Instructions on how to properly set up and test your scuba tanks, including safety tips.
Scuba cylinders, sometimes referred to as tanks or bottles, are the heart of the system that allows divers to remain underwater and explore the ocean realm. These devices come in a variety of styles, sizes, colors and material. From steel, to aluminum, to fiber reinforced, the variations in design lend the individual cylinder to specific requirements set forth by the manufacturer. As with any life-support equipment, it is always best to follow the manufacturer guidelines and have a professional, certified, technician service the device. What follows here is the basic information needed to set up and test a scuba tank/cylinder and is in no way designed to be a short-cut or replacement for professional service.
Proper handling of a scuba cylinder is important for the longevity of the cylinder itself and for the safety of the diver. Avoiding scratches, dents, or sudden impacts to the cylinder is necessary to ensure a long service life. External damage can weaken the cylinder, unseat the valve or cause the cylinder to not properly connect with other equipment, namely the first-stage of the regulator harness.
When setting up at a dive site, it is a good idea never to leave a tank standing unattended. Most divers prefer to lay their tanks on the ground/sand to avoid any damage to the tank or injury that could occur by the tank suddenly falling over. Tanks should only be kept upright if they are secured, such as on a dive boat or a dock equipped with cylinder restraints. Keep in mind that while resting the tank on its side is best, it is important to make sure the valve area is not covered with dirt or sand. A good accessory is a valve cover that can be kept in place until it is time to attach the first stage to the tank valve.
When attaching the first stage of the regulator harness to the tank valve, be sure to make sure the connection is free of debris and water. Stand the tank upright and support it with your body or have it braced against something (by this time, most divers will already have the tank attached to their BCD or buoyancy compensating device). Loosen the yoke screw and slip the ?A-clamp? over the tank valve. Make sure the first stage seats correctly against the o-ring on the tank valve. Tighten the yoke screw ?hand-tight? only. Slowly turn the air valve on the tank to its open position, being prepared to turn it back off if any problems arise. If no problems are noticed, open the air valve all the way and then turn it back one-half turn. At this point most divers will draw a few test breaths from their regulator to make sure everything is connected properly and no unusual resistance is noticed.
Once the first stage is connected to the tank/cylinder, and the tank secured to a buoyancy compensating device, again place the entire system on its side or have it secured in restraints. With the added pieces of the scuba system, the tank will become even more susceptible to falling over. Proceed with helping others set up their scuba systems and then prepare for a day full of diving and exploring the ocean realm.
Laptop vs. desktop: depending on your lifestyle, the choice of desktop or laptop can be a difficult one. With some information, this decision can be easier.
In this fast-changing technological world, sometimes you are faced with some difficult choices. For instance, your current computer has matured to the ripe old age of six months and has been deemed obsolete. Now it's time to purchase a new computer and the question is, "Should I buy a laptop or a desktop?" But just because laptops are the new craze, it does not mean that you should run right out and get one. There are benefits and drawbacks that must be weighed. Of course, the main benefit of a laptop is the portability. This can be a huge benefit, allowing you to take your computer to and from work, on planes, on camping trips, and practically anywhere else. Along with this benefit comes a large drawback. It is just as easy for someone else to walk off with it as it is for you. Laptops are stolen at an alarming rate, because they are just so easy to steal. And when that computer is stolen, not only do you lose the value of the computer, but also all of your valuable data.
Another major drawback of a laptop is that their parts are "proprietary" which means that if your laptop breaks, only the company that made it will be able to fix it, and after the warranty expires they will be very happy to charge you an exorbitant price for that service. While with a desktop computers, you are able to take advantage of your local computer store which will often fix it at a much more reasonable rate. A third drawback to the laptop craze is that in general, laptops are far more expensive than desktop systems. For the price of an average laptop, you could purchase a much more powerful desktop. Of course, what you are paying for is the portability of a smaller design, but is that worth it? While it can be very fun to take your computer with you on a camping trip, how often do you need to type something up while fishing?
Now, the laptop is a very important part of the computer market, and I am not trying to dissuade people from buying them if they have need for them, but I have just seen far too many people dissatisfied with their laptops and wishing that they had purchased a desktop. One main example of this group of people is college students. Often first year students purchase laptops because they plan on taking their computers to class with them and being able to do their homework anywhere on campus. The stark reality of it is that laptops get stolen far too often at college, even right out of the dorm rooms, because they're just so portable. To add to this, I do not know a single student who uses their laptop in classes. While a noble ambition, no one actually carries through with this plan.
Laptops should be viewed as a purchase that should only be made when necessary. You would not purchase a car with 4-wheel drive (no matter how fun it looked) unless you actually had use of that feature, because otherwise it wouldn't justify the added cost. The same is true of laptops.
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