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salth2owannabe
January 6th, 2008, 03:32 AM
Question to you folks out there who, like me, like the idea of a redundant air system and carry a small pony on all of your dives. How do you rig your set-up? Do you have your octo on the pony? Is there a common way of doing this? Thanks much.

Codiak
January 6th, 2008, 04:20 AM
I have a secondary 1st and 2nd stage regulator and transmitter for my Ztec on my pony.
Depending on the type of diving I either have it mounted inverted on my back or when boat diving slung in front off d-rings

bane51031
January 6th, 2008, 05:00 AM
For the team we use a side mount 19cuft pony for my personal use I always carry a 13 cuft pony mounted to my main tank similar to our dive team setup.I feel the need to dive the same or nearly the same setup all the time, so that all is the same and it becomes second nature, I do get some funny looks at the local dive spots but, oh well doesn't weigh much at all and I like the feel of the set up underwater balance is good and I do not even think about it, did have to adjust to a recent dive in Florida where I left my pony at home, took alittle adjustment weight wise but, was good.
As for regs. I use a primary,AirII and the pony has it's own reg. overkill yes,probaly.....

hudson
January 6th, 2008, 05:49 AM
I dive a 19cuft pony slung in the front on my left, with the main second on the backgas and the octo on the pony. I feel another second stage would be mere clutter. I also necklace the octo from the pony with the hose running behind my neck - that is unusual, most people would simply stove the octo on the pony like a stage bottle reg, but I like it better necklaced and it's not a problem since I'm never ever handing the pony to anyone, it's for my own use (and if I had to for some reason it can be easily pulled out of the necklace) As the octo is necklaced I can spot any leaks, so the pony stays on. The hose is 40" (but if I were to do it again I'd prolly go 42") What else.. I have a button gauge on the pony rather than a full SPG as I don't need to check the pressure underwater.

ClayJar
January 6th, 2008, 05:52 AM
On most dives, I sling a 19cf Al pony, but sometimes, I may dive with a 30cf Al pony (and occasionally, I'll even sling an AL80, just for fun). Regardless, I always sling it.

If you're not familiar with "slinging" a bottle, it involves making a little "harness" out of some plain old line ("rope"), two clips, and a screw-type clamp (i.e. big "hose clamp"), and usually a little bit of bungee to hold the hose(s). It took me all of a few minutes to rig each of my ponies. (We can post links to instructions if you want, but I don't have the link handy in the middle of the night here. :biggrin:)

Anyway, the pony ends up with two clips (bolt snaps, trigger snaps, whatever), one clips to my shoulder D-ring, and the other clips to a D-ring on my hip on the same side. That leaves the valve and first stage nestled right in front of my shoulder, where I can see it (and where I can be sure nothing is going to hit it). I can turn the valve on and off with either hand. Unless you're lying down on the bottom, a bottle slung like this really doesn't get in your way. You very quickly get completely comfortable with it, and having the potentially leaky bits in front of me supports my confidence in the readiness of my pony.

My ponies used to sport plain yoke valves, but I have since moved to DIN for the ponies and their reg. The absence of a yoke screw sticking toward me was the primary reason I did that. I would occasionally get something hung up on it, so I just went the easy way and eliminated the problem. (I can still use yoke if I need to -- they're convertible valves, and I have a yoke adapter for my pony reg.)

As for second stages, I have two second stages on my primary regulator. The "octo" there is my preferred method of air sharing should I be diving with a buddy and need to share. Additionally, it can prove quite useful in the event of, say, a bout of nausea resulting in fish-feeding. Being able to rinse a second stage without going to the pony can be... useful. If I didn't have the additional second stage, the dive would be over -- I have an Draconian rule that if I go to the pony (except to check it at the beginning of the dive), the dive is as over as if I thumbed it myself. (If that were negotiable, I might end up thinking of the pony as usable air to extend the dive, and *that* is the cardinal sin that pony divers *must* avoid.)

On the pony, I have but one second stage. The pony I dive on any particular dive is sized based on *my* gas consumption to get *me* safely to the surface in the event of a serious failure in my gas supply. It is not there to share (which is not to say I wouldn't use it to attempt to save someone's life, but that would be so far outside the plan that I'd consider it beyond reason to gear up for it). The pony reg, then, has a first stage, a single second stage, and (in my case) a full-size pressure gauge. (I also have a backup button-style "pony gauge", but I prefer the readability of the normal SPG. I can use the pony gauge and swap the SPG out to my primary reg if my primary SPG ever fails on a trip, and I've actually done that for a friend who blew an HP hose.)

Anyway, that's a little of how I dive with my pony (which I've had since my first logbook had single digits), and if any of this was rambling, please allow me a little leeway, as I'm up through the night for the second day in a row. :biggrin: (J. is now on the ground back in Japan, but I have to stay awake a while longer before she can call.)

ian@1904
January 6th, 2008, 07:29 AM
When I use my 3ltr pony it is firmly attached to my main cylinder. This then has a 1kg counterbalance weight in a bcd pocket on the rear of the bcd.

You will want a pressure gauge and a single regulator. There is only enough gas for one diver. PONY = Pi55 Off Not Yours :) Clip the regulator somewhere easy to find. Make sure the cylinder is open at the start of the dive. If you invert the pony cylinder so you can reach the valve you should be able to reach and close it easiliy if the need arises. Charging the regulator and then closing the valve will get you two breaths before you need to open the valve. Trust me on this. If you have a freeflow, inside a wreck, and your buddy is outside of the wreck, your co-ordination will go downhill v swiftly. Trying to open a valve when you really really need some gas is not fun. Been there, not good.

If the dive goes pear shaped, your gas consumption will increase dramatically. Lets say from 25lpm to over 100lpm. You have 200 bar x 3 litr of gas = 600 litres. So you have enough gas to get you to the surface. If you are doing decompression dives which is quite common in the UK under BSAC or TDI then a pony does not provide sufficient backup gas. Buy a twinset and learn to do shutdowns.

I tend to use a pony on dives between 20m and 35m. Dives from 30-50m are generally on a twinset and stage.

When you do your gas planning ignore the contents of your pony. It is not additional gas. It is the emergency gas supply.

RonzoTheGreat
January 6th, 2008, 08:45 AM
Do It Right .... Keep It SSimple

a second primary setup using a 1st and 2nd stage regulator and small brass SPG on a 6 inch hose on my sling bottle. slung in front left off d-rings. is there a need for further explanation?

Darnold9999
January 6th, 2008, 02:10 PM
Slung off the 2 left side DRings. Button guage which I check at the surface, 3 foot hose folded with the reg velcrod to the pony for easy access.

matts1w
January 6th, 2008, 04:16 PM
Do It Right .... Keep It SSimple

a second primary setup using a 1st and 2nd stage regulator and small brass SPG on a 6 inch hose on my sling bottle. slung in front left off d-rings. is there a need for further explanation?

I mount a 30 or 40 cu ft on my tank depending on what gas in either. I never use it for gas planning, just as a bail bottle.

Slinging a bottle sucks for spearfishing. A back mount system is simple and out of the, but DIW :)

DiVe_DaWg
January 6th, 2008, 05:01 PM
I use a 19cf with a strap mount quick release, short SPG with a quality first and second; it's tight to the BC on the right side. Dumpable weight to counter in the left side of the BC, none on the right to free up pocket space, the rest is on my hips to balance the rig. My primary is on a 5ft hose, the octo is tucked away, but easy to get at and the pony is on a bungee.

Tanked
January 6th, 2008, 05:50 PM
For dives deeper than 60-70 feet, or if I'm solo, I mount a 30cf pony to my steel 120. My main tank has an H-valve, so my secondary reg from that is what I would give to an out of air buddy.

salth2owannabe
January 6th, 2008, 06:39 PM
Thanks,
I appreciate all the help and info. I'm a new diver and the few dives I have in so far have all been pretty shallow (<40'), but I've always wanted the "security" of a small pony. I've just been kicking around how to rig it and carry it. I'm going to Bonaire this spring and would like to have a small pony set-up to be able to take along. Again, I sure appreciate all the help.

bullethead
January 6th, 2008, 06:46 PM
In winter for a little added security I carry a 13 that has a ring/snap combo around the valve and just hang it from a ring on my BC, usually on the right. Deeper profiles move up in size, doubles etc. Just a gajillion ways to make yourself happy!!:)

The Chad
January 6th, 2008, 06:56 PM
The only problem with a pony is the traveling and filling it part. Problem might be an overstatement "hassle" is a better word. If you know the dive op you're gonna use you could inquire to see if they carry anything other than 80's, if so you could just bring a stage kit and snap off one of their 30's 40's or whatever. Just make sure if you go that route you practice in a pool for awhile to get used to it b/4 you go. Like someone else said dbls work too and all you'd have to carry is bands but thats a whole other ballgame. either way your thinking about safety which is always a good thing, best of luck

r2t
January 6th, 2008, 06:59 PM
I have a 30cu/ft pony mounted to my back tank with zeagle pony mount system. My main tank has a first and second stage with air gauge clipped to my left shoulder d ring. My pony has a first stage and second stage (that acts as my octo) with a slandered yellow hose on a bungee necklace, and a air gauge clipped to my right hip d ring. If I switch to my octo I know it's going to work. It's very similar to the basic open water setup. If I'm diving with a buddy on a typical open water system, he will know to go for the yellow hose. I can monitor his air consumption with the spg. I dive this set-up each and every dive so I very familiar with it in case of an emergency.
Ron L.

JBRES1
January 6th, 2008, 07:24 PM
When diving a single I dive a 19 for local dives and a 13 for vacation dives.
If I plan to go deep, I could sling a 30. I use a Scubapro Din MK11 with an R190 second, and a 2" spg on short hose.
Jim Breslin

highlandfarmwv
January 6th, 2008, 09:00 PM
I only use a little 6cf pony at Hatteras, and only for an equipment failure emergency (hope I never have to use it) I mount it inverted so I can reach it to turn it on if needed. I have an alternate air, and thepony has its own reg. I would never take it to Bonaire. Most of me diving is more shallow there. And flying DAE, I can barely get my stuff there with the weight restrictions.

divenutny
January 6th, 2008, 09:31 PM
Typically, I have a 13 pony strapped to my main tank. I do not notice the added weight. The pony has a stubby spg and one second stage, no octo on the pony. My main supply has a primary and an octo.

I expect you will have issues traveling with a pony bottle. You will need to empty the tank and have the valve loose for inspection. Although I understand you can take it on a plane empty, the tank may be consficated as the TSM employee may not know the rules. Call the dive op, see if you can rent a pony. Might be easier.

Tom

DOkie
January 6th, 2008, 09:39 PM
Both my dive partner and myself use a 30 for a pony. Slung on the front. I've always thought the hookup next to your primary (on the back) was a neat idea, but I'm more secure with it being available to "pass off" if I need to. (Have had to do this before). In the front, it's really easy to unclip and clip to another diver. Just a thought.

divengolf
January 6th, 2008, 09:55 PM
I expect you will have issues traveling with a pony bottle. You will need to empty the tank and have the valve loose for inspection. Although I understand you can take it on a plane empty, the tank may be consficated as the TSM employee may not know the rules. Call the dive op, see if you can rent a pony. Might be easier.

Tom

I routinely travel with a small pony and always carry it in my carry on. Check the TSA regs. on their web site under scuba equipment. Bottom line is that the bottle must be depressurized and open for visual inspection. I'll remove the first stage and insert a threaded plug with an o-ring. I have a copy of the TSA req rubber banded around the bottle. I remove the bottle from carry on and send it through screening separately. Most of the time, they'll pull and inspect it.

I explain that it's life support equipment and ask the they do not hold it vertically while open. I ask them to remove the plug while the bottle is horizontal.

Never had a problem with TSA. Most of the inspectors know the reqs. If they don't I direct them to the copy attached.

I agree that renting is easier, but then you've using their reg., which I never like to do.

dave4868
January 6th, 2008, 10:14 PM
Thanks,
I appreciate all the help and info. I'm a new diver and the few dives I have in so far have all been pretty shallow (<40'), but I've always wanted the "security" of a small pony. I've just been kicking around how to rig it and carry it. I'm going to Bonaire this spring and would like to have a small pony set-up to be able to take along. Again, I sure appreciate all the help.

This may not be currently applicable, but I had no problems taking my al30 pony bottle in my luggage to Bonaire in 2003.

I also took my Highland SS pony band. Very simple to use.

Highland's Pony Bands (http://www.highland-millwork.com/products/ponyband/ponyband.html)

My experience is limited to open water, for the most part, but I like having my al30 mounted to the main tank because it's out of the way.

It's simply rigged with its own regulator and spg.

Dave C

SussexMedic
January 6th, 2008, 10:36 PM
I use a 30AL slung on the left with a reg and 6' hose with SPG like a stage. My "pony" is really used as a bailout bottle and not included in gas plan. I use this setup whenever diving on "deep" NC wrecks. My main reg set has 7' long hose and bungied backup under my chin in necklace. I'm not even remotely DIR but this setup is very streamlined and has worked well for me over the last 50 dives or so. I don't bring a cylinder with me when I travel but do bring the reg set so I can rent if I feel like it.

drl
January 6th, 2008, 10:44 PM
For cold water diving, which is often deep and usually wrecks, my husband and I both carry pony bottles. He carries a 40 cf pony slung from the left D-rings; I carry a 13cf hp banded to my tank, valve facing down. The valve is right at my hip where I can reach it easily. Both of us carry an octo on our main tank (single HP steel 100s) as well as the pony. It is purely a bailout bottle for emergency use, though I would hand it off to another diver if necessary. We have never tried to travel with them.

RonzoTheGreat
January 6th, 2008, 11:28 PM
ya know ... after reading that you are vacationing ... one thing that my local dive shop made me feel a little better about, is slinging on vacation. you heard someone mention various ways to accomplish redundancy while away ... here's one i didnt see anyone talk about so im assuming im going to get looked at funny (can you actually see me) about ... my buds an i bring a simple dive rite sling setup for AL80s since most carib vaca spots only carry them ... YES i said it ... we sling an 80 ... but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ... if you decide to do this, PRACTICE with it many times prior to using it for practical purposes ... have a wonderful trip ... hope this helps ...
ps. most of my own research tells me you should be carrying the same mix in your sling as your primary source for vaca dive with non deco ...SB peers with more experience taught me that ... whether 21%, 32% or whatever

Seekerdiveservice
January 7th, 2008, 12:25 AM
I carry a 19 cu ft pony clipped to my main tank strap with a SS slide clip. I have an octo on my main tank and I carry a 1st and 2nd stage and extra dive computer on the pony. I normally dive solo so I feel this is the best setup for me. On deep dives looking for boat anchors I sling a 40 cu ft pony also, but only have an octo on it for filling lift bags. The 19 pony is only for emergencies. I have gotten funny looks and comments a couple of times while on vacation due to carrying the pony and diving a FFM. I don't let this bother me since most of the time it is coming from people that do not dive much. I have taken the small pony to Hawaii and Curacao and never had a problem traveling. Just had to take the valve off the tank. Filling it when I got there was a different issue till I found a good shop to dive with. After that it was not a problem and they didn't charge for filling or topping it off periodically over the course of my stay.

ClayJar
January 7th, 2008, 09:07 AM
here's one i didnt see anyone talk about so im assuming im going to get looked at funny (can you actually see me) about ... my buds an i bring a simple dive rite sling setup for AL80s since most carib vaca spots only carry them ... YES i said it ... we sling an 80 ... but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ... if you decide to do this, PRACTICE with it many times prior to using it for practical purposes ...Actually, I've heard of people doing that. I just did a dive at a spring slinging an AL80, although I wasn't using it just for bailout. (I did a 181-minute dive around 20 feet deep, plus or minus five, just to get some experience with it.)

I'd have to say that if you're used to slinging an AL19 or whatever, it's really not too hard to sling an AL80, but it does turn you from a sleek sports car of a diver into a lumbering UPS truck of a diver. I wouldn't want to have to fight a big current with one, but since I'm firmly in the "59th Street Bridge Song" camp, it's a perfectly palatable procedure for basic backup.

AbyssalPlains
January 31st, 2008, 05:46 PM
I carry a 19 cu ft pony clipped to my main tank strap with a SS slide clip.
What does an SS slide clip look like?

drbill
January 31st, 2008, 07:19 PM
I believe in redundant redundancy. I carry my pony with a separate reg, and have three secondaries on my primary tank/reg. Of course I also dive solo almost all the time.

RonFrank
January 31st, 2008, 07:30 PM
Question to you folks out there who, like me, like the idea of a redundant air system and carry a small pony on all of your dives. How do you rig your set-up? Do you have your octo on the pony? Is there a common way of doing this? Thanks much.

When I dive warm, I have an Octo+ off the main first stage, and my primary. I then have a second first stage, and a third second stage backup on that! :blinking:

When I dive dry with my BP/W setup, I generally have my backup on my octo with no other backup available. I am looking for another backup however to change this, but my reasoning is that my pony can get one diver up in any OOA situation from any rec depth. The size of the pony comes into play here (mine is a 19CF) so if you have a 6CF pony... look out.

The main reason I'm looking to add another backup on my primary first stage is because I want to be able to donate if necessary without using the pony. If my primary first stage fails... guess who had *dibbs* on my pony! :D

digital_steve
January 31st, 2008, 08:07 PM
i rig a pony for solo dives
back mounted with the zeagle bands, not inverted. Have the pony 2nd stage bungied around my neck and the SPG on a d ring on the right hip, always turned on.
Main tank has a 2nd stage on a 5 foot hose and an octo-z

Druid
January 31st, 2008, 08:18 PM
I use a 3l steel pony for dives down to about 25m (80ft), any deeper and it's twinset territory. When I carry a pony I have it mounted on my main cylinder, on my right hand side. Main tank has a primary and an octo, with the octo clipped off on my left shoulder D-ring. The pony has one second stage which is necklaced.

The pony is my emergency bailout, so I don't need to be able to hand it off to anyone. A gauge is an extra failure point, and I check the pressure before every dive using my main regs. Necklacing puts the reg where I can easily reach it. If I have to use it, then the dive is over and the only palce I'm going is up.

If my buddy needs air, then they use my octo as they've been trained. This gives them access to the contents of my main cylinder, which will always contain more air than the pony. The dive is still over and we're going up.

I don't change my weighting, and have never felt myself to be unbalanced.

jvevea
February 1st, 2008, 12:03 AM
When I'm not diving doubles, I sling a 30 cf pony on the left side D rings. I keep the second stage on a surgical rubber necklace. I usually am diving solo when I use this configuration. The necklace arrangement provides extra peace of mind; I don't need to think about where that mouthpiece would be if I needed it--it's sitting there just below my face.

ianr33
February 1st, 2008, 12:35 AM
Slinging an 80 works great but I would never carry that much gas and not plan on using some of it.

Breathe the slung tank down to 1500 psi,switch to back gas (shut the valve on the sling tank) Breathe the back gas down to 1500 then start to ascend. This method will always leave you 40 cu ft of gas for an emergency.

It can also very easily take you beyond NDL's. Nitrox recommended.

shoredivr
February 1st, 2008, 11:08 AM
Thanks,
I appreciate all the help and info. I'm a new diver and the few dives I have in so far have all been pretty shallow (<40'), but I've always wanted the "security" of a small pony. I've just been kicking around how to rig it and carry it. I'm going to Bonaire this spring and would like to have a small pony set-up to be able to take along. Again, I sure appreciate all the help.

Last time I was on Bonaire, I rented a slung Al 30 from Walt III at Rec Tek Scuba Bonaire - We do it silent. We do it deep. Techincal diving. (http://www.rectekscuba.com) Since he runs technical as well as recreational diving courses, the regs are in great shape, so no worries.

Of course, if you had concerns about rental equipment somewhere else, you could always bring your own first stage, second stage on a 40 inch hose, and spg on a 6 inch hose if you were concerned about the state of the regs provided, but that does add to the weight of your luggage.

micklock
February 1st, 2008, 12:38 PM
I use the Ultimate Velcro Double Bands on a Blackdiamond BC, you can put any two tanks you want on them even two different sizes. You could use a smaller Al tank or an 80, they would travel well too.

off the grid
February 1st, 2008, 08:38 PM
I use a quick release pony bracket that is attached to the BC. Easy on and off. Usually use a 13 or 19 cf pony and off set weight in BC pockets. Can find a description of the bracket at this web address.
Miscellaneous Quick Draw Pony Bracket - Miscellaneous Pony Mounts (http://www.divebooty.com/item/3418/miscellaneous-quick_draw_pony_bracket.html)

Lock Down
February 2nd, 2008, 05:04 PM
I sling mine from my D rings on my left side

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