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Single Hose without an SPG?

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by Akimbo, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I was recently reading about the evolution of regulators and it mentioned using a single hose regulator without an SPG. I can't recall seeing that in my limited sphere of visibility so I thought I would see if this was common in other areas.

    As I recall, the progression usually went from a double hose, to a single hose with an SPG, and later came the Octopus and inflator hoses. How does that square with what you remember?
     
  2. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I wasn't around, but from my understanding of the progression of regulator development, the single hose predated the SPG. It existed in the early 60's but wasn't really common until the mid-late 70's, so divers used J-valves and were expected to have some relative idea of how much gas they had. So I guess you should add single hose/j valve in the mix, and inflator hose should be around the time of the octo around 1980 ish? I think they had a sort of staggered entrance, my parents had both in the mid 80's, but prior to that they were taught buddy breathing and had horse collars in 1980 give or take. Divers were using octo's in the 60's, but it wasn't a requirement or mainstream until the 80's from what I understand.
     
  3. raftingtigger

    raftingtigger Divemaster

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    When I trained in 1971 we used a single hose, no spg, either a K or J-valve. Neither an octo or powered inflator were ever mentioned in my class. We were taught to pay attention to breathing resistance, how to buddy breathe, and how to do a CESA (not that it was called this). SPGs were available, but prohibitively expensive. Following a family friend's advice I opted for the K valve and the brand new SP Mark VII first stage as it honked at you when the pressure got low. At the tender age of 14, none of my buddies (all unrelated and all non-professionals), nor I, ever had an occasion to need either the CESA or buddy breathing techniques.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  4. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

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    Was that a MK-5 or a MK-7? I have several MK-5s and they don't honk.
     
  5. descent

    descent Solo Diver

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    I started diving with twin 72s, a J-valve manifold, a single hose US Divers reg, and this charming thing.

    MIL-L-16383G.JPG


    We quickly upgraded to aluminum 80s. Within six months, no one voluntarily dove steel tanks.

    Not long after that, we swapped the vests for horse collars. During that transition, our first stages gained a baffling additional low pressure hose. It came out of the turret, hung down like limp spaghetti, went nowhere, and had nothing on the end of it.

    When the dive supes explained that it was an auto-inflator for the new life preservers, there was a great deal of laughter and mockery, with pantomimed demonstrations of how to auto-inflate another diver from behind, etc.

    A few months after that, we received a few pressure gauges.

    The gauges were subversive. Dive leaders could always identify air hogs, but now it was possible to specify which phase of the dive was problematic. The people who always used 200 psi to go from the surface to a medium depth found themselves diving less, or doing much less interesting work.

    Despite their obvious utility, I remember pressure gauges being optional equipment for every dive except the most rigorous requalifications, and many times not even then.
     
    AfterDark and LeadTurn_SD like this.
  6. LeadTurn_SD

    LeadTurn_SD Solo Diver

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    I think the progression varied a little by geographic region, at least as far as the time line for implementation.

    I was certified in 1976. Here in little Hilo Hawaii at that point in time there were still double hose regs in use, single hose without spg, single hose with spg. The majority of divers I saw at that time used single hose with spg, but not all. Many of us had J-valves along with our spgs.

    None of the divers I dove with had octo's.

    One of my friends was ahead of the curve and had a horse collar BC, but the rest of us wore simple "safety vests" similar to the one shown in descent's post (#5), and they were used for surface flotation.

    I imagine the West Coast and Florida were probably ahead of Hawaii a little bit as far as implementation of "new" gear, but I'm not positive. I was only aware of what divers were using in my small corner of the world at that time.

    Best wishes.
     
  7. raftingtigger

    raftingtigger Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
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    Oops. Typo. I have corrected the original post.

    Mark VII came out in early 1971 IIRC, it is the Mark V with an additional vibration chamber (and about 2# more of brass). I am diving the MK V and 109A almost exclusively now.

    honker mark vii.jpg this is a picture of a later (heavy yoke) Mark 7. Biggest issue with still using them is only 3 ports (1 HP, 2 LP).
     

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  8. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    As near as I can tell the single hose and SPG came out in the US market about the same time. US Divers 1957 catalog had both but both were pretty lame. The SPG attached to the valve rather than the regulator. Single hose regulators and SPGs were widely available by 1960, though not in wide use in my area.

    Non-reserve K-valves outsold the reserve J-valves about 3 or 4:1 according to sales figures I remember reading in Skin Diver Magazine. That is consistent with what I saw in Northern California in the 1960s. Regulator performance at low cylinder pressures started having noticeable increased resistance around 300-500 PSI. That gave plenty of warning to leave the bottom. J-valves were a lot more expensive to buy and maintain, which is probably the main reason. For example the 1962 US Divers J-valves were $30 and the K-valve was $7.95.

    The owner of Art's Aqua Shop tried to explain that to me and my dad but dad insisted that I have a J-valve. I soon learned Art was right and never bought another J-valve for a single again. I later used J-valves on doubles since that was the only manifold available but that was even more useless. It only held back the reserve in one cylinder and equalized with the second when it was pulled. It didn't take long before I just left the lever down all the time. Knowing that it was down was better than hoping it was still up.
     
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  9. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    thanks for clarification, I knew the banjo style ones existed, have seen a quite a few for double hose regulators, but never saw one in use with a single hose.
     
  10. descent

    descent Solo Diver

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    Yes. Not everyone could afford the best stuff right away.

    The equipment I saw in use varied as I traveled.

    I remember visiting other units and feeling immediately envious of some nice gear they had. Turns out that the equipment in dive lockers or paralofts came out of a discretionary budget. Purchase decisions were made at the local level. Training staff had to decide how much equipment to acquire to guarantee some basic level of competence. Want more regs? OK, get smaller outboards. Tradeoff after tradeoff.

    Makes more sense now why we had so few pressure gauges. We did emphasize gas planning to an obsessive degree. The bean counters must have spent the money they saved on other nice toys.
     

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