July 30th, 2012

O2ptima Rev D – Simplicity Marries Advanced Technology

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The O2ptima in my opinion is one of the most advanced, yet straightforward closed circuit rebreathers on the market. The simplicity of the O2ptima is why I trust it. No scrubber to pack and it’s ready to dive in 15 minutes, provided your cylinders are full. The new Rev D electronics answer many questions to function and features. The added features of the new Rev D are a bonus but the real changes are the configuration. I have had many requests from divers to integrate their dive computer into the unit, 4th or 3 celll monitoring. The current Rev C configuration splits the solenoid control and the DIVA/HUD function; the primary handled the solenoid while the secondary handled the DIVA/HUD (diver integrated vibrating alarm/heads up display). To add another computer and cable turned the rebreather into an octopus.

The new configuration with Rev D electronics and sophisticated DIVA/HUD functions are on the primary and the secondary is strictly a 3rd cell PO2 monitor (optional deco if desired). If a diver has a dive computer with PO2 monitoring capability, the unit can be ordered with only the primary controller. If you want to upgrade an earlier unit, I recommend an upgrade to the secondary to get the new DIVA/HUD function if cost is a consideration, once you program a set point on the solenoid controller (primary) you can enjoy new PO2 display and DIVA/HUD via the secondary rather than the primary.

VIDEO: O2ptima Rev D 2012

Lamar

April 2nd, 2012

O2ptima Rev D Electronics – Battery Recommendation

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The O2ptima Rebreather Rev D electronics must run on rechargeable batteries that come with the unit, but you can power the Rev C secondary on a non-rechargeable 3.6v lithium or high quality alkaline battery. The non-rechargeable lithium battery will last for up to 20 hours in the secondary and the alkaline should be changed when you change the cartridge.

Apply the same rule to the Rev D electronics: put a fresh, rechargeable battery in when you change a cartridge and set the low voltage warning at 3.3v on the Rev D primary.

Lamar

January 16th, 2012

Using Stage Straps on Sidemount Bottles is Beneficial

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When I am out diving I see all types of rigging on sidemount bottles. None are a surprise to me because they are all something I have done before: the clip and hose clamp or the carabineer and cam strap. Over the years my thoughts for rigging have changed. Basically every bottle I own could be a stage bottle or a sidemount bottle. I travel around the world and need to carry my bottle rigging with me so I wanted an easy way to do this. It all came together with the ring bungee system.

I need a standard stage strap, webbing or rope, doesn’t matter. The key is the neck clip has to be on the curve of bottle neck so the gate of the clip lays up against the neck of the cylinder and the choker goes around the valve and thru the gate to hold it up tight against the neck. This keeps the cylinder close to the body. The only way to mount the clip on the curve of the cylinder is to use a standard stage rig.

I rig my bottles with a stage strap with a 2″ cam strap for the mid bottle attachment so I can take the rig off a set of bottles at home when I travel. The stage strap set up ensures the mid bottle clip is in the same place every time I set it up. This can be everyday when I travel.

If your worried about the bulk on a webbing stage strap, just slide the plastic handle off the webbing. I prefer to keep it on the rig because people will offer to carry a bottle for you if it looks like it has a handle. VIDEO: Stage Strap Tank Mounting System

Lamar

January 9th, 2012

Newest Sidemount D-Ring Bungees With Stage Strap Tanks

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When I was in the Dominican Republic teaching rebreather this summer, I had to get creative and make some sidemount bungees for the guys I was diving with. They liked the way I sidemounted my bailout, but I didn’t have more bungees on hand for them. I improvised a solution only to find I like it better than what we had.

The new bungee is 5/16 diameter and makes a loop with the terminating end taking a quick link to attach to a backplate while the loop end can loop through a ring or go over a cylinder valve. One bungee works for both styles of carrying bottles and the smaller diameter cord has more stretch so it can pull the bottle a little tighter under the arm.

Necessity is the mother of invention. The new 5/16 D-ring Loop Bungee have detachable hardware so a spare is cheap and you can get creative. VIDEO: Sidemount Diving: 2012 Daisy Chain Loop Bungees

Lamar

January 3rd, 2012

Trim Inflation Pillow Takes Care of Rebreather and Sidemount Trim In Any Configuration

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Over the years I have done numerous sidemount clinics. My first was in 1984. The number one issue always seems to be trimming out heavy legs. When you clip bottles to your hips, butt mount a primary light, add reels on the butt plate and then dive a wetsuit it becomes work to trim out. Adding weight to the shoulders seems like an easy solution, yet it requires a number of practice dives with a specific set up since cylinder size and exposure protection are a factor in determining the amount of lead needed. Change any of these and the amount of weight needed can change.

I wanted a more flexible solution to weight, one that can travel with you and adjust to changes in equipment configuration. After getting your rig trimmed out with steel cylinders and a drysuit you change to a wetsuit and aluminum cylinders and you once again need to trim out with a different set of shoulder weights. Divers want an easy first dive solution. After the JT launched I got many request for a solution to heavy legs so after a few prototypes I came up with a pillow that mounts under the buttplate with 10 pounds of lift. I was amazed at how well it worked. One of my concerns was control of the lift in the pillow; I found I could fully inflate it and forget about it. With only 10 pounds of lift it didn’t affect my buoyancy on ascents. The Trim Inflation Pillow comes standard with a 12″ hose and elbow with a 15″ inflator hose to come up on the right side opposite your BC but the OPV is on the left so you can flip them if you want. VIDEO: Sidemount & Rebreather Trim Inflation Pillow

It will do the job on the very first dive and give you flexibility to change your gear set up as well.

Lamar

 

BC2720 TIP

 

August 4th, 2011

O2ptima Closed Circuit Rebreather – Simply Advanced

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The O2ptima in my opinion is one of the most advanced, yet straightforward closed circuit rebreathers on the market. The simplicity of the O2ptima is why I trust it. No scrubber to pack and it’s ready to dive in 15 minutes, provided your cylinders are full. The new Rev D electronics answer many questions to function and features. The added features of the new Rev D are a bonus but the real changes are the configuration. I have had many requests from divers to integrate their dive computer into the unit, 4th or 3 celll monitoring. The current Rev C configuration splits the solenoid control and the DIVA/HUD function; the primary handled the solenoid while the secondary handled the DIVA/HUD (diver integrated vibrating alarm/heads up display). To add another computer and cable turned the rebreather into an octopus.
The new configuration with Rev D electronics and sophisticated DIVA/HUD functions are on the primary and the secondary is strictly a 3rd cell PO2 monitor (optional deco if desired). If a diver has a dive computer with PO2 monitoring capability, the unit can be ordered with only the primary controller. If you want to upgrade an earlier unit, I recommend an upgrade to the secondary to get the new DIVA/HUD function if cost is a consideration, once you program a set point on the solenoid controller (primary) you can enjoy new PO2 display and DIVA/HUD via the secondary rather than the primary.

Lamar

June 27th, 2011

O2ptima Hammerhead Rev D Electronics Update

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Juergensen Marine is very close on the release of the Rev D electronics. I am testing the final product for bugs on the O2ptima. It’s very nice. Loaded with features and easy to use menu. If you are diving a Rev C this menu is very intuitive, I know because I didn’t have a manual. The added features and Bluetooth interface are very nice. The large readout PO2 display is always present and very responsive. The multi color display and constant on backlight option is sweet. The DIVA is very easy to read and the placement of the LEDs should address questions from color blind divers. The added decompression LED and reading light are bonus features that I had questions about until I actually tried them. I feel Kevin has raised the bar on rebreather electronics. We are only days away from taking delivery on our first shipment. I will keep you posted. We had to redesign the DIVA mount so it works on both the old and new DSV but this should be only 10 days. I will keep you posted on the final test dives.

Lamar

O2ptima Hammerhead Rev D Electronics Update

May 31st, 2011

Oxygen Toxicity and Rebreather Diving

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David Sawatzky, a close friend of mine and former cave student came down for O2ptima training not too long ago. I didn’t really “train” him as David is already an accomplished rebreather diver, but rather I oriented him to the specifics of the O2ptima unit. We did the same exercise in 1988 when he came to Florida for cave training. David was already a cave diver in Canada, so I just oriented him to Florida-style cave diving.

During his O2ptima course, I asked David if he would write an article for us on Oxygen Toxicity as it relates to rebreather divers. I had shared with him habits that I see other CCR divers practice concerning set points and duration. He immediately shared with me a wealth of information and that knowledge is now available in the following article on our website. I encourage all rebreather divers to read it.

Oxygen Toxicity and CCR Diving

Lamar

March 14th, 2011

O2ptima Rev D Hammerhead Controller

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I know rebreather divers are impatiently waiting for the new Hammerhead Rev D controllers. Juergensen Marine estimates having the cases by the first week in April. All the other components are in stock and waiting for assembly. The new Rev D primary controller on the O2ptima will control both solenoid and DIVA functions for ease of programming. The secondary will be a back-up PPO2 display. We have delivered the last 40 units wired for the conversion to a Rev D primary with DIVA function. We should start shipping new units with Rev D controllers end of April.

Lamar

November 18th, 2010

New O2ptima DSV 300

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After lab testing the new DSV 300 Micropore, Inc. it was shipped down and I took it diving. The DSV 300 appeared substantially larger than the previous DSV. After installing it on my O2ptima I realized the size wasn’t significant. The hoses attach with locking rings, making assembly easier. The mushroom valves are in the hose inserts rather than in the mouthpiece. The DIVA mounts on the hose side of the locking ring moving it farther from center, which I found to be a good change.

The WOB (work of breathing) has been reduced to fall in the range of other popular units, actually outperforming most. This was accomplished by the changes in the new DSV, the rest of the breathing loop was unchanged in relation to current specifications. The O2ptima has the smallest breathing loop on the market, WOB is the same or better than the larger breathing loops currently on the market. I would say that’s progress.

Charts showing the WOB results of the new 2.5L CL and our former 3L CL and the DSV300 can be found in our online library.

Lamar