DGX Custom Regulators - Have It Your Way
Unlike hamburgers where you can order exactly what you want, the diving equipment manufacturers generally supply their regulators in one or two basic configurations intended as the foundation for integration in the ubiquitous sport diving 'octopus'. Unfortunately experienced divers rarely need the manufacturers basic building block configuration of a Yoke first stage, 32-inch heavy rubber hose, and a second stage that often includes annoying cosmetic hose covers or a 360° swivel that interfere with hose routing and compromise safety.
For those divers who want to build their own unique configurations, Dive Gear Express offers all our regulators as individual stages as well as DGX Custom first and second stage configurations that you can tailor to your specifications. Dive Gear Express also understands the needs of the experienced diver allowing us to offer a wide variety of ready-to-dive packages. All DGX Custom regulator packages are assembled and integrated by Dive Gear Express using brand name first and second stage regulators together with Dive Gear Express premium quality hoses and other regulator accessories. Get everything you need and nothing you don't want.
8 Regulator FAQ
It's probably not the SPG or hose itself that's leaking. All high pressure SCUBA hoses use an air spool with two tiny #003 O-rings to mate the swivel connector on the female hose fitting to the male gauge fitting. If the air spool O-rings are worn, the assembly can have a slow leak around the swivel. Even when an O-ring has failed completely or the spool is omitted entirely, a tiny flow restriction present in the high pressure port of the regulator and/or the male hose fitting will cause a leak to be much slower than expected. We recommend replacing the air spool, or at least the spool O-rings, whenever replacing the hose. See our video on Leaking SPG Spool Replacement.
It is difficult to give you a meaningful answer regarding performance of our regulators in relation to other specific brands or models we don't sell, but perhaps we can put the performance issue in perspective. In reality, any modern balanced general purpose scuba regulator, designed to perform to EN 250 standards and properly maintained, is capable of delivering gas more than adequate for the needs of two sport divers (primary plus an octo). That's not to say there aren't poorly performing sport regulators in the market, but you can't buy them at Dive Gear Express.
There is no perfect regulator; they all have strengths and weaknesses that make each uniquely more or less suited to your needs. Keep in mind that a big brand name and high price are factors that rarely equate to better performance or better value. When choosing regulators at Dive Gear Express, make your decisions based on considerations that are less about "performance" and more about matching the regulator to the diving application. For example, an extreme exposure (i.e. deep and cold) technical diving regulator is a poor choice for shallow tropical sport diving. Beyond the features of the regulator itself, you should consider the supplier along with how the model was designed and has been supported. As an independent servicing dealer, we stock complete regulator packages, components and parts with online ordering and same day shipping.
There is nothing unique about the DGX regulators in terms of service requirements and no special tools are required. Any competent service tech will have no issues with service of the DGX models and if you are not an experienced service tech then Vance Harlow's "Scuba Regulator Maintenance and Repair" manual is very complete beginners guide. The book gives step by step directions plus in-depth discussion of the procedures and techniques involved in servicing a SCUBA regulator and is available directly from Airspeed Press.
The only difference is the branding and price; any DIN-to-Yoke adapter will work on any DIN regulator regardless of brand and they are all of equal quality chromed brass construction. The generic value priced DGX adapters are available in your choice of black or silver color, and features a nice sized handwheel which makes it easy-grip to install and remove from the valve.
Yes, these fittings are very standardized. All SCUBA regulator first stages sold by Dive Gear Express have a universal standard DIN connector (also known as G 5/8" BSP) that will work with any 200 bar and 300 bar DIN outlet SCUBA valve, unless special ordered with a native yoke A-clamp fitting for the North American K-valve. For use with K-valves, our DGX Premium regulator packages include a DIN-to-Yoke spin on adapter. A DIN-to-Yoke adapter is also available for purchase as an low cost option for those SCUBA regulators that don't include an adapter.
There is a single rare exception: In the European Union nations, the EN 144-3:2003 standard requires a valve outlet known as M26x2 to be used on dive cylinders containing oxygen or Nitrox mixtures with greater than 22% oxygen. The M26x2 outlet is similar in appearance but slightly larger than the standard DIN outlet, and thus incompatible with the standard DIN connector found on SCUBA regulators. The purpose of this incompatible valve outlet is to force the dedication of cylinders, regulators and fill stations to Nitrox use. The M26x2 outlet for Nitrox and oxygen is very rarely seen outside the EU and Dive Gear Express is unable to supply M26x2 connector regulators, although DIN-to-M26 adapters are available.
For more information please read our detailed article SCUBA Valves and Regulator Fittings.
5 Oxygen & Nitrox FAQ
Yes and no; this simple question has a complex answer because there is no widely recognized scuba diving standard for what constitutes suitability for oxygen service. Hypothetically, the equipment we sell could be used with oxygen if we describe it as Nitrox Ready, otherwise you should assume air only service. However, from the point of view of stringent U.S. aerospace guidelines and Compressed Gas Association handling standards for oxygen, nothing in general use in recreational diving is suitable for oxygen service. Using oxygen for diving requires you to make an informed decision to accept for yourself the risks of handing the oxygen. To help form your opinion about the answer read our article About Oxygen Disclaimers.
According to our suppliers, their Nitrox Ready products are oxygen compatible and oxygen clean from the factory, prior to initial use, for compressed gases greater than 23.5% oxygen. (Air is defined as containing from 19% to 23.5% oxygen.) However, most suppliers in the dive industry specify their Nitrox Ready products for use with gas mixtures containing a maximum of 40% oxygen as the upper limit. Although controversial, some dive industry professionals are of the opinion that Nitrox Ready products do not have to be dedicated to oxygen service and may be used interchangeably with CGA Grade "E" air as long as the Nitrox Ready product never contacts gas mixtures in excess of 40% oxygen.
To better understand the issues associated with handling oxygen rich compressed gas, please read Understanding Nitrox Ready.
Since Air is defined by the CGA as containing 19% to 23.5% oxygen, describing nitrogen-oxygen gas mixtures up to 23.5% as Nitrox is just an obscure way of describing ordinary Air. Gas mixtures greater than 23.5% oxygen are what most people assume to be Nitrox, and of course there is also pure Oxygen. To avoid conflict with various dive supplier labeling and any misunderstanding about exactly what constitutes Nitrox, Dive Gear Express sometimes uses the phrase "suitable for service with compressed gases containing greater than 23.5% oxygen" to describe products that are both oxygen compatible and oxygen clean prior to initial use, especially in reference to cylinders and valves.
Our suppliers tell us their equipment described as Nitrox Ready is already oxygen clean from the factory. The Compressed Gas Association standards state that equipment handling any Nitrox mixture in excess of 23.5% oxygen shall be cleaned to their standard as if the gas is pure oxygen, there is no lesser standard. That requirement is why Nitrox Ready equipment has already been oxygen cleaned by the manufacturer. SCUBA equipment is labeled 'NITROX READY' or '40% MAX OXYGEN' instead of 'Oxygen Service' because the manufacturers are managing the risks, both to your safety and their liability, associated with oxygen-related fires and explosions by specifying their SCUBA products for use only with breathing gas mixtures no more than 40% oxygen.
Nitrox Ready equipment from our suppliers is not just 'kinda sorta clean' or 'premix clean', it is oxygen clean. The practice by shops and individuals of aftermarket cleaning for new dive equipment that is already oxygen clean from the factory is pointless at best and dangerous if done improperly. Prior to initial use, no amount of aftermarket cleaning can make a Nitrox Ready product more oxygen clean nor can cleaning it ever override the manufacturer specified limits. The manufacturer can't stop you from using their equipment with breathing gases and pressures that exceed their specifications, but doing that requires you to make an informed decision to accept for yourself the risks of handing the oxygen.