Tag Archives: dir

MC90 mCCR – Dive buddy perspective

This past Tuesday, I dove with Andrew and the new UTD MC90 mCCR.

Since its announcement to the world, it’s caused more than a few amusing posts on Internet forums. The comments ranged from interested, to wait and see, to let’s give the MC90 a chance, to WTF are these guys thinking.

Like any configuration, I assume that it has its plus and minuses. And for what it’s designed for, I bet it meets its needs. Since I don’t do deep expedition in remote locations, I’m not the best judge of success. However, there are a few aspects of the MC90 that I do appreciate:

  • Similar protocols to OC – I like the similarities of handling issues from OOG to rock bottom. I’m sure the consistency is nice for those who dive both rebreathers and OC, but I also like it for the ability to dive in mixed teams. I don’t want to miss a dive because I don’t have a rebreather.
  • Gas extension – Not unique to the MC90, but I’ve always been fascinated by the recycling aspects of rebreathers. Lower gas usage and lower costs (in the long run) are intriguing.
  • Variable P02 set points – Hadn’t thought about this till we spoke about rebreathers on the drive down to Monterey. Current models and decompression schedules are based on changes in pressure and the P02 of the gases breathed at specific depths. The ability to change P02 at any depth opens up a lot of possibilities for decompression diving.


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October 30, 2009 – UTD Stage Mini

On Thursday, Kenn, Steve, I took a mid week day for a
UTD Stage Mini.

For technical diving, the use of deco bottle or stage bottle is a necessary skill. The UTD Stage Mini allows one to learn how to use a deco bottle in a workshop format. The day consists of lecture, equipment review, dry runs, in water skills, and then post dive review.

Kenn recently acquired a Flip HD with the new Ikelite Flip housing. To increase the viewing angle, he mated it with a wide angle lens. As the result, we had some great video of the day. Definitely watch in the UTD Stage Mini in HD mode.

How to mark a stage or deco bottle

Brian of Frog Kick Diving in the Pacific Northwest has a good article on how to mark a stage and deco bottle. In addition to the how, he also explains the whys, which is equally important for the thinking diver.

For all countries, O2 bottles are to marked with “OXYGEN,” in English. This is to avoid any confusion when diving mixed nationality teams.

For those diving Metric, standard practice is to mark the depth with an “M.”

How to rig a stage or deco bottle

Andrew recently put together a video blog on how to rig a stage or deco bottle. This is useful viewing for anyone getting ready for technical diving and setting up their own stage or deco bottles.


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Here is a another very good reference for making your own stage bottle rigging. The bottom knot is a little more fancy, but both solutions are acceptable.

How to clip the SPG to the hip D-ring

The Hogarthian/DIR/UTD equipment philosophy has the SPG attached to the left hip D-ring. This promotes streamlined gear configuration and doesn’t clutter up the chest (workspace area).

For new divers, this set-up requires work since the clipping and unclipping of the SPG has yet to become automatic. Instead of practicing, some divers choose to solve this by equipment – using fixed D-rings or larger than necessary bolt snaps. These changes are unnecessary as a little technique and some practice goes a long way.

  • Hold the bolt snap with the middle and ring finger, adding the pinky to capture the hose for security
  • Open the gate with the thumb
  • Find the D-ring with the index finger, and guide the gate into position

Clipping an SPG to the hip D-ring

A variation of the above technique is the put a finger into the ring of the bolt snap.

Clipping an SPG to the hip D-ring

The bolt snap for the SPG is 3/4″.

Scooter technique – dumping gas

KMD posted a very nice short video on how to dump gas while riding a scooter.

In his words:

Some items to notice.
* By thumbing the light the diver keeps it pointed forward into the view of her buddies and frees up a hand to manipulate dump valves
* The divers movements are smooth and deliberate to minimize extraneous light signals
* The diver keeps looking forward to view the path ahead and navigate.


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Model is AWL of Cold Water Kitty.

DIR Equipment Configuration: Light Head

While Internet forums are filled with discussions on DIR/UTD equipment configuration, I typically ignore most of the banter. Often times, these threads end up as nit picks on fine details, but miss the overall goal and value of DIR. However, the best discussions are typically improvements or recommendations that enhance the way we dive.

Based on recent discussions, we updated our light head configuration with a double-ender and bungee overtop. This equipment configuration now successfully serves multiple purposes.

  1. Light can be clipped with head up on the D-ring
  2. Light can be clipped with head down on the D-ring
  3. Bungee provides convenient thumb loop
  4. Bungee allows for temporary holds of cookies/arrows
  5. Prevents Salvo lighthead from accidentally on unsnapping from the handle*

DIR Equipement Configuration: Light head

There’s a recent video on the UTD site about this DIR goodman handle light head configuration.

Equipment needed:

  1. Stainless steel double-ender
  2. 1/4″ bungee
  3. Cave line
  4. O-ring

*Personally, I think that if the Salvo clamp on the handle was a little bit longer, more of “C” shape instead of a “U” shape, it might make the accidental unsnapping a non-issue.

Fundamentals or Intro-To-Tech class reports

As the foundation of technical training, GUE’s Fundamentals of Diving or UTD’s Essentials of Technical Diving (formerly Intro-To-Tech) are an important stepping stone for many divers. The skills and techniques taught and tested are quite different than what most divers experience in their recreational dives.

Another class worth noting is the UTD Essentials course. The goal of the course is to introduce divers to the same foundational skills but in a workshop format. There is no pass/fail grading like Intro-to-Tech and Fundamentals.

Because of the growing popularity of these classes, there has been a multitude of class reports on various boards. Unfortunately, these stories become buried with every new post.

To help divers interested in these courses, I collected reports about DIR-F (Fundamentals or Fundies), Intro-to-Tech, or Essentials of Diving courses below.

I know that I have missed a few, so please feel free to comment and add to the list. Or email me and I’ll add to this article.

Lost Yooper – July 2002
DIRF, A Sobering Experience

O-ring – July 2002
DIRF Trip Report

large_diver – August 2002
Trip Report — DIR Fundamentals — August 9-11 — Boston, MA

Cave Diver – August 2002
DIRF Class Report

SeaJay – February 2003
DIR Class: The Truth Comes Out

Mo2vation – March 2003
The Assimiliation Continues – Part 7a (DIR/F Class) What I wanted, what I got
The Assimiliation Continues – Part 7b (DIR/F Class) Day 1 – the class, the team
The Assimilation Continues – Part 7c (DIR/F Class) Day 2/3 – dry drills, in water

The Assimilation Continues – Part 7d (DIR/F Class) Last one – Final Thoughts

Rick Inman and TSandM – November 2005
Nightly F Report

alwaingold – March 2007
Fundies Report
GUE Fundamentals Report

amascuba – March 2007
GUE Fundamentals – March 2007

bismark – March 2007
DIRF Course Report March 22-25

ScubaAndDreams – September 2007
Class Report

aaen – July 2007
Arizona GUE-F report?

coldsmoke – August 2007
Fundies Report – Spokane July 2007

alan_lee – October 2007
Report on my GUE-Fundies

Gombessa – January 2008
Report on Essentials of Recreational Diving (super-long)

b1gcountry – July 2008
The Fundamentals of Better Diving with Ed Gabe

DonnyGreen – October 2008
Intro to Tech with Duane Johnson Sept 20-21, 2008

kjudpnp – October 2008
Fundamentals of Diving for the not so graceful diver

Gombessa – January 2009
GUE Fundies Report – January 2009, Monterey

MS – May 2009
Essentials of Recreational Diving: May 15 – 17

MH – June 2009
UTD Essentials – an essential class for any diver at any level – WOW!

CJ – June 2009
UTD Essentials – What an experience

ScubaSam – August 2009
I drank the GUE Fundies Kool-Aid and survived!!

ligersandtions – August 2009
UTD Essentials Class/Dive Report – My “formal” training begins

shawnb – August 2009
UTD Essentials (8/26 – 8/30) 2009

jimmytaroh – August 2009
GUE Fundamentals – Tioman, Malaysia

ligersandtions – September 2009
UTD Essentials Class/Dive Report – My “formal” training begins

sk001 – September 2009
Fundies report

mikemill – October 2009
Class Report: UTD Essentials Oct 9-11

mikeguerrero – October 2009
Final UTD report 10/8 to 10/11…

kathydee – October 2009
Another UTD Essentials Report 10/9-10/11/09

StreetDoctor – October 2009
Half way done with Fundamentals, Day 1 & 2 review
GUE Fundamentals Final Report, Weekend 2 of 2

jimmytaroh – October 2009
GUE Fundamentals – Tioman, Malaysia

jenh – January 2010
GUE Fundamentals with Marc Hall – Class Report

bigbubbaj – March 2010
UTD Tech Essentials/Intro to Tech Class Report

ligersandtions – March 2010
GUE Fundamentals with Steve Millington — Class Report

kathydee – March 2010
GUE Fundies: What an Amazing Class!

ScubaFeenD – August 2010
GUE Fundamentals 7/21-7/25

mikeguerrero – August 2010
GUE Fundies report…

Hepcat62 – September 2010
Class Report – UTD Essentials of Rec (9/10-9/12)

SelkieDVM – February 2011
My Fundies Experience: A Class Report

Jax – February 2011
My Venture into GUE – Another view

50Fathom – March 2011
Y’all snagged another one…