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DA Aquamaster parts

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by Perryed, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. Perryed

    Perryed Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
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    If the phenolic one are still available I would like one also. I didn't know that VDH carried them.
     
  2. scrane

    scrane Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boise, ID.
    1,168
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    Store | Vintage Double Hose

    Part # 8210-03
     
    Perryed likes this.
  3. scrane

    scrane Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boise, ID.
    1,168
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    Well... I really like my shiney upgraded Aquamaster, and I'm not convinced that performance wise the Kraken is a lot better. Functionally they're pretty much the same thing.
     
    Perryed and rsingler like this.
  4. Perryed

    Perryed Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
    302
    220
    43
    Thanks! Got a couple on the way.
     
  5. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
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    Shiny is good! :D
    And you're right - the Phoenix upgrade is awesome.
    I'll call off the thought police.
     
    AfterDark and scrane like this.
  6. Luis H

    Luis H Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Maine
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    I also used to like shiny a lot. Actually, I still due, but like everything in life... I had to make decisions based on the trade-offs. The early Argonaut testing were all done using vintage metal cans. They are mostly interchangeable by design. At one time I did consider continue to use the metal cans (on my own personal regulator) even after I designed the plastic cans. :confused:

    The plastic cans do have two advantages. The first obvious one is the weight. I can't remember the exact difference in weight, but it is noticeable when you are holding the regulator. The difference in your luggage didn't bother me as much as just how it felt.

    The plastic can also has a much better horn air flow profile. I can tune the venturi flow much better with the plastic cans. The flip side is that to get that much venturi flow, then you have to use the DSV mouthpiece with the flow diverter. There are no disadvantages to doing that, but some divers like the looks of the vintage curved mouthpiece. It used to be my favorite mouthpiece. I will say, that once I got it all working together, I have not looked back. I have several beautiful Phoenix-HPR that have not been wet in years.

    The horn in the metal cans were fabricated with a rectangular attachment to the can due to the fabrication process and the difficulty of creating a complex transition with the metal parts. If you notice the circle of the horn is bigger than the curved surface on the side of the cans. Fabrication limitations (by stamping, forming, and joining by brazing or soldering) were major considerations when designing the vintage cans.



    The Phoenix to main body joint:


    When I was playing with the installation of the Phoenix I played with several different sealing methods. I used both types of gaskets and also tried several other washers and hard O-rings from McMaster Carr. It was always a trick to get the rotation just right for the "perfect" port location. In general I would also tend to torque the Phoenix probably a lot higher than most people would be comfortable tighten it. I never caused any damage, but I am not recommending that.

    The one thing I meant to try, but I never got around to it (before the Argonaut project started) was the use of sealing Loctite on the threads. There is a large variety of Loctite that are design to to seal. I would not be at all afraid of any toxic possibilities since I would still use the gasket. There are two basic families of Loctites. One is considered semi permanent and can only be unscrewed with the use of heat. The other type is also very secured, but it can be taken apart much easier. I would consider either one, but I would probably start by trying the second type.

    Installing the Phoenix as a mostly permanent installation is reasonable. You can service the regulator without ever disturbing the joint between the Phoenix and the main body. Lets say that I have even considered soldering the two together as one unit.

    Again, I have not tried the Loctite myself for this particular application, but that was my next step. Like I said, I haven't touched a Phoenix in like 7 years.



    BTW, there are several other advantages of the Argonaut over the Phoenix-HPR. If you do a search at VDH you will see some of my early write-ups about all the thoughts that went into designing the Argonaut. Yes, they mechanically share many of the same parts, by design. That was very intentional for compatibility and long term parts availability, but there is more to the design.


    The one thing that both of these regulators share in common is the long term parts availability. The reason they share most of the internal replaceable parts is that I was trying to use parts that should be available when your kids and grand kids decide to take up diving. :)

    You will have to protect the silicone rubber parts (the hoses and the large diaphragm), but the mechanical wear parts should be available as long as Aqua Lung, Mares, or Trident are still in business. All three have seats that are compatible.
     
    Scuba Lawyer, AfterDark, Kupu and 2 others like this.
  7. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
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    I have never tried stacking the phenolic gaskets but I would think you could. I really don't think you would have much luck shaving them down, they are just to brittle to handle that much. You can torque them a good bit as long as you have some way of holding the body. At some point you just have to live with the alignment, with that said, as Luis indicated, there is no need to remove the Phoenix from the body once it's installed unless it's leaking so if you get it right, leave it there and rebuild around it.
     
  8. scrane

    scrane Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boise, ID.
    1,168
    863
    113
    Herman and Luis,
    Gentleman,
    Although I started diving in '74, I missed the double hose era, and like many, thought of the DH as a thing of the past. I particularly like to get up close and personal with the occupants of the tropical reefs. There's nothing I like better than coming eye to eye with a pissed off Damselfish. So, I've started with the double hose regulator to improve my opportunities.

    My interest started with the Kraken. But a few months ago I figured I could start diving DH quicker by buying an Aquamaster and fixing it up. I can't say I'm sorry I took this route, but I suspect I'd be just as happy starting out with a Kraken. From what I can tell, the Aquamaster upgrade parts and the Kraken both possess engineering flair and manufacturing excellence.

    I certainly didn't save any money with the Aquamaster over the Kraken. The basic reg off of Ebay, the Phoenix, the HPR, The Diaphragm, the DSV, the Duckbill Eliminator, the ring clamp, and a new set of hoses ran pretty close to what a Kraken would have cost me. But what a learning experience! I now know 1000% more about regulators than I used to.

    The Kraken is still not out of the question. In fact I have an entire inner life subconsciously churning out rationalizations to buy new stuff. Right now , though, my main concern is having a viable DH reg by March. If I feel confident with the Aquamaster I'll probably stick with it for now. This is no criticism of the Kraken. Although not shiny, the Kraken exhibits a purpose built industrial quality that I appreciate.

    So, I want to thank you both, along with Bryan for devising and making a couple of safe and convenient DH systems that will both further my fishy interests and tickle my fancy. And I want to thank you guys for taking the time to help me out.

    Plus I would like to encourage others who might want to try something new (old) to spice up their diving. For the price of a premium quality single hose regulator they can get a second hose for free.

    Sandy.
     
    AfterDark, Kupu, Luis H and 1 other person like this.
  9. Luis H

    Luis H Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Maine
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    Great post.

    I particularly like this:
    I was by no means trying to discourage you from fixing and using your Phoenix-HPR. I am not like Microsoft... I will not badmouth something I designed on the past just because I designed something new. :D

    From what Bryan tells me, the Phoenix-HPR parts are still big sellers. There are a lot of reasons to go that route.

    But I do think most serious DH divers do need more than just one DH. :)
    Actually, I don't know of any serious DH diver that doesn't have more than one or is at least considering the next DH.

    The learning experience of rebuilding and diving a DH is something that IMHO can benefit any serious diver. OK, I should quit using "serious diver"... you can have a sense of humor and still have a lot of fun diving. :wink:


    Back to the Phoenix sealing issue.
    I would stay with the more forgiving newer plastic washers and maybe try the Loctite. Buy several of the nylon washers (some sacrificial ones for testing) and see if you are better of with one or two. Then I would take it apart and repeat the best results, but this time with some sealing thread locking Loctite on the male threads.

    With the Loctite you can get away with not needing to torque it (tighten it) as hard so you can get the perfect clocking and still be secured.

    As I said, I never actually got around to trying this procedure before I moved on to the new project, but that was my plan. This is just a suggestion... YMMV

    Good luck.
     
    AfterDark and scrane like this.
  10. scrane

    scrane Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boise, ID.
    1,168
    863
    113
    Being able to use an octopus, an inflator and a pressure gauge was a game changer for me. I am not into "vintage diving". I am into using whatever equipment is safe, suits my needs, and is fun. Plus maybe just a little Mike Nelson.
     
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