banjoguy
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:05 am
First Name: Sean
Location: Buckley WA

Kraken hard breathing

Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:20 pm

So I first have to apologize, I am totally new to double hose but got some coaching in the pool before the Covid outbreak with a old coastguard diver who cut his teeth diving double hose back in the 60’s. Well last weekend I finally got to go diving in the Puget Sound for the first time using my Kraken. Now in the Pool it did fine. Breathing was a little weird, but got used to it. But in the open ocean at 60’, 3 months later was a completely different experience. I couldn’t breath. Inhaling was extremely labored when I was horizontal but got easier as I started to go vertical. Completely vertical it felt like the air pressure would blow the mouthpiece out of my face. Exhaling felt perfectly normal, no matter what position I was in. When I say it was bad, I mean terrifyingly bad.
Yes, I’ve read all the discussions and documents about positioning the regulator low and between my shoulder blades. When I’m diving horizontally, I can tilt my head all the way back and not touch the reg. I’m using a Zeagle Ranger BCD and not sure the tank could get any closer to my back. Am I missing something here? Is there any adjustments that I am supposed to do? Any tips?
I should point out, I have a ScubaPro octo attached to a low pressure port, power inflator for the bcd, drysuit hose, and Aqualung i550 attached to the HP port if that matters in any way.
Thankfully the octo breathed just fine for me and was able to end the dive safely and kept my buddy close.
Thanks again in advance!

Sean


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ScubaLawyer
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Re: Kraken hard breathing

Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:48 pm

Hi Sean,

Sorry you are having trouble. I've had my Kraken since the first run in 2914 and have quite a few dives on it. Do you have a DSV mouthpiece on it? I failed to fully open my DSV on one occasion, and of course, breathing was a tad rough. As with any DH reg, yes the cans need to be low and between your shoulder blades, but the reg also needs to be touching your back for optimal breathing. I had a Zeagle Ranger many many years ago, long before the Kraken came out, and I never could get a Mistral or a balanced Royal Aquamaster, or any DH reg to breath well with it. The cans just sat too far off my back. I have no clue how the newer Rangers are configured but I would at least explore that possibility. If it were me, I'd also check the IP pressure and run a vacuum test on my magnahelic to see what the cracking pressure is. My Kraken cracks at .5" to 1" . May need some adjustment. Anyway, there are many fine folks on here that have far more experience than I do (including the engineer who designed the Kraken) so I will leave it there. My 2psi. Good Luck. Mark
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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luis
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Re: Kraken hard breathing

Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:53 am

From your description of how it breathes in a vertical position, it sounds like the regulator is working just fine.

If it only breathes hard on the horizontal position then the issue points to the regulator lifting away from your body in the swimming position. This is very common with a buoyancy device attached to the cylinder and a loose fitting harness.

It is even worse if you use a weight belt and have to add too much air to your BC. The weight belt put the weights on your body and the buoyancy device tends to float the cylinder and regulator away from your back.

I prefer to put any weights directly on my tank harness and some on the tank. I do use a couple of quick opening pockets for a bit of releasable weights. And most important is to not be over-weighted. Any extra weight is extra air in the BC.

I personally don't like tight shoulder straps so I use a sternum strap to keep the harness tight with the cylinder always against my back.

I am not familiar with your BC, but if there is any padding or anything that separates the cylinder from your back, that doesn't help either.

The flat back plate here in VDH was specifically designed to locate a double hose as close as possible to the divers back. There is even a cutout so that the regulator can clear the back plate and with a narrow cylinders some regulator will actually touch the divers back.

The double hose back plate provides the absolute best position for a double hose regulator. It is even much better than a simple harness because it holds the cylinder properly in place and holds regulator right between you shoulder blades and as close as possible to the divers back.

You can use a wing type BC with the double-hose back-plate, but you want to make sure you don't add any hardware that separates the cylinder away from the diver. For example, single tank adapters used with some tech-plates is a bad idea with a double-hose regulator and there is no need for it.
Luis

Buceador con escafandra autónoma clásica.

banjoguy
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:05 am
First Name: Sean
Location: Buckley WA

Re: Kraken hard breathing

Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:01 am

I think you guys are right and I’m actually starting to wonder how low I had the tank positioned in my tank straps. I’m also diving on a HP 117 steel which is a really fat tank. When I took it in the pool, I used a 100. So I’m going back out in the water tomorrow with some friends and giving it another shot. I’m going to borrow my buddy’s HP 100 and he will use my 117. I’ll also make sure to position it lower than before and really tighten the sternum strap down. I’ll report back after the dive!

Sean


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ScubaLawyer
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Re: Kraken hard breathing

Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:26 am

Have your buddy take a photo of you underwater (side shot) with you in a horizontal position. That can go a long way to diagnosing can placement issues.
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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luis
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Re: Kraken hard breathing

Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:50 am

Lowering the tank and regulator down on your back (while you are standing up) is useful because in the swimming position most divers are never truly perfectly horizontal. Most divers tend to be at a slope of about 10 degrees (you can see in most pictures).

Even technical divers think they are perfectly horizontal all the time, but they are not. To look forward if the diver was in a perfectly horizontal position, the neck would have to bend up a true 90 degrees. It would be a true pain in the neck to try to hold even close to that position for any significant amount of time.

Therefore, lowering the tank to place the regulator between your shoulder blades helps. But, far more important is making sure the regulator itself is close to the divers back and not separated by a thick BC, a big diameter cylinder, or the tank floating up away from the diver. Those will affect performance directly.

Every inch the cylinder (and regulator) moves up away from the diver is an extra inch of water column the diver has to suck to get air. It is a one to one relation (in the vertical direction, in the water column).


If you need to use big diameter cylinders, there is a solution, but at first it may sound a bit crazy. You can add the DIN fitting adapter to the Argonaut and then even use a DIN to yoke adapter. This will extend the regulator a lot. It should actually extend a bit past the plane of the backpack (or back-plate). You would have to use a double-hose back-plate or a backpack that is either flexible or has clearance for the regulator can.

With that extension the regulator should actually touch your back (it is very comfortable even with a very thin wetsuit). I specifically designed the regulator can with rounded soft edges so that it was comfortable if it touches the divers back.

In that position the regulator will breathe at its best.

The only way to make a regulator breath better is to have it surgically implanted. :shock: I am not recommending that. :P


Having a buddy take some pictures of you (like Mark is suggesting) can be very helpful. Notice that I use plural as in several pictures. Depending on the angle a picture is taken, it can actually be very misleading due to parallax error. The easiest way to solve that is to have him or her take several pictures from a few different angles.

And most important, have fun experimenting and diving. :)
Luis

Buceador con escafandra autónoma clásica.

banjoguy
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:05 am
First Name: Sean
Location: Buckley WA

Re: Kraken hard breathing

Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:01 am

Thanks for all the tips guys. I ended up diving my modern reg set over the weekend. My buddy wasn’t excited about me trying the double hose again due to the poor visibility conditions (about 6 feet) and heavy tidal exchange. I don’t need to dive on my big fat 117 tank, it’s just what I have and I’m sure by going with a 100 will work leaps and bounds. We compared the two tanks on Saturday and the 117 has to be at least 3” in diameter bigger. So hopefully this coming Wednesday I’ll get back out there and try again.


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Chris
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Re: Kraken hard breathing

Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:42 pm

I dont have any problems with my faber hp 100's. But they are also the same diameter as the aluminum 80 I think.

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