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buoyance arms review


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#21 pakman

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 09:18 AM

Well Bella, I mean Cor :lol:, we appreciate your review of this product. Just got a email from John confirming more reasonable int'l shipping... Now I'm just trying guess what combination of 3oz and 1.5oz foam I should get for a 4x9" arm combination. It will be a relief to get this S&S/ Inon brick neutrally buoyant u/w :)

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#22 bella

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 12:54 PM

Hey pakman B)

I'm using 4 X 3oz floats and 8 X 1.5oz floats with my subal housing, d2x, wide dome, 10.5 lens, S&S YS110's and the 4X9" arm combo.

The rig is very slightly negative, but not so much that I trust to lay it down in the sand and hope it doesn't roll off into the never never. :)

-(really bella)


Well Bella, I mean Cor :), we appreciate your review of this product. Just got a email from John confirming more reasonable int'l shipping... Now I'm just trying guess what combination of 3oz and 1.5oz foam I should get for a 4x9" arm combination. It will be a relief to get this S&S/ Inon brick neutrally buoyant u/w :lol:


Edited by bella, 29 January 2007 - 12:55 PM.

-julie edwards

#23 LChan

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 01:37 PM

I just ordered my set.

I wanted to chime in re: shipping rates to Australia.

I sold my old D100 housing to a guy in Australia and the shipping cost was outrageous.
$250+ for UPS. He finally settled on Air Postal with the USPS. The cost was $80.
The problem was it took almost 4 months for him to get it. The USPS originally quoted me 5-6 wks.
Talking about a SLOW boat! btw: UPS would've gotten there in 1.5 wks.

There are certainly cheaper ways of getting your shipment to Australia, but don't hold your breath!
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#24 dbh

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 02:27 PM

Mine are being shipped as we speak.

Hope you got a % Cor ;-)


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#25 cor

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 02:51 PM

Mine are being shipped as we speak.

Hope you got a % Cor ;-)
Dave

I would never write a review on a product I was financially or otherwise tied to. If John sells 0 or 100, thats his thing. I did ask him if he minded in the first place since it's a one man business as far as I know and I wasnt even sure if he wanted to sell them as a product. I do hope he sells some because im sure he's got a lot of time and energy in them, and I honestly think they're a great product that could benefit people with the same problems I had.

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#26 LChan

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 02:59 PM

When I talked with John this morning, he said he was quite busy with orders from wetpixelers.

he mentioned that he is going to research getting the floats colored as well as finding the correct paint that would be compatable with the floats.

Cor-
thanks for hooking us up.
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#27 dbh

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 05:14 PM

I was joking Cor. That is one of the downfalls of internet instead of personal interaction I guess. I, too, talked to John and he said that all he has done today has been related to the arms / floats / wetpixel.

I didn't mean to offend.

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#28 cor

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 05:32 PM

I was joking Cor. That is one of the downfalls of internet instead of personal interaction I guess. I, too, talked to John and he said that all he has done today has been related to the arms / floats / wetpixel.

I didn't mean to offend.

Dave

Not offended at all, just wanted to make it clear :)

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#29 pakman

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 06:09 PM

he mentioned that he is going to research getting the floats colored as well as finding the correct paint that would be compatable with the floats.


So who's gonna order the first pink set? :)

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#30 IMSushi

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 06:24 PM

Probably my wife! Although, I do all of the photo stuff. :)

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#31 pakman

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 06:32 PM

IMSushi... maybe you'll need to swap drysuits with the wife!

Hey pakman B)

I'm using 4 X 3oz floats and 8 X 1.5oz floats with my subal housing, d2x, wide dome, 10.5 lens, S&S YS110's and the 4X9" arm combo.

The rig is very slightly negative, but not so much that I trust to lay it down in the sand and hope it doesn't roll off into the never never. :lol:

-(really bella)


thanks Julie... think I'll order some extra foam in both sizes just to be safe. The one's I don't need I'll just dangle off my tank as shark bait... :)

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#32 Nunomix

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:59 AM

Just got my S&S Glass Dome Port. Tried it in the bathtub and it went down like a brick. Tried with the Patima BC on top and still went to the bottom. :blink: I guess I have to spend some more money again and get some of these buoyancy arms as well.

Posted Image

My questions are the following:

1. I used until so far the S&S arms. Are the ball ends for these arms the same size as the S&S?

2. To use with the S&S YS-110 the last arm in each side needs have the "screw end" instead of the ball end. I have the small screw ends from my S&S Arm set. Do these work fine or will they be too heavy?

3. The same question for the clamps. I have 4 S&S clamps. Are they too heavy? I will still have to get 2 more clamps in order to put the small "screw ends"

Thanks !!

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#33 cor

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:01 PM

1. I used until so far the S&S arms. Are the ball ends for these arms the same size as the S&S?

2. To use with the S&S YS-110 the last arm in each side needs have the "screw end" instead of the ball end. I have the small screw ends from my S&S Arm set. Do these work fine or will they be too heavy?

3. The same question for the clamps. I have 4 S&S clamps. Are they too heavy? I will still have to get 2 more clamps in order to put the small "screw ends"


1. dont know...post a closeup of your ball ends. But why does it matter?

2. I have YS110's and use specific ends that match the YS110's and then have a ball end at the other side. Check these images.. should work fine. it adds a little bit of weight though.


strobe1.jpg strobe2.jpg

I did not even know there were arms that hooked straight into s&s strobes :blink:

3. I double they're any heavier than my ULCS clamps, so just try them. You can always buy lighter clamps if it doesnt work.

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#34 Nunomix

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:23 PM

1. dont know...post a closeup of your ball ends. But why does it matter?

2. I have YS110's and use specific ends that match the YS110's and then have a ball end at the other side. Check these images.. should work fine. it adds a little bit of weight though.
strobe1.jpg strobe2.jpg

I did not even know there were arms that hooked straight into s&s strobes :blink:

3. I double they're any heavier than my ULCS clamps, so just try them. You can always buy lighter clamps if it doesnt work.

Cor

Hi Cor,

Thanks for your quick answer. The reason why I ask is because I want to be sure the ball ends from the Stix arms will be the same size as the ball end in my housing so that the clamp fits properly

Posted Image

Below a picture of my small arm that hooks straight to the strobe. What is the brand of your specific end for the YS-110?

Posted Image

Cheers

Nuno Sanches e Silva

Edited by Nunomix, 31 January 2007 - 03:24 PM.

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#35 cor

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:42 PM

Hi Cor,

Thanks for your quick answer. The reason why I ask is because I want to be sure the ball ends from the Stix arms will be the same size as the ball end in my housing so that the clamp fits properly


Below a picture of my small arm that hooks straight to the strobe. What is the brand of your specific end for the YS-110?


Cheers

Nuno Sanches e Silva

The little arm piece that goes into the S&S strobe is from Ultralight. Ultralight seems to be the exact same size ball end as StiX, or at least close enough not to matter. Maybe John knows if S&S uses a different size, or maybe someone here mixes S&S ball ends with ULCS ball ends.

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#36 pakman

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:16 PM

Nuno,

ULCS has an adapter for S&S strobes. Part # AD-SS

UCLS, Inon and most others use 1" balls...

http://www.ulcs.com/strobes.html

Posted Image

Edited by pakman, 31 January 2007 - 10:17 PM.

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#37 seagrant

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 04:18 AM

Cor has really done a great job here (and displayed much caring), posting this detailed write-up and experiences using the arms/floats.

But I personally am going to follow consumers using them for a bit here. I'm sure John is a great engineer and these arms will probably be wonderful.....

Usually I jump in and am willing to be the first to try newer stuff....... , but I did hear from someone who knows that there used to be a strobe arm company (out of business now), that used plastic or composite ball-joints with "disastrous" results.

Now I'm sure these new arms by John are well-tested and won't fail but I'm bent towards caution with non-moulded ball-joints (by that I mean ball joints made not as one solid piece with the arm). You can imagine what might happen to a heavy rig if one broke at the wrong time.

Plus I would like to know how much weight these arms actually displace. The Nikon d200/Subal is more negative than the D2X/Subal. Has anyone really been able to get the d200 neutral or near with these arms? I've found it takes a LOT of buoyancy to achieve just slight negative-weight of Subal ND20/Nikon d200/S& S 110s.

So far 2 Patima BCs, one on each 8" arm are working very well for my rig and I want to try a corecell foam buoyancy collar for the 105vr port in combination at depth. I wish arms would handle it all, but I'm skeptical that they will.

Still these are sharp looking and a very, very positive step in the right direction!!!

Thanks Cor and John!! I will be watching how these preform and possibly getting some in the future.

PS How about painting the floats camo??? I heard Gary Atkinson swear that different and bright colors would fool certain sharks and keep you safe........., but then I'm not in the habit of believing everything I hear.... :blink:

Best, Carol

Edited by seagrant, 01 February 2007 - 04:25 AM.

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#38 bella

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:04 AM

Plus I would like to know how much weight these arms actually displace. The Nikon d200/Subal is more negative than the D2X/Subal. Has anyone really been able to get the d200 neutral or near with these arms? I've found it takes a LOT of buoyancy to achieve just slight negative-weight of Subal ND20/Nikon d200/S& S 110s.

Best, Carol



Just for informations sake, John himself shoots with a Subal/D200 rig.

This is what John wrote to me after a week in Bonaire :


I spent most of the time with (2)Ikelite DS-125's and a Sigma 17-70 macro
lens behind a SWB small dome port on a 50mm extension ring using 540g (6x90)
of flotation on 9" inner arms. This setup had slightly negative buoyancy but
was close enough to neutral that I didn't bother to fine tune it. I did try
another combination that proved slightly positive but I really didn't like
it. I used 12' outer arms because of the wide to macro lens.

For a 105 macro lens behind a FP60 flat port with two 33mm extension rings I
believe (4) SX-9 9" arms with (3) SX-40 floats on each arm provides a nice
solution. This is slightly negative but still quite comfortable. Replacing
the outermost floats with SX-90's will bring the system 100 grams closer to
neutral while not interfering with strobe positioning.


-julie edwards

#39 cor

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:14 AM

Usually I jump in and am willing to be the first to try newer stuff....... , but I did hear from someone who knows that there used to be a strobe arm company (out of business now), that used plastic or composite ball-joints with "disastrous" results.

Now I'm sure these new arms by John are well-tested and won't fail but I'm bent towards caution with non-moulded ball-joints (by that I mean ball joints made not as one solid piece with the arm). You can imagine what might happen to a heavy rig if one broke at the wrong time.

Hi Carol, I totally understand your sentiment. It took me a year to buy a D2x once it was out, and dont forget ive known about these arms for over 2 years. If i hadnt been in the position to try them out, I would probably have done exactly the same as you. Unlike you, im usually not willing to be the first to try out newer stuff, I get to do that at work all too often :blink:

And it absolutely does not hurt to wait and see....

Yesterday I had a problem with the arms that could possibly affect some people. I usually dive on Nitrox, so I rarely go below 110 feet. I decided to go to 130+ feet to see what would happen, and 1 of the 16 floats we had with us visibly changed shape. I had never ever seen that before. It popped back into shape when we came back up. Im shipping it to John today so he can inspect it with a microscope (his main business is microscopes, I think he makes them).

To me this doesn't make much of a difference other than the wish to figure out why. Even at that depth I could handle it easily, although it felt more negative. That is to be expected though, 130 feet is quite deep, but I wish I had noticed this earlier. :( I'll be keeping in touch with John to figure this thing out.

I dont think though that a cracked ball would make you drop your housing if thats what you're worried about. Unless the ball would totally disintegrate, the clamps would keep the cracked pieces together. I dont think this will happen though, but..you never know, it is brand new and unproven and thus risky..so again, I totally understand where you come from :)

I know my review was really optimistic, but that wasnt so much because of physical attributes but because of personal experience. I have tried so many things (i have a minor tendinitis problem) , this is the first thing that actually worked and doesnt make my housing look like a borg cube.

Plus I would like to know how much weight these arms actually displace. The Nikon d200/Subal is more negative than the D2X/Subal. Has anyone really been able to get the d200 neutral or near with these arms? I've found it takes a LOT of buoyancy to achieve just slight negative-weight of Subal ND20/Nikon d200/S& S 110s.

So far 2 Patima BCs, one on each 8" arm are working very well for my rig and I want to try a corecell foam buoyancy collar for the 105vr port in combination at depth. I wish arms would handle it all, but I'm skeptical that they will.


If it works, dont fix it :D I believe Johm himself uses a D200/Subal combo, maybe he can answer that.... Read Julie's post :(

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#40 seagrant

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 03:32 PM

Thanks so much Cor and Julie!!

It really looks like these arms are easy to use and position, plus, yes they don't look like a "Borg Cube"..... (but then that wouldn't be so bad to a Borg now.....)

I think James Wiseman had a similar "deformity" situation with his foam buoyancy collar in Bali, my dive guide Yan told me it crushed a bit (said very nicely with his big smile and gestures.....). But James said it didn't really effect future diving performance of the collar.

Plus I think asking anything to preform exactly properly at 130ft plus is a little optimistic. Fortunately we don't spend much time down there anyway to cause too much strain......

Julie, it is funny how the different ports and lenses effect the Subal (and other housing) weight specs so much. With the Subal larger optical glass dome port and a fixed Nikon 16mm lens the Subal/d200 is quite negative (almost 4 lbs negative depending of course on strobes, I use the 110s, etc.). About the same with the 60 port. I haven't tried the 105vr yet as far as negative weight? I see John got it only slightly negative with the combination he listed, but the new Subal 105vr port w/o extension rings might be more negative? Or less negative? I guess it depends on the weight of the pieces plus the volume of air trapped inside different configurations, displacement, etc etc. I hate physics!!!! :blink:

I bet these arms will work great and I may just order myself some in the future!! :)

Tons of Thanks, Carol

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