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ScubaLawyer
Master Diver
Posts: 1170
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:25 am
First Name: Mark
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

VDH Backplate + 71.2 tank + Phoenix DH now fits

Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:36 pm

In my never-ending quest to find the quintesentially perfect rig for beach diving I did the following.

I love my VDH backplate and I like using a 71.2 steel tank and DH reg for beach diving. I also want the option to put a small 18# BIU on the rig. For the latter I use my Kraken or a Phoenix conversion DH so I can have a LP inflation hose attached. However, when I attach my VDH plate directly to the 72 with cam-bands I have a problem with my Phoenix DH since it sticks out too far from the valve and protrudes out from the backplate into my back. (With my steel 95 I don’t have that issue but, again, I like 71.2's for beach dives). A neighbor gave an old beat up 71.2 the other day. The tank was thrashed but the valve was good and it had a set of AT-PAC metal bands on the tank. Got me to thinking. I took out the too-long (1.25 inch) attachment bolts from the metal bands and replaced them with a shorter (0.5 inch) bolt. I drilled a hole in an old OMS single tank adaptor plate I had laying around, and another hole in my VDH plate, so that both bands would fit the tank (and I could raise the VDH plate high enough to be as close as possible to the bottom of the DH cans). I used “Tee-Nuts” to mount the VDH plate on so that I didn’t have bolts jutting into my back. Using the single tank adapter extended the tank off the VDH plate about 3/4 inch which was just enough to bring the exhaust can even with the plate - problem solved. All of this metal also added about 2.5 pounds to the weight of my rig so I can take that off my weights.

I know, I know, I should really get a life but it’s these little projects that keep me going. Mark

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Mark
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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tripplec
Master Diver
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:44 am
First Name: Chris
Location: Coos Bay Oregon
Contact: Website

Re: VDH Backplate + 71.2 tank + Phoenix DH now fits

Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:08 pm

Your starting to look like my kind of diving. When are you moving to Coos Bay Oregon so I wont be the only "your gona die" outcast?

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ScubaLawyer
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Posts: 1170
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:25 am
First Name: Mark
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Re: VDH Backplate + 71.2 tank + Phoenix DH now fits

Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:58 pm

tripplec wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:08 pm
Your starting to look like my kind of diving. When are you moving to Coos Bay Oregon so I wont be the only "your gona die" outcast?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk
I've been a card-carrying member of that club for a long time. My nickname in one group of "dive buddies " went from "Lone Wolf" to "Dead Man Swimming. " :roll:

Next time I'm in your neck of the woods we can strap on our tanks with car seat belts and breathe through twin garden hoses. 8)
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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tripplec
Master Diver
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:44 am
First Name: Chris
Location: Coos Bay Oregon
Contact: Website

Re: VDH Backplate + 71.2 tank + Phoenix DH now fits

Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:12 pm

I used to use a bc hose that was a piece of stainless braided water line from unter my kitchen sink spliced in with hose clamps. I took the dive shop owner out on my boat and he kept staring at it. Finally my cousin told him "Chris needs to get back soon, his wife needs to use the toilet." From then on I was known for buying my dive gear at the hardware store and rinsing my gear with 2,000 flushes blue.

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ScubaLawyer
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Posts: 1170
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:25 am
First Name: Mark
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Re: VDH Backplate + 71.2 tank + Phoenix DH now fits

Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:40 pm

Most divers hang out at dive shops. I hang out in hardware stores. Love the water hose BC inflator idea!
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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luis
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:28 pm
First Name: Luis
Location: Maine

Re: VDH Backplate + 71.2 tank + Phoenix DH now fits

Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:46 pm

Hi Mark,

The cut out on the back plate is intentionally designed to allow the can to stick past he back plate.

There is no real reason for the can to be flush with the back plate. I prefer it when the can protrudes past the back plate (at least by 1/2 inch).

The metal can is flat and the Argonaut can has rounded edges intentionally designed to fit comfortably against your back.

I always use steel 72 for all my diving up here (mostly shore diving). And I intentionally avoid anything that will separate the tank away from the back plate. If possible, I want the cans sticking past the back plate. It is not only very comfortable, but most important the regulator breather better when the cans are touching my back.

Our backs are not perfectly flat. If the regulator is the regulator is not sticking past the metal plate, then the regulator will not be touching your back and it will not breath as well.


IMHO, I suggest that you try the back plate with a steel 72 the way it was supposed to be used. I think you will find it very comfortable and you will see that it breathes better. The back plate was intentionally made flat to keep the tank as close to your back as possible. A single tank adapter defeats the original intention of the design.

I personally hate the concept of using single tank adapters on any back plate. Single tank adapters are just a patch designed to convert double tank back-plates to use them on single tanks. It is IMO a poorly designed adaptation.

Please try the back plate without the single tank adapter. If you give it an real try, I think that you will find that the regulator sticking past the back plate is comfortable both in the water and walking to the dive site (for shore diving), and will promise that it will breath better.

I exclusively use steel 72 shore diving and a lot of our shore diving include long walks on rocky shores.
Luis

Buceador con escafandra autónoma clásica.

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ScubaLawyer
Master Diver
Posts: 1170
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:25 am
First Name: Mark
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Re: VDH Backplate + 71.2 tank + Phoenix DH now fits

Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:31 pm

Hi Luis,

I did understand that the VDH plate was designed to have the cans protrude past the plate. I must have a strange spine because with the backplate positioned correctly on a 71.2 tank using a Phoenix when I cinch down my harness the edge of the cans press into my back/shoulder blades (even with a 5mm farmer john/jacket) and it is downright painful.

I don't get that with a Kraken or any single stage DH or any DH w/o a Phoenix. I tried this configuration and my Phoenix breathed fantastic. Must just be me because no one else seems to have this issue. Mark
 
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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luis
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Posts: 1567
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:28 pm
First Name: Luis
Location: Maine

Re: VDH Backplate + 71.2 tank + Phoenix DH now fits

Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:23 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks for letting me know that you did try it and expanding on some of the details you tried.

Yes, the Phoenix does stick out further that other regulators. I do find the flat can comfortable, but it does have an edge. I never found the edge to be an issue, but it also never hit me on a bad spot. We are all a little bit different.

I made the Argonaut a lot shorter than the Phoenix (there was just no way to make the Phoenix any shorter). I also made the can on the Argonaut with a tapered shape, with the hope that it would be more comfortable to most divers. Again, I was trying to avoid any edges that would press on your back.

If this is what works for you, I can’t argue with success. But I still feel that the “single tank adapter” moves the tank too far away for most diver.
Using a steel 72 with no spacer and the Phoenix may cause the regulator to stick out too far for some divers, but a thinner spacer is probably a better compromise for most divers.

I just hope must divers realize that a can that is flush with the back plate may look good, but it is not only not necessary, it is actually not as desirable. Ideally it will stick out just enough to always touch your back comfortably.

If the can is touching your back “comfortably”, the regulator will breath at its best. The only way to have it breath better is to have it surgically implanted. :shock:
:)
Luis

Buceador con escafandra autónoma clásica.

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