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#211 - 02/15/01 04:04 PM spare air
amazingdiver Offline
just got here

Registered: 02/15/01
Posts: 1
Loc: wilson
im thinking about a couple of spare aurs they look like a good idea. do they work well are they reliable. is it worth getting one. can you take the tanks full on a plane

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#212 - 02/15/01 05:13 PM Re: spare air
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
They are a great idea. They are designed to get you to the surface and they do the job well. You cant take the spare air on the plane when its full. The nice thing about the spare air is you can re-fill it from your own tank.
quote:
Originally posted by amazingdiver:
im thinking about a couple of spare aurs they look like a good idea. do they work well are they reliable. is it worth getting one. can you take the tanks full on a plane

[This message has been edited by Rebecca (edited 02-15-2001).]


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#213 - 02/21/01 04:51 PM Re: spare air
ErieDiver Offline
avid diver

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 5
Loc: Sheffield Lake, OH, USA
I would agree that they do their job well.....from a relatively shallow depth. If you are doing any deep diving then you should get a pony bottle. You said you were going to get "a couple spare airs". SpareAir is around $300. For $600 you could get a great pony setup.

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#214 - 03/05/01 09:21 AM Re: spare air
SGHOWE Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 81
Loc: Ashton, Maryland, USA
Im personally not a fan of spare air systems. I prefer a pony bottle. While you may be able to fill spare airs from your tanks, you have to go get your main tanks filled anyway brining a 13 to 40 ft3 cylinder along isn't any inconvienence really. Also, having the other regulator around can be convienient in case of unforseen pre dive problems with your primary. Hope this was helpful and the final call is really a matter of you weighing the pro's and con's of all available options.

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#215 - 04/08/01 05:16 AM Re: spare air
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
I have heard from many divers with much more experience than I that a PONY is the way to go - SPARE AIR is not good for very deep dives - its ok for shallow reef dives, but thats about it - I know guys that had 6 cu in PONY bottles that after on OOA Emergency, they barely made it to the stop with their SAFETY STOP - and thats with a 6 cu in PONY vs a 3 cu in SPARE AIR! I heard one gentleman came in the dive shop the VERY next day after that and bought a 13 cu in PONY instead of using his 6 cu in PONY any longer. I am going to a 13 cu in myself! PS I agree - that since you are going to get your 80's filled, its not a big deal to get your PONY filled/checked at the same time - a $4 fill is sure 'cheap' insurance!

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#216 - 04/09/01 08:59 AM Re: spare air
nobends Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 76
Loc: NY,NY, USA
I tend to agree with the other posters on this question. While the spare air seems like a good idea, generally speaking if you have an OOA emergency, your redundant air supply should be as big as you can conviently carry. Nothing has given me more peace of mind while diving than having a pony bottle strapped to the side of my primary air supply. I am sure that my pony is bigger than I'll ever need. I purchased a 30ft bottle, a reliable regulator, and a mounting system for about $375. The mounting system for a 13ft bottle is the same as the 30ft. So, once I decided to strap on the extra tank, it made sense to me to get the larger bottle just in case.

Basically what I'm trying to say is.... I beleive EVERYONE should dive with a redunant air source. The Spare Air is a good option, but a pony bottle can do much more for basically the same price.


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#217 - 04/09/01 02:21 PM Re: spare air
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
Very good summary NoBends! I totally agree. For me I carry a Spare Air up to 80ft. After that, go with a pony bottle. I think its great that everyone dives with a safe second now, but I would still have something there for yourself just incase...

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#218 - 04/21/01 10:11 PM Re: spare air
Sergbustamante Offline
avid diver

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 5
Loc: Miami Beach, Fl USA
I agree with most of the people here. I think that the Spare Air is a great thing if you are doing shallow dives(above 60'). If you are going to do anything deeper than that I would suggest getting a pony bottle.

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#219 - 04/24/01 03:48 PM Re: spare air
traveler Offline
avid diver

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Highlands, NJ, USA
I'm going to buy a 19cf pony bottle sometime over the next few weeks for wreck diving here in Jersey. Many of the boats won't let you dive without one and anyway I'm a little uncomfortable without a redundant air supply. Posted a note here a while ago about the X-tra system and got no response. The system really intrigues me, but I'm concerned about one reference I've seen about the ability of the first stage to keep up at depth.

So. I'll ask once more: Has anyone out there actually used the Aquavit X-tra?


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#220 - 05/21/01 11:12 PM Re: spare air
SpawnFE Offline
avid diver

Registered: 05/21/01
Posts: 10
Loc: Crestview, Florida, USA
I agree the pony bottle is the way to go. I fly on USAF helicopters and carry the "spare air" military version (actually it is exactly the same except for color). Our life support troops hate working on them (although they aren't certified scuba repairmen). Generally we all agree the spare air will not provide us enough air in an emergency situation. You don't know how long you will be under for and of course you are breathing rapidly anyway if you go down in the water. Get a pony bottle and you won't have to worry about those problems.

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#221 - 05/22/01 01:03 AM Re: spare air
jmsdiver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
It depends on the kind of diving you are going to do. I personally have a 30 cf pony and a spare air. Most airlines won't let you take a tank with you without proving it is empty first, then they may charge a per diem for shipping it, and when you get to your destination you have to have it inspected by the shop filling it. Seems like a lot of hassle to me. As a Public Safety Diver, a pony is a must; as a wreck diver, a pony is a must; Ice diving, pony. You get the picture.

Nobends makes a great point: redundant is better by far. Again think of the type of diving you intend on using your spare air for. Then decide if it's right for you.


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#222 - 05/22/01 07:36 AM Re: spare air
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
[annoying whiney sarcastic voice on]

"But Mom! On TV, the Baywatch babes can rescue an entire submarine crew with just one Spare Air cylinder!!

[annoying voice off]

On a recent trip to Athens Scuba Park, some friends did an experiment with a spare air to see how long it would last. Both were accomplished divers and in good physical shape.

With a full Spare Air cylinder, they were able to get 30 breaths while kneeling on a submerged platform at 20 feet. Then after refilling, they were able to get less than that while swimming at a constant depth.

Their summary is that a Spare Air is best for getting you to the surface in an emergency but at risk of contrcating deco illness since you would be rushing your ascent and not taking a 3 minute safety stop. Spare Air's should never be thought of as a replacement for a "true" redudant air source (aka a pony bottle) that will help you get out of trouble at a deep depth and possible allow you a safety stop as well.

--TexasMike


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#223 - 01/03/08 10:25 PM Re: spare air [Re: SpawnFE]
Gerald Offline
new diver

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 2
I'm a rec. diver and dive with lots of different people on dive boats all over the globe. I've learned you can't trust a buddy to be there. Therefore you must have that redundant air supply. Spare Air is perfect for me. Easy to take on commercial flights. Easy to fill. When doing 3 or 4 dives a day, you are very seldom over 100 ft. and that's just on the first dive of the day. All my Spare Air has to do is get me to the surface "immediately". I've tried that and it does. By the way, Spare Air c/w refill yoke is now $193 US.

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#224 - 04/22/08 03:29 PM Re: spare air [Re: SpawnFE]
Hatteraskman Offline
new diver

Registered: 04/22/08
Posts: 2
Has anyone considered the difference in using Nitrox version of SpareAir [say 26-32% vs. standard air, and how that would lessen possibility of DCS on an emergency ascent, presuming the entire dive profile was based on use of a particular Nitrox mix. At least to 100' I would think that the 3 minute safety stop could be omitted or only partially satisfied if necessary, and if a hookah rig was deployed, even that would not be a problem. Over 100' the advantages of the pony bottle would be more significant. All this presumes also that only an OOA situation is going on, and no other problems. Any comments?

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#225 - 04/22/08 06:08 PM Re: spare air [Re: Hatteraskman]
BobG Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 424
Loc: Irvine, CA
In the event of an OOA ascent, I'm not sure the benefits of the enriched air would be such that you'd really gain much from it. The total time of your ascent would be minimal in comparrison to the amount of nitrogen absorbed into your system. This isn't to say it's not a good idea. After all, every little bit helps. But it isn't like you are breathing the gas for an extended period or even long enough to really give much benefit. The 40-60 breaths you breath using this on an ascent isn't going to change what is in your system already a significant amount.

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#226 - 04/24/08 10:47 PM Re: spare air [Re: BobG]
Hatteraskman Offline
new diver

Registered: 04/22/08
Posts: 2
That's kind of what I expected. Since I have never dived with standard air, even in early dive training, I always feel like I have an edge with Nitrox in avoiding DCS. It just seemed, in a low air or OOA situation, that ascending on a standard air mix, while preferable to none at all, would not be as beneficial as staying with the EAN mix already being used. I've come up to 45 ft with 200 psi of 36% while lobster diving, and had to surface without the safety stop. No particular adverse effects, but the spare air would have made it safer and easier to complete my dive. Since I'm not rated as a technical diver, and haven't dived much below 100 ft., lugging the extra weight and bulk of the pony bottle on regular OW dives just doesn't have the appeal to me, though I grant that more air is better in theory. But I agree with previous posters that relying on a stranger as a buddy is problematic, and some kind of redundant air is a good idea...

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