CCR Experience?

Re-learning buoyancy skills or have questions (or answers) about diving a CCR or SCR? The No Bubble Zone is the place to discuss rebreather diving.
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McGlencoe
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CCR Experience?

Post by McGlencoe » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:30 pm

Hi all,

I've been doing a bit too much reading about about rebreathers and my curiosity is getting the better of me and am interested in learning more, even up to the point of trying one of these dang things out.

I see that Silent Scuba has put on Rebreather Experiences in the past, but cancelled last years event and has yet to list one for this year, does anyone know of any other rebreather experience/demo type events going on in the NW?

Thanks in advance,

Tim

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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by Tangfish » Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:15 am

Not sure if it's happening this year but it is a very good chance to try out different units. I thought I was going to get a KISS and then ended up on a Meg after trying them both at the RBE. You'll never know how you like one until you try it!

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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:34 pm

You might have to travel. Add helium in Key Largo is a dealer/renter/instructor for a huge variety of units. Assuming you are thinking of buying new.

If you are looking for used you can buy a used unit, do MOD1. Then if you hate it, either modify it or sell it for roughly what you paid for it. This is what I did.
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McGlencoe
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by McGlencoe » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:40 pm

Thanks for the input Tangfish and CaptnJack.

Going to do a bunch more reading and have been in contact with Mel Clark, hopefully will be able to work out something with her on a RBE.

So CaptnJack, what did you have, what didn't you like about it and did you go a different brand or just get away from RBs?

Tim

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Jeff Pack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by Jeff Pack » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:15 pm

Keep in mind your mod 1 is not transferrable to another unit.

So its highly advisable to buy right the first time.
=============================================

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.

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CaptnJack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:26 am

MOD1 is transferable, 2 day crossover and problem solved.
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CaptnJack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:30 am

I bought a used Meg. Hated the secondary handset/display from the get go, complete waste of arm real estate and information. Had a fischer cable put on the secondary side and the HUD switched to the primary side and its vastly better. Also switched out the counterlungs.

Other units may be more or less modular.
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YellowEye
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by YellowEye » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:19 am

Hi
I just saw this in the Silent World newsletter

July 23rd

EXPLORER Rebreather Pool Demo!

Dive the latest in Rebreather technologies, the Hollis EXPLORER Rebreather! A short class presentation followed by a Pool dive giving you the feeling of what its all about. $75 fully credited towards a future Rebreather course email info@silent-world.com for our next Demo!

http://www.silent-world.com/#!rebreather/c1w3n
Kind request: Always keep your reg in your mouth when entering/leaving the water! There's always a chance of a slip or a rogue wave, and several locals have perished from not having their regs at the ready over the years.

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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:52 am

Just FYI
The explorer is actually a semi-closed machine which uses only nitrox. Can never be upgraded to a trimix capable machine. So fairly limited choice. Hollis makes another unit which is actually a full fledged CCR.
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McGlencoe
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by McGlencoe » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:10 pm

In the reading I've done CCR looks the way to go, Semi-closed doesn't make a lot of sense.

Ordered a couple books off Amazon and have started reading up on these things.

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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by YellowEye » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:41 pm

Hi

Craig (Silent World) is a good guy to talk to either way... tons of RB experience. He likely carries some CC model(s) as well (he certainly used to).

Also, even the Explorer should give you a feel for rebreathers, even if you don't end up on that model. You can start to get a sense for backmount vs frontmounted lungs, WOB, bouyancy, taskloading, setup etc

BTW: you can also geek out and download manuals for many rebreathers from the internet. There were links to a few in the link above. AP Diving also has theirs online amongst others as well.

-Eric
Kind request: Always keep your reg in your mouth when entering/leaving the water! There's always a chance of a slip or a rogue wave, and several locals have perished from not having their regs at the ready over the years.

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ljjames
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by ljjames » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:39 pm

Something I like to recommend people think about (which will probably go counter to what others will say) is getting the rebreather for the dives you plan on doing in the next year or so. Be honest with yourself. If you don't see yourself ever really going to 300' on the Admiral Sampson - then you probably don't need a rebreather that is ready to rock that party right out of the gate. If you get something like a Pathfinder (the Megalodon's smaller sibling) and you find yourself needing more rebreather down the road (keeping in mind it goes to 200' and scrubber lasts for up to something like 5 hrs depending on the dives), then upgrade just the canister/head/tanks. There are some really nice middle of the road rebreathers out there that are perfect for the majority of dives we do here in Puget Sound, but are also small enough to travel really really well.

Also +1 to what Richard Jack said about getting a used if you are cool with it. Mine was used, my dive buddy's was used, there are some kicking around that have been passed around like the village bicycle ;) A rebreather is a rebreather, for the most part, as long as they are not crazy franken-breather, they can pretty much be brought up to factory standard without much effort. I know several folks who picked up used megs and sent them down to Centralia for annual service, voila! good as new! The other nice thing about picking up one semi-local is that someone is bound to know its general story. "oh yeah that was so and so's, he dove it a bit, then got out of diving, it's got like 10 dives on it and he was super OCD about keeping all his gear immaculate".

And +2 for talking to Craig at Silent World :) He's awesomeness!
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:53 pm

McGlencoe wrote:In the reading I've done CCR looks the way to go, Semi-closed doesn't make a lot of sense.


For most dives, SCR is not what you want. There are a few popular SCR systems out there that "may" work for you, depending on your objective. The GEM and the SCR version of the sidekick are the only SCR units I would bother looking at. You are not going to be picking up an RB80, getting trained and diving it this decade.
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by pensacoladiver » Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:35 pm

I'll toss a grenade in the mix. You will hear a lot about Hollis rebreathers, especially the Explorer as Hollis is the PADI of dive gear... They know how to market very well.

That being said, good marketing does not always mean the best product. Often, quite the contrary.

Ask a lot of questions regardless.

Tony Land at Add Helium is awesome. He does not bad mouth units, he simply tells what he feels are the positives of each and allows you to make up your own mind.

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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:20 pm

There are a couple huge questions that would suggest asking yourself...
What kind of dives do you aspire to? (be realistic!)
Are you meticulous or a bit slipshod?
How much money do you have?
How far are you willing to travel for training?

A whole slew of units will drop out for various reasons (including all of them depending on Q2)

Depth limited, no local or even North American instructors, too expensive, etc. Take all those off your plate and you are typically left with about 4 to 6 units that you can afford, aren't vaporware, and can get trained on.
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ljjames
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by ljjames » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:39 am

+1 to all the solid advice Richard is giving you.
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McGlencoe
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by McGlencoe » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:20 pm

Wow, thanks for all the input from everyone.

1) Im looking at rebreathers as I like the additional bottom time, especially in the 100' range. No Ad. Samson at this time, but the Knot would be a definite. I'm still a new diver, but every time down I just want to stay longer.
2) Yes, meticulous with my dive gear.
2a) I'm a tinkerer and love to get into the nuts and bolts of things; very technical inclined.
3) I definitely don't have money to burn, but not afraid to spend money for a good product, just have to plan it out.
3a) I am very into buying used. The only new items in my OC kit is my computer, mask, gloves and booties. The rest is all shopped off ebay, craigslist and this board! Buy good stuff and then have it serviced.
4) I'll travel for the training, but would rather do it here in the NW. Would rather learn from someone who dives our cold murky waters and understands what it takes to fly these things in our waters.

Right now I'm in the research mode and just want to learn more about RBs; a RB Experience would go a long way for me. Probably won't be purchasing anything until next year anyway, unless the right deal comes up and I've done a demo and decided it is the right course for me.

I like the idea of the Meg as they are local, though from what I've seen at the high end of the $$$ range.

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Jeff Pack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by Jeff Pack » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:20 am

One thing you need to seriously consider, is your cold tolerance. Longer dives sounds very appealing, but remember thats longer and colder diving.

I had to add more thermal protection, and add a heated vest, as 3+ hour dives, you get really cold.
=============================================

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.

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CaptnJack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:22 am

Used Meg's have dropped slightly in price due to the release of the Meg15. But they have been around awhile and very old units that are costly to upgrade are often for sale for what seems like a bargain (careful). Used revos can be found for cheap with recent relative devaluation of the Euro.

Used Kiss classics are often affordable but the plastics can get brittle with age. The newer Kiss units, which you can sometimes find on the used market (local dealer and instructor here in PNW) are comparable in price to a used meg or revo. The SF2 could be a contender (and there's a local dealer) but hasn't been around long enough to find used.

Personally, I don't think there's anything about a CCR or MOD1 which is cold water specific. Like nothing at all not even mentioned in a 5 day class. So staying local (which drastically limits your units and instructor choices) might not add any value. In case you haven't noticed, CCR instructors are approved by an agency and are unit specific. MOD1 (air diluent) is 5 days, that gets you in the CCR door. You can do potentially a cross-over to another unit which is typically 2 days. Not all units/agencies offer cross-overs if you decide to switch units down the road.

Just staying down longer in the recreational range can be achieved with a set of doubles and an al30 O2 bottle. For a fraction of the price and training time/cost of a CCR. Do you have nitrox already? Any deco or trimix training? OC nitrox is a prerequisite for all CCR courses, some (many?) require adv. nitrox or equivalent as well. I'm sure my Meg course through TDI required Adv. Nitrox.
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:35 pm

Off the top of my head I am thinking
New Kiss units
New Hammerheads
New SF2
Used Revos
Used Megs
are the most plausible local-ish units available.
Its a quick flight UT for a Hammerhead + training or service
Kiss and SF2 units and training in Bellevue. At Silent world and Bellevue Divers respectively
Revo and Meg training both available locally. Revo service is in Chicago, Meg service in Centralia.

I might be missing something but that's 5 different brands with multiple models within a brand.
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by pensacoladiver » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:52 pm

rEvo service is in Jersey. Or do you know something I don't? :-)

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ljjames
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by ljjames » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:47 am

I disagree with 'colder' diving. yes the duration itself can make you colder just due to duration but I'm hugely warmer diving CCR. If I up the undergarment thickness can stay down hours, add a heated vest it gets a bit ridiculous. Warmth and the exothermic rxn is one of the reasons I love diving CCR. OC gas is SO COLD after you've been diving warm(er) moist air for a while :)
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Jeff Pack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by Jeff Pack » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:40 am

I've already got 3 layers of UA underwear(UA baselayer, UA 3, and UA4), then my thermal fusion over that, and a vest, and still just manage to maintain status quo, which is why I said it depends on your thermal tolerance.

Start regularly diving to 200ft plus and you'll discover cold, especially in Lake Washington, down deep brings a whole new definition of cold. Same goes for Lake Crescent.

After I lost all my weight, my cold tolerance plummeted.
=============================================

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.

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CaptnJack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:10 am

pensacoladiver wrote:rEvo service is in Jersey. Or do you know something I don't? :-)


Ooops yeah OceanEdge is in NJersey.
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CaptnJack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:12 am

Personally I am only slightly warmer on CCR. My O2 consumption isn't very high so I don't get much of a reaction going and the loop temp isn't really all that warmer, at least according to the handset.
Sounder wrote:Under normal circumstances, I would never tell another man how to shave his balls... but this device should not be kept secret.

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