Guidelines to Scuba Regulator Purchase
The scuba regulator is employed in an open-circuit scuba set. Said scuba equipment reduces high air pressure conveyed by the diving cylinder to the first stage and feeds breathable gas to the diver through the second stage's mouthpiece. Also called pressure regulator or demand regulator, the scuba equipment is one of the essentials to diving that determines breathing quality and inhalation effort during the dive. But given the different types of regulators and the pertinent design of its first and second stage components, how should a neophyte diver - or even a seasoned diver at that, choose a scuba regulator that incorporates user adjustment and delivers a venturi-assisted air flow in its features? Consider your diving purpose and frequency. Better yet, take note of the following criteria to guide you in your purchase:
1. The Scuba Regulator's Mouthpiece. Check the specifications if the regulator is outfitted with a patented orthodontic mouthpiece. This implies that it is ergonomically-designed to accommodate an overbite or underbite by the human mouth. An ergonomic mouthpiece helps reduce fatigue in the mouth and jaw area, particularly in the cruise of lower depths and extended dives.
2. User Adjustment Settings. There are optimally-designed scuba regulators that are outfitted with adjustment levers to therefore allow divers to finetune valve settings in order to provide the least possible inhalation effort throughout the dive. One notable scuba equipment is the Aeris AT 400 Pro Regulator that is equipped with an adjustable second stage.
3. Weight of the Scuba Regulator. Visualize yourself on a dive and using just any other type of scuba regulator. Is the regulator bulky to considerably increase drag and cause jaw fatigue or is it buoyant enough for you to carry around with your mouth? Lightweight scuba regulators use polycarbonate thermoplastics for its housing to make the scuba equipment compact, sturdy and corrosion-resistant that makes them fit for extended use.
4. Nitrox Compatibility. This entails an ocular inspection of the cylinder tank (Nitrogen and Oxygen proportions) and scuba regulator (Nitrox compatibility) specifications. As a matter of convention, most regulators are suited for nitrox mixture use out of the box; containing the standard, maximum proportion of 40% Oxygen (in terms of volume) but then again, there are gas mixes supporting leaner proportions of oxygen such as the trimix. Therefore, check if the scuba regulator supports the gas mixture configured for your diving cylinder prior to purchase.
5. No-Contaminant Feature. As much as possible, choose a diving regulator that has been manufactured using Dry Valve Technology (DVT). DVT operates through an automatic valve that prevents contamination of the first stage mechanism to thus prevent regulator flooding and the entry of moisture or dust particles. This likely improves scuba regulator performance and extends its useful life.
6. Air-Sharing Feature. This feature often associated with octopus regulators (used as a spare demand valve or alternate second stage) will prove to be most helpful during diving emergencies such as a free flow or during diver rescues. High performance octopus regulators such as the Aeris Gyro Octopus Regulator are designed lightweight and with air-sharing feature, while sporting an inline swivel for convenience mounting and flexibility
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