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Starting out: Wolfinger or Harlow - Which should I read first?

Discussion in 'Repairing your own Gear' started by -JD-, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. -JD-

    -JD- Eclecticist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Greater Philadelphia, PA
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    Title pretty much says it all ...

    I'm going to be starting to service my regs soon. (HOGs and I intend to take a class)

    I have before me Peter Wolfinger's SCUBA Regulator Savvy and Vance Harlow's SCUBA Regulator Maintenance and Repair.

    Reg Gurus: Which should I read first to get the best overall education?
     
  2. p_kos

    p_kos Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
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    Start with Savvy, it will give you a solid background on how regs work and how they are tested. It’s a dry long read but worth the trouble. Then, knowing the anatomy and function of regulators in depth, move on to Harlow for the actual service tips and tricks.
     
    Hoyden likes this.
  3. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    I recently purchased and read both. I think Harlow's book was the better read if you are only going to purchase/read one. If you are going to read both then I agree with the person above, read Wolfinger first and then Harlow...if you read Harlow first it will be a pain to get through Wolfinger's book.

    Both are great references though.

    -Z
     
  4. couv

    couv Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
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    Neither. :) Actually it doesn't really matter. However I suggest obtaining a copy of the service manual and illustrated parts diagram. "Operate" on one of your stages a few times, taking it apart and putting it back together with the manual and diagram in front of you. At this point, do not replace any service parts; just reuse the old ones. Do that and when you are confident you can easily perform a full service-then install a new kit.

    This will give you a bit of insight into what Vance and Pete are writing about.
     
    divad, Angelo Farina, Bob DBF and 2 others like this.
  5. -JD-

    -JD- Eclecticist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Greater Philadelphia, PA
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    OK

    @p_kos , @Zef Got it Wolfinger for the theory then Harlow for the practical.

    @couv I'm not allowed to have it until I pass the service course. (I do have a copy of the manual for the Apeks equivalent which should be good-enough to practice with.) I saw a (dead?) HOG 1st on the reg bench at the LDS which has been sitting there for a while. If it is trashed, I'll ask if I can play with it for practice.

    Thanks, guys!
     
    couv likes this.
  6. halocline

    halocline Solo Diver

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    If you are a novice, definitely start with the Harlow book. It's much easier to read for a non-technical person and has a better and simpler overview of how regulators work. There is no question that the Wolfinger book is a more advanced style, much more detailed. They are both very useful. Actually, you could start with the first several chapters of the Harlow book, which cover basic subjects, then go to the Wolfinger book for detailed theoretical discussion, then use the latter portion of the Harlow book as a reference for specific regulators.

    I believe that some of the posters recommending starting with the Wolfinger book because it presents theory might have already had a good basic knowledge of regulators when they read it. I know I did. If you do as well, jump right in. If it's confusing, switch to Harlow. As couv said, it doesn't really matter once you've read and understand both.
     
  7. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    I don't think it breaks down as simple as Wolfinger for theory, Harlowe for practical. Harlowe explains regulators plenty well.

    While both are great books and worthwhile to have both in your personal library, If I was to choose one it would be the Harlowe book. There is enough information in his work to get a clear understanding of how a regulator works and how to approach working on the different types. If you want to review the info that Harlowe covers from a dryer more technical perspective then get and read the Wolfinger book too, but if you want a decent understanding with more than enough info to get started on servicing your own equipment then the Harlowe's book is more than sufficient in my opinion.

    I have them both because they never seem to be discussed separate from each other and thought they would be good to have both as references...but I am the type of person that has a lot of tools with limited use/purpose because my mentality is to have the proper tool for the job at hand...for instance, you won't find adjustable wrenches or slide jaw pliers on my tool board. I have them but they are stored away and are only pulled out if absolutely necessary, which approaches never, because my tool board is full of proper tools. I have just about everything necessary for maintaining/repairing bicycles and skis, I am now working on getting what I need to work on my reg sets.

    -Z
     
  8. Jcp2

    Jcp2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Just ordered both those books because I have one LDS tell me my regulators are obsolete and too old to be serviced and the other quoting me close to $250 for service of the first and two second stages. I paid half of that for the set and the IP still stable, so I’ll give it a go on my own.
     
    Angelo Farina likes this.
  9. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    What first and seconds do you have?

    -Z
     
  10. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
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    I am a professor, so I like people who "want to know more".
    But do you think that the so-called "technician" who actually services your regs at the LDS has read any of these books?
    He probably has got a quick training of a few hours, and that's all!
     
    Bigbella and couv like this.

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