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Yesterday I attended the Tec Xplor Day event hosted by PADI at their HQ here in SoCal.
A smorgasboard of rebreathers!
I wanted to test them all, but at the end of the day I managed to try out only 5
The first one was the Hollis Prism 2.
Since Hollis know that I am quite familiar with rebreathers in general (at least the theory part of it) and the Predator in particular (yup, they know that I have designed the Predator Online Class), we jumped right into the practice portion of the demo. Nice!
Next was the Titan CCR.
Also in this case, folks at Titan know me quite well (we have put in our eDiving simulator their rebreather ) so I jumped right in for another 10 minutes of elevated PO2 medication. I like that!
Move. Move. Move.
Next up was the new KISS GEM.
Initially I was a bit suspicios .... where is the Oxygen tank? But then I looked at it as if it was a very big Nitrox tank ... and it made way more sense. Easy, robust, fun!
It is already 1:30PM ...
Next is Innerspace Systems.
I liked their "modular" approach. So modular that the unit I tested did not have the diluent tank at all. It was an interesting experience controlling the buoyancy only with the counterlungs and pure Oxygen. Give me more! Give me more!
Last but not least .... Poseidon MKVI.
Light, professional, easy to use, reliable. And the OC switch? So cool
What did I learn?
1) Controlling the buoyancy in the last 5 feet is VERY difficult. My OC1 did beep quite a lot yesterday
2) Finding the rigth amount of gas you want in the counterlung is not easy: too little and inhaling is hard ... too much and exhaling becomes difficult.
3) Almost every manufacturer is using the Predator
4) Just a couple of years ago DiveNav was an unknown entity to rebreather manufacturers. Now we are definetely on their radar screen!
Major problem of the day? My damn mask kept fogging :?
Was it because of the warm water of PADI 's pool or because the night before I did not apply the Instructor antifog substance?
In addition to the 5 rebreathers I tested I believe there were 2 more. There was also a manufacturer demonstrating side-mount systems.