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1st rebreather advice

Discussion in 'Rebreathers Closed and Semi Closed Circuit' started by splinter, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    I've been thinking about getting a rebreather next year (50th birthday present to myself), but what looks like a really good deal has come up, so my birthday might come early . I'm after a bit of advice on what to look for on a used unit. The rebreather in question is an AP inspiration evo+, about 5-6 years old. Looks to be in good condition apart from some minor damage to the case. It's not been used for the last 2, when the head was serviced and it hasn't been dived since. It has the 2020 upgrade.

    1st off, is there anything I should specifically be looking for when I go and see it?

    On the limited info provided, roughly how much are used inspos going for?

    I expect it's going to have to go to AP for a service. How much am I looking for a full service? Will they even do it if I dont have a qualification yet?

    Any recommendation for a good instructor? I've not been in touch with anyone yet, but I'm thinking TDI Mod1 with helitrox as I've done AN & helitrox. I'm not planning on diving the box until I've done the course as I wouldnt know where to start.

    A health issue has kept me out of the water for a good chunk of this year, but this should hopefully be resolved in the next 2-3 months. I'm planning on some build up dives on OC over winter so would be looking at early spring next year for Mod1.

    Thanks in advance for any help or advice.

    Tim.

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  2. timmyg

    timmyg Super Moderator
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    Tim

    I am AP qualified but I'm not currently diving one so I can't comment on prices, but in terms of the unit:
    1. Does it have front or rear mounted lungs?
    2. Assuming your kit hasn't changed since Helitrox, I think you would hate the front mounted lungs and standard harness. It's horrible compared to the cleanness of a OPH on a twinset. I certainly did. If it were me I'd be putting a standard BP & harness on and rear mounted lungs. I personally would change the wing as well but that is only due to the hip dump valve location (above the wing rather than below) so my muscle memory when I need to dump gas remains. But then I'd be switching diving between CCR & OC.
    3. In terms of instructor I would go for Mark Powell. Firstly he would know your current diving level having done training with me, but also his reputation is well known, and his AP also has a standard harness and backplate on it too so he could run you through that. It'd also be at NDAC so helium & depth isn't an issue.
    4. The case wouldn't bother me but then I'd be spending more cash & getting a G-Box as well.

    TPG
     
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  3. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Splinter ,

    Ok first off if this is vaguely oop north this sounds like 1 of 2 units that recently went up for sale , if yes , my mate bought the other one.

    In terms of buying a used inspo ask for the head number , call AP and ask for the history. They’ll confirm service history.

    Looking at a unit is kinda tricky if you know nothing about them. Your really trusting the seller to guide you through it. Can you get an inspo diver to go with you ?

    On a second hand unit expect a head service anything from
    £100 up to £1000 depending on condition. A set of cells £210, cylinder testing and clean. A bunch of new o rings and general service items.
    This sounds bad but consider most units for sale are due to lack of use therefore most bits out of service. The head service shouldn’t be too bad , my mate hasn’t had his done as it was still boxed from AP. The higher cost would be something fatal like a cracked head or controller failure. A good idea if you feel the need is strike an agreement to buy subject to head inspection by AP.

    I teach the inspo for BSAC , 3 of 4 students this year bought used units and have extensively serviced them themselves, mainly cleaning deeply (lungs/loop) replacing O rings. My mate who poss bought the other one of these is going through it now.

    If it’s the one I’m thinking if they were at a good price. A clean diveable unit is currently around £3000-£3500 if a few years old. They are coming up a lot cheaper circa £2000 but usually need a good fettle.

    If you want anything else pm me your number it’ll be easier to talk , I think my mate looked at both and bought the newer one but was in 2 minds between them on condition , I’ll ask who he bought from.
     
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  4. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    Hi Tim.

    Yes it has the front mounted lungs and standard harness. It's one of the things I'd be looking to change as I've a fair amount of time before I can use it and I guess anything I can keep that I'm familiar with will help with the learning curve.

    Mark was top of the list to talk to as he's always the first to be recommended when anyone asks about training. I've looked at Dave Gration and Kieran Hattons web pages too as I know both their names, but little else about them.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
     
  5. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    It does sound like the one your thinking of, Vanny. They are oop north and I know they had 2 to sell and one went quite quickly.

    Unfortunately the only people I know with inspos are either in Scotland, Ireland or really hard to get in touch with.

    Thanks for the very useful reply. I'll be in touch.

    Tim

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  6. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Oh forgot, AP won’t sell you any spares until qualified and registered with them. You could send the head in but I would confidently expect they would only return it to your nominated instructor.
     
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  7. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Ok. I have asked him about it. Re lungs. Fully agree with timmyg view. However , if you buy a unit with front lungs (fmcl) it’s worth trying them, some students struggle with reaching the back lung (BMCL) dump valves , which is essential for dil flushes. So depending on your body shape fmcl can be ergonomically better. That said the majority of inspo divers use BMCL for the clean front, the upgrade is about £700 so worth trying what you get and up grade later. The skills on either are the same just your hand placement differs. You’ll do well to buy BMCL 2nd hand.
     
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  8. timmyg

    timmyg Super Moderator
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    You won’t go wrong with either Dave or Kieran either. Both are top instructors.

    TPG


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  9. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    Thanks, both of you. Very helpful stuff.


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  10. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Pm’d Re the unit info.
     
  11. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Mark Powell for the course. He’s harsh but fair and when he passes you you’ll have earned it.
    He made me do all my skills neutrally buoyant which is quite hard when first on a box. At the same time there was a MOD2 course running and they did all their skill knelt on the bottom!

    As for the box itself, BMCL are far better than FMCL. They do come up second hand occasionally and there is a bloke on eBay who does copies, which is what I had. Not as polished as the AP lungs but far, far cheaper.

    I spent as little as possible, expecting to spend money on it, at £3k or more I’d be looking for at least a fresh service, if not new cells as well.

    If you do buy unserviced, making a head inspection conditional is good advice.
     
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  12. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    Well, I bought it. It's in pretty good nick, but will need a service. The head was serviced in Nov 2017 and it hasn't been used since. It had a 2020 handset fitted at the same time. It also has the BMCL and an ADV.

    The harness was size large, but has been trimmed to fit a slim lady. I'm neither of those things, so that will need changing. Are these things easy to bolt to a standard backplate or do they need a ccr specific one? I fancy getting rid of all the padding and sticking with what I'm used to.

    It's going to a frustrating wait until I get chance to try it out!

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  13. timmyg

    timmyg Super Moderator
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    Any one of the instructors you mentioned will be able to show you.

    TPG


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  14. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Congratulations mate. These are 2 options;

    https://www.divingproducts.co.uk/shop/index.php?route=product/category&path=68_95_162

    If you use the one without top slots you continue to use the lungs as part of the harness. This was the original plate Kent tooling made.

    If you use the one with top slots you need a way to secure the lungs to the harness. A tri glide can work. This is a newer design. I’d find a way to keep some adjustability in the harness rather than one piece. With the loop it can a bit more tricky to get in. Others may disagree.

    If you stick to the standard plastic case you’ll need the spacing blocks as the case back is curved and will crack at the bolt holes.

    Others do use a standard plate , some space it away to give the lungs room, personally the plates above are as close to standard fitment in terms of work of breathing but a more standard feel and harness.

    If I see you before you get into it have a look at mine it has the first plate and Gbox. For adjustability I use agir harpa.

    What dates are the cells ?
     
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  15. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    Thanks, Vanny.

    It seems to make sense to hang on and try it and see what weight I'll need, then I can choose between the thicker plate or thin one.

    No cells unfortunately and the batteries were flat so I couldn't see it operating. I figured as the price was so good I'd take a chance on it. The head is boxed and still has the tags on from AP, so worth the risk I think.

    Thanks for all your help. No doubt there'll be more questions coming soon.
     
  16. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    You might as well buy a G-Box now and save yourself the floaty pain of the standard box.
     
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  17. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    I've been looking at them, Doomanic. Definitely added to the wish list.
     
  18. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Yes you can add it all later. Diving it standard isn’t s bad place to start. Weighting is similar to what you’d use with a single 15 starting out.
     

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