DGX Gears Regulators
DGX Gears brand D6 and XTRA regulators
Both the DGX Gears brand D6 and XTRA regulators are going to more than meet the needs of most divers but there are differences depending on the specific style of technical diving such as cold water or extreme depths.
The DGX Gears D6 Regulator is a "classic" basic time-tested design based on a balanced diaphragm first stage. The DGX Gears D6 second stage is pneumatically balanced for excellent breathing at depth and includes a user adjustable breathing resistance knob along with a venturi (Dive/Pre-Dive) switch for better flow control when needed and to reduce free flow upon initial entry. If you are seeking a reliable and easy breathing regulator for sport diving the D6 is a great value.
The DGX Gears XTRA Regulator is a more recent extreme-performance design based on a balanced piston first stage that includes an auto-closure that shuts the DIN inlet when not engaged on the valve, potentially avoiding accidental flooding. The XTRA 2nd stage is a balanced fully adjustable second stage featuring metal internal components and increased resistance to freezing when cold water diving that also delivers reduced inhalation efforts at depth. If you are seeking a top-shelf performance regulator for extended range diving without a "big name-brand" price, then the XTRA merits serious consideration.
All our regulators are Nitrox Ready. What really makes our regulators stand out from the crowd are our value prices plus the DGX Gears lifetime limited warranty. Dive Gear Express believes the consumer has the "right-to-repair" and our policy is to make the DGX Gears regulator service parts individually available for purchase without restriction. The service manuals and schematic diagrams are available to the general public under the Product Attachments tab of the DGX Gears regulator service parts kits.
10 Regulator FAQ
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.
All the diaphragm regulators we sell, including the DGX Gears D6 first stage, are environmentally sealed. Piston regulators, including the DGX Gears XTRA first stage, are not typically described as environmentally sealed in the conventional sense because the internals are protected by other methods inherent in their design. Keep in mind the need for sealing a first stage is not relevant to most types of diving, for more information read our TekTip titled Environmentally Sealing SCUBA Regulators.
Any competent service tech will have no issues with service of the DGX Gears models. There is nothing unique about the DGX Gears brand regulators in terms of service requirements and needs no special tools and supplies beyond those generic tools and consumables found on the typical regulator technicians bench. We believe our customers also have the right-to-repair, so we publish detailed service manuals and we sell without restriction all service parts for the DGX Gears brand regulators. See the Product Attachments tab of the service kits for service manuals including IPB and torque values.
If you prefer, you may also send your DGX Gears brand regulators in for service or repair at our DGX Service Department located on the east coast in Florida or Pacific Scuba Repair located on the west coast in California. Dive Gear Express only services brands we sell: DGX Gears, Dive Rite, Mares XR, and Poseidon. If you have other brands you would like serviced at the same time then Pacific Scuba Repair also services our brands plus many other brands such as Aqualung, Apeks, HOG, Hollis, Mares (full line), Oceanic, OMS, and ScubaPro.
Dive Gear Express is an authorized service center for Dive Rite, Mares XR, and Poseidon regulators. We of course also provide maintenance service for our house brand DGX Gears regulators. For all the details visit SCUBA Regulator Maintenance Service at Dive Gear Express.
For regulator brands that we are not certified to service, we recommend using a factory authorized service center nearest you. Three long established U.S. based companies that specialize in factory authorized regulator service for most brands are Airtech in North Carolina, RegTech in Wisconsin, and Pacific Scuba Repair in California.
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.
Omniswivel brand products are available with a exceptional variety of different fittings and most are made from stainless steel. The Omniswivel brand itself is well known† for their product quality and their products are made in the USA. Some of their most popular simple adapters are also available in generic chromed brass versions that are manufactured offshore. In our experience the durability and reliability are similar for both Omniswivel and generic versions.
† Originally named M&J Engineering, the company rebranded as Omniswivel International after their most well known product the Omni-Swivel omni-directional 360° swivel adapter that screws in-line between the low pressure hose and any standard second stage.
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.
No, the sound is completely normal, nothing is loose and nothing is wrong. If you vigorously shake the thin naked gauge, you will hear the sound of the internal coil spring contacting the body.
The sound is typical for all thin gauges regardless of brand, and in no way affects the performance of the gauge. The larger naked gauges, because they have a larger body that allows a different design, do not make this sound. However, g-force impacts on any gauge may cause a loss of calibration so please stop shaking your gauges.
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.
8 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 and Oxygen Service 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.
There is no visual inspection method to be sure an O-ring is oxygen compatible, only specialized materials testing equipment can make that determination. To ensure oxygen compatibility, O-rings must be specified as oxygen compatible at time of purchase and then segregated from non-compatible O-rings. There are no O-ring color coding standards and thus color or appearance is not an indication of the material or quality. O-rings are available in nearly any color, although most commonly seen in black regardless of material.
Even though most fluorocarbon elastomer (aka FKM, aka FPM, aka Viton) O-rings are black, the loose FKM O-rings sold by Dive Gear Express are oxygen compatible and usually brown or green; simply to make them easily distinguishable from more common acrylonitrile butadiene rubber elastomer (aka NBR, aka Nitrile, aka Buna-N) O-rings which are usually black and not generally considered suitable for oxygen service. However, the oxygen compatible O-rings inside equipment (valves, regulators, hoses, service kits, etc.) are almost always black. O-ring materials also can not be distinguished from each other by their surface appearance, more a function of the manufacturer than the material. NBR is incorrectly said to have a shiny surface and FKM a matte surface. This is not a reliable indicator, and certainly not true if the O-ring has been lubricated.
Just to be clear, the COLOR and SURFACE APPEARANCE of the O-ring is MEANINGLESS regarding their compatibility with oxygen.
The inlet and outlet on our oxygen compatible DGX Premium O2 Valves are oxygen clean copper metal alloy (aka raw "brass") which will very quickly exhibit some discoloration and spotting after cleaning that that is not present with electroplated chrome finishes typical of other SCUBA valves. Raw brass that is not coated with some kind of sealer (which would defeat the purpose of the valve) will discolor very rapidly, thus appearing aged or used.
If you consider the cosmetics to be important, and maximum compatibility with pure oxygen is less of a concern, then we recommend choosing our standard Nitrox Ready DGX Premium Valves over the DGX Premium O2 Valves.
DOT regulations currently limit the oxygen fill pressure of aluminum and composite cylinders to 3,000 psi at 70F. There are no similar DOT fill pressure limits for compressed oxygen gas in steel cylinders, but as a practical matter pure oxygen fills exceeding 3,000 psi are highly unlikely, regardless of cylinder composition or service pressure. In the US, almost all bulk compressed oxygen available to local dive shops is aviation grade in steel DOT-3AA-2400 cylinders with a CGA-540 valve at a service pressure of 2,640 psi. Since most oxygen fills by local dive shops are done using the cascade method, a typical local dive shop pure oxygen fill in a rebreather or decompression cylinder will be between 1,800 psi and 2,400 psi unless the shop has an oxygen booster.
The DOT considers any gas containing more than 23.5% oxygen to be pure oxygen for the purposes of handling. Thus, knowledgeable fill station operators will not fill aluminum cylinders with Nitrox higher than 3,000 psi. This means the 3300 psi "compact" or "neutral buoyancy" aluminum SCUBA cylinders will receive a short fill. Again, there are no such restrictions on Nitrox in steel high pressure SCUBA cylinders with a service pressure of 3442 psi. Although there are some older steel SCUBA cylinders with a service pressure of 3500 psi, recent DOT regulations limit the transport of such cylinders to a maximum fill pressure of 3442 psi as well.