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View Full Version : Steel Tank recomendations please



robo
07-31-2007, 08:59
Hi all,

I've been diving typically to 85 ft using al 80's, and since diving with nitrox and computers for the last couple of years, I would like to get a couple of tanks where I can match my max bottom time with the tank capacity. I seems my dives are always cut short due to capacity, ex. 25 min, where EAN36 would give me 40 minutes bottom time (I just pulled this out of the air for discussion purposes, don't have tables or my computer here at work). My typical 2 dives are 75-85 ft SW, at least an hour SI.

From talking to folks, some say I could use a steel 100, 120, or 130. The 120 has approx. the same diameter as an AL 80, where the 130 is fatter. I'm 6-4 220 lbs, so the height of the tank would not be a problem for me as I have a long torso, so the tank wouldnt beat me upside the head.

Is it adviseable to use a din reg for these tanks? I have 2 conshelf se2 yoke regs in good shape that I have been using. Do they make din adapters for these regs, or should I go with something new?

Thanks.

Wolfie2012
07-31-2007, 09:25
I love my 130's and you should be able to handle any size up to that with no problems, considering your size. Nobody can say really what the perfect size you'll need, but if you have a shop that rents different size tanks you might be able to try some. I dive cold water locally and the 130's work great for me with my drysuit. Easy to max bottom time with them. :)

As far as DIN vs. yoke for these tanks - most yoke 1st stages are rated for 3500 psi so you shouldn't have problems with HP tanks since they should only be filled to 3442 for the most part. Not sure if you can get a din conversion for your first stage.

WaterRat
07-31-2007, 09:49
The X7-120's that Larry carries look like nice tanks. They're 7.25" diameter and 5 pounds lighter than the 130. A 120 would give you about 55% more bottom time compared to the aluminum 80.

Ron

Hex92
07-31-2007, 12:31
Get the tall 120s (x7s?). @ 6'4" they should fit you perfectly when gearing up. I'm the same height and I have 2 sets of PST E7 120 doubles. I dove my first two as singles for a year before making the switch to doubles. I trimmed out nicely in the water and had loads of air.

I also have a set of the Faber LP 95s. They are way too short. I had to make a block out of 2x4s to set them on while gearing up so they wouldn't pull me over backwards.

WaterRat
07-31-2007, 14:14
Yeah, the X7-120's are the tall tank. If you go to the 130 it moves to an 8 inch tank and you lose a few inches on the height.

Ron

DirtyWaterIL
07-31-2007, 15:41
if you gonna do it, I'd say go get 130s. If your gonna spend the money, go all out and get the big ones.

Puffer Fish
07-31-2007, 17:06
I love my 130's and you should be able to handle any size up to that with no problems, considering your size. Nobody can say really what the perfect size you'll need, but if you have a shop that rents different size tanks you might be able to try some. I dive cold water locally and the 130's work great for me with my drysuit. Easy to max bottom time with them. :)

As far as DIN vs. yoke for these tanks - most yoke 1st stages are rated for 3500 psi so you shouldn't have problems with HP tanks since they should only be filled to 3442 for the most part. Not sure if you can get a din conversion for your first stage.
Just be aware with a yoke, that if they do overfill, you will go thru a lot of o-rings..

Puffer Fish
07-31-2007, 17:07
if you gonna do it, I'd say go get 130s. If your gonna spend the money, go all out and get the big ones.
I would say the 120's.. lighter..

GlockGuy
07-31-2007, 17:20
I am biased, as I dive the 120's, and here's why - Most of the boats in this area have tank racks, but they are older racks that won't accomodate an 8" diameter tank. Also, when I travel, I carry my BC with me and my straps are set for thinner tanks, like the AL80's that I usually have to rent (lots of shops won't carry bigger tanks for rent due to the increased cost.) Sure, it's a little thing to adjust straps, on a pitching boat, crowded by other divers...:smiley19:

I also went with DIN when I bought my regulator, in preparation for diving HP tanks later. Most new valves are already DIN with a yoke insert, so it's no problem from that stand point.

Finally - If somebody says "Penny for your thoughts" and you give them your two cents worth, where does the other penny go? :biggrinbounce2:

Puffer Fish
07-31-2007, 17:27
I am biased, as I dive the 120's, and here's why - Most of the boats in this area have tank racks, but they are older racks that won't accomodate an 8" diameter tank. Also, when I travel, I carry my BC with me and my straps are set for thinner tanks, like the AL80's that I usually have to rent (lots of shops won't carry bigger tanks for rent due to the increased cost.) Sure, it's a little thing to adjust straps, on a pitching boat, crowded by other divers...:smiley19:

I also went with DIN when I bought my regulator, in preparation for diving HP tanks later. Most new valves are already DIN with a yoke insert, so it's no problem from that stand point.

Finally - If somebody says "Penny for your thoughts" and you give them your two cents worth, where does the other penny go? :biggrinbounce2:
Excellent advice..

Regarding the penny... they asked for a penny, and you gave them two cents.. that leaves them with an extra penny... its a pyramid scheme.. do that say 30 or 40 million times and you are one wealthy person.

BSea
07-31-2007, 17:29
if you gonna do it, I'd say go get 130s. If your gonna spend the money, go all out and get the big ones.
I would say the 120's.. lighter..
I have to agree for a couple of reasons. Besides being lighter, some boats (like the Fling/Spree) say not to bring 8" diameter tanks. You don't want to end up with 1 of their 80's if you everr go out with them to the flower gardens. If you use the Scuba Pro type tank bands, you don't want to switch tank diameters too much. It's really a pain to adjust those. If you have standard straps, it's no big deal.

Puffer Fish
07-31-2007, 18:04
if you gonna do it, I'd say go get 130s. If your gonna spend the money, go all out and get the big ones.
I would say the 120's.. lighter..
I have to agree for a couple of reasons. Besides being lighter, some boats (like the Fling/Spree) say not to bring 8" diameter tanks. You don't want to end up with 1 of their 80's if you everr go out with them to the flower gardens. If you use the Scuba Pro type tank bands, you don't want to switch tank diameters too much. It's really a pain to adjust those. If you have standard straps, it's no big deal.
Excellent points.. I have both, but then I have a BC setup for travel and a BP/W for local.. but I like the logic..

tedwhiteva
07-31-2007, 19:54
I am biased, as I dive the 120's, and here's why - Most of the boats in this area have tank racks, but they are older racks that won't accomodate an 8" diameter tank. Also, when I travel, I carry my BC with me and my straps are set for thinner tanks, like the AL80's that I usually have to rent (lots of shops won't carry bigger tanks for rent due to the increased cost.) Sure, it's a little thing to adjust straps, on a pitching boat, crowded by other divers...:smiley19:

I also went with DIN when I bought my regulator, in preparation for diving HP tanks later. Most new valves are already DIN with a yoke insert, so it's no problem from that stand point.

Finally - If somebody says "Penny for your thoughts" and you give them your two cents worth, where does the other penny go? :biggrinbounce2:

Agree with all glockguy said - diameter on boat tank racks, weight, height is good (I'M 6'2" and 120 is perfect). But they are HP (3400) so DIN would be better for o rings, etc. Wait until you dive with no weights or a lot less - you won't go back.

Splitlip
07-31-2007, 22:25
What would you guys diving the 120's say is the height limit for one of the hp 120's? I am 5-11. Would the 120's be uncomfortably tall?

techgnostic
07-31-2007, 22:46
I'm surprised they don't have a "common diver height::tank size" chart listed in the specs you see when researching tanks.

Puffer Fish
08-01-2007, 06:09
What would you guys diving the 120's say is the height limit for one of the hp 120's? I am 5-11. Would the 120's be uncomfortably tall?
It is really your waist to shoulder height...and a bit of how high the tank is mounted.

You can get the correct height by using an alumimum 80 and sitting down - is the tank valve above your head.. if not.. how far down is it? I'm 5'11" and can easily use a 120, but don't (I like the balance of the 8" tank). But I have short legs, long arms... swing from trees...

You don't want the valve hitting you in the head, or the tank butt getting in your way when kicking.

GlockGuy
08-01-2007, 06:52
I'm between 5'8"-5'9" (depending on the time of day!:smiley5:) and I have never had a problem with the height of my tanks.

If you REALLY want to be picky, you could argue that the smaller diameter of the 120 will result in less drag in the water, too.

Another possible consideration is the tanks that your dive buddies have. If they are all using AL80's, you will always end up coming up with a bunch of air/nitrox left over. I know that in my case, the motivation for getting my AOW and EAN cert is that the guys I usually dive with have those qualifications. It means there are than many more dives that we can do together. The problem is that one of those guys has big tanks like I do, but the other guy dives 80's. He also smokes, so we normally end up surfacing early. However, we're working on him right now to buy the same tanks that you're looking at!

TAH 73
08-01-2007, 07:52
I had the oppertunity to dive with a 120 the other day and by the end of the dive I thought the pressure gauge was broken, I had so much air left at the end of the dive.
Enjoyed being able to take off the weight vs an al80 was awesome as well, almost down to no weight needed
My Fiancee head to upsize to an al80 from a 63 to compensate for the extra time I was going to have with the 120, she wants a little steel tank now.
She want's a steel tank that can get her the bottom time she would get with an al80 but in the smaller size. She is small so when she goes out with a 63 she can get the same amount of bottom time I get with an al100

frankc420
08-01-2007, 07:56
130's.. they aren't that much more than the rest, so spend that little extra and get the big boy!

frankc420
08-01-2007, 07:57
I had the oppertunity to dive with a 120 the other day and by the end of the dive I thought the pressure gauge was broken, I had so much air left at the end of the dive.
Enjoyed being able to take off the weight vs an al80 was awesome as well, almost down to no weight needed
My Fiancee head to upsize to an al80 from a 63 to compensate for the extra time I was going to have with the 120, she wants a little steel tank now.
She want's a steel tank that can get her the bottom time she would get with an al80 but in the smaller size. She is small so when she goes out with a 63 she can get the same amount of bottom time I get with an al100

HP-100 would probably be her best bet. HP-80 is smaller than a AL-80, I would think the HP-100 is about the same size at the AL-80 and would give that extra air.

Edit: AL-80 is 26.06" tall and 31.38lbs, 4.4lbs bouyant empty, -1.4 full. ST-100 is 24.12" tall and 33lbs, -1 empty, -8.5 full.

BSea
08-01-2007, 08:12
What would you guys diving the 120's say is the height limit for one of the hp 120's? I am 5-11. Would the 120's be uncomfortably tall?
It should be OK. I have a 120 & I'm also 5-11. But my favorite tanks are LP 85's. The reason is I can get them overfilled to 3000 which makes them about the same as a 100. That is about the perfect amount of gas for me. I generally use my 120 when I'm making multiple shallow dives. That way I only need 1 tank to make 3 dives.

cummings66
08-01-2007, 19:28
I'm 6' and dive the HP120's, but I prefer the HP100. IMO the HP100 is the tank perfection. If you are comfortable with the AL80 then you will be with the HP100 and full it's not going to break the back.

After I get done with my tech classes later this year or early next year I'll probably sell my HP120's and buy some more HP100's.

Splitlip
08-01-2007, 20:38
Thanks to all who responded on the 120 question.
I am diving LP 98's (pumped to 3000) now, and have been thinking about the HP100's or the 120's as it is getting harder to have the LP's pumped up.
I can borrow 100's, but not 120's. I like the idea of using an Al 80 to see if it fits.
If I get 100's my daughter can use them, but I am more inclined to put her in HP 80's. I can borrow an 80 too.
Sorry for boring you folks, but just letting you know my thought process.
In reality, I need to dive them to see if they work for trim and buoyancy.
And then they are 6#s heavier than the 100's and 1# heavier than my 98's (which I can still get pumped for the time being) to 117CF.
After further consideration, I'm going HP 80's for my kid, HP 100's for me (probably when I can no longer pump the LP's).
Thanks again all.

CompuDude
08-03-2007, 18:20
These may be a minor considerations, but:

HP100s are nearly the perfect tank. The question is, which way to step up if you want/need more? HP120s are good for the reasons stated, assuming you are tall enough... most will want to be at least 6' to 6'1" before going with them, although there are obviously exceptions, since every body is different. At 6'3", I'm easily tall enough to pull of the HP120s, but I prefer the HP119 instead.

Why? The HP119 is the exact same height as an HP100 (which is generally a couple of inches shorter than an Al.80). This means when I lay HP119s and HP100s down in my car (an Element), lengthwise in the direction of travel, they fit perfectly. A taller tank does not.

Also, I can loan my tank to someone shorter if needed. More troublesome with the taller tank.

The majority of boats around here can handle 8" tanks no problem, so that's not really a consideration, for me. It's a valid concern depending on your location, however.

That said, I prefer my HP100s to any other tank for beach diving. There's a BIG jump in weight (on dry land) going up from the HP100. The big boys are great for boat diving, however, where you're only carrying them a few feet to the edge.

LP tanks are a tough call. I definitely see the attraction, but it's not always possible to get overfills, and then you have a lot less gas than hoped for. My HP119s are the exact same size as my LP95... but if I end up at a shop that doesn't want to overfill (and that is the case with my usual shop, which is the most convenient to me by far), I'll have 95 in my LP95. Less, actually, because it no longer carries the + rating. My HP119s, however, even if only filled to 3300 (a fairly short fill, IMO, but it happens) still have 114 cf in them.

In the end, I'd say the most important consideration is body size and what can you physically take, to narrow the field. After that, regional concerns such as HP (or over-) fill availability, 8" tank rack availability, etc., should govern.

Coaster
08-03-2007, 22:56
I like my LP108...fits good (5'11")... lots of air...8" not a downside to me...my next tank might be HP steel.

robo
08-06-2007, 11:15
Thanks everbody for some great replys! I think I'm going to buy one HP120 and try it out. It's 5 lbs lighter than a 130, and can get me down for some wreck dives at say 125 ft, with a good reserve supply, as well as my main goal which is to max out my bottom time at 85 ft gathering spiny critters.

lucidblue
08-06-2007, 22:24
HP-100 would probably be her best bet. HP-80 is smaller than a AL-80, I would think the HP-100 is about the same size at the AL-80 and would give that extra air.

Edit: AL-80 is 26.06" tall and 31.38lbs, 4.4lbs bouyant empty, -1.4 full. ST-100 is 24.12" tall and 33lbs, -1 empty, -8.5 full.

I used a HP 100 for the first time yesterday. I probably could have done 2 dives with it. I'm 5'4" so I liked the small size. It was also nice to not have to put so much weight in my BC (if you read the Stupid Diver Tricks thread (http://forum.scubatoys.com/showthread.php?t=1357&page=2), you'll see I found this out the hard way).

DivingsInMyBlood
08-06-2007, 22:32
This is a really interesting topic, I myself being new to diving and sucking up alot of air in the 80's. 120's kind of seem the way to go for me when I buy my first tank.