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Ouroboros Rebreathers by VR Technology
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Ouroboros History By Kevin Gurr  
Why build a rebreather? I first started diving rebreathers in the late 1980’s. I worked for a company involved in the development of new rebreather electronics for the USN MK 15.5 rebreathers. Being an electro/mechanical engineer and a diver the progression to ‘test pilot’ was natural. Needless to say the early endeavors were not a success, partly because the world just wasn’t ready, Nitrox was still a very dirty word.

The early interest lead me into technical diving and slowly even more rebreathers; Draeger Atlantis, more military units, Buddy Inspirations and finally full circle back to USN MK15.5’s (still with flakey electronics).

Cis Lunar rebreathers
Above; Cis Lunar Mk 4 units that I began diving. photo Kevin Gurr

Over the years I kept a list of the things I liked and the things I hated. Unfortunately another list developed, the list of why people died. The Ouroboros rebreather is the result of these lists and lots of hours on rebreathers used in working, teaching and recreational environments.

The other driving force was I wanted something suitable for the project work I get involved in. The Ouroboros is it.

Below; Projects I have been involved with
Using a suction tool in guarm Richard Pyle with the Cis Lunar rebreather Mk15 rebreathers
Above left; Using the Mk15 military unit to excavate a historic wreck site for treasure in Guam
Above Center; Richard Pyle looks on at an early Cis Lunar in Bill Stones Garage
Above right; Mk 15's on the Guam treasure project.
All photos Kevin Gurr

Ouroboros concepts
The Ouroboros is a closed circuit, mixed gas, electronic control rebreather. Capable of being used with a range of diluents from air, through Trimix to Heliox. All electronic features can be overridden by using the manual functions of the unit.

The unit comprises a central computer with a head-up display (HUD), a Primary display (for control and monitoring) and a rear facing display (for Buddy/instructor use). There is also an independent passive display, not connected to the main electronics which has it’s own power source and displays each of the 3 oxygen cell readings. Loss of any or all electronic displays will not stop the unit maintaining a ‘life support’ PO2 level.


Gas can be injected into the unit automatically or by a manual addition valve system.
On-line decompression monitoring is also available.

General specification and technical review click here

Above; More images from the Guam treasure ship project with the Mk 15 rebreathers.

CE Testing

The unit has completed CE testing to EN14142.
Operations manual>>click here
Attached as a download is the operations manual for the unit.
Development

The unit featured is in effect the fourth evolution of the Ouroboros in 6 years. Other units have been bench and field tested, however this version basically being the production model has had the most extensive trials.

 


Above; Swimming the Ouroboros rebreather across a topical reef photo Leigh Bishop
 

The trial team has consisted of;

Kevin Gurr
Gary Sharp
Nick Bushell
Leigh Bishop
Alan Wright
Phil Short
Adam Stubbins


Above; Alan Wright adjusting the 2004 prototype in Egypt

The Ouroboros is built in the UK and will be marketed from there in the near future.

Availability and price

The unit was launched in April 2005. It will initially be sold directly through VR Technology Ltd, a sister company of Delta P Technology Ltd. The initial pre-requisite for ownership is a training program focusing on in-water teaching. Successful candidates will be able to purchase a unit.

Price for the unit is £8000 for non-military units, with a range of soft and hardware options available.

swimming a tropical reef Ouroborus rebreather Prototype
Above left; Swimming the Ouroboros rigs across an egyptian reef during the 2004 trials
Above right; How the unit looked back in 2004

Building rebreathers One of our first trail units out in Egypt

Above left; Prototype units being built at the first closed circuit research factory photo Leigh Bishop
Above right; Prototype unit in Egypt 2004

Mk 4 Cis Lunar Kevin Gurr stripping down the Cis Lunar 1993 uploading software to the Ouroboros rigs
Above left; Kevin Gurr with a Mk 4 Cis Lunar 1993 photo © Leigh Bishop
Above Center;Kevin Gurr stripping down his MK 4 Cis Lunar
Above right; Upgrading software on the rigs during the 2004 Egyptian trials Photo Leigh Bishop

Leigh Bishop using the Cis Lunar 1993 uploading software to the rigs

Above Left; Leigh Bishop before a dive using the Cis-Lunar rebreather 1993. Photo Kevin Gurr
Above right; Prototype Ouroboros rebreather taking an upgrade from a laptop. During the trials we did on the
units we would discover areas of question, these software bugs would then be adjusted via connecting a PC
to the electronics adapter on the unit and the software would be ready for trial the following day. After several months
of testing and fine adjustments the units finally finished.


Below the result, the Ouroboros rebreather 2005
click the images to see more

Ouroboros rebreather Click here to see more
see more of the new rebreather click here

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Content VR Technology and associate photographers 2005 - 2008 All rights reserved
Photos on this site courtesy Leigh Bishop, Rob Smith, Jerome Meynie, Alexander Sotiriou