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Solo sidemount configuration

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by pisoiu, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. pisoiu

    pisoiu Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Romania
    108
    19
    18
    I am interested to hear some opinions about a configuration I think of, adjusted to minimise risks during solo dives. I am mostly interested on comments about hose connection to mask.
    I use 2 tanks, sidemount, going from 2x4 liters to 2x12, depending on conditions
    Left tank: apeks ds4 1st stage, one hp 15cm hose to pressure gauge, one lp hose to wing inflator, one lp hose with quick release to main regulator of a ffm, ocean reef
    Right tank: apeks ds4 1st stage, one hp 15cm hose to pressure gauge, one lp hose to drysuit inflator, one lp hose to an apeks octopus connected to the secondary port of ffm (where usually is installed surface valve).
    Both main regulator and octopus has adjustments, so I can balance from there which tank I am using.
    Thank you.
     
  2. drspore

    drspore Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Connellsville, PA, USA
    14
    0
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    Why do you have an octopus in the sidemount configuration? (Or are you using an octo stripped from an original singles configuration, in which case it is a primary regardless of its original purpose?) My own opinion is that diving doubles in sidemount provides appropriate redundancy for solo diving PROVIDED your gas management plan is intentionally conservative. Nevertheless, you can't be too cautious when soloing, so slinging a small bailout bottle would not be unreasonable.
     
  3. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    3,978
    1,494
    113
    I'm gonna let this one go.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    rchrds, shoredivr and Spd 135 like this.
  4. pisoiu

    pisoiu Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Romania
    108
    19
    18
    Sorry, bad choice of words. Left tank is going to 2nd stage of the mask, is the regulator built in the mask (ocean reef nira 2). Right tank is going to another 2nd stage (apeks), connected to the port where usually the surface valve is installed.
    Yes, I can take with me another 4 liter tank with a separate regulator for bailout.
    I want to know if anybody used a ffm with two 2'nd stages and if this is ok, pros and cons, etc. I want to elliminate as much as possible scenarios where I need to take off my mask. Basically I can think right now only at one scenario, when the fills in both tanks are bad (co, etc.). But this is highly unlikely, I make my own fills with an electric compressor, no CO sources nearby, etc. I do not have a CO analyzer yet but soon I will.
     
    Jordan Trotter likes this.
  5. DaleC

    DaleC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Leftcoast of Canada
    4,981
    2,322
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    Is that mask designed to do that? I don't think so.

    But some considerations regardless:
    Are you diving absolutely alone? If not, how will you share air?
    If you have a mask failure, have you lost all your airsources?
    Will a failure of an exhaust valve flood your mask and how would you deal with that?

    Sidemount is a completely redundant system already. If you need a third tank to provide redundancy you have created a poor primary system.
     
    shoredivr and Aotus like this.
  6. pisoiu

    pisoiu Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Romania
    108
    19
    18
    The mask is designed to do that. There is a special adaptor offered by manufacturer (replaces the mouth piece) which allows to install a standard 2-nd stage in the place of surface valve. It's just that the information about this configuration is very thin. The manual says basically "yes, you can install another 2nd stage on the mask". No words about procedures, how to's, etc. Nor I have ever seen or hear anyone using such configuration talking about it. But it is possible.
    Yes, I am diving alone, no need to share air. I am not sure what means failure of exhaust valve? Stuck close or stuck open? If stuck close (don't see how but anyway), air can escape through mask seal around the face. Tried this, the mask has a switch which allow closing the valve. If stuck open, the water can enter only when in head down position (the valve is under the chin, in the lowest position). In other positions, air pressure will keep the water out. If there is some water inside anyway, a head up position and a short press on purge, or just exhale, will clear it.
    I don't think there is a real need for a third tank...it was just an idea.
     
  7. Basking Ridge Diver

    Basking Ridge Diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    1,898
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqeREqQKr7Y

    ocean reef nira 2
    Not sure who told you it can handle two low pressure hoses... but not in this video - there is only one port...
    So you are going to modify the Surface Valve to install a second port? How are you going to breath on the surface?
     
  8. pisoiu

    pisoiu Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Romania
    108
    19
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    I saw basically everything there is to see about ocean reef on youtube. In that video it is the standard configuration with just one 2nd stage.
    The mask comes from the factory without surface valve. The mask has 2 side ports, one in the left with direct access inside oral-nasal pocket mask and one in the right with access to the oral-nasal mask through a one way valve. Both ports are closed with threaded caps. Everything you want to put there is an option. Caps are removed and you can install them, usually on the left goes microphone from comm and on the right, the surface valve.
    If you look on the manufacturer page, you can see configuration with 2 lp hoses: OCEAN REEF INC. | Connecting Divers | Integraded Diving Masks and Underwater Communications . Go to the bottom of the page, last product, regulator connector.
    The surface valve can be installed on the other port, on the left (I do not use comm, no need to talk to myself during solo dive). But without one way valve on that port, I need to be careful about CO2 buildup during surface interval. Perhaps deep breathes will solve the problem. And maybe the visor will fog a bit, with air coming from that port directly into oral-nasal pocket, the air from outside the pocket will not be refreshed.
     
  9. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
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    How are you going to breathe from alternate tanks? Going to turn valves on and off? Sidemount you breathe from each side, switching at regular intervals.
     
  10. pisoiu

    pisoiu Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Romania
    108
    19
    18
    Two possibilities: each 2nd stage have adjustment for cracking pressure, from there I can balance. I can tell which regulator is supplying air, they make very different noise during inhalation. Second one, yes, turning main tank valve on or off, but I prefer first one, I still need air for wing or drysuit. I will try it in the pool in the next few days.
     

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