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Jipps
10-22-2007, 18:12
Most of the time, unless im with some friends i would like to dive by myself, instead of w/ a diver i dont know. The captain i go w/ will let me do this if i get a pony bottle, so ive been thinking about getting a pony first and keep on renting my primary. Any thoughts on this idea? and any recomendations for mounting techniques and pony bottle size?

frankc420
10-22-2007, 18:44
I would say, buy your primary rig and suck it up until you can afford a pony bottle and rig for it. Your reg setup on your pony should be better than your primary reg anyway. Why? Because it needs to be 100% reliable, otherwise what's the point? The pony should only be used in an emergency, so a reliable reg for a pony is a MUST.

Sling it! Why spend the extra $$ for a tank mount setup?

fire diver
10-22-2007, 21:00
Even if the boat captain may let you, you might want to put some consideration to your desires. You need to have quite a bit of experience, and weathered a few minor emergencies before you start running around solo.

I solo most of my dives, but I don't encourage it of others. Most of the people wanting to solo have very few dives and just enough experience to be dangerously overconfident.

FD

Jipps
10-23-2007, 10:02
I would say, buy your primary rig and suck it up until you can afford a pony bottle and rig for it. Your reg setup on your pony should be better than your primary reg anyway. Why? Because it needs to be 100% reliable, otherwise what's the point? The pony should only be used in an emergency, so a reliable reg for a pony is a MUST.

Sling it! Why spend the extra $$ for a tank mount setup?

Well I already have all my gear except for tanks, and its kinda hard to put a better reg on my pony bottle when/if i get it. Since im not spending $700 on a reg going onto a pony bottle.

CompuDude
10-23-2007, 13:01
I would say, buy your primary rig and suck it up until you can afford a pony bottle and rig for it. Your reg setup on your pony should be better than your primary reg anyway. Why? Because it needs to be 100% reliable, otherwise what's the point? The pony should only be used in an emergency, so a reliable reg for a pony is a MUST.

Sling it! Why spend the extra $$ for a tank mount setup?

Well I already have all my gear except for tanks, and its kinda hard to put a better reg on my pony bottle when/if i get it. Since im not spending $700 on a reg going onto a pony bottle.

Put a cheap but reliable reg on your pony. I went with the Aqualung Calypso. $140.

awap
10-23-2007, 13:07
I would say, buy your primary rig and suck it up until you can afford a pony bottle and rig for it. Your reg setup on your pony should be better than your primary reg anyway. Why? Because it needs to be 100% reliable, otherwise what's the point? The pony should only be used in an emergency, so a reliable reg for a pony is a MUST.

Sling it! Why spend the extra $$ for a tank mount setup?

Well I already have all my gear except for tanks, and its kinda hard to put a better reg on my pony bottle when/if i get it. Since im not spending $700 on a reg going onto a pony bottle.


"Better", when you are talking about reliability, need not be more expensive. An unbalanced piston 1st stage witha classic downstream 2nd is hard to beat for reliability and is on the lower end of the price scale.

Which you should get first depends on how badly you want to dive solo on that boat. For local recreational diving, an S19 would probably be appropriate.

mark44883
10-23-2007, 13:25
i get lonely down there there's no one to talk too!!!! blouuub bloooop

Jipps
10-23-2007, 19:25
Yah, I know more expensive isnt necesarily better, ive been lookin at possibly getting the atomic Z2 as my pony reg, and probably a 40cf tank
for the pony. Not sure about what im gonna do for pressure though, may just get a button guage for convenience, or a mares compact guage.

fire diver
10-23-2007, 19:49
Yah, I know more expensive isnt necesarily better, ive been lookin at possibly getting the atomic Z2 as my pony reg, and probably a 40cf tank
for the pony. Not sure about what im gonna do for pressure though, may just get a button guage for convenience, or a mares compact guage.


why did you chose the 40? Have you done the calculations to find how much gas you need to safely come up from the depths you will be using this at?

FD

dutchman
10-23-2007, 20:31
Aqualung Titan Regulator
$204.95
Leasure Pro
Works great

Jipps
10-23-2007, 22:59
Yah, I know more expensive isnt necesarily better, ive been lookin at possibly getting the atomic Z2 as my pony reg, and probably a 40cf tank
for the pony. Not sure about what im gonna do for pressure though, may just get a button guage for convenience, or a mares compact guage.


why did you chose the 40? Have you done the calculations to find how much gas you need to safely come up from the depths you will be using this at?

FD

I know for a fact that I personally will not need that much air, but id wrather have more than not enough. For example, most of my dive buddies use air twice as fast as me, if something goes wrong i could then give them my pony and know they would have enough to get to the surface.

texdiveguy
10-23-2007, 23:09
For normal recreational NDL diving:

1--19cf cylinder
2--sling it and do not mount to back cylinder
3--http://www.leisurepro.com/Prod/CategoryID_1159/Context_954/Sort_Stock/DescSort_0/Filter_2%3d206%3a1%3d438/OCNA8SP5BL.html?Hit=1
4--SPG either thimble style or small gauge on 6"HP hose
5--practice and use only as a contingency gas supply

fire diver
10-24-2007, 08:35
I know for a fact that I personally will not need that much air, but id wrather have more than not enough. For example, most of my dive buddies use air twice as fast as me, if something goes wrong i could then give them my pony and know they would have enough to get to the surface.

What I was getting at was this. A 40 is HUGE for a pony tank. It is so much overkill as to almost equal a small set of doubles.

I don't know your diving habits or SAC. Maybe you do need a 40. Maybe you only need a 13. You need to figure out with hard numbers how much gas you need to get to surface with a normal ascent rate and a safety stop. Then pick the next size up to allow for some cushion.

Check out this thread, especially this post...

http://forum.scubatoys.com/tanks/3404-best-size-pony-tank.html#post51237

FD

Jipps
10-24-2007, 13:01
thanks for the link fire, that was actually very informative. Im startin to think more for a 30, its smaller and still leave me/my buddy enough air. I regularly am diving 90-110ft. I only use about 300-400psi to come up safely w/ hp 100s. And thats if im breathing hard. I'm a big guy so i dont think a 30 will be cumbersome to me, and my boss showed me a good way to mount it to my main tank and still be able to retrieve it and give it to another diver. If you have any other info id be more than happy to hear it, Im trying to get as much feedback as possible.

mitsuguy
10-25-2007, 12:58
and my boss showed me a good way to mount it to my main tank and still be able to retrieve it and give it to another diver. If you have any other info id be more than happy to hear it, Im trying to get as much feedback as possible.

Thats what I was thinking - I would hate to drag another bottle around just to never need it... but using a quick release to attach it to the primary tank would be ideal... I know I've seen them available...

reeldive
10-27-2007, 21:20
As for the reg on the pony - buy new! not used from e - bay or someone else. I use an aqualung Calypso. It is a reliable piston reg that has been around for a log time and eazy to find service for - world wide -
Just remember to soak it well after dives with pressure. ie still on the pony. I put an ABS Octo on mine and a button type SPG. Test dives to 90+ prove it to breath easy and the ABS octo can be used upside right or upside down

Jipps
10-28-2007, 21:54
yah, ive been lookin at a few different regs for the pony. Been lookin at maybe a Titan by aqualung, but it will depend what kind of deals i can get, dema is in town this week so maybe some vendors will take pitty.

Grin
11-21-2007, 11:05
I dive a 13 and a 6 sometimes. The 6 is really a panik bottle, and is not going to get you a complete/slow/correct accent, but it will get you some time to get your act together and do a 1/2 baked semi slow accent. I figure if it gets me to 30ft and runs dry I will be expecting it and can swim up from there easily. My plan is to accend semi quickly to 40-50 ft and then slowly accend normally until the 6 runs dry. that's all personal planned stuff that isn't really a good idea to preach. The 13 is the real way to go if under 100 ft. The 19 for 100 and deeper. Since the 19 is the same diameter as a 13 and only a couple inches longer it is a good bottle to get to cover it all. Break out the VISA and get good everything is my recomendation!

Matt P
11-25-2007, 08:27
and my boss showed me a good way to mount it to my main tank and still be able to retrieve it and give it to another diver. If you have any other info id be more than happy to hear it, Im trying to get as much feedback as possible.

Thats what I was thinking - I would hate to drag another bottle around just to never need it... but using a quick release to attach it to the primary tank would be ideal... I know I've seen them available...


I've been debating whether to go doubles or pony for a few months now. I've decided to go pony for at least the next couple of dive seasons. Can you post a link to the kind of "quick release" hardware you're describing? Thanks!

Jipps
02-05-2008, 09:54
and my boss showed me a good way to mount it to my main tank and still be able to retrieve it and give it to another diver. If you have any other info id be more than happy to hear it, Im trying to get as much feedback as possible.

Thats what I was thinking - I would hate to drag another bottle around just to never need it... but using a quick release to attach it to the primary tank would be ideal... I know I've seen them available...


I've been debating whether to go doubles or pony for a few months now. I've decided to go pony for at least the next couple of dive seasons. Can you post a link to the kind of "quick release" hardware you're describing? Thanks!

The quick release I plan on using is a simple homemade model. you double up some 1/2" surgical tubing in a figure 8 shape. the small end goes around your camstrap, the larger loop is stretched around the pony. With a brassring and clip around the tank neck you sling it upside down, clipping it off to a d-ring. Then when you need it you just unclip and pull it out.

5513
12-24-2008, 08:37
Put a cheap but reliable reg on your pony. I went with the Aqualung Calypso. $140.

Agreed, logic would say that an inexpensive, reliable workhorse on a pony makes sense. I have an old Oceanic Delta on a OMS first stage that I plan on using (if I ever get the the stage I'm comfortable diving solo).

Duckydiver
12-24-2008, 11:29
With reguards to the pony reg. I see that ST has a Zeagal 1st stage for $65 and you could get a used 2nd stage from ST for $50.

I got a used seaquest piston reg from the LDS for a similar price.

And a 30cf is a good sized pony IMO, any biggger for recreational diving might be overkill.

navyhmc
12-24-2008, 11:59
Depending on your dive plans-30 will usually suffice. Since my primary is a 120 lp, I chose a 40 so I would have a safety of 1/3 my back gas. Do your planning, know your SAC and RMV for your dives and have a 1/3 back up that's not included in your planning, this is your get out of trouble ONLY gas.

This said, before you do any solo diving, please get a lot more dives and take a solo class. There is a reason that the agencies that have a solo course want around 100 dives before you take a solo class. If you look at Fire Diver's profile, he has over 100 dives, I have over 1,000-closer to 2,000. I have had a number of critical things happen underwater that I had to deal with calmly and correctly-most of which were out of my control until I had to deal with them. I would imagine Fire Diver has too. Crisis management and panic control is very important if you solo. These points come out in the solo course.

A pony in and of itself is not your savior in a crisis, your brain is. It will only help you if your problem is air related. What happens if you have a BC failure? Do you have the rest of the contingency gear? Do you know how to use it?

Solo has it's place and it can be enjoyable diving, but seriously think about the consequences before you do it. I don't intend to get into the dive count debate or the should you solo debate-those horses have been beat into a gooey mass of protoplasm. Solo diving is more than just going by yourself. Get training first!

BTW: I started with a 19 cu ft pony and went to a 40 for the solo. I still haven't used either for a practiced emergency; down at 110 and have a planned OOA that makes me switch to my pony and make my controlled ascent with a Safety Stop and deep stops. That's planned for my next buddy dive.

Grin
12-25-2008, 07:56
I actually had a situation at 80 ft and had to go on my pony a few months back. I had planned a deeper dive but conditions changed that plan and I ended up in about 110 ft and decided to leave the 30 pony rigged. So when I had to go on the pony, at 80 ft, I knew the 30 contained major excess gas supply for this task, so I could come up real nice and slow. To add to the situation I was working, and breathing hard, when my primary quit(I'll leave that long indepth story out). So I went on the pony breathing hard at 80 ft. When I got home I looked to see how much I used out of the 30, during that 9 minute accent from 80 ft. I used 13CF(I had 1700 psi left in the 30 bottle/started with 3000). So a 13 would have worked great. Rememeber this was a long and extra cautious 9 minute accent, which could easily be cut to 5 minutes and still been perfectly inline, including a full safety stop and all. When pushing it(working hard/breathing hard/maxing out no deco time), I add alot of extra accent time in, is the reason for the 9 minutes accent from 80ft. The 30 I have is for dives to 150+.

Since this thread was started last year, I now have a 6,13,19 and a 30. The 6 works, but I wish I never wasted my money on it. The 19 was given to me recently or I wouldn't have it either. If you only get one pony the 19 is a good choice and covers everything to around 140ft without having to think about it much. If you mount them on your back, you can't hardly tell a difference between any of them, during your dive. It's definatly not like your down there thinking "this big pony is slowing me down" or anything. You actually don't even know it's there at all. But there are alot of considerations when rigging a pony, which make everyones pont rig basically a custom rig. Such as sling or back mount, gauge type and placement, valve on or off during dive, how deep, Are you going to screw around looking for your buddy or immediatly ditch for the surface the second you go on this bottle, etc...

ektess1
12-28-2008, 14:54
I have a 30 and slig it. I want to go into tech and thought getting used to a slug bottle would be advantagous. Most times I don't even bring it. I use it for solo or deep insta buddy. A 40 is to bulky for everyday use. Also, if it is slug it is easy to change main tanks.

mksmith713
03-26-2009, 11:45
I use a 13cf and had to use it once from a depth of 70 fsw and I did fine though I did cut my 3 minutes a wee bit short.
I still had some to spare.
At 60 feet or less I could have made a leisurely ascent.....:)