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#41 wetpixel

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Posted 21 July 2003 - 07:12 PM

If you have decided to go with a plate/harness/wing arrangement you might wish to consider either Abyssmal plate or the NEW OMS plate as they do not require a single tank adapter for use witha single. They are slotted right out of the box and you only need the cam bands. This is both lighter and more compact.

Really?

Is there information online about the new OMS plate? I don't see it on their website.

Abysmal, huh? That's an unfortunate name for a company, even if the word has several definitions! It's totally unclear from their website that their backplace doesn't need a STA. Maybe I'll have to *gasp* use the telephone! :unsure:
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#42 craig

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Posted 21 July 2003 - 07:18 PM

You can try this arrangement and see if you like it. I cut slots in my OMS aluminum plate in order to try it. The Halcyon wings have little rods in them to help locate the tank and keep it from wobbling.

I prefer the single tank adapter myself because the tank is more stable. The Oxycheq one looks really compact. Still, you could save a pound by dropping it.
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#43 rstark

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Posted 21 July 2003 - 08:12 PM

Eric,
Many of the new BP's have STA-less slots. If you go this route I would suggest Halcyon. The reason is the rods in the wing that keep it stable. Without those the wing might twist slightly. I have the Halcyon setup and tried the STA-less setup and didn't like it. I promptly cut the rods out of my wing and bought a Koplin (Oxycheq) low profile STA. I love the stability of the STA. My choices for travel would be the Koplin (Oxycheq) travel BP. Here is a secret link to his website where he doesn't sell direct and he doesn't give you great deals under any circumstances (wink,wink, shhhhh!). Koplin Fabrication

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#44 yahsemtough

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 05:35 AM

rstark, how has the camera set-up been now that the strobes are firing?

[Can we stay on topic here? -Editor]
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#45 Nemo

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 03:04 AM

Eric,

I am not sure why the OMS website hasnt been updated but I have one of the slotted stainless plates sitting in my office right now. Regarding the concern raised in some of the other posts regarding the wing rotating on the bands. Most divers who frequently use plates with singles run a zip tie or small bolt through the holes that are not being used between the wing and the plate.

The only other thing to consider with some of the wings mentioned are that some of them do not have bladders inside a shell, the shell itself is the aircell. Although less expensive to manufacture this is a concept that has been the subject of great debate for years. If numbers carry any weight in this there are many more wings & BC's with bladders than without.


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#46 scorpio_fish

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 09:01 AM

I'm pretty much sold on a BC like the Seaquest Balance or a backplate system with a harness and wing. I never use the pockets on my Chute II, and I don't like my trim in the water with the BC. I'm pretty much vertical in the water if I relax. Plus, the Chute II is huge, and my camera creates so much drag that I'd rather just eliminate as much as possible everything else.



I have a Balance. It is OK, but I think you can do better. As far as trim goes, regardless of BC/plate, you will have to experiment with several options on weight distribution and positioning to get you the trim you want.
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#47 yahsemtough

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 09:45 AM

I find putting an ankle weight on the tank valve can do wonders to adjust trim.

The downside is you probably have to carry your own with you to a warm water destination.

Or, put water wings on those lead feet that you have! :unsure: hehehe
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#48 NitroLiq

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 10:14 AM

I have a Balance. It is OK, but I think you can do better.

Any recommendation on alternatives to the Balance (excluding the BP/Wings setup)? I had originally thought of going for a Ranger but since most of my dive time is spent on vacation in the Philippines or South Florida, I realize it's a bit much. I've seen quite a few recommending the Balance on various scuba boards and have checked Rodale's reviews of weight-integrated, back-bouyancy BCs. Ever try an Aqualung Malibu?

#49 rstark

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 11:09 AM

Regarding trim. I went from a Ranger to BP/Wing setup. With the Ranger I had great trim but now with the BP I actually have a slight head heavy trim. This is because I opted for a weighted STA and now have too much weight forward. I liked being able to take 6lbs off my belt and put it on my back but it's not going to work.

BTW regarding BC's. Did you ever realize how much lead your BC makes you wear? Take your BC and drop it in the pool COMPLETELY deflated. It will float. Now start clipping weight to it. My ex-Ranger took 4lbs to become neutral. That now 4lbs off my belt. Somthing to think about.

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#50 craig

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 11:43 AM

Get some small pockets and attach them to your upper or lower tank band depending on your trim requirements. You definitely don't want to travel with a weighted STA. I've even ziptied hard weights directly to my backplate and threaded them through my tankband.

I wish I could become head-heavy. Simply too much air in there for that.
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#51 rstark

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 11:48 AM

Craig, the weighted STA is strictly for SoCal (local) diving. The only reason I was using it was to get the weight off my belt. With the weight back on the belt trim is perfect.

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#52 craig

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 12:13 PM

Craig, the weighted STA is strictly for SoCal (local) diving. The only reason I was using it was to get the weight off my belt. With the weight back on the belt trim is perfect.

I figured. Just wanted to discourage those looking for a travel solution.

Ever noticed how much a Ranger weighs as you pull it out of the water? It traps so much water it's unbelievable.

Just got an OMS IQ in. It's nicely made but may be too bulky for the goals of some people here. I'd like to try it with a DiveRite ABS plate if they're still available.
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#53 scorpio_fish

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 01:25 PM

Any recommendation on alternatives to the Balance (excluding the BP/Wings setup)? I had originally thought of going for a Ranger but since most of my dive time is spent on vacation in the Philippines or South Florida, I realize it's a bit much. I've seen quite a few recommending the Balance on various scuba boards and have checked Rodale's reviews of weight-integrated, back-bouyancy BCs. Ever try an Aqualung Malibu?


The Malibu and Balance are quite similar. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with the Balance. I'm replacing mine because 1) it never fit quite right, it's a little big and rides up except when I'm diving dry 2) the Velcro that the weight pouches attach to are ripping out.

I have to use shop brand gear, so my choices for a replacement are somewhat limited. I wanted a minimalist configuration. The Balance does the job, but I'm not a fan of their velcro weight pouches. They have now changed the design, despite their claims that they hold just fine. Sorry, I've seen them fall out too many times.

I wanted a Dive Rite Transpac II, but we couldn't put together a big enough opening order to become a dealer. The Transpac with travel wings is about as minimal as you can get.

I was not averse to getting a BP and wings, but I wasn't interested in the continuous webbing harness. I'll take a few extra potential failure points in exchange for more comfort out of the water and I do have to spend a fair bit of time out of the water with my gear on while diving locally.

We are a Deep Outdoors dealer. They have their own alternative to the single continuous webbing type harness. But they only make a SS backplate, which doesn't travel well and is unnecessary for my local diving (fresh water/steel tank) most of the year. The company went to great lengths to see if I could fit their harness to someone elses AL backplate, but I chose not to go through the hassle of custom cutting additional slots in the BP.

I finally went with their back inflate, simplest lowest lift BC with no cummerbund, plenty of d-rings, couple of weight pouches, and crotch strap.

Back to point, as far as non-BP BCs go, the Balance (with new weight system), Malibu, Transpac or SP S-Tek will work fine and travel well. Just make sure it fits you well.
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#54 yahsemtough

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 06:08 AM

Robert I have to agree with you 100%, my Ranger can weigh a tonne after a dive. I just thought I was lazy of tired at first.

I also have the weight pouches for the tank band that come with the Ranger and use them to achieve trim.
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#55 lnewby

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 09:05 AM

I use a Zeagle Pro II in the Northwest with a dry suit. I change the bladder to the Escape bladder for the tropics (it rools up pretty small). The ripcord harness is the same. I modified the shoulder straps by adding stainless D rings, and other anchor points. I have both a cold water and warm water BC for less than buying 2 BCs and have a setup that allows for stage tanks and other hookups should I want them.

I like haveing a harness I know well on both systems.
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#56 JackConnick

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 07:29 PM

...the Velcro that the weight pouches attach to are ripping out.


Gees, 4 pages of replies!!! Lots of good opinions, little rancor. Good discussion!

I felt the same regards the SQ velcro pockets. They are ok for maybe 6# or so a side plu up to 10# in the back pockets. But I gave up using it for cold water, it just isn't up to holding 30# and a steel tank. If I used it I would divvy up the weight into a weight belt also. But I use a Halcyon and SS plate for cold water. If I was doing deeper tech dives I would also use a travel plate and smaller wing.

That being said, for tropical diving, where I'm only using 12-14# of weight, the Balance works very well. It fits me well, YMMV. I think the Zeagle Escape is pretty close in design. Not sure if it's a hard pack or soft pack, I don't like the soft packs, the tank rolls around too much.

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#57 wetpixel

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 11:36 AM

I recall seeing a web page with a photo of a guy standing there with a harness/backplate system on. It had a quick tutorial for how to properly adjust a harness. Anyone know the URL?

I received my OMS aluminum backplate with harness, and it is really light and comfortable! But I want to make sure I have it adjusted properly. ;)

Thanks!
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#58 rstark

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 12:13 PM

I recall seeing a web page with a photo of a guy standing there with a harness/backplate system on. It had a quick tutorial for how to properly adjust a harness. Anyone know the URL?

I received my OMS aluminum backplate with harness, and it is really light and comfortable! But I want to make sure I have it adjusted properly. ;)

Thanks!

It might take a few dive to get it adjusted correctly.

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#59 wetpixel

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 12:26 PM

It might take a few dive to get it adjusted correctly.

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That's the link! Thanks...

Can't be worse than my Chute II, which rides up all the time and can't be adjusted small enough to fit my frame.

Guess I need to eat more. ;)
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#60 rstark

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 06:58 PM

One more link
DIR Diver BP Adjustment

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