as of 05/07/13
All current production DESCO helmets
Commercial and Pool Cleaning Masks
Light Duty Diving Outfit
DESCO Two Diver Telephone and available communications options
Third party dry suits
sold by DESCO
Composite Beat Engel Demand Helmet
as of 05/07/13
& Viking price lists.
Product warnings and
What gear it takes to dive.
What goes into making a diving helmet
Real or Replica?
Features of the various helmet models
Magazine or News articles related to diving.
Links to online diving videos.
How DESCO started
Those who built DESCO
DESCO Product Information
General product history. Catalogs, significant orders, etc.
DESCO A, B, C Rebreathers Recirculating Helmets
SCUBA Lungs, Water Skis, and Miscellaneous Water Sports Products
DESCO company photos
and photos from our archives
Commercial Diving Photos supplied by customers
Classic equipment &
hobby diving photos
Photos of helmets from
Photos of equipment in museums
Photos from some of
our repair projects
DESCO Historical Item Collection
Miscellaneous Photos, Old diver and/or equipment photos
Care & maintenance instructions for all DESCO masks are available on the Downloads Page.
The DESCO Diving Mask series was first developed starting with the U.S. Navy Mask during WWII. Other adaptations followed in succeeding years.
We currently offer the mask in two versions, the Commercial, and the Pool Mask. Below are descriptions of each mask. Light Blue text is excerpted from various DESCO catalogs. Photos are from DESCO files. When material originated from other sources it is noted.
Currently available DESCO (Jack Browne) Masks:
DESCO Diving Masks
These masks have been used for many years by divers working in shallow and uncontaminated water. They are made of natural, compression-molded rubber permanently bonded to a rigid brass frame. The result is a rugged piece of equipment of low volume which permits the diver to work In very confined quarters. The head-harness with its five straps and brass, quick release buckles, can be adjusted to make a comfortable and effective seal against the divers face regardless of facial conformation. When so adjusted, it holds the mask firmly in place so as to minimize any risk at accidental dislodgement. The quick-release buckles, however, allow the mask to be easily and quickly removed.
DESCO Pool Cleaning Mask
This is a simplified version of the Commercial Free Flow Mask which omits the air-control valve so that air is fed directly into the mask through a non-return valve and a brass elbow.
DESCO Commercial Free Flow Mask
Cat. No. 59069-C
Air is delivered to the mask through a non return valve and an air -control valve mounted on the right side of the mask, and is directed inside the mask so as to defog the faceplate. It is exhausted on the left side of the mask through a rubber-disc one-way exhaust valve.
USE OF THE DESCO COMMERCIAL MASK
Cat. No. 59069C
The DESCO (Jack Browne) Mask was developed for the U.S. Navy during World War II. It consists of a stamped Brass frame bonded to a rubber face seal. The window is made of Acrylic and is permanently mounted in the frame.
The mask is held to the head by five headstraps. The straps are adjusted using quick release buckles.
The mask is equipped with a non-return valve and air control valve on the right side of the frame. The air control valve allows the diver to adjust the air flow according to the situation and work load. The non-return valve inlet accepts standard 9/16” – 18 Oxygen fittings which are commonly available through welding supply outlets.
The exhaust valve is a single rubber flapper disk type. The exhaust valve is non-adjustable.
The standard mask does not have communications but it can be factory fitted with two wire communications.
The minimum air requirement (per U.S. Navy Diving Manual) is 4.5 cfm @ 50 psi. A compressor capable of providing clean, consistent air in reasonable excess of this amount is recommended.
As with all diving equipment pre dive and post dive inspections should be carried out. Check for proper operation of the air control valve. Inspect the frame, window, straps and buckles for wear or damage. Check the exhaust valve for dirt, hair, or other foreign materials interfering with the flapper disk.
Although these masks are of rugged construction, basic care should be exercised in their handling and storage.
Parts lists and exploded views for the DESCO Commercial and Pool Cleaning Mask are available on the PRODUCT PARTS LISTS page.
DESCO offers a repair kit for the Commercial and Pool Masks.
Discontinued DESCO DVM Mask
We also continue to offer some parts and a repair kit for the DVM Mask even though it is out of production.
One question we often get is "Can I change the rubber skirt on the mask frame?" The answer is no. When the masks are made the rubber is molded to the Brass frame permanently. If the skirt is damaged or deteriorated the whole frame must be replaced. DESCO sells the replacement frame with the window installed ready for the parts to be transferred from the old mask. The window is crimped into the frame so it is not removable. The replacement frame is approximately 1/3 the cost of a new mask.
Current Mask Communication System
The communications system for the DESCO consists of a 2" Mylar speaker mounted to the window in front of the diver's mouth. A pair of binding posts penetrate the window for attachment of the earphone and umbilical comm line. Early masks had the mic speaker encased in a aluminum housing. Later masks used a extension solvent welded to the window to recess the mic speaker. Browne Masks Communications can be factory installed in new masks. No communications retrofits for older masks is offered. Parts can also be ordered ala carte from the exploded view.
Old Type Mask Communications
The old mask comms used a Aluminum housing for the speaker and a custom made jack. The system was expensive and complicated. The housing sealed to the window via an o-ring which could deteriorate. The housing was sealed on the inside with a membrane so provision for pressure equalization was needed. With several liabilities in the design and few shining benefits this system was abandoned.
Cat No. 61350
The DESCO Mask based Light Duty Diving Outfit is designed for use on jobs where heavier gear would be a liability. Pool cleaning, hull inspection, dock inspections, and shallow water lost item recovery are a few of the jobs this package can handle. The recommended working depth limit is 30 feet. The package comes complete with a DESCO Commercial Free Flow Mask, a 2 HP, Oil-less electric air compressor, 100 feet of 3/8" ID floating air breathing hose, and a SCUBA style weightbelt with a umbilical clamp.
Specifics on each item,
Cat No. 59069C
DESCO Commercial Free Flow
Comes with non-return and air control valve standard.
Cat. No. 61351
Heavy-duty, oil-less, 200 PSI, 4.5 gallon, 120 volt electric,
Rated 5.2 SCFM at 90 PSI
78 dBA operational noise level
Vertical stand feature and collapsible handle allows a user to save space by transporting or storing the compressor in a vertical position.
10-inch non-flat foam tires allow for easy transportation around the jobsite.
Supplied with GFCI adapter plug.
Cat. No. 61352
100 feet x 3/8" I.D. floating non toxic air breathing hose. Comes with female Oxygen thread fittings on both ends. Working pressure rated at 250 psi. PVC cover is UV and weather resistant.
Cat. No. 59039A DESCO pocket weightbelt with six 2.5 lb weights. The belt is fitted with a brass snap and umbilical hose clamp. The belt has provision for nine weights so additional 2.5 lb weights can be purchased from DESCO