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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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by McGlencoe » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:12 pm

The cold hasn't bothered me with my longest dives being one hour and I'm currently diving wet. Will be going dry at some point this year so I can do more winter dives. Have gotten chilly a couple times, but nothing serious, usually on the second dive of the day. I know people are different and have heard various dive partners talk about how cold a dive was and I was thinking it was awesome!


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.


Did my Nitrox training late 2013, but never received my cert. (passed it no prob, but...long story), currently remedying that. Also currently talking with Mel Clark about the IANTD Rec received and Adv Rec Trimix classes plus a RB Demo during a week in Sept, so I think I've got a plan in motion for my fall. She will accept a couple more students in on the class and demo if anyone wants to jump in.

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.


Wow, thanks for all that, time to do more research!

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YellowEye
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by YellowEye » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:26 pm

Btw: Probably if you got a drysuit and a 130 cu ft cylinder and get good fills (hello, UWS Bellevue!), you could do 90 min dives.
Note that many of my rebreather dive buddies don't want to go longer than that... so prepare to look harder for buddies or go solo for longer dives.
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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yadayada
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by yadayada » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:14 pm

Another unit that has not been mentioned here yet is the Poseidon Mk VI\Se7en - while purists are easy to dismiss it and place into the same category as the GEM\Explorer, it is actually a well thought unit for beginners that allows diving within the MOD1\MOD2 confines for less money than other units. The unit itself is super simple and its automated predive routine has already been copied step-by-step by other manufacturers. There are many of these units in the market and they have proved to be solid both in the recreational and technical configurations. They have sold many units and there is a healty 2nd hand market as well as a number of factory refurbished units under warranty appearing on the market. The modular approach allows to start with a recreational configuration and then upgrade to a technical configuration, or start directly with a Tec configuration without breaking the bank. Being a big seller, there are third party mods and accessories well tested and regarded(3rd cell monitoring to add a Shearwater Petrel\NERD, cages and stands, CO2 monitoring kits, self packing scrubber canisters, etc.). This is well supported locally with instructors, service and a good number of divers. A Poseidon Experience will happen in the September\October timeframe.

As CaptnJack mentioned before, the SF2 is a solid unit supported locally, that allows for both backmounted and sidemounted configuration. There will be a Try SF2 Experience at the end of August as well as a crossover opportunity at any level - details will go public soon.

All these models are available at Bellevue Divers today.

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CaptnJack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:40 pm

McGlencoe wrote:Did my Nitrox training late 2013, but never received my cert. (passed it no prob, but...long story), currently remedying that. Also currently talking with Mel Clark about the IANTD Rec received and Adv Rec Trimix classes plus a RB Demo during a week in Sept, so I think I've got a plan in motion for my fall. She will accept a couple more students in on the class and demo if anyone wants to jump in.


I have no idea what profiles your are diving but when you said wanting to stay longer are you running low on gas or running out of NDLs? Or both? Are you actually diving nitrox now? What is your SAC rate? I am betting you are relatively warm in a wetsuit because you are moving around a lot and generating a lot of heat which is burning through your gas.

Going to a CCR on the Diamond Knot won't really change the dive. The slack period is too short and on a square profile there's minimal to non-existent deco advantage to using a CCR. Small doubles and a small deco bottle cost about 1/10th the price of even a used CCR. For the same bottom time. Personally, scooters changed my dive options/capacity a lot more than the CCR did, on a scuba unit basis at least.

I would get and dive the drysuit for at least ~60 dives/1 year before moving on to more advanced (expensive) stuff.
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ljjames
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by ljjames » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:39 pm

+100 for what rjack and yelloweye both said. Y'all are saving me so much time typing :)
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McGlencoe
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by McGlencoe » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:56 pm

I'm not planning on jumping into a RB within the next year, just exploring the idea, which is why the RB demo with Mel in Sept will go a long way. If it is good and I want to continue on the path it will be a year or more before looking to purchase one. Time to learn all I can and ask a lot of Qs and get as much info as possible.

I have no idea what profiles your are diving but when you said wanting to stay longer are you running low on gas or running out of NDLs? Or both? Are you actually diving nitrox now? What is your SAC rate? I am betting you are relatively warm in a wetsuit because you are moving around a lot and generating a lot of heat which is burning through your gas.


Have dove Nitrox a few times, but not diving it much.

Calculated my SAC at .78 a couple weeks ago, not great, but not horrible. More experience will help drop the SAC, haven't thought much whether a dry suit would, guess I don't think I'm cold in the wetsuit, so never thought much about it.

As far as big tanks, I'm a big guy (6'6" - 220), so the HP120s are my friend!

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McGlencoe
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by McGlencoe » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:10 pm

I am curious though with the people saying to move to doubles first.

What, in your mind, is the point at which a rebreather is to be considered?

I started a thread a couple years ago when I was looking for HP100s/120s and 1/2 the input was to go to a RB, now that I asking about RB info, the input seems to be stay OC? Curious.

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yadayada
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by yadayada » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:21 pm

McGlencoe wrote:I am curious though with the people saying to move to doubles first.

What, in your mind, is the point at which a rebreather is to be considered?

I started a thread a couple years ago when I was looking for HP100s/120s and 1/2 the input was to go to a RB, now that I asking about RB info, the input seems to be stay OC? Curious.



The answer is "it depends". Richard was stating that if the objective is to dive the Diamond Knot, the RB has no real advantage over a pair of doubles. and a deco bottle. Same if the goal is to achieve a slightly longer bottom time, <90 minutes within recreational confines.

But those are edge cases. RBs are approaching the price point where they are competitive with OC Tec diving - even more so if someone wants to dive trimix.
2 sets of doubles, 3-4 stage bottles, the regs going with them, BP\W, and 1-2 TMX computers retail for about $9500 if choosing good quality gear, and that's the same price of a fully configured RB ready for MOD3, while a MOD2 RB can be had for a little less.
There is false economy in thinking that the OC gear gets acquired over time instead of a single purchase. Given that these days 75% of OC Tec trimix divers eventually move to RB, it means spending the same money twice, including repeating the whole training path in OC and CC.
Starting with the end in mind, if the objective is to dive TMX past 100-120fsw, do long scooter dives, and eventually approach the 200-250fsw dives, today is more cost effective to start with a RB.

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YellowEye
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by YellowEye » Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:11 pm

For me, the main keeping point of my rebreather is no bubbles in my wide angle photos, and the ability to do 3.5 hour photo dives. Outside of that the argument gets tougher for me. OC is way less setup time and I really do enjoy the simplicity when on it.
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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CaptnJack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:17 am

McGlencoe wrote:I started a thread a couple years ago when I was looking for HP100s/120s and 1/2 the input was to go to a RB, now that I asking about RB info, the input seems to be stay OC? Curious.


Doubles + training are a lot cheaper than even a used CCR. You haven't really articulated anything that suggests to me you need to spend the money on a CCR (and its really an obscene amount of money). Shoot you could get a boat for the price of many CCRs. Or a fabulous camera setup.

I would get a drysuit, a scooter, and go diving lots to get your consumption down. 0.8 isn't extreme but its a bit high still. 0.6 cfm is a good target here in cold water, 20% less than current is attainable.

Scooters, drysuits, boats, and cameras all bring a ton of value to diving and allow you to do new and interesting dives. A nitrox machine? (air dil no trimix yet) That just lets you dive really expensive nitrox.
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Jeff Pack
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by Jeff Pack » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:29 pm

http://www.rebreatherworld.com/showthre ... 7-for-sale

Pretty sweet deal on a barely used meg
=============================================

- 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 15, 2015 8:22 am

Except that its a tall can (that won't fit in an airline overhead bag). And a huge 8lb scrubber and $6500 for someone who doesn't even dive OC nitrox now. To get trained on that unit would be like $2000 because Leon will require OC nitrox and adv nitrox first (which is appropriate IMHO).

$8500 nitrox machine
vs
$1000 for used doubles and nitrox
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diverden
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by diverden » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:14 pm

I just did The Knot (I think I'm allowed to call it that now) for the first time over the weekend. There was some hairy current, but i was under water for 5 hours (5 dives, one of them 11 minutes as my buddies got blown off the down line so I aborted.) I did bring 2 extra 3l RB bottles. It probably wasn't necessary to switch bottles between days but I have them, had them with me and it took 5 minutes. The limiting factor on the CCR was moved from gas to thermal comfort and "how much drifting deco do I want do." It depends as much on the dive boat and what they're comfortable with. Dive boat logistics get complicated even if everyone is on CCR. Just because you can stay underwater longer, doesn't mean it's always a good idea.

I have a rEvo because it seemed like a popular unit and 4 years ago it was what my friends were diving. It's what Mel dives. I bought a buddy's unit, used and just recently purchased a brand new one. (Old one is for sale! :) I'm not the right guy to talk to about how to select a unit but I think it's important to think about service and who you will be diving with. It's good to know that if something goes horribly wrong, your dive buddy knows what button to press and how to "rescue you."

Around here I can say I see rEvos and Megs. I've also seen an Evo in the water some KISS but that's about it. rEvo service maybe be in New Jersey but it is very end-user serviceable unit. You generally don't have to ever send in the whole unit (or the head, since there isn't one.) I've had some issues with electronics but have had wires and handset fixed locally and depending on what redundancy you have, you can just remove a part, send it in and keep on diving.

I tidy up the rEvo and and put what amounts to a grill cover on it and wear it on airplanes as a carry-on backpack. Travel is limited to places where I can get O2 fills. 85% oxygen is probably as low as you want to go for your O2 bottle. This is important to find out before you book a trip. Most dive shops that think they know everything about rebreathers think you can just slap in some nitrox and call it good.

I love diving CCR, much better interaction with critters, warmer, quieter, I don't have to worry about a $200 trimix fills, I don't have to walk around with big steel doubles on my back. I don't have to move big doubles in and out of the car for diving or filling. Time saved by lack of gas twiddling is replaced by electronics twiddling and sanitizing. I do longer dives when possible.

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McGlencoe
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by McGlencoe » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:01 pm

Thanks for all the input everyone, really appreciate it.

As mentioned in an earlier post, this isn't something I plan on doing right away, it'd be in the future, at the earliest, it'd be next summer (unless the right deal falls in my lap!). On something this big, I like to find out all I can waaay ahead of time, learn, sample, test, try to grok it before taking the big step.

Drysuit will be ordered next week and will be diving the hell out of it to figure it out and get comfortable with it. Definitely wish I had one last weekend; Saturday at 97' max, I was fine, had an epic dive. Sunday in the same area, same max depth, I was cold and it definitely affected my dive.

Scooter? Yes please, that is on the big purchase list. Definitely want to try one out, hopefully Dive Extras will be doing a local demo in the near future. I could see a savings in air not having to kick as much plus covering more ground. I'll start a different thread asking about those in the main forum so more people can see it and hopefully post up.

Doubles? Yep, just found out I need a set for an upcoming class, so looking for a used set of HP100 Worthingtons. Then I guess I need to find a reg set for the doubles too.

Dang this hobby... LoL!

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diverden
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by diverden » Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:08 pm

A nice scooter (DiveX or similar type/speed/range) is probably the best bang for your buck!

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yadayada
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Re: CCR Experience?

Post by yadayada » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:52 pm

diverden wrote:A nice scooter (DiveX or similar type/speed/range) is probably the best bang for your buck!


If we're talking about best value + fun for money, the you can't go wrong with SUEX :partydance:

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