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Fontaine

Kiss Gem rebreather

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Hi guys,

 

I saw an old thread for this rebreather and was just wondering if anybody has actually used one of these? How was it? Were you taking photos?

 

I am keen to get one but would love to hear some personal experience/opinions before making my mind up.

 

 

Regards,

 

Fontaine

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I just received one to put some time on it to get my GEM instructor rating so that I can teach/certify divers on it by early spring.

I am a TDI KISS Rebreather instructor, so there is not much of a leap to include this piece of equipment. Really an easy unit to learn and use for diving, far simpler an easier than the old Drager Dolphin.

Edited by Walt Stearns

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I am really interested in the Gem and the Prism II. Of course... the Gem is more affordable and hence more interesting to me...

 

Hey Walt - how much for the training and where are you out of?

 

Thanks!

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The GEM with the basic PO2 display retails for $3400. You will need to buy one O2 cell for the display, beyond that everything else is what you already dive with including your nitrox computer. The course runs another $500 which can be done in 2-1/2 days of in water training. I will likely be running courses for the GEM down here in West Palm Beach as soon as mid March. If you are looking for somebody to train you sooner, Doug Ebersole (another Wetpixel member, who also lives in Floridda) is available too.

 

As for the Prisam II rebreather, I am not sure when Hollis Gear will have it available. If you are serious about getting into CCRs, I would look at KISS, rEvo, meg, Op2tuma or Inspiration first, not only are all of them available now, they have been here a while so you can research their reputation.

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As for the Prisam II rebreather, I am not sure when Hollis Gear will have it available. If you are serious about getting into CCRs, I would look at KISS, rEvo, meg, Op2tuma or Inspiration first, not only are all of them available now, they have been here a while so you can research their reputation.

I am looking into rebreathers too. I found that trying them out is very useful, as they are relatively different from one another as far as trim is concerned, but in other technical aspects too. It is interesting that the two RBs I have narrowed down my interest to are not mentioned above: Titan and Discovery, with a very strong preference for the first at this point in my journey. Choosing a rebreather based on price does not seem to be the wisest approach, IMHO.

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I can't recommend trying these things before you buy them enough, and attending a rebreather focused event like DiveTech's Inner Space and Tek Week events is a good opportunity. Stephen Frink, Chris Parsons, and myself will be at this year's Tek Week event to provide a bit of imaging focus, and I'll put a posting in the commercial trips section when I have final info.

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I can't recommend trying these things before you buy them enough, and attending a rebreather focused event like DiveTech's Inner Space and Tek Week events is a good opportunity. Stephen Frink, Chris Parsons, and myself will be at this year's Tek Week event to provide a bit of imaging focus, and I'll put a posting in the commercial trips section when I have final info.

 

I recommend the (free) PADI Tec Xplor days (one in SoCal and one in Florida around May-June). I was at the SoCal one last year and was able to test 4 units (I did not try two other ones that were too bulky) in a large pool. I have tried two other units separately during different local demo days. And will soon do test dives in the ocean before I commit for purchase and training.

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I just received one to put some time on it to get my GEM instructor rating so that I can teach/certify divers on it by early spring.

I am a TDI KISS Rebreather instructor, so there is not much of a leap to include this piece of equipment. Really an easy unit to learn and use for diving, far simpler an easier than the old Drager Dolphin.

 

Hi Walt,

 

Just wondering if you see much application for a gas extender such as the gem in the recreational space? Here in oz we are seeing a push/demand for recreational rebreathers, but I often wonder if they can practically be used, eg. You might have all the gas in the world, but on no deco limits that operators impose you still can't extend a 20-30m dive by all that much. CCRs address this somewhat better via fixed ppo2, but still don't make you immune to no deco limits past 20m. There's also the question of whether boats/operations are setup to allow a long dive, as this from my experience (having dived ccr for 6-7 years now) is still very limiting on recreational boats/operators. Most seem to force you to have a guide or dive with the group, which is just annoying on so many levels.

 

Given the travel limitations for pre-packed cartridges, hassle of setup and travel weight, I tend to think I'd opt to use twins or sling an 80cf cylinder for extended dive duration before running something like a gem. I've spoken to guys using the gem as a true gas extender on deco dives, which starts to get real interesting but I wonder in the recreational no deco space.

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Hi Damein, some very good points there.

 

The question of whether recreational dive boats/operations are setup to allow or accommodate rebreather divers. That landscape is under going a considerable amount of change. I can still reminder when nitrox was new, and most charters when highly resistant to anyone exciding air profiles even when you were on 36%.

 

My own experience with rebreathers (both SCR and CCR) began in 1999, so of have seen a quite a transformation here in the US and the Caribbean go from “WTF is that!” to operations being moderately comfortable with the idea of seeing them on their deck. Often times the key is not the equipment you are using, it’s the diver using it. Some of the boats I routinely dive with in Florida know well enough to extend certain liberties’ like exiting the water 10 to 15 minutes later than the OC divers to the privileged of jumping in 15-20 minutes ahead of everyone for the second dive to do my own thing.

 

Enough said there. With the GEM, the initial purpose of this semi-closed rebreather is as a gas extension device, so that for example a diver with truly lousy air consumption rate could last as long as a diver with a very low air consumption rate with needing to use larger tanks that diver. For me, a single 80 cuft tank with 36% is enough for completing three one hour dives in 60 feet of water. So for a typical two tank boat dive, one tank is all I need – less weight, less space on the boat.

 

From a U/Wphotography stand point, the real benefit is reduced noise. While a SCR is not as quite as a full CCR, the reduction in noise generated by bubble exhaust compared to OC (and I don’t care good you are at holding your breath for a shot) is quite significant on influencing the behavior of the subjects you are trying to get images of.

 

“Given the travel limitations for pre-packed cartridges, hassle of setup and travel weight, I tend to think I'd opt to use twins or sling an 80cf cylinder for extended dive duration before running something like a gem.”

 

Really? I am done with those days of diving twins. The first to thank me was my back. Second, the limitations of traveling with a GEM are about to get even easier. The unit itself is as compact as any SCR or CCR currently on the market can get. And the choice of using or not using pre-packed scrubbers like the Poseidon requires or the Micropore cartridges the GEM uses are about change as KISS is coming out with a repackage GEM scrubber that uses the same sorb as most other CCRs. Something to think about.

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Hi Damein, some very good points there.

 

The question of whether recreational dive boats/operations are setup to allow or accommodate rebreather divers. That landscape is under going a considerable amount of change. I can still reminder when nitrox was new, and most charters when highly resistant to anyone exciding air profiles even when you were on 36%.

 

My own experience with rebreathers (both SCR and CCR) began in 1999, so of have seen a quite a transformation here in the US and the Caribbean go from “WTF is that!” to operations being moderately comfortable with the idea of seeing them on their deck. Often times the key is not the equipment you are using, it’s the diver using it. Some of the boats I routinely dive with in Florida know well enough to extend certain liberties’ like exiting the water 10 to 15 minutes later than the OC divers to the privileged of jumping in 15-20 minutes ahead of everyone for the second dive to do my own thing.

 

Enough said there. With the GEM, the initial purpose of this semi-closed rebreather is as a gas extension device, so that for example a diver with truly lousy air consumption rate could last as long as a diver with a very low air consumption rate with needing to use larger tanks that diver. For me, a single 80 cuft tank with 36% is enough for completing three one hour dives in 60 feet of water. So for a typical two tank boat dive, one tank is all I need – less weight, less space on the boat.

 

From a U/Wphotography stand point, the real benefit is reduced noise. While a SCR is not as quite as a full CCR, the reduction in noise generated by bubble exhaust compared to OC (and I don’t care good you are at holding your breath for a shot) is quite significant on influencing the behavior of the subjects you are trying to get images of.

 

“Given the travel limitations for pre-packed cartridges, hassle of setup and travel weight, I tend to think I'd opt to use twins or sling an 80cf cylinder for extended dive duration before running something like a gem.”

 

Really? I am done with those days of diving twins. The first to thank me was my back. Second, the limitations of traveling with a GEM are about to get even easier. The unit itself is as compact as any SCR or CCR currently on the market can get. And the choice of using or not using pre-packed scrubbers like the Poseidon requires or the Micropore cartridges the GEM uses are about change as KISS is coming out with a repackage GEM scrubber that uses the same sorb as most other CCRs. Something to think about.

 

Thanks for your views Walt. It's always interesting to hear what's going on in other parts of the world.

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In the past I have had the pleasure or not so much so of owning

Dolphin SCR: Crap bubble machine

Sport Kiss: CO2 monster

Inspo Classic: Handset monster

PRISM: Dont forget to bring an extra tube of glue to put it back together

Meg: Bomb Proof love it to bits

 

Of all of them the only one that stood the abuse and I never missed a dive on was the MEG

 

I have on order the new ISC Pathfinder that I am hoping will arrive in April, for my diving it is the perfect CCR

Ultralight for flying with, good runtimes and depth rating and built to the same quality as the Meg

Cant wait for the new toy to arrive :D

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