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mcc2318
11-22-2007, 15:39
i'm wanting to get one but i'm not sure which one to get

mm2002
11-22-2007, 15:53
From what I've learned, it depends on what type of diving you'll be doing. Seems that the deeper you're diving, the more air you'd want to have along. I think I'm going to get a 6 and sell my spare air.

wheelman
11-22-2007, 16:03
I would go with the 13. More air is probably better and if you are concerned with size, not much difference between these two, 1 inch dia. and 2 inches length.

texdiveguy
11-22-2007, 16:25
i'm wanting to get one but i'm not sure which one to get

If you are looking at a redundant air source a pony cylinder is a great addition to your recreational dive gear.

In terms of a size and method of carrying you can ask several divers and get several answers! :-)

In the big picture of basic recreational diving I might recommend a medium ground approach to size......(from a cost stand point cylinder size will not effect the cost much).....I find a 19cf cylinder a good size. The 6cf is way to small....though any additional contingency gas is better than none....in the same tone a 13cf is still a wee bit small but again is better than none.

I might suggest you look at slinging the cylinder as opposed to mounting on your main cylinder. Easier to handle during the dive for you or a buddy....easy to get to and monitor and no mess when swapping your main cylinder out.

Good luck....and remember once you have assembled your pony set-up,,,practice with it until you are familiar with its deployment and care.

frankc420
11-22-2007, 16:30
I personally chose a 30cf. My choices were 19cf or 30cf.

The 30cf bottle landed in my lap, so it was an easy choice for me. But, I think the 30cf could bail me out of just about any air related scenario (not bad air), I would like to think so anyway.

quasimoto
11-22-2007, 17:36
If I was going to buy one of that size I would go with either a 13 or 19. The 6's are too small unless you are doing 40-50' dives. With most calculations a 13 should get you back to the surface from 100' with a safety stop. With the size and price difference I think a 13, at least, is a no brainer.

Soonerwink
11-22-2007, 22:25
Check out Scuba Toys prices sometimes bigger isn't much more money. And I have seen Pony bottles upto 40 attached to tanks.
ScubaToys-SF Search Engine Output Page (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/search_results.asp?iLevel=1&txtsearchParamCat=ALL&txtsearchParamMan=ALL&txtsearchParamVen=ALL&txtsearchParamType=ALL&txtFromSearch=fromSearch&txtsearchParamTxt=pony+bottle)

fireflock
11-22-2007, 22:49
You can calculate the amount for gas you will need for the kind of diving you plan to do if you know something about your air consumption rate.

This page has a table that will provide an answer (not _the_ answer), but it's a really good idea to learn where the numbers come from.

Rock Bottom and Gas Management for Recreational Divers (http://www.scriptkiddie.org/diving/rockbottom.html#tables)

I choose a 19cf bottle for the diving I do, and it's the largest size I would travel on a plane with. If all I was doing was local than I might have gone for a 30cf.

Your buddy makes a darn fine pony bottle - if you can find a good buddy.

Rich

Grin
11-23-2007, 08:09
I used a 6 for awhile for dives to max 80ft, but a 6 really is not the desired equipment for 80ft dives. I started using my 13 again for those dives. A 6 will do the following at dives to around 80ft: It will basically get you to the top doing a 1/2 baked accent compared to a rapid accent. Not recomended, but it'll work. I call the 6 a panik bottle as that is really what it is. It gives you some air to get your act together for a not so great accent. My thought was if I needed it I would accend to 50-60 ft ratehr radiply and then do a standard accent without a safety stop going slower and slower until it runs dry, hopefully, at around 10 ft. The 13 allows a perfect accent with a safety stop from 100ft. The 6 is so much smaller but a compromise. A 6 could easily be sucked dry in a panik if you don't start accending pronto. It's not a good idea but if you are aware of all the angles it would work OK to maybe 80 ft, max. If going past 100ft get a 19, it's the same diameter as a 13 and won't felel any different. Actually once in the water none of them are really detectable to any degree. Out of the water we like to try to be as super streamlined as possible, but the difference betwen a 13 and a 19 is zero, as far as that factor is concerned.

shadragon
11-23-2007, 10:08
i'm wanting to get one but i'm not sure which one to get

This depends on how deep you go, your SAC rate, ascent rate and personal safety limits.

This is an excellent article on how much air you need for redundant air supply.

How much air do you need to stay safe (http://stason.org/TULARC/sports/scuba-diving/15-How-much-air-do-you-need-to-be-safe.html)

It shows the cubic feet of air per minute consumption rate. Read the notes on this chart. These numbers were generated when the diver was not under stress. Air consumption skyrockets when you are agitated. It is also for a 60 fpm ascent rate which is fast for some.

Don't look at a specific size of Pony until you know what kind of dive profile you want to do with it. Once you figure your air needs add a good reserve in there for unforeseen circumstances. It is no use if you run out of air at 40'.

Puffer Fish
11-23-2007, 10:13
You can calculate the amount for gas you will need for the kind of diving you plan to do if you know something about your air consumption rate.

This page has a table that will provide an answer (not _the_ answer), but it's a really good idea to learn where the numbers come from.

Rock Bottom and Gas Management for Recreational Divers (http://www.scriptkiddie.org/diving/rockbottom.html#tables)

I choose a 19cf bottle for the diving I do, and it's the largest size I would travel on a plane with. If all I was doing was local than I might have gone for a 30cf.

Your buddy makes a darn fine pony bottle - if you can find a good buddy.

Rich


Interesting use of that data, and a nice presentation (except for the "dive community" insisting on using the wrong terms to describe things...).

I would agree with the concept of what is safe at depth, and a 6 is only good for above 100 feet (unless you have a really low svpm (Surface Volume Per Minute).

Only issue I would question is the part about why you are carrying one... it should be for you, and you alone...as you are turning the dive with enough tank air for your buddy. If you have a high rate, then get a bigger one, lower, get a smaller.

mm2002
11-23-2007, 10:15
Some very good points brought up here. I may rethink my decision and go with a 13.

awap
11-23-2007, 10:22
A 6 cu ft pony is really just a big spare air where you will need to be planning on making a CESA aided by a good number of breaths rather than a normal ascent including rest stops. For example, with an OOA at 120 ft assuming a SAC of 1.0 (a little panicy) and an ascent rate of 60 fpm (a bit fast), your 6 cu ft will be exhausted just before you reach the rest stop. A 13 should allow a full rest stop and still have a little gas to spare. If you want to slow the ascent rate to 30 fpm you would either need to reduce your SAC a bit or go with an S19.

texdiveguy
11-23-2007, 10:28
Unless you plan in the future to get into extended range diving I think based on all the math you want to do (and the formulas are great...they offer us a insight and estm. of our gas needs under set parameters of which we then can factor in safety margins) ,, but looking at this OP's limited background he would be served well to stay in the 19cf range. So many times I see divers go buy 30/40cf cylinders only to find them not as applicable for rec. diving they are engaged...then they quite using them as a 'hassle'. The idea is to get oneself accustome to carrying the pony cylinder on 'all' dives not just selected ones....as we can't determine the future and fate of our dive or as we see in scuba--Mr. Murphy. Stay clear of the small 6/13cf cylinders and the SpareAir systems. * IMO at the very beginning of ones diving career you are best served by staying shallow and practicing the skills that you have just been exposed to in youer o/w class....dive-dive-dive, this goes a long way in building good diving protocols and experience so important in scuba.
Course you could always just go to doubles for your rec. diving... :-)

Puffer Fish
11-23-2007, 10:48
Unless you plan in the future to get into extended range diving I think based on all the math you want to do,, that the OP would be better served to stay in the 19cf range. So many times I see divers go buy 30/40cf cylinders only to find them not as applicable for rec. diving they are engaged...then they quite using them as a 'hassle'. The idea is to get oneself accustome to carrying the pony cylinder on 'all' dives not just selected ones....as we can't determine the future and fate of our dive or as we see in scuba--Mr. Murphy. Stay clear of the small 6/13cf cylinders and the SpareAir systems. Course you could always just go to doubles for your rec. diving... :-)
Tex - one day I will understand this, but why do people think doubles offer any safety? They are, just a bigger air supply, unless you use one, just as a "spare" Once you are past the half way point, they are just like any other tank.. perhaps even a bit less safe.

Note: The math of redundency is that the more things you have the more likely a failure.

I used doubles for over 20 years... but not for me, for students...my double 72's had at least a tank left, when students were headed up on their second dive. I carried a pony for me..

I have never recorded a usage rate of over .86 (that is the highest I have gotten to), and my average is between .35 and .50 cubic ft/minute), depending on how cold, and how much work.

For deeper, longer dives, I use a 133, with a pony..more for cost than anything else. When I got free fills, it did not matter,but filling doubles, is, well, twice the cost.

awap
11-23-2007, 10:56
Stay clear of the small 6/13cf cylinders and the SpareAir systems.

A 13 should be quite adequate for recreational diving if your SAC is OK and you don't tend to panic given a minor emergency. But the 19 does carry just as easily UW, is a bit more of a packing burden for air travel and gives you more cushion as testing or whatever slowly reduces content. That 13 is equivalent to about 500 psi in an S80 while the 19 is equivalent to about 750 psi in an S80.

in_cavediver
11-23-2007, 11:15
Unless you plan in the future to get into extended range diving I think based on all the math you want to do,, that the OP would be better served to stay in the 19cf range. So many times I see divers go buy 30/40cf cylinders only to find them not as applicable for rec. diving they are engaged...then they quite using them as a 'hassle'. The idea is to get oneself accustome to carrying the pony cylinder on 'all' dives not just selected ones....as we can't determine the future and fate of our dive or as we see in scuba--Mr. Murphy. Stay clear of the small 6/13cf cylinders and the SpareAir systems. Course you could always just go to doubles for your rec. diving... :-)
Tex - one day I will understand this, but why do people think doubles offer any safety? They are, just a bigger air supply, unless you use one, just as a "spare" Once you are past the half way point, they are just like any other tank.. perhaps even a bit less safe.

Note: The math of redundency is that the more things you have the more likely a failure.

I used doubles for over 20 years... but not for me, for students...my double 72's had at least a tank left, when students were headed up on their second dive. I carried a pony for me..

I have never recorded a usage rate of over .86 (that is the highest I have gotten to), and my average is between .35 and .50 cubic ft/minute), depending on how cold, and how much work.

For deeper, longer dives, I use a 133, with a pony..more for cost than anything else. When I got free fills, it did not matter,but filling doubles, is, well, twice the cost.

The whole point of doubles for safety isn't more gas, its the ability to selectively turn off regs, isolate tanks etc. IE Gas conservation. OOA because you used up all of your gas yourself is something an competent diver should never have happen. Yea yea, you can come up with all the scenarios with other divers but between you and your buddy, you should have ample gas saved for most of them anyway.

A really nice little set of 45's or 50's would be my ideal 'rec' diving config for those reasons. A nice 19-40cft pony also fits the bill but I still prefer doubles. I personally view 6-13 as a bit small.

texdiveguy
11-23-2007, 12:16
Unless you plan in the future to get into extended range diving I think based on all the math you want to do,, that the OP would be better served to stay in the 19cf range. So many times I see divers go buy 30/40cf cylinders only to find them not as applicable for rec. diving they are engaged...then they quite using them as a 'hassle'. The idea is to get oneself accustome to carrying the pony cylinder on 'all' dives not just selected ones....as we can't determine the future and fate of our dive or as we see in scuba--Mr. Murphy. Stay clear of the small 6/13cf cylinders and the SpareAir systems. Course you could always just go to doubles for your rec. diving... :-)
Tex - one day I will understand this, but why do people think doubles offer any safety? They are, just a bigger air supply, unless you use one, just as a "spare" Once you are past the half way point, they are just like any other tank.. perhaps even a bit less safe.

Note: The math of redundency is that the more things you have the more likely a failure.

I used doubles for over 20 years... but not for me, for students...my double 72's had at least a tank left, when students were headed up on their second dive. I carried a pony for me..

I have never recorded a usage rate of over .86 (that is the highest I have gotten to), and my average is between .35 and .50 cubic ft/minute), depending on how cold, and how much work.

For deeper, longer dives, I use a 133, with a pony..more for cost than anything else. When I got free fills, it did not matter,but filling doubles, is, well, twice the cost.

Puffer.... I like your NEW avatar...were was the shot taken!!? Nice.

I use a 19cf pony when engaged in typical recreational dive profiles....and it simply provides additional protection to my already st HP130cf cylinder with H-valve! I take this setup on all rec. dives. Doubles are another option for 'redundant protection'--they offer several mechanical options to isolating gas....I also use doubles at times in recreational diving and extended range air diving. Al.80 doubles are great for recreational diving as a starter set. But for this thread we are talking about pony cylinders.

The OP of this thread has very limited experience....course my comment to doubles earlier was in jest!....I think a mid sized pony after he gains addition dive experience would be a nice addition to his diving gear.

vadiver
11-23-2007, 14:17
I still don't understand why divers feel the need to carry a 'pony' bottle anyway. With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch. IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.

fireflock
11-23-2007, 15:04
I still don't understand why divers feel the need to carry a 'pony' bottle anyway. With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch. IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.


For the most part, it's because they don't trust their buddy (ie. don't have a regular buddy and get insta-buddied each time) or they dive by themselves (either completely solo or further than you can swim in one breath from another diver).

A good buddy with a little bit of planning eliminates the need for a pony. You buddy carries the redundant gas and regulator.

A lot of divers figure they should have a pony because others they see have one too.

Rich

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
11-23-2007, 15:21
I still don't understand why divers feel the need to carry a 'pony' bottle anyway. With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch. IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.


I don't have a need to carry a pony. I don't cary a pony as a crutch for bad gas planning. I'd carry a pony because sh*t happens. And when sh*it happens underwater it ain't good.

texdiveguy
11-23-2007, 16:40
With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch.

IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.

A good buddy with a little bit of planning eliminates the need for a pony. You buddy carries the redundant gas and regulator.

A lot of divers figure they should have a pony because others they see have one too.

Rich

I hope both of you are just kidding and don't trully believe your statements! This type of thinking generally comes from divers whom are very inexperienced and have no clue to 'real world diving issues'....and/or have bought what recreational training agencies teach in their elementary o/w classes....ALWAYS dive with a buddy and stay close and don't carry a techie piece of gear--lol. Both of you are so far off in your statements above. **This thread is not about whether you feel a pony cylinder is a good or wrong thing but is about what size might be best suited to the OP's based on his original question. 'Please start' another thread entitled why its wrong for a recreational diver to carry a pony cylinder--lol.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
11-23-2007, 17:25
In answer to the OP's question. For most people 13 is sufficient at 100 ft. Betweeen 100 and 130 I'd want to have a 19. I think 6 is a bit of a joke. There are some other threads that go into how to calc the size you'd want. For example:

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

IMO Someone diving deeper than 100 ft or in non-ideal condition and only using a buddy as a redundant system is taking a lot of chances. Even if you stay together when your buddy get's narced and shares his air with a fish (yes it has happened) there goes your redundant air supply.

fireflock
11-23-2007, 17:36
With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch.

IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.

A good buddy with a little bit of planning eliminates the need for a pony. You buddy carries the redundant gas and regulator.

A lot of divers figure they should have a pony because others they see have one too.

Rich

I hope both of you are just kidding and don't trully believe your statements! This type of thinking generally comes from divers whom are very inexperienced and have no clue to 'real world diving issues'....and/or have bought what recreational training agencies teach in their elementary o/w classes....ALWAYS dive with a buddy and stay close and don't carry a techie piece of gear--lol. Both of you are so far off in your statements above. **This thread is not about whether you feel a pony cylinder is a good or wrong thing but is about what size might be best suited to the OP's based on his original question. 'Please start' another thread entitled why its wrong for a recreational diver to carry a pony cylinder--lol.


Did you read what I wrote on this thread? You're tilting at windmills, dude....

Rich

texdiveguy
11-23-2007, 17:43
With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch.

IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.

A good buddy with a little bit of planning eliminates the need for a pony. You buddy carries the redundant gas and regulator.

A lot of divers figure they should have a pony because others they see have one too.

Rich

I hope both of you are just kidding and don't trully believe your statements! This type of thinking generally comes from divers whom are very inexperienced and have no clue to 'real world diving issues'....and/or have bought what recreational training agencies teach in their elementary o/w classes....ALWAYS dive with a buddy and stay close and don't carry a techie piece of gear--lol. Both of you are so far off in your statements above. **This thread is not about whether you feel a pony cylinder is a good or wrong thing but is about what size might be best suited to the OP's based on his original question. 'Please start' another thread entitled why its wrong for a recreational diver to carry a pony cylinder--lol.


Did you read what I wrote on this thread? You're tilting at windmills, dude....

Rich

Yes I did or I would not have posted what I did.....I tilted nothing! If you 'ment' to say something else in your statements that came out different than you wrote please clarify dude.

mm2002
11-23-2007, 18:31
I disagree with the posts about not needing a pony. I don't intend to carry a redundant air source "just because other people do". If an OOA situation were to occur, and you're buddy was within "sharing" distance, saw your problem, AND he/she had enough air to share....all may be well. Add in factors such as a lost buddy due to vis issues, a buddy too far away to help, or a buddy that was also running low on air, and there you have a perfect reason to carry a redundant air source. I've never heard of a diver drowning because their pony bottle was too obtrusive.:smiley2:

fireflock
11-23-2007, 18:45
nevermind - should have ignored the bait the first time....

my bad...

texdiveguy
11-23-2007, 19:04
My point is that there are legitimate reasons to carry a bottle, and if you have a good buddy then those reasons can be eliminated. If you have a bad buddy (or unknown buddy, or no buddy) than the buddy bottle is useful (but not as useful as a real life _good_ buddy).


Rich

Again I did not tilt anything....you may interpret my to the point reply as tilting...so be it. I am simply expressing the real world facts of diving and redundant gas delivery systems in OOA situation. :-)

I don't agree that just having a good buddy is all that is ness. to dive safely and eliminates the need some divers feel with adding a pony cylinder to their gear and dives. As a matter of fact the presents of a redundant gas delivery system between a buddy team is a smart move/not a good as both carrying redundant gas....there are a ton of reasons why that buddy of yours may not/will not/can not be present at the time of an OOG situation. I am not attacking you---lol....but this whole issue was and is not in the context of this OP's thread....so again I would suggest you might start a seprate thread and voice your views in regards to your beliefs that a 'good buddy' can eliminate the need of redundant gas systems.

in_cavediver
11-24-2007, 07:41
I still don't understand why divers feel the need to carry a 'pony' bottle anyway. With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch. IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.

Vadiver,

You miss one obvious use of a pony - self rescue. Basically, if you have a problem, you have your own first bailout option and are dependent on no one else. I would not call that poor dive planning.

awap
11-24-2007, 08:43
You miss one obvious use of a pony - self rescue. Basically, if you have a problem, you have your own first bailout option and are dependent on no one else. I would not call that poor dive planning.


Perhaps the problem is that some folks who subscribe to team diving only, believe that planning and equipping for self-rescue makes about as much sense as a one armed piano player.

terrillja
11-24-2007, 23:12
I just dove the Chester Poling today, and was happy that my dad and I both dive with 30 CF pony tanks. My dad got a short fill on his tank and hit ~250psi at 94' (his prescription mask broke and he had been misreading his gauges, he just ordered another and bought the parts to fix his, so he always has a backup now). I yanked his octo off its clip and almost forced him to take it, since his eyes were messed up and he thought he had 600PSI... He took it and ascended at a leisurely rate, did a nice 5 min deco stop, and got out, no problems, only draining another 500psi from the pony. With the 30, I had no worries that he would run out, but if he had a 14 or smaller, it could have been much closer. Especially as we are taking a wreck course now and starting to to penetrations, having that extra air is well worth it, IMO.

We both have the zeagle pony attachment, keeps everything close, but out of the way, which I prefer over a slung bottle when possible. Not knocking on the guys with slung bottles, just a matter of preference.

mcc2318
11-26-2007, 14:52
think that I'm going with the 13

texdiveguy
11-26-2007, 16:45
think that I'm going with the 13

We each in the end must choose based on our experience and persl. feelings....a 13cf cylinder is a much better choice than none at all.

mcc2318
11-26-2007, 20:18
im not lookin to push the limits, i want the back up for that oh s#!t scenrio

mcc2318
11-26-2007, 20:24
Ok I hit enter too soon, I'm not trying to push any limits. I just want to have the equipment for that oh crap scenario. I don't even go past 80 ft. Not that I'm scared or anything I just dont have a passion to go deep. I'm lookin for nemo not the andrea doria

texdiveguy
11-26-2007, 20:45
Ok I hit enter too soon, I'm not trying to push any limits. I just want to have the equipment for that oh crap scenario. I don't even go past 80 ft. Not that I'm scared or anything I just dont have a passion to go deep. I'm lookin for nemo not the andrea doria

Well we know were the Doria is, she is very easy to find....now Nemo is another story....you find Nemo and we all will live a life of peace and love forever!!

Good luck on your purchase and diving......80' can in some cases be a very deep dive.

PA skinny
11-26-2007, 22:04
After 50+ dives, I bought a 6 cf pony. I never expected to use it, but it happened. I was paired up with a buddy in St. Croix. We were down about 60 ft for only 5 minutes when he suddenly signaled OOA. I immediately handed him my pony, stayed with him to the surface ( he panicked, and would not do a safety stop). When we reached the boat, he stil had 2000+ cf of air, and the dive master checked his reg and it was OK. Don't know why he signaled OOA. Still glad I had the pony.

ChrisA
11-27-2007, 01:05
I still don't understand why divers feel the need to carry a 'pony' bottle anyway. With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch. IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.

What if you don't have a reliable buddy? Either you are assigned a random buddy on a dive boat that yo don't know or you are diving solo. I normally do not use a pony bottle but I took one last time we were hunting lobster below 100 feet at night. It is easy to loose your buddy hunting because you spend so much time looking under rocks and in holes. Even with good skills there are some dives where it is hard to keep track of buddies. Low viz night dives come to mind.

Mtrewyn
11-27-2007, 01:43
There are alot of post in here about packing a "pony" for a flight.

If it pressurized that is illegal, remember the aircraft that crashed in the swamp from the O2 generators and the pressurized tanks a few years ago?

If you "blow them down" are you counting on being able to refill them on site? Won't that cause some inspection passing issues?

I'm new and pretty ignorant of things but trying to learn. :smiley_thinking:

shadragon
11-27-2007, 07:45
After 50+ dives, I bought a 6 cf pony. I never expected to use it, but it happened. I was paired up with a buddy in St. Croix. We were down about 60 ft for only 5 minutes when he suddenly signaled OOA. I immediately handed him my pony, stayed with him to the surface ( he panicked, and would not do a safety stop). When we reached the boat, he stil had 2000+ cf of air, and the dive master checked his reg and it was OK. Don't know why he signaled OOA. Still glad I had the pony.
I think you mean 2000 psi left. 2000 cf in a 6 cf Pony would be a wee bit over the recommended pressure I suspect. :smiley36:

Chances were he did not turn his air on all the way limiting the flow. When he got to depth the reg was not supplying enough air and he thought he was OOA.

texdiveguy
11-27-2007, 07:56
After 50+ dives, I bought a 6 cf pony. I never expected to use it, but it happened. I was paired up with a buddy in St. Croix. We were down about 60 ft for only 5 minutes when he suddenly signaled OOA. I immediately handed him my pony, stayed with him to the surface ( he panicked, and would not do a safety stop). When we reached the boat, he stil had 2000+ cf of air, and the dive master checked his reg and it was OK. Don't know why he signaled OOA. Still glad I had the pony.
I think you mean 2000 psi left. 2000 cf in a 6 cf Pony would be a wee bit over the recommended pressure I suspect. :smiley36:

Chances were he did not turn his air on all the way limiting the flow. When he got to depth the reg was not supplying enough air and he thought he was OOA.

I read it as he had 2000 (psi) in his back gas cylinder....if he was stressed which sounds like the case it led to panic in which he could well could have 'over breathed' his reg. ...hence the feeling of an OOG situation....just a speculation. Glad it ended with everyone basically ok.

shadragon
11-27-2007, 08:55
I still don't understand why divers feel the need to carry a 'pony' bottle anyway. With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch. IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.
You don't plan for the good things, you plan for the bad. A buddy is a wonderful thing until you get separated or they refuse to share their gas with you. Worse when they get OOA, panic and rip out your reg to breathe. With a buddy you have one layer of safety and few options. With a pony and a buddy you have two layers of safety and many more options when things go wrong. If your buddy has a pony as well then life is sweet indeed.

Not diving with a redundant gas supply is your choice. Up here where viz is 10' or less and heavy tidal current, buddy separation is a daily occurance and we plan for it. Diving without a pony is the exception up here.

Mtrewyn
11-29-2007, 00:40
[quote=vadiver;96725]I still don't understand why divers feel the need to carry a 'pony' bottle anyway. With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch. IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.

I think the main reason to carry a "pony" is to use as a secondary air source. Right? not in addition to your second off of your regulator, but to have a totally redundant, separate system with you.

texdiveguy
11-29-2007, 00:54
[quote=vadiver;96725]I still don't understand why divers feel the need to carry a 'pony' bottle anyway. With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch. IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.

I think the main reason to carry a "pony" is to use as a secondary air source. Right? not in addition to your second off of your regulator, but to have a totally redundant, separate system with you.

I am afraid vadiver is living in that 'perfect world' and diving just does not match to that tune.

A pony cylinder of gas is just what you pointed out--- a contingency source of gas to get you out of a pickle!

DarinMartell
12-04-2007, 18:22
Here is the rules off the FAA website:

Compressed Gas Cylinders

Travel Assistant
http://www.tsa.gov/graphics/images/compressed_gas.jpg
Compressed gas cylinders are allowed in checked baggage or as a carry-on ONLY if the regulator valve is completely disconnected from the cylinder and the cylinder is no longer sealed (i.e. the cylinder has an open end). The cylinder must have an opening to allow for a visual inspection inside.
Our Security Officers will NOT remove the seal or regulator valve from the cylinder at the checkpoint. If the cylinder is sealed (i.e. the regulator valve is still attached), the cylinder is prohibited and not permitted through the security checkpoint, regardless of the reading on the pressure gauge indicator. Our Security Officers must visibly ensure that the cylinder is completely empty and that there are no prohibited items inside.
Please note: Many of the seals/regulators used in paintball are not designed to be removed from their cylinder by the end user. The seal/regulator should only be removed and reinstalled by a factory trained technician.
Passengers considering air travel with a compressed air or CO2 system would be advised to contact its manufacturer for guidance in locating a qualified technician, or to consider shipping the system to their destination via a parcel service.


I am a newbe and use a spare air, I have run into a-lot of people that think it is too small and I will eventually also get a larger pony bottle for local Lake Michigan dives. Mine was a gift from a worried parent when they found out I was taking lessons. I kept it because as noted by someone else "Any redundant air is better then none". I don't kid myself, I know it is only enough to get some decent breathes while I CESA. But I like it becuase of it's size, I took it to Florida last month month and had it in my carry on with no problems at all. A large portion of my diving will be done on vacations with strangers. I do not trust anyone but myself to be able to help me in an emergency. I think any choice is better then none!

mm2002
12-04-2007, 18:38
[quote=vadiver;96725]I still don't understand why divers feel the need to carry a 'pony' bottle anyway. With proper planning and buddy awareness there is no need for a 'pony' bottle—even in the case of a catastrophic loss of gas, you still have a buddy and an ample amount of gas to reach the surface or the 1st gas switch. IMO a ‘pony’ bottle is just an attempt to make up for poor dive planning and buddy skills.

I think the main reason to carry a "pony" is to use as a secondary air source. Right? not in addition to your second off of your regulator, but to have a totally redundant, separate system with you.


I have to agree with that. Both your second stage and octo rely on the same primary source to deliver air. If the primary fails, so will those. A redundant air source is one that doesn't depend on the main primary. I may be a noob, but this just makes so much sense it should be elementary.

Matt P
12-04-2007, 20:58
I recently dived...dove...dived...anyway, with a guy who didn't open his tank all the way. We hit 75' when his air flow quit. He immediately realized what was wrong but was not thinking clearly enough to simply begin an ascent which should have caused air flow to resume. Instead, he signaled me...but with the wrong signal. He didn't show OOA signal. Instead, he frantically pointed his thumb over his shoulder. I thought (1) his tank was slipping out of its strap or (2) he was caught on something. I immediately went behind him to fix whatever the problem might be. A couple of seconds (2..3?) passed & I hadn't found the problem. Then, he bolted for the surface. That is when I realized what had happened. But, he was already out of reach. At about 20 feet he remembered to slow down and...oh yeah...breathe! He was fortunate in that he was not injured.

That incident has inspired me to get a 19' cu pony.

wheelman
12-04-2007, 21:03
Saving my money for a 19... It will be my next purchase.

MSilvia
12-05-2007, 07:44
Personally, I wouldn't waste my money on anything smaller than a 19. I have one of those, and 2 AL40s. I've never felt that any of them were too big. Then again, I only really use them for deco, soloing, or rinsing gear. If I'm diving NDLs deeper than 60 feet or so, I get my redundant gas from doubles.

MSilvia
12-05-2007, 07:48
That incident has inspired me to get a 19' cu pony.
Might I recommend that it also inspire you to practice turning your valve on and off, so that if it happens to you you can just deal with the problem and get on with enjoying your dive? That "problem" should be a non-issue IMHO.

WD8CDH
12-05-2007, 19:45
I "usually" dive with a pony. Occasionally with an octopus. Very rarely with both a pony and an octo. I don't think I would ever buy anything smaller than a 19 again. I have or have had a 13, a 14, a 19, 2-30's, 3- 35's and 3-40's. The 19 has the most air for the least amount of bulk since it is the same diameter as the 13 or 14, just a little longer. The 19 is also big enough for knocking around a pool or going under a boat to untangle a rope from the prop etc.

I most often use the 19 or the Luxfur 30 ( the Catalina 30 is fatter but shorter than the Luxfur so it feels bulkier).

wheelman
12-05-2007, 19:57
I have a question related to this thread. I hope it isn't to expanded... I use both air and nitrox. Usually, air first dive and ean second dive, do you fill your pony with air or a ean blend? If I need the pony the dive is ending so does it matter?

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
12-05-2007, 20:12
I keep my pony filled with air. Since I don't fill before each dive I don't know at what depth it might have to be used.

fireflock
12-05-2007, 20:14
I use air (or something close) - instead of having to worry about if the mix in the pony is too high for the depth of any particular dive.

I usually end up with something in the 25% range after topping off with a few hundred psi of whatever I have after bleeding, practice, etc...

Rich

wheelman
12-05-2007, 20:46
I use air (or something close) - instead of having to worry about if the mix in the pony is too high for the depth of any particular dive.

I usually end up with something in the 25% range after topping off with a few hundred psi of whatever I have after bleeding, practice, etc...

Rich

So you start with a tank cleaned for nitrox?

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
12-05-2007, 21:06
Mine started O2 clean and it still is, but this is not necessary unless you use partial pressure filling. Topping off from your own tank would be the same as using premix.

mm2002
12-05-2007, 21:09
I would think that in need (emergency), or for deco purposes, just air in the pony would be fine. No?

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
12-05-2007, 21:17
I would think that in need (emergency), or for deco purposes, just air in the pony would be fine. No?

It sure beats water :smiley2:

wheelman
12-05-2007, 21:21
No oxygen tanks laying around for me. Some blend of premix gets the nod. Thanks guys.

fireflock
12-05-2007, 21:29
So you start with a tank cleaned for nitrox?

I did, but not on purpose. The tank just came that way.

Like BouzoukiJoe said, it's been all less than 40% from there. I top my pony off from my big tanks (back gas).

Rich

texdiveguy
12-05-2007, 22:11
I would think that in need (emergency), or for deco purposes, just air in the pony would be fine. No?

For recreational diving air in a contingency pony bottle is just fine for your ascent and safety stop.

wheelman
12-07-2007, 06:20
I would think that in need (emergency), or for deco purposes, just air in the pony would be fine. No?

For recreational diving air in a contingency pony bottle is just fine for your ascent and safety stop.

Thanks tex.

Grin
12-07-2007, 08:59
Air is just fine. Remember, it is a emergency bail out bottle. All you need it for, is to surface at a reasonable rate to avoid the bends if your primary fails. Mine are filled with air at the shop, then topped off with Nitrox by me occassionally with a cross connect settup I bought. If you do your dives with the pony valve open, it is going to need to be topped off on occasion. Some people do their dives with the pony tank valve off, and some with it open. It depends on your opinion of how you want to run your operation. I like my valve open for a couple reasons. 1. I see the pressure before every dive quickly and easily 2. If I need it, I don't need to screw around turning the valve on while coughing water up. 3. It just seems easier to turn it on at the begining of the day and have to do nothing else but glance at the pressure gauge before dives. Others swear the valve should be off until needed for their personal reasons. I suspect they still turn it on between each dive and make sure it is ready and has pressure in the tank etc... To each his own, it is a decision you will have to make for yourself.
A pony is only as good as the person who owns and operates it. Used incorrectly ponies can possibly be more dangerous than not having one. There are many posts on other sites titled something like " has your pony ever almost killed you?".
Your pony requires constant attention. Check for pressure between dives. Occassionally do a planned test on your last dive of the day. Where you use the pony as if in a emergency. The last thing you want to do is, need the pony some day and find out there is some little item you forgot or needed attention.
Here is a situation I personally saw a pony cause: My buddy used his 19 pony for extended bottom time to gather a few extra lobsters on a dive. Then on his next dive he didn't take the pony due to it being empty. The unexpected result was the negative bouyancy he had due to the pony being removed form his settup. At the end of his dive he proceeded to struggle bigtime, to not bouy to the surface. This was on his last accent of the day when he was loaded with nitrogen to the max, exactly when it is the most important time to do a slow controlled accent and long safety stop. Result was: a not so great last accent of the day, and he had a headache and felt like crap. Probably a mild case of DCS. This was a easily unthought of factor. He should have added about 2-3 lbs of lead in place of the pony. We forgot. I must say I never thought about it until it happened. This is a relativly minor issue(compared to OOA at depth), but it shows that the slightest unforseen items can burn you. So test your pony and try to think of every possible situation and be ready for it. Don't just think you have a pony and your ready for anything. Check pressure before every dive and take afew breaths etc..
My worst fear is someone trying to help and turning my gas off after I turned it on, both main tank and pony. Even if you do dive with your pony on, you should practice turning it on while you have your BC on just for this situation. You should also be able to turn your main tank gas on while in the water. Many have jumped in and raced to the bottom only to find out the main gas was turned off insted of on just before splashing. This is a case where hopefully your pony was not turned off at the same time and you can use it while you get your act togehter. There are so many possibilities you will never think of until it happens. Adding apony can eliminate alot of possibilities but it can add others. You can't be too ready!

MSilvia
12-07-2007, 09:12
I would think that in need (emergency), or for deco purposes, just air in the pony would be fine. No?
Unless you're trained for deco, deco is an emergency. For that purpose, yeah... air will get you home alive and unbent if you follow an air deco schedule.

For planned deco, you bring a cylinder (or more) filled with a gas specifically chosen to accelerate your decompression schedule, not a "pony" which is "just in case" gas.

If deco diving is something you're considering getting training for in the future, it makes sense to get a 30 or 40 cu ft cylinder for a pony, so you can use it for a deco cylinder down the road. A 19 may not be adequate for that.

terrillja
12-07-2007, 11:03
I would think that in need (emergency), or for deco purposes, just air in the pony would be fine. No?

I keep air in mine, that way I don't have to vent it and remix it for every dive. Say you do an 80' dive, and decide to use the same mix for back gas and pony, 40%. Then you want to do a 120' dive, using the same pony. You either have to vent it and add air to dilute the mix or wait until you hit 80' before you can breathe off it, or risk O2 tox. Since I am not diving over 140' right now, air has no potential for O2 tox, so much more safe.

just my .02

Matt P
12-07-2007, 12:13
That incident has inspired me to get a 19' cu pony.
Might I recommend that it also inspire you to practice turning your valve on and off, so that if it happens to you you can just deal with the problem and get on with enjoying your dive? That "problem" should be a non-issue IMHO.Yes, not a bad idea. It is on the to-do list. Dive buddy & I have decided to make a number of changes after reviewing that incident.

somewhereinla
12-07-2007, 12:13
Some of the statements I have read are just wrong and dangerous advices. I encourage anybody thinking to get a pony to talk to a dm or instructor...

Matt P
12-07-2007, 12:21
My buddy used his 19 pony for extended bottom time to gather a few extra lobsters on a dive.This could probably be labeled as mistake Number 1 in that scenario.

texdiveguy
12-07-2007, 12:22
Some of the statements I have read are just wrong and dangerous advices. I encourage anybody thinking to get a pony to talk to a dm or instructor...

LOL--I know several DM's and Instructors that trully have 'no clue' as to the proper use of a 'pony' bottle, or its merits.

MSilvia
12-07-2007, 12:38
Some of the statements I have read are just wrong and dangerous advices.
Could you be more specific?

MSilvia
12-07-2007, 12:45
I just dont have a passion to go deep. I'm lookin for nemo not the andrea doria
So... if you're at 80' in crystal clear water and you see an amazing reef of staghorn and brain coral swarming with reef fish, a hundred spotted eagle rays, and a whale shark just over the dropoff at 110', I trust you'll avoid the temptation to drop down and take a closer look?

Few people go to depth for it's own sake... it's most often because there's something there they want to see.

RonFrank
12-07-2007, 14:05
I'm not going to read this entire thread, so I apologize if this advice has been already posted.

I'd go with NO smaller than a 13CF, and would strongly recommend the 19CF. If I can travel with mine with a full set of photo gear including a DLSR, housing, ports, and flashes, than ANY diver can do so.

One thing to consider is that Pony fills tend to be not so good. I had mine filled at the Blue Hole last summer, and in that somewhat warm environment it was a 3000psi fill, and Stella did a decent job. I think after a dive (64F) water it was down to about 2650. (I may have breathed off it a bit just to check it out, but not a lot). I just pulled it out of the garage (cold) and it was down to 2310. So small differences in air temp, and maybe the fact it's been sitting for 3 months plus, can change the volume a lot more than one may think.

After sitting inside for a few minutes it's now up to 2370.

My point is that everyone assumes that their pony will be at 3000 psi, but the reality is otherwise unless one is doing their own fills.

Another thought is that it's going to cost full price for an air fill even if I just want to top it off. If you are lucky enough to have a fill express type op around than they sell gas by the CF IF you purchase in bulk. Most shops change a flat rate regardless of how full or empty the tank is.

Just some food for thought.

WD8CDH
12-07-2007, 15:41
Sounds like you may have a leak. Going from 100F to 32F, 3000psi would only drop to 2635 psi.

mm2002
12-07-2007, 19:49
Sounds like you may have a leak. Going from 100F to 32F, 3000psi would only drop to 2635 psi.


And also, if he breathed from it checking it out, that could easily be the other 300psi + or -, no?

in_cavediver
12-07-2007, 20:54
Sounds like you may have a leak. Going from 100F to 32F, 3000psi would only drop to 2635 psi.


And also, if he breathed from it checking it out, that could easily be the other 300psi + or -, no?

Don't forget gauge error if changing gauges.

wheelman
12-07-2007, 23:52
Some of the statements I have read are just wrong and dangerous advices. I encourage anybody thinking to get a pony to talk to a dm or instructor...

I would also like to know what is wrong or dangerous about a pony bottle for contingency? If you have some inside info why not share? I believe we have all read enough of the pony threads to understand sac and depth for size, sling vs. hard mount, valve open/closed, air fill, etc. I'm sure I have missed a couple of topics but you get my point. I'm not trying to be smart, just genuinely interested.

somewhereinla
12-08-2007, 00:10
Sorry for my wording, I didn't mean that there is something wrong or dangerous having a pony bottle, quite the opposite. I think some people really give bad advices on the logistic of having a pony such as size/how to use one/in which case,etc...

wheelman
12-08-2007, 00:14
Sorry for my wording, I didn't mean that there is something wrong or dangerous having a pony bottle, quite the opposite. I think some people really give bad advices on the logistic of having a pony such as size/how to use one/in which case,etc...

Got it... thanks for clarifying.

somewhereinla
12-08-2007, 02:22
Some of the statements I have read are just wrong and dangerous advices. I encourage anybody thinking to get a pony to talk to a dm or instructor...

LOL--I know several DM's and Instructors that trully have 'no clue' as to the proper use of a 'pony' bottle, or its merits.


LOL, I can definitely believe that...

WaScubaDude
12-08-2007, 21:57
I have two pony's. One brown with white spots. hahahaha No,no, no, One is 6cf for solo diving to 110 ft max with NDL. i watch my Pressure guage often and usually dive around 60ft. The other is a 19cf under similar dive conditions with a DB. Both are meant as "get to the surface bottles, and not as extend the dive, or deco stop bottles."

Any thoughts?

texdiveguy
12-08-2007, 22:38
I have two pony's. One brown with white spots. hahahaha No,no, no, One is 6cf for solo diving to 110 ft max with NDL. i watch my Pressure guage often and usually dive around 60ft. The other is a 19cf under similar dive conditions with a DB. Both are meant as "get to the surface bottles, and not as extend the dive, or deco stop bottles."

Any thoughts?

What does DB mean?

shadragon
12-12-2007, 11:42
What does DB mean?
Dive buddy?