August 31st, 2010

Using Rechargeable Batteries with the O2ptima Rebreather

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Batteries are always an issue with equipment. We have recommended using only 3.6 volt lithium batteries with the O2ptima, but the Hammerheads will operate off a high quality 1.5v alkaline battery as well. As an alternative divers have asked about rechargeable batteries. I have been testing these for months and they do the job. From the charger they start at 4.0v and I can teach a class of 500 minutes of bottom time before they read 3.6v. I charge them up after that. Bench testing under load they went 10.5 hours before they couldn’t fire the solenoid. This should be worse case scenario since I pulled the sensors and it fired continuously. Divers have reported longer run times under regular diving conditions but why try to see how long they will last? It’s not worth the worry since they recharge in 30 to 50 minutes. I strongly recommend them as an alternative to non rechargeable lithium or alkaline batteries.

For more info, see Battery Junction

Lamar

August 17th, 2010

New O2ptima Rebreather Rails

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It seems that handling bailout bottles and gear for rebreathers is going thru constant innovations. We have used Nomad Butt Plates and Tech Butt Plates for easy attachment and to place the bottles on the side for less drag. By sidemounting the bailout bottles it creates other issues like where to put reels and other equipment usually stored on the waist D-rings. While teaching O2ptima rebreather students I have seen some ingenious ways to add clip stations to the foot. We have taken one of the better ways and had it produced for the O2ptima. The new rails mount to the foot using the predrilled mounting holes on each side. These rails have a dividing bar in the middle so reels and cylinders won’t slide the length of the rail or allow the diver to clip one piece of gear thru the other. I find these to be the best solution yet.

Lamar

Dive Rite O2ptima Rebreather Side Rails

Dive Rite O2ptima Rebreather Side Rails