How long a hose for your primary when using BCD inflator air second?

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johndiver999

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Then there's the corollary to this discussion: the integrated second stage. Once you choose your desired hose length, you'll find that you have a challenge breathing from the same second stage that you're using to control your buoyancy as you ascend with a panicked diver, whose own buoyancy you may also have to control. Very hard to do smoothly at a moment when you need to be at your best. You run out of hands if you need to take the reg out of your mouth to elevate the corrugated hose to vent, at the same time as you're nearing the surface.

I was seduced by the same thing 35 years ago. Dove it successfully for many years. But when I became an instructor, I finally realized the flaws in the system and switched over to the necklaced octo that I still use today.

I realize your frustration. The local dive shop model is broken. The advice you're getting is conflicting. You've plunked down some money, and the possibility that you've made a few errors maybe makes you a little angry.

Hang in there. It's a great hobby/passion/job. But ponder some of the advice here. Meanwhile, don't sell your integrated second. I put one on a Scubapro Go lightweight bcd for a trip to Bonaire a few years back because it was so compact and light in my baggage. It has uses!

I'm not sure I am able to understand the added complexity that you seem to be attributing to the Air 2. Generally the Air 2 was offered with a BC which had an independent pull dump, so venting was independent of breathing.

However, if a person places an Air 2 on a BP/W which does not have an independent shoulder dump (only has an elbow), then if ascending vertically, they could grab the Air 2, hold it up and press the deflate button for a second or two, presumably while they are exhaling.

If someone were in the exact same situation with a standard BC inflator, they would have to grab the inflator, hold it up and press the deflate button. Which is the EXACT SAME action which is required with an Air 2? In fact, if you think about it, in an emergency, a diver might have some challenge locating the standard BC deflate mechanism. The Air 2 might be "better" because with an Air 2 shoved in their mouth, there is absolutely no problem with locating it -since you are holding it with your teeth. I see no difference or any need for a third hand.

Of course, the diver can not be simultaneously inhaling from the Air 2 while it is held above the head and being vented, but this is a duration of 2-3 seconds, and generally when I am trying to decrease buoyancy (or slow my ascent) I am going to be exhaling anyway.

Can you clarify where the "third hand" comes into play with the Air 2?
 

Centrals

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All wing bladders have a dump valve at the bottom.

The question being raised is what happen if the diver in distressed could not control his/her buoyancy.
For the donor:
One hand is to hold on to the distressed diver.
Other hand is to control the buoyancy of the distressed diver.
How about the donor own buoyancy? Where is the 3rd hand from?

You have to plan for the worst!
 

Bob DBF

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However, if a person places an Air 2 on a BP/W which does not have an independent shoulder dump (only has an elbow), then if ascending vertically, they could grab the Air 2, hold it up and press the deflate button for a second or two, presumably while they are exhaling.

That's wy my buddy replaced the elbow on his wing with a ScubaPro Air 2 shoulder dump, it isn't an operational Air 2 without one.

One hand is to hold on to the distressed diver.
Other hand is to control the buoyancy of the distressed diver.
How about the donor own buoyancy? Where is the 3rd hand from?

Buoyancy of the diver and victim are one, since you are holding the victim for control. One can shift to whichever BC in order to balance. I keep the victim more buoyant as its better for him to be on the surface, if I lose control, than on the bottom.
 

Centrals

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Buoyancy of the diver and victim are one, since you are holding the victim for control. One can shift to whichever BC in order to balance. I keep the victim more buoyant as its better for him to be on the surface, if I lose control, than on the bottom.
I would have done the same with me being slightly negative. I just have to kick a bit harder.

I would not able to use skill/technique learnt from rescue course by staying behind the diver. Perhaps the course should cover this scenario as well!
 

BoltSnap

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I used an the SP Air II (or Air Source) from the late 80's until few years ago. I haven't used the traditional "octopus" since the late 80's (although I was one of the first divers to use it in the early 80's). I have NEVER had any issue controlling buoyancy by pulling on the inflator's corrugated hose with my left hand with the air ii in my mouth (I practiced emergency procedures on almost every dive and I have taught others as well). I switched to a long hose (primary donate) and backup bungeed second few years ago when I had issues with the Dive Alert attachments and the connection adapter I used which made the Air II very difficult and uncomfortable to stay in my mouth. It was a temporary issue but I never went back to the Air II since I just got used to the new configuration and I just didn't bother in my current set up. If I start to travel for diving again, I'd consider using the Air II with the proper hose and without the connection adapters for sure. What is interesting for me is that the performance of the SP Air II and the Atomic version have improved a great deal in addition to being more streamlined and "lighter" to use than what they were few years ago.

I see that most of the "negative" feedback on the Air II propagated here are myths that are either totally false, undeserved or are extremely exaggerated based on my OWN experience during the many years/decades of actual use and practice. In fact, it is my observation that the use of the traditional octopus presents more of a problem than Air II since most people don't secure the octo properly while being easily accessible in an emergency. More often than not, people let the octopus drag behind them giving more chances for the octo to get caught between rocks, coral, lines, etc. damaging the environment and presenting a real potential for serious equipment failure. Divers also go to the extreme opposite and stow the octo in their BC's pockets or attach the octo hose in one of their BC d'rings making it very difficult to access the octo in a true OOA emergency to the point where it is almost useless for the truly distressed OOA diver who is in a borderline panicky state of mind. If I am not using the Air II, I am using the primary donate on a long hose configuration (48 - 60 inches) with the back up second stage on a short hose and a bungee for my use not the OOA diver. Both configurations are much better in all aspects than the standard octopus configuration in my experience.

(The above is what works and doesn't work for me and is based on my own experience and observation over the past decades of diving and teaching diving for the recreational type of diving)
 

Centrals

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The AIR2 is a lot heavier than the conventional power inflator. And I have seen plenty of times that it was caught on something NOT just a neglected octo.
Negligence recognizes no frontier.
Divers has been taught from the initial training where to stow the alternative.
I have try to avoid them as my buddy and luckily they are NOT the common.

Best? There is no such thing.

Not sure if it is still correct or my memory is wrong!
Integrated alternative air source was NOT acceptable in Queensland when I last dived at GBR 20yr ago.
Queensland certified quite a large number of divers every year. Could well be the first in the world with Koh Tao in Thailand comes in second.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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Inflator hose integrated second stages eliminate any dives where a swim through is required.
 

Centrals

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I have yet to come across any operator over last 25 yrs offering the integrated alternative source as standard equipment.
 

halocline

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All this Air2 hate has made me think that maybe I will get a traditional octo and practice with both types of secondary air sources before I decide to ditch the traditional octo in favor of the Air2.

That is a really good idea. The best set up, by far, is the long hose primary with an alternate 2nd stage on a short hose (like 22" or 24") with a bungee necklace attached. This also allows you to use a small, standard inflator on a nice short inflator hose. It's less bulk on your chest, easier to inflate/deflate. much better task management when air sharing, and simply more comfortable to dive with. As I said before, the tech divers have figured this one out.

The only question is how long you want your primary hose, and do you want the 40" under-the-arm routing or the 5' across-the-chest-and-behind-the-head-routing. Those set ups do work with an octo/inflator, so if you already have one (you might have mentioned in at the beginning of the thread, I can't remember) then try it. But eventually, if you try the bungee necklace alternate 2nd stage and the standard inflator, you're probably going to like it.

The octo/inflator is one of those products that looks a lot better in the dive shop than it does in actual use while diving. You also need a special inflator hose for them, which means if you have a problem on a trip with your inflator or hose (very common leak points, by the way) then you can't simply swap it out for a standard inflator. You need another brand-specific hose to inflate your BC and to have any sort of alternate 2nd stage. It's no longer safe to dive. If a standard inflator starts to leak, you can disconnect it from the inflator and orally inflate.
 
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