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Bryan
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Double Hose Diving 101

Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:20 pm

I received a request from a customer for an outline or a things needed to know about double hose diving for the first time. So I thought I would start with Regulator Position which is crucial and often overlooked. I added some information and pictures at the below link. I hope others will chime in and add information that they found helpful when getting started. I'll do my best to keep it organized and put files and pictures in the Manuals and Catalogs section file 101 Double Hose.

Double Hose 101, Regulator Placement
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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BigMike
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Re: Double Hose Diving 101

Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:17 pm

I spent a lot of time in the pool when I first started diving with a double hose reg. Being comfortable with the way that it breaths when in different positions is much, much easier in a pool environment than anywhere else. You just can't throw it on a tank and dive at your favorite spot like any other reg. That's my 25 cents (adjusted for inflation) . Mike
You are never too old to start a new hobby.

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Bryan
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Re: Double Hose Diving 101

Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:48 pm

BigMike wrote:I spent a lot of time in the pool when I first started diving with a double hose reg. Being comfortable with the way that it breaths when in different positions is much, much easier in a pool environment than anywhere else. You just can't throw it on a tank and dive at your favorite spot like any other reg. That's my 25 cents (adjusted for inflation) . Mike
Thanks Mike! I hope to get a lot of posts with ideas like yours for this section. It gets really frustrating reading the reports showing the high volume of visits the forum gets daily but participating and contributing seem to be up to only a few of us......
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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Bryan
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Re: Double Hose Diving 101

Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:27 am

How about Buddy Breathing and Hose Clearing / Recovery!

Buddy Breathing

Hose Clearing / Recovery
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

Pedro
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Location: Wellington NZ

Re: Double Hose Diving 101

Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:58 am

Hi guys,

As (one of?) the newbie in question pestering Bryan via email, I thought I should introduce myself here and add a few more questions.

I learned to dive a couple years ago in Tanzania - warm waters with great potential for diving, but sadly with some nice spots being destroyed by dynamite fishing - and now moved to New Zealand. I've never seen a double hose reg in action and don't consider myself a vintage enthusiast. I can grasp from the many pictures posted here why you guys have so much fun with that though.

My thing is photography, and that's what got me here: no bubbles and noisy clanks in my face, for God's sake

Having moved to NZ, I had to finally buy my full kit and started doing my research (which I call "about 15 minutes of reading" and my wife calls "weeks of obsessive behavior until you can finally make a decision"). Anyway, by chance I read something about the Argonaut Kraken, read like a million topics here in VDH and a few in Scubaboard and eventually decided to get myself one of these.

The point of saying all this is just to highlight what I believe might become a more common trend: divers who did not live the 70s (not calling anyone old, just vintage ;P ) switching to double hose with no experience and, above all, no mentoring from anyone, meaning I have to learn everything from scratch by myself. At the same time I was being constantly tempted by the overwhelming availability and convenience of single hoses, even though I don't really like them.

Hence the many basic level questions, as follows.

Pedro
Skin Diver
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:47 am
First Name: Pedro
Location: Wellington NZ

Re: Double Hose Diving 101

Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:03 am

So, here are some of the initial doubts I had, which I'm sure many first considering switching to DH might have. Most of these were cleared after reading tons of topics, but it would have been much nicer if a 101 topic was in place to ease the mind:

- Ok, I get the rig is position dependent, but how "bad" is it? I often dive slightly tilted upwards and every now and then must go into an unusual position to get the camera to a better angle. Is it possible to do that with a DH or does being "heads down" make breathing too difficult to be sustainable? Can I swim/stop/shoot sideways? If I roll over my back (to shoot the boat from bellow, for instance), does the regulator have a tendency to freeflow or will it freeflow for sure?

- How "self-serviceable" is a Kraken unit, considering I'm thousands of miles away from the experts and have never seen a double hose? Doesn't seem impossible to do, I just don't want to need a phd in engineering.

- Is it nitrox compatible out of the box?

- What is the total weight of a reg like the Kraken? That's a big deal when you travel with camera rig included.

- How does it fare in cold water?

- How do you keep it clean after diving? I understand some water will enter the mouthpiece and be exhaled through the left hose, so how do you remove the salt after the dive? Is it any "harder" than a modern single hose reg?

- How do you handle surface swims? Is a plug necessary to swim over your back at the surface?

- How tough are the hoses? Do they handle crowded boat dives well?

- How do you remove it from the water if your BCD doesn't have a handle (and of course the boat doesn't have stairs)? More often than not I've seen boat crew just grabbing the first stage/tank valve and pulling it up to the boat, which doesn't sound like a very good idea with a DH reg.

- And last but not least: I get the backplate is better to keep the can close to you. With that being said, is it still usable on a jacket BCD? How noticeable would be the performance loss?


My apologies if some of these questions sound "too basic" or just plain stupid, but these were some of the doubts I came across. I have not yet received the unit and I'm sure a few more will follow after I start using it.

As I said before, by now I found the answers to the vast majority of these questions, with the invaluable help of Bryan and after reading tons of topics in this amazing forum you guys have built. I just think newcomers would feel more confident about what they're doing if this information could be gathered in a single thread, which could in turn refer to others.

And thanks again for all your assistance Bryan, keep up the great work!

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Herman
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Re: Double Hose Diving 101

Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:32 am

Not sure I have had enough coffee but here goes. -

Ok, I get the rig is position dependent, but how "bad" is it? I often dive slightly tilted upwards and every now and then must go into an unusual position to get the camera to a better angle. Is it possible to do that with a DH or does being "heads down" make breathing too difficult to be sustainable? Can I swim/stop/shoot sideways? If I roll over my back (to shoot the boat from bellow, for instance), does the regulator have a tendency to freeflow or will it freeflow for sure?
Assuming you have the reg properly placed and secure (not flopping around) the difference is minimal and easy to become accustomed to. I carry a camera quite often and routinely get into a lot of unnatural diving positions, including head down, feet up inside a coral head. The amount of breathing resistance change is by no means uncomfortable, much less “difficult” but it is noticeable. What I think is more "difficult" for a new DH diver to get use to is the breathing cadence that is best for a DH reg. It is a long slow inhale and exhale as opposed to a shorter and more rapid one than is typically used with a single hose reg, more of a yoga type breath if you will. On your back looking up is the one place where the reg is most likely to give you an issue. The reg do tend to freeflow in that position, how much depends on a lot of factors including your angle and how close to the edge the reg is tuned. I tend to keep mine set up fairly aggressive and I don’t find it’s freeflowing to be much of an issue. I personally find the reduced noise and no bubbles in my face well worth the slight changes in breathing performance.

- How "self-serviceable" is a Kraken unit, considering I'm thousands of miles away from the experts and have never seen a double hose? Doesn't seem impossible to do, I just don't want to need a phd in engineering.
In general DH regs are no more difficult than any other reg, assuming you can get parts. The Kraken is not difficult to service for anyone failure with US Divers/Aqualung regs. If you want to experiment, get a Conshelf (or Titan) and learning to service it is a great way to start. If you understand how regs work, DH regs are really no different, just the same components packaged differently.

- Is it nitrox compatible out of the box?
I personally do not see any reason it cannot be used with mixes under 40%, I can tell you mine (and the Phoenix before it) has seen a lot of 32% nitrox over the years. At worst the internal orings age at a slightly different pace but the increase is nowhere near enough to require a shorter maintance routine.

- What is the total weight of a reg like the Kraken? That's a big deal when you travel with camera rig included.
I have not weighed mine but on average it is close to the same weight as a larger size single hose reg. At worst you are adding a few ounces (100-150 grams) to your overall kit weight.

- How does it fare in cold water?
DH regs are by their very design highly resistant to cold water, one of our members routinely uses DH regs for ice diving….no me however.

- How do you keep it clean after diving? I understand some water will enter the mouthpiece and be exhaled through the left hose, so how do you remove the salt after the dive? Is it any "harder" than a modern single hose reg?
IMO this Is the one area where a DH reg is inferior to a single hose reg, but nowhere near the level that a rebreather needs. On a daily basis, simple rinsing and external drying is all that is needed, however after a dive or series of dives, the reg needs to be cleaned and dried properly. That involves removing the hoses, flushing them with warm water and insuring they dry properly. The removal and cleaning of the hoses does NOT need to be done on a daily basis as long as you are continuing to dive daily, just at the end on the diving period. Although I do tend to remove them mid-week on week long dive trips. I store my DH regs with the hoses off so removing them for cleaning is not an additional chore for me.

- How do you handle surface swims? Is a plug necessary to swim over your back at the surface?
Long surface swims on your back do require you either hold the mouthpiece below the surface or use a mouthpiece plug. There is an upgraded mouthpiece that can be opened and closed in the works now to solve this issue.
- How tough are the hoses? Do they handle crowded boat dives well?
The silicone hoses are very tough and will take a good bit of abuse. I have had DH regs on hundreds of boat dives with no problems but like any other reg, you need to keep an eye on it to head off the occasional moron.

- How do you remove it from the water if your BCD doesn't have a handle (and of course the boat doesn't have stairs)? More often than not I've seen boat crew just grabbing the first stage/tank valve and pulling it up to the boat, which doesn't sound like a very good idea with a DH reg.
A DH reg should never be handled by the cans or hoses (a single hose regs shouldn’t either) . Nothing wrong with grabbing the TANK VALVE but the best way is to grab the shoulder straps of the BC….you need to educate/watch the crew any time they are around your gear, DH or not.

- And last but not least: I get the backplate is better to keep the can close to you. With that being said, is it still usable on a jacket BCD? How noticeable would be the performance loss?
It is useable, you will get air but depending on the jacket BC, the performance can be quite noticeably affected. Most do not keep the reg close enough to you and to make matters worse, will not allow the tank/reg to be placed low enough….which by the way is another thing you have to educate overly “helpful” boat crews about. They like to “help “you by moving your BC down. Usually, simply telling them this is a “special reg” and please do not touch it enough to keep them at bay. Until I am sure the crew understands to leave my reg along, I keep my eye on it.

My apologies if some of these questions sound "too basic" or just plain stupid, but these were some of the doubts I came across. I have not yet received the unit and I'm sure a few more will follow after I start using it.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions, many of us have been exactly where you are and needed help. DH diving is easy and a lot of fun but it does take a slightly different style that is not often intuitive. Hope that answered your questions, if not fire away.
Herman

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Bryan
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Re: Double Hose Diving 101

Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:00 am

Pedro wrote:So, here are some of the initial doubts I had, which I'm sure many first considering switching to DH might have. Most of these were cleared after reading tons of topics, but it would have been much nicer if a 101 topic was in place to ease the mind:

- Ok, I get the rig is position dependent, but how "bad" is it? I often dive slightly tilted upwards and every now and then must go into an unusual position to get the camera to a better angle. Is it possible to do that with a DH or does being "heads down" make breathing too difficult to be sustainable? Can I swim/stop/shoot sideways? If I roll over my back (to shoot the boat from bellow, for instance), does the regulator have a tendency to freeflow or will it freeflow for sure?

Answered nicely by Herman

- How "self-serviceable" is a Kraken unit, considering I'm thousands of miles away from the experts and have never seen a double hose? Doesn't seem impossible to do, I just don't want to need a phd in engineering.

The Argonaut regulator is based on sound, reliable and proven design principals. Anyone with experience servicing diaphragm first stages, especially Conshelf based first stages should have no problems servicing an Argonaut. There is no set time between service intervals due to the inherent reliability of it's design. My personal Argonaut was last assembled almost two years ago on a patio table in Cozumel. I have used it myself on dozens of dives and loaned it out to several other divers who used it in fresh and salt water with nothing other than rinsing done to it. The high pressure seat is actually closer to 4 years old and still holds a constant IP pressure. I am taking it back to Cozumel in November and have no plans to do anything at all to it before the trip.

- Is it nitrox compatible out of the box?

Information on NITROX and double hose


- How does it fare in cold water?

To add to Hermans Info......Double hose regulators by design have always been renowned for their use under the ice and in cold water because the majority of the first and second stages are isolated from the water. Here is some more first hand info from Jim.

Ice Diving Argonaut Kraken


- How do you keep it clean after diving? I understand some water will enter the mouthpiece and be exhaled through the left hose, so how do you remove the salt after the dive? Is it any "harder" than a modern single hose reg?

Entire section of the website dedicated to care and maintenance.....Link is on the main page.


- How do you handle surface swims? Is a plug necessary to swim over your back at the surface?
Answered nicely by Herman

- How tough are the hoses? Do they handle crowded boat dives well?
Boat crews have a difficult job and are always pressed for time. mis handeling any piece of equipment makes it more prone to breaking or failure. The Argonaut Kraken and hundreds if not thousands of other double hose regulators go boat diving every year with no problems. Can it happen, of course but with normal care the chance of damaging hoses is minimal.

- How do you remove it from the water if your BCD doesn't have a handle (and of course the boat doesn't have stairs)? More often than not I've seen boat crew just grabbing the first stage/tank valve and pulling it up to the boat, which doesn't sound like a very good idea with a DH reg.
Herman got it right

- And last but not least: I get the backplate is better to keep the can close to you. With that being said, is it still usable on a jacket BCD? How noticeable would be the performance loss?
You have purchased the best setup for diving any double hose regulator that we have currently and my advice would be to stick with it and leave the jacket bcd to the students and rental fleet.

!
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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BigMike
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First Name: Mike
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Re: Double Hose Diving 101

Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:39 pm

Welcome to the board Pedro.
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I suggest using a pool to so all of your preliminary double hose diving. I would swim in all sorts of positions and even do a head stand on the bottom so I could understand how the reg would breath and react in the various positions. This is when I would experiment with different back pack set-ups , weight adjustments and eventually get used to diving with my VDH plate and wing set up. I would do giant strides off the side to simulate a boat or dock entry. Please don't hesitate to ask questions because there are plenty of people on the forum who are glad to share from their experience. I started diving with a double hose only about four years ago and I still consider myself a "newbee". Enjoy your new endeavor. Mike
You are never too old to start a new hobby.

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Bryan
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Re: Double Hose Diving 101

Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:53 am

Just added a few more files from various blog posts and other information sources to the DOUBLE HOSE 101 file.....Please take a look


DOUBLE HOSE 101 CLICK HERE
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

Pedro
Skin Diver
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:47 am
First Name: Pedro
Location: Wellington NZ

Re: Double Hose Diving 101

Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:25 am

Great replies, very informative. Thanks a lot Herman and Bryan.



@Mike, thanks for the advice. Will definitely go to the pool first.


@Bryan, I was asking about jackets thinking of travelling/renting. I do believe the back plate you and Luis designed is the best option available, so much so I bought one

Speaking of which, for ease of reference here are a couple links with pictures:

- Luis' instructions on how to rig the straps on the VDH viewtopic.php?f=47&t=7060

- Herman's on installing the hoses:
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=7753


The document collection for the 101 is looking great.

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