View Full Version : Pathfinder - video presentatiom



Dive Africa
23-11-11, 06:18 AM
Hey there

Video presentation by Leon of the Pathfinder at the NACD conference:

NACD Rebreather Summit 2011 - Part Three (http://www.advanceddivermagazine.com/video/nacd3.html)

Enjoy

Bmwgsboy
24-01-12, 02:35 PM
It would have been a great
Presentation if he had not spent most of
His time trashing other companies for
Having a ANSI machine in there shop.
Saying that there might be miscommunication
Is a bit of a stretch.

Cold_diver
24-01-12, 03:36 PM
I thought it was pretty informative and Leon did make a fair point to do with the biased element of in-house testing, he may well be aware that ISC's competition are not playing by the rules, and I've no doubt Leon is striving for all aspects of ISC products to be up to and beyond what the military demands.

Leon has a fair point he should be proud the unit is endorsed by the U.S. Navy, NOAA etc.

I still prefer the look the Megalodon to the Pathfinder, and thought Leon was perhaps alittle on the defensive when it came to some of the questions, but anyone can have a bad day, get nervous, be alittle stressed from travel etc. Overall thought it was worth watching if you want to keep up with ISC products.
I was alittle suspicious when he said that most devices/components were user replaceable i.e. the electronics and so forth, you could swap them out very simply, that is great in one respect, but sticking with the electronics example, he said you can be back in the water in 15 minutes after replacing a major component with all checks done.
It's very good that if you had the parts and the skill you could be back in the water quickly, however you'd surely need a stock of component parts then (which are not going to be cheap, and there will be many) or practical to keep a store of and take with you travelling on every dive holiday I'm sure.

Plus it kind of puts the emphasis back on the user to service the unit, which I'd probably be more confident if the manufactuer was taking more control of this area, not responsibility, that's up to the user, but authority so that the standards are met. Leon said don't settle for less than the best in his presentation, handing it off to the end user to replace components, I think the best pair of hands for that is the manufacturer/serviceman who deals with them every day.

Just honest queries, seeing the design closer it might be evident that the components in question are of a limited number and are very easily replaced. If the unit is anything like the Meg I'm sure it'll be very successful, and it's good that the pathfinder and alot of the parts that constitute the Meg are interchangeable.

Bmwgsboy
24-01-12, 03:46 PM
I thought it was pretty informative and Leon did make a fair point to do with the biased element of in-house testing, he may well be aware that ISC's competition are not playing by the rules,
All units go to the CE test facilities
For testing. So I don't see were
Manufactures don't follows the rules.
Correct me if I'm wrong.
In order to solve a electronics failer
It's best to buy 2 heads. Just joking.

Cold_diver
24-01-12, 03:55 PM
He didn't allude to one specific manufacturer operating that practice, but he does have a point that if you operate your own test facility in any case, and only have someone witness your procedures, not conduct them, you could doctor the results. All he asserted is that he has his sent for 3rd party independent testing. Which of the two options, would be the more uncompromising.
He may well be aware of another manufacturer signing off in this manner, I'm not. From what I gather, Leon was saying if you have your own test facility, you can be CE tested in house, where the test may be open to manipulation. ISC has nothing to worry about in terms of support for its high product standards anyway with the endorsement of the U.S. Navy, NOAA and CE approval.

Bmwgsboy
24-01-12, 04:15 PM
He didn't allude to one specific manufacturer operating that practice, but he does have a point that if you operate your own test facility in any case, and only have someone witness your procedures, not conduct them, you could doctor the results. All he asserted is that he has his sent for 3rd party independent testing. Which of the two options, would be the more uncompromising.


I would like to see the proof other manufactures
Doing in-house CE testing.
Hope the manufactures will chime in on this one.
ALS hope that Leon is not having a bad day when
There building Meg and pathfinders.
Don't get me wrong I dive a Meg.
As far as US military that's a whole another topic
So I guess you believe all Us military products
Are worthery.

Cold_diver
24-01-12, 04:37 PM
I can't really tell from the mistakes / omissions in your post what the finer points to your point of view are.

I don't think Leon accused any one manufacturer of employing that practice with CE testing, whether it goes on or not, his point is still valid, it might have been laboured or unnecessary if the practice doesn't take place, but it is still valid that ISC's products are third party independently tested to avoid the potential for manipulation. What I am asserting is whether it goes on or not, ISC has the backing of independent testing from the U.S. Navy, NOAA and so forth so should be content in any case that their products are up to a very high standard.

Bmwgsboy
24-01-12, 06:41 PM
Sorry for the mistakes.
From what I know(correct me if I'm wrong)
But doesn't every manufacture have to get third party
Testing??? Has far has I know there is only one
Company that has a ANSI machine in there shop.
Thank you for your opinion.
In my own opinion that was a bashing fest on that
Presentation.

Presentation.

Cold_diver
24-01-12, 06:56 PM
"In my own opinion that was a bashing fest on that
Presentation.

Presentation."


Not sure what that part means. I don't know if they have to get third party testing, I'm sure to sell or be instructed upon in Europe there is CE testing, but I can't speak for other parts of the world. Or even if that third party can definitively prove anything, just that if someone else is doing the testing, the likelihood of manipulation probably decreases. You could still however take the tack that you're paying that 3rd party to test your product, perhaps a very significant amount of money, so there may still be margin for passing a product on a loophole or doctoring the results to make the product seem more in keeping with competition in the market.

It's the same in finance. You wouldn't invest in a company just based on the Chairman's statement, it is always going to look favourably on the company, even when he's burned down the factory, raided the company coffers and they're just a day from going bust, the truth will not win out asking the source alone. So by the very nature of the dilemma you have to go outside your comfort zone and consult someone unconnected to get closer to the facts. A truly independent witness or source is very hard to find anywhere, that's why we use random number generators :-) lol. Unfortunately my calculator used to play football in college with Optimus Prime so I had to look elsewhere for a straight answer.

I'm fairly encouraged by the quality of ISC's products based on Leon trying fairly hard to destroy his Megalodon and it bringing him back safely :-)

Bmwgsboy
24-01-12, 07:22 PM
Leon trying fairly hard to destroy his Megalodon and it bringing him back safely :-)

Any ots rebreather can do that.
And he challenges other manufactures???
What was the point in that???
My breather is better than yours.
And you say he's not bashing
Have a great night.

matthewoutram
24-01-12, 09:03 PM
I enjoyed that video, so thanks for posting.

However, my opinion of the content is wavering. The description of why low WOB is best was really odd, perhaps it is just me, but he was waffling with no content. As already picked-up the section on test machines was dreadful - "we don't do our own testing". Really. Surely he didn't mean to say that!! Having a test machine adds to quality, it does not detract. But it gets worse in the Q&A - straight stab at the whole of CE and Notified Bodies. I know CE is a PITA, but really! The implication that those manufacturers with machines have manipulated the results is a bit rich.

Interesting comments on EAC versus granular, bit surprising that the unit supports both if EAC is not recommend?

I'm starting to sounds nit-picky, sorry. I like the Meg. But I didn't by the "it packs in my hand luggage argument". That cannister is along way from being diveable! TSA bit sounds like more waffle.

Great price, $5500 without computer, 1 cylinder (probably 5500 after import, though).

It took me to the end to realise this is primarily the PADI Rec unit - that's why the training is 3 days and bail-out is the only taught problem solving option!

Cheers
Matt.

Cold_diver
24-01-12, 09:27 PM
Actually I didn't say he's not bashing............... I don't think I even used the words bashing in any of my posts at all. He inferred that practice went on, I don't know if it does or doesn't, but he's right in saying 3rd party independent testing has to be more unbiased than in-house testing from the perspective of the customer.

The rebreather market is competitive, they're all to one degree or another saying theirs is the best, you only have to look at some of the advertising material across the industry to see they've all picked angles to imply they've superceded their rivals.

Other rebreathers may well be able to do it. But this is the first video I've seen where a CEO of a rebreather manufacturer tries to destroy his product and makes it work despite some fairly substantial problems. He flies the unit at 60m on only 1 cell and just the HUD with a reasonable (I wouldn't say gaping) hole in the counterlung.

I don't know if other rebreathers can or can't do it. I know alot claim theirs can do it. Leon went and did it, no dramas. He put his unit through enough to cause most divers a small nightmare I'd imagine. If other companies have done it, I'll gladly put them level pegging with ISC. Until that time, ISC + 1. If someone detonates a grenade inside a ReVo at 75 metres and it's still fully functional, advantage ReVo!

I've seen a body armour company where the CEO of the company takes a bullet to the chest from near point blank range and takes the vest off and isn't injured beneath. It is a publicity stunt, and it's daring and maybe alittle boastful, but that's just a business angle and it does show the product in action. Leon has just done the same thing and shown he stands by his product :-)

Cold_diver
24-01-12, 09:41 PM
Hi Matt, I agree I think that the "it packs in my luggage" argument is abit bogus, you still need your bottles the other end and all the ancillaries. In that respect, the Meg cans probably fit in most luggage already aswell.

I thought the 3 day training period with bail-out as the only option was encouraging a more casual approach to rebreather diving in the recreational field like the PADI course you mention, it doesn't sound as though the vigorous SOP's required by Meg divers are going to be taught, which widens the margin for user error in my view.

The use of pre-packed cartridges also encourages this for me. Essentially, a plug and play rebreather with not as much knowledge or understanding of what you're doing, can't be the right direction to go in IMHO.

Also making the components field replaceable, doesn't seem very feasible to me, alot of cost implications keeping spares (will they all travel with you), and essentially the short course rebreather diver with the least knowledge of the unit is becoming the serviceman. Will they have the confidence to know they've replaced the components correctly in the field?

It's not the unit for me, but I can see how ISC are trying to evolve a travel and recreational diver friendly rebreather with less complicated servicing and the need for as little additional diver training to make the move.

IMHO I think the whole marketing angle is flawed though and that the recreational market probably isn't ready to make rebreathers a staple part of its diet. And if it is, that safety and training aren't the areas to compromise in order to get divers to switch from OC to CC.

Dive Africa
25-01-12, 06:23 AM
Hey Bmwgsboy

My KTM 950 SE is better than your BMW GS.... that is a fact :cool:and the Meg is better than most other rebreathers.. . it is an opinion;).... you are entitled to it.

Your points raised has been bashed (excuse the pun) to death here and on burgerworld... I don't think we have to rehash this again.

Just one point of clarification: - all machines are not send to the CE facility for CE approval - where you have your ANSI machine you can do the testing at your own facility. The example given, by Leon, was: that the sorb could be stored in a warm room, (then used in cold water testing) which could greatly effect the time before scrubber break through.

Out of a 15min presentation about/roughly 2 minutes were spend on the topic ( you are going to go and measure and will be correcting me soon - so I don't have to) and although it could be argued he should not have raised it at all - he did. Not quite cricket - possibly. Bad intentions - I doubt it.

One of the possible effected parties rEvo came on record, stating that, yes the example would make a difference, but it is never, under any circumstances, done in practice, so end of argument. Me for one welcome the fact that potential loopholes are pointed out. (but I am a bias Meg Diver:teeth:) After this argument we all have more comfort that things are done right.

Maybe he is bashing, maybe he can, maybe he is just a brash arrogant American, maybe he is one that could not stand being on uneven playing fields... ultimately who cares? Having met him once or twice, in my worthless opinion: he is a brash American, who is passionate about his product, but has some integrity.

Maybe you are bashing and what I find highly amusing is that all this bashing is about bashing.......:popcorn:

The fact is that the Meg is a good machine and by all accounts so is the Pathfinder going to be - a 15kg machine with a 2.1kg radial scrubber, ISC build quality and Shearwater reliable - plug and play - electronic, o yes and for you nanny-state Europeans CE approved - I for one will be buying one soon.

Regards Dries

Dive Africa
25-01-12, 07:53 AM
OK, I'll concede the following:

- having you own ANSI machine is a good thing not a bad thing - having certain of the basic parameters not defined as part of your CE protocols is not a good thing - I.e Sorb and all other equipment should be stored at x degrees centigrade.

- Leon is not the best presenter, I'll much rather have Kate Beckensale tell me about it.

- the small size of the Pathfinder is a good thing - you can rent cylinders at most foreign dive sites (even Truk) - so you do not have to take the cylinders with. If you were diving a Inspo as an example only (even if you where renting cylinders to save weight - the machine still takes a lot of space. You would not have this benefit with the Poseidon as an example because of the m26 thread you still have to take your own cylinders.

- the modularity of the electronics is a good thing, for the following reasons:
1) if a hud fails (as an example) you only have to ship the Hud (if you are in the far corners of the world like me (this has big potential in saving cost) - your local supplier do not have to stock new heads he only has to stock a couple of huds and controllers and it would be easy for him to swap out
2) it allows you to grow with the machine - i.e start of with a Hud and controller, but when your horizon/budget expands - you could add an other controller or even a integrated shearwater - you do not have to send whole head in, you just order the part or install it yourselff (or your local dealer/instructor can easily do it for you) doing this you have a full 60m tech machine
3) it is adaptable - me for one will use this machine for recreational use - maybe as bailout rebreather for my Meg on the bigger dives- which implies I only need a hud and controller. But next year I want to go to Truk/Bikini - which means if I add (myself) another controller or computer I can do all the Tech diving at Truk with this same machine, which because if its size weight allows me to also pack my n-19 scooter :) The meg is more bulky.
4) if you have a battery failure on the one component, the CAN system will draw power from another component - which I do not really like, I 'll rather have a dead hud and working controller or visa versa than no electronics at all

- training - I agree I am not a big fan of rushed training - but in 3 days you could probably do 8 to 12 hours underwater (how much more do you need?) in any event and you are going to find that it would be your choice to do the more comprehensive training and that most instructors will push this in any event.

- like with all things ISC you have a choice - i.e prepacked cartridges or pack your own scrubber - Leon does not like (does not mean they are bad by a long shot) the prepacked version, they are more expensive, more difficult to come by, bulky to transport and does not quite have the duration of fine grade stuff packed by yourself - they are however a lot easier to pack and you can not pack them incorrectly - your choice.

Dries

matthewoutram
25-01-12, 08:17 AM
...but he's right in saying 3rd party independent testing has to be more unbiased than in-house testing from the perspective of the customer.

I'm going to disagree with this bit, I'm afraid. Having the test machine in-house reduced the test/modify cycle and enables continuous improvements. It also allows experimentation and innovation. What you mean (and what Leon meant) was that independent certification is better. Well, I'm not sure about that either. The test is prescribed and independently corroborated so I don't see it matters which chap operates the machine or who owns the hardware, providing the certifier is competent. All certifiers are competent, right?

Matt.

Cold_diver
25-01-12, 08:43 AM
I have to remain alittle unconvinced when a company says the only testing done is by themselves, that it's just as good as having sent it for CE etc. Though I'm not knocking that having test equipment within their facilities won't refine and improve the design and manufacturing process, but that's not guaranteed either.

I'd probably sleep better at night knowing my body armour had been tested by the Navy Seals, than the saleswoman saying they have their own testing equipment for that, whether it's equivalent or meets the standard or not, it's just vulnerable to company bias. Over-confidence of the company in the end product and ignorance of the test data is pretty much what brought down the Challenger. I wouldn't want that test data to be swept under the carpet because alot has been spent on the marketing of a product. I mean, do we use O-rings too?

Independent testing, independent certification, I'd rather them be one and the same, wouldn't want someone certifying it who hadn't tested it, or someone testing it who didn't have the ability to certify it.

To me Leon's point was valid, if alittle irrelevant to the argument in the fact if it doesn't go on, but he might know more. I'm 100% certain torch/flashlight companies are alittle generous with their results, ever bought a torch that is CE approved, says it has a 90 minutes run time but is flat in 20? I'm pretty sure I have lol.

This debate is probably going to devolve into "Can we ever really know?" and the answer is of course no, so I'll bow out if it gets that far lol.

Dive Africa
25-01-12, 09:05 AM
Hi Cold

I think the point here is that testing is still done by CE but at the manufacturer's facility using its machines. The argument was that even if the test is done by CE but at your facility certain of the parameters could be fudged. i.e sorb stored in higher temperatures (being one).

To use your analogy: The same marine is still testing the rifle, but at your shooting range (which is not the issue) the issue is that you are given hot rounds with teflon tips - without knowing it - and when the rifle shoots faster and the projectiles travel faster you think it is because the gun barrel is better. Not because of the hot rounds - at your own facility you use standard (non heated) UN military rounds. Nowhere in CE does it say that you are not allowed to use hot rounds - so maybe not breaking any rules, but the playing fields are not level and it most definitively is not cricket - and the end consumer is not comparing like for like.

Cold_diver
25-01-12, 09:30 AM
Yes I totally agree, Leon was saying there are parameters that can be doctored and or played up/down when the testing isn't absolutely unbiased, he also gave the example with the language barrier, that the certifier might not really understand exactly what is going on and is to one degree or another, witnessing the test but taking the manufacturers word for it.

I think Leon has a point, and it "could" be open to manipulation, but whether it actually goes on, is a different argument, to which I concede I know nothing but maybe Leon is miffed because he knows more then we do about that kind of practice.

Leon might even have just recognised something himself, and not from another manufacturer's behaviour, to give an example, have you ever felt you could easily cheat a system, if you had the inclination. Like when during a test the teacher steps out for 20 minutes to take a phone call or get a cup of coffee leaving 30 silent kids to do as they please. I'm quite sure if I wished that I could obtain qualifications from some diving agencies without having met the criteria at all, as long as I'd paid the monies, that's not reflecting badly on the organisation, it's just the qualification system is very open to exploitation in the hands of the end users. Qualified does not necessarily equal competent at all in diving, sure it implies it, but you do get highly paper qualified divers acting inexperienced and wreckless in the water. Leon was making the point that independent testing should cut down this margin for manipulation and level the playing field as you say, so you can compare like for like with scrubber duration, WOB etc.

matthewoutram
25-01-12, 09:54 AM
Yes I totally agree, Leon was saying there are parameters that can be doctored and or played up/down when the testing isn't absolutely unbiased,

And he wrongly assumed the independent test house would do it differently. It's not the case and it does not follow. He's guessing. It's a good product, it will sell itself, there is no need for him to lower his standards as he did.

Matt.

Cold_diver
25-01-12, 11:39 AM
I think Leon said it, rightly or wrongly, because he has such high standards and he wants everyone else to compete evenly.
Leon as a CEO of a rebreather manufacturer, will probably be far more aware of the competiton's behaviour than we customers are, so if it came from a place of justification or not, I can't say I'm ignorant to all the facts.

I wouldn't hold that against ISC or the Pathfinder as a product, but I knew from the market it was aimed at last year that it wasn't the rebreather for me and I'd still be swayed towards the meg.

Bmwgsboy
01-02-12, 05:36 PM
Actually I didn't say he's not bashing............... I don't think I even used the words bashing in any of my posts at all. He inferred that practice went on, I don't know if it does or doesn't, but he's right in saying 3rd party independent testing has to be more unbiased than in-house testing from the perspective of the customer.

I guess will never know.
I for one always have proof of comments
I make.

matthewoutram
01-02-12, 05:44 PM
I guess will never know.

Now that is true. ;-)

Matt.

Bmwgsboy
01-02-12, 06:27 PM
Originally Posted by Bmwgsboy
...but he's right in saying 3rd party independent testing has to be more unbiased than in-house testing from the perspective of the customer.


Sorry that was not me I was trying to copy paste the
Op comment. And replied by saying (will never know))

matthewoutram
01-02-12, 06:29 PM
Originally Posted by Bmwgsboy
...but he's right in saying 3rd party independent testing has to be more unbiased than in-house testing from the perspective of the customer.


Sorry that was not me I was trying to copy paste the
Op comment. And replied by saying (will never know))

Fixed....didn't spot the typo