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Press Nitrox/Oxygen/Reg Repair/Tech Diving Links
There's a lot of empty "me-too" SCUBA links on the net, and a few very good ones, some of which we list here. Some of these links won't return the compliment by listing us, because they find us too reprehensible or (even odder) too commercial. Reprehensible, yes - the purpose of the OXY HACKER and SCUBA REG MAINTENANCE books is to give you the info everyone else is too gutless or elitist or greedy to share, without playing big brother and deciding for you whether you should be allowed to have it. Commercial? - well, as soon as we start making money we'll have a better take on that. Anyhow, if you want to know more about extreme diving, gas mixing, regulator servicing, and "doing it right", these are some good starting points.
Brian Basura is one of our favorite customers - from hyper filters, to booster pumps to divelights, he's built a lot of very cool stuff, and posted most of it on a very nice homepage. Another reader, Jeff Kruse has built lights, a booster, and a hung an OXY HACKER continuous mixer on his Rix SA-6, with a homemade filter canister for good measure.
Åke Larsson is into rebreathers, and big, heavy booster pumps. Visit his website and drool!
Continuous mixers, which inject O2 into the intake tract of a compressor so you can pump nitrox directly, are fast and fun. The new 4th Edition OXY HACKER has plans for a $25 version. If you want to see how the big boys can do the same for $1000+, check out the patent for the Nitrox Stick.
Northeast SCUBA Supply sells used and new SCUBA gear, with an emphasis on tech, and gets other neat related stuff in from time to time like used O2 tanks and valves, compressors and boosters. He stocks Global and similar gas handling/shop/service stuff that your local shop probably won't sell you, so you don't have to drool impotently over the catalogs any longer. Does mail order, but well worth a visit if you get a chance - this is the shop we all wish wish we lived near to!
Peter Built Tools specializes in SCUBA tools - in fact they make a lot of the dedicated tools and combination wrenches for the regulator manufacturers, but you can buy them here direct, and no questions asked. One of the absolutely essential suppliers.
Patrick Duffy's OxyCheq specializes in O2 sensors for analyzers and rebreathers, at very good prices. He's got a complete $100 kit to build an OXY HACKER-style analyzer, and a terrific new ready-made analyzer, the Expedition, and there's a special deal on it for Airspeed Press customers. Good stuff!
Back when most of us were learning to dive, rebreathers ranked up there with Russian Roulette, Satan, and the Vincent Black Widow as sure-fire ways to lose your life and soul. Nowadays we'd probably add unsafe sex to the list. But rebreathers are coming out of the closet. A growing group of divers are using them, and they aren't dying like flies (which is not the same as saying they aren't dying, but certainly not like flies...).
Rebreathers lend themselves especially well to homebuilding. If you've got the balls and know-how, you can glue and bolt one together out of PVC plumbing fittings and some PVC irrigation hose, take it down 140 feet, and spend an hour there on 40 cf of mix. Or swipe the inner tube from the aforementioned Black Widow and start from there. Or you can add some sensors and electronics, and make a 250 foot mixed gas dives on $15 worth of helium. Only thing is, you better know damn well what you are doing (and most homebuilders do, which is probably why they seem to have a better safety record than the factory-built crowd).
The best places to get started, if this sounds like your kind of fun, are Karl Kramer's great REBREATHER PAGE and REBREATHER WORLD. Karls site has links to everywhere, and a terrific RB model database. REBREATHER WORLD is looking to become the premier one-stop RB site with forums, advertising, article databases and photo galleries.
The Australian AARG
site is another must-visit. The high price of helium in Oz makes RB's a necessity
for the deep diver, and they've come up with some great designs.
In the US, THE REBREATHER WEB SITE is probably the best single RB resource, with pages for several homebuilts, the archives and sign-up info for the rebreather mailing list, links to everywhere else, and one-stop Sofnolime shopping.
If you're one of those who think the bad guys can always do a better job of making the really nasty stuff, like machine pistols. poison dart guns and rebreathers, be sure to check out Didi's page. And if you like the idea of diving the Evil Empire's leftovers, stop by Diver Dave Sutton's RB webpage while you're at it.
Now, is that a Biopak 60 I see on Cale's back?
Jim Cobb's TRIMIX PAGE is , along with the OXY HACKER, one of the absolutely key sources for anyone trying to get into Nitrox and mixed gas diving. It's a great place to to stay in touch with what's going on in the trimix world.
NAUI is getting into techdiving. Take that anyway you like, but they didn't screw around on the course materials. For nitrox, they got Joel Silverstein, a longtime tech/wrecker, gas mixer, hyperbaric type and former SUBAQUA publisher , and Dr. Bill Hamilton, the ultimate deco guru, to write the manual. It's the best thing yet on the subject (Cale would say buy the manual and skip the course, but that's Cale for you). You can find out more at www.nitroxdiver.com
Horgarthian gear configuration is the streamlined system used by the cutting edge Florida cave divers. Hogarthian divers are streamlined, efficient - and opinionated. Hogarthian takes it's name from Bill Hogarth Main, one of the WKPP divers, and a gear freak in the best (and rarest) sense of the phrase. That is to say, someone who gets their pleasure from figuring out how to make their gear work better rather than buying more, and find more joy in eliminating one piece of worthless gear than in buying two new ones. Nowadays, the term "D.I.R." (Doing It Right) is starting to replace Hogarthian, but it means pretty much the same thing. Simplicity is the key, and if you are serious about diving you should know about it.
Learn about it from the horse's mouth, at the WKPP or Global Underwater Explorers website.
Lists and Forums:
The Techdiver mailing list , one of the oldest and best Inet resources for the serious diver, seems to have finally gone belly up, a victim of age, spam, and the siphoning off of members by the by-paid-subscription-only GUE Quest list. The Techdiver Archives at Aquanaut are still a valuable resource, but the live action seems to have moved on to newer, free, forums like The Deco Stop, ScubaBoard.
Wayne Fulton has a terrific book on scanners, and he's even put it on the web so you can sample it before you buy. What's that got to do with diving? Nothing except that it's such a great book we wish we'd published it, and anyone messing about with scanners, printers or digital cameras ought to take a look at it.
A similar. equally impressive venture is Ron Newman's book on anodizing. Anodizing is suprisingly easy - you can do it with a plastic tub, some battery acid, aluminum scraps and about $20 worth of chemicals. Ron sells a book telling how, but like Wayne gives away most of it for free on his website. Of course anyone really planning on trying it would be a fool not to also buy the book, since it goes into it in much greater depth. Ron also does small-batch anodizing, starting at $80 a batch, which might be just the thing for those MR16 lightheads and scooter struts if you can get enough together to make a batch worthwhile.
http://thelightsite.cruxial.com LED light info and hacks and terrific links page to many arcane lighting sites
www.brightguy.com Flashlights and one-piece divelights. Lowest price ($65) we've seen for 10W SE HID bulbs.
http://www.repairfaq.org/ELE/F_Battery_info.html Battery and charger info.http://pc1-archbo.bot.unibas.ch/~pascal/cgi-bin/loadframeset.pl?charger/charger.html+charger.html
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