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#41 okuma

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 11:22 PM

I just moved from film to D200/Subal and have a significant investment in Ultralite arms as both my wife and I shoot, so I'll be keeping them!
In looking at foam material, polyethylene seems to be a good bet, but in the higher densities, >6lb/sq ft. I have some samples that I'll evaluate at depth for compression and then develop a method to get them around Ultralite arms(higher densities do not stretch!). In about 2 months, I'll post a 'how to' report.
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#42 DrFiscus

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 10:55 AM

ATT00001.jpg I did this the simple way - spent about $3 -$4 on plumbing insulation - cut it into appropriate lengths and wrapped around my flash arms. A 5 foot length is about the length that it comes in. If it lasts more than 25 dives - great - if not - so be it. I also made a collar of 8 mm foam for my DS125's and wrapped them around the front. Found that in my local hobby store. Shipping and handling - $0. Value - maybe priceless - maybe not. It couldn't hurt.
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#43 bmyates

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 11:22 AM

I did this the simple way - spent about $3 -$4 on plumbing insulation...


Let us know how that works uw, Andy. I'm afraid you will find that soft foam insulation like that compresses dramatically at depth, and will be virtually worthless below 50 ft or so. The closed-cell foam people use that seems to work is "hard," stiff stuff that you can't compress with your fingers/hands, and thus resists compression under pressure. OTOH, you might find that your insulation works fine at shallow depths, in which case we'd all like to know!

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#44 Kory Nakatsu

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 11:02 PM

I placed my second order with John at 4th Generation Designs yesterday and after a lengthy (and much appreciated) conversation with him, learned a couple things I thought worthy of sharing.

1. On the topic of painting the floats, the issue at hand is not whether paint will affect the material or it's effectiveness - it's simply a matter of finding a paint that will not peel off over time. He suggested a glue based prime coat, then paint. Upon receiving my first order, I painted mine with a direct coat of Ford blue tractor spray and have soaked them extensively over the last week with no apparent sign of flaking. Final results TBD.

2. An even better idea he shared was to use 1 1/4" black shrink tubing around each float set. On his recommendation, I ordered a 4' package from Mouser Electronics, part number 562-Q2Z114-48N5 - $32.46. Shorter lengths are also available but I am doing my wife's arms as well. Before doing this, I will establish my deired buoyancy with both macro and WA configurations, then seal it up. It should look pretty cool if I don't screw something up.

Once complete, I will post pics of the results for those that may be interested. Thanks again to Cor for the lead on this one...

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#45 cor

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 03:07 AM

1. On the topic of painting the floats, the issue at hand is not whether paint will affect the material or it's effectiveness - it's simply a matter of finding a paint that will not peel off over time. He suggested a glue based prime coat, then paint. Upon receiving my first order, I painted mine with a direct coat of Ford blue tractor spray and have soaked them extensively over the last week with no apparent sign of flaking. Final results TBD.


Id love to hear your results with this paint after a few dives.

2. An even better idea he shared was to use 1 1/4" black shrink tubing around each float set. On his recommendation, I ordered a 4' package from Mouser Electronics, part number 562-Q2Z114-48N5 - $32.46. Shorter lengths are also available but I am doing my wife's arms as well. Before doing this, I will establish my deired buoyancy with both macro and WA configurations, then seal it up. It should look pretty cool if I don't screw something up.


I have 4' piece of this tubing here right now. I havent gotten around to applying it to the floats yet. Im planning to take it diving a few times and see if it sticks. Maybe leave my housing in the pool overnight.

Cor
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#46 bmyates

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 08:38 AM

Id love to hear your results with this paint after a few dives.


Ditto. My only concern with the shrink tubing is that would allow water in underneath the tape, and there'll be no way to really dry it out. I would envision that getting pretty stinky and messy (e.g., always leaking a little bit of water--salt water--into my camera case on the way home). If there's some paint that really sticks/stays on long-term, that seems like a better option to me. I was thinking a marine epoxy-based paint might work well...

BTW, I received my order of floats and arms, and they're considerably smaller/more compact than I expected. B) Can't wait to get them wet and give them a try to see if they're sufficient to neutralize my Seacam monster! :lol: Certainly worth a try!

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#47 pakman

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 09:56 AM

Well, I didn't get around to ordering the stix arms in time for my Palau trip coming up this Fri. Instead, I've cut up an old camping pad made from closed cell foam and rolled them tightly around my arms... But they're soft so I reckon it'll compress quickly at depth. Hopefully will provide some buoyancy in the shallows...

Meanwhile, looking forward to hearing back from the rest of you who get a chance to use the stix arms...

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#48 cor

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 10:16 AM

First of all, anyone get their arms yet?

Second, I played around with some shrink tubing. Ive done maybe 5 dives with this now, and it seems to work ok. I went to 140 feet yesterday and the tubing does come loose a bit because the floats shrink slightly at that depth. So it's important to have a bit of an edge around the sides. It also seemed like at depth the material became softer. Maybe that was my imagination. I also do think this could leave some salt water behind that's hard to dry. Paint may be a better option. Someone tried some paint yet? If not, anyone want to suggest some type of paint so I can try it out?

Here's some photos. Eric, will this still attract Tigers? :) (the remaining white floats will be fixed later, they're different size floats).

Posted Image Posted Image

Regards,

Cor
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#49 bmyates

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:09 PM

...I played around with some shrink tubing...could leave some salt water behind that's hard to dry. Paint may be a better option. Someone tried some paint yet?


Cor,

Those look really sharp with the shrink tubing! I'm going to try some black marine spray paint on mine and will try them out on several dozen dives at Socorro in late March, and will report back as to how the paint holds up...

Bruce Yates
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#50 cor

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:17 PM

Cor,

Those look really sharp with the shrink tubing! I'm going to try some black marine spray paint on mine and will try them out on several dozen dives at Socorro in late March, and will report back as to how the paint holds up...

Do you buy that paint at a shipyard or something? Im in yachtie heaven here in the Virgin Islands so im sure I should be able to find some paint. Any brand/type that you can share so I can go look around?

Did you get your housing wet yet Bruce?

Cor

Edited by cor, 25 February 2007 - 01:19 PM.

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#51 bmyates

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:30 PM

Do you buy that paint at a shipyard or something? Im in yachtie heaven here in the Virgin Islands so im sure I should be able to find some paint. Any brand/type that you can share so I can go look around?

Did you get your housing wet yet Bruce?


I've had my housing for several years and hundreds of dives, so I'm well aware of how negative it is. I made some "buoyancy collars" based on James' design a year or two ago, and those certainly help, but because they go around the port/extension rings, they make the camera want to always aim skyward, so I'm thinking these arms will be the perfect complement to a small collar...

As for specific paint, we have lots of boat shops around here, too, and I'm just going to go in and try to find one that sticks to almost anything and is reasonably durable, and ideally "flexes" a bit, since the floats will experience at least slight shrinkage over time as they compress a bit. Having said that, I don't plan to "over-think" the paint - I don't see it as serving any functional purpose; it is strictly cosmetic to cover up the white and make the floats look less like shark bait. :)

I'm looking for something spray-on, and if I have to re-spray them every third or fourth dive trip, that's no big deal...I just want doing so to be as simple as possible (e.g., I don't want to be mixing heavy-duty epoxy resins and having to apply it carefully with a brush). I'll let you know what I end up using...

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#52 cor

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 05:57 AM

I've had my housing for several years and hundreds of dives, so I'm well aware of how negative it is.


I meant to say..did you get the arms wet yet :) Obviously you know your housing :excl:


I'll go get some paint soon and see how it works.

Cor
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#53 ulcs

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 08:44 PM

Ultralight has in production a new buoyancy arm that has 2.5 times more buoyancy than their original
buoyancy arms. We hope to ship by May 1st.

There will be 8", 10", 12" 14" and 16" sections

Terry

#54 Kory Nakatsu

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 10:27 PM

Still waiting for my second order from 4th Generation...

Thanks for the pics Cor - is there any reason why you wouldn't want to cover both floats with a single piece of shrink tubing? That is what I planned to do once mine came but maybe I'm missing something. In terms of getting them dry, my thought was to make sure I soaked them throughly following a dive, then use compressed air to get them as dry as I can.

Of course, this is all optimistic theory at this point so comments are appreciated.

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#55 cor

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 03:32 AM

Still waiting for my second order from 4th Generation...

Thanks for the pics Cor - is there any reason why you wouldn't want to cover both floats with a single piece of shrink tubing? That is what I planned to do once mine came but maybe I'm missing something. In terms of getting them dry, my thought was to make sure I soaked them throughly following a dive, then use compressed air to get them as dry as I can.

Of course, this is all optimistic theory at this point so comments are appreciated.

Kory

I suppose I could cover both at the same time, but I like to be able to switch floats around still. By covering only a single one they remain interchangeable. I bought some paint yesterday after talking to a local paint shop, and i'll paint 2 floats today, see if that holds up in sea water. I'll put them in a bucket of sea water overnight first.

Interesting to see ulcs is making new arms. Wonder if they'll stay with the same basic metal frame with an enclosed airspace or will also use some form of flotation device. I think the current ulcs buoyancy arms are quite heavy.

Cor

Edited by cor, 27 February 2007 - 05:13 AM.

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#56 LChan

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 08:30 AM

the ULCS buoyancy arms (at least the larger ones) only compensate for the weight of the arms and clamps. 25% more buoyancy will not compensate that much for the weight of the housing/camera/lens/strobes.....
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#57 Taxgeek

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 12:58 PM

I'd also like to know how Andy's plumbing insulation works.

I have used compressible foam before - "pool noodles". It compresses at depth, but it doesn't compress all the way down to zero. What I did was use enough so that my rig was neutral at depth (once below about 30 feet, it didn't seem to compress much more or change buoyancy much for some reason - probably related to structure of foam? dunno.) Anyway, the only problem was (1) it looked really stupid and (2) the rig was really really buoyant in shallow water. I wasn't sensitive to these problems because I don't care if people laugh at me and my dives at the time involved no tinkering around in shallow water trying to shoot. YMMV, however. But for certain types of dives, it worked, and pool noodles, tie wraps and duct tape are really cheap.

Would you estimate plumbing insulation to be more or less compressible than a pool noodle? A pool noodle is definitely less compressible than a closed cell backpacking sleeping pad (ensolite or ridge rest style).

Susan



Let us know how that works uw, Andy. I'm afraid you will find that soft foam insulation like that compresses dramatically at depth, and will be virtually worthless below 50 ft or so. The closed-cell foam people use that seems to work is "hard," stiff stuff that you can't compress with your fingers/hands, and thus resists compression under pressure. OTOH, you might find that your insulation works fine at shallow depths, in which case we'd all like to know!


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#58 ulcs

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:32 PM

the ULCS buoyancy arms (at least the larger ones) only compensate for the weight of the arms and clamps. 25% more buoyancy will not compensate that much for the weight of the housing/camera/lens/strobes.....


My original post has been edited, a typo. The new arms will have 2.5 times more buoyancy arms than the original ones.

Please re-read my original post

terry

#59 james

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 04:48 AM

A good durable flexible marine epoxy paint is what I used on my collar. It's called "bootstripe" paint and available at most boating places.

You can also easily paint/coat your foam with polyesther resin and then a coat of hardener. Then paint them. Again - that only takes a few hrs.

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#60 bmyates

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 08:21 AM

A good durable flexible marine epoxy paint is what I used on my collar. It's called "bootstripe" paint and available at most boating places.


OK, I've spent 15 minutes chasing Google references, and can't find a single online source for "bootstripe pain" - got any online sources, James? ;)

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