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easyrider003
01-31-2008, 18:50
I have noticed that some people dive with pony bottles. I was just curios as to the reason? is it so that if you run out of air from your main bottle you will have an alternate air source? And also what type of diving would you use this with.....cave, tech, etc...? I only do ow diving at this time but may get into cave diving or something like that later on.

Super-Duper Scubasteve
01-31-2008, 19:14
Ya pretty much just for that or if your buddy runs out of course. You probably would use it for just plain ow diving because in cave diving you have enough cylinders as it is.

marchand
01-31-2008, 19:17
Another reason to carry a pony is if you have a reg or tank failure then you have a separate air source.

easyrider003
01-31-2008, 19:19
Probably another stupid question, but I am assuming that you have to purchase a whole separate first and second stage reg and have it attached to the bottle before entering the water correct? or do pony bottles,when purchased come with and have a reg already attached to it?

cummings66
01-31-2008, 19:20
It's a good backup for when things go south as a solo diver as well. In fact I'd say it's manditory for that type of diving.

terrillja
01-31-2008, 19:23
Probably another stupid question, but I am assuming that you have to purchase a whole separate first and second stage reg and have it attached to the bottle before entering the water correct? or do pony bottles,when purchased come with and have a reg already attached to it?

You need another first stage and second stage for the pony, and IMO a gauge on it as well, I like to know the pressure in water. They have to be attached before you get in the water.

fireflock
01-31-2008, 19:24
The pony bottle is one way to provide yourself with a totally redundant air source. Other ways include a good buddy and a set of doubles. We're talking about situations like blown tank O-rings, first stage problems, clogged dip tubes, etc....which are rare but serious if you don't have a good plan (a reliable buddy can be a good plan).

Pony bottles are popular on dives that are sort of in the middle zone between the region where you can do a controlled ascent and dives where you have any kind of overhead (physical or deco). They are also common for divers who don't think they have a good buddy. In general it's not considered a good idea to use a pony to extend the length of your dive (ie. just provide more air).

A pony bottle is not a good solution for any place where you have something real over your head (like caves) or for any place where you can't ascend straight to the surface (tech diving). They just don't hold enough gas for those situations.

Hope that helps some-

Rich

BSea
01-31-2008, 19:33
I have noticed that some people dive with pony bottles. I was just curios as to the reason? is it so that if you run out of air from your main bottle you will have an alternate air source? And also what type of diving would you use this with.....cave, tech, etc...? I only do ow diving at this time but may get into cave diving or something like that later on.
Actually a pony is backup in case of equipment failure from your primary air source. You really don't carry a pony for use when you run out of air. And as fireflock said, it should never be used used in planning your dive (don't confuse a pony with a stage bottle).

If you ever go to the flower gardens trip, you can take your pony, but if you use it because you are out of air in your main tank, you will be done diving for the trip. The captain made it very clear that ponies & spare air was for emergencies only, and if you ran out of air, it was your poor planning and/or skills. Now if you had an equipment problem, and used it, then that was different.

easyrider003
01-31-2008, 21:35
I am gonna look into purchasing a pony bottle and everything else I need maybe by summer time. The is the last few other questions that I have (or at least that I can think of right now). How do you carry your pony bottle? Do you mount it to your main tank your attach it the front of you? Why do you prefer that method? My girlfriend and I go on a lot of trips to different places(not scuba related) She is not a diver and sometimes it is hard to find someone to dive with. I would never do anything to get myself hurt or even worse killed. But do you think that If you had a pony bottle, it would be okay to do ow diving , solo, since you do have that extra source of air for emergencies?Most of my dives are generally shallow, 40-50ft.And lastly if you could dive solo with a pony bottle, what size pony bottle would you recommend for solo?

icandy6298
01-31-2008, 21:52
Hi Easyrider003,
I don't think it would be wise to dive solo. (i never would) What about all of the other factors you may need a buddy for? Like, helping you get untangled or if you start to get nitrogen narcosis and don't realize it. There are so many other things to consider. I really don't think you should dive alone. Join a dive club in your area and get a buddy that wants to dive as much as you sound like you do. I do dive with a "spare air" and so does my husband and we hold hands when we dive. We try to never be more than 4 ft apart. You never know when you might need your buddy AND your spare air.

BSea
01-31-2008, 22:11
I am gonna look into purchasing a pony bottle and everything else I need maybe by summer time. The is the last few other questions that I have (or at least that I can think of right now). How do you carry your pony bottle? Do you mount it to your main tank your attach it the front of you? Why do you prefer that method? My girlfriend and I go on a lot of trips to different places(not scuba related) She is not a diver and sometimes it is hard to find someone to dive with. I would never do anything to get myself hurt or even worse killed. But do you think that If you had a pony bottle, it would be okay to do ow diving , solo, since you do have that extra source of air for emergencies?And lastly if you could dive solo with a pony bottle, what size pony bottle would you recommend for solo?You can mount them on your tank, and there are several devices that do it very well. Or you can do what's called slinging. This is the way stage bottles are handles also. If you get a 19 or larger, you might look at slinging it.

It basically attaches to your harness off to 1 side (usually the left). It attaches to the left chest D-ring, and the waist D-ring. You'll be surprised after a few dives, that you hardly know it's there. The advantage is that you have total control of your pony. You can donate it to a diver that might need it. Also, you don't have to worry about routing the extra hoses. They stay attached to the tank.

Here's a youtube video showing stage bottles being slung on both sides. But a 19 won't take up near as much room on your side. Sorry, I couldn't find a good picture or video showing just a diver with a smaller slung pony.

Edit: I didn't make it clear, but I think a 19 is just about the perfect size for rec diving.

YouTube - Technical Scuba Diving in Bali (http://youtube.com/watch?v=qOAqZ8yatOQ)

cummings66
01-31-2008, 22:26
What size makes a tank a pony, in other words what is the largest size tank that you could say with confidence is a pony.

40's can be stages, 80's can be stages. Two common sizes.

At any rate I sling a 40, I'd sling a 19 for that matter.

fireflock
01-31-2008, 22:31
The way I look at it, it's not the size of the tank that makes it a pony or a stage....it's the intended use in the dive plan. In general, the bigger bottles are used as stages while the smaller bottles are used as a pony, but there is some overlap in the middle.

With all due respect to easyrider, the best plan is to try and dive with reliable buddies for as long as possible. The gear is only a small part of moving away from buddy diving. Mindset, preparation, experience, and skills are all important. SDI teaches a solo diving class if you're looking for instruction.

Rich

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
01-31-2008, 22:44
I support those who have already given advice. I also like the very helpful tone that I see here in this thread. Ask this on a certain other board and you'll almost certainly be flamed.

texdiveguy
01-31-2008, 23:22
I have noticed that some people dive with pony bottles. I was just curios as to the reason? is it so that if you run out of air from your main bottle you will have an alternate air source? And also what type of diving would you use this with.....cave, tech, etc...? I only do ow diving at this time but may get into cave diving or something like that later on.

A pony bottle is a recreational piece of gear. Its true purpose is a contingency only source of gas for you in the event of a gas loose or eqpt. failure or maybe even a total entrapment of some sort. It is a great addition to recreational sport diving in o/w settings. I would stay clear of the Spare Air products....and look at a traditional scuba cylinder with rigging and regulator set-up. For general NDL diving in o/w a 19cf tank should be just fine for most divers. Good luck and safe diving. :)

DarinMartell
01-31-2008, 23:49
I got my Spare Air because I am in the same situation as you. My wife does not dive and there is NO WAY I will trust my life to a inst-a-buddy I was assigned to on a boat. I am thinking of selling the Spare Air and getting a 14 - 19 cf Pony due to the information I have read on these boards but I am not 100% sure yet. When you make your buying decsion remember you want something that you will take with you on vacation. Larry had a really good post on how he dives with a Spare Air because he knows himself and that he would not bother to go through the hassle of packing everything for a Pony while on a trip. And the most useless Redundant Air Source of all is the one in your closet.Pony Pro's: Gives you enough air to asses the situation, notify your buddy of the situation, slowly ascend, and make your 3 min safety stop. The size of the Pony you need depends on how deep you go.Pony Con's: More stuff to pack and travel with, Have to remove the valve to fly and some Dive shops will make you pay for a vis on a completly empty tank. A bit more cumbersome to mount.Spare Air Pro's: Easy to travel with, easy to fill off of a full tank, easy to slingSpare Air Con's: Very limited options, it is basically a "bail out bottle" just enough to get you to the surface somewhat safely. Even this can be questionable depending on how deep you are.I am torn because I want something to travel with because as I said before, I will not trust someone I don't know. But living next to Lake MI I am getting a taste for diving on wrecks. The 3cf's are just not enough insurance if I get the training to go deeper in order to feed this itch.I probably will sell off the Spare Air so if you decide you won't go deeper then 50' and the Spare Air would work for you PM me, maybe we can make a deal.Regardless of what you get, ANYTHING is better then a stranger.

easyrider003
02-01-2008, 08:08
"My wife does not dive and there is NO WAY I will trust my life to a inst-a-buddy I was assigned to on a boat." Quote From DarinMartell

So does this mean that you do dive SOLO?

cummings66
02-01-2008, 09:10
Sounds like it to me. For what it's worth I think insta buddies can be good most of the time, but sometimes there are problems. It's not like every insta buddy out there is trying to kill you.

A pony is a good solution, but then I'll ask you this.

Consider your attitude of not diving with people you don't know. If we all did that scuba would cease to exist because the instructors wouldn't take on students.

You just have to use common sense and size up the people, do like I do and chat with them, make friends and you'll get your buddy before one is assigned to you.

ian
02-01-2008, 09:53
I am a DM.

At about 30FSW during my first DM audit of an OW class, I realised that I was watching out for the instructor and the students. The instructor was wathcing out for the students. The students were wathcing out for the instructor and their buddy. As I brought up the rear i nthe tour portion of the dive, I realized that NO ONE was watching out for me!:smiley5:

Essentially, I was in the water column with seven other people and not one single buddy. :smiley13:

My Pony Bottle provides me with a redundant air supply and one less thing to worry about. It gives me enough peace of mind to concentrate on the instructor and the students.:smiley2:

My rig is clipped on my tank with a quick release fitting specially made for Pony Bottles. I use the Conshelf XIV that Roy Mowan (long time family friend/childhood hero - Navy Diver - who passed away last year) and his SPG as my dedicated Pony reg. In a sense, Roy is STILL watching over me when I dive.:smiley31:

It's not "extra air". It's emergency air - for me, my buddy, a student or an instructor. :smiley20:

So far, other then peace of mind, it's been a complete waste of money!:smiley36:

Ian

DarinMartell
02-01-2008, 10:32
No I do not dive Solo, I would not even consider it until I have over 100 dives and a-lot more training. Even then I probably not do it because I am very safety orientated / paraniod.

I did not say I would not dive with an inst-a-buddy....
I did not say I would not talk to or even become friends with an inst-a-buddy...

I said that I would not TRUST MY LIFE with someone I just met. I don't know their diving style, I don't know what level of responsibility they feel torwards their buddy, I don't know how they would react in an emergency. A pony will not protect me from everything that could go wrong, but it gives me better odds if something does. I see a redundant air source like a seat belt. It should always be worn, but if I am riding in a car with someone I just met I give it a little extra tug. :smiley36:

Jay_SMART_Diver
02-01-2008, 10:42
I used this site to set up my pony sling (http://dir-diver.com/en/equipment/stagebottle_rigging.html)

mike_s
02-01-2008, 10:44
Probably another stupid question, but I am assuming that you have to purchase a whole separate first and second stage reg and have it attached to the bottle before entering the water correct? or do pony bottles,when purchased come with and have a reg already attached to it?


You can actually buy them either way.

1.) is you get a pony with the same valve on your main tank, add a 1st stage & second stage. many add a small pressure gauge.

2.) You buy a pony that has the first stage integrated into the valve. These are lower profile and reduce the chance of snagging on something. H2Odyessy and Zeagle are the only ones that make a pony like this (that I know of). The 2nd stage is either directly connected of has a standard hose. (I reccomend the hose so you don't have to bear the weight of the tank on your mouthpiece when using and risk dropping).


example of the Razor by Zeagle

http://www.scubatoys.com/store/altair/pics/zeagleponyQdraw.jpg

doczerothree
02-01-2008, 17:17
I am gonna look into purchasing a pony bottle and everything else I need maybe by summer time. The is the last few other questions that I have (or at least that I can think of right now). How do you carry your pony bottle? Do you mount it to your main tank your attach it the front of you? Why do you prefer that method? My girlfriend and I go on a lot of trips to different places(not scuba related) She is not a diver and sometimes it is hard to find someone to dive with. I would never do anything to get myself hurt or even worse killed. But do you think that If you had a pony bottle, it would be okay to do ow diving , solo, since you do have that extra source of air for emergencies?Most of my dives are generally shallow, 40-50ft.And lastly if you could dive solo with a pony bottle, what size pony bottle would you recommend for solo?
Solo diving is a fact of life. Having backup makes really good sense. If your going to dive alone have a back up. At some time in your diving career you may find yourself on a boat and not know anyone (or thier skill level or how they might react in the water under the best of situations or conditions) be self-reliant. Antman out

TommyB
02-01-2008, 22:11
I set mine almost the same as Jay_Smart

beperkins
10-15-2008, 11:00
Thank you for the link Jay_Smart it has some good pictures and great advice for rigging a pony DIY.