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Your Thoughts on Draeger Rebreather

Discussion in 'Rebreather Diving' started by Narced Out, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Narced Out

    Narced Out Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego, Calirfornia
    Can you guys give me your thoughts on the Draeger re breather? If i were to do mostly shallow dives with it, say averaging 30-50 feet, would this be a suitable re breather to get the job done? Thanks.
  2. sea_ledford

    sea_ledford Captain

    # of Dives:
    Location: Galveston, TX
    Which Dreager? Dolphin/ray SCR or one if their military-esgue O2 CCRs?
    What's the job? Why do you need a rebreather instead of OC?

    If you are looking at the SCR, the depths are compatible with the unit, but from what I've seen most people end up moding their SCR to CCR or swap it out for a fully closed unit eventually. My very limited experience with a Dolphin was that it had all the down sides of CCR, and most of the downsides of OC... so, what's the point?

    If you are looking at the O2 units, then 30-50' is too deep.

  3. Cap335

    Cap335 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Houston
    I still dive my dolphin and ray and either will do fine down to 100 feet. The only real advantages you'll get is the unit maybe a little lighter and the air is warmer as you breath the recycled air. Its also quieter for photography. But unless you get a real deal I would go with a ccr instead.

  4. MarcelT

    MarcelT Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Netherlands

    I actually own a Draeger Dolphin and see three advantages:
    1. REDUCED BUBBLES. Great for photography, amazing to swim between fish.
    2. Your max. divetime is limited only by scrubber lifetime and amount of Nitrox you carry (so depth does not play a realrole);
    3. Air you breathe is warmer

    To be honest, I think I will end up buying a CCR in a couple of years, but this is a good unit to start diving with rebreathers. Simple, reliable and easy to dive. I do recommend taking a course though. Most training agency offer Dolphin or SCR courses.

    I would also recommend getting a ppO2 monitor, following the golden rule in rebreather diving ("always know your ppO2"). I have tried the Oxygauge (the Dreager ppO2 monitor) but found it to be clumsy. I bought the revodream ppO2 with HUD and mounted it on my Dolphin with a mod from tecme.de - works like a charm! And if you decide to buy a rEvo later on, you can easily move your Revodream to the rEvo.

    Happy diving,
  5. Narced Out

    Narced Out Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego, Calirfornia
    Hey Marcel,

    Can you tell me a little bit about taking courses for the Draeger Dolphin? Pricing, length, pre requisites?

    How much would a used Draeger unit cost? Whats the maintenance cost on it? And it will preform good at around 20-60 feet?
  6. Nitroxnut01

    Nitroxnut01 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Idaho
    I'll preface this by saying I've never used a SCR, but I'm a CCR diver.
    Deciding to move over to the rebreather world being semi closed or closed circuit is a very big choice. It's not something to just go into it thinking it's something cool or neat to do. A rebreather is a piece of gear that can and will kill you if you make even the slightest mistake. You really have to look why you want to use one, and what you will be doing with it. It takes a lot of discipline to dive the them. With both units, you just can't throw it together and get in the water like you can with a scuba setup. If you make a mistake in rushing to put it together and fail to doing it properly, a whole host of bad things can happen. And many of those problems will kill you. You have to have dive buddies who understand what you are doing. Most other divers who are Open circuit divers, don't want to dive with me anymore for the most part. I take longer on the surface getting ready with my pre-dive checks, and in the water checks. If you're diving the SCR to get longer bottom time or getting closer to fishes, you're buddy will need to be on the SCR or CCR unit also. You will still be limited by dive buddies if they are on Open circuit still. With the SCR and what I have read about them, look at your dives and decide if you can do the same dives with a cylinder of Nitrox. Also if you're going to just dive solo with the unit, don't. If you have a CO2 hit or low Oxygen, those can put you out without you even knowing it. With no one their to help you, you are dead. At least with a aware buddy they can attempt to rescue you.
    Decide if the unit is something you really want to do. It will probably cost you couple thousand dollars to buy one, then the yearly costs will probably be in the hundreds to keep the unit going. Training probably between 400-800 dollars depending on where you're able to find an instructor. My best advice is, look at why you want to buy one, if you'll have the dive buddies that will be understanding of it, and if the dives you want to do would be safer and more affective using open circuit. Also if you are looking on ebay for one, be very very very careful. Many of the sales of rebreathers on ebay are scams. Good luck with your choice.
    pterantula and Gill Envy like this.
  7. bletso

    bletso Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Louisville KY
    We have two of the modified MCCR Dolphins. I converted mine almost ten years ago. It is the only kit I dive unless teaching. As an un-sanctioned unit my agency doesn't allow it. The price of a used unit and a conversion cost way less than a new or even used ECCR. www.airheadsscuba.com/bletsop.html. We are on Mod 8 and dive to the 70 MSW range and caves. The advantage of using the Dolphin as a conversion base is the design experience of Draeger. They have been making rebreathers for over 100 years. They do have a few design flaws which are easily eradicated. They are very flood tolerant and the Dolphin is very user friendly.

    Parts can be problematic but are available in Europe and in the states. With proper looking after they are easy to maintain and require few parts.

  8. Mr.X

    Mr.X ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    Just use OC tanks. The cost, maintenance involved for shallow work just doesn't pay off in the long run.

    Calculate - cost of unit, training, oxygen sensor(s), scrubber, time to assemble, breakdown and disinfect the unit. If you need to stay longer just sling another bottle with you and mix nitrox 36 for max bottom time.

    X - Rebreather instructor
    rjack321 likes this.
  9. MarcelT

    MarcelT Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Netherlands
    Hi Narced,

    I actually took the PADI Draeger Dolphin Specialty in the Maldives, so that may be more expensive than somewhere else. It cost me $500,- for theory and 4 dives (but I was going to pay for the 4 dives anyway, so effectively if cost me $500-4x$46= $316).

    I think the unit itself is around 2000-2500 depending on the state it is in. I bought mine for Euro 2000,- and had to replace a nozzle and got a Revodream ppO2 gauge. I haven't turned it in for maintenance yet.

    If you use EANx40 the safe 1.4 ppO2 MOD is 25m, which is recommended by both Draeger and PADI. I personally have used the dolphin at 30m depth and it works fine, just keep an eye on the ppO2 and make sure you know what to do when the ppO2 is not ok.

    I agree with the other posters - diving a rebreather takes discipline and training. Even for a simple device like the Dolphin. I strongly recommend taking a SCR course where you are taught with the unit you will be diving with.

    Happy diving,
  10. rjack321

    rjack321 Captain

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
    In this depth range, a set of modest sized doubles would give you as much or more bottom time.

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