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OMG Azimuth

4464 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  divetheworld
I am going to try out an Azzi this weekend, and if I like, I may buy.

Can any of you guys give me some words of advise?

Have any of you used one or own one?
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Best advice I've got is not to bother. That was solely on the feel of the unit when I tried one. It clicked, whirred, and generally wasn't a nice bit of kit to use. That said, I don't know a lot about how it works, I just know I don't like how it feels. The Drager felt better to me, and the Inspiration better than that.

How much are the things? If it's cheap then you could do well out of it, but I wouldn't get one.

Just my 2c.

divetheworld said:
Can any of you guys give me some words of advise?

You get all of the bad things such as extra complexity during the dive, longer kitting up time, and more taskloading, (when compared to OC ) and none of the perceived benefits of a breather such as no bubbles and gas efficiency.

Try it by all means, I would try one myself but still stick with the twinset.

i love it

i have just completed my drager course and dived on twins 4 at least 8 years. For dives less than 40m they are not going to be used i love my RB

divetheworld said:
I am going to try out an Azzi this weekend, and if I like, I may buy.

Can any of you guys give me some words of advise?

Have any of you used one or own one?
hello i've rebuilt one of a friend and found it a lot more confertable than the dreager(on your back) and it has some options on converting to ccr using it own plumbing but it's lid covering the lunges is a little flimsy and could do with some extra strapping,
the build i think is prity good for a cheep unit and the built in stand is very handy,
i think they do an AFmodle now for trimix which basicly looks the same apart from two injector/controlers one on each side.
there is how ever a few issues with northan diver who dose the servesing/inporting.
john routley

Hi ....there is an excellent teardown of the Azi at www.nobubblediving.com
by Dave Sutton who really liked it (especially the Stainless Radial scrubber). I've seen a unit but not dived one & I'd say the only major omission is an ADV but from memory Bob Howell makes one for it (the one I saw was also quite heavy out of the water). I have been diving a 2nd hand Dolphin for the last year & would say that SCR has been a great intro to RB diving in the 0-40m range. The doommongers (hi!:) on here always seem to talk about blocked jets, bubbles & poor gas economy. In reality once you are used to it you can clearly hear the gas flow through the jet throughout the dive, there are some bubbles but they are all behind you & again the exhaust gurgle is a safety factor, Gas economy is nowhere near CCR but you can adjust the flow to match your own metabolic rate once you get the hang of it a 10litre on the Dolphin does a days diving with around 90 bar left regardless of depth. Most SCR's are also fairly easy/cheaply converted to KISS CCR. That said if you get a unit from ND for £1800, you will need to spend £300- £750 for 02 monitoring (depending) & maybe an ADV which will be the thick end of 3K.....So I'd think about a sportkiss for similar money...??
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Bob Howell doesn't make anything any more so you will be stuck for an ADV.

I just don't see the point of SCR. Why? It's riskier than OC, more restrictive, more hassle, more maintenance, more expensive and gives no deco advantage. It's a gimmick, though a well made gimmick.

The only point I can see is to convert one to CC but if you are buying a new one then again there is no advantages. Different if you get one 2nd hand.

I'd agree with Digger, it wasn't a particularly pleasant RB to dive.

On the plus side the DSV is about the best there is, a mate of mine replaced his MK15.5 mouthpiece with one he liked it that much.

Save your money and spend the £1800 on diving.
Thanks guys,

I found it clicked, whirred, and generally didn't breathe nice. My DIY breathes better, and that has universally been recognised as a dodgy bit of kit. We put the one way valves in ourselves, and they were are than the Azimuth one I used, I found I could hear them and created interesting spikes in the WOB.

Technically is an important word. Technically it may be superior, but in reality I found the Drager better. That said, I wouldn't buy either, but that's me. You could really do with try-diving a load of units before you buy. I've done about 3 dives on an inspiration thinking about it, and decided against. Since then I've done one on the Azi, Drager, the D5 and a few on my unit, and the Azi is the worst IMO.

I also wasn't a big fan of the buttons and bits. They were in the wrong place for me. You would get used to it, but I had none of these problems with any of the other units I've tried. They were almost instinctive by the end of the dive. The Azi I was looking down fiddling to get to things.

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Hi Brent

I can only comment on the Dolphin, for the first tenty minutes the first time I dived it (on the course) I didn't enjoy the breathe at all, just felt sooo different from O/C & to be fair if that was my only exposure to it I would hav esaid "no way". Cos I'd already bought it, I persevered & once I got into the breathing pattern (which take took a couple of dives) I find it much better than my O/C regs (x-streams) & very relaxing to dive. I would say get a "proper" long try dive if you can. Not sure bout reported "clicking & whirring"...on my unit you can hear a clunk from the one way valves opening & closing if there's no one else near & the sound of gas through the jet which sounds like wind whistling in the distance (sounds dumb but you'd know what I meant if you heard it)...& every few breaths the O/P valve vents which sounds like gurgling water going down the drain...Water washing over the O/P valve at the top of the shell also makes a burping sound when at the surface which makes most people look....but it's normal....Pete Gruncell at www.inspirationtraining.com has a lot of experience with both units & may be able to advise you?
Mike (Gimmick Diver)
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I will be interested in how you get on with the Azi. I am also looking to acquire one - at £1800 from Northern Diver they appear to be much better value than the Dolphin, and appear relatively easy to dive with 2 different mixes - lean mix for going deep, and strong mix for Deco
Azimuth Unit - why so cheap?

I did the course on the Azzi 2 or 3 years ago with Bob Howell.

I'm already a user & instructor on the drager and inspiration and thought the layout of the azimuth was superior to the drager for the average recreational diver. If the unit had lived up to my expectations I was convinced it would be a far more user friendly unit to own & run than either of these units for the average diver.

I was very disappointed to find the overall quality of construction to be very poor. The dsv (mouthpiece) is crap (the operation is great but its all held together with cable ties and doesn't seal due to a lack of sealing O-rings), the frame twists around as the chassis is made of really soft plastic which feels bizarre underwater. The unit feels much more bulky than a correctly fitted YBOD, despite the counterlungs being back mounted. The harness and wing just felt odd. The switching valve doesn't close off the first cylinder when the second cylinder is accessed; it depends on the higher interstage pressure of the 2nd 1st stage for its operation (does that make sense?) which scares me a little.
The testing equipment supplied with the unit, however, is superb - the flowmeter alone is worth having for the drool factor and the stainless scrubber is a work of art.

Having done the course and decided not to buy one I didn't come across another for a couple of years until I had an azimuth diver forced upon me down in Cornwall (cheers Foxy). It was hilarious watching the guy trying to put his loop back together on the boat after lifting it by the breathing hoses and several cable ties springing off into oblivion. Once sorted, the unit appeared to work perfectly well underwater but the operator seemed very preoccupied with the unit's switching block and appeared generally uncomfortable.

I'm not sure where the azimuth fits in the grand scheme of things; many seem to think it's just a few tweaks away from a CCR - but that would involve some pretty serious MODs that probably aren't worth doing.
The unit is great as designed - an scr with a second cylinder of the same gas as scr bailout (or lots of open circuit bailout).
It doesn't strike me as particularly useful for extended range diving with any deco (using two different nitrox mixes) as the four litre cylinder doesn't supply enough bottom time to pick up enough deco to make it worth putting a rich mix in the second cylinder. You'll need to carry additional offboard bailout gas so why not just carry a small OC deco cylinder instead?
Incidentally you have to set the flow rate for the bottom mix, it can't be adjusted easily underwater so you waste the second richer mix at too high a flow rate.

The best setup I've seen (read; simplest) was a little 1.5 litre cylinder on the side of a drager, filled with oxygen, manually added to the inhalation bag with a VR3 plugged in to monitor. The user simply added a squirt of o2 during deco to raise his PO2 to reduce his deco obligation. Maybe this setup would work onthe Azzi.

Would I buy one? Not for the £3000 grand asking price the last time I looked.
For only £1800 though - I'd be tempted.

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