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Thinking to go Solo - some questions

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by stepfen, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
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    i am not a certified solo diver, but i do have some input on tank configuration.. I have been using a side slung AL40 as a redundant air source for a while before I tried BM doubles for the first time. though i never had problems with a side slung pony, i highly recommend just getting doubles. Its easy, redundant and has potential for way more air. and if you want lightweight/streamlined, just use lp50s banded together as mini doubles!
    also im about to start sidemount training and may like that even better lol
     
  2. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
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    You DO need solo training, and so does your potential instructor. An H-valve is not a redundant air supply; it is just a redundant regulator. Not good enough for deep (you mention 100- ft) solo diving.

    Forget the upside-down pony on the main tank; the valve should be ON when diving, to prevent any mistakes or delays in air supplies.

    As suggested by the other responses, I believe back-mounted doubles or side-mount is probably a better option for you.
     
    rick flippin likes this.
  3. TrimixToo

    TrimixToo Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York State
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    Retsina? Really? *Retsina*??!!! *Shudder*
     
  4. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
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    Hi tursiops,

    I will stay with my training. Valve off until needed. Don't freak-out and you won't have a problem.

    For instance, a person forgets to turn on the right-side-up pony when they splash. Now what? Take the BC half off to turn the valve on while freaking-out in an emergency?

    Back mounted doubles for a dive to 100 feet or less? Take your tec hat off please. The OP described benign conditions with no overhead and no staged decompression.

    Side mount is a good option.

    cheers,
    markm
     
    christopherkeene9 and Mike1967 like this.
  5. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
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    The OP described a solo dive to 100 ft, with training by an instructor who suggests an H-valve. What could possibly go wrong?
     
    markmud likes this.
  6. a878bob

    a878bob Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Michigan
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    I don't know that I would do a solo dive to 40ft without a totally redundant air source.
     
    Kharon and markmud like this.
  7. caruso

    caruso Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
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    Agreed. And having carried my 19cf all over the Caribbean I can tell you that it's the perfect size and weight to fit either in a carry-on or checked baggage. Go any bigger and it might stay home in your closet too often to be of any use.

    In your own mind maybe, but let's leave mancrushes out of this, they have no place on this thread.
     
    markmud likes this.
  8. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
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    Hi tursiops,

    I stand by my statement. The OP described a solo dive to 100 ft with a hard bottom at 100 ft.

    The OP wants to travel. Packing a twinset is ridiculous. Side mount is a good option as the AL80s are just about everywhere you go. Rent two at your destination, sling them to your SM BC and you are solo diving with redundancy.

    The H-valve is not true redundancy, I agree. However, those on SB who are opposed to pony bottles (some radically opposed) all point out that complete failures of primary regulator systems are rare (extremely rare). Statistically speaking, an H-valve is really not a bad option. Complete failure meaning that the first stage stops delivering any gas to the second stage in one moment.

    Total, complete, and instantaneous tank/valve failures are even more rare u/w.

    I use a 100cf tank while diving California's kelp forests. That is my reserve for entanglement. I usually come aboard with at least 1500 psi with the 100cf tank and 3000 psi in my pony. The odds of getting entangled, and having a complete primary system failure at the same time are nil. A 100cf tank with an H-valve is an option--not a good one, but an option.

    Again, I would not own an H-valve. Pony bottles are too easy to back-mount upside down or sling. Pony bottles are too easy to fly with. Mine fly regularly and have for more than a decade. How do you fly with a 100cf tank rigged with an H-valve? Not easily, not cheaply.

    Now I am going to ask you to take your instructor hat off.

    I am thankful that we have instructors in sport scuba diving. At the same time I am upset at what instructors are doing to scuba diving. Please, be reasonable. Dive and let dive... dealing with different styles of diving.

    respectfully,
    mm,
     
    FreeFlyFreak and T Mogle like this.
  9. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
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    He says he travels....in his car. I see no problem with isolated doubles. Sidemount is also a viable option.
    Seriously? Do you honestly think that your personal experience and opinion trumps standards and amalgamated best practices, which are what instructors attempt to promulgate?
     
  10. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

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    Sidemount a pair of 40s. Same gas (actually a touch more) as a single 80. Light. Easy to transport. Scalable in the future. That would be my first option.

    Sounds like you already have a bit of gear so without selling it all off and starting over that changes things a bit. Skip the H-valve, no redundancy for out of air. Get a pony. An AL40 is a bit big, but future proof. AL30 also works. Sling either one of those. Or backmount pony a smaller AL13, they have brackets that allow you to attach it to the side of your existing tank. Any of those will work just fine. What do you want to do? It's your choice. Since you are doing 100' dives, probably going to skip the AL6 option. 2 or 3 Liter bottles are also a viable option. To an extent, what can you find?

    Dive with the pony ON. The off until needed is from the tech world. Even then it is leave all breathable gasses (for the depth you are at) on. Turn off the stuff that you should not be breathing at that depth. Examples are high Oxygen deco gas, off at depth. Low Oxygen bottom gas, off on the surface. Grab the wrong one at the wrong time and thing go bad. But you are dealing with air (or Nitrox) breathable for your whole profile. Leave it on and available.

    Get a decent second reg. When you need it you don't want to be dealing with the cheap econo model. Do a short gauge hose or even a button gauge. You check the air supply before the dive and that is it. If you sling, you can check during the dive. Back mount, let it be. Borrow the tech (sidemount?) neckless to keep it right under your chin. Also take a few breaths off the pony at the start of the dive, make sure you are happy with the performance. Make a few mock bail outs at depth (you can always go back to your main tank) to make sure everything goes as planned. Remember to keep with your plan. The pony should only be there if you screwed up bad or something breaks. The pony is your buddy at this point. Don't ignore it, do use it, do a mock ascent with it every once in a while.

    Enjoy. I'll be out in the water by myself this afternoon. Slinging an AL40 at my side.
     
    T Mogle and Linke Seitentasche like this.

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