SnarkIII
Lung Diver
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:23 pm
First Name: Skip
Location: Lawrence MA

Re: My first DH reg rebuild

Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:33 pm

For me it was very educational as this was my first reg overhaul. If I may offer a couple of tips, read the manuals (I found the Voit manual easier to understand than the U.S. Divers), if you're not sure ask questions here on the forums. There are many great people here who will answer your questions. Its easier to ask questions and do it right than it is to screw it up and try to figure out what you did wrong. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to parts. Rubber parts that are 50 - 60 years old, even if they work now may not work for long.

SpiroGent
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:39 am
First Name: John

Re: My first DH reg rebuild

Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:48 pm

Hi Guys,

I'm a novice, UK-based vintage double hose enthusiast. Having spent longer than is probably healthy reading all about the world of vintage diving equipment, I've ordered a DA Aquamaster, and am now excitedly awaiting its arrival from 'across the pond'. From everything I've read, this seems a good choice in terms of the time-tested robustness of the reg itself, and the availability of new parts. I'm looking to refurbish the reg myself as a project (partly to get to know the vintage technology better), and as I'd like to dive it, am keen to install a new Phoenix first and cyclone second stage.

To make this refurb work, I think that I need:
  • The Phoenix and HPR first and second stages
  • 6 times 3/8" port plugs
  • A new main silicone diaphragm
  • Duckbill eliminator
  • New wagon wheels + mushroom valves
  • New silicone hose
  • Potentially new mouthpiece (depending on condition of the DA AM I purchase)
  • Potentially some new nylon hose clamps
  • Band clamp ring (not strictly necessary but probably sensible)
Is this correct? This looks like it covers off all the items discussed above by Snarkill, but want to be comprehensive to save having to do lots of separate orders. I've also had a lengthy browse of Herman's tool catalogue - all very tempting, but is there anything people would advise on my getting in particular?

Any advice would be very gratefully received - am astonished at the range and depth of expertise exhibited on this forum! Many thanks.

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Vancetp
Master Diver
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:26 pm
First Name: Phillip
Location: Belmont CA

Re: My first DH reg rebuild

Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:58 pm

Even thought his is an old post, I'd like to add my 2 cents in case others tap into this thread.

Everything you ask depends on what it is you want to accomplish. I applaud you for wanting to rebuild the regulator yourself. As you know, there is an unlimited amount of experience available to you here for advice and suggestions. You will receive many varied and contradictory points of view, most likely.
You have to decide on what you are after in this experience. I am guessing you are leaning more toward modern diving with safe seconds, SPGs, BCD use, computers, etc. If that's the case, you can certainly go the HPR/Phoenix route. Nothing wrong with that. But, you might want to go somewhere in between, or go all out. There are many on this board who are minimalists and true vintage enthusiasts who safely dive double hose regulators with J valves and no flotation.
Personally, I dive mostly modern gear with a double hose regulator and steel 72. No computer, but a new 7mm semi-dry wetsuit. SPG, etc. I don't usually exceed 60-70 fow. I like my VDH backplate and bcd. I mostly, but less frequently these days, carry a safe second, and always dive a VDH DSV mouthpiece with long hoses. The DSV is great for the long surface swims I do at the Breakwater, Monterey.
My recommendation is to rebuild the regulator stock. This will give you the experience and the knowledge of the inner workings of this DA and many other regulators. Do it and take it to the pool. Even if your mouthpiece and hoses are not great, you'll be aight.

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Herman
VDH Moderator
Posts: 1282
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:45 pm
Location: Raleigh NC

Re: My first DH reg rebuild

Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:40 am

You will also need the HP diaphragms and washer and the body gasket. I suggest you download the schematic off the web site and compare the pats you are ordering to the soft parts of the reg, you will need all of them. I would suggest you go ahead and get a mouthpiece. Most are hard and even those that are not tend to taste bad, esp considering shipping across the pond.

In the way of tools, you have to have something to hold the body while removing/installing the ring. Many times the ring is corroded on so it takes some force. Same goes for the HP nozzle. There are work arounds but you can do damage if you are not careful. You will also need some way of testing the IP. If you get a Phoenix, you can use one of the LP ports, otherwise you will need a hookah port adapter. If you don't already have one, you will also need an IP gauges. You can buy these fairly inexpensively ($10 USD) or make your own . Then there is the HP assembly, reguardless if it's a Phoenix or the original nozzle. they are difficult to reassemble without the proper tools. It can be done but I recommend pets, children and all love ones be sent out the the room and large white sheets spread all around before you start. Foul language and hunting of flying parts is about to begin. :)

Good luck with your rebuild and by all means if you don't understand something, come here and ask. We have a lot of very experienced DH restorers and divers who are always happy to help you along.
Herman

SpiroGent
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:39 am
First Name: John

Re: My first DH reg rebuild

Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:26 pm

@Herman and @Vancetp thank you both for your sage advice - very much appreciated! Your thoughts on what I'm seeking to do with the reg have really had me thinking; I suppose in truth my VDH philosophy is that the regs were designed and manufactured to be dived, so it would feel odd having just on the shelf and not being used for its intended purpose. And with that in mind I can't overlook the clearly very carefully considered spares and adaptations with modern materials that Bryan and co. at VDH have developed. These seem to me to bring the Aquamaster up to date without too seriously compromising its look and feel. I also suspect that the ability to add safe seconds, SPG etc. are also likely to provide reassurance to nervous relatives, so the Phoenix offers a nice compromise.

On the tools, @Herman I was rather hoping you might reply - I'd noticed the rather neat looking array of tools you have available through the VDH site! I expect to get an email off to you soon. Incidentally (and just out of curiosity) surely there must have been a point where USD did offer factory training courses to prospective service technicians - do either of you know when this stopped?

Thank you both for your expert views on this - can't tell you how encouraging it is to have a forum with members so willing to impart their VDH wisdom.

On a last point, I'm thinking of getting my DAAM re-chromed in its nice original satin finish; as I strongly suspect my local chroming workshop won't be encountering vintage diving equipment on too frequent a basis, is there anything in particular I need to bear in mind when approaching them? Presumably the brass is fairly hardy, but I think I read on the forum (or possibly the CG-45 site) that the chroming took several discrete layers. Any thoughts welcome.

Thank you both again - I guess you guys must be readying yourselves for thanksgiving?

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Herman
VDH Moderator
Posts: 1282
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:45 pm
Location: Raleigh NC

Re: My first DH reg rebuild

Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:55 pm

I have no idea when or even if USD over offered factory training on DH regs. I have an old service manual written by the Scripts Institute for servicing early DA's. It's interesting to me since it has drawing and specs of tools necessary to service the reg.

I personally would not rechrome it unless you just have to have a shinny new reg, the old battle scars give it character :)
Chroming is an involved process. I am far from an expert ....wish Dave was around, he is a master at it....but as I understand it, to be done correctly, the brass has to be totally cleaned and polished, plated in copper, then nickel and finally chrome.

As a side note, take some time to research DH diving. While not difficult, they are different. Hose recovery, hose clearing and sharing air are unique to DHs. Then there is the choice of BC.....or no BC for that matter. While any DH will function with any BC, using the wrong BC with a DH will result in it not preforming well. Many of the claims of poor performance of DH regs is due to improper BC and diving technique rather than the reg itself
Herman

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ScubaLawyer
Master Diver
Posts: 1576
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:25 am
First Name: Mark
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Re: My first DH reg rebuild

Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:52 pm

SpiroGent wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:26 pm
On a last point, I'm thinking of getting my DAAM re-chromed...
I've had several DH regs re-chromed. They look real pretty but hardly ever (never?) is it needed for functionality. At least it gives me an excuse to show off. :) I just took my cans to a local mom and pop auto chrome shop. They knew zero about diving or regulators but did a great job. Bryan had the chrome done on my PRAM.

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"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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