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Chilkie
05-08-2009, 08:48
Hello. I'm a safety first kind of guy so I've decided to purchase a pony bottle system in case of emergency (equipment failure, my own or someone else's stupidity, etc.). I've been looking at a lot of the posts on here trying to figure out what exactly I need.
Is there a preconfigured set up which can be purchased with a 19 Ft. bottle (which seems to be the consensus minimum)? I know that you can "piecemeal it together", but as a newbie I'm a bit nervous about doing so.
Also, I am unclear as to what different connection types are available to fill them with. Aren't they simply filled at your LDS when you fill your standard tank?

I also have a question about the "spare air" systems, which I understand are limited by their small volume. I am interested in purchasing one in addition to my pony bottle because I am told you can travel with them. I do not expect it to get me to the surface on it's own from 100 ft (although some posters say it can do so) but I wish to have something extra with me when I have been "buddied up" with someone I do not know, just in case. What needs to be done to take them on a plane? I take it that they need to be completely emptied. Anything else? Also, do people get a hard time taking them through the security gate at the airport? What about if they are in checked baggage?
Thank you all in advance for your responses.

No Misses
05-08-2009, 09:53
You will get a bunch of different "perfect Set up" responses.

Here is mine.
AL19 ( I prefer brushed AL as opposed to paint)19 Cubic Foot Pony Bottle reviews and discounts, Catalina (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=AL19)
Zeagle Pony Straps Zeagle Pony Bottle Attachment reviews and discounts, Zeagle (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=ZeaglePonyBottleAttachment)
Any good reg (1st stage, 2nd stage, SPG)Mares R2 Rebel Regulator reviews and discounts, Mares (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=MaresR2Rebel)
Dive Rite hose retainer Dive Rite Hose Retainer reviews and discounts, Dive Rite (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=DiveRiteHoseRetainer)

When I use a pony, I mount it upside down next to my primary cylinder. I mount mine on the left side. Keep in mind that you will need a longer LP hose to reach from low left to your mouth. Minimum 42 inch.
My reason for mounting it upside down:
--I dive with the valve off. This way I know that I have a full cylinder when needed.
--With it upside down I can reach back and turn it on with my left hand.

There are long, sometimes heated, threads on why one way is better than the other.
Valve off or valve on
Sling or back mount
Minimum capacity of pony
High performance reg or low tier
Bare or painted cylinders
etc.

P.S. I am not a big fan of spare air. If I am going to carry more than my back gas, 19 cf is as small as i will go.

Except for rare occasions (overhead environment or entanglement) You can make a CESA from >100'. The gas in your lungs expands as you ascend. It is better to be hurt on the surface, than dead on the bottom.

Good luck.

awap
05-08-2009, 10:03
Before you buy a spare air, look again at a smaller (13 cf) pony. The 19 is a great size as, even if you lose 300 to 500 psi over a few days of diving, it will still have plenty of gas for an emergency. The 13 is also plenty of gas to get you safely to the surface but I usually top mine off every day as it does not have much reserve.

The 13 will pack and travel quite a bit easier than the 19 with today's luggage restrictions. A spare air is better than no air, but not much.

waytooslow
05-08-2009, 10:07
Before you buy a spare air, look again at a smaller (13 cf) pony. The 19 is a great size as, even if you lose 300 to 500 psi over a few days of diving, it will still have plenty of gas for an emergency. The 13 is also plenty of gas to get you safely to the surface but I usually top mine off every day as it does not have much reserve.

The 13 will pack and travel quite a bit easier than the 19 with today's luggage restrictions. A spare air is better than no air, but not much.

Don't mean to highjack but are you having any issues with not having to get new vis inspections since valve needs to be removed to fly? Thanks

No Misses
05-08-2009, 10:17
[quote=waytooslow;296054Don't mean to highjack but are you having any issues with not having to get new vis inspections since valve needs to be removed to fly? Thanks[/quote]

Getting a VIP at your destination would be cheaper than buying a transfill whip. Some fill station operators can be real nut busters. I would hope that the fill station where you are traveling would understand the air travel thing and just fill it. Worst case you are looking at what $15 for a Visual inspection. That is a small cost compared to the rest of your trip.

Sansho
05-08-2009, 12:00
I use a 19 cu ft pony, with a Oceanic CDX-5 sealed first stage with an Oceanic Alpha Octo (has slightly higher crack pressure than Alpha 8, less likely to free flow), a Quick Draw Pony Bracket, and a Highland mini-pressure gauge on a 21" hose zip tied to the Octo hose. All available from ST.

navyhmc
05-08-2009, 12:09
I sling either a 19 for dives 50'-90' with a Beuachat VS-3 and a 40 with a Mares MR-12 for dives 90'-130' Usually, I will pressurize the reg and then turn it off, but that's my system. What works for you is good to.

I do agree with the theory that a Spare Air is better than nothing, but is good only to make your CESA a bit more comfortable. A 13 cu ft is better than nothing, I started with a 13 and decided that even for 50' it is a bit of a stretch to make a slow normal ascent with minimal amount of air for a safety stop-but then again, a safety stop is not necessarily needed at 50'. It's a good practice, but not completely required.

MxDiver
05-08-2009, 12:42
Chilkie, there were a couple of great posts on this subject no too long ago. One of them had a reference to the correct size based on how deep the dive is. I recommend you search the board for them.

MxDiver
05-08-2009, 18:15
Here, found one link for you
http://forum.scubatoys.com/general-scuba-training-questions/16840-how-do-you-use-pony-bottle.html

Chilkie
06-08-2009, 14:28
Thanks so much to everyone for your replies. I went with a 13 CF pony bottle and am now looking for a reg and octo set to go with it? Anybody have any recommendations? As it is a back up am I all right to simply go with a low cost, entry level type setup for my pony bottle?

Thanks again!

Chilkie
06-08-2009, 14:32
Oops..sorry...I guess that I don't need an octo w/ my pony. I've been conditioned to think of a reg and octo as one set and not two separate components.

fire diver
06-08-2009, 16:26
Thanks so much to everyone for your replies. I went with a 13 CF pony bottle and am now looking for a reg and octo set to go with it? Anybody have any recommendations? As it is a back up am I all right to simply go with a low cost, entry level type setup for my pony bottle?

Thanks again!

Any reg will work for a pony bottle. Although, like everything else in this hobby, there are several schools of thought about this. One says that any cheap, proven reg will work for a pony or deco situation. The majority of use is shallow, so why spend money for a deep, super breathing reg? The other school says that all your regs should be equal in your setup. You should be able to swap regs or parts in case of a breakdown inthe field. Having X number of sets of the same reg also simplify your inspection/servicing.

wxboy911
06-14-2009, 14:44
I use an OMS workhorse for my pony rig and its been great so far. I went with the OMS mostly because it was one of the least expensive DIN regs I could get at the time.

Tassie Diver
06-14-2009, 16:55
If you think you might ever want to get into planned deco diving, get a tank (like a 40cuft or 65cuft Al) that you can use as a stage tank. Sling it like a stage tank and you're away.

I use an unbalanced piston reg on mine. Cheap and cheerful. Don't need high-performance if you're only going to use it for bailout/shallow stops.

Of course, if you're planning to breathe off it at 40 metres, something a little more advanced might be adviseable.

Cheers

TD.

mm2002
06-28-2009, 07:16
If you think you might ever want to get into planned deco diving, get a tank (like a 40cuft or 65cuft Al) that you can use as a stage tank. Sling it like a stage tank and you're away.

I use an unbalanced piston reg on mine. Cheap and cheerful. Don't need high-performance if you're only going to use it for bailout/shallow stops.

Of course, if you're planning to breathe off it at 40 metres, something a little more advanced might be adviseable.

Cheers

TD.


I think a 40 or 65 is getting a little bulky for rec diving. 13 or 19 is best, and doesn't get in the way. If you ever go to deco diving, then buy what you need. Again, just an opinion.

navyhmc
06-28-2009, 07:30
A lot also depends on your planned depths and RMV/SAC rates. I did an experiment my last dive and switched to my 40 cu ft bail-out/pony to see if I could actually make a slow controlled ascent with it. I found that I could travel about 100' at 100ffw, make a slow ascent with a 75' deep stop for 2 min and then a safety stop for 3 min at 15'. If I did that with a 19, I would not be able to make the deep stop. as I used right at 28 cu ft for the entire ascent. I would recommend a 30 cu ft if you're planning to go below 90' and use it as a bail out.

The next step is trying the 19 cu ft at 60' and see what happens.

mm2002
06-28-2009, 08:13
A lot also depends on your planned depths and RMV/SAC rates. I did an experiment my last dive and switched to my 40 cu ft bail-out/pony to see if I could actually make a slow controlled ascent with it. I found that I could travel about 100' at 100ffw, make a slow ascent with a 75' deep stop for 2 min and then a safety stop for 3 min at 15'. If I did that with a 19, I would not be able to make the deep stop. as I used right at 28 cu ft for the entire ascent. I would recommend a 30 cu ft if you're planning to go below 90' and use it as a bail out.

The next step is trying the 19 cu ft at 60' and see what happens.

Agreed. At that depth, with a 19, you'd have to omit the deep stop. That 2 min @ 75ffw uses up a lot of air.