Dräger PND Configuration

Enjoying full face mask diving. (In Lake Murner, BY/D)
Diving with the Dräger Panorama Nova Dive (PND) isn't that different from diving with one of the other professional full face masks. Except one thing: the quick release P connectors at the mask and regs are really outstanding. You can switch your gas supply at any time and thus also during your dive with ease and safely (please see also the topic of Redundancy). As far as I know only Dräger (currently) offers this.

As the Dräger is, unfortunately, not that common in use by SCUBA divers, I would like to show my PND configuration for illustration and as one possible example. Especially a dual reg configuration for gas switching is only rarely be seen, so I'm showing it here.

If you want to see switching gas with the Dräger PND in moving pictures: my drill video «Kraut Dread» («Es graut dem Sauerkraut») contains a few scenes about this. The title derives from the fact that the indoor diving pool where the footage was taken formerly had been a Sauerkraut factory. So much for German stereotypes...

PND Configuration Mono 12l Tank, Double Regs

Dräger Panorama Nova Dive
and two sets of Apeks regs.
For reasons of safety I'm diving with two completely independent regulator sets, each consisting of a first and second stage. The second stages each are fitted with the Dräger P connection system (the Dräger quick release connectors) instead of ordinary mouth pieces. As long as there is a problem with one of the stages but not with the mask I can easily switch from the main air supply to my backup air supply without having to take off my full face mask.

For historical reasons I have one TX100 first stage for my main gas supply, as well as and another XTX100 first stage for my backup gas supply.

An ordinary XTX40 backup regulator completes my backup system. Thus, in case of a full face mask problem I can still switch to the half mask and regulator with a normal mouth piece. You don't want to hold tight a P connector directly in your mouth, only in really bad situations. This XTX40 backup regulator is also for buddy help, as usual.

Hose lengths in this configuration are as follows, for a single 12l tank carried on my back, with two first stage feeders:
  • primary gas supply: 85cm between first and second stages,
  • backup gas supply: 100cm between first stage and XTX40 backup regulator.
From My Experience: Shorter hoses are not that useful in this configuration, because otherwise free head movement is limited when turning the hide sideways to the left. Hey, this is full face mask reality and not almighty DIR-in-exactly-only-my-way theory. Due to the Dräger P quick connector system, the regulators are a little bit more away from your mouth compared to diving with the reg directly in your mouth. Hose lengths have to compensate for this.

PND Configuration Sidemount

In the future, I plan to dive also in sidemount configuration with to completely separated tanks. Both reg sets then will by (almost) identical, both with an additional octopus as well as a trusty «classic» (read: purely mechanical) pressure gauge.


You will find even more blog posts on this topic following this tag: full face mask. Likewise, I've put some impressions from diving with full face masks online.

PS: Many thanks to Jörg Lucinsky for his «scarp slope» shot from Lake Murner (BY/D).