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Rigging my new Faber 45 August 4, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Equipment.
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Most of my technical diving has been done with a pair of Steel Faber 95 low pressure (2640 PSI working pressure)  tanks on my back, with a standard manifold setup and two Apeks TX50 DIN regulators, while my deco and/or stage tanks are my AL80s which also serve for single tank diving. The latter are a little large for most of my needs. They do come in handy when I need an extended bottom time but most of the time they’re overkill for decompression. Because they also serve for recreational diving as my back gas, it can be logistically difficult when I have them pumped up with EAN50 or 80 and then having to bring them back down to something reasonable to use on the bottom.

So I’ve hankered after something smaller, that I can put a rich gas into and have available all the time. So when this Faber 45 came available almost new at a reasonable price I snapped it up. In anticipation of the wreck diving course a few weeks ago we filled it with EAN50, but it didn’t get used so having to drain it to put on a neck ring wasn’t my favourite idea, and actually they’re becoming hard to find (OMS gear in general is becoming harder to find). So I asked my buddy Rich (not the drummer 🙂 to share the details of the DIR method of rigging stages.

Rich has gone over to DIR methods more than the rest of us, who still indulge in forbidden practices like using wet suits and bungeed wings. It seems that steel stage bottles are also frowned upon because of their weight, but I actually saw a mention of the Faber 45 as an exception. The complaint about steel tanks is their weight, and anyone who has jumped in the water with a wet suit, steel backplate and steel doubles on their back can attest it takes a lot of air in the wings to counteract the weight at the beginning of the dive. Mind you, by the end of the dive I figure I’m only a few pounds negative when the tanks are almost dry, and  I’d rather carry the weight in my tanks than as extra lead.

Similarly, the 45 cubic foot tank is slightly positive when empty, so in that regard it is similar to Aluminum. For its size, it holds more gas (assuming that you take advantage of the tanks ability to hold more than its rated pressure). But when it comes to DIR, if their methods have advantages I’m happy to use them. Last year Rich mentioned than the working side of a clip should be facing the body, to reduce the chance of it getting tangle in any line that you might come across. All else being equal, that’s the way I now clip anything to a D-ring. Just don’t ask me to give up my bungeed double bladder wing.

I took the stage bottle rigging right from the description on the DIR-Diver web site. I didn’t manage to procure any inner tube so I used surgical tubing for the top and nothing at present to protect me from scratches from the hose clamp on the bottom. I mounted the business end of the clamp away from me and that will have to answer for the time being. I’ll also have to replace the line before too long as I used polypropylene instead of polyethylene which will wear out much more quickly.

Faber 45Unfortunately you can’t see the upper clip at all and the lower one is obscured in this picture. The looped black hose is the LP hose for the second stage, and the straight black hose above it covers the polypropylene lanyard that loops over the tank valve and holds the clips. The 5″ hose clamp around the tank is clearly visible, though. The first stage has its ports at 90 degree angles so the pressure gauge sort of sticks straight out in the picture, being 90 degrees from the second stage LP port. I will loop it around so it’s more compact but I don’t think the first stage setup is ideal for this application.

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1. In the warm and cold waters of the Bay « Chronicle of an older diver - August 13, 2009

[…] of current. No problems with that. I entered from the boat ramp because I wanted to gently test the rigging on my new Faber 45 and doing a giant stride entry was a bit much to begin with I thought. It still had EAN50 having […]

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