Bp/w 101

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ams511

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As a follow up, the Halcyon and UTD have a second stationary belt which allows the diver to attach lights and pockets to it and not have them move when the harness is adjusted. The other ones don't allow for this, so anything attached to the waist belt will move. Some items such as pockets and weight pockets attach to the plate and have loops were the waist harness slides through, these will not move when the belt is adjusted.
 

Eric Sedletzky

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I looked at the Oxycheq soft plate pretty critically and to me it works, but it doesn't work that well.

Here are the problems:
The only 'rigid' part are where the cam buckles attach the plate to the tank and the section in between the cam bands. That is the only part that's truly rigid. The section between the top cam band and where the shoulder straps exit the plate, that section is flexible and prone to twisting and moving.
The sections in between from where the lower cam band attaches to the outer harness attachment points is also flexible, and the flexing happens from the tank all the way to the lower outer slots allowing the tank to roll side to side even with the harness cinched tight.
However, there are limits to the maximum amount of movement until the system corrects itself, but there is a wide area of allowable movement. If a diver is OK with this movement and understands that these soft plates are like this then fine.
But they're not going to be as stable as a completely rigid plate which holds all the harness attachment points in complete rigid alliance with the tank in it's entirety.

I've experimented with doing away with the plate completely and just using the tank alone as a rigid component (the tank is the plate), and even this works better that a soft plate since the harness attachment points go directly to a hard point (the tank). The limiting factor is the wing in this situation; most wings don't have slots wide enough apart (side to side and top to bottom) to make this idea work well. It requires modifying the spacing of the slots to where the cam bands going through the wings slots is in an ideal position to hold the shoulder and waist straps in the proper position.

I'll try and post a pic of what I'm talking about for those who are interested.
 

dmaziuk

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I have the Kent Tooling slider, I like it a lot, I only use on one side, it makes getting in and out of my harness when diving dry with heavy undergarments and thick dry gloves so much easier. Also I'm oldish so not as flexible as I once was. I'd recommend under similar circumstances.
I've the subgravity one, also on one side only. It makes life easier even if flexibility isn't a factor.
 

ams511

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I looked at the Oxycheq soft plate pretty critically and to me it works, but it doesn't work that well.

Here are the problems:
The only 'rigid' part are where the cam buckles attach the plate to the tank and the section in between the cam bands. That is the only part that's truly rigid. The section between the top cam band and where the shoulder straps exit the plate, that section is flexible and prone to twisting and moving.
The sections in between from where the lower cam band attaches to the outer harness attachment points is also flexible, and the flexing happens from the tank all the way to the lower outer slots allowing the tank to roll side to side even with the harness cinched tight.
However, there are limits to the maximum amount of movement until the system corrects itself, but there is a wide area of allowable movement. If a diver is OK with this movement and understands that these soft plates are like this then fine.
But they're not going to be as stable as a completely rigid plate which holds all the harness attachment points in complete rigid alliance with the tank in it's entirety.

I've experimented with doing away with the plate completely and just using the tank alone as a rigid component (the tank is the plate), and even this works better that a soft plate since the harness attachment points go directly to a hard point (the tank). The limiting factor is the wing in this situation; most wings don't have slots wide enough apart (side to side and top to bottom) to make this idea work well. It requires modifying the spacing of the slots to where the cam bands going through the wings slots is in an ideal position to hold the shoulder and waist straps in the proper position.

I'll try and post a pic of what I'm talking about for those who are interested.

Eric,

The purpose of this thread was to provide information for a sticky for new divers thinking about getting a backplate and wing, not to debate the advantages and disadvantages of fabric plates. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have personally used the Oxycheq soft plate and found it less stable than a hard plate, but not as bad as either you or Dan have made it out to be. However, please look through the Express Tech thread, there seems to be plenty of happy divers with a rig based on a soft plate. The purpose of the soft plate is not to replace the hard plate but to have a lower weight option for traveling.

As far as doing away with the plate completely, this was done before in the early days of diving. I am sure you are aware of this. My only experience with vintage diving is watching Sea Hunt episodes, but watching those episodes the single tanks are not stable with a tank harness. Not only do they roll but they also move off axis and are not longer parallel to the diver's spine.

If you are looking to design a travel plate then I would make a flat plate like the old Jet plate or the VDH plate and then cut it out like a dog bone plate or drill out holes to lighten it up. This would be stable and be flat for packing.
 

Pullmyfinger

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I have an Oxycheq fabric backplate.......it is as Dan Volker says it is.

---------- Post added August 30th, 2015 at 04:55 AM ----------

OP,
Perhaps add to your list of back plate materials the lightweight plate made by Deep Sea Supply.
They make one from Kydex, that is reinforced with stainless steel riveted to the Kydex.

Nice write up, it will be useful to beginners.

Cheers,
Mitch
 

danvolker

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The Halcyon Traveler BC
[video=youtube;MQnut3zLmUo]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQnut3zLmUo[/video]

Start at 1:21 in


  • The whole Traveler system - backplate, harness including comfort pads, wing and tank straps weighs in at just 3kg or 6 pounds, only 300g heavier than a Halcyon stainless steel backplate! The key to the Halcyon Traveler's low weight is the revolutionary backplate, made from PA6 Nylon includes a deep groove that acts as a single tank adapter and has cinch harness molded into the backplate.The integrated single tank adapter dramatically reduces overall weight and keeps the cylinder extremely close to the divers back.

    The backplate also holds four weight pouches that can hold a total of 6kg of ditch-able ballast, transforming the nylon backplate into one heavy enough to provide adequate weight for most wet suited divers without the need for a heavy and uncomfortable weight belt. The integrated cinch harness allows the user to easy enter and exit the system as the straps can be infinitely adjusted with a simple pull in the right direction, it also provides the correct fit at all times even if worn with different suits or even different divers. The Halcyon Traveler BC also features an adjustable crotch strap for the perfect fit.
    The Halcyon Traveler BC System is not modular like the rest of the Halcyon line and is therefore only for use with a single cylinder. If a lightweight, modular system is use have a look at the Infinity and Eclipse systems.

    Halcyon Traveler BC System Overview:
    • Entire system weighs in at 3kg / 6pounds
    • Black, hardcoat anodized aluminum d-rings for reduced weight
    • Unique backplate mounted weight pockets
    • Integrated Cinch quick-adjust system
    • Padded shoulder and back pads for excellent comfort even when not wearing a suit
    • 30lb / 14kg wing made from 1000-denier Cordura
    • For use with a single tank only
 

Eric Sedletzky

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A soft fabric pack shouldn't even be in this thread because it's technically not a plate. A plate is hard, as in you can knock on ot it with your knuckles. If soft tank support systems are going to be included in a sticky about BP/W then all the other soft support systems like standard back inflates with soft packs inside should be too.
What sets BP/W apart from the rest IS the hard backplate portion of the unit.
A soft pack IS NOT a backplate, I don't care what the manufacturers say.
Just because it threads up like a hard plate and can use the same wings doesn't make it a BP/W. It's a SP/W, or in my opinion a POS/W.
 

ams511

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I have an Oxycheq fabric backplate.......it is as Dan Volker says it is. -

A different point of view from another thread:

I have an Oxycheq ultralite BP that I dive with an 18# Oxycheq wing, plus a crotch strap, and it's extremely stable. I only dived briefly with a SS plate, but I don't recall it being any more stable than the ultralite. I'm now looking at getting rid of my DSS kydex plate as it's way too heavy for travel now compared to the Oxycheq.


---------- Post added August 30th, 2015 at 06:53 PM ----------

Of course Halcyon has you covered :)

And I have dived Zeagles...too sloppy for precision control.

The Halcyon backplate is nylon not carbon fiber. Please post a link for a non-custom carbon fiber backplate available in the U.S.

---------- Post added August 30th, 2015 at 07:00 PM ----------

A soft fabric pack shouldn't even be in this thread because it's technically not a plate. A plate is hard, as in you can knock on ot it with your knuckles. If soft tank support systems are going to be included in a sticky about BP/W then all the other soft support systems like standard back inflates with soft packs inside should be too.

This is your opinion. A backplate and wing is a modular system. If someone wants to swap out their metal plate for a fabric one to make it more travel friendly then they can. You cannot add a hard plate to to a typical rear-inflate recreational BC. If the OP wants to then he could add a blurb about Transpac, IQ pac, and the like.
 

Pullmyfinger

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I am surprised that someone felt the DSS Kydex plate was "way too heavy for travel" compared to anything. I no longer own a DSS kydex plate, since I don't dive in warm enough water to need one; as I recall it was pretty light weight. Less that 2 lbs. I suppose.

Of course a fabric/padded is going to be lighter than most anything else out there. However, I think any weight savings going from a DSS Kydex plate to the Oxycheq ultralight is negligible.

As far as providing any structure or support, it does not.
It's literally some Cordura nylon covering what seems to be a thin layer of dense foam. So there is no structure at all.

If someone felt it was a good tradeoff to them, more power to them.
Just goes to show you.....don't take advice on the internet..........including mine.

To clarify my opinions: I owned the DSS Kydex, I sold it once I moved from Guam since I don't really dive warm water much.
I currently own the Oxycheq Ultralight (their foam/fabric) "backplate".

I stopped using it, because it left a lot to be desired.
I kept it for my Son to use, but have since bought a Dive Rite lightweight backplate. Their newer design with all of the cutouts, that is made from thinner stainless steel. It's light weight. similar to a Halcyon aluminum backplate.

The Oxycheq now sits in the closet.

As I said....I am agreement with Dan Volker's assessment of the product in question.
 

ams511

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Well, I guess paper plates are now in the same category as fine china, they're both called plates.I guess nothing is sacred anymore.

I am sure divers thought the same thing when single hose regulators replaced the double hose.

If you don't like a soft plate then don't use one but that doesn't mean it is not a plate. I also don't subscribe that it is a defective choice. The diver trades a slight loss of stability for a decrease in weight and ease of packing. Some divers may not want to make that trade off while some do.

You are a metal worker, why don't you come up with an inexpensive metal travel backplate.
 

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