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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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SurfLung
Master Diver
Posts: 1532
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:03 pm
First Name: Eben
Location: Alexandria, MN
Contact: Website

Royal Mistral Redeux...

Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:26 am

Royal Mistral Redeux...
Something Special for my Newest Little Diving Buddy
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- I restored this regulator from a DA AquaMaster that had a beautiful, shiney chrome back can and mechanism but a front can that was badly pitted from leaning against something corrosive in storage. (That front can got a full sized Nemrod sticker from Rob that covered up the corrosion and converted Rich 50,001 Questions FireFighter Snark III into a diving Snark III.) The back can and mechanism were like new except for having a brownish film inside... Looked like a rust but had no pitting. It cleaned up to reveal BRIGHT shiney chrome on all internal surfaces!
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- I ordered one of Bryan's DA AquaMaster kits and replaced the HP seat, HP diaphragm, and gaskets. Also, I installed the HPR 2nd stage... Which replaces the LP seat and converts the regulator to use Mistral diaphragms. To this, I added one of the new super sensitive silicon diaphragms.
- Next, I pulled the "Royal Mistral" front can from a "Faux Royal Mistral" set I wasn't using and installed the DuckBill Eliminator exhaust valve. And finally, I installed a hose loop of rare Argonaut Kraken RED hoses with a black Voit hourglass mouthpiece.
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- Adjustments: I set the IP to 140 psi with the regulator mounted to a 300 psi tank. Herman's IP gauge sure makes this easy. Pressure held steady with on/offs of the tank and press/release of the lever... No leaks. I set the lever height right up to the diaphragm and then backed off to where heavy breathing is just below where Venturi free flow gets induced. (I know Louis has a better method on this but I haven't looked it up yet). Last but not least, I set up the HPR second stage to have a strong Venturi by completely blocking one of the secondary ports.
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Pool Testing: This regulator was given a test dive last Sunday at the local public pool and it worked perfectly. Breathed easy. No leaks.
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Where To Get Red Hoses? I expected this would be the first comment/question so here's the answer. They come off Argonaut Kraken regulators from the first production run. They are extremely rare and valuable. I built this regulator up for my one and only grand daughter and it had to be color coordinated to match her red 18 cf scuba tank I converted from a CO2 fire extinguisher. Last Summer she dove her little tank to depths of 5 feet and stayed down 15-20 minutes until the tank ran out of air. She's 5 years old and she loved it. She has captured Boppa's heart, so she gets the precious red Argonaut hoses. :)
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To Zip Tie or NOT to Zip Tie... As you can see in the photos, I used zip ties on the regulator horns. I bought a really good zip tie installer... Squeezes them really tight and has a cut off lever. It's fun and quick to use and the low profile zip ties don't usually look bad. But they look a little off on this regulator. What do you think?
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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ScubaLawyer
Master Diver
Posts: 1466
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:25 am
First Name: Mark
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Re: Royal Mistral Redeux...

Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:49 am

Damn it Eben, now I have to go get even more creative to try and top your Faux RM. Still trying to wrap my head around a two-stage Mistral but what the heck. Looks gorgeous.

The tank for your granddaughter is wonderful. Very cute! Post pics of her diving!

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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SurfLung
Master Diver
Posts: 1532
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:03 pm
First Name: Eben
Location: Alexandria, MN
Contact: Website

Re: Royal Mistral Redeux...

Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:41 pm

ScubaLawyer wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:49 am
.... Still trying to wrap my head around a two-stage Mistral...

Mark
Think of it like a Snark III "3 Stage"... This RM is a single stage with an over pressure valve that doubles as a 2nd stage? :)
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

swimjim
Master Diver
Posts: 1582
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:28 am
First Name: Jim
Location: Belgium WI

Re: Royal Mistral Redeux...

Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:56 pm

One day the Grand kids will have to come to Fortune Pond and we'll make a video, "Diving with Boppa". Could be fun!

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antique diver
Master Diver
Posts: 1988
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:50 pm
First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: Royal Mistral Redeux...

Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:04 pm

That's a great looking regulator and tank, but even more important is your Granddaughter is lucky to have a Boppa like you to introduce her to the joys of diving! :D
The older I get the better I was.

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