Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Non Balanced Double Hose Regulators

Continuing on the info about What Regulator Should I Buy I'm now going to go over the Non Balanced double hose regulators made by US Divers and Voit. Before you go any further please Click Here for a basic overview of what Non Balanced means. Its by Luis from the Technical section of the VDH website message forum.  Non Balanced regulators in the US Divers family would include the Original CG-45 series, Trademark, Broxton, DA Navy Approved and DA Aqua-Master. The Voit VR-2 is the same mechanically as the Broxton Ave regulators and the Navy mechanicals are identical to the DA Aqua-Master. 

I forgot to add a link to another of Dr Ed's videos he made for VDH showing the two stage regulator process. This would apply to all the regulators below.....CLICK HERE

The early regulators up to the introduction of the DA Aqua-Master have a unique non venturi second stage assembly that can be challenging to service and setup. Even when serviced and setup properly they are not easy breathing regulators. The lack of a venturi in the second stage and the unique horseshoe lever do not lend themselves to performance. 
Not to say they don't have their fans and you will see divers using them. They are a very important part of diving history and some of the most coveted by collectors.  Phil Nuytten  among other amazing accomplishments in the world of underwater exploration and diving is a noted expert on the early series of Aqua-Lung regulators and his collection contains some amazing regulators. He also wrote a paper for The Historical Diving Society which was published in their Volume 13, Issue 1, Number 42, Winter 2005 titled Emile Gagnan and the Aqua-Lung 1948-1958. You may be able to order a back issue from them of this. This is a must read for anyone interested in the early regulators.

The DA Aqua-Master series is the workhorse of two stage double hose regulators. Click Here to see the family tree. The link will give you an in depth background on this series history and variations. It was made in the thousands and along with the DW Mistral are the most often seen double hose regulators here in the U.S.

When shopping for a DA don't get get hung up on years and serial numbers....DA's are all the same inside and the parts that fit the first year will work in the last years regulator.  As with the DW Mistral the regulators made after 67 had a longer yoke opening that allowed use of a banjo fitting and pressure gauge. 
DA's are very popular with divers getting started with double hose regulators as they are plentiful relatively cheap, parts are available and servicing one is well within the reach of anyone who is inclined to do so. There are some specialty tools that help with this and Herman has made those available inexpensively and can be found on the VDH website.

The DA series of regulators lends itself to many of the upgrades currently available to improve and enhance it's performance.
You can add an adaptor to the hookah port that will allow you to attach a LP hose for BCD inflator, Safe 2nd stage or Drysuit.
Regulators with long yokes can use a banjo fitting that slips between the regulator first stage and valve to attach a pressure gauge.
Silicone diaphragms, duckbill eliminators and band clamp rings are excellent upgrades that improve performance and make maintenance much easier.
If you want to go all out on your DA series, Upgrading to the Phoenix first stage gives you balanced first stage plus 3 low pressure and 3 high pressure ports.  At the same time upgrade the second stage to the new HPR for the ultimate in DA series performance.
The DA series is a real workhorse of a regulator and with minimal maintenance will give years of trouble free performance and like the DW Mistral are the regulator that most new enthusiasts start out servicing and upgrading themselves.

See the VDH website store and message Forum for more details and discussion.

Next I'll cover the BALANCED first stage double hose regulators. 

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