Late model Royal Aqua Master ID?

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Discussion of diving methods and equipment available prior to the development of BCDs beyond the horse collar. This forum is dedicated to the pre-1970 diving.
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Fibonacci
Lung Diver
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:08 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Late model Royal Aqua Master ID?

Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:50 am

Hi everyone...

Long time lurker trying to absorb as much as I can about this fascinating and previously unknown DH world from all the experts here on VDH!

When I first started diving in 1978 a few die-hards were still using DH rigs but most soon switched over to SH, and the lack of spare parts soon relegated them to an ignominious fate in a display case at the LDS!

Seeing them being used must have made a big impression on me as a young NAUI OW diver... and I am keen to dive a vintage DH reg from that era.

From what I can read on VDH, apart from being a balanced two-stage reg and the most refined final development model, it would seem a round label RAM would be the correct mode for the time?

I see various RAM's around for sale... some supposedly late model round label ones have can clips and a very early flat rectangular LP yoke screw fitted... when I thought they should have the later 'tire' type yoke knobs. Or the final years of production should have a can band, and a heavier HP yoke with a more spherical knob?

Have others encountered this or it it just evidence of a 'parts bin' RAM cobbled together by someone to make a quick sale?

I'm keen to avoid paying too much initially and then having to spend another $150 upgrading and rebuilding it... all advice gratefully received :)

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ScubaLawyer
Master Diver
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:25 am
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Re: Late model Royal Aqua Master ID?

Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:14 am

Hey Fib, and welcome. I bought a round label AquaMaster new back in 1973 (not a RAM - although it became one when I added a Phoenix 1st stage to it a few years ago). It was one of the last AM's made and had a large spherical yoke knob and a band clamp (no clips). If you are looking for a RAM because of ease of breathing it's really not necessary anymore. Look on the VDH webstore for a Phoenix or Cyclone 1st stage that effectively converts any regular old garden variety AM into a RAM. Toss in a HPR 2nd stage and you will have a regulator that breathes better than an original RAM. In other words, save money by buying a AM and converting it into a RAM+.

My 2 psi. Mark

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Fibonacci
Lung Diver
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:08 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Late model Royal Aqua Master ID?

Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:23 pm

Thanks very much for that good advice... one thing I'm still not sure of is the going rate for a square label/round label AM/RAM in good condition?

I realise anything NIB with manuals etc would spike the price way higher but I'm struggling a bit with values here on the other side of the Pacific and with what is being offered at what I feel are VERY high prices on eBay and other sites :?

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ScubaLawyer
Master Diver
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:25 am
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Re: Late model Royal Aqua Master ID?

Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:32 pm

Fib, you are correct that the prices are pretty high on eBay. Every once in a while I'll see a AM selling on ebay for around $60 USD. Can't say that is an exorbitant price but I personally wouldn't pay more for one given what it takes to fix it up right. Again, unless you simply want a old label that says Royal on it there isn't really any reason to pay for the name. Most of my deals come from local sources. We have Craigslist and Backpage and such around here. Found some great deals there but generally the good deals are buried in estate sales. Takes a lot of looking. Picked up a AM in decent shape for 50 cents the other day from a neighborhood garage sale. Another good source is your local dive shop, especially one that has been in business a long time. I've asked what they have in their parts bin and found old DH regs under piles of junk. Lots of times people will bring in DH regs to the dive shop that have been laying around their garage or basement and basically donate them. Dive shops generally don't sell them, they generally don't know how to repair them, and they would much rather sell you a mega uber costly new reg than take on the liability of selling you 50 to 60 year old life support equipment. My LDS gave me (as in free) a 1962 Voit Polaris that needed work but is now one of my favorite regs. Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. A DH reg is worth whatever anyone is willing to pay for it. Saw a round-lable AM on eBay the other day for $125 starting bid and it bid up to $225. Too much for my blood. Good luck and keep looking. Mark

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Bryan
Plank Owner
 
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Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:40 am
Location: Wesley Chapel Florida

Re: Late model Royal Aqua Master ID?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:41 am

Get with the Historical Diving Society in Melbourne. Look up Steve Taylor, he's an A+ guy and knows USD regulators. There is a large active group of vintage scuba divers in that bunch and they definitely help you out.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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