Who Cares if the Rebreather Has Integrated Deco

For some time now, Innerspace Systems has been working on a Megalodon head called APECS 3 that supports integrated decompression. As with any major software / hardware engineering project, there have been some delays, which has Meg owners clambering for information about when it will come out. It’s amazing how so many of these rebreather divers are pestering the company and acting like a bunch of kids a few days before Christmas. What I don’t really understand is why people are so anxious.

It’s not that I wouldn’t like to have integrated deco, but I really don’t see it as being all that big a deal. When software gets more complex it also gets more buggy, which is why I’m pretty happy having a very basic loop controller. Keeping the deco on a different unit like a VR3 is a nice modular system, and besides, I don’t really even use the computer on really deep dives.

When I plan a bigger dive, I do it like this:

  • Work out the details on the laptop
  • Cut the tables and laminate them (wrist mounted slate)
  • Cut bailout tables and laminate them (also on wrist)
  • Fill 02 and Diluent
  • Fill bailout using thirds
  • Do the dive as it was planned and as it appears on my wrist.

While I use the computer to validate my deco schedule, it is really only there for backup.

Again, it would be nice to have integrated deco, but IMHO, you should not do big dives if you can’t maintain a setpoint. Provided you can, or even if you depend on your loop controller to do it, your actual setpoint will match that on your computer. Everything should jive and you can validate the deco schedule on your wrist.

It’s tempting just to jump in, do a gnarly dive and depend on your computer to get you out of it, but doing so ignores some of the basic safety precautions of technical diving like proper gas management, which is a risk that I really don’t feel comfortable taking.

“Titanbox” Titanium Frame For the Inspiration Rebreather

The Inspiration and Evolution rebreathers from AP Diving are really good rigs, but the design of their housing and harness systems have always limited the flexibility of the units to a degree. The housings are quite fragile, and because they do not use a metal backplate, clipping in side-mounts always seems to be more of a struggle than it’s worth. Top it all off with the fact that housing and harness are quite large and difficult to travel with, and you can conclude pretty quickly that there is a lot of room for improvement in the way the rebreather is attached to the diver.

Indeed, a number of enterprising divers have totally re-invented the housing and harness system. Janwillem Bech’s Travelframe is a good example of this type of innovation. It allows the entire rebreather to fit into a carry on bag, and adapts it to a Hogarthian backplate and harness system, making the use of side-mounts much much easier.

The latest in the series of these custom-made Inspiration / Evolution frame systems is called the Titanbox, and it is truly a work of art! Designer Michael Hearn at Dive Designs must be a master craftsman because the his frame is not only very well built, but absolutely beautiful as well. Hearn writes:

When I started diving the Inspiration rebreather a few years ago, I noticed the original case of the inspiration is limited when it comes to use bigger cylinders or attaching extra accessories such as battery’s.

As I was searching the web and dive shows for a scrubber assembly case, I never found what I was looking for.

So I decided to design and built my own case in one of the most indestructible, non corrosive and affordable metals of all: titanium. As titanium is very expensive and difficult to work with, I also built a hard anodized aluminium version.

He is offering them for sale, but as one might expect in the world of rebreathers, they don’t come cheap. The titanium model can be had for just under $2,000, while the allumnium version comes in at a little under $800.00. As far as I can tell it’s worth every penny though if you have an inspiration. I know I’d have my order in if I’d gotten one instead of my Meg.

Well done!

More info and tons of pictures can be found at Michael’s website.

Hat Tip: TheRebreatherSite.nl

DIY Meg Radial Scrubber

Just about anyone who owns a Megalodon rebreather spends a decent amount of time wishing they had one of the much sought-after, but nearly impossible to get Cis-Lunar radial scrubbers. Most likely the best scrubber ever built, they are rarely seen for sale, and they cost a fortune when they are. Many people have payed more than $2,000 just for the can.

Innerspace Systems is poised to release their own version of the Cis-Lunar scrubber, but as of now, they are not selling it to the general public, and there is really no word on when they will. If you want a radial scrubber in your Meg your only options are to wait for someone to sell their Cis-Lunar scrubber and be prepared to take out a second mortgage on your house to buy it, or build your own.

As it happens, building one is exactly what Ken (skipbreather) over at rebreatherworld did. Not only did he build one for himself, he also published all of his shop drawings so that, with a few tools, we can all build our own. He estimates that the materials cost about $300, but unless you have a pretty well-stocked shop, you are likely to need some new tools as well… Darn. Don’t we all just hate to buy new tools.

Anyhow, check it out. Depending on how much the ISC version costs, this may be the direction I go.

We’re Famous!

I have to say that I think it’s pretty cool that pictures of my buddy Tomek and I are all over the new InnerSpace Systems website! We both took the class from Leon in March, and a bunch of the photos that they took of us in the pool showed up on the official ISC site. You can’t see our faces, but it’s pretty cool none-the-less.