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Triple Tank, Triple Manifolds!

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by bryon, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. bryon

    bryon Guest

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    I see that turtleguy picked up some Voit twin 38 tanks. What a find! I recently picked up a triple tank manifold, but I can find absolutely NO information on these. This one has a black plastic open/closed knob, so I assume it is post-1970s (as opposed to the old triple rigs Cousteau used). The guy I bought it from said it's a US Divers manifold, but there are no markings on the rig. Viewed from the top, the manifold is shaped like a 'V' to conform to one's back. The first stage yoke mounts on the far right side of the manifold, as opposed to the center. I picked it up assuming there must be spare bands, packs, etc. for this beast. I have yet to find anything - not even a picture of one in action. I asked the team over at DECA Diving here in Santa Barbara, but they did not have any information. I believe this rig took three 30s. The trail stops there! Anyone have some insight?
     
  2. jagfish

    jagfish The man behind the fish ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I saw someting like this on Ebay once. The triples were contained in a yellow housing of some kind, making it look more like a rebreather...

    JAG
     
  3. Turtleguy9

    Turtleguy9 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Honolulu , Hawaii
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    Aloha Byron
    Here is a photo of the US Divers UDS 1 system manifold.
    does it look like this? Or is the one you have chrome?
    Aloha Turtleguy
     
  4. jagfish

    jagfish The man behind the fish ScubaBoard Supporter

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    That's like the one I saw on Ebay...
     
  5. neil

    neil Dive Charter

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    Bryon,
    I think you bought that from me. It took aluminum 30's, had some spacers and bands and was enclosed in a plastic case like the one in Turtleguy's photo, which is an older version. It was called their Advanced Breathing System. I have old manual pages here in front of me which I think I promised you back then but couldn't find. PM me your mailing address and I'll mail them to you.
    Neil
     
  6. rndboulder

    rndboulder Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Tacoma, WA
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    I would love to get a copy of the manual and paperwork for the Advanced Breathing System.

    I have a set of the triples mounted and I dive them with my double hose regs. I simply used a modified USD backpack with nylon tank straps. This is the way the Cousteau divers used them in later years. J.M. Cousteau's book on sharks shows the rig in action. They are also featured in the Cousteau film "Lonely Lord of the Sea". J.M. Cousteau still uses the triple manifolds at his Ocean Futures Society. The internal parts are the same as a standard USD single valve and are still available. The grey plastic cases are hard to find but they are out there. Ironically when the Cousteau team used the set up they dove them without the housing that was marketed as a cheap imitation of the iconic Cousteau tank shells used for many years. I have done extensive research on the Cousteau equipment used over the years and will one day get it all consolidated and make it available. For fans of the classic Cousteau tank packs stay tuned. . .
     
  7. neil

    neil Dive Charter

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    PM me your email address and I'll scan them and send what I have. I've got exploded diagrams of the manifold, pack, and some papers showing how to attach bands and spacers.
    Neil
     
  8. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
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    505
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    Cousteau also used them for deep diving with an underwater decompression chamber in the early 1970's. His team used them with Royal Mistral regulators, and attached three round floats between each set of tanks for buoyancy. The tanks are large, like 3000 psi Al 90s. I've seen these shown on Cousteau's video (My First 90 Years, I believe), and it is interesting to see a two hose regulator in the right position on the tanks. These tanks and valve setup is also shown in Cousteau's The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau, Man Re-enters the Sea on page 95 of that volume (full page) and on page 101 and 125.

    I have a UDS-1 system, and that manifold is much different; it incorporates the regulator first stage into the manifold, and has huge openings. The UDS-1 valve/regulator system is the best designed breathing machine ever placed on the market for scuba (but it had other problems I've documented elsewhere here).

    Dr. John Lundy just picked up this manifold, and had triple 30s and a backplate BC put together for it. He had to get a special band made for it, and I'm not sure if he's dived it yet. But it looked nice. Maybe we can get him to comment here too.

    John
     
  9. bryon

    bryon Guest

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    Thanks Neil. I'll email you.

    Yes, the manifold I bought from Neil is the chrome one, but it does not look like the UDS-1. The first stage hooks up at the right side of the manifold, as opposed to the middle. Was it really possible to use this specific triple set-up with double hose regulators? Looks like one of the hoses would be a bit tight around the head! I guess you could get a longer exhaust hose to reach around...
     
  10. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
    2,191
    505
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    Byron,

    As I stated above, the Cousteau team did use these triple manifolds, with the only attachment point on the right side cylinder, with double hose regulators. They used Royal Mistrals, and the difference is that the French regulators had a longer, more flexible hose than the US Divers double hose regulators. I would not use a regular USD regulator on this setup without testing it in the pool for hose length, and comfort. A Nemrod Snark III with its longer hoses would probably work better, as would the La Spirotechnique Mistral and Royal Mistral.

    Hope this helps.

    John
     

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