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Best Regulator set up for under 500$ (1st stage, 2nd stage, and octo)

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Phil89, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Check the Hog dealer locator b4 you buy one. I'll save you the trouble, they don't have a dealer in West Virginia...although Jim Lapenta - who frequently posts here - is one and he's in PA.

    The other thing is that the eBay reg you were looking at is sold by Leisurepro - one of the largest resellers in the scuba industry so they have a lot of other options within your budget - Buy scuba gear, scuba diving and snorkeling equipment, and everything underwater from LeisurePro.com

    You also just missed a deal on the Hollis - http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/hot-deals/511113-hollis-dc3-212-now-only-165-weekend-only.html

    Most rec. diving is done with yoke tanks. DIN is arguably better but if you think your LDS is going to have difficulty supplying them, you might want to get yoke. If your plan is to travel later, except for Cave Country in Florida and a few other DIN hotspots, they're going to be arguably harder to find. Not impossible but in places like Cozumel the ratio is probably 99 to 1. So it means limiting yourself to those operators that have them compared to any of them. It's telling that a regular question posted here is where to find DIN tanks on Bonaire - the shore diving capital of the world.

    Part of the reason is that DIN doesn't take rental abuse as well. People aren't as careful with rentals so threads can get gummed up/cross-threaded, if the tank is dropped the connection may go out of round etc. For your own private use with your own owned DIN tanks this is probably not as big an issue. Some operators are replacing their valves over time with convertible ones - they're yoke but you can unscrew the DIN plug with an allen wrench and use them with your DIN reg.

    There's also a DIN to yoke adapter you can purchase for $20-50 but it adds a failure point and may put the back of the 1st stage close enough to your head that you'll hit it.

    I travel to dive exclusively. I've never had a problem getting yoke tanks anywhere.
  2. Phil89

    Phil89 Angel Fish

    I do think they would have trouble with it as they are a very small shop. I do plan on traveling and, it sound like correct in assuming that, yoke would be easier to find. I also was leaning yoke because I didn't want to, as you eluded to, have to much going on and could also be a point of failure.

    I have heard that DIN is superior but for ease and accessibility would go yoke. Do you recommend anything that is currently on sale or a good buy?
  3. CptTightPants21

    CptTightPants21 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NY/NJ

    Call your shop and ask them if their tanks are convertible valves. If they are aluminum 80s, odds are they are yoke only; if they are steel tanks, good chance they are convertible valves.

    That Din to Yoke being an extra failure point is horse ****....that is like saying we should only choose the regulator that has the fewest o-rings after all one of them might fail. The adapter may cause the first stage to come close to your head, but that is not a guarantee and more of a case by case issue.

    DIN and Yoke are equal in terms of ease of finding.

    Not a fan of Hollis regs.

    It depends on what your end goal is. I have a yoke regulator set up, I went into tech and it will either be an exclusive travel reg or I will probably sell it. All my regs are DIN now, all my tanks are DIN/convertible to DIN. There was a thread a few days ago about a poster asking about doubles regs and what other reg to buy, he bought a scubapro Mk17/G260 DIN for his single tank set up years ago, now that he is going into doubles he only needs to by one new reg (another mk17) and doesn't need to buy double the reg set up.

    Talk to other divers at your shop, see what they are diving and ask to try out their set ups. See if attaching a DIN to Yoke adapter is a problem for you.

    In terms of getting good deals, I use decostop, cavediver.net, scubaboard, and searchtempest (craig's list compiler). I have picked up 4 reg sets and an entire set of tech gear using those 4 sites.

    I dive all apeks, absolutely love them.

    As a new diver, I would look for deals on apeks atx or xtx models, scubapro mk17s, Hogs (if you are buying new), aqualung titans or legends. I have heard good things about the aqualungs, but haven't personally tested them. General rule of thumb is to take off 25% from MSRP price if you are buying new regs or walk away.

    ---------- Post added August 5th, 2015 at 11:53 PM ----------

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  4. Ulfhedinn

    Ulfhedinn Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: So CAL
    DRIS has a great deal on Hogs. I have many sets of Hogs and have had no issues. All have been under 500 for the whole package.
  5. eelnoraa

    eelnoraa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco Bay Area
    Since you mention you travel a lot, I would suggest to get Yoke over DIN. DIN is better for overhead environment, no doubt there, but for open water, the benefit is minimal. If you will have DIN-Yoke adaptor attach to you reg 90% of the time, you may as well just go native yoke and save the hassle.

    And I disagree on equal chance of finding Din and Yoke on rental fleet. At least in North American, Caribean and south east Asaia, most rental at vacation spots will be Yoke. You are guaranteed to have Yoke tanks available to you, but the same can't be said about DIN.

    ---------- Post added August 6th, 2015 at 12:07 AM ----------

    I think DC3/212 at $169 is a decent deal. You can add a good 2nd stage for another $100 (HOG classic), SPG for ~$50 and you are good to go. I do think HOG regulators are overall better than Hollis, but do consider the dealer and service network for HOG. It is a bit lacking compared to other bigger brands. If your reg need some attention at your travel destination, it will probably be harder
  6. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Ok wise guy - in this scenario which has fewer failure points?

    Any yoke regulator fastened directly to a yoke valve.
    The same regulator in DIN with DIN to yoke adapter with one extra o-ring/fitting in the loop. And the greater point of potential failure is actually the Yoke o-ring in this scenario.

    I am not talking about the suitability of either because I also believe DIN alone is a better configuration.
    Here's the real horse ****.... There are tens of thousands of rental tanks in use at dive destinations - they're all yoke. Anywhere you travel to dive, yoke is the standard, expected valve, DIN you have to ask for. I think it's telling that many of the posts in the travel forums ask about where to find DIN tanks or if a shop offers them - or dual valves. Most don't because the typical rental configuration in warm water is an AL80. I dive liveaboards frequently. Every tank waiting for the next group of what has to be considered competent divers has a yoke valve on it. Every last one unless special arrangements are made in advance. Most dive boats that store tanks on-board also.

    No one ever asks if a shop has Yoke tanks available...except maybe in cave country (and apparently somewhere in NY)

    Look at any mfr's line (except Hog) or any website selling regulators - even probably the shop you buy from. How many on the shelf are DIN vs. Yoke? Go to your shop and inventory the tanks, unless it's a cave/tech shop the yoke valve tank inventory will be substantially greater than the DIN. Explain please?

    I rest my case....
    Lorenzoid likes this.
  7. CptTightPants21

    CptTightPants21 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NY/NJ
    Slight misunderstanding here.

    I was referring to DIN regulators vs Yoke regulators and that there should be no problem in ordering/getting a regulator in DIN as opposed to yoke.

    The OP has been talking about regulators and if you look at the post he is talking about regulators with the words "too much going on" and "point of failure comment". If I am in the wrong and he was talking about tanks, then I apologize. Obviously yoke tanks are much more prevalent in the US and Caribbean.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  8. george_austin

    george_austin Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Los Angeles,CA. Alcoi, Espana, Los Barilles, Baja
    Fully understand the differences in design, materials of construction and operating principles with brand being secondary - in my opinion. As well, if you travel and bring your own kit, yes a yoke connection is better and leave your DIN at home. I get regs all the time off eBay but I make sure I can get a service kit for them and that I currently have any special tools I need to service the first and second stage. I can get an AL Titan, AL Octo and good SPG for 200.00 from a dive forum BBS seller or eBay-many times from new divers who've decided to quit the sport and the reg has maybe 10 dives on it - brand new.. Service it, test it as per manufacturers specs, test it in the pool and go dive it.

    If you go down this path, I recommend you get the book "Regulator Savvy" (Robert Goldinger) from scubatools.com (if you're new to regulator design and repair)

    BIGJACK Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Milledgeville,Georgia
    This may bring some hate, but I really like my Sea Elite rx650 combo. I know they can only be serviced by the supplier that sells them, but I don't think they can be beat for the money. IIRC the parts are free, I just pay labor to have them serviced. The primary 2nd and the octo are adjustable and breathe great at 70fsw. Less than $300 including spg. Leaves room for Oceanic console computer.
  10. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    Hog Edge from DRIS, bought 4 sets for the family last year. Had one issue when the adjustment knob broke 3 days before we left for Cozumel and they overnighted me a replacement reg with a shipping label to return the broken reg. great service, regs are great... as good as any other. I'm sure there are reasons that other regs are so much more expensive, but for our level of recreational diving, these are great. I have a scubapro as well and can't tell any difference in the way they breathe. DRIS is a great company to deal with as well. Use the money you save to buy an air integrated dive computer. I love my oceanic pro plus....Good luck, Jay

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