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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

60th Year Anniversary - Restoration of a Deluxe Aqua-Matic

Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:22 pm

AquaLung's first single hose regulator appeared in 1957 as a very simple and inexpensive alternative to the double hose. Competitors had already offered other single hose options earlier in the 50's.

The Deluxe Aqua-Matic was first offered 60 years ago in 1959 as a unique sister product to the previously introduced Aqua-Matic, utilizing most of the same parts.... plus a built-in snorkel. A cartridge valve built into the rubber outer housing allowed the diver to choose air from the snorkel to save tank air while cruising to the dive site or watching for the proper fish to appear below. A half-turn of the valve switched to compressed air. For more details check out the 1957 and 59 USD catalog collection on this website.

My Deluxe was acquired about 10 or 12 years ago:
Aquamatic DLX.JPG
Cosmetically very nice, but like every one of my 4 standard Aqua-Matics (and probably every other one still around) it was rendered unusable by a deteriorated 2nd stage diaphragm. They were thin and delicate, and I had never seen an original one that was still functional, so I set about to build a mold and make some out of latex. I was determined to have functional Aqua-Matics.

Photos and additional details to follow soon. Meanwhile, if anyone has one that is still functional with the original diaphragm I would like to hear about it.
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The older I get the better I was.

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ScubaLawyer
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Re: 60th Year Anniversary - Restoration of a Deluxe Aqua-Matic

Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:08 pm

very cool Bill. I'd love to get my original AquaMatic working but, alas, those 2nd stage diaphragms are hard to come by. M
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

swimjim
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Re: 60th Year Anniversary - Restoration of a Deluxe Aqua-Matic

Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:14 pm

Mine is still going Bill. I dive it once or twice a year. It's a neat little reg! :D

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antique diver
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Re: 60th Year Anniversary - Restoration of a Deluxe Aqua-Matic

Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:30 pm

ScubaLawyer wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:08 pm
very cool Bill. I'd love to get my original AquaMatic working but, alas, those 2nd stage diaphragms are hard to come by. M
Mark, stay tuned and you will see what a pain it is to fabricate a working diaphragm! I estimate that there are Zero actual usable originals available. :(
The older I get the better I was.

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antique diver
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Re: 60th Year Anniversary - Restoration of a Deluxe Aqua-Matic

Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:42 pm

swimjim wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:14 pm
Mine is still going Bill. I dive it once or twice a year. It's a neat little reg! :D
Swimjim, I am glad to hear that your reg is still working several years after I made an unusual adaptation to make it functional. As you say, they are neat little regs, and fun to dive with. About as basic as you can get and still breathe underwater.

I will soon be posting more details of the process that was used to make your Aqua-Matic (and mine) usable. Meanwhile here's a look inside the standard model.
AM.jpg
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The older I get the better I was.

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SurfLung
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Re: 60th Year Anniversary - Restoration of a Deluxe Aqua-Matic

Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:51 am

Man, that regulator looks like new. Very nice. The first stage is identical to the original first stage on my Voit 40 Fathom. When I was about 6 years old, my Dad would let me dive next to the dock with his full sized 72 and that first stage would bang into the back of my head all the time. I developed a hatred for it! So, I took it off my restored 40 Fathom and put one of the larger style diaphragm first stages on. More of a revenge thing at this point. :)
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
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Re: 60th Year Anniversary - Restoration of a Deluxe Aqua-Matic

Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:53 pm

SurfLung wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:51 am
Man, that regulator looks like new. Very nice. The first stage is identical to the original first stage on my Voit 40 Fathom. When I was about 6 years old, my Dad would let me dive next to the dock with his full sized 72 and that first stage would bang into the back of my head all the time. I developed a hatred for it! So, I took it off my restored 40 Fathom and put one of the larger style diaphragm first stages on. More of a revenge thing at this point. :)
The original version of the first stage was about 7/8" shorter since it did not have the section with the HP port. I prefer the shorter version too.

I was lucky to find the Deluxe in such good condition. I have only seen this one in person, but have maybe 4 of the standard model. Only made diaphragms and rebuilt the Deluxe and one of my Standards. May make another one up some day since I have so many parts.

I'll put up some photos of diaphragms some day soon along with more info on the rebuilding... I hope.
The older I get the better I was.

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ScubaLawyer
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Re: 60th Year Anniversary - Restoration of a Deluxe Aqua-Matic

Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:22 pm

Bill, I eagerly await with neoprene breath your solution to the diaphragm issue. My AquaMatic wants to go diving again!
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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antique diver
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Re: 60th Year Anniversary - Restoration of a Deluxe Aqua-Matic

Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:12 pm

ScubaLawyer wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:22 pm
Bill, I eagerly await with neoprene breath your solution to the diaphragm issue. My AquaMatic wants to go diving again!
"Neoprene breath"... that's funny. My first ones about 8 or10 years ago were made from latex, and later versions from Silicone. So I guess "Silicone Breath" is more appropriate now. You can check with Swimjim on the accuracy of that.
The older I get the better I was.

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