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Sidemount diving - first impressions

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Wibble, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. p2diver

    p2diver New Member

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    I have been following your post@Wibble from the begging. Good staff and nice written expression about SM. 300bar 7s are perfect for SM. They're trim very nice in the water. Not every cylinder are design for SM.....at last that's what I learned.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
     
  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    It's funny as I know @hawk's 300bar 7's quite intimately! As well as he knows my round-bottom 12's!

    I think my next lake visit will be in my own 12s or if they're still full of trimix, then I'm going to use a couple of ali 80s. I just can't stand the idea of fighting those rental tins which have normal valves. The ali80s will be a lot lighter in the water so I can mess around with the position of the rear D-rings.

    Have ordered a bunch of stuff from Kent Tooling today including a couple of their 'sliding' D-rings. Hopefully they'll get to me in time for the ali 80 outing.

    Getting a lot of use out of that Solo Diver course/workshop/ticket I did last year!

    Going out with Dive125 tomorrow. Not deep but hopefully I can get some sea juice on my kit for a change (and get those bloody tins emptied).
     
  3. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    The smug person with the rebreather is oddly quiet and watching with a lot of amusement.

    Sometimes the options become obvious. . .
     
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  4. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    Indeed :)
     
  5. furryman

    furryman hmmmm
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  6. JasonP

    JasonP Member

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    The smug person with the rebreather and side slung bailout?

    Sent from my XT1580 using Tapatalk
     
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  7. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    Yep, the smug person with the side slung bailouts, some of which were filled up years ago.
     
  8. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Got some balloon gas today; any of you techies want any left over.:whistling:
     
  9. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Following a great weekend diving (backmount) at Swanage this weekend, my flat-bottom tins are now freed up for splitting. Need to get down to the LDS to get the blanking plugs and get them filled.

    I know they'll be a bit bottom heavy, but at last I can start sorting out the chest bungees and reduce the weight on the harness. Also have a load of 10mm bungee line so might change that too.

    Allegedly taking the week off, but still get dragged back into work... Will pop up to Wraysbury this week for a day's furkling.
     
  10. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Yay, split the twinset, took the two singles to the LDS for filling... problems with one of the plugs leaking. Eventually managed to stop the leak and went home.

    Today at Wraysbury... both valve leaking! Took the tins to the waters edge to find that one was due to the SPG coming loose. Sorted easily. The other was a large leak from the Apeks valve. Took the knob off to discover that the bolt had sheared. Looks like it had been cracked for some time and chose now to leak.

    Probably the thermal stress of draining the tins for splitting. Note to self: drain slowly so they don't freeze.

    Damn.

    Thankfully I'd packed a pair of ali80s as a backup. If it's important, take two.

    Shifted the cam bands from the steel tins to the aluminium ones. Added a bit more weight to the harness (5kg total) and went diving.

    What an amazing difference they made. For the first time since I got the harness I finally felt in control. Manipulating the cylinders was a breeze as they're so good underwater. Bringing one or both forward, a doddle. Re-attaching them was trivially simple.

    Yay! Even donning and doffing the kit is simple.

    Had 90 mins playing with crayfish, playing around in the maze, swimming through the bus (with hanging skeletons - eek!). Even swam with one of the giant carp -- big, this one was about 70cm long and probably that big in circumference.

    Well chuffed. Next stop is somewhere salty.

    On the way home I dropped the steel singles off at the LDS for repair, O2 clean, and reassembly as a twinset!
     
  11. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    That's your bailouts sorted then. :whistling:
     
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  12. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Was so bleeding obvious in the end. I really like diving with ali80s as they're brilliant in the water unlike the steel cylinders which are ridiculously heavy in the water and really painful to clip them on and move them around.

    Now I need another ali80 to go with my other three as two of them have 50% & 80% in them (I was diving in Wraysbury yesterday with the LH one filled with 50%)

    Anyone got or know of an ali80 for sale? Preferably with a RIGHT-hand modular valve (i.e. if it was on a twinset manifold)?

    Anyway, the next dive outing will be with 4 ali80s; two for sidemount bottom gas, and two for deco. Or maybe two ali80s and two ali7's. Or two 80's, a 7 and an ali40... choices, choices...

    Then the dive outing after that will be to rig up the suit inflation cylinder and canister light.
     
  13. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    FFS ! How many cylinders
     
  14. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    That's the problem with open circuit :coldfeet:
     
  15. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    I hate diving with Ali cylinders unless they are being used as stages / deco gas - hence the switch to twin 300 7s.
     
  16. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Steel cylinders weigh more underwater than aluminium cylinders. Around 4kg for steel and 1kg for aluminium (depending on gas content, type, cylinder variations, etc.). In use, aluminium cylinders become bottom light and will float up when some gas has been consumed.

    My harness (XDeep Stealth Tec) has a couple of D-rings close to the centre line, just above the backside. I find these extemely difficult to access and when attempting to connect the bottom bolt snap. With steel cylinders, the additional weight of the cylinder makes it painful to attach the boltsnap as the cylinder twists down.

    As a result, I've fitted a sliding D-ring to the waist belt which sticks out (Kent Tooling 35mm sliding D-ring). This is massively easier to attach the boltsnap. As the aluminium cylinder floats when breathed down by a third, I've fitted another sliding D-ring forward which I'll clip the cylinder to when it starts to float.

    I've not yet tried a steel cylinder on these D-rings due to my woes explained above. I'm hoping that when I do they'll be much easier to clip on to the new D-rings.

    @hawk: what harness and D-rings do you use?
     
  17. nickb

    nickb Active Member

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    Not just open circuit.

    You've seen my garage - I own 32 cylinders at the moment.
     
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  18. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Don't tell my wife, I had enough grief buying two. :facepalm:
     
  19. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    Apeks 25 + fixed d rings on hip and shoulders
     
  20. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Are the hip ones the "flat-pack" style standard D-rings or the sticky-out "Billy rings"?
     

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