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Discussion of diving methods and equipment available prior to the development of BCDs beyond the horse collar. This forum is dedicated to the pre-1970 diving.
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Bronze06
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First Name: Russell
Location: Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:54 am

Hi again, Folks,

I got this one off eBay because it was interesting. The exhaust (bottom) can is matt chromed as per a Voit VR-1, but the top (inhalation) can with all it's mechanical goodies is painted blue as per 1959/60. The exhaust can has the standard Voit "50 Fathom" label. The hoses look more like Dacor types but with no manufacturers marks. It also came with two chrome tinnermans at the horns and two black tinnermans at the mouthpiece. What;'s up with this one? I personally want to believe that it was an late 60 to early 61 production model and Voit just used a VR-1 top can on it. Initially, I thought the bottom can was spray painted silver and I was going to do a repaint on it. But as it turned out (rather suprisingly) it was matt chromed, unlike my 1961 "50 Fathom" which is shiny chrome on the bottom can and matt chrome on the top can. For any devil's advocates out there, the label is brass not SS as per reproduction ones that Allan makes. This one is just weird! Incidentally, the top can has a permanet marker number of 456 that is definitely not recent. The main actuator diaphragm is gray as per Voit but is off a two stage Voit reg and also has a letter/ number written on it DS 469??? Opinions desired here!
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"Where'd ya get that ol' thang, don't cha' know them thare things ill kill ya!"

Live From the Red Sea,

Russ

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ScubaLawyer
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Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:25 am
First Name: Mark
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Re: Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:04 pm

Russ, it looks like someone, back in the day, decided they didn't want to spend the outrageous prices being asked for a brand new regulator and cobbled one together from a box of parts. A friend of mine bought what he thought was a blue 50 Fathom (exhaust can and lable were all that showed in the ad) but the exhaust can was attached to a chrome Aquamaster (or Voit Navy) can. I teased him that he had one of the very few 2 stage 50 Fathoms made - very rare. Mark
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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rhwestfall
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First Name: Robert
Location: "La Grande Ile"

Re: Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:49 pm

People did stuff to keep them going.....
Bob

No Longer Awaiting my Kraken.....

Vancetp
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First Name: Phillip
Location: Belmont CA

Re: Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:49 pm

It is true that there are regs out there that were repaired with compatible, but not matching parts, or/and cobbled together from the parts bin. I've seen this a lot. I just bought a Dacor R-4 with an R-2-3 cover. I bought a Mistral a while back that had an OverPressure top can on it. I have several Scubas and Scuba Deluxes that seem to be mixmasters, with different length valve bodies, and the wrong valve parts inside.. As time goes on, and vintage regulators age, we're going to see more of this....

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captain
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Location: LaPlace, LA

Re: Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:41 pm

I put an Aqua Master together with parts I got from a dive shop about 10 years ago.
Captain

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ScubaLawyer
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Re: Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:46 pm

100 years from now someone is going to look at my faux VR-1 and scratch their head that it's a voit exhaust can and a USD Mistral main can with Mistral guts.

Image
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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Bronze06
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:33 am
First Name: Russell
Location: Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Re: Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:17 pm

All good points guys. My theory , not wish, is that someone gorped their blue bottom can way back when, went to the LDS and got them to swap out the errant blue can for a VR-1 bottom can. I think I'll keep it like it is and rebuild it with gray hoses and mouthpiece, as it does have all Voit parts in it that appear to be in very good shape, with no real verdigris.
"Where'd ya get that ol' thang, don't cha' know them thare things ill kill ya!"

Live From the Red Sea,

Russ

Vancetp
Master Diver
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:26 pm
First Name: Phillip
Location: Belmont CA

Re: Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:26 am

I'd like to be a fly on the wall when that collector 100 years from now gets a load of my Snarubastral rev1! Snark III bottom can, Mistral top can, Healthways valve/yoke.

ImageSnarubasral by Vancetp, on Flickr

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antique diver
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First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:54 am

That's quite an international mix.... designs from Spain, France and US, all rolled into one unique regulator!
The older I get the better I was.

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SurfLung
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Re: Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:54 am

And Then There's the Port Location...
- I'm reminded of another mystery of Voit 50 Fathom Regs. The Venturi Port location. I have seen 50 Fathom regs with the Large port pointing directly away from the inhale hose and I've seen them pointing the large port pointing laterally at a 90 degree angle.
- When I restored my 50 fathoms, I had more than one experienced experts on this forum advise to position the large port to face directly into the inhale hose to get the best Venturi assist in breathing easy (I think it was Allan and Greg). I believe they were absolutely right. My two 50 fathoms are extremely easy breathers.
- When we left off discussing this, I was of a mind that there might have been a conspiracy to "De-Tune" the 50 Fathom so that it wouldn't make the new Voit Navy look bad. Nobody knows why it was discontinued but the several regs that have the large port pointing in the wrong direction seem to be evidence of... Something?

Anyway, I'm thinking your reg might have been assembled from leftover parts after the 50 Fathom was officially discontinued. And if someone just made one up for himself, would he know to point the large port into the inhalation hose? Just for interests sake, could you tell me which way the large port is pointing? :)
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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Bronze06
Master Diver
Posts: 663
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:33 am
First Name: Russell
Location: Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Re: Strange "50 Fathom" regulator

Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:10 am

SurfLung wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:54 am
And Then There's the Port Location...
- I'm reminded of another mystery of Voit 50 Fathom Regs. The Venturi Port location. I have seen 50 Fathom regs with the Large port pointing directly away from the inhale hose and I've seen them pointing the large port pointing laterally at a 90 degree angle.
- When I restored my 50 fathoms, I had more than one experienced experts on this forum advise to position the large port to face directly into the inhale hose to get the best Venturi assist in breathing easy (I think it was Allan and Greg). I believe they were absolutely right. My two 50 fathoms are extremely easy breathers.
- When we left off discussing this, I was of a mind that there might have been a conspiracy to "De-Tune" the 50 Fathom so that it wouldn't make the new Voit Navy look bad. Nobody knows why it was discontinued but the several regs that have the large port pointing in the wrong direction seem to be evidence of... Something?

Anyway, I'm thinking your reg might have been assembled from leftover parts after the 50 Fathom was officially discontinued. And if someone just made one up for himself, would he know to point the large port into the inhalation hose? Just for interests sake, could you tell me which way the large port is pointing? :)
That sounds good to me. Its pointing straight down the intake, but has the other clocking hole as well.
"Where'd ya get that ol' thang, don't cha' know them thare things ill kill ya!"

Live From the Red Sea,

Russ

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