The NEC at Birmingham was once again the venue for the dive show this weekend. For tech divers, there were quite a number of discoveries to check out, even some that were not present at DEMA this year. Quite honestly, I was impressed! The sheer amount of rebreathers at one dive show was phenomenal along with many new innovations for use by Tech divers above and below the water.
Custom Divers have a new buoyancy system called VBS Wings (Variable Buoyancy System); suitable for use with most rebreathers it offers three expandable compartments that provide variable buoyancy capability. Available in two sizes, the largest of which has a whopping 50-76 pounds of buoyancy per bladder. The complete systemas are supplied with harness shoulder pads, accessory pouch and Billy rings. For a full product range, www.customdivers.com
Central Compressor Consultants were representing the Unico mixing system. The system can produce Nitrox, Heliair and Trimix and can be connected to compressors of any make; providing they are in good condition and conform to DIN 3188. The mixer is capable of creating mixes up to 40% oxygen content. A computer program generates the formula to enter into the mixer and produce the desired mix, which is then passed through the compressor for cylinder filling. More details are available from www.gascompressor.co.uk
Innes McCartney was available to sign copies of his books and chat about searching for shipwrecks with fellow enthusiasts. His presentations at the show were met with a huge amount of enthusiasm from the diving community. Having seen his presentation several years ago, I would certainly recommend it to anyone with an interest in diving wrecks, and even those without – his passion for wrecks, especially submarines is in abundance! His books and videos are available online at www.periscopepublishing.com
Melton Divers have become the UK agent for Azimuth SCR and Nemesis CCR rebreathers. The Azimuth is a CE approved rebreather that is capable of delivering two gas mixes, with an adjustable flow rate. Although there has been talk of the Azimuth in the Uk for some time, it has yet to gain momentum in the same way of other rebreathers on the market. Janice and Terry have set up a dedicated side to their business to support the rebreathers; Melton Rebreathers and are generously offering try dive sessions on the units when available. Should you decide to purchase a unit from them, the fee from that session will be deducted from the purchase price of the rebreather. For more information on these rebreathers and training contact Janice or Terry www.meltonrebreathers.co.uk
Vandagraph Ltd. were presenting their newly patented “Quick-Ox” Oxygen Sampling System. John Lamb from Vandagraph and the author of “The practice of Oxygen Measurement for Divers”. This clever little device provides a chamber to hold the gas in a still environment at 1 bar; the most ideal conditions for gas testing. This is usually achieved by using a restrictor to reduce the gas flow delivered from the cylinder, however, this was far slower than the new device, which simply has a one way valve to contain the gas around the sensor face.
For more information on Vandagraph analysers including their combined Helium and Oxygen sensor www.vandagraph.co.uk
Abyss Uk had the first showing of the rebreather they are planning to distribute following CE testing in the New Year, the Submatix. Another Semi-closed rebreather, this system is a two gas system, and was designed by German Uwe Lessman. The unit is very small and compact with two liter cylinders and a predicted 3 hour scrubber life. The cylinder valves are German O2 valves (opposite DIN type) and there is a small switch on the bottom of the case for gas switching. Standard will be a PO2 monitor and bailout regulator.
Analox launched their combined Helium and Oxygen Analyser in the Uk at the dive show. This unit measure not only the content of the two gases being analyzed, but also has a calculation to show the balance percentage. www.analox.com
The rebreather try-dive pool was completely booked on both days, with BSAC instructors showing divers how to use Semi closed and closed circuit rebreathers and a short session under water, giving anyone interested a look at the bubble-free underwater world. The Drager and Inspiration units were in use at the pool. www.bsac.co.uk