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View Full Version : Remember when Nitrox was "Devil Gas?"



charlesml3
October 12th, 2007, 09:20 AM
Gang,

I was reading another forum and someone reminded me of this. I remember wandering into the LDS that certified me when Nitrox was just beginning to be discussed. I forget what year that was... Maybe early 90's?

Anyway, I asked about it and the owner spit right back "What? That Devil Gas? We'll never fill any tanks with that stuff here!" I tried to turn down the emotion and actually talk about the physiology but she was having nothing to do with it. Just more ranting about "Devil Gas." Seriously here. I felt like I was talking to some 13th century alchemist who was trying to turn lead into gold. I was just silly and not the first, nor last time I'd heard that term used when referring to Nitrox.

I remember a bunch of people got together and tried to ban Nitrox from the DEMA show floor one year. Ban it? Come on now. This is an industry that thrives on change. We need change. We need to constantly be looking at better ways to do things. I sure don't remember anyone crying when those silly horse collar BCs with the stupid CO2 cartridge went away.

A couple of years later that same LDS mentioned above started filling Nitrox. But even then, it was rather bizarre. They'd ask you where you were diving and would refuse to give you any more of a mix than the maximum depth you could hit on that site. Even if you clearly explained that you were going to stay on top of the wreck, you still got a mixture for the bottom. Made for some really silly mixtures sometimes. I remember once they told me I was getting 25%. Please. That isn't even worth the effort. Or extra money.

Now everyone offers Nitrox. Any LDS that doesn't is probably going to be short lived. I dive it every chance I get. I know it's just human nature to be resistant to change but it's still disappointing to see people just knee-jerk a response and call it "Devil Gas."

-Charles

Thalassamania
October 12th, 2007, 09:41 AM
But you have to understand the real reason that the industry power brokers were against it: it did not appear to offer a large increase in profits to anyone and it provided additional bottom time which screwed up the boat and meal schedule at the resorts.

Walter
October 12th, 2007, 09:47 AM
But you have to understand the real reason that the industry power brokers were against it: it did not appear to offer a large increase in profits to anyone and it provided additional bottom time which screwed up the boat and meal schedule at the resorts.

That was the same time (mid 80s) computers were starting to become popular. Computers were doing exactly the same thing. There was no real advantage of increased bottom time with nitrox over diving the Edge as with nitrox you were limited to tables, no nitrox computers yet. There was also lots of resistance to allowing divers to follow their computers.

drbill
October 12th, 2007, 09:59 AM
What do you mean Nitrox "was" Devil Gas? Still is IMHO. Why? Because it limits the depth I can "freely" go to when I encounter an interesting video subject near Nitrox's MOD. Besides, it's also called "Geezer Gas," And I don't want to admit I'm already there!

CoolTech
October 12th, 2007, 10:01 AM
Anyway, I asked about it and the owner spit right back "What? That Devil Gas? We'll never fill any tanks with that stuff here!" You mean to tell me it's not Devil Gas?

Thalassamania
October 12th, 2007, 10:01 AM
Computers I think were a little different. Nitrox was a real uphill slog compared to computers. Back then Navy tables were the 11th commandment and even other tables were suspect, there was great resistance to DCIEM and Huggins, etc. I really think that that people did not trust computers and gained trust as a result of the AAUS Catalina Diving Computer Worklshop. The change was amazing, we went out to Catalinia with almost the entire community opposed to computers, and it almost seemed that when we returned we stepped of the boat into an entirely different world ... computers were fine and everyone wanted one.

CoolTech
October 12th, 2007, 10:04 AM
What do you mean Nitrox "was" Devil Gas? Still is IMHO. Why? Because it limits the depth I can "freely" go to when I encounter an interesting video subject near Nitrox's MOD. Besides, it's also called "Geezer Gas," And I don't want to admit I'm already there!I've seen this stance before...

I love taking extra pictures and longer movies when I can reach a 120 min. bottom time at a max depth of 60'... I feel like I'm...

Runnin' with the Devil.. (Gas.... come on sing with me...) :14:

charlesml3
October 12th, 2007, 10:28 AM
But you have to understand the real reason that the industry power brokers were against it

Yea, that was probably it. It's funny to see how the first reaction to anything like this is always the same. "No." That's it. No time spend looking at it to see if there's a way to make a profit in a changing market. Same stupid crap the RIAA is doing now.


Because it limits the depth I can "freely" go to when I encounter an interesting video subject

True, but nobody is making you dive Nitrox. If you want the depth, then dive air and deal with a shorter NDL. Or just serve the mandatory deco stop. Your choice... Either way it isn't a reasonable argument against "Devil Gas."

-Charles

Joe-Diver
October 12th, 2007, 10:35 AM
Besides, it's also called "Geezer Gas," And I don't want to admit I'm already there!

Yeah, we always called it the "Old Man Gas".....

Doc
October 12th, 2007, 01:20 PM
There is resistance to any and all change.

Blame tort law.

And profit margins....

Stick around and you'll see some more examples float down the pipe. After all the LDS get bumped off, what about roadside air-fill station machines? I'll bet the last LDS in your area will fight them tooth and nail.

In Europe, you can find vehicles with those little defogger wires we have in the rear windows. In the US, they were too afraid to even try (obstruction of vision complaints). See how long it took them to put parabolic mirrors on the right side... and then, only with the warning: "Things are really not as they seem" or something like that. The analogies hold in all industries including SCUBA.

You guys are young folk. I have an old (but faltering memory) How about the Bend-o-Matic, single hose regs, multi windowed masks, snorkels with purges, masks without purges, the Fenzi, and more.

Then add in the technologically explainable oddities such as the introduction of Titanium (the metal or the word) into the name of an object, digitalized eveything, split fins, the HUB, SPARE Air and other objects and concepts that had enought explanation in the marketing that they gained currency as valid steps... forward?

You don't believe me yet? How about SCUDA?

Thalassamania
October 12th, 2007, 01:24 PM
Honest to gods, the initial problem was wrench that EAN threw into the boat and meal schedule at resorts in Cozumel and Grand Cayman.

all4scuba05
October 12th, 2007, 01:36 PM
You don't believe me yet? How about SCUDA?

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with SCUDA. Is that SelfContainedUnderwaterDieingApparatus?

Seriously, what is it?

Thalassamania
October 12th, 2007, 01:39 PM
http://divesales.com/scuda/scuda.jpg

charlesml3
October 12th, 2007, 04:00 PM
Honest to gods, the initial problem was wrench that EAN threw into the boat and meal schedule at resorts in Cozumel and Grand Cayman.


You may be right about that. Last time I was in Coz I got into a scrape with the dive shop owner over an extended bottom time. The way I see it is all done, I'm paying about $100/tank to dive there. At that rate, I'm going to stretch that thing out as long as I can...

-Charles

Thalassamania
October 12th, 2007, 05:50 PM
You may be right about that. Last time I was in Coz I got into a scrape with the dive shop owner over an extended bottom time. The way I see it is all done, I'm paying about $100/tank to dive there. At that rate, I'm going to stretch that thing out as long as I can...

-CharlesThe way they see it is that they need to get folks back in before lunch is over and turn the boat around for the afternoon trip.

Jim Baldwin
October 12th, 2007, 05:55 PM
Gang,

I was reading another forum and someone reminded me of this. I remember wandering into the LDS that certified me when Nitrox was just beginning to be discussed. I forget what year that was... Maybe early 90's?

Anyway, I asked about it and the owner spit right back "What? That Devil Gas? We'll never fill any tanks with that stuff here!" I tried to turn down the emotion and actually talk about the physiology but she was having nothing to do with it. Just more ranting about "Devil Gas." Seriously here. I felt like I was talking to some 13th century alchemist who was trying to turn lead into gold. I was just silly and not the first, nor last time I'd heard that term used when referring to Nitrox.

I remember a bunch of people got together and tried to ban Nitrox from the DEMA show floor one year. Ban it? Come on now. This is an industry that thrives on change. We need change. We need to constantly be looking at better ways to do things. I sure don't remember anyone crying when those silly horse collar BCs with the stupid CO2 cartridge went away.

A couple of years later that same LDS mentioned above started filling Nitrox. But even then, it was rather bizarre. They'd ask you where you were diving and would refuse to give you any more of a mix than the maximum depth you could hit on that site. Even if you clearly explained that you were going to stay on top of the wreck, you still got a mixture for the bottom. Made for some really silly mixtures sometimes. I remember once they told me I was getting 25%. Please. That isn't even worth the effort. Or extra money.

Now everyone offers Nitrox. Any LDS that doesn't is probably going to be short lived. I dive it every chance I get. I know it's just human nature to be resistant to change but it's still disappointing to see people just knee-jerk a response and call it "Devil Gas."

-Charles

Nitrox, Vodoo Gas, Devil's Gas it was just for those crazy tech divers. It was just like the first time I saw a BCD in about 1980. Been diving without one for years and who in their right mind would need one.

String
October 12th, 2007, 06:42 PM
Still a very high % of people here who think of it as devil gas and and even higher number who just don't bother using it.

It's not a benefit for everyone and every style of diving.

Thalassamania
October 12th, 2007, 06:44 PM
Still a very high % of people here who think of it as devil gas and and even higher number who just don't bother using it.

It's not a benefit for everyone and every style of diving.I know, they think a SCUDA full of Kool Aid is better than a tank full of NITROX ... oh well.:D

fweber
October 12th, 2007, 08:11 PM
The way they see it is that they need to get folks back in before lunch is over and turn the boat around for the afternoon trip.

And that's the way they still see it around here. They're already pressed to get everyone there on time, get 2 dives in, return, get the tanks refilled and the crew fed, back out for an afternoon trip, return, refill, clean the boat, and the crew home in time to get some sleep. Extending the bottom time of those that aren't air hogs is not viewed as a positive.

1_T_Submariner
October 12th, 2007, 08:19 PM
Interesting conversation, I wasn't diving back in the day so this is a histroy lesson for me.

So in 10-15 years will we be having this disscussion on "Remember when we used to dive with gas that contained Nitrogen" (think Helium). Probably not! From my not qualified knowledge I understand that it reduces Narcosis but does nothing to change deco.

Nemrod
October 12th, 2007, 09:04 PM
Gang,

I was reading another forum and someone reminded me of this. I remember wandering into the LDS that certified me when Nitrox was just beginning to be discussed. I forget what year that was... Maybe early 90's?

Anyway, I asked about it and the owner spit right back "What? That Devil Gas? We'll never fill any tanks with that stuff here!" I tried to turn down the emotion and actually talk about the physiology but she was having nothing to do with it. Just more ranting about "Devil Gas." Seriously here. I felt like I was talking to some 13th century alchemist who was trying to turn lead into gold. I was just silly and not the first, nor last time I'd heard that term used when referring to Nitrox.

I remember a bunch of people got together and tried to ban Nitrox from the DEMA show floor one year. Ban it? Come on now. This is an industry that thrives on change. We need change. We need to constantly be looking at better ways to do things. I sure don't remember anyone crying when those silly horse collar BCs with the stupid CO2 cartridge went away.

A couple of years later that same LDS mentioned above started filling Nitrox. But even then, it was rather bizarre. They'd ask you where you were diving and would refuse to give you any more of a mix than the maximum depth you could hit on that site. Even if you clearly explained that you were going to stay on top of the wreck, you still got a mixture for the bottom. Made for some really silly mixtures sometimes. I remember once they told me I was getting 25%. Please. That isn't even worth the effort. Or extra money.

Now everyone offers Nitrox. Any LDS that doesn't is probably going to be short lived. I dive it every chance I get. I know it's just human nature to be resistant to change but it's still disappointing to see people just knee-jerk a response and call it "Devil Gas."

-Charles


Actually the dive industry is extremely reistant to change, snorkels, MOF, I remember being banned from a south Florida dive boat because I used a wing (yep--circa 1980).

As to "Devil Gas" I also remember that crap and a bunch more--to bad you did not make a video recording of him and then today give him a reality check. As to Nitrox being "old man" gas there is no real evidence that it makes a diver feel better--that is placebo effect and the power of suggestion in play. The one and TRUE benifit is longer bottom times.

N

RiverRat
October 12th, 2007, 09:23 PM
Hell I've only been diving for 6 years. Just a baby. But I'm going to name my backplate a "Devil Plate"! "Ahhhh you can use that but it's overkill!" ......."Is that tech gear?"......Another chimes in....."yep sure is"......"ahhhh don't it push your face forward in the water?"
Until more people start to dive them, they start to make money and then "you gotta have this!"

charlesml3
October 12th, 2007, 11:52 PM
It's not a benefit for everyone and every style of diving.

Agreed. It's only benefit is extended NDL. I don't think it's for everyone either. I also don't believe it's "Devil Gas." The absurdity of that is hilarious. Reminds me of those stories from school about burning women at the stake because they "had the Devil in them."

-Charles

CoolTech
October 13th, 2007, 12:36 AM
Interesting conversation, I wasn't diving back in the day so this is a history lesson for me.

So in 10-15 years will we be having this discussion on "Remember when we used to dive with gas that contained Nitrogen" (think Helium). Probably not! From my not qualified knowledge I understand that it reduces Narcosis but does nothing to change deco.I don't think so... helium is not a natural breathing gas found everyday. It has to be added to the mixture in order to create a tri-mix. Oxygen and Nitrogen are both gasses that are a part of everyday breathing...But, I do understand where you are going with this... It's just not a natural progression...

I want the breathing apparatus that the Jedi's have... instant conversion... that is where I think things will progress... with time...

String
October 13th, 2007, 08:35 AM
Helium also costs a LOT and the prize is increasing and set to continue as it gets harder to mine.
As for its change to deco, depends on mix but common mixes have deco similar to air.

(Plus obviously He has its own issues)

1_T_Submariner
October 13th, 2007, 01:48 PM
I don't think so... helium is not a natural breathing gas found everyday. It has to be added to the mixture in order to create a tri-mix. Oxygen and Nitrogen are both gasses that are a part of everyday breathing...But, I do understand where you are going with this... It's just not a natural progression...

I want the breathing apparatus that the Jedi's have... instant conversion... that is where I think things will progress... with time...

Ok, Just for fun arguments sake I'll play along. If helium is not found in air then where does it come from? (I admit the concentration is really low about 5ppm in air).

I was really not serious, I realize helium is impractical for every day use.

P.S. The answer is Natural Gas.

DiverBeth
October 13th, 2007, 02:41 PM
Devils Gas :11: I wish I'd known about it before I went diving today! Well now that I have it in me I guess that I'm doomed to go down. Down under the surface that is :D

Nemrod
October 14th, 2007, 12:09 AM
Helium can be sourced in several ways but in the US it comes largely from helium gas wells in Hugoton, Kansas.

N


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