Bill Tucker

An opportunity to get to know our NAVED members. Divers change every two weeks on Sunday.

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USdiver
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Re: Bill Tucker

Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:06 pm

Great writeup. I could feel the excitement through your words as you described your first and favorite dives. 55 years and the world has changed much, but don a mask and scuba and you are back in the age of pre-history, exploring an underwater scene few of the earth's population will ever experience.
Too DAAM Many double hoses, It's not a hobby, it's an addiction.

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Ron
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Re: Bill Tucker

Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:40 pm

That was awesome, and very well written. Bill, can you post more pictures from the early days if you have them? I think we are all ears, so to speak!

BTW, a quick story about the kind of guy Bill is:

-When I was still in grad school, I really wanted a high pressure transfill whip so that I could top off vintage tanks. I had close to zero money, as grad school ain't cheap and veteran's benefits are "just enough". Bill constructed and mailed me some sort of crazy, 7,500 PSI fully braided stainless steel, double DIN AND Yoke whip with a 5,000 PSI gauge and bleeder built into it. He sent it to me with some other stuff, and I think he maybe asked for twenty some dollars for it. It looks like something that came off of a F-117. I'd still be diving 2250 PSI tanks if it wasn't for him. He probably gave hundreds of minutes of extra bottom time. That's the kind of guy that BT is.
The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. -JYC

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antique diver
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Re: Bill Tucker

Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:52 pm

Thank you Ron, you have also helped me out at times sending me special stuff, and I know that you have helped out others too. It's much appreciated... and I'll post more old pictures just for you!

Also, thanks to all of you who have posted responses. It's a pleasure communicating with you on the forum, and I look forward to the time I can meet some of you on a dive. Maybe in June in PCB!

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antique diver
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Re: Bill Tucker

Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:36 pm

.
No, this is not a double hose regulator,


Image

...but it stands in our den as a valued part of our collection.

This fine 1944 MK V spent many years standing in one of the pioneer dive shops in our area, Dallas Mayer Co.(later known as The Dive Shop), where I was certified in 1965. The rig was given to us by the family of our friend and local diving pioneer, Quenton Becket, after his death and the closure of his shop, in accordance with his wishes. Francie and I treasure this piece of history and kept it when we sold our shop.

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Ron
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Re: Bill Tucker

Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:17 pm

A real Mark V! That's...priceless. Holy cow. I always wanted to try old standard diver's dress.
The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. -JYC

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antique diver
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Re: Bill Tucker

Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:00 am

slonda828 wrote:A real Mark V! That's...priceless. Holy cow. I always wanted to try old standard diver's dress.


I have not had the opportunity either, but I saw this place last time I was in Key Largo, right by Ocean Divers. Two people can dive for $300. If you had been there too we probably would have gone diving in a Mark V. You might want to check this out:

http://diveamarkv.com/1.html

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JES
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Re: Bill Tucker

Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:36 pm

Bill,

Wow! What an excellent write-up. Thank you for sharing a little bit about your life with us. 8)
NAVED Master Diver #108
'Anima Sana In Corpore Sano’

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antique diver
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Re: Bill Tucker

Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:33 pm

Late 40's to early 50's:

Francie is holding a couple of my favorites,

Image

The Aqua-Lung SPACO (1948-1949) appears to have been the first Aqua-Lungs to have been made specifically to sell in the US. The horns are 3/4” so I have added a couple of bands of bicycle inner tubes to make 1” hoses fit. Odd that they were sold out of Vermont! The Red Broxton is identical inside, and probably dates from 1951-52. These are my two oldest regs, and it's a blast to dive with them. I had these for many years before I discovered their historical significance.

Image
This Siebe Gorman (EssGee Mark I, I think) must be from the early 50's, and is nearly identical inside but has an adjustable IP. It was once owned by Texas diving icon, our friend Tom Davis, the late owner of Scuba Point on Possum Kingdom Lake. It was a gift to us from Tom's Daughter, Ann.


Single hose from 1954:

Image

Scott Aviation briefly made diving equipment from 1954 to maybe 56. This was a deluxe breathing machine, worn valve-down. The first stage may have been the first single hose with a constant reserve, which was easily accessed by reaching down and turning the knob. The pack had a cam-action band. The second stage is all Stainless Steel with a tilt-valve demand valve, and what may have been the first purge button, that they called a “water ejector”. It even has a pressure balanced exhaust valve to prevent free-flows... note the little hose leading from the second stage, under the faceplate and over to the exhaust. It is a pleasure to dive with. Thanks to Simonbeans for coming up with this beauty.


My little repair shop,

Image

with a test stand that I built in the 70's, mostly from instruments and parts that I found at the LTV Aerospace Surplus Store. Saved a small fortune over the commercially available units. (new Magnahelic still in the box for only $5, etc.)

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Bryan
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Re: Bill Tucker

Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:50 pm

THANK YOU for finally posting the SPACO.. I hope you don't get too many PM's and E-mails about it. I was wondering if you were going to keep it to yourself or share it with the group.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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antique diver
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Re: Bill Tucker

Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:37 pm

Bryan wrote:THANK YOU for finally posting the SPACO.. I hope you don't get too many PM's and E-mails about it. I was wondering if you were going to keep it to yourself or share it with the group.


You're welcome, I just didn't want to show the best right off the bat. Here is a look inside:
Image
The mouthpiece is not original Spaco, but since I didn't have the original I thought this one from an Over Pressure looked pretty good on it.

Compare to the later Siebe Gorman:
Image
The threads on the horns were likely filed down to accept a regular 1" hose end.

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Re: Bill Tucker

Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:31 am

Looks like a DivAir Model B on the repair bench. One of my all time favorites!

Jim

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antique diver
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Re: Bill Tucker

Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:01 am

swimjim wrote:Looks like a DivAir Model B on the repair bench. One of my all time favorites!

Jim


Good eye, Swimjim. It was acquired in a previously mentioned box of junk, and I will probably be needing a few parts... especially a diaphragm. If you have a good photo of one in place with the cover off I might attempt making one, unless they are available.

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simonbeans
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Re: Bill Tucker

Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:46 am

Single hose from 1954:
Image

Scott Aviation briefly made diving equipment from 1954 to maybe 56. This was a deluxe breathing machine, worn valve-down. The first stage may have been the first single hose with a constant reserve, which was easily accessed by reaching down and turning the knob. The pack had a cam-action band. The second stage is all Stainless Steel with a tilt-valve demand valve, and what may have been the first purge button, that they called a “water ejector”. It even has a pressure balanced exhaust valve to prevent free-flows... note the little hose leading from the second stage, under the faceplate and over to the exhaust. It is a pleasure to dive with. Thanks to Simonbeans for coming up with this beauty.

Sometimes I wish I kept this set. But it has a good home with Bill. It did dive fine.

Image


Appolgizes for the crappy photo. Sea and Sea of a friend. Yuck
Check out my website: www.vintagescubastuff.com

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ivan's mermaid
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Re: Bill Tucker

Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:50 am

I think it was so special that you could share all of those experiences with your loved ones. Thank you for sharing them with us.
Image

swimjim
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Re: Bill Tucker

Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:31 am

antique diver wrote:
swimjim wrote:Looks like a DivAir Model B on the repair bench. One of my all time favorites!

Jim


Good eye, Swimjim. It was acquired in a previously mentioned box of junk, and I will probably be needing a few parts... especially a diaphragm. If you have a good photo of one in place with the cover off I might attempt making one, unless they are available.


I'll have a photo of one posted before the day is done! :wink:

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