In-line Octo Opinions?

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In-line Octo Opinions?

Post by Sounder » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:49 am

Hey everyone - in looking at gear purchase, of course the "neat factor" of the in-line octopus (I'm considering the Atomic SS1) has presented a question for me.

I've solicited many difference opinions, but would like to know who uses them and what they like/dislike about them. I'd also like to know who doesn't use them and why. Has anyone been in a share-air or rescue situation with one? How'd that go?

Here is one opinion of a well trusted and well versed diver who argues against them:

My “objections” to an integrated octo are two-fold … first, it makes a shared-air ascent more task-oriented, especially for those who have one but have not practiced OOA ascents regularly to learn how to use it. Remember … you will be breathing off of the same hose that you now have to use to control your buoyancy with as you ascend. And you will be having to pay attention to what your buddy (who is breathing off of your primary) is doing while managing those tasks. It can be done, for sure … but it takes a bit more coordination and effort than using a standard octopus or bungeed secondary. Furthermore, most divers are not familiar with how it works … so if you should have to be rescued (where someone else will be controlling the air in your BCD), it increases the possibility that they will have to figure out how to manipulate the controls in your BCD inflator … not a big issue, really, but in the event of an emergency you want to minimize the task-loading and keep things as standard as possible. It reduces the risk of additional problems during the rescue attempt.

To my concern, the “problem” that an inline secondary solves … i.e. increasing streamlining by reducing the number of hoses … is better solved by proper hose selection and routing. Personally, I’m a big fan of the bungeed necklace on a 24” hose … it seems to offer the best trade-offs in terms of accessibility, standardization, and streamlining.


So - what are people's thoughts on this subject?

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Post by BDub » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:51 am

Sounder-

I'm not a fan of them, but it is also matter of personal preference.

If you do decide to use this configuration, make sure you practice practice practice, just like any other piece of gear or skill, for the reasons mentioned in your quote.

I had an Advanced Diver student who had this type of set up. We discussed the pros and cons of this configuration (primarily the 'cons'...OOA procedures). He assured me that he would be able to do an OOA with no problems. On our dive I had one of my Divemasters go up to him and signal OOA. He donated his primary, fumbled getting the backup (inline octo) into his mouth, then really struggled to dump his air, and they fell into an uncontrolled ascent until myself and the dm were able to slow it down.

The next dive, we did an OOA again. He was able to control the ascent this time, but he did so by taking the octopus out of his mouth to dump air, then put it back in. In an OOA situation, where your buddy is panicked, or fighting panic, I personally don't want to fumble around with taking the octo out of my mouth, dumping air, put it back in, repeat.

He eventually did become pretty proficient with it, but decided on a different configuration because even though he was able to do an OOA ascent with it, he was not able to make eye contact with his buddy (extremely important) as it wasn't long enough for him to turn his head towards his buddy.

Another thing to think about is I believe they have a larger lpi hose fitting, which means you have to buy that same size hose should something happen to yours. May not be as easy to find as the standard size in a pinch.

I guess a question for you would be what the "neat" factor is? Why are you looking at this type of configuration? What about it appeals to you?

B
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Post by Joshua Smith » Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:45 pm

That's my thought as well- I don't want to be screwing around with one in an OOA situation, although the thought of getting rid of a hose is appealing. I know Calvin dives with one, though....I guess it's personal preference.
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Post by BDub » Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:10 pm

My first priority though would be practice - I like to know all the in's and out's of my gear no matter what it's for.


Practice is certainly important.

also like having that air source right next to my mouth


From the quote you copied in your original post, there are other options that allow your backup to be near your mouth. A primary on a long hose (5' or 7') with a bungeed/necklaced backup puts the backup right below your chin. With practice, you can actually tilt your head down and grab the backup with your mouth without using your hands.

I can also see a difference in being at rec depths in contract to tech depths - it's a MUCH longer ascent from 300 fsw than 130 fsw


It is a much longer ascent from 300' than from 130', but an ascent from 130' is still a long ascent. Let's assume you and your buddy planned your dive properly and have adequate air/gas for an OOA at 130'. Your buddy is OOA at 130' and you donate your primary, then go to your SS1. You spend 1 minute assessing the situation and calming your buddy. You now start your ascent (let's assume the standard 30' per minute), which takes another 4 minutes, til you hit 20' where you do your stop for 3 minutes, followed by another 30 seconds to the surface. Your ascent was 8 minutes! 8 minutes is a long time to manage your octo/dump while providing support to your buddy. Keep in mind that you and your buddy would almost have to be nose to nose to make eye contact as the SS1 doesn't provide much range of motion to turn your head. Eye contact is extremely important in stressful circumstances.

but then again to a paniced diver 15' can be an eternity


It certainly can. Now imagine the scenario above.

I'm really just collecting opinions and though opening a discussion on it would be helpful to folks - it's certainly helpful to me.


Good for you for doing some research before making your decision.

B
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Post by BDub » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:27 pm

I'm really leaning toward a conventional set-up but I just think the in-line system is really worth consideration


I agree. In fact, I think all configurations should be considered before making a purchase.

It's very convenient until the emergency (but that's when it has to count)


That statement says a lot. It's certainly a lot more convenient to not wear my seat belt when I'm driving...

Another thing I'd consider with it would be a longer hose. Why not? Sometimes I wish I had a slightly longer hose on my regular inflate/deflate hose anyway.


Why do you prefer a longer inflator hose? Just curious. I actually like mine very short. That way it doesn't "hang" and move around and is always in the same exact place, but I know many divers who prefer a longer inflator hose.

There's just so much to consider, but I just can't/won't sacrifice function for fashion... ever.


Refer to the "convenient til the emergency" above.

On the flip side, if it's fine and works for me then why not?!


Exactly. This setup may work very well for you too. Just make sure you have the convenience vs emergency scenarios thought out!

B
Last edited by BDub on Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by BDub » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:56 pm

Sounds like a good plan Sounder! =D>
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Post by Tangfish » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:19 pm

BDub has some good points, and honestly you can debate which one is better till the end of time, as happens on SB, quite frequently.

SS1 breathes better than most primary regs, IMHO, and also inflates and deflates like a dream. I am a bit miffed right now at mine, since it's in for service and I've learned that these things are a little finicky (slow leak, not a big deal safety-wise, just annoying).

I still have a traditional octo that I can use if I'm doing a dive that necessitates the added hose length for alternate air sharing. But, honestly, most of the diving I do is at The Office and I don't need one. I've got a slightly longer hose on my primary and I can donate that to another diver and breathe off my SS1 in an emergency. I've got a longer hose on my BCD so it reaches around fine, I can turn my head, etc.

I think the combo units are great for convenience and eliminating a hose (if that's important to you). For me, it's also important because I don't have a left-handed octo for my twins right now and I don't like the idea of crossing hoses across the manifold. I'm just getting into diving twins though, so don't take my advice too seriously in that regard (15 dives or so now).

I also love the SS1 for travel, again for the hose elimination. It also unscrews nicely and you can hook a hose nozzle right onto the BCD deflator hose.

I would also caution that some BCDs don't mix very well with the SS1, including SeaQuest (read my review for details on that).

:salute:

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Post by BDub » Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:06 am

BDub - do you know exactly what model the guy was using who had trouble with it when the DM came up to him?


Doug- I don't know for sure. I think it was the SS1 (red in color, which I believe the Atomics is), but it could've been a Scubapro Air2. I'm honestly not sure though and I'm purely going off of memory.

I don't like the idea of crossing hoses across the manifold


Calvin, I know you're new to diving doubles, so maybe this will help a little...

Your backup traditionally comes off your left post, behind your neck, and over your right shoulder. If the hose is routed properly (downward, then over to the right), it shouldn't be anywhere near your manifold, instead well below. I do valve shutdowns on every dive I do in my doubles and have never felt the backup hose or the wing inflator hose. Getting a decent grip on the isolator valve itself is hard enough!

Hope that helps!

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Post by dsteding » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:31 pm

I thought long and hard about this when I was buying my equipment-certainly seemed like a neat invention. I eventually went with the long hose/bungied backup approach because I also didn't like the idea of trying to vent my BC as I am ascending in an emergency situation.

Something else to consider: if you dive with strangers, they may not be familiar with your equipment. Certainly a pre-dive brief can help with that, but at the same time, it seems that you'd need to have some practice as a team to be really comfortable ascending together with this setup.

Makes sense to consider both, and think out the reasons for the setup. I did my first OOA drill the other day with a buddy, she dives the long hose/bungied backup. It was a breeze. I swam up to her, signalled, she donated her primary, I had it in my mouth quickly, she switched to her backup (which is right below her chin), we checked her SPG, made sure the hose was free (the way you route the long hose makes it easy to keep streamlined but still donate it quickly) and we took ten minutes swimming up slope, comfortable as can be. Her apeks regs breath nicer than my salvos . . .

That first experience validated the approach for me, but YMMV. I can see Calvin's points about travelling, and I understand the desire to streamline, and these will certainly do that. Flip side of the coin is simplicity with the other setup, and while Atomic seems to make EXCELLENT products, the leaky issue is something I wouldn't want to deal with on a vacation.

Pros/Cons on both sides, but this is my 2 cents.

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Post by Tangfish » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:31 pm

A lot of great points here. About the routing, I'm trying to avoid having anything cross over the manifold, again for streamlining reasons and just simplicity's sake. I'll eventually get a left-handed octo to have on that side (Poseidon, Apeks). Also, I can't reach my isolator valve so unless I can with my 85s I'm going to get an extender for the isolation valve. Yes, I know that I'll get teased for it, but I'd rather be able to safely isolate my tanks! #-o

There really isn't a straightforward answer on what to do Sounder, I'd go with your intuition and you'll probably end up with an octo anyways at some point. The same arguments could be made for wireless computers. I have one of each, a hose'd one and a wireless one and I use them both (notice I didn't say 'hosed') :la:

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Post by BASSMAN » Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:07 am

long hose/bungied backup.
:dontknow:
I'm curious about this Routing is there a picture of ot some where?

I place my Octo in my Velcro, BC Pocket and always show my buddy where it is in case he (or she) needs it (Follow the long Yellow Hose).

seems to work well.

I have thought about getting an in-line octo that would attach to my inflator hose.

But I never took into considderation , a Shared - Air Ascent with this configuration, might coplicate things.
That reason alone will keep me from getting the In-Line set up.


Thank's for this Posting guys!

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Post by dsteding » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:01 am

Here is a good discussion of the long hose/bungied backup, with pictures:

http://www.5thd-x.com/xducation/regulators.html

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Post by Joshua Smith » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:44 am

Yeah- I may get teased to death for it; but I've been thinking about going with the DIR setup for my primary and backup. That part of the whole deal makes sense to me, but I don't know.....
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Post by dsteding » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:48 am

Nailer99 wrote:Yeah- I may get teased to death for it; but I've been thinking about going with the DIR setup for my primary and backup. That part of the whole deal makes sense to me, but I don't know.....


Nailer, I won't tease you at all-Bob was the first to show me this setup, and since I've been using it, I've become a believer in it.

Check out some of the video on 5thd-X's website re OOA drills. Watching the ascent and having breathed off of a long hose in a OOA drill, I'm totally convinced.

Plus, it gives you an excuse to buy a $1000 can light to hold your long hose at your side . . . .

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Post by Joshua Smith » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:13 am

Yeah....Thanks! I've been LOOKING for a way to justify one of those! I really do want one, they're totally cool!
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Post by dsteding » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:20 am

Glad to provide the excuse.

My Salvo is the best thing I've ever bought-really great around here in our murky waters, not just to see things, but to communicate with your dive buddy. Plus, the thing is just plain cool.

Dwain at Salvo is super helpful, they stand behind their product, and it certainly is well built and designed.

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Post by Joshua Smith » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:38 am

Yeah, plus you can use them to boil a pot of water for coffee after the dive!
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Post by BDub » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:54 pm

Yeah- I may get teased to death for it; but I've been thinking about going with the DIR setup for my primary and backup. That part of the whole deal makes sense to me, but I don't know.....


Nailer-

While the longhose/bungeed backup is part of the dir configuration, many non-dir divers use this configuration as well. It's also called the "Hogarthian" configuration.

I'm in no way trying to start a "what is dir" discussion, just wanted to let everyone know that this configuration is not exclusive to dir.

Just like with any other configuration, make sure you learn how to properly use this type of configuration, and PRACTICE! While it's a simple system, there is an "optimal" way to stow, deploy, and re-stow the long hose, and a "less than optimal" way as well.

My Salvo is the best thing I've ever bought-really great around here in our murky waters, not just to see things, but to communicate with your dive buddy. Plus, the thing is just plain cool.


I don't have the Salvo HID (I have the Dive-Rite), but I have his backup light and I am just amazed. I bought it as a 2nd backup (other backup is a Halcyon Scout) and if you shine the 2 together, you can't even tell the Halcyon is on, really. I was diving with one of my Scuba Diver students and handed him the Salvo to use, and I used my Scout (I don't usually use my HID on Scuba Diver class dives) and I had major light envy!
Last edited by BDub on Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by dsteding » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:02 pm

BDub wrote:While the longhose/bungeed backup is part of the dir configuration, many non-dir divers use this configuration as well. It's also called the "Hogarthian" configuration.

I'm in no way trying to start a "what is dir" discussion, just wanted to let everyone know that this configuration is not exclusive to dir.

Just like with any other configuration, make sure you learn how to properly use this type of configuration, and PRACTICE! While it's a simple system, there is an "optimal" way to stow, deploy, and re-stow the long hose, and a "less than optimal" way as well.



Well said on both points BDub. People have been diving long hoses before the DIR philosophy crystalized, and it seems that there are plenty of divers that use this configuration that do not consider themselves "DIR."

I posted that link to 5thd-X's webpage because I think it is a good discussion of the configuration.

I think for any configuration of gear it is prudent to practice, these bulletin board conversations seem to focus on the gear itself, but the bottom line is that the only way to get the most out of ANY configuration is to practice, practice, practice.

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Post by dsteding » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:54 pm

Exchange of ideas is one of the cool parts of these boards. Kudos to the individuals who have gone through the hassle of setting this up.

Regardless of the equipment we dive, it is worth thinking things through prior to purchase. This stuff is expensive. Sounder, lets go dive together soon, it really helps to see any setup in action before making up your mind.

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Post by Grateful Diver » Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:06 pm

Sounder, lets go dive together soon, it really helps to see any setup in action before making up your mind.

Gear considerations aside ... the two of you should dive together. Besides the fact that you have a great deal in common, there's a good possibility you will be taking an AOW class together .. :partyman:

... Bob (Grateful Diver)

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Post by dsteding » Thu Jun 15, 2006 5:38 pm

Bob, are you scheming?

Sounder, let's dive when we get a chance. I'm gone from the 23rd until after the fourth, sounds like you are gone until Mid-July, so let's just play it by ear and see how things line up.

Bob, looking forward to AOW with you, it sounds like a very usefull class.

-Doug

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