The purge is a plastic lever located on the top of the
second stage. Unfortunately Poseidon has fixed a logo badge to the
front, which looks exactly like a purge button. One tester felt
that ‘in an out-of-air emergency a diver might panic if they
couldn’t locate the purge quickly’. It was also felt
that the design of the purge lever was weak, and that it might break
if it was stressed with use. One tester found the purge was easy
to hit by mistake when carrying out regulator switches: ‘It’s
where your fingers naturally go when you grasp the body of the second
stage’. All members of the team found the Triton cleared efficiently
by either purging or blast clearing, but this did not sway low scores
in this area. Score: 40%
Exhausted air Each tester was asked to assess
efficiency of the second stage at dispersing exhausted air without
impairing vision. In both swimming and upright body positions the
Triton scored highly. Score: 80%
Octopus The Triton octopus is a yellow version
of the primary, which despite its small size is easy to locate when
clipped on to a BCD. The test divers were asked to assess the octopus
in pairs simulating air sharing. With two divers facing each other
or side by side the octopus is very comfortable to use. One tester
noted: ‘Usually, using a buddy’s octopus is normally
a struggle, but not with the Triton’. Score: 100%
Testing a regulator’s breathing performance objectively
can only be done on a machine. The most widely accepted system in
the UK is owned and run by ANSTI in Hampshire.
During these tests a regulator’s breathing effort
is measured. This can be divided into three areas. Firstly the amount
of energy used to open the valve and let air into the second stage,
then to sustain an adequate amount of air flowing through, and finally
ANSTI tests every regulator to 50m in a head-upright position.
Limits are set for each stage of testing. The maximum amount of
energy allowed for inhalation is 3 joules per litre. The Triton
measured 1.7 – a good score. This was at a breathing rate
of 62.9 litres per minute, representing a heavy workload, such as
fast swimming. The exhalation resistance was 1.54 joules per litre.
Breathing performance There is no question the
Triton delivers a lot of air (a characteristic of all Poseidon regulators).
In fact, each tester scored a five in this area. The inhalation
resistance was marked as average by some of the team, while others
felt it was slightly above average. Basically, you notice a slight
delay after breathing in before air is delivered, but when the valve
opens you know you’ve taken a breath. Each tester also made
a fast 50m swim at depth, on their own and with their buddy breathing
from the octopus, to increase their breathing rate and the demand
placed on the regulator. Two members of the test team found the
regulator fluttered (air delivery was not steady) noticeably during
this test. After further tests some of the team still found that
if they took a sharp, deep breath it fluttered, while others continued
to find no problems. Although one tester noted: ‘I didn’t
notice a flutter during the swims, but I felt it when I lay on my
back or was in an inverted position’. Performance was also
tested at different depths and at different tank pressures. No significant
changes in performance were noted so the regulator scored highly.
The general feeling after the subjective performance tests was that
the Triton was temperamental and needed to be used correctly. Divers
should be aware of its potential to flutter if breathed erratically.
Total score 83.3%
The Triton Millennium is supplied with a bag, ‘A’ clamp
adapter and Allen key. The first stage and primary second stage
costs £276. The octopus costs £134.
Contact UWI Circle on 01420 544422.
A good all-round performer with a fantastic design feature.
+ total comfort, excellent air delivery
– location of the purge button
Yes, Poseidon wanted to get away from this technical image and produce
a mainstream regulator for all, with very modern design features.
The purge is designed to allow swimming in any attitude relative
to the angle of the purge. This allows for very dry dives while
looking up and no overpressure while swimming against a current.
With servo valves the beauty is that there are no mechanical working
parts in the second stage so there is little to go wrong, it’s
even great in cold water. If breathed from in an unusual manner,
ie rapid short breaths, exaggerated and erratic breathing, a slight
flutter may be sensed as the servo unit reacts to compensate. This
is very rare and does not happen in all cases. As with any new design
it has got to be used and its handling characteristics learned –
they should not be expected to perform as ordinary units. The reward
is a safe, lightweight regulator with good performance. Brian Bickell,