If you’re a technical diver that uses nitrox and trimix mixtures, you may want to check out Czech company DiveSoft’s new SOLO helium analyzer.
DiveSoft co-founder Ales Prochaska developed a prototype of the SOLO eight years ago and sold the first 10 hand-made models to his friends and acquaintances during a single dive weekend.
Lucie Smejkalova, his wife and co-founder, sensed the business potential and founded Divesoft — a company that was initially meant to be a single-employee hobby and today has over 30 people.
The SOLO analyzer is manufactured from a durable, injection molded plastic, that is light, whilst remaining extremely tough and resilient. It measures oxygen helium concentrations in diving breathing gasses and works on the principle of measuring the speed of sound, and as a result, it isn’t necessary to ever replace the helium sensor.
“The new product is developed according to the wishes and needs of our divers who have been using our previous analyzer. The new one is compact, light, conveniently-sized and is more affordable. . . . We are truly excited.”
On the front side, the analyzer features a membrane keypad and an OLED display on which the measured values are shown. Measured gas is fed into the analyzed-mix inlet on the back of the analyzer and passes through the helium-concentration sensor. From there, it enters the oxygen-sensor block and is expelled into the air by the mix exhaust. The rated flow of the analyzed mix is 0.2 L/minute.
This analyzer is designed for measuring the content of oxygen and helium in an air-oxygen-helium gas mixture and is equipped with a microprocessor, the firmware of which is continuously updated.
An electrochemical sensor is used to determine the oxygen content. It is possible to choose between single-point, two-point and three-point calibration. Single-point calibration is fast, especially if the air is chosen as the calibrating mix. For greater accuracy of the measurement, two-point calibration is used with two different mixes, typically air and pure oxygen. For strongly hypoxic mixes, i.e. mixes containing less than approximately 15% oxygen, three-point calibration is recommended. In this case, the third calibration gas should be a gas with zero oxygen content, i.e. pure helium or argon.
Helium content is determined based on measuring the speed of sound in the analyzed mix. The speed of sound depends on the content of helium and oxygen, and the temperature of the mix. The dependence of the speed of sound on pressure is small and can be disregarded under normal atmospheric pressure.
Gas is delivered to the analyzer from a sampler connected to the compressed-gas tank, and the gas flow is controlled using a nozzle to provide the volume needed for the analysis.
The features of the SOLO include:
- Light and robust
- Durable and everlasting
- Ideal for travels
- Easy-to-read display and intuitive controls
- Low total cost of ownership (no electrochemical Helium sensor)
- Uses a patented method of He content measurement based on a speed of sound
- Benchmark in precision Helium readings
- Three point calibration for extremely accurate results
- Teledyne or AI O2 cell with easy access
- Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
- USB-C connector
Retailing for 579 Euros/US$649, the set includes a soft pouch with zipper, a simple flow limiter, and a USB cable.
For more info, check out the DiveSoft Facebook page.