Lung Diver
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:31 pm
First Name: peter
Location: Macedon NY

Scubapro MK5 / Air 1

Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:57 pm

Like so many of you, I have a strong inclination towards acquiring regulators of all vintage. I think one of the most exciting parts of collecting vintage dive gear is to take that barn/basement/attic fresh regulator that has been neglected for year and throwing it on a tank to see how is breaths. I have been surprised many times how well an old mistral or conshelf can work despite years of storage. My most recent treasure is a beautiful Scubapro MK5 / Air 1 from an auction. I have had many MK5's of different configuration and a few Air 1's over the years. When I cleaned up this reg and attached it to a full tank, I was floored by how well it breathed. It really makes me believe that decades of "progress" in regulator design have produced no meaningful improvement. Anyone an Air 1 fan?

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Greg Barlow
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:26 pm
First Name: Greg
Location: SW Ohio

Re: Scubapro MK5 / Air 1

Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:08 am

Scubapro had real winners with both the MK5/Pilot and the MK5/AIR 1. The original Pilot is one of my favorite single hose designs of all time, and was definitely unlike any other reg on the market. The issue was that the parts tolerances created headaches for both the initial creation, and for servicing by techs within a typical dive shop. If such a reg were built today, with CNC equipment, the tolerances could be held to a point where the parts would be "drop in".

The AIR1 exhibited excellent scores in USN testing. It, along with the Pilot, had very low cracking effort, and high gas flow through the valve system.

"It really makes me believe that decades of "progress" in regulator design have produced no meaningful improvement." There is a lot of truth to this statement. Regulator design has for the most part over the past 25 years been evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. In my mind, the end of the evolutionary pathway is within sight.

Greg Barlow
PADI Assistant Instructor
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IANTD Full Cave
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