Royal Mistral Redeux...
Something Special for my Newest Little Diving Buddy
- I restored this regulator from a DA AquaMaster that had a beautiful, shiney chrome back can and mechanism but a front can that was badly pitted from leaning against something corrosive in storage. (That front can got a full sized Nemrod sticker from Rob that covered up the corrosion and converted Rich 50,001 Questions FireFighter Snark III into a diving Snark III.) The back can and mechanism were like new except for having a brownish film inside... Looked like a rust but had no pitting. It cleaned up to reveal BRIGHT shiney chrome on all internal surfaces!
- I ordered one of Bryan's DA AquaMaster kits and replaced the HP seat, HP diaphragm, and gaskets. Also, I installed the HPR 2nd stage... Which replaces the LP seat and converts the regulator to use Mistral diaphragms. To this, I added one of the new super sensitive silicon diaphragms.
- Next, I pulled the "Royal Mistral" front can from a "Faux Royal Mistral" set I wasn't using and installed the DuckBill Eliminator exhaust valve. And finally, I installed a hose loop of rare Argonaut Kraken RED hoses with a black Voit hourglass mouthpiece.
I set the IP to 140 psi with the regulator mounted to a 300 psi tank. Herman's IP gauge sure makes this easy. Pressure held steady with on/offs of the tank and press/release of the lever... No leaks. I set the lever height right up to the diaphragm and then backed off to where heavy breathing is just below where Venturi free flow gets induced. (I know Louis has a better method on this but I haven't looked it up yet). Last but not least, I set up the HPR second stage to have a strong Venturi by completely blocking one of the secondary ports.
This regulator was given a test dive last Sunday at the local public pool and it worked perfectly. Breathed easy. No leaks.
Where To Get Red Hoses?
I expected this would be the first comment/question so here's the answer. They come off Argonaut Kraken regulators from the first production run. They are extremely rare and valuable. I built this regulator up for my one and only grand daughter and it had to be color coordinated to match her red 18 cf scuba tank I converted from a CO2 fire extinguisher. Last Summer she dove her little tank to depths of 5 feet and stayed down 15-20 minutes until the tank ran out of air. She's 5 years old and she loved it. She has captured Boppa's heart, so she gets the precious red Argonaut hoses.
To Zip Tie or NOT to Zip Tie
... As you can see in the photos, I used zip ties on the regulator horns. I bought a really good zip tie installer... Squeezes them really tight and has a cut off lever. It's fun and quick to use and the low profile zip ties don't usually look bad. But they look a little off on this regulator. What do you think?