KISS Classic Explorer mCCR
Since the introduction of the first production model in 1999, the KISS Classic has earned a reputation as the most durable, reliable and easiest to maintain closed circuit rebreather on the market. Due to its ability to be used in harsh, and extremely remote locations - which have included some of the deepest cave systems in the world - it has also obtained status as a true expedition-grade rebreather.
It was called the Classic for its simple straightforward configuration, with the rebreather’s head and scrubber centrally positioned on the diver’s back and flanked by the unit’s oxygen and diluent supply on either side. This layout follows that of the majority of rebreathers built today. The most outward differences between the KISS system and other non-military rebreather of the era was that the Classic’s two counter-lungs were back mounted instead of being mounted over the shoulder.
Classic Explorer Counterlung Case with Explorer Backplate
From the start, the Classic’s counterlung case has been an integral part of the system, serving as a protective shell for the unit’s two counterlung’s, a supporting frame for the loop and scrubber assembly, and a nesting bracket for both the oxygen and diluent supply cylinders.
In 2013, the Classic’s counterlung case was redesigned to provide greater access at the top. This allowed for easier installation and removal of the rebreather’s counterlung’s for cleaning.
The same update saw the addition of a new backplate design that was based on the original Explorer model released in 2010 but had some modifications. The new plate more closely follows the contours of the counterlung case to ensure the unit’s overall profile remains as close to the diver’s back as possible, creating the optimum work of breathing (WOB). This redesigned case also became a replacement item for Explorer models and the original Classic KISS.This new counterlung case and backplate combo allows for a broader number of harness configurations and can accommodate a number of wings designed for either double tanks or CCRs. The Classic can also be ordered with a Dive Rite CCR XT wing (providing 40-lbs. of lift) and a Trans Plate harness.
Scrubber Head & Canister
The scrubber on the Classic is an axial flow design, which means the expired gas from the diver's lungs travels down a center tube and back up through the scrubber material to remove carbon dioxide (CO2). The beauty of the Classic’s axial scrubber is that it is easy to pack and resistant to channeling.
Fully packed, the scrubber holds approximately 6.4 lbs of Molecular 797 grade (8-12 Mesh) Sofnolime, or 5.5 lbs. of the larger granular 408 grade (4-6 Mesh) absorbents like Dreagersorb.
To view the data on the KISS Classic using 408 grade (4-6 Mesh) absorbent from an independent scrubber duration test conducted by the ANSTI Test Facilities in the United Kingdom Click Here To View.
The scrubber head is attached to the counterlung case’s central spine by two large stainless flathead screws. From there, the scrubber canister fits to the head from below and is held in place by means of a large draw nut, which meets a long threaded shaft that extends upward from the bottom of scrubber.
Earlier versions required the draw nut to be tightened with a special hand tool. One of the changes made for 2014 models is a redesign of the draw nut so that it can be easily installed and tightened with one hand, remaining securely in place until the time to take it apart.
The large knob portion of the draw nut is made from a solid piece of extremely tough, crack resistant black PVC that has been milled to allow the top of the bronze draw nut to fit inside. The knob is held in place with two stainless hex head screws insuring the knob can not spin independently of the draw nut during installation or removal.
(Note: new style draw nut works with all earlier model Classic’s and available as a replacement part.)
PPO2 Displays and Instrumentation
The Classic Explorer is a true mCCR, as it does not have any on-board electrical components such as a CPU-controlled solenoid. The diver is provided PPO2 information through a basic PPO2 display and/or dive computer connected to the three 22-D type oxygen sensors housed in the scrubber. The cell chamber for the three sensors sits below a removable sensor plate in the top of the scrubber head.
At the factory, the plate is tapped with either one or two ports for the installation of watertight cables. At the time of order, the diver may have their Classic Explorer configured to work with either one or two Shearwater Research computers via Fischer connections, or have them completely hardwired in the system. Other options include a HUD, Shearwater NERD, or basic PPO2 display system. Two redundant display systems are recommended for all technical dives.
The Classic Explorer comes standard with two counterlung’s that can be either 2 or 4-liter sizes, depending on what best matches the tidal volume of your lungs. The counterlung’s are attached to the scrubber head from the inside of the counterlung case. These back-mounted lungs leave the diver’s chest area clear of obstructions, and also reduce the number of hoses and fittings as compared to the over-the-shoulder counterlungs found on other many rebreathers. Most diver’s use one 2 liter and one 4 liter counterlung.
Automatic Diluent Valve - ADV
The automatic diluent valve (ADV) is an important component on a closed circuit rebreather, as it introduces necessary diluent gas into the breathing loop to maintain a breathable gas mixture.
The ADV on the Classic Explorer uses a simple tilt valve mechanism that functions much like a regulator second stage, but with fewer parts. This makes it less prone to seize or fail. Mounted in the side of the scrubber’s head, the ADV is in an optimal location to be automatically activated should the volume of gas in the loop compress during decent or as a result of the loop volume being breathed down through slightly higher than normal metabolism.
As a hands free alternative when additional diluent is needed, the diver can also conveniently actuate the ADV by performing a slightly stronger than normal inhalation, which will trigger the tilt valve to briefly open.
Bailout Mouthpiece – BOV
All KISS Classic Explorer and Spirit model Closed-Circuit Rebreathers come equipped with a bailout valve (BOV) mouthpiece as part of the system. The BOV has two main components: the Dive Surface Valve (DSV) which is used to open and close the rebreather’s breathing loop, and a 2nd stage regulator, which is built-in to the mouthpiece to allow the diver to breathe open circuit when not on the loop. The dual functions of the BOV allows the diver to quickly and easily exit the breathing loop while at the same time switching to open circuit with a simple twist of a knob. Should such a need arise as a result of a malfunction underwater, the BOV can play essential role in preventing panic by providing an immediate source of safe breathing gas of a known oxygen percentage for your next breath. It can also be used for adding diluent gas to the breathing loop.
The Hollis BOV is included as part of the Classic Explorer Open Water package, with the Golem Shrimp BOV available as an optional upgrade that can be specified at the time a new Classic Explorer is ordered.
NOTE: * The KISS Classic’s onboard diluent bottle is not adequate bailout. When diving a rebreather, a separate bailout bottle should always be carried.
The Classic Explorer’s counterlung case comes with two powdered coated aluminum rails for mounting a pair of gas cylinders to the backside of the unit. Along with the rails are a series of slots for installing anything from stainless hose clamps to 1.5 inch or 2-inch wide cam bands to hold aluminum or steel gas cylinders in sizes between 13 and 19 cu.ft. in place.
Classic Explorer mCCR Specifications
Depth Rating: 300 fsw / 91msw
Scrubber Type: Axial design
Scrubber Capacity: 5.7 lbs. - Molecular 797 Grade (812 Mesh) Sofnolime.
Max Counterlung Capacity: 8 Liters (2 x 4 liter lungs)
Dimensions: 21”H x 14”W x 8”D (54cm x 36cm 20cm)
Weight: (w/full 13 cu.ft. aluminum cylinders, packed scrubber - no BCD, back plate or harness) 51 lbs./ 22 kg.
Standard Model Includes:
Hollis BOV with LP hose
Choice between 17 and 22–inch loop hoses (comes with two)
Choice between 2 and 4-liter size counterlungs (comes with two). One 2 and one 4 liter counterlung work for most divers.