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New Equipment
mcneal3kl - 6/13/2007 12:00 AM
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Category: Equipment
Comments: 2
Well I finally made the switch. I have been used to diving an aluminum 80 for a long time, and after many discussions with other divers I made the switch to a 100cu steel tank. I never realized the differances between steel and aluminum would be much. For starters I only used 8lbs (which fit in the trim pockets on my BC) with aluminum, and with the steel 100 I got rid of all of my weight. There is no "end of dive struggle to stay under" because the tanks stays negative the entire time. It is going to take a few more dives to get used to the steel tank. I have noticed very fast decents, and to stop I have to really hold the inflator on the BC. Unlike aluminum where you just tap it once or twice and sustain, the steel tank requires a little more air to slow the decent. Something that I like better is when surfacing I no longer have to watch the computer for speed anymore, the weight of the steel tank seems to do just fine for slowing me down. The other thing that I love about the steel 100 is the amount of air. I am told by the people I dive with that I must have gills. I am very easy on air. With the steel 100 I made a 77 minute dive this weekend at a depth of 55 feet, and I came out of the water and still had 1000lbs. I must say that the change I belive is going to be a good one. If anyone has any pointers on diving steel (because it is new to me) please let me know.


seawolfdiving - 6/13/2007 12:00 AM
Steel is great! Although the initial cost is a bit more, the benefits are worth it. The key to making steel last is to rinse thoroughly after every dive (fresh or salt) store with about 300 to 500psi in the tank (prevents moisture from entering the tank), and maintain/inspect it regularly. Overall, if you do these things you will find that steel is more durable and damage resistant than aluminum. Another thing to be aware of is that you are able to carry more air. More air usually translates to more bottom time. This can be a good thing, but it can also be not so good. Often times, when we switch to the higher volume steel tanks, the limiting factor for bottom time shifts from amount of available air to "no-deco" time limits. So be aware of your no-deco dive table limits or your dive computer warnings. Above all else, be safe. Great diving & best wishes! Seawolf sends
DalelynnSims - 6/13/2007 12:00 AM
My 100s are great, combined with my BP/W.

One only comment, please watch descent rate. It should be controlled around 60-75 fpm. Reasons for this include: most dive tables & algorithms are based on this rate; nitrogen narcosis tends to impact more with a faster rate; difficulty clearing the ears or sinus cavity with possible barotraumas, possible oxygen toxicity as the partial pressure of the current O2 level increases.

Also consider that should something happen and your suddenly at 100’ it takes better than 30 seconds to fill that empty BCD becoming neutral stopping the descent.

A controlled descent is always best for your and your dive buddy if for no other reason to take in the view on the way down. You would be surprised what I have seen swim by me on the way up, down or on a deco line just lazying about.

my .02cf worth

Take care and Best Fishes!![