JJ CCR CE Approval
And there it is , the long awaited CE approval for the – quite famous – by now, JJ CCR.
The guys at JJ-CCR in Denmark didn’t have an easy time; caught in transitions of European Norm Codes and testing personell turnover, they went to the bottom of the bureaucratic CE turmoil time after time.
I met Dave Thompson and Jan Joergensen in the Red Sea back in 1998. They came out to log hours on the brand new Buddy Inspiration. They logged a good year of man-hours on the first Production CCR for the public.
Jan went to the drawing board and started JJ-ccr with jan Pedersen. Dave Thompson made a prototype for back mounted counter lungs and the JJ was born.
The solidity and streamlined shape, quickly made it popular with ‘Northern divers’ crawling in caves and wrecks. the added weight and easy trim made it ideal for drysuit diving and the market started growing slowly.
Upon market demand, the design of a BOV was started. But it had to be small and light and streamlined. So, one of the most compact BOV’s was thrown to the public and JJ lived on happily ever after.
CE regulations are a compilation of different industry codes and laws, made up by different bodies and experts. In Belgium we have a saying; the best skippers are ashore. The CE certification has become more stringent over the years and works nowadays just like being on googles first page; you need to have a bloody good product and you need to know exactly which tweaks to present.
And when you finally get that CE ticket…. you better not change anything to your product or…
that’s right, back to the lab yo!
The BOV didn’t perform as CE wanted it. It became victim of it’s own compactness and had to be removed, jj back to the lab. I can picture the Scandinavian engineers trying to explain to a well-studied UK mechanic the importance of a sanity breath…Lost in translation…
The guys at JJ CCR like to stay on top of the page and when BUS CAN (controller area network) electronic systems entered the dive industry under the auspices of Shearwater Research Inc., it was time for an electronic makeover for the JJ.
Changing something on a CCR is like painting one wall of your house; it never stops. a week later you’re changing the roof as well.
New electronics in the form of a Shearwater Petrel Controller and a brand new HUD boasting a mere 12 Multicolor LED’s.
The bags in the counter lungs were changed for a stronger fabric and the wing was redesigned by custom divers to a more rounded donut shape.
After months and months of knocking doors and patiently smiling, Jan Pedersen posted an online declaration that all efforts went fruitless on the CE front; setbacks and a lot of waisted Pounds, JJ was unable to get a hot date in the testing buckets of the magic CE lab in the UK.
Honesty goes a long way and Jan’s openness and Dave’s continued presence online, kept JJ-loyals at ease. It must have fallen to the right ears as suddenly the CE doors went open.
A few cosmetic changes had to take place , like the shut off valve for the ADV and a manual addition valve for the diluent…. Makes totally sense. If you shut something off, you should be able to bypass it, no?
But finally D-day came. July 29th was was time to pop the champagne and a worldwide rat-race started to get one of the first CE-stamped, newly revamped JJ’s.
In the meanwhile, The brand new HUD now has been updated with a push button and wet switch, allowing to live a complete independent life. change of orientation, colour blind code, smithers code, calibrate and set point tracking. not bad for a 2”x0.5” piece of polymer.
To add icing on cake; Will Goodman showed his respect to the engineers and took his JJ nearly a 1000 feet down in the abyss. Commercial divers have gone deeper, but none on a CCR.
Is this the perfect CCR? the weight of the unit and work of breathing sometimes poses issues, but it definitely deserves a medal on the olympic CCR podium