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Old 10-05-2004, 07:55 PM   #1
kikaida
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Default Do you use backup?

Do you guys use an auxilery tank? You know, one of those little strap on bottles with a regulator attached directly to the top?

Seems like you would have to, kind of like a backup parachute!

How long do those last at normal breathing?
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Old 10-06-2004, 12:33 PM   #2
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Johnny, did you ever see the James Bond movie where the bad guy cuts James' line the he spins around, beats the guy up and takes his rig? That was cool.
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Old 10-06-2004, 12:55 PM   #3
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Yeah that was bad a$$.
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:11 PM   #4
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Alright Johnny, I scoured he web and ..... guess what the cat dragged in???

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Old 10-11-2004, 11:27 AM   #5
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Cool picture! I saw, like one big happy family :D
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Old 10-11-2004, 12:46 PM   #6
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Hey Johnny most people only use whats called a "pony set up" on deeper dives.

Pony set up



This other small compact tank is called a "Spare Air"

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Old 10-11-2004, 07:58 PM   #7
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Seems like you could have some serious "hang-time" if you are free-dive spearfishing with the spare air.

Definaltey would want that as my back-up parachute.
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Old 02-13-2005, 12:28 AM   #8
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Default backup

I'm relatively skeptical of pony bottles and I'm incredibly skeptical of Spare Air rigs. The volume of many pony bottles is really small. Whatever horrible thing that has happened that caused you to run out of air will likely require more air to resolve than your pony holds. You'll almost certainly need more air than a Spare Air can give. Keep in mind that most regular divers around here are using about 0.6 SCFM (surface cubic feet per minute) of air on a normal dive. When you get scared, this will approximately triple. Now you're sucking down about 2 SCFM. If you're at 60ft, you multiply this by the local pressure in atmospheres and it comes to 6 CFM. If you have a 13 cuft pony, you only have a couple of minutes to resolve your situation.

I like diving with other divers of similar mindset & experinece. For the shallow stuff I consider them my big swimming pony bottle :-)

For deeper stuff, I dive double tanks with an isolation manifold, independant regs, etc. I also carry around that big swimming pony bottle again and it typically has double tank with isolation manifold, too. We carry additional bottles with our deco gas and we plan it so that we have enough gas to save the other guy if all of his gear were to somehow fail at the worst part of the dive. Well, that's when we're "doing it right" and being smart about it...

I do see a valid case for having a pony bottle if you're solo. This seems especially good for photographers in really shallow water. I know it's easy to get distracted when fooling with the camera and run too low on air. It also seems that the critters know how much air you have (or don't have!) and the wait to come out and pose for a pic right when you're running really low on air!

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Old 02-14-2005, 02:39 PM   #9
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Graet info Ross, thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-08-2005, 04:59 AM   #10
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I dive mainly off the coast of New jersey in the souther end. It is a requirement by all boat charters now that you have a pony setup not the octopus anymore. I am not sure of the size of mine I think it is a 20 or 30 and I use a sherwood brut regulator with a little tiny pressure gauge attaced directly to the 1st stage.

I also have 2 spare air units, I would never purchase them but was given to me for free so I carry it now. You only get 55 (approx) breathe at the surface with these and they are really designed to get you from about 100' to the surface without a deco stop.


Last season I was at 70' and my second stage started to leak. At first I thought it a free running so I kept hitting it with my PALM. What in fact actually happened is the hose came loose where it comes into the 2nd stage and was releasing air. It kept getting worse and soon was on full free flow.

I continued to use it until it was out then switched to my pony, and started up the anchor line. The only issue here was I was in a dry suit and had to conserver the air in it and my BC while ascending. I made it to 15' and held unitl I was out of air on the PONY, switch to my Spare Air and surface. Back on the boat I discovered what actually happend, fixed it and went on my second dive.

I guess experience was a big part here, if I was a beginner I might have panicked and shot to the surface which may have been deadly but I remained calm and controlled my ascent.

Needles to say I will never have that shop touch my equipment again. What PO's me is that even though you can get an equipment certification you can't get the parts to service your own equipment. This is your life on the line and you should be able to maintain it yourself as long as you show the competence to be able to do so.

So if anyone asks me, I would say ALWAYS DIVE WITH A PONY SETUP! you never know what will happen.
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Old 06-08-2005, 09:16 AM   #11
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Wow, scary stuff! Guess its good to learn how to work on your own stuff.
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Old 06-08-2005, 11:52 AM   #12
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Good to hear you kept a clear head and worked yourself out of your problem
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:06 PM   #13
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i don't even use tanks,, i just hold my breath
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Old 12-15-2005, 11:30 PM   #14
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Hey I seen this vid on a guy filming squid, He had a device called a rebreather that could keep him under for 5 hours.
Pretty cool
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Old 01-04-2006, 02:45 PM   #15
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rebreathers are getting more popular but very expensive, it is basically a Co2 scrubber, the benefits are mainly for underwater photagraphy but it does not extend your bottom time only the time the air will last, you will still go into saturation if you exceed the bottom time / depth scale.
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