Luis, not sure if it's just me, but I keep seeing something saying please update your account to enable 3rd party hosting. Has an analog gauge with 3rd party hosting usage at 100% from photobucket.... Any chance you'd switch those pix over to facebook so we can see them again?
On the UTD manifold issue. Here are the main ones for sidemount that are obviously completely somewhat unrelated to double hose diving
The concept itself is great, however like has been said, it is an equipment solution to a skills problem, and trying to force a paradigm from one gear configuration into another. No different than BSAC refusing to allow primary donate period *unless you have training in primary donate from another agency that it recognizes, which hilariously GUE is not one of...* because you can't primary donate on a rebreather. UTD believes so strongly in primary donate and always donate what you are breathing that they forced that backmount principal into sidemount. Best part of that is that when you are doing big open circuit cave dives, like expedition level, you are almost never on your backgas to begin with.
Tanks still have to be "switched". The IP imbalance that is going to happen will cause a bias on one tank vs the other if they are both open. As such, you have to fully shut down and ultimately purge one tank unless you use an inline shutoff. This is clunky and annoying. There is no provision for some sort of switch block like you see on a Kirby Morgan helmet or some rebreathers.
QC connectors are required in order to keep the manifold system attached to the bcd and the tanks separate. These are big, clunky, and expensive for the ones that allow breathing volumes through.
Almost of the leak points are still behind your head where you can't see them and up until recently there was no way to isolate one side from the other in the event of a second stage or LPI failure.
For the vintage double hose. Anyone have one of those old sherwood manifolds that they'd be willing to loan out? maybe a set of bands if they use a non-standard doubles spacing? Will set up a set of doubles and get deep this summer