Inspiration xpd, Inspiration evp or Inspiration evo?
Choosing your rebreather is the most important diving equipment decision you may ever have to make. There are some important questions you should ask before you invest.
The AP Inspiration range can be configured from recreational to technical CCR spec - so whichever model you choose, it will develop with you as you progress.
REBREATHER COMPARISON TABLE
|Wing & Counterlung Colours||Gray / Black or Yellow / Black||Gray / Black or Yellow / Black||Gray / Black or Yellow / Black|
|Case Colour Option||Yellow or Black||Yellow or Black||Yellow or Black|
|Integrated Weight Harness Size||S, M, L, XL, XXL||S, M, L, XL, XXL||S, M, L, XL, XXL|
|Wing Size||16KG or 22.5KG||16KG||16KG|
|Counterlung Option||Over the Shoulder or Back Mounted||Over the Shoulder or Back Mounted||Over the Shoulder or Back Mounted|
|Over-the-Shoulder Counterlung Size||M L XL||M L XL||M L XL|
|Back Mounted Counterlung Size||Small or Standard||Small or Standard||Small or Standard|
|Trim Weight Pockets||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic Diluent Valve (ADV)||Optional||Optional||Optional|
|Auto Air for Open Circuit Bailout||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Open Circuit Bailout Valve (OCB)||Optional||Optional||Optional|
|Recreational 1 and 2 Software||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Nitrox Deco Software||Optional||Optional||Optional|
|CO2 Scrubber Monitor (Tempstik)||Optional||Optional||Optional|
|Communicator Software & PC Interface||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dual Power Supplies||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery Status Indicator||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sealed Battery Box||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic Setpoint Switch||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Some points to consider when making your choice…
The difference between the 3 models?
This can be summed up quite simply: Inspiration… Small, Medium and Large.
They are identical apart from chassis length and they have different sizes (durations) of scrubber unit and cylinders. All 3 models have the same spec in terms of build quality, control systems and upgrade options. (exception: only the larger unit – the Inspiration xpd – can upgrade to a 22kg wing because of it’s chassis size)
So which Inspiration model is right for me?
The answer to this will be a balance between the type of diving you plan to do and how much importance you give to the size and weight of the unit chosen in relation to your body frame size.
Points to consider:
- All 3 units can be dived to technical depths with appropriate planning for diluent gas mix and off-board bailout gas contingencies.
- When flying abroad you can reduce hold luggage weight by about 10kg on all units by packing the scrubber and head in your hand luggage and using the dive resort’s cylinders.
- Each model has a full range of harness sizes from small to XXL.
- There is a only a 5kg difference in ready-to-dive weight between the xpd and the evo.
- All 3 units are approved (and can be spec’d for all training levels Rec to Tec) by TDI, IANTD, ANDI, IART, ETDS, PTA, SSI, ITDA, BSAC, PSA and RAID and PADI.
So, we seem to be saying any model is right for you. To an extent this is true.
- If diving the unit without additional bailout contingency, the Inspiration xpd with 3 litre cylinders and 3 hour scrubber may be the unit of choice if you intend to do multiple repeat dives without refilling consumables between dives.
- Typical consumption per dive is about 30 bar from each cylinder so you would generally have sufficient bailout redundancy for subsequent dives with all units. However, psychologically, you may feel more comfortable with the unit with the larger cylinders.
- The smaller units may be a better choice if you intend to frequently fly abroad to dive. Although, with AP’s extensive global support network, the heavy items – cylinders and sofnolime – can be sourced locally.
- The smaller units may be the best choice if they are a better fit to your body shape and size (especially your back length) and you place greater importance on fit and pre-dive comfort than other considerations.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS #1
How is the INSPIRATION different to other CCRs?
The INSPIRATION has multiple unique key features:
- Unique, patented, intelligent Dual Control of PO2
- Multiple redundancy and unit monitoring features
- Unique backup intelligent dual power supplies
- Unique 3 oxygen-cell voting logic system
- Benchmark oxygen control accuracy +/- 0.05 bar of setpoint
- Patented scrubber monitor
- Unique fibre-optic Heads Up Display (robust, reliable and unlike other makes, not prone to failure due to flooding)
- Production unit built by an established 50+ year manufacturer with all that implies about quality and on-going availability of support and spares
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS #2
How much does it cost?
From £5,970 for a ready-to-go unit. The same price for each of the 3 models. Popular optional extras include:
- ADV (Auto-add Diluent Valve)(£186)
- Scrubber Monitor (£350)
- Nitrox or Trimix deco software (£134 each)
- Open Circuit Bailout Mouthpiece (£659)
- CO2 Monitor (£742)
What are the running costs?
Inspiration xpd and evp = about £8.50 per 3 hour fill
Inspiration evo = about £7.00 per 2 hour fill
Inspiration xpd = about £1 per 3 litre x 200bar Air fill
and £6 per 3 litre x 200bar Oxygen fill
Total =£7 (for up to 10 hours divetime)
Inspiration evp and evo = = about £1 per 2 litre x 200bar Air fill
and £4 per 2 litre x 200bar Oxygen fill
Total =£5 (for up to 6 hours divetime)
Other gas costs apply if using nitrox or trimix instead of Air diluent and if using additional bailout cylinders.
3 x £77 each = about £231 per year (varies with dive frequency & duration)
Between £10 and £15 to change both the main and backup power supplies
(battery-life varies with dive frequency & duration)
Chemgene disinfectant = about £25 for 100 litres (dilute) (use varies = approx 40 dives)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS #3
What about training?
Specific rebreather training is mandatory before purchasing an Inspiration from AP. However, you can do your training on your own rebreather if you have purchased the unit via an instructor. All major diving schools offer training specific to rebreathers from the AP Diving range. Certification on an AP rebreather takes about 5 days but may vary depending on the training agency.
1st level of recreational diving training
This introductory rebreather level allows you to dive to a maximum depth of 18 meters using a device specially equipped to minimise diver interventions. The exercises are extremely simplified and the open-circuit “bailout” procedure is the systematic response to any alarm.
2nd level of recreational diving training
This second level brings progression to a depth of 40m while maintaining a simple approach to rebreather diving. The 40m training teaches you to manage several emergency situations which allows you to increase your skills in the event of an intervention. The rebreather is covered in its entirety - including all of its functionality and all cleaning and maintenance procedures.
Go forward, further, deeper ...
Other levels of training are accessible once a certain level of experience has been reached allowing progress in the use of Trimix Normoxic gases and, ultimately, Trimix Hypoxic. With appropriate practice and training, you will be able to perform longer and deeper dives, up to 100m. Please feel free to get in touch with one of the certified instructors from the comprehensive list of AP instructors, who will provide you with course availability and pricing information.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS #4
WHAT TO ASK ABOUT ANY CCR
Not all rebreathers are the same. Ask the right questions, narrow down your options and make an informed decision that suits your needs.
Is your Closed Circuit Rebreather CE approved?
It should be because CE approval means rigorous third-party testing for important performance issues such as work of breathing. Don’t let people tell you CE approval doesn’t matter. It is a crucial, independently ascertained set of standards made with reference to human physiology – common to divers worldwide – not just to Europe.
If the unit uses oxygen controllers (has an automatic option) does it have independent dual controllers?
It really should do - otherwise you have no backup in a system you are relying on to keep you alive! Only AP Inspiration Rebreathers offer dual independent oxygen controllers.
Is there a backup power source?
If your unit uses battery power to function, then there should be an independent backup battery pack and a mechanism to switch seamlessly (and automatically) from one to the other should it be required. AP Diving has this sort of redundancy built in to the Inspiration range as standard.
What is your CCR’s depth rating?
If Trimix / Heliox is used instead of air as the diluent supply and modification is made to the bailout contingency, AP CCRs can be dived to depths of 100m+. They are routinely tested in unmanned trials to much greater depths and dives to depths of 110-120m have been achieved many times. Expeditions to 130m+ are now common.
Does your CCR you’re looking at have Over-the-Shoulder (Front) AND Rear Mounted Counterlung options?
There really isn’t a great deal of difference between the two, but there are advantages to each. Only AP Diving offers divers the choice with both options carrying CE Certification.
What type of oxygen injection system is used in your CCR?
Different systems on the market include: Constant Flow Orifice, diver adjustable Variable Flow Orifice, a Static Solenoid or a Dynamic Solenoid. If you are looking for a CCR with the option of automatic set-point control, look for one with a Dynamic Solenoid for continuous and instant reaction to changes in oxygen partial pressure in the diving loop. All AP Inspiration rebreathers offer a Dynamic Solenoid as standard and as a result set the benchmark in O2control accuracy.
How well will your CCR maintain constant PO2 during ascent? This really comes back to controllers. During ascent the partial pressure of oxygen in the diver’s breathing loop can drop dramatically and to hypoxic levels as the ambient pressure drops. Unless the CCR’s oxygen controller has the ability to react correctly and rapidly to these changes, the diver is at serious risk and the unit is poorly designed. AP Inspiration controllers reactively control the variable solenoid valve timing ensuring oxygen pressure is maintained with benchmark accuracy, +/- 0.05 bar of setpoint. Even during fast ascents, there is no need for manual intervention.
Does it have a CO2 scrubber performance monitor?
The scrubber bed is where carbon dioxide is removed from exhaled breath. The factors affecting scrubber duration – depth, work rate and water temperature – are too varied to offer accurate predictions of scrubber life for all possible conditions. Since the chemical reaction that takes place in the absorbent generates heat, a smart way to monitor performance is to compare temperatures across the bed and display that to the diver. The manufacturer’s stated duration guides (3 hours or 2 hours) are conservative as they are achieved under deliberately harsh test conditions. The AP Inspiration Scrubber Monitor takes into account the actual conditions and displays in real-time what is actually going on. It takes the guess-work out, allowing you to extend scrubber duration with complete confidence.
Does it have a CO2 Sensor?
By following a few basic ‘rules’ and sticking to certain guidelines, CO2 breakthrough can be avoided, but many divers feel more comfortable and secure with this type of sensor in place. The AP Diving CO2 Sensor is an ‘active warning device’ designed to alert the diver when the CO2 content of the breathing loop is approaching a dangerous level. This could be due to depletion of the CO2 absorbent canister or incorrect assembly resulting in CO2 bypass of the canister.
Does it have Heads Up Display (HUD) and what information does it show to the diver? A HUD is a useful tool, but some are at best overly complicated, at worst confusing – the last thing you want at depth, or in critical situations. A HUD should only convey exactly the information necessary for you to fly your unit safely, including warnings when PO2 is outside set parameters, when battery power drops, and when your scrubber is reaching the end of its effective life. The AP’s unique fibre-optic (no flood) HUD keeps it simple. Green for Go… Any red, check the handset.
Can your CCR be upgraded for Technical Trimix Diving?
Not all CCR divers are interested in technical diving, but if you one day decide to go down this route, ask yourself… will I have to sell my unit and start again with a new rebreather? If you choose an AP Inspiration Rebreather you won’t have to - because all 3 Inspiration models can be configured and upgraded to suit all levels Rec to Tec.
Does it have a real-time Nitrox / Trimix computer designed and manufactured by the same people who built the CCR?
It should. Some CCRs use controllers and computers from third-party suppliers. This may suit some risk models and manufacturing philosophies, but not ours. The more you mix and match, the more likely you could face compatibility issues, glitches, or worse – not something you want to be worrying about as you fly under a wreck at 80m! AP Diving’s Vision controller and integrated deco computer is the product of over 15 years research and has been tried and tested in labs, in-water and in depth. Our Vision systems are bespoke and purpose built for the kit they run, so you can be sure they’ll deliver the performance and reliability you expect.
Does your CCR offer a PC Interface and Dive log download?
A nice feature to have. Amazing when you can send that log to the manufacturer for diagnostics. AP technicians routinely use the dive log memory for diagnostics when servicing units or offering advice to customers.
Does it have visual and audible alarms for crucial issues such as low or high PO2, high CO2, and scrubber life?
Many CCRs only have visual alarms. At AP Diving, we believe it is vitally important to have both. Think about it. In a critical situation, under stress, your judgement may be impaired, you could be distracted. With both senses alerted you are much more likely to recognize the warning and respond in time.
Are parts and service available worldwide?
If you travel, it would be nice to know that in the event of something breaking, a replacement part is not sitting in a warehouse someplace on the other side of the world and a day or two away from access to shipping. AP Diving make 95% of all products in-house which means spares can usually be shipped the same day. A simple call or email to the factory here in the UK and you tap into our legendary customer service. Most of our staff are divers themselves and we will always endeavor to go the extra mile to keep you diving. Add to this our global distribution network in which AP regional distributors and many dive centres worldwide hold stock of common spares and you can be reassured - we’ve got your back.
How much service is required?
Leading-edge industrial design using solidly made quality parts all put together in an ISO 9001 factory – or shoddy components outsourced to the cheapest off-shore knock-off house? One approach leads to less servicing and longer life. No prizes for guessing which. At AP Diving, we manufacture 95% of all components on-site in our UK factory. We test 100% of our components on-site at our UK Test Centre. And when things do go wrong, we have an after sales and servicing department run by knowledgeable people who love diving and love helping you dive.
AP Inspiration rebreathers meet and beat all the above criteria, because at AP Diving we’ve been asking questions like these since we began CCR manufacture over 25 years ago.