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How good is this End All Beat All reg package from Scubatoys?

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by d3lphi, May 28, 2010.

  1. GQMedic

    GQMedic NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: SoCal. (Yeah, baybee)
    678
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    Hmm, I hate it..

    The BC is a MONSTER, way too bulky IMHO, Minimalist is my preference. Retractors are "okay", I prefer "clips" as I HATE danglies. The baseball hat is dorky, all of the bottles of different "goop" are unnecessary, I use dish soap to clean up my gear. The hanger is cool but I've never used anything other than a stout hangers i bought from target many years ago. The reg is "okay", it will suit your purposes, ultimately, I recommend you put together your own "package" of gear, visit your LDS for that, pick your stuff and ask for a package price. Mind you, this is JUST my opinion.
     
  2. Scubatoys will always be VERY competitive on price, so for the items in that package, you can rest assured you got a great price! (yeah, perhaps on E-Bay you could find those items lightly-used at even cheaper prices, but let's limit ourselves to new gear with dealer/manufacturer warranties). AS a new diver, you don't know what you don't know....it wouldn't be a sin to buy that package, go do some diving, get needed experience, then maybe in a year or two reevaluate things and then upgrade into better gear, once you start to have a clue about diving. It's pretty common to waste some $ upfront on 'stupid' gear, that looks good in the store or on the WWW but doesn't work for you out in the real world....that's usually the price of entry into this sport, consider your 1st gear set to be tuition $ that you used to learn more about real world diving, versus gear you will be keeping for the long haul...it's pretty much inevitable that you will make the same common beginner buying mistakes as most everyone else. Although it might sound a little harsh to say it's not a big deal to waste a couple thousand $ on 'stupid' gear, a routine 1 week scuba vacation for one person will cost you more than that, which for a new diver can also be considered more 'tuition' (learning) $.....the cost of tropical vacations will vastly exceed the amount of $ you spend on scuba gear (for the average recreational diver, at least), so if the possibility of wasting one or two thousand $ on 'stupid' gear is gonna be a show stopper, you might wanna rethink the whole traveling/vacation diver concept in the first place.
     
  3. d3lphi

    d3lphi Photographer

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    Awesome guys thanks so much!

    I'm actually headed to Montego Bay right now for vacation, not a dive vacation, but at Sandals it's included with gear so I'm sure I'll get a few dives in on rented gear. I'll check back when I return.
     
  4. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,387
    820
    113
    If you want to benchmark line item prices check Leisure Pro. That will usually give you list and an aggressive retail price point.

    I'm not a fan of hybrid air cells. My wife had one and it was complex to vent. I would caution you against buying any BC that you can't have the opportunity to test dive, at leas in a shop pool prior to purchase.

    I don't like that the alternate second stage is mares vs Aeris for the primary. That will probably be a service pain. A common brand always helps.

    Where do you want your compass? If console is your preference that needs to change.

    It's a lot of gear for the money but don't give too much weight to the accessories they piled in there.

    Trying to buy your permanent gear first time is a nice notion. It rarely happens that way since your diving and perceptions will change. If you can be happy and comfortable in your first gear for 5 years you did good. Then you may have the perspective to buy something that will go the distance. Despite your best intentions you may be upgrading at some point just because something new catches your eye. In any case you are not married to the stuff and it will have some resale value if well cared for.

    Pete
     
  5. Byte Me

    Byte Me Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: @ Miller Time! in SE Wisconsin
    722
    60
    28
    You've got one huge advantage that most of us don't have in buying from Scuba Toys (who I've gotten almost all my gear from! - big fan of Joe and Larry's) in that you're close enough to stop in to the store and talk to them in person. That would be my first recommendation. Stop in, talk to them about what kind of diving you think you're going to be doing, what kind you MIGHT be doing and what your budget is. I'm sure they can set you up with a custom package built for exactly the kind of thing you're going to be doing.

    I wasn't convinced when I started that I'd ever dive in cold water even though I'm from WI. Last year I did 1/2 of my 70+ dives in water less than 60F. Had I not started with the Oceanic Delta IV / FDX10 I would have had to upgrade in order to do so, instead I've got one of the best cold water regs made, not to mention it performs equally as well in warm water. I started with a Zeagle Ranger Ltd but have since moved to Dive Rite BP, Oxycheq Mach V 30# wing and Transplate harness (w/ weigh pouches - I HATE weight belts). I "splurged" right off and went with the Oceanic VT3 AI hoseless computer because I knew I didn't want the extra hose for a console computer. LOVE IT! I like the Mcnutt's stuff for keeping gear clean and non-smelly. I also really like the BC hanger I have which is similar to the package one. YMMV.

    One other thing to consider - if you would get a set up like this, which you still may, if it works for you - great! That's the important thing! However, I found it better to get gear not solely based on price because when it comes time to grow out of it, upgrade or if it turns out you just don't like it - it's easier to sell better stuff without taking a bath. I sold a Ranger to get my Ranger Ltd and then sold the Ltd to fund my BP/W purchase (from ST's for sale forum). The Zeagle gear held it's value so well I actually made $ when I went to the BP/W set up.

    Good luck, go talk to Joe and Larry, they'll get you set up and stick within your budget!
     
  6. Crush

    Crush Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Western Canada
    2,517
    480
    0
    Lucky. I am envious. :)

    There is no such thing as a stupid question. There are two types of computers - Air Integrated (AI) and non-AI. AI computers have some way of sensing the tank air pressure, non-AI units do not. Some AI computers sense tank pressure by connecting into your tank via a hose on a high pressure (HP) port. You will also find some computers described as "hoseless" - this is an AI computer which has a sensor which screws into the HP port, and that sensor transmits information to your computer via a short-range signal - no hose, hence hoseless.

    The presence of an analog pressure gauge in the boot (the housing at the end of the HP hose) below the computer indicates to me that there is no HP connection to the computer, hence it is not AI. You can pop the computer out of the boot and put it into a different (smaller) boot with straps to mount it on your forearm (where it is more convenient if air integration is not necessary).

    Here is what my AI computer looks like: Sherwood Wisdom 2 Dive Computer reviews and discounts, Sherwood

    AI is not necessary. Computers are not necessary. However, I really like the AI features - my computer calculates the "safe minutes" at my given depth in real time by determining air time remaining (based on current consumption levels for the past several seconds) and N2 loading. Whichever of the two above is the limiting factor is the criterion used to find the safe minutes at depth. Allowing for a maximum ascent rate of 60 ft/s up to 30 ft and thereafter an ascent rate of 30 ft/s, and including a 3 min safety stop at 20 ft, and the desired psi left in the tank (user determined) the computer counts down safe time. Of course, if you are old school, you can just disable the audible safe minutes alarm and ignore the display.

    I use a Zeagle Scout. Packs well.

    I don't yet dive BP/w. If you PM someone called TSandM on SB she will have lots of helpful suggestions wrt BP/w selection. She will also try to assimilate you. :) I believe that you can't go wrong with Dive Rite products - they sell BP/w units.

    Have fun diving!
     
  7. rstofer

    rstofer Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Northern California
    2,199
    4
    0
    There are a bunch of equipment forums here on SB. Every one of these topics is discussed at least once a week.

    There are a lot of opinions on every piece of gear you can possibly buy. And the opinions will be all over the map!

    Personally, I use a wrist mounted computer. I understand the benefits of air integration, I just don't want to drag a console to get them. Yes, I know I can get the features in a wrist mounted unit but I just don't want to go there. I am happy with a plain old pressure gauge clipped to my waist D-ring. I can glance down and see how much air I have and that's been good enough.

    If I did use an air-integrated computer, I would still want the ordinary pressure gauge as a backup. So why not just leave it at that?

    If you want a REALLY light BP/W, look at the OxyCheq UltraLight Travel plate. It is a piece of fabric wrapped something or other that manages to strap a tank to your back. I have one and use it in the pool. It's kind of nice in that it weighs almost nothing but it's pretty useless for a cold water diver.

    The trend among more experienced divers is away from jacket style BCs. And, yes, I have followed the same path. I still have my SeaQuest ADVi BC and it still works very well. I like the pockets and I like that it floats me higher out of the water. But it's just a relic and my Deep Sea Supply BP/W is my preferred BC.

    If I were to dive in warm water again, I would definitely use that OxyCheq UltraLight and my travel backpack would be a lot less bulky and a lot lighter. Add an 18# wing (I'm talking about T-shirt diving) and I'd be all set. Minimal really is better.

    Since I still use my 20 year old Oceanic Omega II regulators, I can't really add much to which brand is best. I have two thoughts: First, if I were interested in regulators that could be serviced anywhere in the world, I would buy ScubaPro, AquaLung or Oceanic. Second, all of these brands are overpriced (in my view) and I am starting to look at that Hog D1. It is a plus with me that some retailers will provide training in overhaul procedures. That way I don't have to worry about where it can be serviced and the factory will sell me all the parts I want. Very nice!

    Selecting gear just isn't a team sport. In the end, it's your decision on which features are important and which are fluff. Which gear matches your intended diving and how much you are willing to spend. Personally, if I could afford to travel and dive, I would put a lot of thought into high end gear. I would not want to wind up in some far away land with defective equipment and be at the mercy of the operator to provide gear. At a minimum, I would have a spare regulator set - complete. Redundant computers... It takes some thought.

    Richard
     
  8. Mattleycrue76

    Mattleycrue76 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Marysville,WA
    206
    3
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    Unfortunately that also comes with the distict disadvantage of having having to pay sales tax :wink:
     
  9. D_B

    D_B Kimber/TekDiveGirl storyteller and memory keeper ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego, Ca.
    16,379
    10,757
    113
    all the advice sounds good, and I second the thought to ask Lary or Joe at ScubaToys what they can do for you while making up a gear selection that's exactly right for you, they are trusted members of this board and I've only seen them give out good advice

    I'll add this .. get good quality regs, maybe not the most expensive one, but a good, solid, good breathing set ... a good regulator can last a lifetime of diving ... you dont want to spend money for "good enough" regulator and then find yourself wishing for a better breathing set shortly down the road later
     
  10. Bonairetrip

    Bonairetrip Solo Diver

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    18
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    What do you think about package X?

    In the end, packages really are the sum of their components and I don't generally see a huge advantage to single brand packages (although I tend to prefer the 1st and second stages all be one manufacturer). And how well a given component works is as much about the component itself as about you and your diving needs/styles/budgets.

    Given that (and what the OP has said), here are my thoughts:
    a) Research each major item individually. One place to start is the various equipment forums parts of this board.
    b) Think about your diving now and in the next five years. Cold or warm? How often? Travel? Do you have tech aspirations? Is this the next set of gear to buy (or would an exposure suit be better)?
    c) If possible, try before you buy. Some of the gear is available via rentals. Some shops have a pool and allow you to try it. At least look at it first hand and try on things like BCs.
    d) My personal strong preference is for a traditional octo versus an air-2 type setup.

    I think the OP inquired about a BP/W. For travel, I would suggest a Kydex or Aluminum plate. I prefer a standard hog harness. And a single wing. You might start by talking to Deep Sea Supply (DSS); they have a forum here and Tobin would be very helpful. There are pros and cons to jacket BCs vs. BP/W. (Full disclosure: I dive a DSS BP/W and also have an Oxycheq wing plus a "regular" BC. The regular BC pretty much is pool only at this point.)
     

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