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luis
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Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side mount

Mon May 29, 2017 4:12 pm

Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side-mount

The new side mount configuration has been talked a lot for technical diving and I can see a few situations where it can be beneficial. I am not interested in getting in tight spaces, but I would be interested in getting qualified for tri-mix and renting a couple of tri-mix cylinders when traveling to some specific destination.

For some decompression (extended rage) diving, I have used doubles with a center outlet and an alternate outlet for a completely redundant regulator, but I would never travel with my doubles unless I was driving somewhere and then I am not interested in oxygen cleaning my doubles for the rare occasion where I want tri-mix (using partial pressure blending).

So I set this up for some Mix-mount diving, as opposed to side mount diving.

The good news:
The hose routing and pluming worked great. The regulator performance and usability of the connections worked fantastic. I have actually triple redundancy with this system, three potentially independent air sources.

I used the Argonaut Kraken as a manifold block to share the IP from three different first stages. The back-gas is only an AL30 and I set the IP on the Kraken t 110 PSI. The IP on the two Conshelfs is set at 135 psi. Therefore, as long as the shut-off barrel valves are open on either side mount cylinder, the back-gas will not be touched and it will be an extra gas reserve.

There are quick disconnect with shut-off valves on each of the side mount cylinders regulators. I can isolate all three air sources and each one has an independent regulator.

The not so good news (well maybe not so bad):
This was my first in the water test day so my side cylinders position need some adjustment. They are too far forward and dangling too much. They were somewhat clumsy in this position. I also need to adjust my back harness a bit. It is going to take at least one more dive(or two) to get the kit all dialed in.

Using a drysuit and heavy neoprene gloves makes the entire testing process a lot more clumsy.

The side cylinders that I am using are small (61 cuft at 3300 psi) but they are very heavy. I can shed about 8 pounds of lead by using these cylinders. Out of the water they are almost 30 lb each, plus the back-gas cylinder, regulators, and harness it all adds up.

In all, this is an interesting and versatile setup and I will be experimenting and developing it further, but it will never replace my simple steel 72 (or a rental AL80 in the Caribbean) on my VDH backplate with a simple wing.

Here are some pictures taken by John in Sebago lake.


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The front of the tanks are too low. The bottom tank band needs to be close to the center of the cylinders and the valves need to be tucked under my arm.
I will fix that next test dive.

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BTW, this was also a working dive. John and I installed a mooring ball. On my right hand is a mesh bag with tools and on my left hand is a lift bag.

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There is no need for over pressure relief valves. All three first stages (the Argonaut and the two Conshelf) have a second stage attached to each one. The Argonaut always has its second stage and the two Conshelf have Scubapro 109 attached to each one. The LP hoses are all protected by at least one second stage at all times.

I am always breathing from the Argonaut second stage and under normal diving condition it is being fed the 135 psi IP from either or both Conshelf. I lowered the IP output on the Argonaut first stage down to 110 psi. As long as the Conshelf is feeding 135 psi, the back-gas is not touched.

In the last picture, hanging from the two side tanks, you can see the LP hoses with the “high flow” quick disconnect and barrel shut-off valves. All the LP hoses tie into the Argonaut LP ports (I had to add one LP “Y” adapter). The LP section of the Argonaut works as a LP manifold or LP block. It is actually a very simple setup.

The BC QD inflator and the drysuit inflator are also attached to the Argonaut (I am obviously not running an octopus out of the Argonaut). In an out of air situation, I could hand off one of the cylinders to a dive buddy if needed.

The performance of the Argonaut when it is fed LP air from the Conshelf is that same as always. IMHO, it is fantastic.

I will try to take some detail pictures of the pluming and post it later.

Doing semi independent doubles would be very easy. I like running the valves in front of me. It makes it a lot easier to reach, specially with a drysuit and gloves.
Luis

Buceador con escafandra autónoma clásica.

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couv
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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Mon May 29, 2017 9:55 pm

I think this a fantastic concept-especially using differential I.P as an override feature to use the tanks in the order you choose without having to change mouthpieces.

But that's just my opinion, put it in the "Technical Diving" section on that other board and see what "The Duddlys" have to say. :wink:
A sincere THANK YOU to all at VDH who make this wonderful resource available and to all the thoughtful contributors.

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Drado
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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Tue May 30, 2017 9:43 am

Now there's a concept I'd like to expound on :) I've always considers using a PRAM as a manifold but always wondered what to do with the 1st stage. Never though about using a small tank in that location.
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luis
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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Tue May 30, 2017 10:26 pm

Here are some pictures showing the hose connections.

I mounted the Argonaut regulator on a Steel 72 without a backplate or BC to show the hoses. The BC just tucks behind the regulator just like I always set it up.

Note: I am using yoke tank connections, but I do have DIN fitting for the Argonaut and the Conshelf and those valves are convertible, but I just like yoke connections. I can switch them later if I want to.

This looks like a lot of hoses, but they are all tucked under the two side cylinders. They are very streamed-lined.


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Here is a picture of the regulator and the BC together. My back gas makes for a nice compact kit.

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I have inline shut-off valves on both sides and they are both in front of me with easy reach. I can shut off any free flowing regulator and if I want to I can also disconnect. Even if the Argonaut itself malfunction I can disconnect both side regulators and breath directly out of either second stage.

I should point out that out of the three regulators the Argonaut will always be the most reliable. The first and second stage in the Argonaut are always dry. No contaminates (sand, salt water, etc.) can reach the mechanism. There are also a list of other reasons why the Argonaut is more reliable than the average regulator, but that is different subject (the average regulator can be very reliable anyway).

Some could argue that the additional LP hoses does add a couple of extra failing points, but IMO that is insignificant and I have means of isolating it if needed. As I mentioned, I have three potentially independent air sources. That is one more than the typical technical diving setup.
Luis

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luis
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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Wed May 31, 2017 9:11 pm

The combination of cylinder selection would be totally up to the user. There are a lot of possibilities.

I personally like using what most would consider as a pony bottle for my back gas/ regulator support. It is very light and compact. I like how streamlined it is and the small diameter tank places the regulator right on my back.

You can see in the last picture below that the regulator sticks past the backplate. I can barely feel it touching my back, but it does guarantee that it is as close to my lungs as possible. This is already great breathing regulator, but this makes it just perfect. The only way to improve its breathing performance is to have surgically implanted. :)

The three cylinders I am using are small. The aluminum back-gas is an AL30 (diameter = 5 1/4”, by 20” tall).
The steel ones are 61 cuft at 3300 psi (diameter = 6”, by 22” tall). This are good testing cylinder up here because they are very heavy in the water.

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As I mentioned, this is more complicated than a single tank, but it does open the door to many possibilities. It is just another set of tools that can be used for some challenging dives or just for fun. :wink:
Luis

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luis
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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:19 pm

Here are some pictures of today’s dive.
I made some adjustments to the side tank location and to my weights. I am pleased with the outcome. I was very comfortable with my dive kit.


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Luis

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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:02 am

Really cool concept Luis!! :D
"Where'd ya get that ol' thang, don't cha' know them thare things ill kill ya!"

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Bryan
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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:31 pm

In other places on there are people who's are sputtering with their heads spinning around after seeing this......Way to go Luis! 8)
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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luis
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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:40 pm

Here is a short video from yesterday.

I was checking to see how well I could back-kick with the side tanks and I also tried rolling to see how the tanks would behave at my side. It all worked out well. The only issue I had was a small air leak from my right tank valve. I just need to replace an O-ring on the convertible DIN valve.

Thanks to John for taking the underwater pictures and video.

[video]https://vimeo.com/220207685[/video]
Luis

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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:20 pm

I will pay you to put up pictures of that in the DIR forum on Scubaboard.
The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. -JYC

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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:25 pm

slonda828 wrote:I will pay you to put up pictures of that in the DIR forum on Scubaboard.
He put it in the sidemount section at SB.....I think the whole concept is just so far out of the bounds they call acceptable that they don't know how to comment. It got some accolades and a few questions but I"ll bet any amount of $$$ that there were PM's flying around with people going WTF is this guy doing......
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:36 pm

Bryan wrote:
slonda828 wrote:I will pay you to put up pictures of that in the DIR forum on Scubaboard.
He put it in the sidemount section at SB.....I think the whole concept is just so far out of the bounds they call acceptable that they don't know how to comment. It got some accolades and a few questions but I"ll bet any amount of $$$ that there were PM's flying around with people going WTF is this guy doing......
Yeah. I'm not going to start a pissing contest, but this is the exact opposite of my vision for doing tech with a doublehose. I'll say no more because I don't feel like spending the next 5 days turning VDH into the vintage diving version of the Fox News comments section. :mrgreen:
The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. -JYC

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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:46 pm

I can't wait till he does trimix with the Kraken... it will be epic and shut a lot of loose pieholes!

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Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:28 pm

I'd do trimix with a kraken in a second. Really, I just need to figure out how to dive doubles that I can isolate with a kraken and then I would do it. That's like the last step in the "tech doublehose" world. It's a fantastic regulator.
The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. -JYC

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Re: Argonaut Mix-mount or Tri-mount… as opposed to side moun

Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:18 pm

Bryan wrote:
slonda828 wrote:I will pay you to put up pictures of that in the DIR forum on Scubaboard.
He put it in the sidemount section at SB.....I think the whole concept is just so far out of the bounds they call acceptable that they don't know how to comment. It got some accolades and a few questions but I"ll bet any amount of $$$ that there were PM's flying around with people going WTF is this guy doing......
I got a couple of those wtf pm's. too many issues with the UTD manifold block is part of the problem. I'm currently diving sans secondary/octopus as I hate the golden triangle nonsense and am trying to figure out how best to run it without offboard tanks.

I'd have no problem diving trimix on a double hose on doubles with a cheater bar if I can find one. I haven't found one that i like yet and haven't seen where the WMD's are available in the US. Would be nifty on a set of 72's

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