Pictures and text By Kerry McKenzie

First Prototype - 21st December 2004

Well I am guessing some of you are asking what am I doing now apart from diving my Dolphin and attempting to take and get more photographic experience. Well I have been diving as often as I can but all the time I have been thinking of a sports rebreather.

Something that is small light weight and portable, after the airport incident and the introduction of Gordon Smiths Travel Kiss.

The name of the project is a little bit tongue and cheek as parts from the Ray in this instance are being used however parts from the Abyss rebreather will work just as well with this design.

I will be listing all the parts in due course however construction is the main idea right now, then I can get some hours up on the unit.

I will be supplying the shell and mounting bracket for the loop, and you as the constructor build in your own B.C. and Harness and choose either the Abyss or Ray loop, add the ppo2 monitoring of your choice and add either a needle valve or kiss valve to the setup, in other words you customise the unit to *your* diving needs and not the manufacturers perception of your needs.

Because most of my diving is done in 10-20m depth range a small lightweight rebreather would be perfect for the kind of diving that I do. I also have some friends interested in a small light weight unit with a 2 hour duration underwater

The whole unit will have a small polyethylene cover to keep the unit neat and tidy and PRESTO the *StingRay Rebreather* is born.

Cylinders for Stingray Harness and Wing

Above shows the 2 litre cylinders going to be used for this project and right is the small 18 pound wing and harness complete with stage *D* rings and padded shoulder straps.

Consider this, go and buy off the shelf components and assemble a simple closed circuit rebreather from known suppliers. Meaning scrubber, hoses and mouth piece, and breathing bags.... *a loop*. Plus the big advantage is that these parts are made to a specification and well tried and tested, so you know what you are getting.

I can see no point in re-inventing the wheel, good quality rebreather parts are available off the shelf and are manufactured to a proven specification. So why not use them!

Abyss and Dreager and either the Ray loop can be used or the Abyss loop. All resonably priced and ending up with a small compact unit good for a 2 hour duration in the 5-40m range. This unit will be very small and light weight and be able to be taken anywhere.

Frame Scrubber mounted to frame

Mounting plate for the scrubber and cylinders which in turn mounts to the wing/back plate.

All assembled Assembled

This unit is only in the proto type stage and will change as it progresses, however the one thing which will make the unit popular is its size and the fact that almost all parts will be available off the shelf. The finished unit will have a fibre glass frame and shell and parts will be able to be purchased once the unit has had suitable testing.

Another assembled view Another assembled view Another assembled view Size counts

It consisted of a light harness with *D* rings for a stage and also camera gear and completely clear in the front. Couple this with a lightweight alloy back plate and marry the lot together with a small 18 pound wing. Add to this 2 x 2 litre steel cylinders and the scrubber down the middle with dual breathing bags on each side and cylinders mounted just over the top of the breathing bags. There is a hold up with parts right now however I hope to have the unit in a diveable state in the next few months, you can see I have kept the dosing unit on top of the scrubber as with the original Dolphin however there is no reason why O2 cannot be delivered to the exhalation breathing bag thus doing away with the dosing head altogether. The finished unit may not look like this one right now.

Second Prototype - October 2004

Well its come a little way since I first wrote the above text, so here is a look at the latest proto type along with a look at the new Sport Kiss RB which is also a very nice piece of equipment ......look on

Sport KISS and Stingray Sport KISS and Stingray Stingray Stingray Stingray

This concludes for now as I have 3 weeks to get the unit ready for a trip to PNG and the clock is ticking more to follow when I return and the production shell is already started.

21 December 2004

Here are some pictures of the StingRay RB in action in PNG. Sorry to say the unit had a mystery water leak that we all tried to locate. However it was not found and we assumed from deduction that it was coming from the inhalation hose "P" fitting that was failing under negitive pressure.

Pressurizing the loop out of its case and in the camera wash tank on the boat failed to show any leak at all. As you can imagine this proved to be a frustrating exersise. However it did not keep me out of the water and I was able to eject the slow drips of water coming down the inhalation hose by tilting back my head and running the water into my mouth then ejecting it through that wonderfully designed mouthpiece by Gordon Smith on open circuit.

This worked well until I got moisture into both digital displays and they began to free count, this put an end to diving the StingRay for the rest of the trip and so I dived a Dolphin CCR, one of the CCR's on board.

Tubby on a test dive Tubby on a test dive

The Stingray Closed Circuit Rebreather is now availablefor purchase. See our Ordering and Contacts pages for details.