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Thread: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

  1. #1
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    Default Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Has anyone used one of these? It would be handy to do a bit of inspection or
    quick work on
    your hull.

    https://www.tntonlife.com/pages/scopel

    I can see how you could mis-use one, and die, but I know I could have recovered a big bronze prop with one a few years ago, and several anchors.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    O. M. G. That is really cool.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    A Google look makes me wonder. It's really not much air for the 30 - 45 minutes it takes to hand pump the thing back up. Even as emergency back-up, if you run out of air in the main tank there's a superb chance that this thing won't give you decompression time. It's certainly not a substitute for sticking to the dive plan.

    There are a number of systems like this and various hookahs (air supplied from the surface by hose) that are much about evading certification.

    I started diving at 13 well before any regulations but at least I had the very careful instruction of my JHS marine biology teacher who was a WWII&Korea UDT vet. Back then many bought a tank and off they went. All too often only one way.

    I profoundly believe that if you use any air you did not personally suck in at the surface, you should get certified and then adopt the gear that makes sense for your needs.

    G'luck

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    I certainly would not consider it anything other than an extended stay type snorkeling device, to be used well above "ear pop" depths. But, with a couple of those bottles and a bigger tank to refill them, that would be a fun beach day toy.

    Peace,
    Robert

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    I always dive with a pony bottle. A friend has a SpareAir (brand name) - which looks pretty much like this except he doesn't have the hand pump.

    I don't know any recreational divers who need decompression stops - in fact if one is required, it's a technical dive & therefore nowadays considered out of the realm of recreational diving. A safety stop is always a good idea - but it shouldn't be a required decompression stop.

    Jay's SpareAir gave him plenty of time (we tested it with plenty of air in our regular tanks) to ascend from about 40 ft. & do a 3 minute safety stop @ 15 ft. Of course my pony still had way over 1/2 its air left, but the SpareAir (or this unit) will get you to the surface.

    At the max 10 ft depth of working on a prop or some such, it'd maybe get you enough time to change a prop - as long as everything went perfectly. I'd think it'd do a 20-30 ft. dive would be OK as long as you went down & immediately back up again. Don't forget to breathe out as you ascend! In fact - even if you never plan to do any real diving - do a first level dive class - $300 well spent. Taking one would also mean that you could get it filled without having to pump...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    I certainly would not consider it anything other than an extended stay type snorkeling device, to be used well above "ear pop" depths. But, with a couple of those bottles and a bigger tank to refill them, that would be a fun beach day toy.

    Peace,
    Robert
    I have to start popping my ears at 5 or 6 ft... @ 10 without popping, I'm in excruciating pain.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    I have to start popping my ears at 5 or 6 ft... @ 10 without popping, I'm in excruciating pain.
    Same same. I'd love 10 or so minutes of down time. I often swim with a mask and snorkel, mostly because rough water breathing is easier, and I love being able to pretend I'm a fish.
    Better with a bit of depth...

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    I'm thinking of inspecting Drake's hull, untangling an anchor rode, that sort of shallow water stuff.

    Drake's stuffing-box is on the outside. I tightened it up once free-diving, with pipe-wrenches, which would have been a lot simpler with:10 min air.

    I was wondering if anyone had actual experience with one. There's no room on Drake for regular Scuba gear, and I like the idea of being able to recharge while at sea using hand-labour.

    I grew up diving, in Great Lakes water.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    I'm thinking of inspecting Drake's hull, untangling an anchor rode, that sort of shallow water stuff.

    Drake's stuffing-box is on the outside. I tightened it up once free-diving, with pipe-wrenches, which would have been a lot simpler with:10 min air.

    I was wondering if anyone had actual experience with one. There's no room on Drake for regular Scuba gear, and I like the idea of being able to recharge while at sea using hand-labour.

    I grew up diving, in Great Lakes water.
    Aha - so you know something about it. Sorry if I came off preachy - it's just that I'd hate to think of someone hurting themselves.

    The only thing I've found with the SpareAir was that it 1) hung down in front of me & 2) was kinda heavy on the mouth/teeth. I think this is a tad bigger - which is good air-wise, but also heavier. If wearing it while working. I think I'd want to come up with a neck strap - but that shouldn't be too hard.

    ETA: When using the SpareAir, I found it most comfortable if I held it with a hand - hence my strap suggestion.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Haven't tried one, nor been diving in a while, but you aren't going to get much time at 40 feet.
    Wish they had some kind of chart for time at depth.
    I know it depends upon the individual, but still.

    Their technical specifications were a criminal joke.
    I'd probably avoid it just due to the attitude they displayed.

    But it sure could be handy, but a ball buster to recharge by hand.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    ....
    Last edited by Hwyl; 01-26-2019 at 07:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    You can certainly do a lot of damage ascending from 40'. Some people are very susceptible to decompression illness but the bigger danger with this thing would be someone taking a breath and holding the breath to the surface. This can cause very serious illness, even death. A hookah system can be bought for a similar cost to this thing and would be a more practical option, I think. I'd rather use smaller scuba tanks than a mini bottle. A small tank and regulator, with a very simple BCD doesn't take much space. The capacity to fill the bottle yourself is attractive but it's a lot of effort for too little time.

    I take photos underwater so most dives I do are long. Even during my regular dives to about 20m, I always include a deco segment. You can call it a safety stop but it's really the same thing.

    I wouldn't buy this thing. I would buy a hookah though and get some training in how to use it safely.

    Rick

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Illness?
    Rupture of the lungs would not be what I call an illness.

    I don't think it is physically possible to get enough nitrogen saturated in the body to get the bends with one of these.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    I couldn't view this as a "bottom time" product, but as a way of extending your time for scrubbing a hull or clearing a fouled rudder it looks cool. A hookah would do the job just as well, but they seem to be a bit bulkier and take mroe power. Elbow grease is fairly cheap.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Not preachy at all. No worries.

    So, this is a new product then? Not a lot of general consumer experience? That seems to be the general sense.

    Like I say, you could die with this rig. It has all the risks of scuba with a lot less air. But used in an informed way, I think it could be a useful tool for a boat owner.

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Illness?
    Rupture of the lungs would not be what I call an illness.

    I don't think it is physically possible to get enough nitrogen saturated in the body to get the bends with one of these.
    I wonder what you would call it then? Embolism is an illness, caused by an injury, as I understand it. Yes, you're very unlikely to get DCI with one of these little bottles, and anyone with diving experience wouldn't. The risk of these things generally though is that someone could buy the package of two bottles, head for the greatest depth they can, and then bolt for the surface when they've used up the air in their two bottles. A person who's susceptible to DCI (drunk, exhausted etc.) could develop DCI from that. If they held their breath, they'd stand a really good chance of developing an embolism.

    Someone who's using one of these around the hull isn't going to have these problems, of course. But, for me, I'd rather spend that money on a hookah as it's much more versatile. It would drive me nuts having to spend a whole lot of time pumping up a little bottle for 5 mins of air, or even 10 mins.

    Garret, above, has used one and seems to like it. Not for me but, as you already have dive experience, you know what you need.

    Rick
    Last edited by RFNK; 01-27-2019 at 02:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    You can certainly do a lot of damage ascending from 40'.
    Forty feet ? What kind of wooden boat do you own, the Cutty Sark ? Four would be enough for me ... six, if I swam under the keel instead of going around.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    I guess you don't have an anchor ...... Sometimes they get caught on the bottom. I've dived once to retrieve an anchor caught on coral. I've dived many times to inspect moorings and quite a few times to retrieve tools, moorings and other gear. People have been known to use a variety of devices to retrieve anchors, recover lost items etc. I would think that if you had one of these little bottles you might use it for that. Time and air go very quickly when you're down anywhere below 10m and working to untangle, lift or tie things up.

    The OP also mentioned retrieving anchors and a prop.

    Statistically, most dive accidents occur within recommended, and ordinarily, safe limits. However, the risk of having an accident outside those limits is far greater. Accidents occur within safe limits for a variety of reasons but physiological susceptibility/vulnerability is a big factor. Dive courses ease people into greater depths and check students for their state of mind, suitability etc. In no dive course I know would anyone recommend going underwater with 5 minutes of compressed air. The chances of someone (not the OP, of course) buying one of these bottle kits and getting into trouble through carelessness or in a (sort of) emergency like a caught anchor would be fairly high, I think.

    Rick
    Last edited by RFNK; 01-27-2019 at 02:41 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Not wanting to harp - I reckon others have answered the OP's question already. But, for anyone interested:

    I've done a lot of diving. No technical diving but plenty of deep dives (50m) and lots of long dives - I tend to stay under a long time taking photos. I've dived in sinkholes, caverns and through underwater caves (swim-throughs - no penetration cave diving). I've run out of air at depth and had to deal with other divers in trouble once or twice. But all of that has been in dive sites that are generally known with few surprises.

    But the other diving I've done has been boat-related. Maintenance, mooring maintenance, retrievals and even a salvage of a sunken boat once. This kind of diving is far more hazardous than the former. I've gone into quite clear, warm water and found the bottom to be dark and really cold. I've found current variations, especially near and in marinas and had to actively avoid being carried into an overhead environment. I've been nearly brained by the hull of the boat suddenly rocking from the wake of distant boats, and I've found all sorts of potential for entanglement, especially around marinas but also on mooring ground chains - lines, fishing line, netting, cables and bits of wire. I dive with a tank (sometimes twinned but usually single) and I've also used a borrowed hookah. The convenience of the hookah is great but the hose is annoying - I could get used to it though. Both these setups give me lots of air. If something takes longer than expected or I run into a problem, I have plenty of air to deal with it.

    Another thing to consider is air quality. I've been guilty of diving with tanks that have very old air in them and you can really taste it! It's probably a bad idea! At least scuba tanks are tested annually so there shouldn't be too much contaminant from corrosion .... Hookahs use new air. The little bottle though, I think you'd want to make sure you refreshed the air reasonably frequently. You'd probably pump it up before a planned event but I wonder if there could be a risk that in an unplanned event, you might just grab the bottle that you filled a long time ago and jump in. I really don't know if that would be a problem but I suspect it could be.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    I wonder what you would call it then? Embolism is an illness, caused by an injury, as I understand it. Yes, you're very unlikely to get DCI with one of these little bottles, and anyone with diving experience wouldn't. The risk of these things generally though is that someone could buy the package of two bottles, head for the greatest depth they can, and then bolt for the surface when they've used up the air in their two bottles. A person who's susceptible to DCI (drunk, exhausted etc.) could develop DCI from that. If they held their breath, they'd stand a really good chance of developing an embolism.

    Someone who's using one of these around the hull isn't going to have these problems, of course. But, for me, I'd rather spend that money on a hookah as it's much more versatile. It would drive me nuts having to spend a whole lot of time pumping up a little bottle for 5 mins of air, or even 10 mins.

    Garret, above, has used one and seems to like it. Not for me but, as you already have dive experience, you know what you need.

    Rick
    Actually - I didn't say I "liked it" - but that I'd used something similar:



    To make it clear: I dive with a pony bottle (for those who don't know - that's a completely redundant tank & regulator setup) in addition to my main tank. A friend uses a SpareAir (as in this image) in addition to his regular tank. We both tested the SpareAir when he first got it, as it was new tech to us & wanted to see how it works - described in a post above.

    I have never used one of these as a sole air source.

    The point about bad air/corrosion is a good one. Regular scuba tanks must be visually inspected every year (or before any shop will fill it) & pressure tested every 5. Has anyone ever seen a scuba tank get dropped & the valve broken off? It'll travel a half mile across the water like a skipping stone. 3,000 PSI is serious pressure!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    The bottle looks a lot like one of the 13ci Guerilla Air tanks....
    Last edited by P.I. Stazzer-Newt; 01-27-2019 at 01:57 PM.
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Have you actually seen a valve broken off and the tank take off?
    I saw stories about this when I initially qualified to dive ('65) but have never seen one.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Have you actually seen a valve broken off and the tank take off?
    I saw stories about this when I initially qualified to dive ('65) but have never seen one.
    Yep. Dropped from a dock to a dive boat & hit the toe rail just right. The tank took off & the valve made a major dent & hole in the cabin side. Scary as hell.

    I also saw the valve & regulator get knocked off an oxygen bottle (welding). The valve & regulator went through a 2" wood floor above the tank.

    We're talking some serious pressures here!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Ahh,..... so all my initial gut reactions have been confirmed.
    Yep,..... I’ll stick with a mask and fins,... Thakes a bit longer but I can still do everything I need to under the boat that way.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    From the bad old days before certs and such I saw the results to two neck of the tank breaking off.

    One was in the old Army Navy store that did all our refilling. That tank shot out through a brick wall and all the way through the next building - two brick exterior walls and a couple of interior walls - and thence down a back ally for a ways.

    The other was a friend who knocked against some rocks and he was wriggling in a crack grappling a lobster. There was nothing recognizable left of him.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Speaking of safety, I remember seeing small air tanks on America's Cup crews after the accident with Artimis. Is this what they use? Seemed like a good idea.

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    I guess you don't have an anchor ......
    I have a car, too, but that doesn't mean I have to take it to Caesar's Palace and try to jump thirty-one buses

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    I don't carry a lung and I have anchored in rocky and otherwise tricky places. That why I have a trip line from the anchor crown to a small buoy. It's a bit like basic seamanship.

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    I don't carry anything on the boat for diving as a matter of course, except mask and fins. But I do think I'll get a hookah. Very handy for maintenance and freeing things caught on the prop. I've never caught a fishing net but I have a friend who did. I wouldn't like to tackle that at sea with only 5 minutes of air or free diving.

    Trip lines are a must in plenty of areas although there are some funny stories about people lifting the buoy for all the wrong reasons!

    Rick
    Rick

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Out of the thousands of times we've anchored, we have been caught up twice and got all our gear up in the end both times.The most difficult was nothing to do with the anchor , the chain had wrapped a pillar about halfway out, once we unwound that we still had 20 metres to go to get the anchor in. Full scuba doesn't interest me but I would like a way of getting down about 10 metres or so and getting a look at the problem, but the main job would be just scrubbing the hull. So that could be a hookah or like a lot of cruisers, a bottle left on deck and a long pipe to the reg.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    I grew up spear-fishing when free-diving, and then got a set of tanks when I was 15. No certification was available then in our pattern of life, but we educated ourselves very thoroughly at the time, buying 4 textbooks and putting together a study and training program. We were aware of the risk, and thus quite formal about it. Never any accidents over hundreds of dives, over decades.

    This was in the St. Clair river -- which is fast, cold, murky, and thus a bit dangerous. I still dive, although mostly off a friend's boat in warm ocean waters. In fact a few years ago I got a prescription built into the faceplate of my diving mask -- what an improvement!

    I've never lost an anchor, but I've salvaged a few with rodes tangled in submerged logs and trees and such, free-diving. Helped other people in anchorages.

    But I spent $300 replacing a prop once that I could have found using that small bottle. And it would be handy to pick up car keys and tools and such off the bottom.

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    If I were still a bottom-scrubbing whackadoo, I'd want one of these. IIRC most hookah rigs cost a lot more than $300.
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    Hookahs seem to be generally way overpriced but there's a guy here who sells them for about $400. Phil Y made his own up for much less than that.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    I just looked, about the same price for an entire new scuba kit here, wetsuit and all. It's the room on board, there's a lot of space needed for either.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Hand-pumped Tiny Scuba Bottle

    That's what grabbed my attention -- Drake doesn't have much free space. No scuba, no hookah. But you could stow the mini-bottle and pump under a bunk.

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