There are a number of seminal texts that ought to be on every serious divers bookcase. This book should be compulsory reading for rebreather Divers
* Deco for Divers * Diving and Subaquatic Medicine * Diving Physiology in Plain English * Underwater Photography Masterclass These easy-to-read books provide in-depth accurate information - they are 'gold standard' diving reference books. A critical addition to this list has just been published. John Lamb's second edition of 'Oxygen Measurement for Divers'. Lamb has augmented his original book, with a big emphasis on closed circuit rebreathers.
This book is a must read for any diver using any form of oxygen analyser, whether it is in a simple Oxygen Analyser or in a complex rebreather." Paul Toomer, Director of Diver Training, RAID
When the first edition was published in 1999, CCR recreational diving was very new; hence the rebreather section was only four pages long. This updated edition is stuffed full of nuggets of significant information that every rebreather diver needs on oxygen sensors in rebreathers. It promises to become the "go to book" for all rebreather divers. Sensors, like sharks, have suffered from some bad PR. Lamb succinctly covers key topics, explaining in plain English the reasons for sensor failure:
- The effects of temperature, humidity and pressure
- Sensor accuracy and stability
- Testing sensors
- Do's and Don't s
- How to determine the end of a life of a sensor
- Advice for looking after your sensors
'Oxygen Measurement for Divers' is remarkably readable. It has been designed for divers to pick it up and dip into it. To check information. To look up answers. And it has achieved the happy balance of having a good technical aspect whilst remaining useful. The explanations are very clear and, even when describing complex principles, are structured in a very understandable way.
What quietly comes across is the author's huge knowledge on the subject. John Lamb has over 40 years of practical experience in the field of oxygen measurement and monitoring, from medicine to technical diving applications.
"When it comes to oxygen sensors there are lot of myths and misinformation available at the touch of a key", stated author John Lamb. "This book provides accurate information, direct to the divers, with the prime aim of increasing their personal knowledge and safety. It covers everything you ever wanted to know about oxygen sensors and oxygen, but didn't know who to ask."
Whilst updating this book Lamb called upon other experts in this field - Kevin Gurr, Martin Parker, Paul Raymaekers, Dave Thompson - amongst others, and asked them contribute to this edition.
"This is an invaluable resource and should be compulsory reading for any rebreather diver."
Mark Powell, SDI /TDI / ERDI Training Advisory Panel
Review by Dr Michael Ange
The methods, reasons and importance of gas analysis is a frequent topic in the realm of technical, CCR and increasingly advanced recreational diving. It is common that essential elements in these discussions are a bit over-simplified and all too frequently I listen to instructors that just plain “get it wrong”. I recently saw an instructor showing a student how to adjust his tank valve to “get the percentage of gas desired” while analyzing a nitrox cylinder. With so much misinformation floating around, an advanced diver must understand that only you are responsible for the information you use to manage your safety and the safety of your buddy.
A great deal of information has been written about gas analysis resulting in a wealth of resources that will provide solid information if you are willing to sort through it all to gather the specific snippets you need. There are also several texts that provide what is in my view a too pedestrian look at the subject. John’s manual is a valuable addition to the existing literature precisely because it reverses this trend toward the “simpler, easier and less comprehensive” subject text.
Every book has pros and cons and Oxygen Measurement is no different. This book is not a “good read” and the author himself notes that it was never intended to be. John is obviously a subject matter expert with deep roots in engineering, a field that seems to generally degrade the art of social communication. This text could have no doubt benefitted from a top-notch editor and a good graphic designer, but all of this is overshadowed by what the book is – an excellent resource guide for every technical diver and an essential piece of kit for every instructor teaching these topics.
As an experienced advanced technical diving instructor trainer (25+ yrs.) who has investigated and published hundreds of articles on diving accidents, including gas management accidents, in major dive publications and who has extensive management experience with an ISO certified rebreather manufacturing company, I felt well versed in gas management. But John’s book returned me, in short order, to student status. The book contained a wealth of technical knowledge about numerous methods of gas analysis, presented in a clear and very concise manner.
Even its more complicated concepts should be easily understood by most advanced divers. In our instant gratification world, many writers have catered to limited attention spans by presenting only what “you must know” to pass the minimum standard, but Oxygen Measurement does not suffer from this malaise. Many tech diving professionals believe that advanced divers not only need to know how, but they also need to understand why things work as they do. Understanding the 'why' helps the diver accumulate a comprehensive knowledge base that can positively impact decision making when it really matters.
This text provides the how and the why of oxygen measurement and it does it well enough to prompt me to strongly recommend every diver using gases add a copy to his or her library of resources. I hope to meet the author someday soon as I want to follow up on the gravitational impact in magnetic wind analyzers (pg. 39).