* Prices may differ from that shown
The Oceanic Alpha 8 is an additional regulator that I picked up cheap of Ebay as a spare regulator for my ever expanding 'room of death' or 'kit room' as I prefer to call my box room.
An Octopus is a breathing device that is used to breathe underwater. Normally you would dive with a main regulator which is your main air source and a secondary 'octopus' regulator just in case something goes wrong with your main regulator. It can also be used so that two divers can breath from one scuba diving air cylinder if a dive partners equipment fails. Obviously when you are 30 metres underwater, its pretty important to be able to breathe and to have adequate back up in case there is an emergency.
An octopus can be any regulator, but in reality most divers will opt for a more expensive main regulator and a cheaper Octopus as it will (hopefully) not be used much. It is however still important to check that it is working before a dive in the buddy check (when you and your dive partner check each others gear....another saftey precaution)
----The Oceanic Alpha 8 Regulator----
I have tried out this regulator on a couple of dives on the south coast (UK) in summer temperature (About 15degrees water temperature) and it works well.
The Octopus is supplied with a permenantly attached hose which fits into the 1st stage (lump of metal screwed onto the valve of the cyllinder) The hose is more lightweight and thinner than other regulators I have used. There is no swivel connection on the join between the hose and the mouthpiece which I have on my other regulators which makes it a bit less manouverable to get into a comfortable position.
The main body of the mouthpiece that contains the valve is about 3 inches across which seems a pretty standard size. The unit is lightweight and doesn't feel bulky once underwater.
The mouthpiece is orthadontic, in that the section that you put inside your mouth is shaped well to fit the natural bite position. This part is made from a soft rubber like material which is easy to grip (not bite) and I haven't experienced and jaw ache or sore gums from it which can be an issue with harder materials.
The purge function (when you clear water out of the regulator - usually if you have removed it for some reason underwater and replaced in your mouth) is easy to perform by blowing which opens the valve or by pressing the soft front of the mouthpiece (which hides a valve release button). Both methods are simple to achieve and clear the regulator well.
It is easy to draw a breath, and even though mine is second hand it hasn't developed a 'wheezing' sound each time you pull aair into your lungs.
I have not experienced any freeflow issues. This is when the regulator starts pumping out air because of a malfunction, usually when you jump in and it hits the water. Most times it can be solved by whacking the regulator a bit and it does happen to most of them at some point.
----Build and Quality----
The Alpha 8 does not feel as solid as my other regulators, although these were a lot more expensive. It is adequate and I believe with proper care and servicing it will last a long time.
The hose feels strong and the reinforcement covering between the mouthpiece and hose fits well. Overall it appears well made and it is more of a 'feel' that the robustness isn't quite as good as my other equipment.
This is the standout feature of this octopus. It sells for about £70 online from various dive websites which is superb for a regulator. In comparison I paid about £300 for my other model from Atomic. I actually got this off ebay second hand for £30 so cannot complain and it is good to have a spare.
For the price this octopus is excellent value. It is of a good quality and I am sure it will last a long time. It doesn't have many of the advanced features of the more expensive regulators but as a good value item for use as a back up or for a money concious diver, it is highly recommended.
Oceanic Alpha 8 Octopus. The Alpha 8 Octopus is the standard by which all other entry-level regulators are judged.For recreational divers looking for professional performance at a reasonable price, the Alpha 8 makes the adventure of diving that much easier to experience. Other features:Inexpensive to maintain.Yellow front cover and hose for easy identification. The weight is only 6oz/168gm without hose.Material: Technopolymer.Adjustable Airway Resistance: No Balanced: No Dive Predive Position: No Hose attachment: From Right Swivel: No Colors: Yellow/Black Weight: 162 g