• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

DAAM, it happened again...

Discussion in 'Vintage Diving & Equipment' started by Ghost95, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. Ghost95

    Ghost95 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Florida
    Ok all, update as promised.

    As I said in the previous post, I refinished the HP seat according to Herman's instructions and it came out great. The assembly went pretty easy without any major issues. If you're going to be working on these DAAM's at all the CustomScubaTools, tools are the way to go. I could have done this with standard tools but the purpose built stuff makes things so much easier. Well worth the money.

    As rebuilt, this is a West Warner DAAM. The soft parts (hose loop, mouthpiece, diaphragm, and duckbill) were replaced with silicone. Improved wagon wheel and check valves were also added.

    The first stage was replaced with an HPR mainly for ease of use. The rest was rebuilt with a VDH service kit.

    Everything went together great and I didn't even destroy the first stage HP gasket this time.

    IP was set on a tank with 500 psi. It was adjusted until a slight free flow was observed (about 140 psi) and the backed off just over 1/4 turn. That left me with a stable IP at about 128 psi. There is a small leak that I haven't been able to identify which allows the pressure to bleed off the system in about 18 hours. It may be in the gauge or associated hardware though. I don't think that 18 hours to bleed the regulator qualifies as a significant leak and I don't want to screw up any seats that are set by looking for it.

    Here are the photos. Maybe one day I'll get to dive this project.

    First stage parts.

    First stage assembled.


    Body parts.


    Main body assembled and ready for the can and HPR.


    Installed in can with HPR in place.


    All together. Very Pretty!


    Thanks to all here who helped with this project whether that was with suggestion, insight, or getting me the parts I needed. As always this place has been a great help. This project was a lot of fun and will be a complete success once I get the regulator wet.
  2. herman

    herman Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    Tiny leaks around the nozzle gasket and the hookah port are not uncommon but over 18 hrs I would not worry about it. Odds are you may do more damage than good on such a small leak.
    rhwestfall and couv like this.
  3. Ghost95

    Ghost95 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Florida
    Thanks. That's kind of what i figured. I think the rebuild is a success so far. No need to mess with it. I'm guessing it will set itself with a few cycles.

    Thanks for the help and feedback.
    couv and rhwestfall like this.
  4. herman

    herman Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    Now to set up the HPR. It can be tweaked a lot to improve the performance.
    With the reg under pressure connected to a 500 psi tank (to keep IP at max), adjust the adjustment nut until there is a slight amount of free play in the lever. The lever should rise as you do this. Continue to adjust the nut until the lever tips are even with the lower lip of the bottom can. Test the lever height by setting the main diaphragm on and gently tap/press it down. while listening for contact, you want about 1/16-1/8 inch of clearance between the lever. Some free play must remain in the lever when doing the final height adjustment. I prefer to error on the larger side of this adjustment with a new seat, it will take a set causing the lever to rise as it does. If the lever does not rise enough or you run out of adjustment in the the nut, no more free play in the lever, the lever legs may have to be bent slightly and the nut reset. A word of caution, the venturi on these regs is quite powerful, expect the reg to slam open and free flow. When this happens, covering the supply horn with your hand will stop it....and likely blow the diaphragm off. :) This is normal, esp without a hose loop on..
    The performance of the venturi can be tweaked at this point but I think it's best to leave it as is for the time being until the diver gets some experience with the reg.
    Now the standard warning. NEVER breath directly off of the supply horn ! Always use a proper hose loop to test he reg. These regs have a very powerful venturi and are capable of causing lung damage if not treated with respect.
    This reg with a properly set up HPR is capable of some very impressive performance numbers that rival or surpass modern regs
    couv, macado and rhwestfall like this.
  5. Ghost95

    Ghost95 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Florida
    Ok all, late update but here goes.

    I set the IP with a tank at 500ps until the regulator just had a slight free flow and then backed it off about 1/4 turn. Setting like this made this breath really easy on the surface.

    After I finished the rebuild I put the cap on the on the hookah port, dug out a wetsuit and hood, and decided to give this a test dive. I only have one of those plastic, roto molded backplates, and I know they're not the best for diving these reg's, but it's what I had so I hoped for the best and headed to the beach.

    Well, you're 100% correct. that is not a good pack to dive a double hose. Breathing with this reg on that back plate was nothing like breathing it on the bench. It was a pretty hard draw when I was face down in the water. On my side it breathed easier. On my back, well, it kind of wanted to inflate me. I might have to dial it back a little because that was a little uncomfortable. I did notice that it got easier to breathe once the tank pressure came down a bit (I started with 2200).

    So, for the good news. I didn't die. Also I can see that I need a different tank harness system. I think this will be really nice to dive as I get more comfortable with the rig.

    Problems I ran into: 1. Wrong harness system. It will make a difference.
    2. Hookah port wasn't tightened completely and it leaked air. My high frequency hearing is a little off so I didn't hear it until I got under water. It wasn't a bad leak so I kept diving but I should have leak tested it after I replaced the IP gauge with the cap. I did leak test with the IP gauge attached. Also, it took more torque than I was expecting to seal the Hookah cap. I am gentle with anything made of brass so totally my fault. 3. No fault of the regulator but I was about 3 lbs. light. I was fighting to stay down which made the dive a little uncomfortable.

    I came back from the beach dive and got in the pool. It was way colder than the gulf so I wasn't in too long. I tried all the clearing and recovery techniques I read about in the vintage manuals and things seemed simple enough. I can see where you could have a problem without an octopus if you somehow snagged and damaged your in take hose and happened to be a good distance from your buddy (if you have one).

    Overall, this was a good first dive. I'm looking forward to doing this again but I'm back at work so it will be a while.

    Wanted to say thanks to everybody who helped with the acquisition of parts, free advice, and little tips/tricks that made this build go smooth. As always the vintage community was great.

    Here are the pictures of the reg on a tank and the backpack I used. I can see how far from your back this pack keeps the can.

    Thanks again guys.

    Side view, this will sit well off my back.


    Top View: It must sit well off my back right? Not a good thing for the differential pressure.


    Front-ish View:


    PS: Mako float towed great. I'll review it in another post.
    lexvil, James79 and Pressurehead like this.
  6. lexvil

    lexvil Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    This is a reality with a DH, they just don’t breath as easily as the average SH with the diaphragm right by your face. A different back plate will help but you just have to get used to how they breathe.
    scrane likes this.
  7. couv

    couv Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: 13th floor of the Ivory Tower
    Yes, that is WAY TOO FAR off your back. Here is a picture of @herman displaying perfect can placement.
    Herman with Kraken.jpg
    Scuba Lawyer likes this.
  8. Ghost95

    Ghost95 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Florida
    Everybody said that it would make a big difference without a proper back plate or harness and they were right. I knew this going in and as this was just a test dive, I'm not letting one experience without the correct gear influence my opinion of the regulator. The amount of air it delivered was very acceptable even if it was little more of a draw to get it flowing. I am either going with a backplate and wing or one of the repro harnesses.

    All in all I was happy with the performance.
  9. herman

    herman Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    The problem even with the correct old school BPs is they will ride up so the top of the BP is even with the shoulders reguardless of how the straps are adjusted. They look fine on land but move all over the place under water. To compensate for this, the tank must be kept very low OR you need to add crotch straps to prevent this. The BP in Couv's photo is a Zeagle Express Tech modified for DH use. New waist strap holders were added to lower the waist strap so it was in the proper place when the BP was lowered, strap retainers were added to keep the straps from migrating and a crotch strap was added. These 3 things keep the BP/tank exactly where it needs to be and snug to the body. Even with the modifications, note how high the top strap is on the tank, there is a second band you can't see. Positioned as above a AK will outperform most single hose regs, a properly set up DA/RAM and tuned correctly will do almost as good.
    couv likes this.
  10. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California
    You can use a freedom plate too but to get the tank down far enough to get the reg down where it needs to be you have to leave out the bolts that hold the wing on, slide the wing down an inch and a half and mount the tank with one cam band through the lower slot. The wing will just have to be held on by pressure on the top. You have to use the wedge too to move the top of the tank in further towards your back. If you want to move it even lower then forget about finding a grommet hole to mount the wedge bracket, you’ll have to get out your hot screw driver and melt in your own holes in the wing where you think you want it. A freedom plate will work better than a plastic back pack because they’re thinner.

    Doubles plates suck for double hose diving because the channel moves the tank out plus the top of those plates stick out on top way too far.

    I still think using a double hose should be done purist style with no BC or plate of any kind, just strap the tank directly on your body. Just my opinion, but you know what they say about opinions...
    couv likes this.

Share This Page