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  • Buy: Dusol DUSLATE mini | ATA/BAR Divers

    A Better Dive Slate. Meet the DUSLATE® mini e-Slate. The electronic writing board is a updated solution to traditional underwater writing slates. DUSLATE®mini To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Bottom Line Designed for quick communications between divers, the Dusol is a sleek and slender electronic replacement for traditional underwater writing devices that can be bulky, difficult to read, and nearly impossible to erase underwater. DUSLATE mini BUY NOW Is it just us or do all divers have a dusty bag full of ? You know what we mean—all the trinkets and tchotchkes purchased in hopes of transforming our dive experiences into something beyond magical. dive gear disappointments ​ For you, maybe it was the latest cutting device, light, fin set, gear keeper or mesh bag that you couldn't do without. In our case, our disappointment bag is rife with underwhelming underwater communications devices: Flat slates, wrist slates, booklets, waterproof note pads; even a tube designed to "talk" into your buddy's ear while submerged! Thankfully, we were recently introduced to the DUSLATE mini— . the world's first electronic writing board for diving ​ To use the , just start writing on the screen. Anything pointy—like a finger—will do, but is best to use the included stylus. To delete the screen, the stylus must contact the round erase button. This function makes sure your screen is not accidentally erased. DUSLATE mini ​ is great for quick and simple communications underwater. It is so simple to use that during a recent Open Water training dive, one of our students grabbed the and wrote a question she had without any instruction on how to use it. DUSLATE mini DUSLATE mini The black screen generates green writing, which is actually underwater than it is out of water. Check out the of the DUSLATE in action. The will not replace all other underwater notes though. For instance, a comprehensive backup dive plan should still be recorded on a separate slate or notepad. more visible YouTube videos DUSLATE mini ​ The DUSLATE mini runs on a standard 3-volt CR1632 Lithium coin battery (~$4.50 for Duracell CR1632 on ), is rated to 197 feet (60 meters), and has a 2-year warranty from date of sale. For additional products details, see information boxes below. Amazon.com CLICK to Buy DUSLATE mini $75 Includes Free US Shipping Designed and manufactured in Russia, the is a relative newcomer to the dive market. It can be purchased directly from the , but with international shipping and potential customs tariffs, the price for the is at least $90 US. DUSLATE mini manufacturer DUSLATE mini ATA/BAR Divers works directly with manufacturer Dusol to sell the direct to divers in the United States for . Free USPS Priority Mail® is included in this price for shipping to all 50 states and U.S. territories that receive Priority Mail® service. DUSLATE mini $75 ​ For divers outside of the United States or those with APO/FPO/DPO addresses, please contact us using the form below for a shipping quote. Please include your location information (city, state/province, country, and postal code) when you write. Payments are accepted via PayPal only. ​ Whether you are a dive instructor, Divemaster, dive guide or traditional dive buddy, we think the will make a great addition to your dive kit. DUSLATE mini Product Info Description Electronic Writing Board for Diving Product Model: DM2019X Manufacturer: Dusol Country of Origin: Russia Website: http://www.duslate.com Size & Weight Overall Size: 5-3/8" x 4" Approximate Measurements Screen Size: 2-3/4" x 3-3/4" Thickness: 0.3" overall 0.5" at battery compartment Weight: 3.4 oz Components Includes DUSLATE mini, stylus, stylus coil, battery & product information Battery type: 3V CR1632 Lithium Maximum Depth: 197 feet (60 m) Warranty: 2 year from date of sale Contact Us About the DUSLATE mini Submit We will be in contact shortly about DUSLATE

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  • Bad Gas: Contaminated Air Fills | ATA/BAR Divers

    A Case of Bad Gas? While it is not common, the risk of breathing contaminated air from a scuba tank is a real threat to divers, especially when air fills are done by a source whose reputation is unknown or questionable. Because some contaminants are impossible to detect on your own, technology is required to insure the air you breathe is as fresh as a morning breeze. Bottom Line : The stank seemed so obvious to one diver. This was clearly a case of some bad gas, and all of the warning signs were there: A rickety scuba shack belching a hazy plume of exhaust from a cranky, gas-powered air compressor in a country where standards, testing and inspections for compressed air quality were most likely inconvenient suggestions. His buddy sampled the same suspect air from the equally suspicious aluminum 80 tank with a prolonged whiff and declared, “I don’t smell anything.” Great. Now what? Civilization as we knew it was 500 miles away and so were—as is described by PADI—any “reputable scuba air sources” for compressed gas.[1] Here was our problem: How do we know that the gas we are about to breath at depth is free of contaminants? The truth is we can’t know without some technological help. There are several possible impurities in compressed air. Passing the so-called “sniff test” (a nose check for any odor from the tank air) or a "taste test" (a sort of flavor check of your air—there should be none) has important but limited screening values as one of the most insidious contaminants in a scuba cylinder is invisible to all of our senses. ​ According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): [2] Carbon monoxide (CO) [is] an odorless, colorless gas, which can cause sudden illness and death... [It] is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned. ​ What makes CO so toxic is that it essentially replaces oxygen in the bloodstream at a rate of 240-to-1, and “[t]he net effect is the reduction in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.”[3] According to the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center: ​ [4] CO is the deadliest of the toxic gases commonly found in compressed air. ​ An acceptable level of CO at sea level can prove deadly at recreational diving depths because of Dalton’s law of partial pressures.[5] But that begs this question: What is an “acceptable level” of CO? The short answer is not much, simply because our CO tolerance is very low considering the very small amounts we are regularly exposed to. How small, you ask? Well, measurements of CO are in parts per million (ppm), where one molecule of CO is detected among 999,999 molecules of other gases, or 0.0001%. The average global concentration of outdoor CO levels is somewhere between 0.04 ppm and 0.12 ppm (0.000004% to 0.000012%).[6], [7] The Compressed Gas Association, Inc. (CGA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established a standard for—believe it or not—air. The standard known as ANSI/CGA G-7.1-2011 requires that the compressed air in scuba tanks have 10 ppm or less of CO, or .001%. Even at recreational diving’s maximum operating depth of 130 feet/40 meters (about 5 bar/ata), the partial pressure of CO (PCO) of 10 ppm would be at an acceptable level of .005%, or equivalent to 50 ppm of CO in surface air. ​ Table 1 gives examples of scientific research on the effects of CO and the related levels for symptoms that range from a headache and nausea to unconsciousness and eminent death. A contaminated tank containing 800 ppm of CO might not immediately present symptoms at the surface, but at a depth of 99 feet/30 meters (4 bar/ata), the same tank of air could prove deadly within 30 minutes (0.08% x 4 bar/ata = PCO 0.32 bar/ata, or equal to breathing 3,200 ppm [0.32%] of CO in surface air). ​ PORTABLE SOLUTIONS Meanwhile, back at that desolate dive destination with that funky tank of gas… What do we do? Luckily, there are solutions available to analyze tanks for CO on the go. Here are a few options that might be worthy of consideration depending on your future dive itinerary. Prices range from $7.95 to $420.00: ​ DE-OX SAFE Carbon Monoxide Analyzer DE-OX CO is able to test a tank fill for carbon monoxide content in any breathable gas mix, including air, or it can be connected to a gas or diesel compressor for in-line continuous monitoring. http://www.temc.it/en/de-ox-safe-analizzatore-di-monossido-di-carbonio/ POCKET CO SCUBA In addition to being a general purpose CO detector, Pocket CO SCUBA has been configured to allow easy detection of extremely low levels of CO in SCUBA tanks, down to 2 ppm. http://www.detectcarbonmonoxide.com/order-now/pocket-co-scuba/ DIVENAV COOTWO The world’s first dual gas (oxygen and CO) analyzer and data logger. Programmable via smartphone. Compatible with existing My Nitroxbuddy smartphone app. http://www.divenav.com/products/cootwo CO-PRO™ A one-day use device that detects the presence of CO in breathing air. Tear open the packet and fill included balloon with tank air. If the air is contaminated by CO, the sensor button in the balloon will change color. [At the time of this writing, this website was inactive. Visit the .] http://co-pro.com manufacturer's site ​ SENSORCON CO DETECTOR FOR SCUBA TANKS Kit includes the waterproof Carbon Monoxide Inspector, carrying case, yoke adapter and male and female connectors for sampling air or CO. http://carbonmonoxide.sensorcon.com/scuba-carbon-monoxide.php OxyCheq Expedition CO Analyzer w/ Alarm Expedition Carbon Monoxide Analyzer with alarm and carrying case. The alarm will sound when the level of CO reached 10 ppm (+/- 1ppm). https://www.oxycheq.com/oxycheq-expedition-co-analyzer-w-alarm.html ​ NUVAIR PRO CO ANALYZER Fast response compact water resistant container. Range of 0-50 ppm. Alarm goes off at 10 ppm CO (BC flow adapter sold separately.) https://www.nuvair.com/store/pro-co-alarm-analyzer.html ​ DIVENAV monOX DELUXE Carbon monoxide detector for scuba divers. Smartphone controllable. Available at Amazon.com ​ Footnotes [1] PADI Open Water Diver Manual (2013, p. 191). [2] https://www.cdc.gov/co/ [3] Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. http://www.jabfm.org/content/11/6/481 [4] http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/Documents/industrial-hygiene/COMPRESSED-BREATHING-AIR.pdf [5] Discussed in detail in PADI’s Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving (2008, pp. 4-32, 33). [6] Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp201-c2.pdf [7] World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/123059/AQG2ndEd_5_5carbonmonoxide.PDF ​ This page is provided for informational purposes only. It is solely the opinion of ATA/BAR DIVERS and is provided without compensation, affiliation or consideration of any kind. No endorsement of, or professional experience with, any equipment profiled on this page should be inferred or implied. Amazon Associates links go to support this site. Table 1. Effects of Carbon Monoxide. Figure 1. De-Ox Safe CO Detector Figure 2. Pocket CO SCUBA Figure 3. DiveNav COOTWO Figure 4. CO-PRO™ Figure 5. Sensorcon SCUBA CO Detector Figure 6. OxyCheq Expedition Figure 7. Nuvair Pro CO Figure 8. DiveNav monOx DELUXE.

  • ATA/BAR Diver | PADI Deep Diver Specialty Course

    PADI Deep Diver Specialty Course — — As a courtesy to local diving enthusiasts and potential scuba students, we offer this list of scuba class courses and schedules. These links reflect the latest information available from the noted PADI training facility on each class page. does not make or accept training class reservations. Please call or visit the respective PADI training facility to sign-up for classes. Prices subject to change ATA/BAR Divers and classes subject to cancellation without notice.

  • Videos | ATA/BAR Divers

    Images Contributed by industry professionals, these are some of our favorite underwater images from the around the world. Each image is copyrighted by its respective photographer.

  • Regulator Hoses | ATA/BAR Divers

    When the Best Deal is Not: Know Your Hose Be wary of online scuba resellers as what looks like the best deal available probably is not. What you think you are purchasing may not be what you get. Determine online resellers warranties before purchasing. Reputable resellers should cover products for one year or more. Bottom Line : Generic Kevlar Nylon Braided HP Hose vs. MIFLEX Carbon HD Braided HP Hose Let’s be honest—the sport of scuba diving is not exactly cheap. If you’re like us at ATA/BAR DIVERS, you’re always on the hunt for great deals when it comes to equipment, training, and travel. Unfortunately, the old adage of “you get what you pay for” is frequently far too accurate. In January 2015 it was time to purchase a new high-pressure hose for one of our regulator set-ups. First stop—as it is with pretty much any purchase for anything these days—was . We found a “33-Inch Kevlar Nylon Braided HP High Pressure Hose for 1st Stage Gauge.” At the time it retailed for $35.98 and was the best deal we could find. Amazon.com Now the bad news: In August 2015 a leak formed near the SPG connection. We contacted the Amazon resellerfor details on the warranty for this product. Their response: “We are sorry to inform you that the item is no longer covered under our 30-day return policy. Best regards, **** Team” Best regards, indeed. With that answer, it was off to the local dive shop to purchase the XS Scuba MIFLEX MHP36-CN for $52.00. (This same product is available from for $45.95.) We were familiar with the MIFLEX brand name. It was only upon returning home with the MIFLEX product that we discovered the hose purchased at through an Amazon.com reseller was a no-name brand. Scuba.com After the purchase, we wondered what the MIFLEX warranty was. There was no information on (or in) their nifty packaging. Off to the Web we went. As MIFLEX hoses are made in Italy, it should be no surprise that their website ( ) is in Italian. Strike one. How about the site? They seem to be the U.S. distributor for MIFLEX…) Negatory; and strike two. With one pitch to go, we reached out to online retailer for warranty information. Within a day, their response was: “It comes with a one year warranty.” …Just as it should be. miflex.com XSScuba.com Scuba.com There is no reason why equipment of this type comes with anything less than a full-year warranty against defects. With only 43 dives on the hose purchased from this undisclosed Amazon.com reseller, it is pretty clear the workmanship on their no-name product is far less than what can be reasonably expected. Lesson learned. Sometimes the best deal is not. We highly recommend you fully understand who the manufacturer is for your scuba equipment, and don’t assume that every Kevlar- or carbon-braided hose comes from a reputable source. And when dealing with online retailers, ask what their warranty is on equipment up front. We didn’t, and that was a mistake we won’t make again.

  • ATA/BAR Divers | PADI Rescue Diver Courses

    PADI Rescue Diver Course — — As a courtesy to local diving enthusiasts and potential scuba students, we offer this list of scuba class courses and schedules. These links reflect the latest information available from the noted PADI training facility on each class page. does not make or accept training class reservations. Please call or visit the respective PADI training facility to sign-up for classes. Prices subject to change ATA/BAR Divers and classes subject to cancellation without notice.

  • Equipment Reviews | ATA/BAR Divers

    Scuba Equipment Reviews We love to dive, and our goal is to share information about scuba diving equipment. The opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the founding members of and do not reflect the opinion of dive operators we may be affiliated with. Our orientation is a positive one that promotes the good things in diving; we do not dwell on the bad. But occasionally, our experience may be less-than-acceptable with a product or service—and we will share that with our readers. Experiences can be different depending on the divers involved. We offer you our opinions on our experiences; we do not offer a forum to voice differing opinions on our postings. We welcome you to post differing opinions at other sites. ATA/BAR Divers Product Review: TAC Non-Military Fin Do these fins even work? That was our first impression of the TAC fins when they showed up at the door. It is smaller and lighter than any fin you've experienced. Product Review: Defiant XT Fin The Defiant XT provides a booted foot with a solid platform to work with. With its comfortable but firm foot pocket grasp, my foot and the Defiant become one. Product Review: The $5 Flashlight Sold by dozens of eBay retailers and frequently labeled "Shallow Light," how does this $5 US flashlight hold up under real diving conditions? We tested it out. Review: DGX Rio Gauge Reader Mask If you are grappling with the close-up vision limitations of being a mature diver, there is an inexpensive and effective solution for your older eyes underwater. Cheap & Easy Image Editing Try GIMP! A free and easy software fix for your underwater digital images is just a download away. Review: Olympus TG-4 Camera Looking for a low-cost digital video still camera with exceptional features to chronicle your underwater experiences? Your search might be over with the TG-4. and Product Review: Scurfa Watches The Scurfa Diver One is a reasonably priced, solid, classic dive watch that will turn heads on your next boat trip. Product Review: Dryrobe ® Dryrobe : A solution to changing out of cold, wet gear when few privacy options are available. ® Product Review: $4 Wet Notes Pad Check out this inexpensive solution to taking important notes underwater. Avoid paying $30 or more for products designed and customized for divers.

  • Review: Dryrobe | ATA/BAR Divers

    Dryrobe: A No Privacy Solution to Cold & Wet Dive Gear Every once in a while we run across a product that we want to tell everyone about. So is the case with the Short Sleeve Towel Dryrobe®: A solution to changing out of cold, wet gear when few privacy options are available. Taller divers be aware of short hemline. Bottom Line : You’re done with your last dive of the day. You are soaked and cold and just want to get out of your sopping wet dive gear but privacy options are limited. Either your shore dive entry point has no places to retreat to or your dive boat has a line of equally saturated and frigid divers waiting at the single door to the head. There is an option: The ®. Short Sleeve Towel Dryrobe Dryrobe® is more than a traditional dive parka and much more than a beach towel. It is a simple product that gives you complete privacy while you slip out of your soaked gear and into a dry change of clothes while doubling as an absorbent towel to dry off with and a means to warm yourself much like a zippered jacket would. Those of us at were early adopters of the Dryrobe®, the product of a UK-based company of the same name. With its unfitted, roomy sleeves, the Dryrobe® is well suited for women who must deal with apparel on the top-half of their bodies, and such changes can be done in privacy among divers and others on the boat deck, beach, parking lot, or roadway shoulder. The Dryrobe® proclaims itself as The Outdoor Change Robe™. ATA/BAR DIVERS When we purchased our Dryrobes in 2015, the international shipment was received from the UK. Their - and websites appear to have expanded their product line since that time. US UK-based The robes are made from thick, supple, and absorbent terry material that holds up very well with machine washing and drying. The Short Sleeve Towel Dryrobe® always garner comments on dive boats. And as far as our conventional dive jackets and parkas? They are getting plenty of rest on their respective hangers in our dive gear closet. We do have a couple of observations for potential buyers: (1) If you are taller than the average diver, you may be disappointed with the Dryrobe’s length, which is 3'7" long from shoulder to hem, according to the . On an exemplar 6'2” [188 cm] male diver, the hemline rests several inches short of the kneecaps, and that is with no bending or other contortions normally associated with a clothes change (see Figure 2). With taller users, this hem could easily result in an inadvertent "bum spotting," or worse! Dryrobe® website ​ (2) Make sure to initially wash the Dryrobe® separately in cold water to avoid damaging other clothes in the same wash. In short (no pun intended), we are big fans of the Dryrobe® and we think you will be too. Dryrobe® and The Outdoor Change Robe™ are the respective registered trademark and trademark of Dryrobe. ​ This product review is solely the opinion of ATA/BAR DIVERS as a product consumer and is provided without compensation, affiliation or consideration of any kind. ​ Figure 1. Short Sleeve Towel Dryrobes. Figure 2. Hem length on 6'2" (188 cm) male.

  • Review: Olympus TG-4 | ATA/BAR Divers

    Olympus TG-4: Simply Add Water for Stunning Aquatic Imagery Every once in a while we run across a product that we want to tell everyone about. So is the case with the Olympus TG-4 camera and the Olympus PT-056 underwater housing. Bottom Line : We love our but they do have a purpose. Think about it: When was the last time you saw a GoPro TV ad featuring still images? Exactly... It was this lack of still photo chutzpah that made us venture out to find a reasonably priced, smallish underwater camera to take good ol' photos with. GoPro cameras ​ If you've done any recent research on this topic, no doubt you have run across countless reviews of the (MSRP $380). One review in particular caught our attention: gave a glowing review that is almost too good to believe: "For the price, the TG-4 is unbeatable..." Could it be true? The answer is a resounding The TG-4 is an amazing camera. Olympus TG-4 Backscatter's Jim Decker YES! ​ With about 20-seconds of "preparation and training," i.e. "How do you turn this thing on?," these images (Figures 1-3) were taken during a recent dive trip. Visibility was particularly poor with turbulent sea conditions that put lots of floating junk between the camera lens and intended subjects. Channel Islands ​ Figures 1-3 were literally point-and-click photos, so the results were not expected to be much. We were stunned by the clarity and detail in the photos. Native resolution for the TG-4 is 4608 x 3456 and files average about 3 MB each. ​ The camera, housing ( , MSRP $300) and external light source ( , MSRP $600, may be out of production) were configured for these photos as depicted in Figure 4. As full list of hardware (tray, handle, clamps and mounts) were purchased from the helpful folks at and will be detailed here later. Olympus PT-056 Sola 3000 Backscatter ​ The TG-4 also takes video in *.MOV format using an color auto-correction (replacing reds at depth) with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080. Does it compare to GoPro video quality? We have to say again. YES! Underwater video examples include: Socorro Island, Mexico Anacapa & Santa Cruz Islands, California ​ We agree with Jim Decker: The TG-4 is an amazing and simple camera for underwater photo enthusiasts who aren't enthusiastic about spending $10,000 for a camera rig. ​ Figure 1: 1/200s, f/3.2, ISO 100, Focal Length: 5.1mm Figure 2: 1/400s, f/2.8, ISO 100, Focal Length: 4.5mm Figure 3: 1/125s, f/3.2, ISO 125, Focal Length: 5.1mm ​ Additional Equipment Shown in Figure 4 An external light source can be mounted to the PT-056 underwater camera housing by using a , but we found the camera, housing and Sola light a bit unwieldy to handle using the camera housing itself... so we added a real handle and tray to our rudimentary rig. We will likely add a , another handle, and a second light to balance the lighting out. A cold shoe mount tray extension ll items were acquired through : Backscatter.com ​ Sola Ball Mount Kit Ultralight Mount Clip Ultralight Tray Tray Handle T-Bolts and Washers for Tray ​ This product review is solely the opinion of ATA/BAR DIVERS as a product consumer and is provided without compensation, affiliation or consideration of any kind. Figure 1. Cropped, unretouched photo of a Garabaldi damselfish taken with the TG-4. Figure 2. Cropped, unretouched photo of a green anemone taken with the TG-4. Figure 3. Cropped, unretouched photo of a kelp bass taken with the TG-4. Figure 4. Olympus TG-4 + PT-056 housing + Sola 3000 video light with Backscatter tray, handle, clamp and mounts.