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Wibble's CCR odyssey

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Wibble, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    Glad the reel is working for you and you feel you are heading in the right direction.

    Holding the bouncing reel can be tiresome (and can result in unintentional dumping of gas) so I have a big loop of stretchy rubber (bungee would work) on mine I can hold whilst the reel jumps about in front of me. That loop also help stow the SMB when not in use. Another safety option to consider, to improve SMB visibility to the skipper, is catching a weighty crab (2kg+ seems optimal) to stow in the goody bag, and hang from the reel. This helps the SMB stay upright, rather than lying flat on the water..
     
  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    It was a bit more spicy than normal, sometimes jumping a metre or so, so more than the bungee loop (used to hold the SMB) would handle. Was quite annoying it flying up and down sometimes dragging me up for bigger waves, but frequently clouting my arm. So dropping the thing a couple of metres below took away the pain and provided something to watch. Actually left the thing alone just gently swimming towards it as it drifted away in the wind.

    Was fun getting back on the boat. Wind up the chuff, so the boat was blown forwards by a knot or so whilst I struggled to get my fins on to the dive lift against the current! Skipper's options are rather restricted as they can't turn the prop with a diver in the water.

    The most important thing is that this new reel's given me more confidence in the ascent and stops. In a couple of hundred hours of CCR diving I'll look back to this as being a numpty. For now this takes away a lot of stress on the dive and will be far more important for the deeper dives with their corresponding longer decompression obligations.
     
  3. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    Yep, a lively chop does provide an entertaining reel whilst a deep swell is misleading because the whole water column is moving and there's no noticeable depth change. We had that on Tuesday morning, as the south-westerlies arrived a earlier and stronger than the forecast, with a big swell picking up whilst we were underwater. Whilst the reel was moving a little I was surprised by the mountainous sea awaiting me when I surfaced! Getting on the boat was hard work and I was grateful the boat was a big cat and not a rolling monohull.
    Stress reduction is a good plan and building confidence is helpful. After all, diving should be about enjoyment and not endurance. Also, using appropriate tools makes it easier to respond when something doesn't go to plan. The non-venting dry glove I had on Monday would not have been nice with a spool and I'd have probably resorted to the wet hand option. With an hour to surface that could have been unpleasant.
     
  4. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    It's sometimes a right faff to get on the dive lift when the boat's flapping up and down with the wind pushing it through the water. Last week almost saw me do a back-flip as I was holding the 'zimmer' frame and a wave lifted my body up and pushed me toward the boat!

    Regarding your glove, I wonder if "claw hand" (to get the wrist sinews showing) and squeezing the glove with your other hand would have pushed some of the air under your wrist seal?

    All our dives have been binned out into next week now. So fortunate to have managed to do yesterday.
     
  5. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    Annoyingly, when I dive wet gloves I sometimes get a damp arm but I spent a while trying all sorts or odd antics to encourage air to pass that seal. A video would have been hilarious.
    Yep, lots cancelled recently and nothing until 24th (Salsette, yet again!)
     
  6. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Have opted for a Kent Tooling 2m CO2 (16g cartridge) SMB. Also ordered some cartridges from TyreInflators.co.uk which seem to be the cheapest.

    Will see what it’s like once the storms have abated.

    Chose that over the crack bottle simply because of its size and weight.
     
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  7. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    Yeah, probably not a bad choice. As the CO2 pin may fail one day, and people do forget to charge the bottle, did you go for the one with the LP filling option ?

    That was on the short list when I bought my last backup SMB (as Aquatec vanished). KT SMB lost out due to high postage charges so I got mine from Aqua Elevation (I'm unsure of their current trading position).
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    There is a LP inflator on it but it looks like one of the crappy plastic ones, certainly not a metal spigot like the Halcyon or XDeep SMBs.

    Have heard that the firing pin mechanism on those SMBs can and does fail. Is it worth adding a spare mechanism to the order?

    My main concern with those SMBs is they’re a bit scrawny in comparison with my two Halcyon bags. Girth matters when you’re looking for something in the sea.

    If it works OK — and there’s no reason it shouldn’t— I may do a bulk buy for the 16g CO2 cartridges with some other people to get the price right down.

    Seems the main 'process' to stick to is never roll the bag up unless the cartridge is replaced, i.e. bundle it up in a bag on the boat or change the cartridge immediately.

    My biggest concern with this SMB is all the snagtastic webbing loops dangling off it. May be doing some trimming and knotting.
     
    #148 Wibble, Oct 4, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
  9. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    16g of CO2 (9 litres) limits the size of SMB useable. I'm okay with that for my backup (used once in anger). I have seen an SMB with 2 x 16g bottles but I've no idea where I can get one. For contrast, the 0.1l crack bottle filled to 200 bar has 20 litres of gas inside.

    Maybe tie knots in surplus flappy webbing.
     
  10. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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  11. nickb

    nickb Well-Known Member

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    I found a supplier of the SS nipples in China on eBay. They’re about £4.

    The KT bags come with an oral inflate (like the airplane lifejackets) in addition to the CO2 mechanism. Problem is that the CO2 jobby appears to have a one-way valve and there’s no dump valve so the bag has to be deflated by pressing on the thing inside the oral inflate. This precludes replacing it with a LP nipple.

    The lack of a dump also means the bag could burst if overfilled at depth.
     
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  12. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Arse. Looked at so many blobs recently and missed that, just assuming that all blobs that can be inflated at depth would have an overpressure relief.

    If only there was a way of retrofitting a crack bottle of 0.2litre to an existing SMB and, more importantly, a source of 240 bar DIN valved 0.2 litre crack bottles.

    Where is a source of SMBs with CO2 fills, a dump, and a decent inflator?
     
  13. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    There is a reason some of us put up with the bulk of the AP crack bottle....
    You mean like this ? (this is my backup SMB, and I have a yellow one too)

    http://aqua-elevation.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=25&product_id=66
     
  14. barrygoss

    barrygoss Active Member

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  15. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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  16. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Thanks for pointing out my mistake Dave.

    I had ordered the wrong blob from Kent Tooling. Turns out there's another one with a LP inflation spigot and a OPV/dump which is the one I wanted.

    I certainly didn't need the useless oral inflator that you can't plug your suit inflator nor bailout cylinder 'tails' (nor do I want to get into a row over "I'm so bloody good with my buoyancy I can inflate any SMB orally" -- not on a rebreather you can't, nor can you if it's a man-sized blob unless you're at 100m, nor can you with frozen lips... of course you can orally inflate a tiny training blob, or a small supplemental yellow SMB denoting "send down my droptank" or "I've bailed out and I may be some time" depending on what you've told the skipper.)
     
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  17. barrygoss

    barrygoss Active Member

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    Dave,

    Copying skips understanding. Understanding is how you grow. You have to understand why something works or why something is how it is. When you copy it, you miss that. You just repurpose the last layer instead of understanding all the layers underneath.

    he's learning ;)

    B
     
  18. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    okay. Thanks. I was confused by the link to Dave's site.
     
  19. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    The Kent Tooling CO2 blob works well. As many others have said, they’re trivially simple to deploy - open, clear from the reel, tug on the cord and off it goes.

    The down side is it’s a scrawny blob and definitely leaves one with blob envy back on the boat. Yes, it works, but it’s rather petite. I suppose it’s less 'bouncy' in a bit of a blow as it’s less buoyant than a thicker blob. KT's longer blobs are still scrawny but taller, using two CO2 cartridges with twice as much chance of an inflation problem.

    Would probably work well as a pocket based backup with a small reel or spool (complete with known issues with firing mechanism issues).

    Have a feeling that my primary blob selection process isn’t over yet.

    Question: does anyone know the size of the KT crack bottle blob? Is it scrawny just like the CO2 one?
     
  20. Vanny

    Vanny Well-Known Member

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    Dunno , AP ones just work though.
     

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