Tank Transmitter Pods & Short Hose Connections
Short Hose Addition Makes for Safer Diving
If you use an air integrated dive computer if you connect the pod directly to a first stage high-pressure port, think about adding a short, high-pressure hose between the two for an added measure of safety.
For years, I connected my air-integrated computer transmitter pod directly to a high-pressure first stage port, but after talking with fellow divers and watching how well-meaning buddies and dive crew interact with these directly connected pods, I decided to install a short hose between the first stage and transmitter.
Your direct-connect tank transmitter pod is imperiled because of the following reasons:
Dive crew (or even you!) mistake the transmitter pod for a tank valve handwheel and lift the tank and weighted BCD by grabbing onto the pod instead of the valve handle, which bends or breaks the pod.
"Can you check my air?" Dive crew or your buddy mistake the transmitter for the tank valve handwheel and unscrew the pod¹ while checking to see if your tank valve is open.
Someone knocks your kit (BCD, regulator, and tank) over and the pod strikes the deck, ground or other hard surface, damaging or destroying the transmitter.
Because of personal observations and some crazy first-person accounts of particularly perilous pod predicaments, the ±6" (±15 cm) high-pressure hose connecting my first stage to my air-integrated dive computer transmitter pod brings me peace of mind by offering my transmitter an additional level of protection from a variety of potential pod problems.
There are some differing opinions on this short hose pod approach:
Some divers use even longer hoses to route their transmitter along their sides—and closer to their AI computer—for better communications and to essentially hide it from view.
Other divers think the short hose is an unnecessary snag point.
Even others bungee the pod short hose to a longer hose to keep it out of the way.
¹ Veteran diver Mike recounted a time when his dive buddy mistook his transmitter pod for a tank valve handwheel:
We were getting ready to enter the water. My regular dive buddy's brother (to protect the guilty, I’ll call him ‘Frank’), was sitting next to me. For some reason, I had an ‘I left the stove on’ moment and wasn't sure if I'd turned my air on or not. I asked Frank to check.
He reached behind me, and I was surprised to see his face contorted as he exerted great effort with this rather simple task. An explosive ‘bang’ ensued as the pod’s O-ring popped with 3600 psi of pressure behind it. After that, there was just a lot of hissing until we got the tank turned off. No damage to any important parts, except to the O-ring... and Frank's 'experienced diver' cred took a serious hit.
I still haven't put my pod on a short hose yet, even though I have one. I really need to get that done now that I think about it!