This has been a most interesting and informative thread. I rarely use an octopus, so I don't have to deal with free flowing "safe seconds". When I dive with a bcd I have an octo attached to my inflator hose, otherwise I don't bother with them. I do pay attention to my dive buddy and my surroundings (air pressure, depth, time and location) as well as practicing the arcane exercise of free ascent.
Aside from dual regs/dual posts in my cave diving (not really an octopus set-up), the only "octopus" I've ever used was a ScubaPro Air2 on my stabilizing jacket back in the late 70's, early 80's.
I was on a resort dive boat in Mexico for a morning 1-tank dive a few years ago and the 25 year old lady divemaster started literally screaming at me that I didn't have an octo and telling me it was an "International Law of the Sea" that I was required to have one. I impolitely told her what specifically I thought of her lack of training, education and experience and where she could place my comments for safekeeping. She banned me from diving and jumped overboard with the rest of the group. I immediately geared up and jumped over the side for a very nice solo dive going the opposite direction of the group. I told the boat driver what I was doing so he wouldn't leave me when the group returned and he said that was fine, he didn't like the divemaster anyway.
What was truly funny was that when we returned to the dock and the divemaster told her boss what happened, he berated her for letting me dive solo. Reamed her a new one. He told me I wasn't welcome to dive with them anymore as well, but that was fine by me. Amazing how certain things trigger memories.
I SEE HOW IT IS. WHEN OTHER PEOPLE GO OUTSIDE IT'S "GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH" AND "HIGHLY RECOMMENDED." BUT WHEN I GO OUTSIDE IT'S A "CONTAINMENT BREACH" AND A "HIGH-LEVEL THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY." OK, BE THAT WAY.
Zeagle Octo-Z replaces the bcd inflator at the end of the corrugated hose. Low pressure hose to bcd supplies air to the octo. One less hose coming off the first stage. Works well with most single hose hose regs and my NED double hose. Not so much with older USD and Voit equipment where the lp hose comes off the starboard side of the first stage.
I have always been on a quest to find a vintage setup that can incorporate all the bells and whistles. I've come to realize that you don't need a safe second in normal diving scenarios. I'm thinking to lose that bit of complication, right off.
Mark (TCPC) will say you don't need an spg or BCD but I'll continue to want those. It might be the difference between diving in a lake or the ocean. Dunno. What evs. No competition here. Mark (Scubalawyer does it).
I need to see if I still have enough pieces to put together a 1st generation Scubapro Air 2 for you. That's the original. I think AIR stands for Alternate Inflation Regulator. It came to be just after one of John's favorites, the AIR 1, which means something else.
Scubair J on Ebay for $390. Rare! Not really, I have one ($12) and many people I know have one. Additionally, the reg is really beat up. But the seller says it’s so much cheaper than one that sold for $499. Do you think that people are actually paying that much for old, beat up stuff? If they are, we all have fortunes in our garages.