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how to DIY strobe floats from styrofoam ?

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#21 Interceptor121


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Posted 21 August 2015 - 12:20 AM

There is a guy here in London that has made floats for years now and has tried quite a few materials. The stuff you guys are trying to use is not marine grade so when you lay a thick coat to fill the cells and then go into water I the long term there is a chance that the paint itself designed for ambient water pressure cracks. This is why I got his recommendation of using epoxy as it is the strongest material around though it takes time to harden is so viscous that you need a thin coat to completely seal and harden a block of divinylcell. You do need two separate steps one to paint the raw material if green or yellow bothers you and the next to lay the epoxy. The colouring can be done easily with anything even water based it will penetrate the fibres easily. For small adjustment blocks you can even use a permanent marker and a single pack of gorilla you get quite a few floats done for less than $5. Epoxy is used in marine application at it has extreme thermal and mechanical resistance

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#22 simonK


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Posted 21 August 2015 - 08:16 AM

Couldn't be bothered with painting / coating the floats just used this stuff:  http://www.easycompo...Foam-Core.aspx

The layers glued together with evostick and then the whole lot held on with electrical tape.






And a picture by Kieran of it in action on the Justicia



Edited by simonK, 21 August 2015 - 08:19 AM.

#23 wydeangle


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Posted 23 August 2015 - 04:19 AM



Forgot about this:  http://wetpixel.com/...syntactic +foam



Edited by wydeangle, 23 August 2015 - 04:19 AM.

#24 okuma


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Posted 23 August 2015 - 03:20 PM

I used two part epoxy mix, with some black dye, that is used with fiber glass kits. Purchased from auto parts store.

Two coats has lasted about 8 years on divinycell floats.

Install some small temp wire hooks and put the stuff on with a small paint brush and hang up to dry.

A messy task. :laugh:

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#25 ChasingPhil


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Posted 18 March 2017 - 06:12 PM

I came up with something works really well and costs around £10 ($13) each (less if you make 4 or more). I used Floplast Solvent Weld waste pipe to create sealed tubes. The materials are available at B&Q (in the UK) or probably Home Depot in the US, with only minimal use of tools. They're also (to a degree) adjustable in their buoyancy characteristics.

I haven't calculated the lift they provide but they work better than I thought! Used to 30m with no problems. They're not pretty, but they work.  I use them as supplemental lift (I also have 2x carbon fibre arms) on a rig that consists of a Nauticam Sony A7II housing (with 90mm macro lens and port), with 2xSea & Sea YS-D2 strobes with Nauticam clamps and strobe arms.  They don't make the rig neutral but brings it close to neutral and sufficient to stop it being painful and awkward to manoeuvre underwater.
Hope it's useful for any DIY fans :)
As for environmental concerns, it is my understanding that the Floplast weld, once formed, is as neutral to the environment as the plastic itself (or any other reused plastic for that matter).

Edited by ChasingPhil, 18 March 2017 - 06:25 PM.

#26 Cwee



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Posted 07 June 2017 - 04:33 PM

I simply cut lengths of pool noodles for mine, and it works well. I used enough that the rig is positive at the surface, fairly neutral around 15', and is negative at 30'+. I know my camera will never run away from me UW but if I drop it off a boat in deep water it's not going anywhere!

They're cheap and you'll have to replace them every so often as the foam does permanently crush some after every deep dive, but you can't beat the price. :)

#27 sandyyk


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Posted 12 August 2017 - 08:53 AM

Personally, I used two empty 500ml water bottles which my husband suggested for my DS161s.  Upon entry into the water, I would fill them with water for the descent, and then turn them upside down and fill them with air using my regulator.  It was very easy to regulate the amount of air needed:  too much air, squeeze the bottle a little until a few bubbles come out; not enough, flow some more into the bottle with the regulator.  This worked really well for getting the strobes completely neutral for free while reusing the plastic bottles and adding no weight when the kit wasn't in the water.  It does look kind of silly, but hey, it worked...