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Thread: Hypoxia and Convulsions

  1. #21
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    Re: Hypoxia and Convulsions

    Quote Originally Posted by PCDiver  View Original Post
    Or a nice second hand Inspiration with HH electronics. I have one for sale ;) .
    I may consider this, I still have much research to do before I make any decisions. My wife thinks I'm insane, and that rebreathers are too dangerous. Oh well.. she never approves of any of my activities ;)

  2. #22
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    Re: Hypoxia and Convulsions

    Quote Originally Posted by steevke  View Original Post
    Unless you have acces to cheap machining, I would advise against building one yourself. If you're on a budget, you may be better of buying a simple unit (such as a Classic Kiss) second hand.

    steven
    As a point of order, the only thing I had to send out for maching was the handset case. The K1 also required a lathe for cutting the counterbores for the T-piece O-rings, however, finding someone with one for the half-hour that takes is more than good enough.

    The entire remainder of the unit requires nothing more than a drill press and common hand and power tools, and even the drill press requirement could be avoided if you can hand-drill CAREFULLY.

  3. #23
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    Re: Hypoxia and Convulsions

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis  View Original Post
    As a point of order, the only thing I had to send out for maching was the handset case. The K1 also required a lathe for cutting the counterbores for the T-piece O-rings, however, finding someone with one for the half-hour that takes is more than good enough.

    The entire remainder of the unit requires nothing more than a drill press and common hand and power tools, and even the drill press requirement could be avoided if you can hand-drill CAREFULLY.
    My point is:
    1. count all the hours you spent sourcing cheap parts for your homemade rebreather, the time you spent writing thousands of lines on this site detailing your design (and training) challenges, the time spent writing code, soldering, drawing pcb's...
    2. Multiply this with what a normal person makes an hour.
    3. Add to that the gasoline costs you used driving to&fro your local hardware shop, the cost of all individual parts, the things that got ruined during the building process...
    Then decide for yourself if this sum (lot's of $$$$ unless you are reaaaaalyyyy low-waged) measures up to the fact that you could have bought a second-hand rebreather for less money AND could have spent hours diving the thing in the first place AND the fact that the baby you put so many hours in has that "distinctive homemade look" (well, let's just call it an uggly POS).

    On top of that: if you ever want to give up rebreather diving, you can sell your commercially available rebreather for good money, without worrying too much about liability. Your homemade contraption OTOH would probably end up in the garbage bin, adding once more to the total cost of ownership.

    IMO, building a complete rebreather out of scratch is not very smart.

    As always, MMV.

    steven

  4. #24
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    Re: Hypoxia and Convulsions

    Quote Originally Posted by steevke  View Original Post
    IMO, building a complete rebreather out of scratch is not very smart.

    As always, MMV.

    steven
    I disagree whole-heartedly.

    ALL of the off-the-shelf units have either political, business, design or ALL OF THE ABOVE considerations that I find unacceptable.

    For example, how many people here have had issues with maintainability on the Inspiration? Handsets that crack, the manufacturer having a "soft" requirement to send it to them annually for service (which inevitably ends up costing a shizload of cash AND you're down during the interim period), etc.

    Or what if you want a temp stick - but don't want a Inspiration/Evo? Now what? What if you want a unit with some of the features of the Meg, but there are others you can't live with? What if you think that the electronics should force validation of high-setpoint operation (no production unit currently does that), or you're not happy with some other aspect of the controller on this unit or that?

    Reality is that ALL units are trade-offs. If you buy, you're stuck with the ones that someone else made. If you build, you get to decide what trade-offs you wish to have in your unit. If you can find a unit that comes close, then buying makes sense.

    But what if you can't?

    In my case had I actually worked on it full-time (this was a "spare time" project!) it would have been done before nearly any of the commercial vendors could have actually shipped one to me! The potential exception at the present time being the O2ptima, which appears to be available from stock, at least some of the time.

    As to all this "cost", I know exactly (down to the dollar) what it cost to build the original unit, including all the tooling and equipment that I purchased.

    You raise the "what if you decide you get out of it" issue. That'd be a good point EXCEPT that you're forgetting a lot of things - like the only parts of the system that are "home built and thus someone might throw away" are the handsets and the plastics! All the standard diving stuff (regulators, backplate, wing, drysuit inflator valves, drysuit dump, etc) can be stripped off and sold. That's most of the cost in the K1! Hell, the manual adds and drysuit dump valves between them are $200 - for just that one little box of parts! Then there's the tooling and equipment portion of this project. Those items (mini-lathe, drill press, disc/belt sander, scroll saw, tooling, bits, etc) are all worth basically what I paid for them and if I ever decided I didn't want them, I could sell those off to recover a significant part of my cost.

    So can you sell your store-built eCCR and get some of your money back? Sure. Could I liquidate the "store bought" parts and tooling that went into building the K1? Yes, in the same way, and with the same results.

    That argument is a wash.

    Then there is the fact that there is no eCCR currently on the market that you can buy for less money than I have into the K1 "all-in". Yes, I am excluding my labor - but I enjoy building things - that's not a job, its something I like doing!

    And of course there is always the possibility of refining the unit and turning it into a commercially-sold device.

    I believe the build-vs-buy decision is far more difficult than it first appears. There are many people who, when I started this project, told me I'd spend US $20,000 and STILL not have a diveable system, and several that told me that I'd never get it to work at all. That means I could have bought TWO commercial eCCRs. Clearly, if that had been the case, well, yes, it would be monetarily stupid to build instead of buy (then you REALLY have to like the idea of building!)

    But it didn't work out that way, in reality...... not even close.

    As for "ugly", what looks that way about the K1? The T pieces? I'll give you that. You know why? Because either injection-molding them (an obvious choice) or making them out of PE pipe stock (the other obvious choice) requires that you buy thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars worth of equipment - for what amounts to two pieces you need. For a first "one off", there's no way its worth it. Now if I decide to build these, well, that changes. Then the $3,000 for heat-welding gear to do PE pipe joints professionally suddenly becomes an entirely different matter, and that produces a T-piece that is half the size of what I've got now, is stronger, completely impervious to solvents, UV, etc - in short, a "professional" piece. The first two cost me $1500 each - not gonna happen for a one-off - but if I want 200 of them suddenly the price is closer to $15 - about what I have in the "pipe fitting" ones.

    Same thing applies to the counterlungs. Besides, what's wrong with MSR bags? The KISS uses them - and that's a factory build! Nevertheless if I'm willing to buy an RF welding machine I can easily make urethane-coated cordura ones of a more "sexy" appearance...... yet another "makes no sense for two" thing, but sure does when you want 200 of them.

    There was a BCL homebuild at the party that of course didn't have T-pieces and used a KISS-style valve. I bet that could be duplicated for even less.

    There are good arguments for buying as opposed to building, but IMHO you've missed the boat with the ones you've put forward....
    Last edited by Genesis; 17th November 2006 at 15:36.

  5. #25
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    Re: Hypoxia and Convulsions

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis
    In my case had I actually worked on it full-time (this was a "spare time" project!)
    And, isn't your SPARE TIME valuable? Mine is - I can go diving when I have spare time. You may value building a rebreather out of sewerpipe above diving - personally I don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis
    As to all this "cost", I know exactly (down to the dollar) what it cost to build the original unit, including all the tooling and equipment that I purchased.
    Ok, I'll bite. How many HOURS did you work on it? Now if you would have worked (as in earning money) the same amount of hours, how much money did you miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis
    All the standard diving stuff (regulators, backplate, wing, drysuit inflator valves, drysuit dump, etc) can be stripped off and sold.
    Don't fool yourself - you MAY be able to sell the BP, wing and regs for a good price - all the other costs you put into this project are basically lost. Not to mention you'll spend more TIME selling all these things seperately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis
    Those items (mini-lathe, drill press, disc/belt sander, scroll saw, tooling, bits, etc) are all worth basically what I paid for them and if I ever decided I didn't want them, I could sell those off to recover a significant part of my cost.
    Do you really think so? I'd be surprised. Drive a car ONCE and it'll lose instantly a lot of its value - I don't think a mini-lathe or a belt sander are any different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis
    So can you sell your store-built eCCR and get some of your money back? Sure. Could I liquidate the "store bought" parts and tooling that went into building the K1? Yes, in the same way, and with the same results.
    That argument is a wash.
    Well, I bought a Sport Kiss second hand, used it, played with it, and sold it for the exact amount of money I bought it in the first place (remember that I advised the poster to go second hand if his/her budget was tight?).
    I would be very much suprised if you got similar results using a collection of (homebuilt) parts and used tools. You can counter with the fact that you can get second-hand tools - yes, you can - but in order to get a good deal you will have to spend TIME looking for good deals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis
    Then there is the fact that there is no eCCR currently on the market that you can buy for less money than I have into the K1 "all-in". Yes, I am excluding my labor - but I enjoy building things - that's not a job, its something I like doing!
    I don't think ANYONE here on this site doubts the fact that you like building things (and love writing endless tales about it even more ), but that does not change the economic reality that your rebreather costs much more than you are willing to admit, basically because you are excluding your time (which equals money) spent on the project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis
    And of course there is always the possibility of refining the unit and turning it into a commercially-sold device.
    I think selling a rebreather on a commercial basis may prove more difficult than you imagine. At least in Europe it will be. And competition will be/is very stiff - and CE certification costs are not that low either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis
    As for "ugly", what looks that way about the K1?
    Euh... nearly everything? Just kidding - you made just another home made rebreather - and it looks that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis
    There was a BCL homebuild at the party that of course didn't have T-pieces and used a KISS-style valve. I bet that could be duplicated for even less.
    I'd be surprised - a south african guy built a kiss clone and if you count his time spent building + his parts, his puffer rebreather comes out more expensive than the classic Kiss. At least the guy's being honest about it... And his rebreather does look good.

    steven

  6. #26
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    Re: Hypoxia and Convulsions

    I have no interest in selling anything actually "in Europe" (e.g. with a European Nexus), so the CE nonsense is meaningless to me. As for it being "more difficult than you can imagine" to sell them, gee, I seem to have this echo in my head from when people just like you told me that I'd never manage to make the K1 work at all and would have a $20,000 hole in my checkbook to go with the failure. I've already got the same folks that handled my last corporate stuff working on this one. No promises there's a structure that meets my requirements as of yet - we shall see.

    If you think DS4s magically depreciate, well, they don't. Never mind that if you get out of the RB world and back to OC they're still perfectly good regs for OC use - indeed, where do you think I sourced these ones (hint: there are still a few more in my gear locker!)

    As for machine tools, GOOD ones don't depreciate much, especially when kept up and used in a climate controlled space so they don't turn into a ball of rust. I could put the lathe on eBAY tomorrow and get 80-90% of what I paid for it. Of course then I wouldn't have it, and I kinda like having it....

    You also cannot forget that for each commercial unit you buy you must also purchase a class - in most cases at full price - and that this investment is absolutely down the drain if you decide to sell the unit. In some cases (e.g. if you want a Trimix cert on the second unit) you end up buying two classes!

    So no, you did not get your SportKISS investment back, because the $1500 you spent on the class is flushed! That's 30% of the retail price of a new unit; this is not inconsequential, and is worse (as a percentage) on the lower-priced CCRs. I need buy no class at all (indeed, none is available for a generic CCR), so that's a sunk cost I don't eat if I decide to stop diving the thing. If you end up having to buy two classes to "fully qualify" on your "new" unit that's $3,000 that is absolutely down the toilet. This is a really nice business model for agencies and instructors but is akin to forcing me to buy a certification class in order to purchase a VR3.

    Perhaps you consider the time you spend on something like this to be a "cost", and put it against what you could earn if you did something else. I don't, because, among other reasons, I'm retired. I enjoy building things like this; its a recreational activity akin to actually diving them.

    As for "ugly", I guess that's in the eye of the beholder. In any event, I've yet to meet a fish that gives a damn :)

    Anyway, this isn't the thread to get into a long drawn-out debate on home-building - if you want that come over to the homebuilding forum and we'll go at it until one of us either concedes or gets tired of it.

    I wanted to point out to the OP that there are options that are "off the beaten track", and that it is indeed a path to consider.

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    Re: Hypoxia and Convulsions

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis  View Original Post
    Build one! That was my answer to the insanity.....;)
    The answer? Ooops, I thought it was either the cause or the result. :p

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    Re: Hypoxia and Convulsions

    I agree with Genesis, there are options, buying new, buying second hand, buying semi-closed and converting, or homebuilding, If you understand the MCCR way of diving, the cheapest way is to do the dolphin conversion (dolphins can be had for $1200.00) buy the kiss valve and off the shelf electronics,(maybe$3000 total) go dive, with no training cost. But now I see sport kisses (used) going for $2500-$3000) so you can play the waiting game for one to come up. my point is its all about the money, if $10,000.00 is not a problem, then you know what to do, if you only have $3000-$5000 of hard earned savings, you have a lot to think about.

  9. #29
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    Re: Hypoxia and Convulsions

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis  View Original Post
    So no, you did not get your SportKISS investment back, because the $1500 you spent on the class is flushed! That's 30% of the retail price of a new unit; this is not inconsequential, and is worse (as a percentage) on the lower-priced CCRs.
    Actually I got the training for free Genesis - I just paid 50$ certification costs.


    steven

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    Re: Hypoxia and Convulsions

    To continue the hijack of this thread

    i have about 2700$ in the conversion of my biopak,

    biopak 240 550.00
    regs had
    o2 spg 95.00
    tanks 300.00
    wing 250.00
    back plate and harness 125.00
    bov 750.00
    sensor bay ie pie tin 25.00
    mav 125.00
    electronics 250.00
    batteries and connectors 200.00

    draw backs spare clung is three hundred dollars, and the infamous center section restriction. charter boat problems. and a 4 hr only scruber

    plus side my regs,tanks,bov,backplate and wing can all go on new "production unit". There in nothing on my unit i can not fix. a spare set of electronics costs me costs me 250 bucks not 3000$ and delivery time for the parts are under a week.

    things i would have done differently. used smaller displays at first now i have a spare set for bp60. would like to get a set of dumpy 3 liters instead of the s19 i am using now. i started off using s30 but decided they are to big. i will carry one for off board bail out, side slung. and yes it took me about 6 months playing with this thing untill it got wet/ but to some of us the this is enjoyable time.

    just aquired a bp60 which will be turned into an o2 only rig for warm water shallow work. conversion cost for that unit will be zero. have everyting i need all ready/ time to swap the parts between units an hour and a half.
    so now i have two rigs for under three thousand bucks. and if i can get my hands on one bp240 i would build another. and yes like everyother bp240 owner i am working on a fix for the restriction.

    rick

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