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Reliable self-made Rebreather viability

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


New Member
Jan 2, 2023
Hi, I'm an open water diver, aerospace engineering student and also an electronics technician.

I am really interested in rebreathers but I'm also conscious of the complexity and the reliability they MUST have in order to be "safe" (even a perfectly working rebreather could lead to death due to human error). I know there is a lot of physics involved too.

The question is simple. Is there any possible way to design and build a PROPER AND RELIABLE rebreather? the materials need to be scuba grade, double redundant O2 and CO2 sensors, counter lungs, O2 tank, filler tank, valves, pipes, cables, ALL!!

I have electronics, mechanical, chemical and materials engineering professors at my disposal.

Disclaimer: I am very aware of the dangers like narcosis, hipoxia, hiperoxia, barotrauma, etc. I am also aware that I know very little of this things, also you need training in order to operate them. This will be a looong and scheduled project, with proper, step by step safe testing.

Thank you for your time
uhh... im kinda on the same train there, just don't have this many knowledgeable people around...
my start would be to get scuba certiefied and be trained on commercial rebreathers first before i try to modify one
(i'd like a sleeker, modular one, i could implement into my diving outfit / cosplay/costume)
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Back in the 90s and Oughts ppl used to hand build their own RBs. And they died like flies
Its only been in the last decade where the demand for RBs has driven the commercial (mass manufacture) of Res and components, that it has achieved CE status and (more importantly) ... safety.

Can you build your own RB? Yes you can.

Are you more likely to die on that vs a commercial unit like a Liberty, an XCCR or a JJ? Emphatically, yes.
I can tell you are young (ish) so money is a factor, and you are enthusiastic, but is it worth your life ?
There are HUNDREDS of deaths on. RBs ov er the years. Some due to mechanical failure, some to poor UI design that lead ppl to push 'Yes' to "Would you like to rest your PP02?"
Suck it up. Save your money. Buy a commercial RB. Save your life.

But I suspect this is waste advice ....
If this is a research project then you could post a summary of the ethics committee assessment?
I am concerned and posting from my own sense of ethics and the assessment / permission may free up the brain storming aspect.

With your skill set you should be able to satisfy the project criteria by having an oxidation chemical process supported by a rebreather , no human (or other life) required. Have lots of sensors and prove the concept. In fact another student may be able to make a seperate project of the O2 consumer mimic.
Yes, it is certainly possible to design and build a proper and reliable rebreather, but it requires a significant amount of expertise, attention to detail, and rigorous testing. As you already mentioned, rebreathers can be quite complex, and any malfunction or design flaw can have serious consequences.

To build a reliable rebreather, you would need to carefully consider all of the components and their interactions, including the counter lungs, O2 tank, filler tank, valves, pipes, and cables. Additionally, you would need to ensure that all of the materials used are scuba-grade and meet any relevant safety standards.

Double redundant O2 and CO2 sensors are critical components of any rebreather, as they allow you to monitor the levels of these gases and ensure that they remain within safe limits. You would need to carefully choose and calibrate these sensors to ensure that they are accurate and reliable.

A key aspect of designing a reliable rebreather is testing. You would need to test every component thoroughly, both individually and as part of the complete system, to identify any potential issues and ensure that everything is working as intended. You would also need to conduct extensive safety testing, both in controlled environments and in the field, to ensure that the rebreather can handle a range of conditions and scenarios.

Overall, designing and building a reliable rebreather is a challenging but achievable goal with the right expertise, resources, and testing. It is important to take a careful and thorough approach to ensure that the end result is as safe and reliable as possible.
Yeah when people don't know about stuff they come out with other peoples stories and warnings

Having been fascinated by why various navies frogmen weren't returning from pure oxygen dives
during WWII, and having dived for decades, I drew up a plan copied some ideas and slapped one
together, manual CCR with DIL, in the laundry

Of course following my build I also devised a course for use of the Breathing Underwater Machine

386 020 (4).JPG

and passed swimmingly without bubbles

all due to the fact that my father gave me a spanner and showed me how to change the spark plug in our lawnmower soon after I was able to walk

My mother gave me a pencil, I wish I had chosen the pencil
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