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macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

I didn't realize there was a new thread. I can answer any questions regarding diving in New England. That's where I do most of my local diving. I'm usually either shore diving or on a charter every weekend up here.

Since we've had an unusually warm winter; I've dove both wet and dry throughout the year. Water temperature is a bit warmer this time a year than usual so I think lobsters are going to migrate closer to coast soon. I've already been seeing them on shore dives in past few weekends that I've been out.

Recently, I got a new GoPro camera with BlurFix lens. Have a bunch of videos that I need to edit soon but I posted one of scallop diving in Boston Harbor if anyone is interested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWf_UMPZ8W4

It was my first time ever taking video with the GoPro so it needs a little work.


Does anyone here dive vintage? My most recent obsession has been diving and restoring vintage double hose regulators.

Get lots of stares and people telling me I'm going to die when I dive sans BC, with a Aqualung Mistral double hose regulator, LP72 with J-valve and an oval mask.

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macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Bishop posted:

Glad you found us! Is vintage diving something I could do as a relatively cheap as a side hobby, assuming that I did most of the work myself? Is it the type of thing you can do by going to garage sales or buying cheap off eBay or is serviceable equipment more rare?


Yes and no...with the recent reproduction of serviceable parts, especially in the past 5 years, the prices of double hose regulators has skyrocketed on eBay. Stuff that might have been $50-75 , is now averaging $100-175, with some fools paying up to 300 dollars for a non-restored double hose regulator.

There are of course, restored or rare models that can fetch much higher prices but I probably wouldn't pay more than $150 for a double hose regulator, and even less depending on the condition.

You can still find very good deals however, check craigslist, yard sales and even old dive shops throwing stuff away who are ignorant.

I have to say, I'm not really an expert but I will be happy to answer any questions and point you in the right direction. There are some really knowledgeable people out there who have formed an entire community dedicated to restoring old vintage scuba gear and dispelling the ignorance of most dive shops that this gear is unsafe. (It's not, it just fell out of style).

Almost any Aqualung or Voit double regulator can be rebuilt with newer parts, and due to the advances in materials (better HP seats, silicone diaphragms versus rubber, replacement first stages) will often produce a better performing regulator than when they originally existed.

It's very easy to learn to service vintage gear. The simplest and easiest regulator to service is the Aqualung Mistral. I'd always recommend people start here. They breath pretty well considering their simplicity and are very easy to learn.

You can't mess it up, it's one spring, a HP seat and one o-ring. It is a single stage unbalanced design that reduces the tank pressure in one stage. (E.G. there is no way to gauge IP on this regulator).

The only downside to this regulator is it does not like HP tanks. I wouldn't use it with anything higher than 3000psi. An AL80 is perfectly fine though but may damage HP seat over time.

They were designed for LP steel tanks at the time with tank pressures were rarely higher than 2250psi.

Since it is unbalanced, the lower the tank pressure, the better the regulator will breath. At about 1500-2000psi the Mistral breathes beautifully. The higher the tank pressure, the greater the force on the HP seat, pushing against the lever thus the harder it is to breath. (I hope I am saying that correctly.)

The Mistral is about as vintage as you can get it and was meant to be dove without BCD, no pressure gauge with a standard backplate and tank with a J-valve.

Since there is no intermediate pressure, there are no LP ports nor is there a HP port however you can attach an SPG with something called a banjo adapter. The banjo adapter works in conjunction with a long yoke and sandwiches between the regulator's yoke fitting and the valve and will give you a place to attach a pressure gauge.

I've had a Mistral down to 90ft on more than several occasions in Cozumel and frequently dive it here shore diving up in New England.

The next easiest models to rebuild would probably be the DA Aquamaster and the Royal Aquamaster. These are two-stage regulators (the Royal has a balanced first stage so it's not affected by tank pressure). They both have a hooka port that can easily be converted to a LP port.

The advantage of this is would be the ability to use LP accessories like inflators, second stages for redundancy and a drysuit inflator. I commonly dive one with an LP port splitter so that I can attach a secondary stage and an inflator for my drysuit.


The best place to look first would be vintagedoublehose.com. The owner, Bryan is based in Florida and services and sells parts for most US Divers/Aqualung and Voit double hose regulators. There is also a thriving forum with people who have forgotten more than I've ever known about regulators.

I will say one other thing. Don't rush into buying a double hose regulator first unless you can get it at really good price and do some research first. It can be very difficult to find replacement parts for regulators other than ones made by US Divers/Aqualung and Voit. It's also very addicting, I started off with one regulator and now I own 4 double hose regulators.

Here's a picture of me diving a Voit Trieste double hose regulator in Cozumel.


Before


After


Aqualung Mistral



macado fucked around with this message at 23:37 on Mar 26, 2012

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

IM FROM THE FUTURE posted:

Awesome pics. Do you find the double hose to be comfortable?

That plastic backplate brings back some awesome memories haha Is it scubapro? My dad taught me how to scuba dive on one of those and an old single hose scubapro reg when I was a kid. No bc or spg. I prefer my gear a little more complex now, but I love me some bp/w and harness.

I find them to be very comfortable. Since the hoses are slightly buoyant/neutral, mouthpiece just rests naturally and causes virtually no jaw fatigue.

One negative about double hose regulators is that they are very position dependent in the water column, even breathing slightly wet or harder in certain positions. A lot of modern BCDs and modern backplates unfortunately place the double hose regulators cans too high and too far off your back which really diminishes breathing performance.

For optimal performance the cans of the double hose regulator should be as close to your back as possible (even touching your back) and between your shoulder blades. This minimizes the differential pressure from the diaphragm to your lungs. Modern regulators are usually placed much higher on the back.

The backpack is a USD Divers (late 60s/early 70s). I forget the model. Even this backpack places the regulator a little too high but it is much better than a modern backplate.


A few other advantages of diving vintage with a double hose regulators

1. Exhaust bubbles are behind you. This means you can often get much closer to wild life since it's not scared by your bubbles. Photographers will also appreciate not having exhaust bubbles in their viewfinder or photographs.

2. Environmentally sealed, by default. Double hose regulators are fantastic for cold water or ice diving. Since they're essentially environmentally sealed by design. None of the first stage or second stage comes in contact with water. I would put a properly serviced and tuned double hose regulator against any modern single hose regulator under the ice any day.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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SlicerDicer posted:

ever thought of using cooper hoses for reduced breathing resistance macado?

Since I'm not experienced with rebreathers I didn't know what these were until I looked them up. Very pricey but look nice/interesting. Seems like the smooth bore inside can reduce work of breathing effort but I'm not sure how much it would help with double hose regulators.

First problem would be hose diameter. Double hose regulators use hoses that are 1" and 1 1/2" on each side so I'd have to find away to attach them to the cans somewhere.

A lot of double hose regulators have a venturi nozzle pointed directly down the intake side hose that can produce a strong venturi assist so airflow can be somewhat good. I'm not sure if rebreathers have an equivalent?

I'm not an engineer so I'm not sure how much (if any, noticeable performance would be gained) with smooth hoses.

Aqualung also tried to re-introduce a double hose regulator I think in 2004 or 2005 and hastily reproduced a new model Mistral (based on Titan first stage) but used regular rebreather hoses. It was poorly designed and was actually known for being a terrible breather. The hoses were very positively buoyant (I don't know if this is an issue with all rebreather hoses?) so most people ended up putting hose weights on their hoses to counteract the positive buoyancy of the hoses.

I believe the hoses used for double hose regulators are much less buoyant due to their smaller diameter.

Some properly tuned double hose regulators can have .5" inches of cracking pressure and will breath just as well as a modern regulator.

For the price of those hoses and current performance of some double hose regulators I'd probably say it's not worth it but I'm not sure.

macado fucked around with this message at 03:22 on Mar 27, 2012

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

Bishop posted:


Edit: Wait! You have two loving computers on in that pic. A True Vintage Diver would use a watch and a mechanical depth gauge. Shameful poo poo. Seriously though that rig looks pimp as hell. Also nice trim and fin positioning. *hands you GUE pamphlet*

Haha you're right. I'm not exactly true vintage. Some of the vintage guys always let me know that. There are different styles in the vintage community. Some people who dive completely vintage with no modern gear and then there are people like me who like using the advances in technology and will gladly dive both. I still prefer to dive with computers and a wing with my vintage gear. I do have tanks with J-valves but I still usually dive with an SPG.

In warm water diving, I don't mind diving without a BCD but up in Boston it can be a pain due to suit compression depending on the depth I'm at.

I will say this though, if you can find a cheap Aqualung Mistral or DA Aquamaster double hose regulator, grab it. It's a really fun project to rebuild and it can be cheap if you plan it right. If you've never rebuilt a regulator before it's a good place to start to learn, or if you're experienced with servicing regulators it will be an eye opener to how much gear really hasn't changed at all. Royal Aquamaster is essentially the precursor to all modern Conshelf/Titan first stages.


In regards to GUE comment, haha but no thanks. I definitely see the value in their training but I've met way too many DIR douchebags whom have completely turned me off to the thought of any training with GUE. I'm talking newly minted 75-100 dive fundies graduates telling seasoned old salts with wetsuits that have more experience than them that they're going to die but they're not using a wing or that their fins aren't appropriate.

I know it's not nearly as bad as it was 5 years ago and most GUE people have seemed to tone down their act quite a bit. I remember they used to have a very bad image.

I dive a completely hogarthian setup when I'm not diving vintage gear, with with 7ft long hose, etc so most of my rigs are configured that same as GUE/DIR advocates.

I've only taken as far as Intro to Cave but I definitely always like to try to keep good trim and use good finning techniques.

I'm only just beginning to ultimately gain more technical training and experience. I'm not "officially" certificated for deco but that hasnt stopped me from using US Navy tables for short deco stops on a few occasions.

I'm hoping to take Advanced Nitrox/Deco Procedures this year sometime.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Bangkero posted:

Sup, double hose buddy! It's awesome knowing there's another vintage equipment diver goon around. Bought my first double hose (a Royal Aquamaster ca. 1964) from VDH in 2007 and have never look backed.

Finally got my second double hose regulator in January - a DA Aquamaster ca. 1958-9 for $80 off ebay. My intention for this one was to buy and install one of the upcoming new PRAMs but the DAAM turns out to be in mint condition, so I'm having second thoughts about going through with it!


Nice! Did you see VHD's new second stage replacement for DA Aquamaster/Royal Aquamaster? It's not released yet but they posted pictures of it. It's designed to work in conjunction with the Phoenix but can also be used without one.

It supposedly works much better than the existing 2nd stages found in the Royals or DA Aquamasters. It also uses a single stage diaphragm so you dont need to align the horseshoe lever anymore.


I've currently got 4 double hose projects in progress right now. I am rebuilding a Royal Aquamaster and Mistral for friends. Plus, I have another DA Aquamaster and Voit Trieste I am rebuilding for myself. It's addicting..

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

So I'm scheduled for Deco Procedures/Advanced Nitrox next month.

Pretty sure I have a good hold on most equipment, I have enough regulators for multiple stages and/or deco bottles. Naturally, I'll discuss equipment with my instructor but just curios what others think?

What's the consensus on what size deco bottles to use? Does it make sense to use AL80s since I have plenty of those or should I purchase an AL40 and use it exclusively for deco?

I guess that means I'll also need to get some of my tanks O2 cleaned. I'm confident I could do that myself with simple green and Vance Harlow's book but I think i'll have someone else to do that this time around.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Crunkjuice posted:

Yes you will. Protip = Get a roll up snorkel and keep that bitch in a pocket somewhere. The way the instructor manual is worded, you don't have to wear it, but have it.

I also have to also agree with this. I've only just started helping to DM with classes but I do it in my normal gear, backplate/wing. I keep a fold-up snorkel in a pocket on my backplate's harness.

There was some speculation on if I should be using a traditional jacket BCD but I feel that it's good to expose OW students to different types of gear. If they're going to be diving locally here, the odds are they will run into someone with a backplate/wing so it's good for them to at least see one in action. That's my whole take on it.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

Been a while since I've been in this thread. Finished Advanced Nitrox/Deco Procedures a couple weeks ago. Hoping to get more "official" deco experience this summer and next year will probably make the jump to trimix.

In the meantime, AN/DP gives me plenty of stuff in the 150-160ft range that I can explore in Boston.

On a side note, my deco checkout dives were in Rutlant, Vermont at a quarry called True Blue Quarry. One of the only places in New England where you can actually practice cavern/cave diving.

It's an old marble quarry from 1800s that has some extensive passages and permanent guidelines are installed.

Pretty awesome place to dive with great visibility for quarry diving but the only problem is that it is loving cold. 38-41f degrees at 135ft. I need to get some better drysuit undergarments and maybe invest in dry gloves in the near future if I'm going to be doing any sort of longer runtimes in that place.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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MA-Horus posted:

I'm all booked in at Big Blue on Koh Tao, advanced open water with deep water and wreck specialties, plus nitrox. Late August 2012!

Finch! posted:

I'll see you there - the first beer is on me. I get there in early August and will stay until February or longer.

It's been about 2007 since I've been in Thailand but I am heading back to SE Asia for 2 weeks in last August and I am hoping to make it back to Koh Tao to do some more diving. Maybe see if you guys are still there if I make it back to Koh Tao.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

I finally got around to editing another scallop diving video. Still have about 5-6 videos that I want to edit and upload.

Quality of the video from GoPro Hero2 is great but I'm not exactly the best videographer. I might try making a DIY stabilizing arm and going to eventually get a green filter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--o0yDx2hWA

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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itsmalarky posted:

Anyone have any experience diving in New England?

I'm in New Hampshire and have always wanted to get certified, but don't know if it will be worth it...I don't know anyone who does it around here. I know there are dive shops, though.

There is a very large active dive community in New Hampshire if you know where to look. While I can't spend for New Hampshire, I dive locally in Massachusetts every week. Lots of good diving out of Boston and in Cape Ann (Rockport, MA and Gloucester, MA).

There is also good diving up in Maine, Nubble Light for example is a great shore dive.

The biggest appeal to diving around New England is generally wreck diving and lobster hunting. New Hampshire does not allow diving for lobsters. Massachusetts does but you must be a local resident to get a license. Scallop diving can be done and does not require a license.

Not sure where you are in New Hampshire but i've heard good things about Aquatic Escapes in Londonderry, NH. There is also Discovery Diving in Atkinson, NH.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Finch! posted:

Yeah, woah

The bull sharks are back at Koh Tao! They disappeared a year or so ago, but they're back, apparently. Great success.

I swap Australia for Thailand on Sunday. Yikes. Last I checked it happened in three weeks, not three days.

See you soon.


I'm supposed to be in Koh Tao around August 26th-31st if you're still around. Dove with about 12 bullsharks in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Great experience.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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MA-Horus posted:

Two weeks until I'm in Thailand and diving again! What do you guys dive with, vest or back inflate BCDs? I've heard good things about both.

I prefer Wing/Backplate but Zeagle Ranger is a nice back inflate BC.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

I just got back from a week of diving in Koh Tao. Sorry I didn't get a chance to meet up with anyone else diving there.

I dove with Master Divers and did 12 dives with my girlfriend. Master Divers was great, very professional run dive op. I found the diving in Koh Tao to be very lacking though. Maybe I'm just spoiled by Caribbean diving, when I dove Koh Tao in 2006 I had similar thoughts about the diving. One of these days I'll do some diving in the Similians so I can compare.

Highlight of the week were definitely Chumphon Pinnacle, much much better visibility and massive schools of chevron barracuda. I also did a penetration dive on the HTMS Sattakut that I found to be nice. Very new wreck but still a good amount of life on it.

I was a little disappointed I didnt have a chance to do any tech dives, Chumphon Pinnacles would have been very nice to do a long deco dive on.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Anyone have any recommendations for taking the PADI IDC course? I'm looking to take the IDC/IE sometime in late January or February depending on the schedule.

I'm just having trouble finding reviews of different places, the options are endless from Florida, Mexico, Costa Rica, Utila, Roatan, Thailand for places to do it. I thought about doing it in Cozumel since it's one of my favorite places and I frequently dive there and have lots of friends that work on island but I just figured I would also look around at other places. I also looked at Rainbow Divers in the keys.

If you've done the IDC, do you recommend the place where you took it?

My fear is getting stuck in a class with lots of younger students with limited dives. I'm obviously not the most experienced person but I have been diving about 10 years (~850 dives) lots of local diving in New England, wreck/tech diving. I'm not looking for zero-to-hero. I'm already a DM and frequently help OW students in the pool and deckhand/DM on the a dive boat locally.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

pupdive posted:

Not to be confrontational, but the first thing to think about before becoming an instructor is that we really do not need any more instructors who already know everything teaching. We have more than enough of those, and that is the reason why we cannot get octopus's moved to the left side of rental gear, and why we still have tank valves turned back, and why we are still training with snorkels, etc. etc. Because we are tied to the way things used to be, for largely no good reasons other than inertia.

I don't think you're trying to be confrontational; I understand what you're saying. I'm very open minded person when I teach or help out students as it is. We have too many macho/arrogant "know-it-all" instructors up here (in New England) with chips on their shoulders. Believe me, that's not what I am shooting for. That sort of attitude kills me. I have fun on every dive and diving with anyone regardless of their experience.

With that being said, I have met some very new instructors who are great with students. Teaching just comes easier to some people. On the other end of the spectrum, I know of 30 year veteran instructors whom I wouldn't recommend anyone to.

I am mainly looking for an IDC has turns out good quality instructors and teaches to (and or beyond) standards. Maybe they all do that? But I haven't really been able to find reviews on different IDCs. My whole comments on my experience were based on the fact that I didn't want anyone to think i'm a bright-eyed student with grand delusions of becoming the next big PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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MA-Horus posted:

Must it be PADI? I've found SSI puts out some very good instructors.

No beef with SSI. They seem to have decent instructors except for one person I know. I found some of their training material to be a little unpolished. I hate how they refer to everything as a "Total Dive System."

I've taken courses from PADI, NAUI, SSI, TDI, CMAS. While PADI does have a reputation for having some terrible instructors, I firmly believe it's the instructor not the agency. PADI just happens to be the biggest so naturally there are more PADI instructors/divers out there.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

DreadLlama posted:

I have two gear related questions.

First, someone near me is selling a set of HOG regulators for about $250 (local currency). As I do not currently own regs, this might be good. But I've never heard of HOG before this sell ad was posted, so I don't know if they're a shite brand or not.


Question #2: Some guy recently recommended that the GoPro series of cameras as a potential upgrade from my Canon Powershot D10. Since my current camera is rated for 10m (and has never gone deeper than 15), and the Gopro's are rated for 60, they look to be a good fit on paper. Has anyone experience with these?


In regards to HOG regulators, I own several and they're actually great regulators. Very similar design to Apeks (some would say clones). Great regulators, the only issue is someone who can service them. I service my own which isn't an issue but check if you have HOG dealers in your area. If not there are multiple places online who can service them if you send them (One place being DiveGearExpress).

Anyone who is familiar with Apeks regulators should have no issues servicing them if they're willing to do it. The service kits can be bought online by the consumer.


I also own a GoPro, for photos they suck in my opinion. They're decent with video if you have the diving housing with the flat lens and/or color filters. A lot of people buy them and expect perfection out of a 300USD camera, they're very good at what they do but they're not perfect They don't do so well in low light situations so either use them when diving with good visibility or have video lights.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Bishop posted:

In me news, I am now living in Key Largo for at least the next 3 months. Got my gear, my boat, my favorite shop only 20 minutes away. Life is good. If anyone wants to come down and dive shoot me a PM or post in this thread. We can take my boat and I can even provide gear. I should be free on weekends, but I need some advance heads up because I'll sometimes schedule tech trips a week or two in advance.


Half tempted to come down. I havent been to Keys in about 4 years. Would love to do some tech diving on Spiegel Grove.

Would beat the winter water temps in New England.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

Just finished posting another scallop diving video from Columbus Day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAFJioNkQsM

If anything, it shows how boring scallop dives are :-)

Looking at the new GoPro Hero 3 for improved low light performance which would be nice for New England diving and especially in wrecks/caves.

I'm also in the drysuit camp of only using your suit to avoid squeeze. I keep as little air as possible in my suit to avoid an unmanageable bubble. Like SlicerDicer said, anytime you add gas to your suit your body has to re-warm that gas.


Not sure if you guys saw this on scubaboard but there is a DIY effort/group buy to make a universal goodman handle for most dive lights. It looks like it would work great for some backup lights. I have nothing to do with the sale of manufacture of this but I just thought it was a cool project.

http://www.indiegogo.com/gooddris?a=1652533

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Bishop posted:

I agree. I'm a fundies grad and dive close to, well now that I think about it a completely DIR rig. Fundies is a great course. This is purely anecdotal, but I haven't really seen any DIR nazis out on boats in a couple of years. These days I hear people complain about them far more than I actually see them They do have a somewhat good argument w/r/t gear setup though. If everyone has the same setup, it's much easier for a diver to help their buddy in an emergency situation.

I find the DIR attitude has toned down a lot in the past few years especially as GUE themselves are moving away from the DIR moniker/term.

5 years ago, there was a pretty prevalent DIR attitude in New England. Lots of arrogance displayed, newly minted fundies divers were telling divers that had been diving 20 years/executing dives well below 200ft everything that was setup wrong with their kit.

I have nothing against GUE but that sort of attitude really turned me off to their teaching or some of their members My kits are pretty much all setup hogarthian which leads people to believe I'm DIR.

Even the internet attitude has toned down considerably. I think a lot of it came from people worshiping GI3.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

Deco diving, fun stuff. On that topic..for most of my dives I've used an AL40 with either 50% or O2 depending on the dive. One of my goals is to get more experience carrying multiple deco gases; I've only done that a few dives since my initial deco procedures certification where I have carried two bottles, most of my deco dives at this point have been with one AL40.

I finally got around to converting an AL80 that I am going to dedicate to 50% and keep my AL40 and use it exclusively for O2.

I'm not doing anything terribly deep (~160ft) but even in my limited experience I've found having two deco gases makes for a much more efficient deco. Seems like it's sort of a crap shoot in the 100-150ft range though.

The dive I am doing this weekend is sort of a gray area. I'm planning on 120ft for about 40 minutes BT. Does it even make sense for me to carry two deco bottles for such a limited time? While it certainly wouldn't be fun, I could do all my deco on backgas entirely if I were to lose my deco bottle.

59 minute runtime with (O2 and 50%) versus 63 minute runtime with only O2. For extra 4 minutes, seems like not worth it to carry a second bottle.

I'll be venturing into trimix next year which I know will mean more deeper stops which means I'll want to get on Nitrox 50% to get helium out of my system sooner I would imagine. Makes much more sense to become proficient managing two deco gases before I make the jump to trimix.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.


Thanks. I definitely appreciate the advice. I always run my stuff through v-planner and try to keep several "oh poo poo" dive plans on a slate in my pocket for contingency. At this stage in my deco planning, most of my dives can be deco'd on backgas if I were to lose a deco bottle. I usually dive with double HP100s or LP95s with very generous fills. I agree with you about always having much more gas than needed.

In this dive, If go any deeper than 120ft i'd have to take a shovel and start digging. Most of dive will be ~105-110fsw. Have contingency plan for overstaying by 10 minutes or losing my deco bottle.

At this point, I definitely think I should start carrying two deco bottles for practice.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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pupdive posted:

I find that carrying one bottle easier especially if it is an 80 which just rides better than a 40 for me.


What's your rig for the 'back gas', assuming you are not running SM (sidemount)?

Diving traditional hogarthian rig. Double HP100s or LP95s with HOG 58# wing, SS backplate, basic harness. I use Apeks DS4 for my first stages and combination of HOG 2nd stages and Apeks ATX50s. Nothing too fancy. Apeks DST first stages for my deco bottles.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Well..forecast next few days is calling for high winds and 5-8ft seas.

Probably will not make it out to the wreck we wanted but will probably just end up doing some inner harbor wrecks and/or scallop diving. Still fun but I was looking forward to diving a different wreck this weekend.

Anyone have any experience with the DRIS 1000 lumens lights? Everyone that has them seems to think they make great backup lights. At 1000 lumens, they're brighter than some entry level can lights that people use.

http://www.diverightinscuba.com/catalog/lightsrecreationallights-drisdivegear-1000lumendivelight-p-3380.html

They just released a shorty version of this that will fit perfect on my harness
http://www.diverightinscuba.com/catalog/lightsrecreationallights-drisdivegear-1kshortydivelight-p-3586.html

Just ordered one of the original ones and I am going to put it in on a goodman handle and compare it to my buddy's DiveRite 9W LED Can light.

Have a Hollis LED15 can light on order that I can't wait to try out too.

Wish can lights werent so expensive. I get total light envy when I see people with 35W HID lights.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

Bangkero posted:

hey cool, I also ordered the original DRIS 1000 light for my brother for christmas. He wanted to go with the tovatec first, but I convinced him otherwise after seeing all the raves about the DRIS.

Never noticed the shorty, but that's cool - maybe that would be more suited for a goodman handle?

Depending on how impressed I am, I'll be ordering one for myself too!

Shorty just came out last week I think. It is definitely more suited for a goodman handle but it has a shorter run time. I think 2.5 hours (but only about 1.5-2 hours at max strength) from what I read. I'll probably pick a couple of those up and use them as my backup lights once I have some more cash.

There are some reviews of the light on cavediver.net forums. Seems likes a very good light.

I ordered longer one just because I wanted something with a longer runtime. There is a person who is doing a custom goodman handle for this and other handheld lights that I did a pre-purchase for.

http://www.indiegogo.com/gooddris

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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IM FROM THE FUTURE posted:

That light is amazing. I have a pelican light that runs off of some C's and it puts out like 27 lumens. To imagine 1000 lol. Is the beam on that thing concentrated or wide angle? Edit: 11.5% beam, i guess thats somewhere in the middle, not super tight but not wide either.

Went out for a beachdive tuesday before work. Conditions have been mostly crappy but that day they were too nice to pass up. Was with a buddy that shot some go pro so I got some cool shots. Was a beautiful day with nice viz between 30-60 feet. Tuesday nights dinner was also pretty incredible.


The shorty one has a 9 degree beam. Seems like a great alternative to a can light for poor people like myself.

Nice pictures! Wish I did more spearfishing. Just mostly do lobster hunting and scallop diving up here.

I spear the odd flounder every now and then but those don't typically count since they're dumb enough to swim into a catch bag.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Crunkjuice posted:

Tell me about lobster diving guys. I've got relatives near Boston and I'm thinking of trying to go lobster diving up there this summer. I know nothing of it, or the legalities.

Can be fun though you must be a Massachusetts resident and have a permit (it's like 45 bucks for the year). If you're not a resident, you could technically tag along with someone who has a lobster license. As long as that person comes out of the water with the lobsters it should be ok. Technically not legal but people do it all the time. Occasionally on boats or shore dives environmental police will check to make sure you have a proper license didn't take any shorts.

Even if you don't catch them they can be fun to play around with.

Lobsters have to be a certain size. There is a minimum and maximum. 15 lobsters a day limit (hard to get but it is possible if you know good spots). You gauge them underwater and also make sure that if it's a female that it doesn't have a tail full of eggs. (You can still take females, they just can't a eggs or a v-notch in their tail)

It's fun wrestling some of the monsters. 10-15lb+ losters look like small dogs and have huge claws. These guys are well oversize and can't be taken. (Unless you're off Cape Cod which has no size restrictions)

You do have to be quick because if they grab onto your finger, it WILL hurt. A few different techniques to use, some people use a tickle stick, basically a small pole that you get behind the lobster and tap them from behind. They sense the movement and think something is behind them and will shoot out from under the rocks or wherever they're hiding if you do it right.

Usually I just go in for the kill with my hands and hope for the best. As long as you can see where their claws are, you can grab them behind the head. Their claws don't extend that far. Trick is not to hesitant and just go as soon as you can see them.

The thing that can be frustrating about lobster diving is if you're new or it's the beginning of the season, a lot of times people spend a lot of time trying to wrestle small ones out of their holes only to realize they're too small. (You know the deal, things look bigger underwater). After a while you can usually look at the claws and get a good idea of it's size. I tend to know go after the smaller ones anymore.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Jesus..those things would light up caves nicely for video.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Yikes.. It was like a braille dive today. No ambient light at all past 30-40ft. Glad I brought a good light.

Wind from Friday and Saturday kicked up all the poo poo. I knew it was going to be bad when people who normally do very well catch wise were coming up after 10-15 minutes saying it wasn't worth it.

Still managed to get a full bag of scallops but 41F degrees is pushing the limits of my current undergarments.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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SlicerDicer posted:

God no thanks...

New England winter diving! Only the diehards go out in this weather :-) Air temperature 36f, water temp 41f. We actually had a full boat but it was like Murphy's Law today. Everyone that usually does really well had issues.

One regulator freeflow which forced someone to end dive, two drysuit floods, and another person couldn't equalize at all.

We are usually blessed with some decent visibility in the winter up here (30-50ft is good in winter here) but the last storm kicked up all sorts of poo poo. I was just glad to have got out today. We bagged the charter on Saturday because of 8ft seas. I would not want to be braille diving at 120ft so I'm sort of glad.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Bangkero posted:

Just wanted to follow up on this. The DRIS light is awesome and I'm definitely grabbing one later this year. When my brother turned the light on in the crowded living room - everyone looked towards him like he just activated a lightsaber.

Tried it in the pool - went well. The one thing I was worried after reading the complaints about the twist on/off being prone to user error. I've concluded that those complaints are voiced by retards.

Hope you're as impressed as I was!


Nice. Should be using this light this Saturday and Sunday on some wrecks so I can report back. So far I've been impressed; it is brighter than a lot of entry level can lights.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Found a couple old bottles while scallop diving this Sunday. Half of the bottles I find tend to be circa-1990 Budweiser bottles so I don't always grab bottles when scallop diving but sometimes it pays off. Water temperature is a balmy 41F degrees right now.

Stoneware bottle from mid to late 1800s. Stamp on bottom says Grosvenor 2 Glasgow. Old ginger beer bottle most likely.
Pepsi-Cola bottle from 1941 (Ok..this one is not really that old).

My friend who has been diving the harbor for 25 years literally has hundred of old bottles, jugs, etc. There tons of things to be found around Boston Harbor. Half of the harbor islands were old dump sites for trash.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Bishop posted:

Hahaha forgot about this post. A "Simple" one is just to ask them to explain the Varying Permeability Model vs. the Bühlmann model and which one you might prefer depending on the type of diving you are doing. For extra fun ask em' to throw in what gradient factors would be best for a given dive. Diving nerd fights can be pretty fun.

This might backfire if you get a DMC that is also a tech diver. :-) Some DMCs can talk the lingo.


Ugh...Boston has been brutally cold the last two weeks. Hoping to get out this weekend since it looks like air temp might break 30F :-)

Two weeks ago, I did a nice early 7:30AM dive at a site called Canoe Beach in Nahant, MA. Holy smokes it was cold, air temp was was 16f. Water was 39-41f. 37ft depth, 38 minutes BT. Visibility about 15ft. Tried out of my new 4th Element Artic undergarments, wow these things are warm compared to my other ones. Besides my hands (no drygloves), I was pleasantly warm.

My weight belt was frozen to the bottom of my gear bin. It was also cold one of the plastic cam band buckles on my BC broke/shattered. My LP inflator on my BC also froze but luckily thawed out once we hit the water. Noticing a pattern here? Everything was frozen. :-) Luckily no reg free flows, didn't breath off reg until we hit the water which helps.

Lots and lots of nudibranchs, surprisingly a bunch of lobsters. Some legal sized (and an oversized one too). No camera unfortunately.

Found three 8lb hard weights (took) and a small boat anchor (left there). I think this is the 4th or 5th weight belt I've found at this site.

As soon as we got out of water, ice started forming on our drysuit. Wind was starting to pick up, there were some small white caps out there. Overall a great but slightly cold new england dive.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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I posted earlier about someone making a universal Goodman handle for handheld lights, specifically the DiveRightInScuba 1000 lumens lights.

Got my handle this week and the build quality is very nice. This should work for any light that is 2" diameter. The DRIS 1000 lumens light is more powerful than a lot of entry level can lights so this essentially turns it into a poor man's can light. I have a Hollis LED15 can light that I eventually need to compare it to underwater.



macado
Jun 3, 2003

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SlicerDicer posted:

Damnitus! I want black dry gloves.. I really do not want blue for well contrast factor around sharks.

Smurf gloves as people call them. :-)

I have a friend that uses black gloves with the traditional Viking rings cuffs. I think they're just regular black Atlas latex gloves that stretch over the rings.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Bishop posted:

I'm looking into buying a drysuit and I'd like to hear some personal experiences. DUI seems the natural choice because that is by far what I see the most but I'm willing to be sold on any brand. Undergarments work for any brand (as far as I know) so what I'm looking for mainly is leak resistance, buoyancy characteristics, and durability. Also any suit that comes with a p-valve pre installed is a bonus.


I dive a USIA Techniflex which is biliminate suit. Works very well, has good sized pockets and dries quickly. My next suit will probably be a Santi just based on reviews and from what I have seen of these suits. I got this suit used for 500USD and have replaced the seals myself. It's on about ~300 dives and zipper is starting to go. It's a great suit for the price, you can get a brand new custom sized one for around 1300USD. I will probably replace the zipper and keep this as a backup suit when i'm reading to spend the money and buy a brand new one.

DUI is pretty much the standard a lot of people go by; nothing wrong with them. If you have money to blow check out Santi drysuits. Absolutely awesome suits with some great features, good warranty. A lot of them are now utilizing a plastic Ti-Zip zipper as opposed to a traditional YKK brass zipper. The jury is still out on how long they'll last because they've not been used in drysuits for very long but they appear to be much more durable than traditional zippers.

I personally prefer shell-type trilaminate based suits since you can wear whatever undergarments you want and layer for whatever the water temperature will be, plus trilaminate suits are much lighter, easier for travel and dry very quickly and easy to patch. A lot of people like DUI TLS350.

If you're doing a lot of wreck diving where there is a high chance of puncture you may want to look into DUI CF200 which is a crushed neoprene suit. Very rugged, has a little bit of inherent insulation but will require a bit more weight than a TLS350. Takes a big longer for a CF200 to dry and it's heavier for travel.

macado
Jun 3, 2003

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QuarkJets posted:

Okay, but even so, it's still pretty crazy to dive alone (IMO, as a newbie)

A lot of dives in New England end up being inevitably solo dives. It's not exactly looked down upon here, I'd have to say it's the norm depending on who you dive with. If a buddy asks me to stay with them or is nervous then I'll make a better effort to stay with them and discuss procedures.


When you're lobstering and have 5ft visibility it's very hard and wasted effort to keep track of a buddy. Buddies can be a liability. I much prefer to dive solo, my SAC rate is better :-) Most scallop dives are also drift dives where every diver has their own flag and boat will come pick them up.

That being said when I'm doing anything sufficiently difficult, I carry full redundancy either doubles with stage or a HP120 with an AL40 for a stage/pony.

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macado
Jun 3, 2003

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Crunkjuice posted:

Do you guys let people with a single air source dive by themselves? When i was in cozumel the DM didn't give a poo poo about buddy's because you could see for miles, but in would think in cold, murky conditions with a current, a buddy would be the most important thing on a dive.

Very true about Cozumel, when visibility exceeds 100ft it's very easy to just stay in the general area where everyone else is. DM may not buddy you up with someone but the expectation is to stay with the group.

For New England it honestly varies by boat/dive operator. The expectation is you know what you're doing and are responsible to make your own decisions. I would say most operators don't care if you're diving a single air source unless the person diving is not known to them or super inexperienced. A lot of regulars just prefer to dive solo and nobody here requires a solo diving cert that i'm aware of.

There are some charters that explicitly state that redundancy is required (due to depth, wreck, currents, etc). Some charters don't let people dive deeper than 130 feet using a single tank configuration and require a pony for dives within 100-130ft range for single tanks. Rebreather divers must carry appropriate bail out, etc.

This is my own opinion but it's really hard to lobster dive and keep track of a buddy. Most times you might have your head in a hole for a couple minutes, your buddy gets bored waiting and moves behind another ledge or rock to look for a lobster. Within minutes you're both out of sight of each other. It's sort of an unwritten rule that if you get separated you continue on diving unless it was agreed upon to stay together or surface if you can't find your buddy for X amount of time. Since a lot of people end up separated anyway, many just start off solo from beginning. Some would argue this is bad buddy practice/awareness issue but I can easily stay with a buddy if that is the agreed on plan but most people don't always practice this.

There are certainly people that solo dive around here without redundant sources of air. I'm one of them; If I know the dive is shallow (very subjective) and I know the site well enough where I won't get lost then I have no hesitation. According to my dive log I have 63 solo dives this year.

Of course I know I can do a CESA from 30-50ft, there is no overhead and I carry multiple cutting devices. I also occasionally dive vintage dive gear maintained by myself which is also a bit of an oddity nowadays in the dive world.

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