YD Scuba Diving Forums banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Imported post

Hi guys,

Digger said you could help me with a little problem of mine.

I'm a ocean diver nearly sports diver and looking at buying a pony rig, but don't know exactly what to get. Basically the arguement is should it be back mounted or side slung, 232bar or 300bar, 3ltr or 6ltr capacity and should i run some inflation off it.

Or should i not bother and just twin up??

Cheers
 

·
Just not enough dive time.
Joined
·
9,135 Posts
Imported post

Depends on what you want to do and how you see yourself progressing. I passed my OW/AOW abroad but as soon as I hit UK waters I just knew that relying on a Buddy for air was not a serious option. So I bought my son and I a pair of ponies, back mounted 232 3l as were already using 12l 232 stuff on A clamps. We dont expect to dive below 30m so it would get us to the surface if required including a safety stop etc. If we go twins later they will act as stages or I might just fill it wth 100% 02 for emergency use above water.
We are happy with ours as back mounted and inverted means we can regulate the gas if it free flows and the weight doesnt cause any balance problems. I doubt if you'll get any definite answer just a series of options and info that will allow you to make an informed decision. For less than 30m I think a pony is a good way to go, it avoids too much complication, it makes transport of gas fairly easy for 2 people and it doesnt cost the Earth, personal opinion only and I'm sure others might suggest twinning up. Either way works if you are looking at redundancy and that's definitely a sensible thing to do.

HTH
Matt
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,773 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000F22'>My view would be:-

If you want to dive twins in the future(ie do deeper longer dives) then twin 7s are fab. Mine are 300 bar  and they're great and I've used them for short decos to 40m.

If you fancy getting a pony then it won't go to waste if you twin up - I'd get a 232 ali if you could as you can use that as a stage but a steel won't do you any harm either.

My preference is for side-slinging and always has been. You can switch it on and off yerself. And in a freeflow situation you could even breathe by turning on/off.

Also you could hand it off to a buddy or pass it up to the boat.

Whatever you decide getting redundancy is the main thing. How you achieve that is largely personal preference.

I don't use singles in the UK these days but I did plenty of great diving with a single and a side-slung pony.

Oh yeah - don't run inflation off it!! Please. If your inflation goes tits up then it's dive over. Inflate the BCD orally and abort.
 

·
A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
Joined
·
15,343 Posts
Imported post

Hi,

I would sugest that a standard 3ltr would be the most cost effective solution and it is perfictly adiquate as long as you are not a big gas muncher.

300bar is costley and the weight diferance might make ballanceing the rig a bit of an issue fro back mount but John Guliver will probably answer that one.

DONT go 6ltr it is too big and not big enough. What I meen is its too big as a pony and too small as a stage bottle. 7ltr is not a bad plan if you are thinking of going accelorated deco in the neer future but you are again back to side slung to ballance the rig.

Inverted back mount is a good method but you need an expensive clamp and you have to make sure the regulator hose is long enough to reach your mouth.

Side slung has several advantages. You can run the rig gas on and see any leeks. Or run the rig gas off and be confident of reaching the valve in an emergancy.

You can unclip and hand off the whole unit to allow easy re entry on to the boat or to pass to an OOA diver

Its cheep only two clips a bit of chord, a kneck ring and a J clip about £10

Its good practice for stages

Hope this helps

Mark Chase
 

·
Resident 'Jawling Man' and 'Graunching Specialist'
Joined
·
938 Posts
Imported post

To give yet another view - I use mine strapped to my main 15l cylinder using pony cam bands with the pony valve-up. This is a very common configuration you'll see on uk dive boats but has disadvantages. There are two cam bands but the system as a whole is not 100% secure, also you can't access the valve if it free flows etc. However it is a convenient and easy way of attaching a pony and the free flow is only an issue if both free flow simultaneously. I find it a comfortable way of diving but I think the side slung option has merits too.
I am doing dives to 35m using nitrox and short (15 min) deco hangs happily with this system with loads of gas to spare. I don't use the pony during the dive, it is reserved for emergencies only (never used in anger in fact).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Chase @ Aug. 31 2003,18:05)]300bar is costley and the weight diferance might make ballanceing the rig a bit of an issue fro back mount but John Guliver will probably answer that one.
I have a 3 L x 300 bar steel pony, back-mounted and inverted. Balance is not a problem. Weight could be an issue but it isn't for me as the only time I have to lift the whole set-up at once is when gearing up on the boat (or shore). Otherwise, I can carry the single and pony separately, which is why I went for a single and pony rather than a twinset. A standard octopus hose is long enough to route under my arm. The dv is on a bungee necklace under my chin. A 300 L x 300 bar pony is too heavy for side-slinging – at least mine was. It pulled me forward and downward so that I was in danger of going boots up – very unpleasant! The advantage of a 300 bar pony is of course the amount of air – 810 L (3x300x0.9). That's enough to get me safely to the surface from any depth I'm likely to dive to even if I incur a few minutes deco.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Imported post

Personally I dive a 3L ali pony back mounted with valves upwards - my reg hose isnt long enough for valves down but I can just about reach the valve when I'm not using a bcd.
I would suggest no going too cheap on your reg since you have to be able to rely on it to work in all the conditions you dive in.
If you do go onto twins you will still be able to use your pony, some people clamp in between and just behind the twins.
You will probably find that when you first use it you will flop over to one side but after a couple of dives you will get used to it and won't notice its there anymore.
 

·
Street Cleansing Operative
Joined
·
4,427 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000080'>I think you're going to get as many opinions as there are divers!

I've been considering this issue myself recently. After speaking with twins divers I am thoroughly convinced by their merits. You need to decide whether you want an entirely separate air source for bail out or just require redundancy for system failure. Of course, the belt and braces approach is the one suggested above - twins and a pony!

In my opinion, deciding you need a bail out air source is planning for bad gas management. Agreed, there may be situations were you are sufficiently distracted by ongoing events to not notice that you are running out of air. Suddenly sucking on nothing would be one hell of a wake-up call and you'd be glad of your pony then!

Can you anticipate being in this situation? The answer to that should tell you whether you need a pony. A twin set alone would not cover you in this situation. That's why twin divers use the rule of thirds (i.e. plan to surface when tanks are still 1/3 full). Would twin 7's then be enough air for you, or will you need 10's?

It's a can of worms, ain't it? I know I've not been much help, but there seems to be no absolute answer. I hope that I have at least given you something to think about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Imported post

hi tiewrap,

when i got my pony, i was aked my a few members of my club if it was the right thing to do, the premise being that i'd probably end up with a twinset sooner or later. to cut a long story short, they were right.

However, for a lot of divers that don't want to arse about with twins and wings, a pony is a fine way to go.

For a SD doing 25~35mtr dives,a pony makes diving a lot less worrying as if anything does go wrong with your gas, you've got a spare reg that you know will work. I used mine with a technosub backet which is about £50 and a simple 232bar 3l tank,  a cyklon reg and a button gauge.

i got a cyklon rather than a cheap as chips scubapro r190 as my main reg was a cyklon and i knew it would help reduce the cost of moving to a twin set - if i decided to do it in the future.

As you're in a club it's worth hasslng the members try and borrow their ponys and/or see if any of the club's newer techie divers are selling their old ponys.

I'd say it's probably not worth going straight out and buying a twin set just yet. Go out and do a load of SD style deeper dives with your pony and get happy with the depth first. - that's probably a debatable issue though, so you really need to do what you feel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,363 Posts
Imported post

Well, we've already had the discussion a couple of times, but side-mounted is my suggestion.

As for the 6l possibility, it's not really open to you. I ended up with my sixes pretty much by accident, and they do the job for lots of different diving, but as Mark said, when things get more serious, 7s or bigger is the answer. Then again, my air consumption is pretty good, and the 6 will get me from 45-50 including a few minutes of stops. I don't dive to those depths without the twins now, but it's there as a backup to them sometimes. Certainly for some dives I'd have a 6 of air on the side as bailout for both twins regs going. Highly unlikely, but I'm so used to having a tank there it's not really an issue to take it along. And you never know when someone else might need it.

Anway, I'm sure you'll get plenty more opinions on this one, have you looked at Dom's site yet? He must have something about ponies and stuff. Link anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Davies @ Aug. 31 2003,21:22)]In my opinion, deciding you need a bail out air source is planning for bad gas management. Agreed, there may be situations were you are sufficiently distracted by ongoing events to not notice that you are running out of air. Suddenly sucking on nothing would be one hell of a wake-up call and you'd be glad of your pony then!
No, Mark, it's planning for emergencies. However well you plan your gas supply, you can still find yourself out of air with a single cylinder if Murphy puts in an appearance at the wrong time. It needn't have anything to do with destraction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (gaz @ Aug. 31 2003,21:48)]i got a cyklon rather than a cheap as chips scubapro r190 as my main reg was a cyklon and i knew it would help reduce the cost of moving to a twin set - if i decided to do it in the future.
Scubapro's R190 may be cheap as chips, Gaz, but it's one of the most reliable regs ever made. Like the Volkswagen beetle, it has no frills but it's a good old workhorse and won't let you down. I've had one on my pony for 5 or 6 years and it has never free-flowed, even in January/February in our zero degree Swedish waters. My Cyklon was a bugger for free-flowing and one of my beloved Apeks regs did free-flow on one occasion. Don't knock the R190! I see your point about wanting to have the same reg on your pony and single cylinder, though.
 

·
Street Cleansing Operative
Joined
·
4,427 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000080'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] (John Gulliver @ Aug. 31 2003,22:00)]No, Mark, it's planning for emergencies. However well you plan your gas supply, you can still find yourself out of air with a single cylinder if Murphy puts in an appearance at the wrong time. It needn't have anything to do with destraction.
Yes John, I kind of agree. But I think it applies to twins aswell as singles.

I'm having this discussion on the DIR forum aswell. I'm trying to find a good argument for not having a pony if you've got a twinset, but it's exactly the point that you've made that's making a compelling argument for keeping one. I've put what I think is a good example on that thread, if you care to have a look and join the debate. (In "Hose routing the DIR way").
 

·
Street Cleansing Operative
Joined
·
4,427 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000080'>Dom,

I take it that you are now diving on twins and without a pony? Please, have a look at the thread I mention above and post back here with your views. I'd be interested in what you've got to say.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,839 Posts
Imported post

That's right.

My views on what, needing a pony cos you've run out of air?

No, sorry, I think anyone who runs out of air just because they've ignored their SPG shouldn't be buying a pony, they should be giving up diving. There's no excuse for it, and it's a personal belief of mine you should never buy a piece of equipment to cover your own inadequacies.

If the problem is "I don't monitor my SPG", the solution is "Monitor your SPG", not "buy a pony".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Imported post

Absolutely agree, Dom! There is simply no excuse for runing out of air because you didn't monitor your spg. Amazingly, though, I've seen it happen several times.
 

·
Street Cleansing Operative
Joined
·
4,427 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000080'>Dom,

I did ask for your views, so thank you. I was rather surprised though, and the sparsity of the reply makes me wonder whether you read my last post on the other thread (I wasn't talking about running out of air "just because you ignored your SPG").

The argument that you are making (and Tibbs and Phil on the other thread) seems to be:

"I am too good a diver to ever run out of air. Regardless of the situation I am infallible".

Well, we're all human, and I think the example I posted is one that we could all find ourselves in. I appreciate your argument, but personally I think that planning to rely entirely on my ability and training in an extreme emergency is simply complacent. Perhaps you've been there? Perhaps you're confident that you know exactly how you will behave?

I don't know. I would like to have that confidence, and you will probably suggest training and regular drills. What drills do you do to prepare yourself for looking your best friend in the eye before turning your back on him and leaving him to die at the bottom of the sea?

I'm a little more humble. I am human, I am fallible. We are none of us "Dive Gods".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,839 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]The argument that you are making (and Tibbs and Phil on the other thread) seems to be:

"I am too good a diver to ever run out of air. Regardless of the situation I am infallible".
Not at all.

I've seen two scenarios posted - a dive where you were so busy sightseeing you ran out of air, and a problem such as buddy entanglement.

In the first, I maintain that there's no excuse for - I value my life more than sightseeing.

The second, your example was buddy tangled up. And then, basically, your argument is you'll be too busy trying to free him to monitor your air.

I agree. But I still don't agree that's grounds for a pony.

Firstly, you ought to have enough air reserve that you could spend a reasonable amount of time without running out of air. That would get you out of any normal entanglement problem.

In the event of the severe tangle-up that you postulate, my first instinct wouldn't be to charge in blindly, shears a-waving - it would be to alert the surface. Send up an SMB, an emergency signal if you have one, with a note attached if you have that capability...

Once the SMB is deployed, I would get on with cutting my buddy's entanglement. Hopefully, support would be sent down, or we'd get free in the meantime.

Summoning surface aid with decent amounts of air instead of going it alone with my rapidly-emptying cylinder would, IMHO, be a far better option than going it alone. If no rescue divers came down, I would continue to try and get my buddy free until I ran out of air. If I had a pony, I would switch to that and continue my efforts until that ran dry to. I won't leave a buddy to drown just because I'm worried my air is getting low.

So no, even with your extreme example, I see no benefit to any twinset diver of carrying a pony. A twinset protects you from equipment failure, I have no need of something that'll keep me from running OOA.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]What drills do you do to prepare yourself for looking your best friend in the eye before turning your back on him and leaving him to die at the bottom of the sea?
None - that's why a pony is no good to me. I wouldn't leave if I had any choice. From the way you post, I doubt you would either.
 

·
Street Cleansing Operative
Joined
·
4,427 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Dominic @ Sep. 01 2003,11:01)]I've seen two scenarios posted - a dive where you were so busy sightseeing you ran out of air, and a problem such as buddy entanglement.
<font color='#000080'>Dom,

I don't remember posting the first scenario. I think you have misinterpreted my earliest post when I first mentiond OOA as a result of distraction. I was thinking of distraction in terms of a situation such as the second scenario, not mere sightseeing! That would be inexcusable.

My query first arose when I was telling a colleague about my new rig - though a single cylinder, in terms of redundancy it operates much like a twinset. His immediate reaction was "But you've got no bail out!".

Now my view had been much like yours. Every time I've approached the topic I've made it clear that I think "planning for OOA situations is just bad gas management". (Though I've said it several times, in your eagerness to flame me you seem to have overlooked that.)

But he got me thinking if there was any concievable situation where I could inadvertantly run out of air. The example I posted was one I thought of, and I wasn't sure how it would be dealt with without a pony. Your last reply covered the situation very well, thank you. It was what I had hoped for initially, rather than the sparse rant about my apparently crap diving.

We got there in the end.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top