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Aqualung Mistral 2 hose regulator


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#1 ChinaBrad

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 08:57 AM

Has anyone here tried the new (relatively) Aqualung mistral regulator - the one wth the 2 hoses?

Aqualung claims it has significantly less bubble interference and noise, making it "ideal for phtographers" Any truth to this or just marketing hype? How does it breathe?

Curious,

Brad

#2 Viz'art

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 09:28 AM

I Brad i'm trying to convinced a dive shop to loan me a unit so I can do a review for my local magazine (and maybe Wetpixel), will keep you posted if things happen as i wish.

The concept make sense, look's good on paper but can it fly...

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#3 scorpio_fish

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 10:01 AM

Mine is for sale $650 US. Warranty card not filled out.

Used once.
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#4 3@5

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 10:46 AM

i did one dive with it, so this is not a full review, just some initial thoughts.
i was not diving with a camera :)
here are a few of my impressions:
- when swimming horizontal, breathing is easy; though initially a bitstrange to have the sound of bubbles come out from behind you
- when you look up or go to a more vertical position, air starts flowing easier ending in close to free flow should you put yourself on your back
- when heading down, breathing gets more difficult and you have to work harder to get air
so positioning of the combined 1st 2nd stage wrt to your lungs is goign to be key to get a good breath of air in most positions.

aside from that, i found the mouth piece uncomfortable and the 2 tubes restricted head movement sideways, they also tend to float up and pull on your mouth, but i am sure that rebreather divers will have a fix for that.

it was such that i did not want to try it again, though i am sure that i could get used to most of the downsides i have listed here

so in my opinion, it's more of a gadget than anything else, but that's just me. if you really don't want the bubbles go with a rebreather, closed or semi closed.

eric was trying one out in bonaire so i am sure he will have a lot more to say when he gets back. i'd be interested to hear that

hth

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#5 mndiver

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 09:09 PM

I had one dive on the reg set as well. I agree with the last post but would like to add a bit.

From my limited experience and IMHO the work of breathing realy ruins an otherwise cool new toy (and I like cool new SCUBA toys).

When in normal swimming position the reg required quite a bit breathing effort, a real workout! It would be a good reg if you could stay head up the entire dive, but too much work otherwise.

I did not get it and consider it just another gimmick. It is high on the "great cool new toy" scale but it breathed so poorly I would not use one on another dive.

If you are considering one, please test dive it before you buy and see if you have the same experience.

Chris

#6 fdog

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 07:26 AM

Scorpio Fish, DIN or yoke?

All the best, James

#7 Paul Kay

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 12:28 PM

I have one (see under general discussion). In my opinion it is one of the hardest regulators to breathe off that I've tried BUT you can get closer to some fish with it. I'll use mine when I want to photograph fish in certain dive sites but certainly not all the time.
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#8 climbrox

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 12:53 PM

Looks sort of bulky no?
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#9 james

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 01:02 PM

Who cares about the reg - Eric's macro port looks funny!
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#10 MikeVeitch

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 06:21 PM

Yea, and he's all decked out like a tech geek!

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#11 DaveD

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 10:45 AM

I had one dive on the reg set as well.  I agree with the last post but would like to add a bit.

From my limited experience and IMHO the work of breathing realy ruins an otherwise cool new toy (and I like cool new SCUBA toys). 

When in normal swimming position the reg required quite a bit breathing effort, a real workout!  It would be a good reg if you could stay head up the entire dive, but too much work otherwise. 

I did not get it and consider it just another gimmick.  It is high on the "great cool new toy" scale but it breathed so poorly I would not use one on another dive.

If you are considering one, please test dive it before you buy and see if you have the same experience.

Chris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The reg probably breathes as well as it can. What you experiencing is physics not bad design. The actual regulator that you are breathing from and the exhaust valve are mounted at the tank valve. This means that you have to suck and blow the air through the hoses using your own lung power. As long as the reg and exhaust valve are in the same plane as your lungs as would happen when you are are swimming horizontally in the water there is no hydrostatic pressure difference and the reg breathes OK. When you go either head down or head up you will find that due to the difference in pressure the reg will be harder to breathe either when inhaling or exhaling. All 2 hose designs have this characteristic. Also rebreathers that have back mounted counterlungs behave in a similar way. Rebreathers that use over the shoulder counterlungs do not have a change in breathing with different postions as the counterlungs have been designed is such a way part of them is always in the same plane as your lungs.

If you want a new bubbleless "toy" try a rebreather. You wil be able to get much closer to the marine life.

#12 dhaas

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 02:12 PM

Amigos,

I owned a 1959 original single stage Mistral until a month or so ago. It was fine tuned by a "vintage" diver I know and I used in in FLA late March to 90'. It had a "turbo boost" type of system that when tuned was great. Only limitation is you have to use these old regulators with maximum tank pressures of around 2250 PSI. The later model (circa 1969-1972) US Divers Royal Aquamaster was a two stage design,with many still out there and usable on 3000 PSI tanks.

You have to find a "banjo" fitting to connect a SPG between the tank valve and regulator first stage yoke to see your air. And there are guys making adapters to connect an octopus into teh two way hookah port that was added on these later model double hose regulators. Point of all this is the bubbles behind your back even in open circuit DID seem to have an effect on getting a tad closer to critters. At least for me.....

Since I liked the bubbles in the back and not wanting to get into the hassle of a rebreather I bought but have since sold the NEW Mistral (see photo). While it has silicone hoses (versus neoprene), lots of low and high pressure ports, etc. I was pretty dissapointed with the breathing. My 1959 Mistral breathed better IMHO :) Photo is me using the new Mistral right before I sold it.....

YMMV

David Haas

DrysuitDaveyMistralDive.jpg
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#13 dhaas

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 02:17 PM

A photo of my vintage diving friends in FLA March 2005. When diving was simple (I started in 1970 when double hose regulators were just on the way out.) No BC, octopus, weighted yourself for the dive because you ahad to have good buoyancy from the get go. etc.

It was great!

David Haas

DoubleHosersFLA2005.jpg
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#14 Viz'art

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 02:18 PM

post_244_1122675123_thumb.jpg


As far as I can tell it could be Elvis Presley under all that rubber :)
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#15 Viz'art

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 02:21 PM

Wow! the group shot is very Cousteau, there a lot of vintage in there (not you David the gears :) )
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

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#16 dhaas

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 02:27 PM

OK,

One more of me in the pool when I first got my "old" Mistral. Hadn't used a double hose regulator in 20+ years and needed to get comfortable again. That spring I was diving it to 75+ in my local quarry :)

DaveDaveyOldMistral2004.jpg
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#17 Viz'art

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 04:41 PM

OK that's better, now I can recognize your smile :) , seriously I have one of those early model with yellow hose, Man it's like sucking on a 50 feet garden hose for air, that gave my lung a work out. There is a delightfull two part features in the Canadian DIVER magazine by Phil Nuytten in this month (june / july) and the former issue (march / april), it tracks down the sory of the Cousteau Gagnan AKA Aqualung story from its beginning, flatering is the fact that the inventor Mr. Emile Gagnan spent quite a major part of his life working here in my own town and I just found that out like now. good lecture and i highly recommend it.

Regards
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

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#18 echeng

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 03:54 PM

Aqualung doesn't ship the MIstral with weights for the hoses, does it? As far as I could tell, the thing was ABSOLUTELY UNUSABLE without weights on the hoses. I felt like it was trying to rip my top teeth out. It was also not a good breather, and when I switched back to my Atomic, it was like sipping honey.

I *think* it let me get closer to animals, but most of the time I was just in pain.
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#19 Paul Kay

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 04:33 AM

Inspiration weights will just about fit the hoses - will try them out soon!

Lots of interesting comments but its still a pain to breathe off!
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#20 dhaas

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 08:49 AM

Eric and others,

Paul has a good point about counter weights for rebreathers which COULD make the new Mistral usable. I also recall reading somewhere about "tie down straps / cords" the U.S. Navy uses on some rebreathers to relieve the pressure of the hoses floating and thus a vrey uncomfortable mouthpiece.

I found with my "old" Mistral I could dive 2-3 dives / day and not rip my gums up. And it sure breathed a LOT better than the newest one. I have no idea how the "new" Mistral could have passed EN250 breathing test, except maybe on a machine versus real divers using it and providing feedback to Aqualung :o

I love my simple balanced Aqualung Titan LX regulators, the modern version of hte Conshelf XIV, the most reliable military used regulator in the world. As Eric states any modern single hose regulator iss like night and day compared to the "new" Mistral. Saddest partis I really wanted the new version to become my primary reg for getting closer to critters. Thing is a big pain ot travel with, too.

Oh well.......

David Haas
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