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GrtDay

Strobe Wet-Suits

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My Ikelite housed CP5K with dual DS-125's on UltraLight arms was a big and heavy beast above AND below water. I was asking this board what to do and someone suggested making wet-suits for the strobes.

I bought an old 7mm wet suit on Ebay and proceeded to cut it up.

I measured the cirumference of the DS-125 and cut the rectangular piece out of the wetsuit. I used Marine GooP (you could also use AquaSeal) to join the edges, then cut another strip the length of the DS-125 to cover and strengthen that joint. I even cut out the ScubaPro logo and put it on the teal and pink wet suit material.

Now these Strobe Wet Suits were not only functional, but they were branded AND pretty!

I cut holes for the controls and connections, slipped them on the DS-125 and it floated!

When I got to the ship and set up my camera, no one had ever seen Strobe WEt Suits but loved the idea.

Bottom line is that it almost made my system neutrally bouyant. When I went deep, the effect of the neoprene wet suits severely diminished, but above 60 feet, it really worked.

I also cut up an old swimming pool mattress that used the dense 2 inch foam. I cut strips and zip-tied them to my Ultra-Light arms. This made the entire system neutral. Although it looked pretty funky, it really worked well!

A really nice side effect was that it kept my strobes and arms from getting beat up as I worked around coral to get my shots.

If your UW system is heavy, you may want to make some strobe wet-suits.

Dive cheerfully! :)

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I had 'Northern Diver' make a setup for my old Sony video housing and lights in flourescent green. It started to look like a hammerhead so we added a dorsal fin too!

The thread didn't start with an upload, so cannot post pix.

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The problem with neoprene wetsuits for camera systems is the same as the problem with wetsuits for divers - it compresses at depth, giving up more buoyancy the deeper you go (and the more you need it). Since as divers we like to keep warm, and prefer flexibility, we're pretty much stuck with neoprene or something like it for suits.

 

My current camera rig is fairly neutral, but I experimented with various approaches to adding buoyance to my older, heavier, film rig. Including lengths of PVC pipe, sealed at both ends, taped to the strobe arm sections. Which sort of worked.

 

But the best thing I've seen for this is marine-grade foam, which is very rigid and does not compress at depth - or at least not until past 200 meters, at which point the issue is probably irrelevant.

 

It cuts easily with a saw or surfoam tool, and pieces of it can be taped to your housing and/or strobe arm segments. Certainly doesn't require precision cutting or clothes-making skills.

 

It's cheap enough that you could throw it away at the end of a trip if packing space is at a premium and cut new flotation pieces when you get home. And if you do decide to pack it up and take it, at least you won't have to hang it out to dry with the wetsuits, booties and other water-absorbent gear.

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