Monday, May 16, 2016

US Divers Deep Star Regulator...not a giant crab thing.

     The US Divers Deep Star was an unbalanced, downstream piston regulator. It was the father of the later model Aquarius, and was available in US Divers catalogs from 1965-1969. It had one high pressure port, and 1 low pressure port.

The 1969 catalog photo for the Deep Star, which was 400 dollars in 2016 money.
      It featured the common second stage of all USD regulators made in this time period, which had a 7/8" exhaust value. It had what is commonly called the "short yoke", meant for vintage sized valves. Like many other unbalanced downstream piston regulators, its mechanism is exposed to sea water via the ports on its body.

     I really like diving these little regulators. They are about as simple as a regulator gets, much like the later Aquarius. As a matter of fact, they even share a parts kit in common. If you are a gun guy, then the Deep Star and its descendant the Aquarius would be your truck gun. These regulators make great warm water regulators, backups regs, and are great to keep around for teaching people to dive. As a matter of fact, for years my wife dove either a Deep Star or an Aquarius. She really liked how simple it was, and the fact that due to its design it breathes great on a full tank, then gets a little bit tougher towards the end of a tank. I guess you could say this of all regulators of this design, but on a low tank the lower intermediate pressure almost functions like a sort of warning signal that it is time to go.

     These regulators are pretty common at flea markets and Ebay, and due to how easy they are to work on you can even keep a parts kit in your save a dive kit. I've rebuilt one of these on a picnic table at a dive meet before, using only a wrench, a brass pick, and a multi-tool. I've given them as gifts to my military buddies who were making junior enlisted pay and were stuck in the barracks. Sometimes, simple is really good. Ask a Russian infantryman if he wanted that fancy German Kar98K and its highly engineered gun oil over his crude Mosin-Nagant rifle with kerosene wiped on it after hundreds of Kar98Ks froze shut due to their tight tolerances during the Battle of Stalingrad. Less parts means less to leak, less to break, and less to lose.  I've gotten Deep Stars off of Ebay from the 60s that have never been rebuilt and worked when I put them on a scuba tank.

Here is a Deep Star, rebuilt to original specification, with the later and much more maligned Deep Star II.

In an odd bit of trivia, there was also a movie called Deep Star, as in Deep Star 6. It featured a monster that looked like this:

"Hello sir, do you have a moment to talk about diving history?"
That didn't really have anything to do with this regulator blog, but what the hell it does at least have some diving in it. I'm just happy you got this far. Seriously though, this movie is like Friday the 13th part 6 but underwater and with whatever the hell that serial killer crab/lobster thing is. You should check it out when the weather gets bad for actual diving. It's an 80s horror movie so that alone should tell you something.

Before I get too drunk, let me remind you to join us for discussion of the Deep Star regulator at Vintage Double Hose, the definitive authority on vintage scuba diving. 


  1. Very nice! Look forward to more of your vintage single hose posts.

  2. It looks like the yoke is a separate piece unlike the Aquarius. I wonder why Aqualung changed the design?

    1. My guess would be cost. USD did everything possible to cut costs, including using old parts on transitional models. The market couldn't have been that large in the 70s when the Aquarius came out, because it isn't all that large now.