Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mares Lab equipment seminar

Mares Lab equipment seminar

The last two days I participated in a Mares Lab equipment seminar. Yes right, this time around I was the student and had to watch someone else do all the talking and explaining and on top of that, today I had to sit an exam!
I've done two or three Mares seminars before but this was the first time that any exams were involved.

If you're looking for exciting fish pictures and the like, this isn't the right post for it, this is mainly about looking at dive equipment, taking it apart, spotting problems along the way and than putting it all back together again, ideally in such a way that it works under pressure.


The Mares Lab equipment seminar is unique for that right now, Mares is the only dive equipment manufacturer who make sit compulsory to sit through actual exams with set pass rates before you're authorized to maintain Mares equipment. This seminar was held over two days, day one being an introduction to various Mares equipment, like the MR 2 regulator, the MR 22/Abyss regulator first and second stages and the Ergo inflator.

This picture shows some of the very specialized pieces of equipment that are used during the seminar.

During day one we took amongst others, this fantastic Mares Abyss first stage apart. The Abyss was my first regulator ever and I still am very fond of this regulator, despite it's heavy weight.
Nowadays I do use a an updated version of the Abyss, the Proton 42 Metal a very good regulator and a lot lighter than the good ol' Abyss!

This is how the Abyss first stage looks like when it's completely stripped down. The challenge is to put it all back together again after you strip it down.

This shows how the Abyss 2nd stage looks like when stripped down. This was just a repetition for the second day, when we had to strip the regulator down again but this time there were problems put inside our regulator.

These problems we had to find and we also had to fill out trouble shooting reports, learn the various order codes of all the various parts and practice with a service pack and change all items that will be changed during a service, which Mares recommends at least to be done once a year or every 100 hours that you use your gear.
It got pretty serious with exploded drawings and service packs et all!

The highlight was a hands on practical test where we had to strip down a MR12 first and second stage to all it's components and list all parts that would be changed during a service and on top of that, at the end of two very long and interesting but also tiring days, we had to complete a theoretical exam. This picture shows my fellow seminar participants, Kai, Becci and Geoff with our presenter and host David.
The third day would involve stripping a regulators first and second stage down and find all inserted problems and list them correctly! A real challenge which I hope to be able to take one day but for now, two days was although very interesting, it was also enough!!
Now I'm ready again and fully charged to start teaching my own equipment repair courses like I've just done earlier this week. Scuba equipment and tools are an interesting topic and I'm glad I had the opportunity to learn some news bits and pieces over the last two days.
Camille






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