I have adjusted the Venturi nozzle according to the above instruction sheet by Tony, and I think I have my Pilot ready for the open water now. It breathes really great, and I think this is the best regulator second stage ever developed! I am really looking forward to getting it into the water now. Here is what the Venturi orifice looks like:
JB, I have been diving the A.I.R. I regulator, which came out just after the Pilot, for decades, and the exhaust tee is not an issue while diving. Like any single hose regulator, the bubble noise is greater as it goes by the ears, but other than that, I have not had a problem. What I did notice, and this applies to all the Scubapro regulators with this design, is that in a current they are very streamlined and easy to keep in my mouth. The current sets the regulator right on my chin, and doesn't pull on the mouthpiece like other regulator designs.
John C. Ratliff Diving since 1959, at age 13. Haven't stopped, and still enjoy getting wet.
I think this is the best regulator second stage ever developed! John
Love my SP Pilot. Special Shout out and thanks to Tony. Just last summer both myself and a friend were diving our Pilots together in an Ohio quarry. Looking forward to a Three-peat this year as another Pilot diver will hopefully be joining us. Long Live the Pilot, the best second stage ever!
DA Aquamaster with Phoenix valve Pico Blvd. DW Stream Air Nemrod Snark III Silver Healthways Scubair J
Great post Tony. I spoke to Tony about the Pilot regulator about six years ago in the process of writing a book. He asked me to post what I wrote in a separate thread. You can read it here: vintagescuba.proboards.com/post/43150/thread
I just got out of the pool this morning after trying out my newly-adjusted Scubapro Pilot/Mk VII combo, and it not only breathed superbly, but also without any of the annoying "popping" that I had before. I have three Mk VII first stages, and this one was a friends (Lynn Herbert) that he gave me; I understand from talking to Paul Schoresman at the Northwest Diving History Meeting yesterday that this first stage (first generation) was not originally mated to the Pilot, but that's okay, as I simply wanted a test platform for the second stage. WOW! What a nice-breathing regulator.
In our meeting yesterday, another pioneer diver, Brent Budden, said that he nearly died while using a Pilot, but from a very unusual circumstance. He was making a professional dive in a cow pond to unplug a large pipe, and a large discharge from the pipe hit the Pilot just perfectly to lift up the diaphragm, and deposite a bunch of "stuff" (including pieces of hay) into the regulator. He tried to inhale, and only got cow $#%&* and "stuff." But he was only in about twenty feet of water, and made his way to the surface. He said he told himself,
"Now, don't panic, you're only twenty feet away from air. Just swim over there and surface." And that's what he did. He did like his Pilot regulator.
This would have happened with the A.I.R. I too, as they have the same basic design. Moral of the story, don't try diving a Pilot in a pipe containing...(well, maybe don't dive there at all).
Paul's brother, Keith, whom I worked with at Etec Systems, Inc., used to be a Pilot regulator technician, and he loved that regulator. He could tune it to a very high efficiency, apparently.
Now, I really like my Pilot, and will be using it in open water later this spring.
Here's some proof (though not very good photos) of my getting the Pilot into the water Sunday.
This was my first attempt. After seeing that the photo wasn't what I wanted, I tried again.
Here we go, with the pilot and my Sea Turtle-Dolphin Swimming Technique. Because I plan to work pretty hard in river currents, I will be using my Pilot more often this summer.
I also found out that the Tualatin Hills Aquatics Center is no longer hosting a scuba time with the kayaks. As they explained it, they have no protocol for the lifeguards for rescue and recovery of a diver. They allowed me in to "test" my Pilot (and the Sportsways Sport Diver) regulators, but I briefed them on my equipment (which is much different than today's divers) and how to rescue me if the need arises, including showing them how to use the double D-ring quick release (on the cross-chest strap, and shoulder straps) and the Para-Sea BC hip attachments (pushbuttons). I also had a CO2 inflator in my Para-Sea BC, and showed them how to inflate it (apparently, these CO2 inflators are no longer used, even on snorkeling vests; we bought one for my wife, and it has no CO2 inflation capability).
John, now that I see how the regulator is positioned, under he chin, I see now why a larger exhaust-tee wasn't made...
I have dived extensively for decades with the A.I.R. I, the successor of the Pilot, and now have a few dives with the Pilot. The regulator shape is really hydrodynamic, in that it sits on my chin, and won't move, even in very high current situations. I've been in Steamboat Creek, up on the upper regions of the North Umpqua River, in a deep hole, and come up to where the current comes into the hole. I could put my head right into the current, and the regulator would not move at all. The same goes for the Pilot. It is the best single hose design for current I have seen. I was looking at trout in the current, and was able to watch them easily and simply stay there, observing. Any other regulator would have tried to be pulled out of my mouth. Here's a photo of my A.I.R. I:
I used my A.I.R. I on the Winchester Dam Project, where we were documenting the loss of salmon to the dam's low-head hydro turbines. I was able to stick my mead into the current there, and watch the fish going into the turbines outflow.
This is a fish I pulled out of the turbine area, which had been inside the fish screens (which the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife had demanded be put into the project). Because of this kill, which happened a year after the fish screens were in place, ODFW shut down the project.
Here's a salmon I was observing in the current.
These were the professional divers who were helping place the fish screens.
The Pilot/A.I.R. I design works wonderfully in the current. Also, it appears to me that the Pilot is a drier regulator than the A.I.R. I, which has a tendency to retain a small amount of water and to, in an extreme head-down position, push that water/air combo up into the divers throat. In my trial Sunday, the Pilot did not seem to do that, and the A.I.R. I defiantly does do that.