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View Full Version : VR Sentinel, as bad as they are made out to be?



Doomanic
26-04-2015, 07:25 AM
Are Sent-to-hells really as bad as some folks make them out to be?
What are your experiences, both as users and buddies?

Paulo
26-04-2015, 07:34 AM
The most honest opinion I ever got from a sentinel owner was that he absolutely loves his unit but that he would under no circumstance recommend it to anyone else.

That pretty much said all I needed to know and ruled one off of the list.

matt
26-04-2015, 07:35 AM
If you have to ask then you know the answer already!

I've not had one, and won't have one, at any price. I'd rather have an iCCR.

Matt.

Hot Totty
26-04-2015, 07:39 AM
If I was going ccr again I would get a VMS sentinel no question :)

timmyg
26-04-2015, 07:49 AM
I would seriously consider one now with the support from VMS. There's a lot of cheap S/H bargains out there at the minute


TG

Sent from my iPhone using Timmytalk (hopefully)

nigel hewitt
26-04-2015, 07:50 AM
If anybody wants an older Sentinel in need of some attention I have one here.
It has lots of extras, spares and bolt-ons but I confess a few small bits missing (like the pocket).
It did what it did quite well but it didn't suit me.

If somebody is interested I'll write it up so there is a full detailed list of what is there.

Major Clanger
26-04-2015, 08:19 AM
One of the guys on my mod1 was learning on one. At times it drew blood and other times much cursing. Not one for the impatient and heavy handed.







Sent from my ivory tower using Tapatalk

JPTaylor
26-04-2015, 08:29 AM
Are Sent-to-hells really as bad as some folks make them out to be?
What are your experiences, both as users and buddies?

My CCR ownership: Inspo Classic -> Inspo Vision -> Sentinel -> Inspo Vision

My issues with the Sentinel:

Too big/heavy but needs a lot of lead to sink & trims badly
Scrubber doesn't eject as it should as it gets used more (most instructors trade theirs in before this occurs)
Base becomes very difficult to remove (needs a lump hammer), again due to wear (top OK as not removed often)
Problems with HP/depth sensors, causing missed dives or diving without HP sensors
Flooding issues & sofnolime mouth wash
Felt the single 4.5L counterlung too small for me
Feels that the Inspo breaths better



I had the origional version, so didn't use the CO2 sensor or the IR transmitters.

Doomanic
26-04-2015, 09:02 AM
If you have to ask then you know the answer already!

I've not had one, and won't have one, at any price. I'd rather have an iCCR.

Matt.

The Classic is called the YBOD, still get loads diving them though.

The problem with bad reputations is that they are very easy to get and very difficult to lose.

Doomanic
26-04-2015, 09:04 AM
Not one for the impatient and heavy handed.
Do you mean me? :D

I'm not sure any bereaver is suitable for the impatient.

JPTaylor
26-04-2015, 09:10 AM
The Classic is called the YBOD, still get loads diving them though.


I've owned/dived a Classic/YBOD, a good unit in its day be I wouldn't recommend that folks dive it now, spend the extra & get a Vision... it's a much safer unit to dive.

The Sentinel was designed to engineer out the incidents that occured on the Classic (in the main).

Hot Totty
26-04-2015, 09:42 AM
My CCR ownership: Inspo Classic -> Inspo Vision -> Sentinel -> Inspo Vision

My issues with the Sentinel:

Too big/heavy but needs a lot of lead to sink & trims badly
Scrubber doesn't eject as it should as it gets used more (most instructors trade theirs in before this occurs)
Base becomes very difficult to remove (needs a lump hammer), again due to wear (top OK as not removed often)
Problems with HP/depth sensors, causing missed dives or diving without HP sensors
Flooding issues & sofnolime mouth wash
Felt the single 4.5L counterlung too small for me
Feels that the Inspo breaths better



I had the origional version, so didn't use the CO2 sensor or the IR transmitters.

4kg didn't seem a lot of lead to me, trimmed beautifully (for me)
Scrubber can always came out nicely.
Hp sensors (heavy duty originals) were reliable on mine, the opticon/wireless had a flaky reputation. The new digital wired hp's seem solid.
Flooding issues? Never had on
Counter lung size - ok for me
Wob - seems easy to me.

The only bit that I found a nightmare was the head o'ring if I needed to swap a cell - fecking thing caused lots of swearing, I understand VMS have remodelled the whole head and engineered out the agro.

nigel hewitt
26-04-2015, 10:08 AM
The Classic is called the YBOD, still get loads diving them though.
Some of us wear the YBOD label with pride.
I got mine in 2001.
That was a MkII Classic with clips on the case not scrubber bolts so I'm not really hard core.

Jackdiver
26-04-2015, 10:29 AM
I did Mod 1 on mine in 2009. It's been faultless ever since.
Easy to use, easy to maintain. Trims out great with minimal lead.
I think that a lot of the bad press on the forums comes from a few vocal people who dislike VR and Kevin Gurr.
VR are no longer involved, and VMS are doing a great job.
Yes, some users have had issues, but the same could be said of other rebreather models.

matt
26-04-2015, 10:35 AM
Yes, some users have had issues, but the same could be said of other rebreather models.

I've dived a couple of times with people with them and each time they have missed dives. Perhaps they were incompetent to start with?

Continuously having to pre-breath the unit to keep it on seems pointless.

Looks like a fridge.

YMMV.

Matt.

JPTaylor
26-04-2015, 10:43 AM
I think that a lot of the bad press on the forums comes from a few vocal people who dislike VR and Kevin Gurr.
Really?


Yes, some users have had issues, but the same could be said of other rebreather models.
True, I've had issues with Inspo's but they are easier to deal with & work around. If you've only dived/owned a single unit, it's hard to make a realistic comparision. Try dives don't count, you have to own/dive a unit for at least one year to really get to know them, between me & my buddy we have owned/dived 5 different units.

I was in a quarry trecently & watched as some divers doing their Posiedon Mk6 training had to bin a dive due to pre-dive checks saying NO DIVE! So other units have problems.

For UK diving today, I'd recommend either an Inspo or a JJ & I think this is reflected in the 2nd price of other units.

Doomanic
26-04-2015, 11:17 AM
I've got two occasional buddies with Inspos, one classic (never actually managed a full dive with him), one vision (only managed 1 dive with him and he seemed to think it was normal...).

I appreciate that any rebreather is a complex and fickle beast, I'm just trying to get a little knowledge in a lesser known/liked unit.

nigel hewitt
26-04-2015, 11:21 AM
I've dived a couple of times with people with them and each time they have missed dives. Perhaps they were incompetent to start with?
That was going to be my excuse but it was problem after problem.

Continuously having to pre-breathe the unit to keep it on seems pointless.
And occasionally, in the cold, the pre-breathe never ends and you just have to quit out, press the "yes I know I'm going to die" button and go dive.

I have a lovely BMCL Inspo now, with all the goodies.
Well the Inspo is sitting in the bath waiting for a clean before it goes to Orkney next weekend.
I only popped down here for a squirt bottle of Trigene but TDF distracted me.

Seriously though...
Is my old Sentinel now supported and of use to somebody as a cheap unit that needs a full overhaul?
I haven't been keeping up with what happened after VR stepped out of the game.
It annoys me to have it just sitting here but I'm never going to dive it again so I wouldn't want much I just don't want to have to refurb it myself.

Major Clanger
26-04-2015, 11:56 AM
Do you mean me? :D

I'm not sure any bereaver is suitable for the impatient.

Nah but some rb's are easier to assemble and less prone to "issues" than others







Sent from my ivory tower using Tapatalk

Hot Totty
26-04-2015, 11:58 AM
That was going to be my excuse but it was problem after problem.

And occasionally, in the cold, the pre-breathe never ends and you just have to quit out, press the "yes I know I'm going to die" button and go dive.

I have a lovely BMCL Inspo now, with all the goodies.
Well the Inspo is sitting in the bath waiting for a clean before it goes to Orkney next weekend.
I only popped down here for a squirt bottle of Trigene but TDF distracted me.

Seriously though...
Is my old Sentinel now supported and of use to somebody as a cheap unit that needs a full overhaul?
I haven't been keeping up with what happened after VR stepped out of the game.
It annoys me to have it just sitting here but I'm never going to dive it again so I wouldn't want much I just don't want to have to refurb it myself.

Yes and no, VMS are offering support but the older ones are all analogue so to get all of the new stuff you are looking at a good wedge to upgrade. They do have I believe a limited level of older spares to keep folks diving. Does that answer the q?

gobfish1
26-04-2015, 12:03 PM
Yay
I did Mod 1 on mine in 2009. It's been faultless ever since.
Easy to use, easy to maintain. Trims out great with minimal lead.
I think that a lot of the bad press on the forums comes from a few vocal people who dislike VR and Kevin Gurr.
VR are no longer involved, and VMS are doing a great job.
Yes, some users have had issues, but the same could be said of other rebreather models.

VR no longer involved with VMS lol same lot pissing in the same pot ,

nigel hewitt
26-04-2015, 12:04 PM
Some inquiries... so I took some pictures and tried to confess to the faults I know about.
I found it over engineered and I had problems opening the scrubber if I left it too long.
I'm quite happy to sell it at a 'kit of parts' price and I've really no idea what it is worth.

http://www.nigelhewitt.co.uk/diving/sentinel/index.html

matt
26-04-2015, 01:08 PM
I've got two occasional buddies with Inspos, one classic (never actually managed a full dive with him), one vision (only managed 1 dive with him and he seemed to think it was normal...).

I appreciate that any rebreather is a complex and fickle beast, I'm just trying to get a little knowledge in a lesser known/liked unit.

Perhaps they are incompetent? For me, Classic 2002-2011 and Vision since. 1000+ hours. No missed dives.

Plenty of issues, but nothing that could not be easily fixed/worked around.

YMMV.

Matt.

gobfish1
26-04-2015, 01:22 PM
Perhaps they are incompetent? For me, Classic 2002-2011 and Vision since. 1000+ hours. No missed dives.

Plenty of issues, but nothing that could not be easily fixed/worked around.

YMMV.


Matt.
Iv only about half the time you have Matt , but have to say my old ybod has worked as it should never missed a dive or had a problem with , it all ways works v worring sometimes , it keeps set point and keeps the water out , I don't fook about with it to much , bar a good clean and give the regs a looking at , may not be what some divers want , but I'm more than happy with the thing , I'd rather mod a old one to my liking than buy new ,

JPTaylor
26-04-2015, 01:25 PM
Perhaps they are incompetent? For me, Classic 2002-2011 and Vision since. 1000+ hours. No missed dives.

Plenty of issues, but nothing that could not be easily fixed/worked around.


For me Classic for 2005/07, then Visions apart from a couple of years on a Sentinel. Missed a weeks diving (Main Head) when a fault developed on the Vision handset causing the two controllers to argue about who'd be in charge. Handset locked up, didn't even get to the banner screen, needed to go back to the factory for repairs. Apart from that no missed dives, although experienced dodge AP cells before switching to Narked@90 cells.

Sentinel, flooding through OPV on base, HP sensors causing false alarms (did a weeks diving with them turned off), faulty depth sesnsor turning unit on & getting into an undiveable state.

Another downside of the Sentinel is the VR deco algorithm, in the end I ignored it & followed my X1.

dwhitlow
26-04-2015, 02:07 PM
I've got two occasional buddies with Inspos, one classic (never actually managed a full dive with him), one vision (only managed 1 dive with him and he seemed to think it was normal...).

I appreciate that any rebreather is a complex and fickle beast, I'm just trying to get a little knowledge in a lesser known/liked unit.

That is not normal and is a reflection on the user rather than the unit.

I have missed very few dives due to my Vision and whilst people joke about the Sentinel my experience has been their owners just dive them and they mostly work. Putting aside previous cell issues that is generally the case for most properly maintained rebreathers these days.

Also, rebreathers are not complex as they are merely a loop of gas you breathe that passes through a tub of lime that removes the co2 with oxygen sensors to report the ppo2 and a means of injecting oxygen to maintain the ppo2. The big issue with them, unlike open circuit, is there may be no glaringly obvious warning you are going to die soon and that is why paranoia is a necessary mindset for the ccr diver.

matt
26-04-2015, 02:14 PM
That is not normal and is a reflection on the user rather than the unit.

I have missed very few dives due to my Vision and whilst people joke about the Sentinel my experience has been their owners just dive them and they mostly work. Putting aside previous cell issues that is generally the case for most properly maintained rebreathers these days.

Also, rebreathers are not complex as they are merely a loop of gas you breathe that passes through a tub of lime that removes the co2 with oxygen sensors to report the ppo2 and a means of injecting oxygen to maintain the ppo2. The big issue with them, unlike open circuit, is there may be no glaringly obvious physiological warning you are going to die soon and that is why paranoia is a necessary mindset for the ccr diver.

Did you mean what I put?

flyingfisheye
26-04-2015, 03:25 PM
I had an inspo and liked it, changed to a sentinel and like that too, there nothing wrong with them, great WOB. lots of great features, the off board being one of them. Now that VMS looking after them, I can see some bargains to be had.

Ihsaan
26-04-2015, 08:00 PM
On a ccr liveaboard trip in Egypt in Nov 2013, the sentinel divers seemed to spend their whole evenings on the dive deck fixing their units. One guy's unit didn't work all week so he had to borrow a twinset. I was buddied with a sentinel diver and he had to bail out quite a few times due to various issues and alarms. As said already, YMMV but these things stick in the memory.

BARDO
27-04-2015, 09:55 PM
Yay

VR no longer involved with VMS lol same lot pissing in the same pot ,Keh? Do explain...

gobfish1
28-04-2015, 12:06 PM
Keh? Do explain...
No
But I'll give you a hint

Iantd uk ltd , Storm trooper unit . Vobster Quay .
maybe a change of names but it's still all the same old guru,s running the show ,

It's really convenient how something,s just fall in to place , maybe some guru,s are just lucky,
Lol I think not ,



You still taking photos for them ,:grin:

Hot Totty
28-04-2015, 02:05 PM
No
But I'll give you a hint

Iantd uk ltd , Storm trooper unit . Vobster Quay .
maybe a change of names but it's still all the same old guru,s running the show ,

It's really convenient how something,s just fall in to place , maybe some guru,s are just lucky,
Lol I think not ,



You still taking photos for them ,:grin:

Such a shame that you don't appear to have had a look what Martin has done with the sentinel, there have been some very cute improvements. But then it's so much simpler to snipe from the sidelines from a position of ignorance isn't it ;)

gobfish1
28-04-2015, 02:36 PM
Such a shame that you don't appear to have had a look what Martin has done with the sentinel, there have been some very cute improvements. But then it's so much simpler to snipe from the sidelines from a position of ignorance isn't it ;)


Snipe from the sidelines from a position Ignorance lol yes Thats me all right



Yes I'm sure Martin is a long time ccr guru well done To him , when you say improvements you mean they got rid of the shit that didn't work , at the cost to the punter , but hay that's beter than putting thing,s right for fook all ,

Martin my arse , what,s martins back ground again Designing rebreather lol
It's the same bunch of C&nts just moving the Liability,
Sorry but that's what I see ,

Paul Evans
28-04-2015, 02:52 PM
Yes I'm sure Martin is a long time ccr guru well done To him , when you say improvements you mean they got rid of the shit that didn't work , at the cost to the punter , but hay that's beter than putting thing,s right for fook all ,

Martin my arse , what martins back ground again
It's the same bunch of C&nts just moving the Liability,
Sorry but that's what I see ,

You been sniffing round Companies House again you old rascal :mm:

gobfish1
28-04-2015, 02:58 PM
You been sniffing round Companies House again you old rascal :mm:

Not of late , last time I did that was whan iantd put the boot in for the no teaching on none ce units ,
Iv a nice letter that Martin sent out to all iantd instructors , Lol can't post it as I was asked not to by the guy that sent me a copy

Worked in nice once again as snakeman had just got all his ce cards for his units , some lucky fooker,s in the world , thing all ways fall in to place ,

Capt Morgan
28-04-2015, 04:07 PM
Snipe from the sidelines from a position Ignorance lol yes Thats me all right



Yes I'm sure Martin is a long time ccr guru well done To him , when you say improvements you mean they got rid of the shit that didn't work , at the cost to the punter , but hay that's beter than putting thing,s right for fook all ,

Martin my arse , what,s martins back ground again Designing rebreather lol
It's the same bunch of C&nts just moving the Liability,
Sorry but that's what I see ,

Very nicely sugar coated, that was :giggle:

AndrewR
29-04-2015, 08:13 AM
Based on my experience a Sentinel is like owning a high performance car. You need either service level knowledge or easy access to someone who does. Fault finding needs lots of space and lots of time. With the build quality of VR this was a regular occurrence. Its also an absolute pig to travel with, as yet again without the service level knowledge to basically strip it to component parts getting it below 30KG is not easy and sub 23KG impossible.

It might be that VMS have improved the situation with regards quality but its size and weight are still massive issues. Also who the hell designs a unit that doesn't stand upright.

When it works its a good unit and it certainly trims out better than the JJ which I currently dive, but there are too many negatives

nigel hewitt
29-04-2015, 08:28 AM
Based on my experience a Sentinel is like owning a high performance car. You need either service level knowledge or easy access to someone who does. Fault finding needs lots of space and lots of time. With the build quality of VR this was a regular occurrence.
I begin to suspect that my conscience will be happier if I just strip mine for useful interesting parts rather than sell it.
When I sold parts and later the whole thing from my first inspo I heard happy tales about how they were still diving for years.
Selling the Sentinel would probably make me nervous to read the obituaries in the paper.

Doomanic
29-04-2015, 10:01 AM
Would you feel less guilt if you gave it away? :D

JPTaylor
29-04-2015, 10:26 AM
Are Sent-to-hells really as bad as some folks make them out to be?
What are your experiences, both as users and buddies?

So why did you post the question? Are you considering buying a 2nd unit?

We've given you our two peneth, so what's your conclusion ?

Doomanic
29-04-2015, 11:20 AM
I am looking for a rebreather and having seen the prices these things go for now I wanted to learn a bit more about them.
There's not a lot of love for them, that's for sure.

AndrewR
29-04-2015, 12:02 PM
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20027935/Sentinel%20Beer.jpg https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20027935/Sentinel%20checks.png

Hot Totty
29-04-2015, 03:15 PM
I begin to suspect that my conscience will be happier if I just strip mine for useful interesting parts rather than sell it.
When I sold parts and later the whole thing from my first inspo I heard happy tales about how they were still diving for years.
Selling the Sentinel would probably make me nervous to read the obituaries in the paper.

VMS might make you an offer if you approach them, they'll probably strip it up date it and sell it on with all the latest stuff keeping the parts pertaining to the older analogue units to keep folks still diving them going. - worth a punt :)

Hot Totty
29-04-2015, 03:19 PM
I am looking for a rebreather and having seen the prices these things go for now I wanted to learn a bit more about them.
There's not a lot of love for them, that's for sure.

Depends on your experience with them, I had a fairly good one but then mine mostly worked. Some folks had ones that seemed to be in and out of vr with regularity, whether this is a reflection on the diver or the unit I don't know - certainly I don't get many failures/free flows etc etc with oc kit but I know plenty that do ;)