Vintage Scuba: SPG's – Everything You Need To Know – S06E12

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The invention of SPG’s in the 1960’s made scuba safer and more fun. Alec shows the evolution of this simple, but very important instrument, and why it may soon disappear.

*** In this episode of Vintage Scuba ***
– 1961 Sportsways “Sea-Vue” #1401, pressure gauge, $24.95 USD
– 1963 Dacor model DPG pressure gauge, $20.00
– 1971 Sportsways “Sea-Vue” #1401-M swivel + capillary depth meter, $39.60 USD
– late 1970’s Sportsways gauge with top mounted swivel
– early SPG’s used large diameter hoses
– 1980’s Farallon combo with pressure gauge on one side, depth meter on the back
– Healthways pressure gauge, steel braided hose
– Pennform plastic, triangular, black 3 gauge console
– Pennform plastic, straight, yellow 3 gauge console

Watch “Alec Peirce at the Ranch” for home and ranching ideas.

SCUBA TECH TIPS playlists
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VINTAGE SCUBA playlists
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SEA HUNT REMEMBERED playlists
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▶︎ SEA HUNT COLLECTOR website:

Rating: 4.75

23 Comments
  1. Widget says

    Great seeing the history of the component and how it changed the world of scuba diving. Love the series, it's just awesome having context for the stuff as it exists now and makes it easier to appreciate the sheer amount of time and thought that went into the stuff that's standard now.

  2. steven Sim says

    Spgs will never fade .. even if u have air integration on your computer you need to have a back up spg, consoles on the other hand are the worst thing to happen to scuba big clunky clumsy box full on nonsense .. small brass spg boltsnapped to your left d ring

  3. Hi Alec! I was wondering if you could help me with some of my own vintage gear. So I recently purchased a bunch of U.S. Navy diving equipment. One such piece was a beautiful twin set of tanks looking at the markings they got there last hydro test in 1972. Surprisingly the stickers and the tanks themselves look brand-new in fact they almost look fake for there age. Although it does have it's j valve I was wondering if it would be some how possible to get them tested and maybe dive with them? I'm quite new to this vintage diving thing and would love your opinion on the matter thanks!

  4. Pricediver says

    Dear Alec
    Thank you for all the vintage Scuba "fun stuff"! Gotta take a swim test in Jan 2nd for my college to get certified, kinda nervous haha.
    Thank you

  5. Abram Cortez says

    Alec your videos are my inspiration to go out and get diving!!

  6. Vitomir Maricic says

    diving topics are my favs. Cool.

  7. aaron arnold says

    Thanks Alec. Fun and informative video as always. I’m a scuba newbie (scoobie??) and find all the history super interesting. Looking at getting into a dive computer as my next purchase and it’s good theoretical knowledge to know how they evolved. Thanks a bunch. Love the videos.

  8. Reza Gorji says

    Fantastic video as usual. Thank you.

  9. Joakim from Sweden Nilsson says

    Hi Alec. This is without question one of my favourite topics in diving and it makes you wonder where we are in 10-20 years. Will we see masks with integrated dive computers or perhaps more things like the Shearwater nerd 2(have you tried it?)? Anyway, very nice video sir- made my breakfast much better;) safe diving. // Joakim from Sweden

  10. Andy moss says

    Another great informative lesson.
    Recently gone over to air integrated computer (entry level sunnto vyper package) along with the myflex hoses , going to feel naked in comparison to common / traditional set up … let alone how it was done back in the day !

    Could you do a xmas Alex by the fire special … Tales of the deep ! haha

  11. Rick Kinney says

    Thanks Alec, enjoyed the video as always. Happy diving.

  12. owen mougenot says

    Hi Alec. Another great blast from the past. It was a really neat idea to have the capillary depth gauge around the edge of the pressure gauge! Also interesting to see how the first console was made to combine the loose gauges you already have. Like the modification you talked about, to add wagon wheel valves to your old two hose regulator. Funny how many new ideas come from the small guys not the big companies.One of the other comments mentions having trouble reading the computers without his glasses, that might be an idea for a future tech tip, those peal and stick lenses vrs  prescription dive masks. Thanks Owen M

  13. Quarry Diver says

    Great Video sir… we all should be reminded of those that came before us and made our diving of today possible…Thank you for sharing

  14. Joe Blow says

    Thanks for the lesson, always enjoyable! I was going to share a short story back in one of your older computer vs spg videos but it’ll work here. Just got back from diving in the Bahamas a couple weeks ago, I have my own gear but my buddy had to rent his. First dive and his gauge read almost empty after only 30 minutes, so we left the group and surfaced, thinking maybe since it was his first dive in awhile, he was just using lots of air, even though he has never used more than me in the past. The second dive was exactly the same, almost empty in 30 minutes, I surfaced with him and made sure he was in the boat, then I went back down with the group for another 30 minutes. Didn’t think of it then but I should have put my gauge on his tank after the dive to see how much air he actually had left. I would be willing to bet he had lots and that the rental spg was wrecked. Can’t know for sure but my point of this whole write up is that I’d take a dive computer with pressure read outs over rental spgs any day! Just wish I could afford one!

  15. No Thank You says

    Thank you Alec. Really love you show.

  16. Richard Currin says

    Alec , Elmer Keith? He wrote interesting articles on handguns

  17. clarkeysam says

    Hi Alec,
    Did they not have SPGs back then due the difficulty in manufacturing them reliably, rather than not considering their use?
    Has any product over the years made you think "wow that's a great idea" rather than just natural progression?

  18. SeikiBrian says

    I have what I guess could be considered a hybrid system: a Suunto Cobra. It's an air-integrated computer that's connected to the regulator with a hose. So it's an "SPG plus."

  19. Joe C. says

    quick question, did one need a certification to be able to dive back in the days?

  20. Team Peg Leg says

    Until they deal with the connectivity issues I think SPGs will continue to be standard in more safety or technical oriented communities. But I agree that in a recreational contexts SPGs are already starting to disappear.

  21. MDO VIDEO says

    That stainless steel braided hose looks the same as a washing machine water hoses

  22. MDO VIDEO says

    I still like the analog gauges more than the digital

  23. MDO VIDEO says

    I used an analog spg when I took my training course for my open water certification

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