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full face masks/communications

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by Les, Mar 4, 2001.

  1. Les

    Les Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: north vancouver bc canada
    Mad Mario has a very cool and informative article on his experience with a full face mask& communication.I am unsure of a couple of things about these.My local dive stores are
    not too familiar with this equiptment,so I look for the opinions of those who are.My questions are:
    -what about cylinder switching for redundancy or deco mix?
    -what about any chance of reg failure?what then?
    -do you need special regs inc. 1st stage or do you use your original,change hoses to an adapter for the full face mask?
    -can they be worn with a hood for our cold waters(ear phone)
    -do you get a full face mask squeeze under pressure,does the mask keep positive pressure or by demand?
    -how do you equalize??
    Am a fairly new diver but am very interested in the latest in diving to enhance my skills with the utmost in safety.

    "the urge to submerge"
  2. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Diego, CA
    Les, very good questions, here are some answers:

    Cylinder switching for multiple gases can be done with a gas switching block made by Sartek Industries The switching can be done rather easily. The only reservation I have is when using a high O2 content for deco. I would elect NOT to have that gas available through the switching block, but rather remove the mask, replace it with a reg from the deco bottle, and don a mask pulled out from a B.C. pocket.

    The regualtor has been tested to 1800ft by Duke University, it is also used by not only US Military and Search and Rescue teams, but countries that span the globe. That makes it a very good choice in my books. Having said that, nothing is fail proof though. In the unlikely event of a failure the above mentioned switch would be done.

    The mask can be used with any existing 1st stage. The Mask comes with a hose that screws into a standard LP port on the 'left hand' side of the reg, so you can retain the original 2nd stage for redundancy on the right hand side if you choose.

    They can be worn with a hood. In fact some of the divers on my first encounter with the FFM were wearing hoods. I'll be picking up a new burner in a day or two (mines been down) and I can burn you a copy of the dive on CD. (SideNote - Sorry about the wait W.Coyote) You can even choose to have the earphone on either side, or both sides if you wish.

    The Mask will not, and cannot squeeze. The masks are available in both constant flow and demand style. Open circuit divers use demand style. There is a constant flow of air that is directed from the oral nasal mask, to the rest of the mask via one way valves. This flow makes it impossible to fog the lens either.

    Equalization is very simple. There is an adjustable V-shaped rubber piece directly under you nose. When you push up on any part of the mask, it mates up with your nose and blocks it enabling you to blow gently against it, thus equalizing.

    For more information on Full Face Masks and the different configurations of communication gear, goto the

    Ocean Technology Systems website.


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