cannot vouch for, but apparently you can (soup sandwich).
    I've heard one owner say that he prefers not to dive the unit so it won't break. A unit sold to a customer in the Far East had immediate electronics failure; I've heard this to be the case across the board. We won't even mention the business end: deposits, production, spares, training, etc.

    4. BTW, we've all heard of the CCR 2000. Don't EVEN mistake this for a rebreather. It's an untested garage tinkerer effort made with toilet bowl parts and a slick advertising show.

    5. Mirrors in your face, smoke up your ass. No wonder the industry's moving so slow. Not only is the customer base small: the producers of the hardware and technology run the gamut from highly competent individuals, large defense contractors, to drooling fools.

    As you may have gathered by now, I'm not worried about getting my BMR 500 spares, and thus can speak candidly; I never wasted my money on one!

    Damn Happy Diving from Jim Brown in Nasty-Ass 'Ol North Carolina!

    I don't claim to know if any of the things mentioned in either is correct / false. I just kept them since I owned a BMR-500 for a little while from 1999 to 2000.

  7. #7
    Stefan Besier caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7 has a reputation beyond repute caveseeker7's Avatar
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    PRISM Topaz & Sport KISS

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    Re: Looking for BMR-500 training

    That's what I call a keeper. :D Thanks Phi.

    Incidentally there was a BMR500 for sale out here about 2 years ago,
    and both Pete Ready and Tracy Robinette sugested not to buy one.

  8. #8
    Reads fine print (mostly) Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather has a brilliant future Skipbreather's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for BMR-500 training

    Very interesting how a guy’s approach to a rig colors his experience. In my case, I viewed it as buying an orphan rig (mfg no longer in business) so I’d need to do 100% of the maintenance.

    Mine was one of the later rigs that had a pod w/ rev G MK15 analog electronics. They, in turn, were replaced by me w/ standard Smithers-Jurgensen MK15 Gen 1 digitals. (The early BMR electronics were indeed cobbled crap.) Also by the time I got mine, the R10D sensors were readily available from OxyCheq, so no need for crap BMI sensors. I’ve seen one of the earlier secondaries- the later ones were- just a bit- better. After breaking off my selector knob, too, I said to hell with it and built my own starting with one of Mark Munroe’s excellent boards. In 3 seasons I never managed to flood mine, despite banging around in many wrecks.

    My dive buddy liked the basics of mine & bought one that was in the beginnings of an MCCR conversion. It had a 0.003 in jeweled orifice that flowed 0.9lpm replacing the solenoid. I helped him replace all the BMR sensor & secondary bits w/ a new sensor plate w/ 4 R22Ds. 3 feed a stock Munroe 3 display readout. 4th fed his VR3. Rig dove rock solid & worked like a champ for 2 seasons until he stepped up to a Meg. He still has it.

    The above sure sounds like a lot of work to upgrade a sow’s ear into something that is still way short of the proverbial silk purse. A BMR even when new was definitely never a “buy it and dive it” rig. One definitely needs a good dose of shop savvy and to enjoy working on things if you expect to peacefully coexist with one. That said, for someone who has the homebuilder mentality and views it as more of a sophisticated homebuilt, I would advocate it is a viable option. If you have not the time, skills, and/ or desire to work on a rig, you will definitely need to look elsewhere for an ECCR.

    Ken

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