A new era

Poseidon regulators are well known as a ‘tekkie’ favourite – but now there’s one designed with the average recreational diver in mind. The DIVE test team take the Triton Millennium for run at Fort Bovisand

Poseidon regulators are popular among the technical fraternity and have a reputation for performing at depth. In reality, it is probably the simplicity of the Swedish company’s regulators and the fact that they can be used with the hose on the left or right that attracts technical divers, as much as their performance at depth. With the aim of breaking the stereotype, Poseidon has launched a new regulator. The Triton Millennium combines the best features of side-exhaust regulators with more standard design second stages.

The first thing you notice about the Triton second stage is its size and weight: a distinct lack of either. It is low volume and low weight – one of the lightest on the market. All the working parts fit into a case no bigger than a couple of matchboxes stacked together, an exhaust diffuser sits on each side, and that’s it.

While this isn’t a side-exhaust design, it doesn’t mean the hose must only come from one side. Poseidon has used a unique design feature – a swivel adapter joins the second stage to the low-pressure hose, allowing it to move through 360 degrees horizontally and vertically. Clever!

The Triton Millennium’s first stage uses the same diaphragm unit as all Poseidon regulators. Although inter-stage pressures vary between models – the Triton first stage operates at 10 bar. It comes with a DIN (Deutsche Industrie Normen) cylinder connector, meaning it can be used at pressures of up to 300 bar, and an ‘A’ clamp adapter (safe to 232 bar). The inclusion of both fittings as standard also guarantees you can use it anywhere in the world without needing to buy extra adapters (cylinder valves vary in different countries).

We asked five divers to use the regulator and score it. For each section of evaluation a list of test criteria was given. The divers were asked to mark between 1 and 5 representing their subjective assessment. The marking system: 1: very poor, 2: poor, 3: average, 4: good,
5: excellent.

First stage Each member of the test team was asked to assess the layout of the first stage as they configured it to suit their individual needs. The Poseidon first stage scored straight fives. It was noted that the space between each port left enough room for hose protectors to be fitted. Score: 100%

Second stage comfort The mouthpiece on the Triton is very comfortable, but its large size may be a problem for women or younger divers. The light weight of the second stage also added to comfort over long dives, minimising jaw fatigue. It was, however, the Triton’s swivel that impressed every member of the team. The result is complete freedom of head movement without any restrictions from the LP hose, scoring a maximum five out of five from every tester. One commented: ‘This is the most comfortable second stage I have ever used.’ The swivel also means the hose can be used on the left or right. Score: 100%

Purging/clearing 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%

ANSTI testing
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 to exhale.

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. Score: 80%

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.

We reckon
A good all-round performer with a fantastic design feature.
+ total comfort, excellent air delivery
– location of the purge button

Company report
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, UWI Circle

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