A lot of scuba divers are introduced to the yoke connection (sometimes called an “A-clamp” or “international connection”) during their open water classes. Most regulators and tanks aimed at the recreational diving market feature this type of fitting and yoke connections are by far the most common connection seen amongst newer divers.
Benefits of yoke fittings
Yoke connections are easy to use. The regulator fitting is placed over the tank valve and the valve and regulator orifices are aligned. The connection is secured by hand-tightening the large knob on the regulator. Avoid over-tightening the a-clamp as this can make it difficult to remove the regulator after the dive.
Although most modern regulators are offered in both yoke and DIN versions, the yoke version is sometimes a little cheaper than it’s DIN counterpart.
Drawbacks of diving yoke
Notice that regulator’s gas inlet does not have an o-ring: the o-ring that seals the connection between tank and regulator is located on the tank valve. As a result, each tank valve has it’s own o-ring that must be inspected prior to use. These o-rings are easily damaged and/or lost, so if you dive yoke be sure to carry several spares in your save-a-dive-kit.
See how the yoke knob sticks out from the back of the valve? It’s possible for fishing line (among other things) to get caught and wrapped around this point. As a result yoke connections are not recommended for diving where entanglement is a serious possibility, such as wreck or cave diving. Some (but not all) DIN scuba tank valves a removable insert that allows them to be used with regulators that have a yoke connection. So, if you have a yoke regulator, be aware that there are certain DIN-valved tanks that you can’t use.