What about training?
Unit-specific rebreather training is compulsory before you buy your Inspiration. However, you are allowed to train on your own unit if you arrange this with your Instructor beforehand. All major diver training agencies offer unit specific courses for the range of AP Diving Inspiration Rebreathers. The AP Inspiration training course typically lasts around 5 days but can vary depending on the course level undertaken… Training is carried out under IANTD , TDI, PADI and guidelines.
1st level recreational rebreather training
This Introductory level lets you dive to a maximum depth of 18 metres using a unit specced to minimise diver intervention. This simplifies the training drills and encourages you to bailout to open circuit should any alarm occur.
2nd level recreational rebreather training
On the 2nd level, you’ll progress to a maximum depth of 40m whilst still maintaining a simple approach to diving the rebreather. The full 40m training course teaches you to deal with a variety of emergency situations so there’ll be a much greater level of diver intervention. The importance of full kit preparation is covered, along with full use of all the unit’s features and post-dive cleaning and maintenance. The pre-requisite for this course is usually advanced nitrox.
Going further, and deeper…
Further training levels are possible after you’ve reached a level of experience that allows you to progress to decompression diving using Normoxic Trimix gases and ultimately Hypoxic Trimix gases. With practice and advanced instruction you be able to take on deeper and longer exploration dives to 100m. Please contact an instructor on our full Worldwide list of AP Rebreather Instructors who will provide further details on training, availability and costs.
Is it easy to dive with?
Weighing the same as a 15 litre (95cu ft) air cylinder with regulator and BC, the Inspiration is easy to handle on land and is a dream in the water.The stream-lined casing makes it feel like a 10 litre (80cu ft). Buoyancy control is slightly different to open circuit but soon mastered.
Do closed circuit, computerized rebreathers need a lot of maintenance? Not this one. Sure you need to refill the cylinders occasionally and change the Sofnolime – the chemical granules that absorb carbon dioxide in the Scrubber unit – but you do all that at the end of the day’s diving.The breathing hoses, mouthpiece and counterlungs are just the same as a BC. Wash them out at the end of the day, sterilize them at the end of the trip and maybe before the next trip as well, depending on how long you’ve stored it.An excellent sterilizing agent – “Be” Kleen is available from SD for this purpose. “Be” Kleen is effective against bacteria, viruses and fungi, including Legionella, Wiels disease, and Tuberculosis and is safe to inhale or ingest.
What about consumables?
You will need to change the batteries after approx. 60 hours of diving. There are two batteries costing around $12.00 each retail. You will also have to change the oxygen sensors – every 1 to 2 years depending on use and how well the equipment is looked after. The current replacement cost is about $100 to $120 each. To refill the Scrubber requires 2.4kg (5lb) of Sofnolime granules which costs approx. $15.00.The duration of a Sofnolime fill depends upon factors such as the individual diver’s CO2 production rate, temperature, breathing rate and so on. In the recent independent testing for CE certification carried out at the Ministry of Defense Research Establishment, Alverstoke, the Inspiration’s scrubber duration was 3 hours in cold water (4 degrees C). The tests simulated a breathing rate of 40 RMV and a CO2 production rate of 1.6 liters per minute.Sofnolime is available in two grades: High grade [1 – 2.5mm] – which is used for the Inspiration and has 50% more absorbency than the lower grade [2.5 – 5mm].