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November 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Are Today’s Regulators Better than of Old?

Yes, but get yourself one approved by the EU

from the November, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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If you hunt down and watch Never Say Never Again (1983), you will know that US Divers was the regulator of choice for James Bond and his friend, Fatima Blush. No doubt some people still use that model.

Long-time subscriber Thomas Lopatin (Hopatcong, NJ) wrote to ask Undercurrent, "Back in 1988 I purchased a USD Pro Diver regulator, based on its rating by the U.S. Navy, that you published in an Undercurrent issue 'way back then.' It's been my primary regulator ever since! I've had routine maintenance performed on a regular basis, and it still breathes great.

"I would be interested in learning more about what significant improvements (beyond all the marketing 'hype') have been made to primary regulators since I purchased mine. Do the current ones breathe any easier? Do they hold up better between overhaul schedules, etc? Based on what I'm currently aware of, there have not really been any 'sea-change' design improvements that have motivated me to upgrade."

The diving trade was scandalized. Many retailers held large stocks of regulators they wanted to dump.

What Tom is referring to is a 20-page 1988 issue of Undercurrent in which we reproduced the full 1987 U.S. Navy regulator tests, revealing that many sport diving regulators were seriously deficient as a diver approached 99 feet (30m), or even as shallow as 66 feet (20m), especially if he or she had to breathe hard. His USD Pro was one of the top regulators by those 30-year-old standards and is probably just fine today for the conservative sport diver, though modern regulators breathe much easier....


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