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Why would you not buy a Draeger Dolphin?

Discussion in 'Rebreather Diving' started by BubbleTrouble, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. BubbleTrouble

    BubbleTrouble Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney, Australia
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    Folks, just a quick theoretical question as I am on the path of qualifying purchasing a rebreather.

    If you had the following variables, why would you not buy a Draeger Dolphin or equivalent rebreather?
    - limited funds (around $3-4k) - so second hand one is a good way.
    - wanted to keep diving within rec limits now, while gaining valuable exp with RBs for later conversion into CCR
    - increase exposure to marine life
    - regimented approach to maintenance
    - gain gas extension capabilities (I like my gas)

    Before you say it, yes I have been an ardent reader of the rebreatherworld.com forums. I realise an SCR is not perfect but within rec limits does provide a cheaper way to start with rebreathers and does give benefits that OC does not. I don't want to spend cash and lug a set of doubles on my back ... seems like a waste.

    cheers
    Mike
     
  2. pusser

    pusser Angel Fish

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    I have been looking at the same thing. From what I can see a dolphin can be had for about 2k but a kiss can be bought for about 4k. At least if I decided I hated rebreathers I wouldn't be out too much.]
    Training seems to be alot less for the dolphin too.
     
  3. Mr.X

    Mr.X ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The Dolphin SCR does not give the user a significant advantage over say something like a set of doubles. It's a nice concept, but one that doesn't have a lot of user satisfaction built in with regards to swimming trim and time UW. It also blows bubbles on a regular interval.

    I've been at this RB game for a while now and I can tell you that unless you convert the thing into a CCR you will most likely not find it a satisfying piece of kit. Most users in the old days have given up their Dolphins for something better. The Sport Kiss fits that replacement niche nicely with regards to cost and efficacy.

    On a sad side - when I went diving with various CCR's (Cis/Insp) in the late 90's and encountered Atlantis/Dolphin users you could sense disappointment underwater as they saw how efficient a bubbleless unit actually was.
     
  4. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    7,966
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    I wouldn't because

    1. I am not disciplined enough to do the maintainance and prechecks that should be done before each dive.

    2. Even assuming that the Dolphin has a ppO2 gauge installed (I have done a couple dives several years ago with one that did NOT), you still don't have a monitor for CO2 and have no direct assurance that the scrubber is working, that it isn't depleted, that it hasn't packed and developed a hole that allows gas to recycle without being scrubbed of CO2.

    3. Although I thought that no/reduced bubbles would make it easier to get up close to fish, I have found that being very calm and having a minimum of motion is what really makes the difference.

    4. I could never get used to not having the fine adjustment of buoyancy and motion that changing lung volume does on OC. (On my 1st rebreather dive I literally bounced off a reef when I forgot and did a big inhale expecting to rise up slightly)

    5. I didn't see all that much of an advantage in bottom times with the SCR like Dolphin.

    -------------

    It's not for me, but it may or may not be right for you.

    Charlie
     
  5. pusser

    pusser Angel Fish

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    So what kind of money are we looking at to find a rebreather that does that?
     
  6. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    7,966
    158
    63
    I don't know of any right now that have a CO2 detector. Of course, if one is sufficiently careful and disciplined you will pack your scrubber properly and it won't be an issue. In this particular issue, I don't trust myself with my life! :banana:
     
  7. pusser

    pusser Angel Fish

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    Are you sure you should be diving???? :D
     
  8. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    7,966
    158
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    OC is simple-minded enough for me. Or is it the other way around?

    Joking aside, going to a rebreather does significantly expand the possible ways for one to royally screw up. I don't see the slight advantages of SCR being significant enough to balance out those increased hassles and risks.
     
  9. BubbleTrouble

    BubbleTrouble Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney, Australia
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    So based on the replies I got here as well as the one's at rebreatherworld.com (found here http://www.rebreatherworld.com/semi-closed-rebreathers/3794-why-would-you-not-buy-draeger.html)


    As a summary for those who will follow after me investigating the same topic. I simply don't believe an SCR like the Dolphin has the benefits vs costs to be of use for someone who is thinking of entering the RB world. It's better to go for full CCR. Main points seem to be:
    - by the time you get it working the way you want, the cost fast approaches that of a CCR
    - limited to low-mid rec limits but considerably more risky and expensive than OC and with no real benefits
    - from acquiring RB skills point of view, SCR is not that beneficial because CCR skills are different so training and experience will differ
    - in AUS at least, parts and maintenance are not easy to get and can be expensive
    - unless you have expensive electronics/measurement instruments you never know what gas mix you're breathing at any time as the mixture changes with depth and diver exertion. This can be a potentially dangerous situation for the inexperienced.
    - pre-dive/post-dive procedures can be a bit of a pain
    - cost per dive is more significant

    That about sums it up.

    cheers
    Mike
     
  10. pusser

    pusser Angel Fish

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    -I looked at both threads but came up with different conclusion:
    -working RB with PPO2 monitor $2000-2500
    rated to 130fsw (rec limits with 1 hr gas supply at that depth)
    - scr skill seem to translate over to CCR at least buoyancy and pre dive checks should be similar although you need a different ticket for every rebreather you dive right?
    - don't know about parts in AUS except aqualung dealers in US carry them.
    - I don't think they are very expensive at all http://www.ppo2.com/order.htm $95 for display + $70 for sensor. Build your own housing or look here www.tecme.de

    - got to be a bit of a gadgeteer to own any rebreather
    - 3hrs sodalime ~$15 2hrs nitrox ~$10 works out to $10 per hour or the same as a single nitrox fill

    So that is how I sum it up. Funny how 2 people can look at the same data and come up with different POV.:06:
     

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