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Need Help With Pony Bottle Setup...Advice Needed...
Grayfox - 3/16/2008 10:29 PM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 8

My original setup was just going to be my Sherwood SR1 regulator with my Sherwood Gemini Inline Air2 and my Sherwood Wisdom 2 computer. Then I realized that I should probably get a back up wrist depth gauge and a stop watch in case my dive computer went blank. After I realized this would be redundent and I should not get the wrist gauge and go with a pony tank with its own regulator and spg/depth gauge.

I`m looking for a good pony bottle setup. I`m an East Coast New Jersey diver only diving down to 60` max right now. Eventually, I plan to get certified for deep diving down to about 100`. I`m looking around for a good pony bottle setup any suggestions? First should I be looking for a 30cu. or 40cu. bottle? Will a 30cu. bottle have enough air to get to the surface from a depth of 100`-120`?

1. What pony bottle should I get? Brand? Size?

2. What regulator should I get for it? I don`t need anything too costly on this one. I just need something reliable to get me to the surface that won`t freeflow.

3. What gauge should I get for it? Again I don`t need anything too costly. Just something with to measure depth and tank pressure.

4. I`d like to set it up on the right side of my primary tank, any suggestions on good attachment units?

NO OFFENSE TO ANYONE...but I really would like people with some experience in these setups to reply and not just people who read peoples reviews. This is my emergency backup setup and I want it done right.

Jen-Michael - 3/17/2008 11:04 PM
Either a 30 or 40 cuft tanks would be enough to get to the surface from a depth of 100ft in a dive that doesn`t exceed the NDL of your tables, provided you don`t panic and and your RMV stays below 10 cuft/min/ATA (a ridiculous number). (Basically, yes, yes they both will surfice.) And if you ever go into deco or trimix diving, these are the tank sizes you`ll need for stages. As far as brand it really doesn`t matter for now an aluminum tank would probably be easiest for you to care for; all of my stages are 40 cuft Luxfers.

Now the next few answers refer to having the bottle slung as opposed to mounted on the side of your primary, like you want, so choose to ignore these suggestions if you`d like. But I still think they`re something to consider.

For a regulator go with a DIN first stage as they are much more reliable, and even when I`m using my bottle as a pony and not a stage it`s still slung, so I charge the hose pre-dive and turn it on if/when I need it, DIN keeps the first stage from separating from the valve should I lean on something and purge the system. This method prevents free flow, and I probably should have mentioned get a DIN valve on the tank, and if you choose to go yoke, you can buy an insert that converts the DIN valve to Yoke. (Again, if you decide to do Deco/Trimix dives you need a DIN valve. Plus if you decide to sell the tank it`s worth more.)

For an SPG check leisure pro or for a cheap one, but I have a six inch Dive Rite SPG`s, but again mine are slung not rear mounted so I don`t need a long hose.

I don`t have advice on mounting it to the side of the tank, other than that there are a variety of mounts, clips, gadgets, and accessories that achieve this function available commercially. Just remember to put a counter weight on you left side to counter the additional negative buoyancy on the one side.

Grayfox - 3/18/2008 11:55 AM
Thanks for the advice. If anyone else has any other suggestions feel free to comment. By the way I like your setup in the "Opening Season" picture. I don`t know if I`ll ever get into the level of Trimix or Heliox diving but I do know I`ll at least do Nitrox. Thanks for the reply.
Grayfox - 3/20/2008 3:14 PM
Thanks for your advice. I will take a look into setting it up on my side. I am going to go with the 40cu. pony tank. I think I already have a Mares gauge picked out and I might go with a Sherwood Brut as my regulator for the poney bottle. They seem inexpensive but reliable with good reviews so we`ll see. Thanks again!
jayme - 3/21/2008 1:29 AM
VaDiver95 - 3/22/2008 1:23 PM
I`d go with a Luxfer AL 40cft bottle with a DIN valve; this is the size you’ll use for more advanced training. As for bottle position I wear mine on the left side so it won`t interfere with then scooter and can light. Also wearing it on the left side facilitates valve manipulation and streamlining. I`d stay away from mounting it to your tanks behind you because you cannot see if there is a problem. I had one guy give me OOG signal on a deco hang because his back mounted pony had a leak and was empty. Here is asite that shows how to rig a deco/stage bottle. Cheers, Vinny
Bigdogdown - 3/25/2008 8:34 AM
Dude: If you HOG!! air then a 30 is more than enough to get you to the surface. I am a air hog, techie and I use a 40 for about 35 min of deco at 15-20 ft. Thats on my doubles with trimix 18/65 for back gas, and nitrox 36 in an 80 for mid level deco stops. That gas load is for 180` foot dives in the straights of Mackinac. If you are just looking for that what if factor pony, cause your going deeper, I would 1. Get an analog pressure gauge for your main reg set, 2. get a steel 13 cu. from OMS with an OMS workhorse reg. and for a pressure gauge use a button gauge, 3. Get a mount set to mount it on your main tank to get it out of the way. The button gauage is all you need cause you just need to know if you filled it, cause if you ever go to it your on your way up, and a steel 13 has MORE than enough air to get you up from 130` with a 3 min safety stop if you stay calm.
planodiver - 7/03/2013 10:02 PM
I use a 30 mounted to my Zeagles Ranger on the right side with Zeagle pony bottle mounts ( right rear weight pocket removed) mounted upright . 5 foot hose with second stage on a necklace. I put a 2 pound weight on the left upper for balance. I have tried it mounted upside down but liked the balance better upright. I have a sling kit that I built myself from a video on YouTube but did not care for the way it dived.