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Old 17-01-2010, 14:48   #16
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Pre '69

I taught myself to Scuba in '66. Helped form an Underwater Club to much mirth from the rest of the University. Not much gear (72 cu. ft. Gal, plate backpack, Nimrod single stage twin hose, just like Jacques) , no regulation. We thought we we were being real advanced when we used dive tables.

Could have made a fortune if I'd chased abalone instead of my studies.

Can't dive any more. Too much gear, not enough assistance. We looked after each other better in the good old days.

What are Mae Wests? Wet suits? Octopus whatevers?, Dive computers?
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Old 17-01-2010, 15:02   #17
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Questions about Brownie's Third Lung

Thanks for all the great info.

A couple of questions regarding the Brownie's Third lung.

- If you blow a fuse (electric version) or run out of gas (gasoline version), is there any accumulator tank or other reserve, or are you faced with an immediate controlled emergency ascent ?

- The commercial electric unit states 60' with two divers but it only has 60' "down lines". Is the 60' the max depth the compressor will supply or is it the length of the hose ?

It sure seems like a great solution for bottom cleaning or checking the anchor.

Thanks again.



-Sven
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Old 17-01-2010, 15:36   #18
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Good question Sven,

This is the reason for training. One of the things about dive training, or at least when I took it, is what to do when you try to suck in another breath and it ain't there. It was so often that it became a bit annoying. Of course that was a long time ago and they may have wimpier training now.

Same thing when I learned to fly, it seemed that every five to ten minutes the instructor was pulling the throttle and telling me the engine just quit.

Under my original dive training, you could run out of air really deep, like maybe up to 100 ft (remember no gauges) and if you kept calm, you could get to the surface.

Looking back to your original question: NO there is no accumulator tank. It can be a bit disconcerting to try and take a breath and t'ain't nuttin there. If you have training you are concerned, with no training we might be reading about you in the paper. I cannot overempathize the importance of training. Also, while in training do not be embarassed to insist on extra training on anything that bothers you.

When learning to fly I was concerned about spins. I insisted my instructor give me some lessons. Guess what, my first time solo to the practice area I put myself into a full power tail spin. Thanks to training I was very annoyed with myself but recovered after only losing about 800 ft of altitude.

For the second part of your question. The compressor in this case would be the primary restraint. There is a certain amount of air volume you require and it varies with the depth. At surface you need one lung unit, i.e. the volume of air that normally goes in and out every breath. At 33 ft. that volume doubles, at 100 ft you would need almost 4 times that volume.

I apologize that this is overly simplistic but be sure that if you take the training you will become very well versed and your question will answer itself.

To all, have fun but be safe.

Rich
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Old 17-01-2010, 15:53   #19
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Three of us were at about 25 ft. a couple years ago when our Brownie's quit. We looked at each other, shrugged, and all slowly headed up, exhaling as we went. the insulator cap over the spark plug was defective and seawater had basically become a kill switch.

you CAN get an accumulator tank for a hookah, if you want one. Might give you another breath, which would be nice to give you a second to plan your ascent. You could also carry a backup pony bottle with you.

By the way, we've had the Brownies for over six years now, and they have been fantastic for customer service. I just last week drug mine out of where it's been stored for over a year, and discovered some plastic parts had become brittle over the years. The purge covers on the regs. I emailed them, and they sent me three replacements immediately, no charge. this thing is WAY out of warranty.
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Old 17-01-2010, 16:54   #20
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Yep Canibul,

My own experience with the folks at Brownie have been first class. No question it's good gear.

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Old 17-01-2010, 17:48   #21
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diving

I guess I'm like a lot of you; first scuba around 1962, at age 15, with a galvy j tank, dual hose, single stage on a very simple back pack. Cast lead weights in a plywood mold on the kitchen stove, then made a wet suit by edge gluing 1/8" neoprene and gluing yellow neoprene over the seams. Worked fine. Eventually even made a hood and boots. There was no certification necessary that I recall. Got certified in spring of 1970, then drove a volvo to Guatemala for hookah diving on an archaeology project. The gear today looks ridiculous to me, for simple stuff, but I guess it makes sense below 30' or so. Certainly training is a good idea, even if it is at least partially just a money maker for the industry. Still saves lives.

And cabo sailor, I'm with you on the spin training. I, too, insisted on it, even though at the time they had taken it out of the curriculum (too dangerous) and I'm glad I did... spun unintentionally twice at low altitude while sword fish spotting, but recovered with no problems except an extremely elevated heart rate.

I'm now thinking about building a hookah for bottom cleaning.

Best, Bob S/V Restless
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Old 17-01-2010, 18:13   #22
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Thanks for the answers.

If there is no accumulator tank we'd probably just bring our 30 cf pony tanks with the idea that we'd never use them except for ooa situations. IOW we wouldn't need to have them filled unless something went wrong. We'd leave the full size tanks behind on land. Both of us have done controlled emergency ascents, but only from about 30'. Finding out that there is no no air when you have just fully exhaled with no backup is not part of the enjoyment deal :-)

Thanks,


-Sven
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Old 17-01-2010, 18:45   #23
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Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
Thanks for the answers.

If there is no accumulator tank we'd probably just bring our 30 cf pony tanks with the idea that we'd never use them except for ooa situations. IOW we wouldn't need to have them filled unless something went wrong. We'd leave the full size tanks behind on land. Both of us have done controlled emergency ascents, but only from about 30'. Finding out that there is no no air when you have just fully exhaled with no backup is not part of the enjoyment deal :-)

Thanks,


-Sven
I have an Air Line. Whenever I run out of gas there is enough air in the hose to get at least two good breaths from. Plenty to make it back to the surface comfortably. You get a constant thumping from the compressor when it's running full tilt. When it starts to run out of gas I always know it by the irregular thumping of the engine sputtering. Most times I'm at the surface before it actually runs out of gas. It will spit and sputter for almost a minute before it actually dies. Perhaps with an electric 12 Volt system it's different.
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Old 17-01-2010, 23:14   #24
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Please keep in mind that I know NOTHING about the sport.
Best Regards,
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I should had said that I don't know much. I did go SCUBA Diving in Cozumel when I really did know NOTHING!
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Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
SCUBA diving in general is potentially dangerous. It is only the rigorous insistence on training and modern equipment that keeps it from being ruled out of business by government regulation.
Fast forward to the 21ST century. How long would the sport last if there were 22 fatalities in one state in one year? Ante up and enjoy.
My story to come.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
Same thing when I learned to fly, it seemed that every five to ten minutes the instructor was pulling the throttle and telling me the engine just quit.

When learning to fly I was concerned about spins. I insisted my instructor give me some lessons. Guess what, my first time solo to the practice area I put myself into a full power tail spin. Thanks to training I was very annoyed with myself but recovered after only losing about 800 ft of altitude.
Rich
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob kingsland View Post
And cabo sailor, I'm with you on the spin training. I, too, insisted on it, even though at the time they had taken it out of the curriculum (too dangerous) and I'm glad I did... spun unintentionally twice at low altitude while sword fish spotting, but recovered with no problems except an extremely elevated heart rate.
Best, Bob S/V Restless
It was in the late 20th Century and my girlfriend and I were in Mexico and wanted to go SCUBA diving. We seen a tour guide at the resort and made the arrangements. We had an option to get our training at the resort in the pool or in the Ocean before we went out and did the real thing. Well, my logic (often flawed) told me, why not do the training in the Ocean. It would then contribute far more to the once in a life time experience. So that was the plan. We headed to the Ferry on the day of the dive and headed over to Cozumel. We happened to be sitting beside a couple that we recognized from our resort and started to chat with them. Well, if they weren't going SCUBA diving also. Difference was that they took their training at the resort. I asked them how it was and they said it was good and spent a whole afternoon and two tanks of oxygen in the pool.
We carried on and once we arrived at Cozumel went to the meeting place to check-in. They couldn't find our registration regardless of the confirmation that I held in my hand. Anyway, that finally got straightened out (1/2 hour plus) and we were ushered to a table with about 12 or 15 people at it. They were all intently listening to the speaker for last minute pointers and cautions. When we were seated, we were also given a waiver form to fill out (about 3 pages if I remember correctly). WELL, between trying to read and understand what I was about to sign and trying to listen to the speaker, I did neither very well.
AND WE WERE OFF!
The program for all that were trained was going to be get geared up on shore and then follow a rope from shore out into the Ocean that followed the sea bottom. After that everyone would regroup on shore, have their tanks filled, load on the the boat and head for the reef.
I told them we were suppose to get trained first! They seamed surprised that we hadn't been. They then went on to say that it isn't hard and they would spend some time with us at the shore. The sum of that training (which is the sum of ALL the training we received) was to show us how to clear the regulator.
Now my spidy senses were tingling like crazy by this point, but I was looking forward to this so much (and already paid big money) that I was able to subdue them (IDIOT!). We carried on. After our training (couldn't have been longer then 3 minutes), off we went following the group down the rope. It wasn't difficult at all, walk in the park I thought. Now it was quite a surprize once a slight level of comfort set in after been so focused on following the rope and just looking at the bottom to start to look around and see how far we had gone and how MUCH water there was above us. We were down about 30 feet. That said, neither of us pee'd our wet suits so we were ready to keep going.
Back to shore we go.
While as I was coming out of the water and was taking my regulator out of my mouth, I noticed that the rubber mouth piece was split. Perhaps I was biting down on it too hard. I don't think so though. At this point the Dive Master?? was there and said no big deal and pulled it off the regulator saying he would get a new one.
We had a break on shore while they refilled our tanks and then got onto the boat and headed for the reef. Once we got out there they got us suited up with the same equipment that we had. Probably due to the fact that the weight belts and harnesses were all adjusted to us.
Well the way the equipment was set aboard was the order that we went into the water in. Lucky me, I was first.
After I was all suited up and ready to get into the water, I went to put my regulator in my mouth and low and behold, he didn't replace the rubber mouth piece that he pulled off earlier. At that point I was told to just use the secondary regulator. More Spidy tingling going on. I remember thinking that I'm sure I could still use the regulator even if there was no rubber piece on it if I had to.
AWAY I GO!
It was amazing. All sorts of fish of every colour. I was in heaven (closer then I really knew).
All was well until I notice that my mouth was getting water in it. Very slowly though. I tried to clear my regulator but the water stayed in my mouth, not much have you.
Well this continued slowly and then seamed to become exponentially.
IN A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME my mouth was FULL!
I can tell you there was NO controlled accent (and we were down 40 feet). I came up just as fast as I could!
Once at the surface I took out my regulator and got all the water out of my mouth.
All this to say ...... ya, proper training is probably a good thing! Even regulations. But regulations are no good if they aren't followed.
And NOW I know enough to know how STUPID that was.

And now for one of my early flight training experiences.
I had only read the text at this point and so didn't really have any feel for what I was about to try. We hadn't done any yet but were going out to do my first stall and spin exercises. I do remember reading about stalls and the text saying nose down, full opposite rudder and if I remember correctly (been along time since I've flown) neutral aleirons and power on once you stopped the spin. All the words seamed to be quite dramatic.
Now of course we were going to try stalls before spins. I couldn't remember much from the text book so far as how exaggerated the control inputs were to be to recover from a simple stall.
My instructor did one and it seamed pretty easy and so now it was my turn. While I noticed the outcome well enough when he did it but with the information overload I was experiencing at that time really didn't notice how aggressive he was (or wasn't) so far as control inputs go.
WELL ........
Wasn't my Instructor surprised when ....... After pulling the throttle back to idle and then him telling me keep the nose up and wait and keep the nose up, wait, wait, keep the wing level (so as not to go into a spin). It seamed like forever for the wings to totally lose lift. He was about to earn his money!
The stall warning was going off like mad through most of this but wings did not want to properly stall and then it happened, the nose DROPPED, it was time for me to recover from my first stall. I went into action.
Now I had studied the spin recovery far more because I knew it was a more difficult maneuver.
I put the yoke full forward FULL throttle. We went directly into a full power on dive. I then remember my Instructor say "I have control".
Boy was he surprised. Me too.
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Old 18-01-2010, 00:03   #25
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a whole afternoon and two tanks of oxygen in the pool.
I think that's when the irreparable brain damage happened.



-Sven
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Old 18-01-2010, 00:45   #26
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As an instructor, I have used both but personally prefer the freedom and versatility of a tank and complete buoyancy control when doing anything in the open Sea.

From salvage work to cleaning bottoms, the supply hose from a brownie type can get caught up in currents and/or snarled around fixtures.

Exploring new reefs or doing a night dive, I much prefer to be self contained.
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Old 18-01-2010, 06:16   #27
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Of course. It would be kinda dumb to use a surface supplied system inside a wreck or anywhere you could get the hose hung up. But cleaning a hull? What's it going to get hung up on? the prop or rudder? only when you are working on the prop and rudder. And the solution? reach up and unhang it. Its not like this is some horrible accident. Its a hose tugging at the attachment point on your harness. Doesn't even pull it out of your mouth.

Same thing can happen when you have an 'octopus' regulator with another second stage dangling from it, another loop of hose to your vest, another loop of hose to your "control console", and the loop of hose to your mouth.

Its just hoses. Same basic thing as with the rest of diving with compressed air. Don't panic. Why do "certified divers" want to act like this is such a risky, death defying activity?

As far as the hose getting "caught up in currents"...?

I humbly submit that such a current that would cause drag problems on a small hose would make your life miserable a LONG time before that particular aspect of it bothered you.

I totally agree that the convenience of untethered diving is great with SCUBA, once you get in the water. You do have to deal with that whole thing of dealing with tanks, fill stations, transporting and storing the tanks, etc. If you don't mind the mass and weight required on your boat, and the hassle, it's a great feeling of freedom. For a very limited while.

I would never recommend the hookahs for wreck or cave diving. But in my experience, the vast majority of fun stuff to look at underwater is shallower than 30 ft. Certainly shallower than 50. A system that can take four divers to look at the reef yet takes up less space than two SCUBA tanks and runs for four hours on half a gallon of gas....

its definitely got it's place.

There is also a feeling of freedom in not having to wear all that crap modern dive shops convince you that you will need to buy in order to even have a chance to survive in this almost certainly fatal environment....
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Old 18-01-2010, 06:44   #28
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I have the Bauer Junior II on order, sort of. I initially wanted the electric version to be driven off my generator but have now come to the realization that I would be pretty close to the limit (particularly as I have 1-phase and not 3 phase) and am changing to the 2-stroke engine driven model. It will take up most of the space in a deck lazarette locker and, from all accounts, is very loud but it will fill a large SCUBA tank in about 20 minutes. The problem is that it needs to be accessible as maintenance and cleaning is necessary after every run so it cannot be hidden somewhere less accessible (plus it would then need to be the electric model).

The description for hookah systems and their footprint aboard makes it a good alternative particularly for smaller boats.
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Old 18-01-2010, 08:27   #29
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Start up amperage is a VERY large limitation in the electric compressors. I relented and have a gas driven compressor on board. It does take a bit to fill tanks however. Perhaps a 1/2 hour per tank from the 1000 psi mark to 2800 psi. I am not certain, unless I were a VERY avid diver (I am pretty avid), that I'd suggest getting an onboard compressor. It takes a lot of thought in mounting the compressor, and even more thought in accounting for servicing. You have to remember to clean/replace filters often. You have to keep exhaust away from the air intake. You should have the ability to get to all service points on the compressor. On smaller boats, this can present some logistical challenges!

All this considered, I'd tend to recommend something like the hookah set-up and carrying a couple 80 CU ft. aluminum tanks for Scuba. Doing things like exploring corral heads, cleaning the bottom, checking props is far less of a headache on hookah. Having the freedom to explore somewhat deeper on that special occasion justifies bringing the tanks. Having two per diver means you can get them refilled at more convenient times.

Yes, with the two person hookah set ups, you have to be aware of and very near your dive partner. The hoses do have to be managed at times. But, you can pretty much, break out the compressor, mask, fins and bathing suits (okay, that's optional!) and you're in the water. Pulling tanks, inspecting regs, hooking up B.C's, getting rigs into water, getting rigs out of water, cleaning tanks, cleaning B.C's, cleaning Reg's, cleaning filters, inspecting compressor, attaching tanks, filling fuel tank, starting engine, monitoring fill, monitoring heat... etc. is the price we pay for that great dive, but there is much to be said for the simplicity of the hookah. Especially the electric versions.
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Old 19-01-2010, 19:23   #30
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Wonderful info so far... However, Sven, remember that unless all your equipment is color coordinated, it'll never work right additionally, you'll need to purchase the meanest looking diveknife you can find as well as the fanciest dive computer, etc..

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