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Pls post your like or dislikes of full face masks. I perfere to hear from ppl who currently dive FFM and there opinions on what they are using. Also, very important to me is anyone using FFm with a side block for gas switching, if so describe your configuration.
I have the ocean reef ffm. I don't dive it much for two reasons:
1, They are supposed to fit 80% of the people. I am in the 20%
2, I dive a hogartheam config.
I have seen various valve systems. But none I liked much. I don't want to breath the wrong gas due to a button being bumped. Then there is the long hose issues.
However, I wouldn't discount the use of ffm. Communication could be a safety advantage. If you did take an 02 hit a ffm could increase your chances. I just have not worked everything out to my liking yet.
I too have the ocean reef ffm. I don't like it much, for 2 reasons.
1. the internal volume is large, which makes the mask too buoyant.
2. I can't get the reg to crack where I want. There's very little adjustment. I get tired inhaling.
I also used a Cressi-Sub ffm, the style that was advertized with the Viking Unisuit. You can install any reg in it. Didn't have comm support, but good for dirty water.
The best was the Kirby Morgan band mask However, I dove that one surface supplied. The gas block was just for a bailout bottle. All the blending was done topside. I'm not sure you can swim with it. I was standing.
I just ordered two AGA masks to try them out. I wold like to know why Uncle Pug sold his!
The SRT guys seem to love them.
As to why I like ffms, I'm spoiled with having a comm unit, where I can talk to the surface support crew, and other divers. I personally believe that so many accidents would have been easily prevented if everyone was using comms. I've asked topside for tools and been able to shae intresting sights with my buddy.
Also, I am quite loquacious (as you can see) and get lonley and bored if I stay quiet too long.
let me explain a little why i am asking about using a FFM with a side block for gas switching. My buddy and i fabricated many side blocks until we configured the one i currently use. it was drilled and tapped from solid brass with custom swedgeloc ( i may have spelled that wrong) O2 valves. I am comfortable with this design but the fact that i dont see any other divers using them has made me question what i am doing. I feel i may have complicated my kit a bit too much. Its as simple as we can make it but, it has made gas switching a bit more challenging. Insted of just switching to my deco reg like in the past i am now having to ( using a SS quick connect) connect to my deco mix ( its disconnected during the dive to avoid breathing a deco mix at depth) then turn on my deco mix and shut off the bottom mix using a 1/4 turn ball valve. Sounds much harder than it is only takes a about 7 seconds. Basically the only reason for my side block set up is to allow the use of 2 deco mixes without the need to remove the FFM. Currently i use the side block with an Aga mask my buddy uses the EXO and has also tried his bandmask ( that was over kill for what we are doing). I am a bit concerned that my love for tech has gone a bit too far, and have i compromised safety by getting to tech ?
I guess i dont have 100% faith using untested and unproven equipment, altho i have never had a problem as of yet ( knock on wood!)
Originally posted by Savitar 1. the internal volume is large, which makes the mask too buoyant.
2. The best was the Kirby Morgan band mask However, I dove that one surface supplied. The gas block was just for a bailout bottle. All the blending was done topside. I'm not sure you can swim with it. I was standing.
3. I just ordered two AGA masks to try them out. I wold like to know why Uncle Pug sold his!
The SRT guys seem to love them.
1. That is a big reason I didn't like the AGA but you can get weights for them...
2. Yes on KM
3. For tethered SS commercial/SR/harvest or contaminated water the FFM is the way to go. For technical diving I am not convinced... I sold my AGA when I got into tech diving DIR style and don't miss it. My DIR partner uses a KM band mask while geoduck harvesting only.
As for communication... chattering back and forth is fine if you're SS but if you are using your back gas to talk you've got a problem. We use our HID light beams for both passive and active communication.... and it takes no extra gas!
Your questions are very legtimate. I am thinking along the same line but am not as far as you are in the process. I have yet to see a method for diving multiple deco gases from a ffm. It's my understanding that the tech divers who use ffm's remove them and use a backup mask with the second deco gas when they ascend to that point. Until I can find a solution, I'll just be using mine for recreational dives.
I believe ffms will become much more widespread in the years ahead simply due to the underwater communication issue. In addition, they also have the advantage of dramatically lowering the chances of drowning following CNS convulsions and increasing comfort (thereby decreasing CO2 rentention) in cold water.