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New to rebreathers - what do you recommend based on this?

Discussion in 'Rebreather Diving' started by James Darren, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
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    I wasn't a big fan of the sidekick. I am actually certified on one, and have dove it a bit. I'm told that there is a purge in the CL of the sidewinder now. I was looking at one yesterday. I'm not certain if that was aftermarket or factory. I think you're going to have a huge sacrifice moving to any sidemount rebreather. I would never make a sidemount rebreather my only rebreather. But that's just me.
     
  2. Diving_is_a_passion

    Diving_is_a_passion Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicago
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    The SMB oral inflation style purge can be purchased with the larger of the two counterlungs from the factory. As of April, it was not available on the regular/smaller sized lung.
     
  3. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: United States
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    I wish I had jumped on Forrest's when it came up but it went FAST. That's absolutely the right price for the KISS stuff IMO, and at that price I'd get one to play with just to see how I liked it. However in my mind, you have to carry big boy cylinders anyway, so why bother with a unit that has some significant compromises, when you're only going to get your profile so small. A bottle-sized CCR can be manipulated like any normal SM bottle. I guess if you've got a big pair you could ditch all your bailout and then it would be super streamlined for itty bitty restrictions. I dunno, I'm just wasting words at this point I guess.

    I wonder if you could just poke a hole in the CL and throw in say a SiTech contaminated water valve. Keep it closed or a click open and a little head up and hammer the dil. I'm curious what Mike found in testing that would preclude something like this. Personally I like drysuit valves for dump valves on rebreathers because you can't accidentally snag it like you can a pull dump. I've never had any issues with the valves on my SF2 or my Meg, but maybe the location on the Sidewinder screws it up.
     
  4. rddvet

    rddvet DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    773
    535
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    I would've thought the placement of the sidewinder counterlung would make most dumps hard to access. I'm interested to see what they came up with. It looks like a fun unit, but I'm not sold on it. When I first considered a unit I was leaning to a sm sf2 until I realized how limited it is due to bailout restrictions. I think the sidewinder helps to address that shortcoming in sm units, but when I tried it felt kind of cheap to me. I can't explain why, it just had a less than robust feel. It'll be interesting to see how it changes over time now that more people trying some exploration on it have adopted it.
     
  5. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: United States
    3,213
    3,383
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    I know guys doing some fun dives with them. Patrick and Philip are over in Madagascar pushing cave, but they've had some problems with the ADV's getting crap in them and freeflowing. I don't think I'd get an ADV on one if the intention is to actually use it for places where you're not gonna fit a BM or traditional SM unit.

    Curious what bailout restrictions you found with the SF2?
     
  6. rddvet

    rddvet DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    773
    535
    93
    I heard about the adv too.

    Biggest thing with the SF2 in SM was you're stuck carrying either one bailout tank or a bailout and stage. Not a big deal for most dives I'd use it for. But for the cost, it wasn't worth it. That was very early in my thoughts of ccr. Once I started researching bail out requirements, I realized I'd need more than one bottle. Then I considered it in bm, but it's just a really big unit and my wife and I wanted to be on the same units. SF2 was too big for her.
     
  7. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: United States
    3,213
    3,383
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    Fair enough. I think the same issue probably exists for all "normal" SM rebreathers. Once you start carrying too many bottles with any SM rebreather it starts to get annoying in my opinion. I have a hard time justifying one bailout cylinder with any CCR simply because you don't have any redundancy with it. I know people do it, but it gives me the willies, so it's always at least 2 for me. With a SM unit, that's effectively 3 tanks worth of space, my max OC simply for comfort is 4. I wouldn't want to deal with one of those being a rebreather I had to manage too. Draker flies his with an h-valved 108 or 120 or something like that so he at least has a full set of regs, even if it's only one tank. That's about as streamlined as any SM setup I've seen that's still safe.

    Scubaforce finally started offering shorter lower sections for both BM and SM configurations for shorter people. Still not a cheap rebreather though, although really nothing is these days, even the KISS units.
     
  8. rjack321

    rjack321 Captain

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
    8,780
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    the sidekick (and all other "bottle sized" sm units) have a ton of problems once you actually start rigging them for the real world ie not marketing pics with air dil and easy access to the surface

    cage and an O2 sphere? that's like $1800. and you have ONE o2 bottle with no spares
    redundant dil? prepare to get bulky fast
    suit gas? oh crap where's that gonna go?
    drysuit heat? ummmmm

    I have a sidewinder and in cold water its a damn Christmas tree. Smaller, lighter and more nimble than my Meg - but it's nothing like doing a dive at JB on 32% dil. Sidekick, actually rigged for trimix & 44F water with all the necessary redundancies is bigger and bulkier.
     
  9. jale

    jale Nassau Grouper

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    Hi
    Diving a Sidekick, I would like to add that these SM units are perceived as being used for SM diving but it should not always be the case.
    A SM unit can also be used as an "add-on" to an OC set-up.
    Indeed, some people, and even an agency, are promoting.backmount RB framed by "valve-up" tanks of 7 to 12L linked by a HP hose with a set of extra valves mimicking an OC double tank set-up: "a canister between two tanks" to make it simple.
    So why not keep your normal OC manifolded double.tank and just add a SM RB? You got an easy place and remove unit, you don't need special manifold and valves, you have a lot of BO gas on your back, etc... You can even keep your long hose if you like and deploy it as you have always done (well almost as it won't be in your mouth :)).
    In fact, it is like diving back at the time we had these big MR light canisters with the lead batteries :)
    Just my though...:)
     

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