Enjoy effortless diving with Scuba Schools of America and Rebreather diver training. Why a rebreather, you may ask? Time….simply put….more time! Imagine your average dive 2 plus hours with no or limited decompression. Take your class from our resident expert, Rusty Berry. He’s been diving on rebreathers since the early 1990’s!
What type of rebreather is best for you? Well keep on reading!
There are 4 basic rebreathers to choose from:
The semi closed rebreather was one of the first production models to come out in the mid-1990’s. Draeger was one of the early pioneers of these units and many others followed. The concept was fairly simple. Breathe a nitrox mix of 40%, 50% or 60% oxygen; allow a simple scrubber to scrub your CO2 out of the breathing loop; have a regulator (also called a bypass valve) leak the nitrox mix at a specific rate and that’s about it. They were very easy to dive with and gave extended bottom times with a single gas mix. They did have their problems.
One issue is that even though you had a specific gas mix, say 40%, in your tank, what you actually were breathing was generally less than that in the breathing loop….closer to 32%, depending on your metabolic rate. The first units did not have any way of allowing the diver to know what he was breathing. The diver assumed that if there were bubbles coming out of the top of the unit on exhalation, there must be a nitrox mix going into the unit. Many times divers over metabolised the gas in the loop and ended up with too little oxygen, (hypoxia) especially on the surface or in shallow depths. Draeger did come out with a oxygauge, however it was a single sensor or cell unit that sometimes was not accurate. All semi closed rebreathers have one drawback……you are stuck diving with the mix on your back and the maximum operating depths associated with that mix.
There are many CCMR manufacturers. We choose to stick to the KISS brand of CCMR’s. The CCMR allows the diver to control his oxygen by two ways. One is to allow a small constant flow of oxygen to bleed into the unit matching the divers metabolic rate. The other way is by pushing a button to allow the diver to increase the oxygen levels and thus decreasing the nitrogen levels. The benefit of the unit is simplicity. You do not need to rely on electronics. The unit has 3 sensors to allow the diver to determine sensor reliability.
The primary KISS units are the Spirit and the Classic. The primary differences are the absorbent container size and the size of the unit. The Spirit is light weight and travels around the world easily. The Classic has a longer bottom time availability and is rated deeper than the Spirit. We highly recommend the KISS units for reliability and safety. SSA’s favorite is the KISS Spirit.
As with the manually controlled ccr, there are many electronically controlled rebreathers, (eccr). Poseidon came onto the market with their version in 2014. It was a originally made by CisLunar. When it worked it was awesome. Two sensors with a computer that consistently analyzed the oxygen in the loop. It also did nearly all pre-system checks on its own taking the diver out of the equation. It had a battery that allowed the user to change based upon is skill level for deeper diving.
We found we had two primary issues. One was if we were on a major international trip and we had an electronic malfunction….the diver couldn’t use his unit. The second and more pressing issue was the way the manufacturer treated the faulty new units we received. We had purchased four units that had failed in the pool and instead of just replacing the electronic heads with new ones, Poseidon decided to send the faulty heads back to Sweden to get fixed. We do give them credit for loaning us heads while the new ones were being fixed, even though they were the older style Mk6’s. It took us nearly 3 months to get our divers in the water with their own units. So….great unit when it works, terrible customer service at the manufacturing level when they don’t work.
In the late 1990’s, many new electronically/manually controlled ccr’s came on the market. AP Diving, from Great Britain, came out with a great functioning unit called the Inspiration. The unit monitored the diver’s oxygen amounts and kept it within a specific limit. If the oxygen amount got too low, the unit had a solenoid that would kick in oxygen when the diver needed it. The PRISM EMCCR and the Megalodon also came out about the same time. The benefit of these units was that the unit and the diver would monitor oxygen amounts. The drawback of the units are their size. They are fairly large units. We still teach on the Prism, that is now manufactured by Hollis. It is very dependable and if the electronics do not work the diver can dive the unit manually. It is a great unit and also manufactured in the United States. Excellent customer service.
Training is diver specific. All classes are private. You can be anywhere in the world and we can do your academics via Go-to-Meeting and then schedule your pool and open water dives with us in Southern California. Our pool is 90 degrees and our waters in Catalina have some of the clearest on the West Coast! You’ll need three to four lectures and at least three to four pool sessions….and then you dive.
Call us at 909-621-4171 or 888-99-78222 (scuba)
3 Great ways to learn:
The rebreather comes in two basic configurations: constant mix, (fO2) or a constant pressure (dosage or PO2) rebreathers. Both units do similar yet distinctly different functions. The rebreathers will take your exhausted breath which is rich in carbon dioxide, and absorb that gas through a scrubber device. The scrubber canister has an absorbent media, usually soda lime, that absorbs your exhaled gasses. This in turn creates a hydrothermic reaction and the gasses not only get scrubbed of carbon dioxide but become warm and wet. The rebreathers will then re-introduce oxygen enriched gas back into the breathing loop. Imagine bottom times of 2-5 hours or more without ever having to surface for a refill!
SSA is one of the largest rebreather diver training facilities in the United States. We offer SCR and CCR Rebreather training for the entire line of KISS Rebreathers. KISS Classic, KISS Sport, KISS GEM, KISS Explorer and the new KISS Spirit.
We also have offer training for the Titan, Inspiration, Evolution and the Poseidon MKVI rebreathers.
Use your existing scuba equipment with the unit! No reinvesting needed!
Rusty Berry started diving with CCRs in 1996 with the UT-240 and became an ANDI Technical Diving Instructor the same year. Shortly afterward, he began diving Dreager rebreathers. In 1998-99 , helped create a transitional rebreather program for the sport diver and in 1999, became an SSI Instructor Certifier. In 2001 he began utilizing the Inspiration and Evolution units, KISS Units in 2005 and the Poseidon unit in 2010. As a Technical Instructor with more than 15,000 dives under his belt, Rusty understands the needs and concerns for the technical and sport diver. SSA is proud to be the largest rebreather training facility in the U.S. and was awarded the CORE award in 2007 for Retailing Excellence! SSA is the place to go for your rebreather training by the Industry expert!