Cheater Bar Use

Talk about vintage tanks and valves. Hydro and VIP testing, cleaning, painting, coating, Valve parts and repair.

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Squidlips
Diver
 
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Cheater Bar Use

Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:18 pm

Greetings..

I'm looking to double up steel 72's with a cheater bar. I have never used one before and have a couple questions:

Is there a specific psi rating I should be looking for (both tanks 2250)?

Both tanks are fitted with J valves. How do I go about using them? Am I to use both for reserve or is only one necessary?

Also, one of the valves is a Dacor J valve with an HP port. I might like to use an spg the first few times around until I get
familiar with this set up. My thinking is that there will be an initial equalized pressure reading of 2250 or so (full tanks).
Is this correct?

Any insight will be greatly appreciated

My best,
Squid

reddiver
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:17 pm

I used to use a cheater bar on my twin 72's back in the 70's when I wanted to maximize my dive time in Hawaian waters.
I do not remember having any issues using this . IT is important to make sure the alignment is correct so you have no leaks on the valves. I used a k valve and one J valve.

Red Diver

swimjim
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:55 pm

The cheater bars I've seen and the one I own are truly a vintage thing. I have used mine with AL 80's, but I think they are more at home with good ole 72's. The Dacor tank valve be it K or J with the HP port is the ticket. I would much rather run an spg then rely on a reserve. YMMV. That tank valve is really my preference if I'm diving below about 25 feet. There is something about the machine knurled knobs that I like too. I have three single 72's set up with the Dacor J Valve. I use those up at Fortune Pond. I sling a pony with a second stage and a dry suit hose. Then I have back up in the unlikely event something hits the fan. I've taken my DivAir past 120 feet that way. So do the Dacor tank valve and use an SPG. I think you'll like that setup.

Jim

SnarkIII
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:43 pm

I've used a cheater bar with twin AL 80's both with J valves, twin 72's both with J valves and twin 50's one with a J and the other with a K. I always left the right tank reserve off and the left tank I used a regular pull rod. Most valves have the reserve on the left using the reserve on the left tank keeps it close to where you normally look for it. You'll also want to get the valves as close to the same height as possible so the cheater bar isn't cocked. On my 50's I glued some pennies inside the tank boot to raise one of the tanks. I love the cheater bars and still use a couple.

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simonbeans
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:58 pm

Although there are many on this board that have more knowledge on the "cheater" bar, I have a few observations in regards to your questions.
There were bars that varied in rated pressure. I believe the one with the yoke screw T type were designed for the lower tank pressures (1800-2250). A later model used a hex head type screw that was rated for 4000 psi. It was stamped for 4000.
As to using two J-valves. You could have one activated (lever down) and leave one up that you could trip when you needed the reserve. Typically the J-valve reserve activates around 300 psi. With the two cylinders equalized by the bar, the 300 psi would have twice the volume at 300 psi than the one single tank.
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Squidlips
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:40 am

Thank you Gents!

Great insight that inspires confidence.
With different tanks, valves, and boots I'll have to mess around a bit to make sure the tanks are aligned. I do have some pennies.
This system is also promising since all my tanks have different hydro dates...I can swap them around or dive singles.
BTW: Why does it take a month to get my tanks back from hydro testing??? I need to find another shop.

Squid

Squidlips
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:46 am

swimjim wrote:The cheater bars I've seen and the one I own are truly a vintage thing. I have used mine with AL 80's, but I think they are more at home with good ole 72's. The Dacor tank valve be it K or J with the HP port is the ticket. I would much rather run an spg then rely on a reserve. YMMV. That tank valve is really my preference if I'm diving below about 25 feet. There is something about the machine knurled knobs that I like too. I have three single 72's set up with the Dacor J Valve. I use those up at Fortune Pond. I sling a pony with a second stage and a dry suit hose. Then I have back up in the unlikely event something hits the fan. I've taken my DivAir past 120 feet that way. So do the Dacor tank valve and use an SPG. I think you'll like that setup.

Jim


Jim...
I've had my Dacor J valve for almost 30 years without incident....turn on and air comes out...turn off and air stops coming out, and the reserve is reliable.

That being said...have you replaced the burst discs in yours? In the event I need to or should, can I fit a standard 3/8" hex head in there?

Is there really a need to replace burst discs anyway? I never have.

Squid

swimjim
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:15 am

Squidlips wrote:
swimjim wrote:The cheater bars I've seen and the one I own are truly a vintage thing. I have used mine with AL 80's, but I think they are more at home with good ole 72's. The Dacor tank valve be it K or J with the HP port is the ticket. I would much rather run an spg then rely on a reserve. YMMV. That tank valve is really my preference if I'm diving below about 25 feet. There is something about the machine knurled knobs that I like too. I have three single 72's set up with the Dacor J Valve. I use those up at Fortune Pond. I sling a pony with a second stage and a dry suit hose. Then I have back up in the unlikely event something hits the fan. I've taken my DivAir past 120 feet that way. So do the Dacor tank valve and use an SPG. I think you'll like that setup.

Jim


Jim...
I've had my Dacor J valve for almost 30 years without incident....turn on and air comes out...turn off and air stops coming out, and the reserve is reliable.

That being said...have you replaced the burst discs in yours? In the event I need to or should, can I fit a standard 3/8" hex head in there?

Is there really a need to replace burst discs anyway? I never have.






I have rebuilt all my Dacors in the last couple years. Parts are easy to come by as they are the same as Sherwoods if memory serves. They take a standard 2250 psi burst disk set up. Are burst disks important? Ask any fire fighter. Better a blast of air then a blast of shrapnel.

Jim

Squidlips
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:14 am

Jim...

I undertand the importace of burst discs for sure..

My question better stated would be.....how often should they be replaced if not blown out to begin with?

Squid

SnarkIII
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:42 pm

Squid you asked why it takes so long to get tanks back when they go in for a HYDRO. Here's my opinion. You take your tank into your local dive shop for a hydro lets say its Saturday April 1. The facility that actually does the hydro picks up your tank from the dive shop lets say Thursday April 6. They do the hydro and return it to the dive shop on Thursday April 13. Now the dive shop will do the VIP. The tank is ready for you some time around the 18th. You may not need a new dive shop you may just need to find a local facility that does the hydro. Oh yeah you'll cut the dive shop out of the equation and probably save yourself some money.

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time2dive
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:06 pm

It is always faster to take the tanks to the hydro shop directly. I pick up tanks from my customers on Thursdays, do my visuals that day and do the actual testing on Fridays. I return the tanks back to my customers Friday or Saturday depending on how many tanks I had to test. If a customer brings a tank to his local shop on Friday I won't pick up the tank for a week, if the local shop takes a couple of days to put the cylinder back together again it can take up to two weeks to get the cylinder back. If a customer brings a tank to me directly it will be done by that Friday....and I charge less than the local shop....and I do full service. Which means a hydro test, a visual inspection and sticker, new o-rings and a new burst disk. It is recommended to change out the burst disk at time of hydro...for scuba. You are putting two dissimilar metals in a corrosive environment, if you don't remove them every so often they may not come out if they ever blow and then you are buying a new valve. That is one reason that it is scuba tanks are visualed every year rather than every five years like all of the other cylinders.
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Squidlips
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:58 pm

This all makes too much sense.....more of a complaint on my part than a misunderstanding (though hearing about the progression of things hammers it home)
If I can find a hydro facility that would be great...and if I can get visual cert too even better.

I never messed with burst discs and assumed it was taken care of when the tanks went for hydro. But now that all my valves are pretty old
I'm concerned that at some point they won't mess with them any longer, hence the need to get on it in the event this happens.

Another step would be getting my tanks at least partially pressurized at home so I can leak test my valves too.

Squid

swimjim
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:37 pm

I take my tanks directly to the hydro place. When I do, it's just the tank. The valve and the boot have been removed. It is not unusual for me to drop off tanks and when I get home my wife tells me the hydro place called and my tanks are done. Valves are pretty basic. If you can rebuild a regulator, you can do a valve. I dive fresh water, so I generally don't mess with them unless there is an issue. If I acquire a "new to me" valve, I rebuild it so I know what I have.

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luis
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:58 pm

United Divers in Somerville, MA, do their own hydro in house. I don't know how fast of a turn around they have for hydro, but I like dealing with them.

I am in Maine so I don't deal with them often, but if I am around I always like to stop in. It is always great to talk to Margarete.
Luis

Buceador con escafandra autónoma clásica.

Squidlips
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Re: Cheater Bar Use

Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:38 pm

Luis...

I work in Somerville, but last time I was in that shop was more than 20 years ago and had a not-so-good experience.
Maybe now that I've grown up a bit I should check it out.

The LDS I go to is 10 minutes away but they send everything out.

I do most of my diving (and fly fishing) in southern Maine.

Squid

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