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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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antique diver
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First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: "Build Your Own Diving Lung", Revisited in 2018 -2022

Thu Sep 21, 2023 6:41 pm

antique diver wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2023 2:17 pm
I recently acquired the makings of Bendix Lung conversion #3. Doesn't look like much in this photo, but I have hopes for it to be a good one. It will be a "back to the basics" diving lung, utilizing the slightly modified/simplified internal first stage. More photos soon, when it starts to look recognizeable.

Image

Here's the #3 with all the all the important inhalation adjustments in working condition at 1000 psi tank pressure. The cracking pressure of 0.4" of water column is shown on the Magnehelic. It can be adjusted to lower effort, but may get a bit out of control in actual use. I'll have to experiment with that when I take it diving. It stays very close to same at all usable pressures, but gets slightly lower at 300 psi due to upstream second stage. I haven't decided on the exhalation side configuration yet, but that will be the next to dream up.
Image

Breathing effort stays comfortably low as shown in the following video clip. It can adjust lower by removing a short restriction tube that easily unscrewed and removed with the inhalation hose disconnected. Diaphragm cover is removed to show it in action with normal to fairly heavy inhalations.

I didn't have luck trying to get directly to the 9 second video, but it is accessible with this link:
https://i.imgur.com/Ff532Xz.mp4
The older I get the better I was.

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antique diver
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Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:50 pm
First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: "Build Your Own Diving Lung", Revisited in 2018 -2022

Thu Nov 09, 2023 7:38 pm

This is the original appearance of the first stage pressure sensor in the original two stage Bendix Oxygen diluter unit (circa 1942). Changes in ambient pressure adjusts the clearance between the small 0.067" HP inlet orifice and the tapered end of the HP seat via the lever. As flying altitude increases the HP seat retracts from the orifice to send more Oxygen percentage to the aviator.

Image

Unfortunately, diving with the Bendix "diving lung" makes this mechanism work in an opposite manner than designed, as it gradually reduces the seat to orifice clearance as diver descends. So it took a lot of adjusting and tinkering to get this system breathing ok below 15-20'.

We had been diving it with 1800 psi tanks, which seemed to work ok, but the life of the HP seat tip was taking a beating and needed removal for refinishing way too often. Three years later I found out that the Bendix was originally designed to work off a supply pressure of no more than 500 psi. The HP seat just wasn't up to 1800 psi, so I added an in-line reg to drop the tank pressure to about 450, and leaving the original first and second stages intact while keeping the unit operating within its design parameters.

Apparently the abuse of diving for a few years with the 1800 psi had been hard on the bellows (as predicted by Phil!), and it finally gave up during a dive. It wasted some air and ascent was required. :shock:

Photo of the failed/blown first stage bellows shows how it cleanly separated. Phil was right about metal fatigue.
Image




Well that was the start of a whole new approach to converting these beasts, and I have had much better luck with my recent two (and final) "diving lungs". :D
The older I get the better I was.

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SurfLung
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First Name: Eben
Location: Alexandria, MN
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Re: "Build Your Own Diving Lung", Revisited in 2018 -2022

Tue Feb 13, 2024 12:03 pm

Eat Your Hearts Out...

- AntiqueDiver is taking me diving with an Oxygen Diluter conversion!
- That's right! I'm going on vacation the last week of February and I'll be driving right by AntiqueDiver's hometown. I told him I was coming and we've been texting back and forth and talking on the phone making our plans. What a thrill to dive an extremely rare piece of SCUBA history.
- Bill says that only he and his buddy Steve have dove with the diluters so I'll become a happy member of their exclusive club!
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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antique diver
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First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: "Build Your Own Diving Lung", Revisited in 2018 -2022

Tue Feb 13, 2024 2:30 pm

SurfLung wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2024 12:03 pm
Eat Your Hearts Out...

- AntiqueDiver is taking me diving with an Oxygen Diluter conversion!
- That's right! I'm going on vacation the last week of February and I'll be driving right by AntiqueDiver's hometown. I told him I was coming and we've been texting back and forth and talking on the phone making our plans. What a thrill to dive an extremely rare piece of SCUBA history.
- Bill says that only he and his buddy Steve have dove with the diluters so I'll become a happy member of their exclusive club!
Francie and I are looking forward to seeing you and Jill, and to your induction into the Bendix club.

Seawolf won't be diving this trip, but hopes to be there to meet you and give us ground support handling the equipment. The weather guesser's forecast for that day predicts 70-73 degrees, and we hope he's right! Water temp unknown, but probably around 50, hoping for 55.
The older I get the better I was.

swimjim
Master Diver
Posts: 1694
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:28 am
First Name: Jim
Location: Belgium WI

Re: "Build Your Own Diving Lung", Revisited in 2018 -2022

Tue Feb 13, 2024 3:06 pm

Take lots of pictures!!

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antique diver
Master Diver
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Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:50 pm
First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: "Build Your Own Diving Lung", Revisited in 2018 -2022

Fri Mar 01, 2024 12:11 pm

1956 photo by Bill Helmer in Perry Water Cave (Texas). From the terrific and factual publication by Carl E. Kunath, 50 YEARS of TEXAS CAVING.

Jamie Spence, wearing the blanket, described his rig: "... two bright yellow oxygen tanks plumbed up with a converted surplus U.S. Air Force oxygen demand regulator, two corrugated hoses and a rubber mouthpiece... An article in Popular Mechanics had guided me in the construction of this homemade diving rig. Air stations had not yet been invented, so we had to fill the tanks with welding oxygen".

He describes using it: "...pulling hard on my mouthpiece trying to persuade the makeshift breathing apparatus to deliver sufficient oxygen. Breathing hard from the exertion and the cold..."

Now doesn't that description just make you want to give it a try? :shock:
IMG_4892.jpg
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The older I get the better I was.

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antique diver
Master Diver
Posts: 2210
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:50 pm
First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: "Build Your Own Diving Lung", Revisited in 2018 -2022

Sat Mar 09, 2024 11:50 am

Earliest known use of Aviation Oxygen diluters for diving dates back to WW2 flyers based in the Pacific during 1942-1945.
First row, second from left, is one of the adventurous souls known to have done that. That's Scubalawyer's Father!
Image
The older I get the better I was.

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