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Old 27th October 2008, 15:56   #1
aainslie
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Apocalypse Electronics

I saw the Apocalypse at DEMA, and was pretty impressed. I also had a looong talk to Alex, who is clearly a bright cookie. I have a couple of questions, both to Alex (if you're around), and others who looked at the unit.

The electronics package is very nifty but a little confusing to me. IIRC, it's on the right shoulder, in the exhale side of the loop. That seems problematic to me - it seems a place that's particularly prone to getting wet with even a trivial amount of water in the loop. A big old mouthful would really not be pleasant for it. And surely hydrophobic membranes can't take a full onslaught of water?

Also, what do you all think of the idea that the readout is only available to the "buddy", i.e. the "joined at the hip" approach to diving? Seems highly unrealistic to expect a buddy to be THAT buddyish, and a key way to make diving unfun. Scootering is essentially out with this. And since it's on the right shoulder for both divers, one has to swim forwards and the other backwards just to watch each other's PO2. My backfinning sucks, making me wonder if that's going to have to be part of the training for the unit :) . I know there's voice annunciation, but that's another problem - since it's really hard to tell where sound comes from underwater, when a voice starts yelling at me, how do I know whether it's my unit or my buddy's? And what happened to the concept of "silent diving" - it's irritating enough having my GPS interrupt my radio programming, now my rebreather is going to do this too?

Overall I think there are some fantastic ideas for both safety and simplification of a rebreather. But the electronics setup just seems weird to me. I know a cord to a handset adds expense and complexity, but it seems that this system makes the unit half unusable, half infuriating.
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Old 27th October 2008, 15:59   #2
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Re: Apocalypse Electronics

Quote: (Originally Posted by aainslie) View Original Post
I saw the Apocalypse at DEMA, and was pretty impressed. I also had a looong talk to Alex, who is clearly a bright cookie. I have a couple of questions, both to Alex (if you're around), and others who looked at the unit.

The electronics package is very nifty but a little confusing to me. IIRC, it's on the right shoulder, in the exhale side of the loop. That seems problematic to me - it seems a place that's particularly prone to getting wet with even a trivial amount of water in the loop. A big old mouthful would really not be pleasant for it. And surely hydrophobic membranes can't take a full onslaught of water?

Also, what do you all think of the idea that the readout is only available to the "buddy", i.e. the "joined at the hip" approach to diving? Seems highly unrealistic to expect a buddy to be THAT buddyish, and a key way to make diving unfun. Scootering is essentially out with this. And since it's on the right shoulder for both divers, one has to swim forwards and the other backwards just to watch each other's PO2. My backfinning sucks, making me wonder if that's going to have to be part of the training for the unit :) . I know there's voice annunciation, but that's another problem - since it's really hard to tell where sound comes from underwater, when a voice starts yelling at me, how do I know whether it's my unit or my buddy's? And what happened to the concept of "silent diving" - it's irritating enough having my GPS interrupt my radio programming, now my rebreather is going to do this too?

Overall I think there are some fantastic ideas for both safety and simplification of a rebreather. But the electronics setup just seems weird to me. I know a cord to a handset adds expense and complexity, but it seems that this system makes the unit half unusable, half infuriating.
Andrew - Did you get a chance to talk to Alex about the PFD? This is fiber optics that run to the ALVBOV (they are inside the loop, but exit at the DSV) and show your pO2 and CO2. This is how YOU would know what your pO2 was.

b.
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Last edited by brockbr; 27th October 2008 at 16:33..
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Old 27th October 2008, 16:04   #3
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Re: Apocalypse Electronics

Quote: (Originally Posted by brockbr) View Original Post
Andrew - Did you get a chance to talk to Alex about the PFD? This is fiber optics that run to the ADBOV (they are inside the loop, but exit at the DSV) and show your pO2 and CO2. This is how YOU would know what your pO2 was.

b.
Hi Brock,

There's been alot of debate on this as the FAQ is clear as chocolate- is the PPO2 displayed all the time or do you need to press to ask for it each time?

As you spoke to Alex/saw it in person perhaps you can confirm?

Many thanks
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Old 27th October 2008, 16:19   #4
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Re: Apocalypse Electronics

Quote: (Originally Posted by Ben Field) View Original Post
Hi Brock,

There's been alot of debate on this as the FAQ is clear as chocolate- is the PPO2 displayed all the time or do you need to press to ask for it each time?

As you spoke to Alex/saw it in person perhaps you can confirm?

Many thanks
From the monitor document:

Status information is on request: the diver presses a button on the mouthpiece briefly to see the oxygen
level on Peripheral Field Display, and a long press for voice annunciation of the status, including
individual sensor readings, CO2 level and decompression obligation.

So I guess you have to hit the button.
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Last edited by brockbr; 27th October 2008 at 16:26..
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Old 27th October 2008, 16:29   #5
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Re: Apocalypse Electronics

Hmmmm, on further reading, it looks like the deliberate button press serves as a safety feature:

Hypoxia Risks
When a lot of automation is provided, such as the PPO2 alarms, the diver may be tempted to ignore the
regular PPO2 checks and rely on the alarms. This works well until there is a failure, such as of multiple
sensors, whereupon the diver may be unaware until it is too late. The Hypoxia Risk monitor eliminates
this risk by warning the diver that he has not looked at his PPO2, whenever the combination of the
diverís metabolism and depth changes could have caused the PPO2 to change by more than 0.15 atm,
and advises the diver to bail out if it could have changed by more than 0.5 atm.
This is a unique and important safety feature of the Open Safety rebreather monitor.


So it looks like that call you out if you haven't checked your pO2.

b.
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Old 27th October 2008, 16:40   #6
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Re: Apocalypse Electronics

Quote: (Originally Posted by brockbr) View Original Post
From the monitor document:

Status information is on request: the diver presses a button on the mouthpiece briefly to see the oxygen
level on Peripheral Field Display, and a long press for voice annunciation of the status, including
individual sensor readings, CO2 level and decompression obligation.

So I guess you have to hit the button.
Quote: (Originally Posted by brockbr) View Original Post
Hmmmm, on further reading, it looks like the deliberate button press serves as a safety feature:

Hypoxia Risks
When a lot of automation is provided, such as the PPO2 alarms, the diver may be tempted to ignore the
regular PPO2 checks and rely on the alarms. This works well until there is a failure, such as of multiple
sensors, whereupon the diver may be unaware until it is too late. The Hypoxia Risk monitor eliminates
this risk by warning the diver that he has not looked at his PPO2, whenever the combination of the
diverís metabolism and depth changes could have caused the PPO2 to change by more than 0.15 atm,
and advises the diver to bail out if it could have changed by more than 0.5 atm.
This is a unique and important safety feature of the Open Safety rebreather monitor.


So it looks like that call you out if you haven't checked your pO2.

b.
As I said- Clear as Chocolate!

One part says you need to press a button, another part says you don't.

Hopefully Alex will clear things up eventually, I can forsee constantly having to push a button being a royal PITA.
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Old 27th October 2008, 16:43   #7
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Re: Apocalypse Electronics

I asked some very specific, pointed questions re what data was displayed to the diver and was told the only thing diver sees are the ends of fiber optic cables, one from each module (CO2 & O2). Display is single color (all right- UK unit, 'colour') that says simply things are OK/ not OK. Detailed system info is only available via audio after pushing button. As far as I could tell, neither fiber optic cables nor said button were on display at show.
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Old 27th October 2008, 16:43   #8
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Re: Apocalypse Electronics

Quote: (Originally Posted by aainslie) View Original Post
I Also, what do you all think of the idea that the readout is only available to the "buddy", i.e. the "joined at the hip" approach to diving? Seems highly unrealistic to expect a buddy to be THAT buddyish, and a key way to make diving unfun.
I ordered the unit and the monitor, so I'm fully committed at this point. The concern you've raised was also my chief concern - no digital readout of the pp02 except to the buddy. Since I normally dive solo, the buddy pp02 and C02 readout is of zero value to me. I also scooter at times.

The planned wireless wrist computer with full readouts is what finally swayed me. With that in addition to the PFD, voice alerts, and the ALVBOV, I believe this is going to be acceptable. At $649, the price for the wrist display unit isn't bad either.

Daren Gray
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Old 27th October 2008, 16:48   #9
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Re: Apocalypse Electronics

Quote: (Originally Posted by cloudboy55) View Original Post
I ordered the unit and the monitor, so I'm fully committed at this point. The concern you've raised was also my chief concern - no digital readout of the pp02 except to the buddy. Since I normally dive solo, the buddy pp02 and C02 readout is of zero value to me. I also scooter at times.

The planned wireless wrist computer with full readouts is what finally swayed me. With that in addition to the PFD, voice alerts, and the ALVBOV, I believe this is going to be acceptable. At $649, the price for the wrist display unit isn't bad either.

Daren Gray
No, its not bad... but when is it due? Bit of a pain to dive until then keep pressing the DSV button every 30seconds to know your PPO2?
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Old 27th October 2008, 17:26   #10
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Re: Apocalypse Electronics

Suunto is a HUGE company... and they have never been able to make that wireless tank pressure thing work. To have a wireless dislpay for all PO2's, CO2, heluim and deco is asking a bit much. And it's a LOT of info to lose when you lose synch.

An HUD is at best a backup in my mind. It's just too much info to try to convey with blinky lights.

How about the flooding issue?Anyone chat to him about that? I only thought of it later after I'd spoken to him.
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