Pony Bottle configuration

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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby NEMES1S » Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:59 pm

Pete wrote: He didnt seem to lose balance either (the pony was side by side using the clip from the main bottle)

What do you all think?

I think if you are doing it right in the first place you shouldnt be "losing balance" ...

The Brits seem to have a lot of Divers with Pony bottles attached to their tanks at the rear,personally I think having the Pony clipped to you works fine and also give you the option to release the bottle to the would be OOG person.

Cant say that I have lost balance with the set up either...I have some water if you fancy a glass though Pete... :lol: :lol:
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby Andy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:50 pm

There are a couple of issues with the tank mounting approach, Pete.

If you can't reach the valve, the tank must be turned on all the way through the dive. This leaves your emergency gas reserve prone to a first stage leak that you don't notice until you need to use the tank.... quite often people will invert the pony so that you can easily reach the valve, but often you'll find that you need custom hoses to get everything in the right position.

Secondly, it gets a little confusing with all the SPGs and regs around your chest. Particularly if you have a standard octi and a reg on your pony. You need to be very clear on which SPG is attached to your pony and which to your main tank. It's very easy to get the two mixed up, particularly in a stressful situation.

The advantage (from a solo diving perspective) of the slung option is that it's entirely self-contained. The SPG, first stage and second stage are all in clear view. You don't need custom length hoses. It's easy to pitch in the event of an emergency.
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby Andy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:57 pm

Pete wrote:I guess the next bit is to make sure its tight enough to your body not to bounce on anything, but not so tight that you cannot release it, if required...


Yeah, in ideal world it wouldn't drop lower than your body. In cold water, where the use of large clips is a real bonus, it's kinda hard to not have it drop an inch or so below the body.

You do get used to it, but if you found that you were bumping it around then you could look at some of the approaches that people use for sidemounting tanks, e.g. using bungee to hold it in one particular place.
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby NEMES1S » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:00 pm

Pete wrote:Ahhh, ya see Nem, get offered a beer and it goes to your head! This is the reccy section :-)


Oh sorry, am I not allowed in here anymore ha ha ha ha... :D
You know me Pete couple of beers and I am done... :lol:

I think then if you are serious about Wrecks and Caves then you will have to look at a twin set....

And heres the thing you may laugh at the "Long hose" but if you do have an OOG in a Wreck or a Cave where you have no option but to have a you lead I will follow scenario as it is confined,like a low roofed corridor...how will you get out..?? a standard Octi hose will not stretch from diver at the rear to the Diver at the front as they attempt to exit the wreck....and if your Pony is attached to you how will that help if its not you thats OOG...?

Hmmm.....
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby Andy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:15 pm

Pete wrote:If you take a look at my intent its how would it fit into the reccy world --- not deep penetration, but rather, say reccy deep dives, solo dives etc etc... This is really why its posted here and not tech.


The issues are really the same - it's basically about minimum gas reserve, how much is needed to get out and up.

A 3L pony is just about big enough for an average diver to make an ascent from 30m if they have some control over their breathing. It's not big enough to get you out of a 30m wreck (even in PADI recreational limits) and up to the surface. It's also likely to be too small for a diver to realistically make it to the surface from 40m.

I only use my pony for dives shallower than 30m, deeper than that it's twins - whether I'm burrowed inside a wreck or just doing a deeper dive then you've got the gas (and flexibility) to get you and your buddy to the surface.
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby NEMES1S » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:23 pm

Pete wrote:Nem, never laughed at a long hose... not yet been wistful either, wouldn't know what to do with all that hose! :lol: If you take a look at my intent its how would it fit into the reccy world --- not deep penetration, but rather, say reccy deep dives, solo dives etc etc... This is really why its posted here and not tech.

Don't know how serious I will get about wrecks and caves... lets see what grows over time... I'm not sure I can justify owning a shore dive kit and a wreck kit (single and twins)

[Postscript] Yeah Andy will be a year away, but by the time I have the configuration I will know exactly where I want to hang/place it. Thanks.

Well thats about perspective then,PADI puts the long hose in the TecRec department along with Pony Bottles....so if you look at it that way it doesnt fit into the "Reccy" world.

I think regardless of whether you call it "Tech" or "Recreational" at the end of the day its a name,what works... and has been proven to work should be more the focus,and if what does work in the "Deep Wreck and Cave penetrations" surely thats a very good indicator that it will be more than applicable in the "Recreational" circles...and I think we would all agree that "Technical" diving sets the pace for all forms of diving.
So "tested & true" is always a favorable option...sometimes the easy route isnt the best one...

Realistically I think whatever will give you the required gas when it is needed should be the ultimate choice...
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby Andy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:41 pm

Pete wrote:The intent of
Pete wrote:If you take a look at my intent its how would it fit into the reccy world --- not deep penetration, but rather, say reccy deep dives, solo dives etc etc... This is really why its posted here and not tech.
Was to indicate that long hoses are not needed in the recreational situation if we are sticking to shallow penetration and recreational limit diving... hearing you that 40m wouldnt do if you had an OOG...


Hmmmm. Yes and no (don't you love shades of gray!).

Not wanting to get too sidetracked on the long hose issue, but it's not the length of the penetration that is the issue but the types of passages you go down. Too many people don't have the situational awareness needed to realise that the hatchway they are about to swim through is too small for two divers to pass at the same time. THere are plenty of places for divers to get in to trouble on shallow wrecks doing short penetrations.

If (and I am biased here of course) a wreck course is taught properly, then a student will start to think about sizes of passageways - even though the PADI wreck course explicitly limits divers from passing through them.

To a certain extent, a pony can compensate for the (lack of) long hose - it gives you the ability to indepently exit through restrictions and then share air normally once pas the restriction. But it does also encourage a "I'm alright jack" attitude. It's real easy for an OOG diver using a pony to just swim out of the wreck without looking back for their buddy. It;s important to remember that the buddy is your gas source that's going to get out up to the surface once you are out, so you need to stick together.



The very reason I posted this rather than PM it is I believe there are a bunch of reccy's out there that need to learn where such equipment is useful in the recreational arena and know when they are approaching or are indeed in that zone - if they are not reccy divers, then they will already know. - I think Binky said it well in another thread where he said something to the tune of being prepared for the dive you are about to undertake.


I think all divers need to think about whether they are prepared for the dive, and need to think about whether they have the skills/equipment/attitude to do the dive safely. I've seen some shocking "technical" divers who couldn't actually plan a 20m reef dive, let alone the dives they are actually doing. Scary stuff.

Even in "recreational limits" there's a lot of things that can go wrong.
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby Andy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:14 pm

Pete wrote:
Andy wrote:even though the PADI wreck course explicitly limits divers from passing through them.

This is the limits I am thinking about... after here, my position is get different training that will enable better preparation.



I guess I have a slightly different attitude - which is get the right training first. I am of course totally biased here! :D

Personally, I have a very black and white line between "recreational" and "technical" diving. Most "recreational" training has the basis that the diver always has the last resort of swimming directly to the surface. As soon as you remove that option - whether through a virtual (decompression) overhead or a real overhead (wreck, cave, ice) then you are no longer doing "recreational" dives.

Even a large space, like the helicopter hanger on the Waikato or the swimming pool on the Lermontov, can still be a challenging penetration. Unfortunately, many wreck instructors in this world don't realise that and don't fully understand why the standards for a wreck course are what they are. I picked up a nice phrase recently, the reduction funnel, which is when someone who doesn't fully understand a topic teaches it imperfectly leading to lesser understanding.

Specifically with wreck diving, it's well worth doing a wreck course with someone who does a lot of wreck diving rather than waste money doing a half baked course, then having to end up unlearning skills when you decide you want to progress further.
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby Tony » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:01 pm

Andy wrote:
Pete wrote:
Andy wrote:even though the PADI wreck course explicitly limits divers from passing through them.

This is the limits I am thinking about... after here, my position is get different training that will enable better preparation.



I guess I have a slightly different attitude - which is get the right training first. I am of course totally biased here! :D

Personally, I have a very black and white line between "recreational" and "technical" diving. Most "recreational" training has the basis that the diver always has the last resort of swimming directly to the surface. As soon as you remove that option - whether through a virtual (decompression) overhead or a real overhead (wreck, cave, ice) then you are no longer doing "recreational" dives.

Even a large space, like the helicopter hanger on the Waikato or the swimming pool on the Lermontov, can still be a challenging penetration. Unfortunately, many wreck instructors in this world don't realise that and don't fully understand why the standards for a wreck course are what they are. I picked up a nice phrase recently, the reduction funnel, which is when someone who doesn't fully understand a topic teaches it imperfectly leading to lesser understanding.

Specifically with wreck diving, it's well worth doing a wreck course with someone who does a lot of wreck diving rather than waste money doing a half baked course, then having to end up unlearning skills when you decide you want to progress further.


I would have to agree with your posting Andy. Prevention rather than cure is definitely a far better option in the longrun. I particularly like the phrase reduction funnel, seeing as it happens on a regular basis in areas other than diving as well.
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby ScubaDog » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:11 pm

Andy wrote:
Pete wrote:A 3L pony is just about big enough for an average diver to make an ascent from 30m if they have some control over their breathing. It's not big enough to get you out of a 30m wreck (even in PADI recreational limits) and up to the surface. It's also likely to be too small for a diver to realistically make it to the surface from 40m.


My only real out-of-air emergency occurred at 40m when another diver took my reg out on my mouth. I was diving with a pony and after a little bit of sorting out etc we made an assent to the surface with a safety stop . I am not a small person and at the time I was not concentrating on my air consumption - but I did use my pony from 40m to the surface with a stop. So I have to say that I am a fan of the pony, and have been diving with one off and on for the last 9 years.

I have used them side mounted, bracketed to the cylinder both inverted and normal.

For me a Pony is for recreational diving only, not for deco and not counted as part of the gas for the dive

For me it acts as your buddy - it is to get you to the surface only on recreational no stop diving. At the minute I have the pony on my right hand side, valve up, attached to the main cylinder with Buddy Pony bands (really simple and secure) - turned on I have a back-up reg off it (button pressure gauge on the 1st stage) around my neck and my main reg off my main tank - this way there is no chance of a mix up.

I check the pressure before the dive and a bubble check at the start - I feel that if you stitch to the pony during the dive you are then heading to the surface and I know that i can get to the surface from depth, so I don't need to check the pressure during assent - one less task to worry about. My risk assessment is the pony is for me the main tank is for my buddy. If solo my pony is my buddy

Side mounting is prob the cheapest - rig it the same way as a deco bottle, and be a bit more disciplined in the diving - don't breath off the pony to extent the dive.
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby MikeS » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:36 pm

Pete wrote:
I guess the next bit is to make sure its tight enough to your body not to bounce on anything, but not so tight that you cannot release it, if required...



I have now done several dives with my recently assembled 3L pony. In terms of balance, I no longer feel affected by it. I have been wearing it down my left side, and have progressively tightened it up so that it doesn't hang very much any more - small amount harder to clip on and off, but don't need to hug it close when going through wrecks etc. Only thing I've noticed with the snug fit is that the tank valve and reg (which are just below my left tit) get a bit tangled with my LP inflator hose, particularly when I'm in a vertical position. So, next dive it will be clipped to my right side and we'll see how that goes. Then, when/if I change to the GUE kit configuration, who knows what will be in the way - guess I need to have another chat with Andy!
One thing I changed very quickly was the reg hose. Standard reg hose was a bit short. The octi hose now on it works much better.
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby Andy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:47 pm

MikeS wrote:So, next dive it will be clipped to my right side and we'll see how that goes. Then, when/if I change to the GUE kit configuration, who knows what will be in the way - guess I need to have another chat with Andy!
One thing I changed very quickly was the reg hose. Standard reg hose was a bit short. The octi hose now on it works much better.




NoooooOOOOOOooooooOOOOooo! Not the right hand side!!! :lol:

The main issue with right hand side is that it can interfere with delpoying the long hose.... which if you don't have then isn't a main issue. I'm used to mine on the left and prefer it, but if the right works for you then go for it.

Octi hose works well on a pony on the left, with the hose routed behind the neck - very nice and tidy. You might find with it on the right that a standard reg hose works fine.
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby ChuckyBob » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:49 pm

ScubaDog wrote:I check the pressure before the dive and a bubble check at the start -


How do you do a bubble check when its mounted behind you?
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby Andy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:54 pm

ChuckyBob wrote:
ScubaDog wrote:I check the pressure before the dive and a bubble check at the start -


How do you do a bubble check when its mounted behind you?


Roll 45 degrees to the side the tank is mounted, slow breath in and look up. Not ideal, but it works.

Of course, if you bash the first stage whilst on your dive then you have no idea what is happening behind your head.....

Personally, I'm a firm beleiver that you should be able to see the SPG of any tank(s) you are carrying. Each to their own.
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Re: Pony Bottle configuration

Postby MikeS » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:11 pm

Andy wrote:
MikeS wrote:So, next dive it will be clipped to my right side and we'll see how that goes. Then, when/if I change to the GUE kit configuration, who knows what will be in the way - guess I need to have another chat with Andy!
One thing I changed very quickly was the reg hose. Standard reg hose was a bit short. The octi hose now on it works much better.




NoooooOOOOOOooooooOOOOooo! Not the right hand side!!! :lol:

The main issue with right hand side is that it can interfere with delpoying the long hose.... which if you don't have then isn't a main issue. I'm used to mine on the left and prefer it, but if the right works for you then go for it.

Octi hose works well on a pony on the left, with the hose routed behind the neck - very nice and tidy. You might find with it on the right that a standard reg hose works fine.


I knew there had to be good reason for the left! So there it will stay - pony to the left; politics to the right.
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