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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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    I see your point. Thank you for the run down and links.

    cheers
    Mike
     
  2. caveseeker7

    caveseeker7 Rebreather Pilot

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    The duration depends on the flow rate (orifice), tank size and how often the ADV kicks in. The standard Dräger 4 ltr/27 cuft is rated by Dräger for 45 mins, reasonable as the flow rate for the 32% nitrox is 15.5 ltr/min (using 697.5 ltr, the tank hold 800 ltr - Some is used on pre-dive, too).

    You can extend the duration by using a larger tank (Dräger has a 5ltr), lower flow rate and avoiding yoyo profiles (always bad on RB in regards to gas efficiency).

    Some of them do, some of them are like, but different, some of them don't. What it does (or should) instill is a rebreather state of mind that includes the discipline required to dive safely. So I don't consider SCR training and experience useless, but different units do operate differently and need different skills in and out of the water.

    Feedback from divers has been abysmal in Oz, and it isn't consitently good in the US. Here it really depends on the LDS and the relationship you have with them. In Oz, unfortunately, the distributor is the problem.

    One very valid point was raised, however. Aside from the $$$ Colkan 155 all production units and their spares are shipped to Australia, and aside from AP parts there is pretty much no stock for any unit in country. W&S and TecMe both suppy Dräger spares worldwide and have very good reputation doing so. Hence that problem is probably a lesser one.

    Dräger has a pO2 monitor with adjustable alarm that simply plugs in (into the later units). Costs about US$500 or so. Not everyone can or will build his own. :wink:

    Prices for both gas and sorb can vary vastly from location to location.
    Hard to pin and (dis-) advantages down unless you research the local market (and other likely diving spots)

    One would expect that, different people have different wants or needs, different skills and abilities.
    But it's always intrestinng to see. :)
     
  3. cmonkey

    cmonkey Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Albuquerque, NM US
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    RBs obviously are not for everyone. I recently finished my IANTD Dolphin cert and dives and really liked it. I like mechanical things but can sometimes feel overwhelmed w/tech stuff. The Dolphin is pretty straight fwd and I like using the ppo2 unit in addition to a wrist computer as a reference. Pre-and post work is just something I accept and spend whatever time is needed to be thorough and complete.

    My plan was as yours (rec limits, extended time, ect...). I was around several others working on their Inspiration (diver and Instr) certs, in addition to Inspiration/trimix certs during my training. I look very much fwd to more Dolphin dives, but have my 1 yr plan to move into an Inspiration (or similar). Benefits there are even better, but w/more work.

    There are indeed bubbles (every 5-6 breaths) but not an entire lung full. The experience of mostly quiet diving is awesome. Photo, hunting, and exploration dives are enhanced and going w/a good friend away from the normal group(s) is very rewarding. Bouyancy took some getting used to (crash, woops, ect) but once figured out it was no biggy. At the very least, my OC diving has stepped up in quality without even noticing.
    best of luck
     
  4. jkromelow

    jkromelow Instructor, Scuba

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    The SCR is a great tool but you will wind up wanting to go CCR. Less bubbles, more versatility and more control. I dive a converted Dolphin. I started with the Dolphin and began my conversion after month 6 of ownership- I have spent 2 years now tinkering with it to get it just right. I enjoyed the pursuit as a hobby and know every aspect of my rig. With that said, if I were starting right now, I would but a KISS Sport. By the time you buy an SCR, do the conversion, buy the parts for the conversion (BTW, you will get picky and want parts machined just for your design...) and spend a lot of time tinkering with the rig, your investment will easily be $4K-$5K all in. The KISS unit is well thought out, has great training programs to support skill development from major training agencies and has a commercial entity to support you with parts and maintenance. Build your own , your on your own. Also, some of the Charter boats will not let you dive your homebuilt-you might want to look into that up front.

    If you do decide to ultimately do a conversion, you will find a worldwide community, with lots of ideas and input. Be ready though, you will spend more time working on your conversion and less time diving.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  5. Atticus

    Atticus Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Tahoe
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    I have done 3 hour dives on a Dolpin, and in the relative shallows it's a good unit. The problem I have with it is that when you go deeper it's harder to calculate a reasonable deco profile (actual vs. max ppO2 issues). A VR3 can be plumbed to one, but now you're talking about a larger investment.

    I've seen used Dolphins go for $1000 - $1400. At this price as a simple gas extender it's a good tool, especially if you use a smaller orifice and larger tank (at your own risk obviously and hopefully with a good understanding of what you're doing).
     
  6. BubbleTrouble

    BubbleTrouble Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney, Australia
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    Thanks guys for all the advice. For now however I have decided to gain more experience on OC. Once I have a few deep dives under my fins I shall revist the rebreather debate.

    cheers
    Mike
     
  7. DivnSapper

    DivnSapper Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    Mike,

    This ended up as a great thread. I think your final conclusion is exactly right and now I may need to rethink my plans... it seems the direct switch from OC to SK CCR seems the best way to go!
     
  8. BubbleTrouble

    BubbleTrouble Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    47
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    It was the right decision for me. Other people may obviously have different requirements or perspectives.

    I'm just glad that I was able to contribute to yours and other people's thinking process.

    cheers
    Mike
     
  9. o2deep4o2long

    o2deep4o2long Instructor, Scuba

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    Here is a good reason to use a Drager.
     
  10. caveseeker7

    caveseeker7 Rebreather Pilot

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    How is that? Where is the good reason?
    This sounds like the Dräger training is rolled into a very nice trip.

    But if you look at the little images you can see that they use AP Inspirations,
    electronically controlled mixed gas closed circuit rebreathers. Not Dräger Dolphin
    semi-closed units. So obviously the R/V Tiburon can support CCR divers, and
    all of the above still applies.

    That trip alone, intresting as it may be, could bust Mike's budget.
    So that's probably not the good reason you're referring to either.
    What is?
     

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