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  1. #1
    TDF Member cprobertson1's Avatar
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    Equipment List/First Gear

    Good day everybody!

    I'm afraid it's time for everybody's favourite topic: "my first gear" - just need some feedback on my plans (as I'll need to purchase this in stages!) and, later, individual gear recommendations.

    I currently have:
    • Mask
    • Snorkel
    • Hood (5mm)
    • Gloves (5mm)
    • Drysuit


    --And can rent the following:
    • BC
    • Weight Belt (and weights)
    • Regs
    • 10L Cylinder


    --And finally the stuff I am getting to get me into open water in 2-3 weeks:
    • Knife
    • Undersuit
    • Fins




    So - my end-goal is for twin-12L cylinders with independent regs - is it a decent idea to start with a single 12L with octopus* and then add in the second 12L at a later date, getting a second first stage and moving the octopus' regulator across to it at that point in time?

    *Actually, I should probably factor get a 3L Pony bottle as well - the octopus isn't really an independant air source! I mean, I suppose you might argue that your buddy is your aux. air... but I'm pretty sure they advise against that these days?
    ::looks up Pony prices::
    ::sigh:: ::sad:: xD


    Finally, the most pressing question (for today at least!):
    Undersuit... I can see that Lomo do a 200gm undersuit for 25... is that enough for West-of-Scotland water? If not, how about a 300gm suit? In both cases I'll have a thinsulate baselayer as well (but that is literally just thermal underwear!)

    Thanks in anticipation!
    Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist,
    Me

  2. #2
    Sorry for being a dick jb2cool's Avatar
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    If you are currently learning to dive, how can you have already set your end goal of twin 12s? Is this because you have and existing group of friends that you want to dive with or have you just been reading up ahead of the game?

    A twinset can be made up on two independent cylinders or they can be manifolded together. Independants would be ok starting off with one cylinder and then adding a second later on but a manifolded twinset, not so much, it can be done but most of the time people buy them already manifolded and banded together.

    For undersuit I dive a 400gsm thinsulate pretty much year round, I do sometimes drop this to something more of the equivalent of 200gsm in the summer though.

    Yes, you can convert a set of regs for a single cylinder into twinset regs simply by adding another first stage, depending if you are looking at indepdant or manifolded twins will dictate whether this is a good approach or not.

    As for the pony, that's a whole conversation in itself, it works for some people, not for others. I've never owned one.

  3. #3
    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cprobertson1 View Post
    Good day everybody!

    I'm afraid it's time for everybody's favourite topic: "my first gear" - just need some feedback on my plans (as I'll need to purchase this in stages!) and, later, individual gear recommendations.

    I currently have:
    • Mask
    • Snorkel
    • Hood (5mm)
    • Gloves (5mm)
    • Drysuit


    --And can rent the following:
    • BC
    • Weight Belt (and weights)
    • Regs
    • 10L Cylinder


    --And finally the stuff I am getting to get me into open water in 2-3 weeks:
    • Knife
    • Undersuit
    • Fins




    So - my end-goal is for twin-12L cylinders with independent regs - is it a decent idea to start with a single 12L with octopus* and then add in the second 12L at a later date, getting a second first stage and moving the octopus' regulator across to it at that point in time?

    *Actually, I should probably factor get a 3L Pony bottle as well - the octopus isn't really an independant air source! I mean, I suppose you might argue that your buddy is your aux. air... but I'm pretty sure they advise against that these days?
    ::looks up Pony prices::
    ::sigh:: ::sad:: xD


    Finally, the most pressing question (for today at least!):
    Undersuit... I can see that Lomo do a 200gm undersuit for 25... is that enough for West-of-Scotland water? If not, how about a 300gm suit? In both cases I'll have a thinsulate baselayer as well (but that is literally just thermal underwear!)

    Thanks in anticipation!
    Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist,
    Me
    You missed off re-breather
    Paul.
    If God had meant us to breathe underwater, he would have given us larger bank balances.
    Human beings were invented by water as a means of moving itself from one place to another.

  4. #4
    TDF Member
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    Quite confident that the entertainment this thread is about to provide will see us through until Friday

  5. #5
    Established TDF Member Tel's Avatar
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    1. Don't rent a weightbelt get your own and make it part of section one.

    Good weighting is crucial to being a good diver and the only way to ensure that is to have your own belt.
    A cylinder won't change a great deal, but the makeup and operation of a belt can make what should be a
    good dive a really bad one. That could be just cause they move or the clip is rubbish. could also be say
    2x 3kg when 2x 2kg and 2x 1kg would sit better.

    Your belt, your options.

    2. Get small stuff that doesn't need servicing thinsulate, cutter, fins

    3. Get a Cheapo BC of ebay, good ones can be bought as low as 50, it's jjust a bag.

    4. Get regs ATX40 cheap on ebay with a service ticket, new if not

    5. Get cylinder again cheap on ebay in-test or new if not
    Last edited by Tel; 04-12-2018 at 04:44 PM.

  6. #6
    TDF Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWdiver View Post
    Quite confident that the entertainment this thread is about to provide will see us through until Friday

  7. #7
    TDF Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cprobertson1 View Post
    Good day everybody!

    I'm afraid it's time for everybody's favourite topic: "my first gear" - just need some feedback on my plans (as I'll need to purchase this in stages!) and, later, individual gear recommendations.

    I currently have:
    • Mask
    • Snorkel
    • Hood (5mm)
    • Gloves (5mm)
    • Drysuit


    --And can rent the following:
    • BC
    • Weight Belt (and weights)
    • Regs
    • 10L Cylinder


    --And finally the stuff I am getting to get me into open water in 2-3 weeks:
    • Knife
    • Undersuit
    • Fins




    So - my end-goal is for twin-12L cylinders with independent regs - is it a decent idea to start with a single 12L with octopus* and then add in the second 12L at a later date, getting a second first stage and moving the octopus' regulator across to it at that point in time?

    *Actually, I should probably factor get a 3L Pony bottle as well - the octopus isn't really an independant air source! I mean, I suppose you might argue that your buddy is your aux. air... but I'm pretty sure they advise against that these days?
    ::looks up Pony prices::
    ::sigh:: ::sad:: xD


    Finally, the most pressing question (for today at least!):
    Undersuit... I can see that Lomo do a 200gm undersuit for 25... is that enough for West-of-Scotland water? If not, how about a 300gm suit? In both cases I'll have a thinsulate baselayer as well (but that is literally just thermal underwear!)

    Thanks in anticipation!
    Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist,
    Me
    I guess the first thing you could do is sell the snorkel and there is the money for your knife, but I wouldn't buy a knife. IMHO trauma shears are a much better solution for the type of hazards you may come across in open water. Try cutting floating fishing line with a knife with one hand and you will see why...

    Thermal protection, everyone feels the cold differently so it's hard to answer although as a rule of thumb dress as you would if you were going outdoors in the temperature you are diving in then put drysuit over the top.

    That is a starting point, if you would go out in only a 200gsm thinsultate suit and be warm enough in 9 degrees or so (assuming sea at this time of year) you may be ok. I can't comment on the the individual suit you mentioned, but thinsultate manufacturer several different types of weave/material - if you are going down the route of a non diving specific undersuit I would have a look on their website and then compare the specs against what you are buying. I believe that type C thinsultate is effective in a damp environment - in that if you have a suit leak or flood it will retain some warmth. They also have a thermal guide which will tell you what temperatures the various weights are designed for. I don't use thinsultate, fourth element arctic, xerotherm, base layer although i do know many who use thinsultate successfully.

    Regulators, apex atx 40 or 'up' are great, loads on eBay and they are well made simple reliable etc, same with a ds4 or equivalent first stage. Those are all scaleable in terms of getting another set for twinset in the future. They are all cold water rated so suitable for UK sea, quarry or anything else.

    Pony... see the pony thread for both information and entertainment, but a pony can work as independent source in some situations. But it may be surplus to requirements if you get a twinset and the money would go along way to twinset from the beginning.

    BC again will be surplus if you go twinset but for now eBay, I would get a wing even with a single as they are just so much nicer to dive than stab vest not a lot in price and you can use with twinset in future, I have a single tank converter going cheap if you are interested...

  8. #8
    Established TDF Member
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    Look at the Apeks regs, specifically the DS4 1st stage (Dry Sealed with 4 ports) and their basic ATX40 second stages (main + octopus). You honestly don't need to be upsold the shiny more expensive stuff as there's no real benefit. The new price is almost the same as a second-hand set (lots of dealers online, try http://4thelement-diving.co.uk/). For gauges, just a normal large pressure gauge; don't get anything with depth, compass, etc.

    With the addition of one extra DS4 plus hoses, that will work on a twinset if/when you move that way. DS4's plus ATX's are reliable, work well in UK waters, and are used by very experienced divers, i.e. they're good.

    A second-hand 12 litre cylinder is good, just make sure it's in test and O2 clean. Circa 100.

    The expensive bit is the drysuit. This needs to 1) fit, 2) not leak. Second-hand bargains can be had, but must 1) fit, 2) not leak. You can get a new drysuit from about 500.

    Don't buy anything that's yellow. You'll look daft in it. Having said that, yellow kit is often cheaper...


    You'll need to get a few dives in first before looking at alternative gas supplies. Simply need to get your buoyancy, trim, finning sorted.

    Enjoy the diving.
    Last edited by Wibs; 04-12-2018 at 05:36 PM.

  9. #9
    Established TDF Member
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    I would have a good read of the GUE fundamentals book by Jarrod Jablonski, where he sets out the basic configuration, regardless of your view of GUE it will/should simplify matters by giving you an easily up graded package as you move through with the minimum of kit, and you should also avoid what most of us did which was buy and then sell stuff that became surplus as our diving progressed.

    The GUE OC format will get you in the water in a single rig and take you all the way to multiple stages and twins with a common base, that remains comfortable and familiar regardless of what you are diving.

  10. #10
    Like a real diver but smaller apparently purple vonny's Avatar
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    Seconded - Apeks DS4 and ATX 40. I buy new every 3 years and sell the old set of regs on Ebay. Cheaper overall than servicing and you know that you can breathe nicely underwater.
    I'm ancient and past it now but when I learned to dive 19 years ago, just about everyone on dive forums (fora?) said I had to have a twin set. I now dive regularly on a single 10l. 12 for more than 20metres and 15litre for up to 32metres which is as deep as I ever go in the UK.
    Don't pay tons of money for a massively expensive set up you can't use or can't lift or fit in your car.
    If you need a wing or BCD - Ebay or second hand is fine - they last for years. I've had 3 BCD's and one wing over the years, all second hand, all fine and none more than 80.

    You haven't mentioned a computer. I have 2 x Suunto Vyper. Easy to use, easy to read and you can change the battery at home. Usually cheap second hand. They are very conservative but hey, it's fine to be safe.

    ** This is advice from an old lady who is still alive after 10 years as an instructor and a few years of fun diving**** - I'm sure others on here will give better advice but you did ask.


 
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