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I've seen rigid, plastic buoyant, ball-style floats used tied on to the strobe arms. Usually by Japanese u/w photogs. They looked a nuisance to me!

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My friend used xmas tree decoration balls. He said it's cheap and colorful. Brought it underwater like baloon.

 

He got it tangled first time he brought down. Then he was smarter. Uses string as short as possible.

 

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I currently have blocks of quiver foam from my local archery shop on my 6" strobe arms, one block per arm. The blocks are about $4 each locally, and have held up well over the last couple of years. This foam on ebay looks pretty similar:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Quiver-replacement-foam-insert-Archer-arrow-/252369170914?hash=item3ac25ff1e2:g:tzQAAOSw1x1UQRjb

 

For what it's worth, I felt I needed more lift than that for both my 170mm dome and Olympus 12-40 flat port, so I stuck a crowbar in my wallet and bought one of the Stix foam belts- it got me where I needed to be for my rig (Oly E-M1 in Oly housing with focus light and 2 YS-D2 strobes).

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I currently have blocks of quiver foam from my local archery shop on my 6" strobe arms, one block per arm. The blocks are about $4 each locally, and have held up well over the last couple of years. This foam on ebay looks pretty similar:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Quiver-replacement-foam-insert-Archer-arrow-/252369170914?hash=item3ac25ff1e2:g:tzQAAOSw1x1UQRjb

 

For what it's worth, I felt I needed more lift than that for both my 170mm dome and Olympus 12-40 flat port, so I stuck a crowbar in my wallet and bought one of the Stix foam belts- it got me where I needed to be for my rig (Oly E-M1 in Oly housing with focus light and 2 YS-D2 strobes).

I followed the above advice and ordered the quiver foam linked by wapiti above, asked a friend with the real Stix floats to trace out the outline of the float / insert and used that to carve the foam using a bread knife and exacto knife.

 

For a $9 cost and half an hour of foam carving, I think that the results speak for themselves:

 

7232d95b82e879e986dd6478c172a0d7.jpg9bfd219b34e2ef4e41911f5f537281ca.jpg93b74a59b5379b92c635a55042c51396.jpg504fc306bc8241c6bd96af056c84698b.jpg

 

Based on this experiment, wapiti, I'm confident that I could make a better version of the Stix foam belt. Just carve the foam block outline, drill a hole in each block and run a bungee loop through the foam sections. Make sure that the bungee cord has a loop to run over your spotting light and it should be good to go. That may be my next project for my macro setup :-).

 

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Edited by bnf-austin

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Based on this experiment, wapiti, I'm confident that I could make a better version of the Stix foam belt. Just carve the foam block outline, drill a hole in each block and run a bungee loop through the foam sections. Make sure that the bungee cord has a loop to run over your spotting light and it should be good to go. That may be my next project for my macro setup :-).

 

 

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the items on ebay has ended. any new links that i can buy the foam??

 

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Actually at depths greater than 35', the quiver foam deformed enough that I lost most of the inserts. But the floats themselves worked just fine and made it much easier to tote the camera for multiple hours of diving each day. If you can find denser foam, that might work better.

 

 

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Actually at depths greater than 35', the quiver foam deformed enough that I lost most of the inserts. But the floats themselves worked just fine and made it much easier to tote the camera for multiple hours of diving each day. If you can find denser foam, that might work better.

 

 

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I am not sure if the foam u've suggested is similar to the EVA foam that's used as archery target.

 

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Timz, I read the write up that you linked above; I think that is very well done, and would recommend following the recommendation to use the PVC foam and spraying them after completing the shaping of the floats. I may try that myself.

 

 

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Also on the previous link there is a nice way to avoid lose the difusers of the strobes.

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I wonder if EVA foam board is a type of PVC board... I know it's a close cell foam board. and I know it's widely used in swimming board. But i'm not sure if it'll hold the pressure underwater..

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Look, I'm a big believer in DIYing anything that I can, often just for fun. I have built tube stereo gear and speakers, restored sports cars and cameras, built furniture, and made heaps of accessories for all kinds of hobbies. I've lived in more than a few remote places where if I wanted something I had to make it, and did. I will often do things the hard way just to see if I can. But this one escapes me. Stix floats are about $6-8 each and a set of four costs less than a single dive in many places (and they provide a LOT of buoyancy but don't deform). I don't readily piss in someone's Cheerios but I just don't get the claim of "expensive Buoyancy floats" or how you'd save much after ordering alternative materials. I guess if its just for fun then what the heck, go for it.

 

By the way, somewhere on one of the forums, there is a post about using an empty plastic soda bottle tethered to the housing as an improvised float. Worth an experiment perhaps, maybe with a more aesthetic container like one of those aluminium sports bottles, perhaps duct taped to the tray?

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Troporobo, I mostly made my floats as a DIY project for the fun of it and it cost me less than $10.

 

I won't disagree that the Stix floats are excellent and an overall good value, and plan on getting some for my strobe arms before my next trip. At the same time, I'm planning on taking the floats that I already made, running a bungee through them and converting them into a macro port collar.

 

 

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Having a project is cool, I get it. I like the idea of a port collar if it could be made more "form fitting" than the commercial ones I've seen.

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Because Stix is not available in my country and Shipping ot to my place will cost much more than what the stix worth...

 

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I've used Aircraft Spruce's foam - I think the Divinycell but it could have been another: http://www.aircraftspruce.com/categories/building_materials/bm/menus/cm/foam.html

 

It's a closed cell foam, quite buoyant and not very costly. It doesn't compress at recreational depths and can be easily shaped with simple woodworking tools.

 

At 3 or 6 lbs/cuft it doesn't take much to make a pretty good float.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Tom

Edited by wydeangle
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