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Words of wisdom before taking Inspiration class?

Discussion in 'Rebreather Diving' started by KentCe, Jun 16, 2003.

  1. KentCe

    KentCe Nassau Grouper

    Next week I start my five and half days of Inspiration training and looking for pearls of wisdom from the pros. Those little things that you wish you have done before/during class. (I have been trained on a SCR but didn't buy the unit).

    As a believer of DIR (Diving Inspiration Rebreather), I'm trying my best to prep before class. My list so far:

    1. Read everything on the web on RBs (including the mole).
    2. Read "Mastering Rebreathers" and "Simple Guide to Rebreather Diving".
    3. Read Inspiration manual.
    4. Of course read/complete training manual before class.
    5. Create new dive log pages for RB to account for scrubber tracking, battery/O2 sensor tracking.
    6. Lots of spare batteries. <g>
    7. New trip check-off list of things to take (still working on this).
    8. Review old Adv Nitrox/Deep Diving course notes.
    9. etc.

    The class requires an additional pony bottle (mounted or slung) which I have from OC. And split-fins are okay. <g>

    Thanks for any useful feedback, Kent
  2. caveseeker7

    caveseeker7 Rebreather Pilot

    Your list looks pretty good.

    The only other thing I can think of is find a good instructor. You want someone with plenty of experience and time on the unit, preferrably with the same profiles you're planning on doing. The manuals are the same (at least within the agency) and everybody can read and recite them. Training doesn't come cheap, but the instructors experience and knowledge past the print is what makes it worth it (or not).

    By the way, I just LOVE THE DIR bit. :D
  3. BigJetDriver

    BigJetDriver Great White Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    It is rare to find students who prepare so thoroughly for a class. This is the kind of diligence that will make Kent a good CCR diver.

    P.S.---I am glad to know that I am finally a DIR diver and allowed into the hallowed ranks! :wink: (Diving Inspiration Rebreather)

    Good one, Kent!!:D
  4. DrySuitDave

    DrySuitDave Barracuda


    I have 37 dives on my unit, and I am having a blast. I did the same thing, read the manual a bunch, along with Bozanic's book and hanging out on the boards. I am confident in use of the unit and keeping it up and working, but I am still in need of periodic revisting the theory parts of mixed gas diving physiology.....I personally think maintenance and operation of the unit is simplistic, as it is so well engineered and stable....In almost 1 year I have never had any cell issues at all, although I have 3 sealed spares on the ready. But I have read enough to know about the complacency issues associated with a stable rig.

    One thing I had forgotten since I got oc certified 30 years ago is initially, lack of familiarity causes some clumsiness.....as an example, for the first 20 or so dives, it seemed like a royal pain in the ass to gear up and assistance was helpful getting into the harness...now it is no big deal doing it myself......initially dives were unbalanced and out of trim underwater, which is a pain in the rear......you need a good amount of weight in the top pouch and a stainless backplate helps take weight off your hips, which is too low anyway....

    Immediately throw away the Inpiration silicone mouthpiece and get a SeaCure moldable one, version Pro2...they have to be ordered by your LDS, as nobody stocks them, let alone knows of them. The Inspiration mouthpiece has more drag underwater than a small oc second stage, so the flexi silicone rubber bite piece allows too much flexure. I always thought the Cis-Lunar MkVP's mouthpiece was trick in that you could bailout to oc without removing it, so check out Bob Howells OC/DSV for the Inspiration, although it is made striclty for "dry training purposes". it is a very well built and engineered unit. Divematics also makes an OC/DSV for the Inspiration. I have read stories of hypercapnia experiences where they knew they needed to close the mouthpiece and bailout but couldn't bring themselves to do it......a DSV/OC may eliminate that co2 induced issue. Bob's unit is dry as a bone too.

    Some things I encountered which caused some concern when new is if you inspire any water into the scrubber from incorrectly fiddling with the mouthpiece underwater, all it takes is a 1/3 of a cup of water to partially block the gas inlet hole into the right side of the scubber. I get this gurgling noise and am thinking if I am flodding the scubber, then you tilt to the left and the gurgling upon inhalation goes away.....look at how gas enters the right side scrubber and you will see why. I haven't done anything stupid yet with my rig, so I fail to see how one can pack the scrubber wrong.....

    Don't be cheap, get the unit with the automatic diluent addition valve installed, everyone seems to like using them. I disagree with many who say closed circuit rebreathers require alot of fiddling and maintenance....I have heard some say that I takes them close to an hour to prepare a unit for a day's diving.....try ten minute to repack the scrubber, reassemble the hoses and do a negative and positiv epressure loop check, the latter of which you leave standing positivly pressurized as you're done. When I am done with a trip, I flood the whole unit for a few minutes with running fresh water in the large pelican case I keep the unit in to remove dried salt from the externals.....I then take the scrubber off, put the scubber internal cannister in a large plastic baggy and suck all the air out, I remove the two hoses from the scrubber and the second hoses from the counterlung t's and flood the hoses and counterlungs with fresh water after removing the 02 and diluent inflator buttons....once drained, leave it like that to dry, inspect the scrubber lid to make sure it is dry and clean, Saran wrap the inlet and lid opening so some spider doesn't try rebreather diving in your 02 solenoid. Allow good air movement into your conterlungs to dry them, as bacteria cannot live without moisture.....although I think the bacteria thing is overblown....

    Always take your manual and books along with you on trips to bone up on stuff, and get some spares of stuff you are likely to lose.

    lLet us know how it goes?
  5. saturated

    saturated Nassau Grouper

    You class will just be a lesson in familiarity with the unit. I have about 200 hrs on my inspiration. While most dives are uneventfull you will eventually face some type of failure, wether it be a battery, cell, ect. It is very important to ask questions of your instructor. Envision all failure modes and procedures for either correcting them or bailing out. Make sure your instructer does multiple failure scenarios with you. After you begin diving on your own, practice them consistantly.

    It actually is quite easy to incorrectly pack your cannister. A nice tight pack with a 6mm gap at the top is essential. I recently had a couple guys on my boat and we had a long 40 mile rough ride to the dive site. After arrival we all removed our scrubbers to check the pack. One of my buddies scrubbers had settled about an additional 1/2 inch. Big trouble if he hadnt checked it. The scrubber must be full enough to seal the oring at the top of the canister, otherwise its useless.

    A ss backplate will indeed make life easy. Initially you may have to add more weight up top than the pocket will hold to get horizontal. Once you get your boyancy in check and master the art of minimum loop volume the weight will start coming down. I dive a 3mm with a ss backplate and have 4lbs up top, thats it.

    ADV never really seen a need for one, but may make life easier. I found the original mouthpeice to be quite fine. Its a little thick so your jaw may hurt initially but I like mine that way.

    The hardest thing to learn will be boyancy , minimum loop and not having pos pressure in your mask. As you improve you'll notice that diluetant will last twice as long as O2. That just takes time.

    Just remember, always know your po2, and drill drill drill. Muscle memory is very important in an emergency.......Good Luck, Soon OC will look very unappealing to you.
  6. madmole

    madmole Manta Ray

    Be careful, APD spent a lot of time testing mouthpieces and most of the mouldable ones are more comfy because they allow the mouth to close more, hence the teeth now impeed the airflow and raise resistance

    Martin is really hot on this. See his comments on my web site about it, in the modifications section

    Also I have a detailed list of all the things your training hsould cover in the training section of my site, take this along to yor class and male sure you cover ALL of it
  7. DrySuitDave

    DrySuitDave Barracuda

    Madmole, that was my experience too first time molding a SeaCure mouthpiece. I bit down a tad too much and since I am not from the backhills, deep south nor play hockey, I have the misfortune of perfectly occluding front teeth. I had to reheat it and bring up the thickness a tad, and redoit, but it makes the difference you mentioned.

    I am not wild about the standard Seacure sizes used on the Inspiration as it requries the removal of the yellow plastic stiffening insert and the female groove within the mouthpiece does not really mesh right with the male external groove on the Inspiration mouthpiece. I know everyone heats theirs up enough to stretch it, but being a former quality control manager, I hate anything not engineered right. No, I loathe it, lol
  8. KentCe

    KentCe Nassau Grouper

    Replies to various comments.

    1. I ordered the factory installed ADV option with my Inspiration.

    2. Except for the required pony bottle, I'm not making any mods on the stock unit during the class sessions.

    3. My future mod list is currently a HS-Explorer with integrated O2 (currently have a Cochran with fixed PO2 option, no sensor). (I like diving with two computers).

    4. Thinking hard on a Titanium Chassis (waiting for their new design to come out).

    5. The instructor was provided by the LDS owner (who I trust). The LDS owner (diving since the 70's) currently dives a Inspiration and is working on his Inspiration instructor cert. The class will be two students, the instructor and the LDS owner (almost Inspiration instructor).

    6. I have dove on a SCR (Draeger) and didn't have any problems. I understand the Inspiration is very different from a SCR.

    7. My LDS has been selling/teaching on the Draeger for a few years and added the Inspiration about a year ago. After this class will bring them up to five DivingInspirationRebreather divers.

    6 days to go...
  9. saturated

    saturated Nassau Grouper

    Sounds good,

    According to your profile your from Wa. Been up there diving a few times....love the san juan isles....Say hello to the big octo's last time I was up there I met some huge ones.

    Not sure If id worry about the titanium chassis, a ss backplate should do you fine. Your reasoning could be for larger tanks?
    In my experience my stock tanks last much longer than the scrubber.

    HS exporer, thats my next buy, currently on a VR-3

    One thing I would recomend. After you get certified and begin to dive add your additional gear(drysuit, light, reels, ect.) slowly. It is going to take some time to get "aquainted" with your unit. I have dove several inspirations and they all have a little of their own personalities...so cuddos for training on yours. You just dont want the task loading to get to high, so add gear slowly.....Just my .02.....

    Good luck:D
  10. KentCe

    KentCe Nassau Grouper

    Don't think my 3mm is going to cut it up here and will stay with my drysuit. :)

    Most of the class dives will be at Nanaimo (driving up), but I doubt we'll be able to hit the wrecks. :wacko:

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