VR Technology Sentinel CCR Review

Best Rebreathers

  • HOLLIS EXPLORER
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  • HOLLIS PRISM
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  • Electronics and the battery are housed on their own outside of the breathing loop
  • Primary HDD (Heads Down Display) is battery driven sequential LED, for continuous hands free monitoring of the oxygen levels.

VR Technology has realized that budget is a concern for customers. Now it is possible to order a standard Sentinel LSS (Life Support System) and upgrade the system as your budget allows. The standard Sentinel does not have a CO2 monitor gauge, off-board gas blocks, or breathing hose covers, but is equipped standard with a BOV, on-board decompression, and a back plate. The Sentinel Rebreather – Optocons Complete is equipped with BOV, Deco software, Wing and Harness, 2 liter cylinders & constant electronics with backup display. If you are looking for a Sentinel rebreather, then you can choose from their different packages with the necessary upgrades. More information regarding VR Technology  Rebreather here.

Choosing a Rebreather: Why Sentinel?

There are many quality rebreathers available with proper safety measures, but they all have different features. What’s important is to find the features which suit you most, not what someone else recommends. If you need help figuring it all out, check for a retailer where you can easily compare all the possible units, then narrow your selection down to the unit that you want. Already know what you want? Browse the units listed by manufacturer below. VR Technology’s rebreather has all the unique features and all the units you want in a rebreather, and surely will meet your all needs. Unlike traditional rebreather design, the Sentinel rebreather includes a single back-mounted counterlung. This means you are once again equipped with a clear chest for stages, cameras and just squeezing through tight gaps. Both a diver (with vibrating alarm) and buddy HUD mean that everyone is getting information of the state of your rebreather, which is an useful feature when team diving. A passive back-up display provides an alternative source for monitoring PO2 in the loop.

Some Features:

Let’s see how the features of the VR Technology Sentinel Rebreather make it unique from the others. Some of the unique features are:

  • The Sentinel is an electronics-driven, fully closed circuit PO2 design rebreather (eCCR) that provides a smart and easy to use life-support system (LSS)
  • The Sentinel has a unique, single 4.8 liter back-mounted counterlung (BCL) attached via an easy-disconnect system to the canister head
  • The Sentinel has a bail-out valve (BOV), and is totally removable
  • The Sentinel has the most intelligently-programmed integrated software for a rebreather on the market, with electronics designed for smart monitoring.
  • The electronics head holds the battery compartment and the three oxygen sensors
  • Any PO2 drop triggers an auto turn-on with the detection of breathing or at greater than 1.6 atm. absolute pressure
  • The Sentinel has diver- and back-mounted Heads-Up Displays (HUDs) that are configured for color blind and highly stressed divers through positioning and flashing or solid state. There is an alarm with vibration on diver HUD
  • The Sentinel is integrated with highly reliable Poseidon Xtreme first-stage regulators
  • To fit the contours of the outer case, a lightweight stainless steel backplate is included
  • The Sentinel is rechargeable
  • Depth: Maximum depth 100m/330ft
  • Weight: 31kg/68lbs without cylinders
  • The Sentinel is available with optional CO2 monitor, VGM, Hose Covers, 5mm backplate, and Off Board Whip Kit.

Some Pros and Cons

The sentinel LLS is the first life support unit which is loaded with state-of-the-art technology not found on any other rebreather. The latest version, the “Expedition Optocon,” is supplied with a gaseous CO2 monitor built into the breathing loop, providing live CO2Mb readings. Some frequently-encountered difficulties that users are facing when using the Sentinel include:

  • The sentinel holding negative when the ADV slider is shut, but not when the slider is open
  • Negative failing via the mouthpiece
  • Negative failing via the ADV diaphragm
  • Diagnostic positive checks failing

You can get all the answers to these issues at http://www.techsupport.technologyindepth.com, and these problems are easily solvable.

Recommendation

The unit automatically calibrates in air. One also needs to calibrate the CO2 sensor so the scrubber is activated by a trigger mechanism into a special seal in the canister. In the past and with other brands, the spring base previously used to seal the canister caused many safety issues because the seal did not hold. However, the Sentinel has an automated process using a self adjusting triple lip seal. “Unscrewing” the canister needs some force. Electrical wire is replaced by fiber optics. When in a dark room, the Sentinel looks like a Christmas tree. There are flashing lights all over the place: the two HUD’s, the tow pressure sensors, the O2 sensors, and the temp sticks (to measure the temperature of the scrubber). However, many people have died as a result of forgetting to turn their units on, and it is very hard to forget this step with a unit that lights up so brightly. 

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