User avatar
Bryan
Plank Owner
Posts: 5270
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:40 am
First Name: Bryan
Location: Wesley Chapel Florida
Contact: Website

New From VDH (Universal back plate with vintage spirit)

Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:03 am

Luis's write up on the plate he designed......They are not in production yet. Right now I'm shooting to get the plate itself to market at $50.00. And when you order you can choose the options/items you want to come with it....webbing, buckles, cylinder bands etc. Here is a photobucket link to more pictures.
http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y44/mi ... Backplate/

Image
Image

Universal back plate with vintage spirit.

The new VDH back-plate takes many of its features from the 1950’s back plate from Seacraft (of Wilmington Mass), but then it builds on that to make it more functional and versatile.

The VDH back plate is specifically designed to work with and enhance the performance of any double hose regulator. At the same time it is versatile enough to work with any regulator and can accommodate many commercially available BC wings.

It is designed to use modern cam bands for easy and quick installation on multiple tanks. The preferred tank bands are the metal buckle type bands with high mechanical advantage (similar to the Scubapro tank band), but it will work with any tank band. The plate can be used with any size tank (single tank).

The harness incorporates shoulder straps that cross above the plate to add stability and help keep the top of the tank from moving side to side. This design uses a similar shoulder strap routing as back-packs used by alpine climbers.

Tank stability is helpful in the water and out of the water when hiking down for a shore dive.

The plate is versatile enough to use a variety of different harness straps and buckle type. The use of a crotch strap is optional, but as always preferred to keep the tank and regulator from moving up.

A sternum strap is always optional, but with the shoulder straps crossing right in front of the regulator (at the diver’s shoulder blades), the use of a sternum strap is not really necessary.

When properly rigged (as shown in the pictures), the harness straps will cross right on front of the regulator, but no metal buckles will ever touch the regulator cans.

The plate is a flat plate intended to keep the tank as close to your back as physically possible. This keeps the weight of the tank close to the diver’s center of gravity and even more importantly puts a double hose regulator as close as possible to the diver’s lungs. Using a Phoenix RAM and a steel 72, the regulator actually touches the divers back. This makes any double hose regulator perform at its best.

Making the plate flat and fabricating it out of 1/8 inch aluminum provides a rugged but light weight design. Its light weight makes ideal for traveling and it is easy to pack.

This back plate integrates the tank, the harness and a double hose regulator into one unit as it was intended with the original definition of the “Aqua Lung”. It allows the option of integrating of a small non obstructing BC wing into a stream lined, elegant and compact unit.

VDH is also designing a small wing to compliment the back plate design, but if the diver requires a larger volume wing (for very heavy wet-suit use, etc.) the plate will accommodate many commercially available wings. The picture does not show bolt holes for some of the commercial wings, but there are plans for adding several holes to match the standard pattern.

The beauty of this back plate is in all the features it includes in a simple and functional design.

Thank you Luis....The new and great ideas you have never cease to amaze me.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

User avatar
8dust
Master Diver
Posts: 548
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Nashville's North Shore

Re: New From VDH

Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:17 am

Looks real nice. Simple and clean design. I like the crossed straps and the idea of skipping the sternum strap. For us biggins, they always seem to hit a little high on the chest and aren’t super comfortable.

Well done Luis!

My only concern is that I might not have gotten the Unabomber to model it for you… :shock:
Freddo
NAVED member #201

User avatar
Drado
Master Diver
Posts: 650
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:11 am
First Name: Eduardo
Location: Manila, Philippines

Re: New From VDH

Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:55 am

I LIKE IT! :D

I like how the straps cross, and how they utilize a SS weight keeper to keep it all in place. I would've never thought of trying that. :D
_______________________________
Ed

User avatar
antique diver
Master Diver
Posts: 2061
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:50 pm
First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: New From VDH

Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:14 am

Nice job Luis! This could be a big hit with the crowd, and I am already picturing one in my compact dive kit. :D

Could you give me the measurement from the top of the upper shoulder strap slot to the bottom of the waist strap slot? I have to use a fairly short measurement there to comfortably have room for a weight belt below the waist strap.
The older I get the better I was.

User avatar
Bryan
Plank Owner
Posts: 5270
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:40 am
First Name: Bryan
Location: Wesley Chapel Florida
Contact: Website

Re: New From VDH

Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:42 am

antique diver wrote:Nice job Luis! This could be a big hit with the crowd, and I am already picturing one in my compact dive kit. :D

Could you give me the measurement from the top of the upper shoulder strap slot to the bottom of the waist strap slot? I have to use a fairly short measurement there to comfortably have room for a weight belt below the waist strap.
About 16 3/4" .....Overall it is 17" :D
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

ebj
Lung Diver
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:49 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: New From VDH

Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:46 pm

Super job Luis and thanks Bryan for making them available. It's about time we had a flat plate!! I've been using the crossed strap method on my aluminum backplate for several years, and along with a crotch strap it keeps the tank tight to my back with no movement. This is especially important when doing back rolls off a rocking boat. Even when they make me use a HP 120, it keeps the tank from slipping off a shoulder. Is there a possibility of making the tank band slots shorter? I can see the bands sliding up a bit when changing tanks out offshore. I just drill small holes in my plate that line up with the holes in my wing and use zip ties to hold the wing in place. This is easy to do with an aluminum plate.
Ernie

User avatar
Aileron
Master Diver
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:24 am
First Name: Lisa
Location: Stuart, FL

Re: New From VDH

Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:50 pm

Fabulous Guys! I will definitely order when these become available...I can have several setups at my fingertips instead of spending time putting on/taking off wings, changing plates/harnesses, etc. I can't wait!!!!
The Kids: Royal Mistral, Voit Faux 50 Fathom, Jet Air, PRAM x 2, Snark III Silver, DA, Healthways, DA Non Mag
NAVED #205

User avatar
luis
VDH Moderator
Posts: 1654
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:28 pm
First Name: Luis
Location: Maine

Re: New From VDH

Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:13 pm

ebj wrote: It's about time we had a flat plate!! I've been using the crossed strap method on my aluminum backplate for several years, and along with a crotch strap it keeps the tank tight to my back with no movement.
I have used a number of flat plates in many occasions, from Healthways, Seacraft, and several others including a vintage home made one.

There is no question that a nicely contour back pack can be very comfortable for some divers if it fits well, but the flat plate will fit many more divers with minimal, if any, compromise in comfort and with many tradeoff advantages.

ebj wrote: Is there a possibility of making the tank band slots shorter? I can see the bands sliding up a bit when changing tanks out offshore.
I made the slots long to add flexibility in accommodating tank (valve height) and a number of different potential BC wings. In my experience, with the use of two tank bands the tank can be made very secure.

In addition to the double security, the two tank band allows one band to hold the plate in place while the diver tightens the other band. This may sound like a cumbersome two step process, but I find it to be quicker than adjusting a single tank band while holding the back pack in place.

I do a substantial amount of boat diving and having the two strap security I think is the only way to go (in a new design). I have my personal process of moving the regulator and back pack as a unit to the new tank, on rocking boats (and the good dive masters, like in Cozumel, know when not to interfere, and when to assist :) ).

I tend to avoid the use of single tank straps, except on some of my vintage back packs that are pre-adjusted exclusively for use with only steel 72’s.

Note: I personally also use the lower tank band with two weight pockets. I add about 4 pounds to the typical rental aluminum tank for it to balance in the water closer to a steel tank.

ebj wrote: I just drill small holes in my plate that line up with the holes in my wing and use zip ties to hold the wing in place. This is easy to do with an aluminum plate.
I like the idea of using plastic tie-straps to hold the wing while positioning the unit on the tank. The use of metallic hardware on the aluminum plates concerns me a little. Not so much because of galvanic corrosion, but because a tight countersunk screw will have more tendency to hold salt under the screw head and cause corrosion. A tie-strap (or something similar) would allow for better rinsing. It is not a big issue, but I like to plan for long term durability.

The job of the tie strap would only be to hold the wing until the plate is secured against the tank. This is only a convenience and doesn’t require a highly reliable fastener.

Thanks
Luis

Buceador con escafandra autónoma clásica.

User avatar
sitkadiver
Master Diver
Posts: 456
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:30 pm
First Name: Dave
Location: Sitka, Alaska

Re: New From VDH

Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:52 pm

I will be ordering one. Thanks.
I do not believe in taking unnecessary risks, but a life without risk is not worth living. - Charles Lindbergh

User avatar
SurfLung
Master Diver
Posts: 1599
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:03 pm
First Name: Eben
Location: Alexandria, MN
Contact: Website

Re: New From VDH

Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:11 pm

- BRAVO! Just what I've been needing! I recently got a 1960 Aqualung "Bac-Pac" that I think is the only back plate/back pack ever designed specifically for double hose regulator positioning. I thought it was my "solution" but have discovered it has to slide over the tank valve... And my valves don't fit the opening. I got it on a tank by removing the valve but it sort of defeats the portability. Here's what I'm talking about:
ImageImage
- After all these years, somebody has once again made a back plate especially for double hose regulators... I'll definitely be ordering your new VDH back plate!
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

User avatar
luis
VDH Moderator
Posts: 1654
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:28 pm
First Name: Luis
Location: Maine

Re: New From VDH

Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:37 pm

That back pack was also called the Dolphin pack. I have a couple of them and used to use them a lot back in the 70’s.

The pack was only designed to fit steel 72 and was always a pain to move it to another tank. The plastic band broke in many of them.

I liked the material of the shoulder straps, but did not like how far apart they are mounted on the pack and how low they start on the tank. The top of the tank tend to move side to side with that harness arrangement.

I did include my experience with that back pack as more information on what I thought would be good ideas and what ideas were not so good.
Luis

Buceador con escafandra autónoma clásica.

crimediver
Master Diver
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:38 am
Location: Richmond, Va

Re: New From VDH

Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:49 pm

Nice looking plate and the price is in the ballpark!

Popeye
Master Diver
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 4:37 pm
Location: Panama City Beach,Florida

Re: New From VDH

Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:11 am

Luis,
Put a zinc on it.

User avatar
captain
Plank Owner
Posts: 1400
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:32 am
Location: LaPlace, LA

Re: New From VDH

Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:12 pm

SurfLung wrote:- BRAVO! Just what I've been needing! I recently got a 1960 Aqualung "Bac-Pac" that I think is the only back plate/back pack ever designed specifically for double hose regulator positioning. I thought it was my "solution" but have discovered it has to slide over the tank valve... And my valves don't fit the opening. I got it on a tank by removing the valve but it sort of defeats the portability. Here's what I'm talking about:
ImageImage
- After all these years, somebody has once again made a back plate especially for double hose regulators... I'll definitely be ordering your new VDH back plate!
You can't slide the pack straight down directly over the J valve but you can get it on by putting it over J valve first and spreading the band to slip around the tank.
Captain

21
Master Diver
Posts: 536
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:53 am
Location: Central California

Re: New From VDH

Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:20 pm

In the late 1950s, Seacraft of Wilmington Mass, produced and marketed three models identified as a "Backplate" and indeed they were "Back plates." Flat with holes for attachment of cylinders,harnesses etc
They were listed in their catalogs as as follows:

*** A320 single back plate............................................. .......$15.95

*** A321 double, -or single-tank set up................................ $21.95

*** A322 Triple tank set up for three 40 cuft tanks...............$24.95

The units VDH will be marketing are modern improved copies of the A320 single back plate.

FYI

About 1957-8 US divers surplused all their 40 cuft clyinders indentified in the US Divers catalog as #0701, H3- 2250 PSI , 5" X 23", 14-1/2 pounds. As single tanks they were commonly idenified and marketed as as women's tanks, when manifolded as three clylinders they were often idnetified and marketed as Navy Units - # 0608-FJ3.

The local dive shop owner, Bob Ruetherford ( Sea Sabres Signaling System, Legends of diving, www.portagequarry.com) purchased every one of the #0701s at a bargin price, some how Bob discovered Seacraft and their Back Plates and created the Orange County twin 44s (40cuft with 10% overfill)

I was a friend and neighbor of Bob (for you who are familar with Orange county, California, Bob lived on the corner of Brookhurst and Cerritos, I lived a half block away on Cerritos--Tommy Thompson a few streets south and south of Tommy was Fred Roberts-small world!)

Bob checked his sucker list and I was near the top so he sold me one of the first sets of "OC twin 44s." After a few dives I was hooked and begged for another set which I purchased for considerably more than the original set. As time went by I purchased several other sets, and now have 4 sets.
The Seacraft back plates are in my estimation one great secrets of the diving world. They are the most comfortable units ever designed and certainly most versible. Over the past fifty plus years I have modified and used them with a variety of PFV, BIUs, and Vests, all very adaptable and still very comfortable to dive.

The A322 tripple tank unit,(which I think mine are) is especially well suited for the double tank configuration. Once the clyinders are secured to the back plate via hose clamps it is an absolutely solid unit with no movement with the valve connections. I have used them with pig tails which I preferr as well as a normal double manifold with reserve..rock solid.

SDM

Return to “Modern Era Double Hose Diving”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests