DIY Reusable Breakaway / Magnetic Retainers for Regulator Necklace, Hoses, Bolt-Snaps, Accessories, etc.

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SlugMug

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For about a year, I've been looking for a good solution for retainers, clips, breakway clips, etc. Retractors suck, and are expensive. Magnetic retainers usually suck, have limited uses, and are expensive. Bolt-snaps are great, but you may want a breakaway feature in some contexts. The zip-tie-plus-o-ring method of making a breakaway connection is pretty good, but not reusable, and may leave you with a dangling regulator.

For example: it's convenient to have your primary regulator on a necklace, and secondary regulator on a bolt-snap, on a chest-d-ring. However in an emergency, you or your dive-buddy may need that regulator FAST, and may not have the luxury of fumbling with clips while wearing gloves while panicking, etc. The necklace, in rare circumstances, could also be an entanglement or choking hazard. (Mostly I find it annoying at the very end of a dive, when doffing gear.)

Anyway, I found the perfect item, and it's inexpensive. Get some "Silicone Magnetic Cable Ties" You can usually get a pack of about 20x for $20 or less, and have tons of uses!

Breakaway necklace:

Step 1: Cut about 24-inches of bungie.
Step 2: Tie a knot on one side of the bungie.
Step 3: Tie a magnetic cable-tie to the other end of the bungie.
Step 4: Use a normal (plastic) zip-tie place around the regulator mouth-piece, and don't tightened all the way yet.
Step 5: Tuck the knotted end of your bungie underneath on one side of the mouthpiece.
Step 6: Tuck a second magnetic-cable tie un the opposite side of the mouth-piece. You can now tighten the cable-tie.
Step 7: For a slightly more secure magnetic-connection between your two magnetic cable-ties, alternate the magnets.
Step 8: To tighten or adjust the necklace, pull the end of the bungie under the zip-tie.


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Breakaway Bolt-Snap:

Step 1: Secure/tie one of the magnetic cable ties around your regulator near the mouthpiece.
Step 2: Secure/tie another magnetic cable tie around a bolt-snap.
Step 3: Alternate the magnets for a stronger connection.
Step 4: You're already done, but I can make up steps if you really want me to.

There are tons of other uses, but I think that's enough for this initial post.

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A ScubaBoard Staff Message...

Added by request of OP:
The magnets I linked are rather strong. I just did some testing with two brands I have:

* Option 1
* Option 2 - slightly stronger

 

Alaskan Scuba Dude

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Why make it more complicated than it needs to be?


 
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SlugMug

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Why make it more complicated than it needs to be?


What I posted is rather simple, but I also get people who want to buy something off the shelf. DIY has it's pros and cons, and some of us just enjoy DIY no matter how practical or impractical it may be.

The dive-rite regulator necklace though, I'd suggest merely tying a piece of bungie-cord. $9 is not bad, but you can do the same for about $0.30 in about 2 minutes. A length of bungie and two knots.

The necklace I posted has two advantages; being breakaway and adjustable. The breakaway is sometimes useful when doffing gear, and I use the adjustable a lot, as it makes it so I don't have to worry about my regulator slipping out or biting my reg-mouthpiece.
 

-JD-

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Great Idea!

With clip-on hose breakaways $15+ and only available from a few sources ...
I've always been leery of the tie & o-ring - finding the rite balance of strength and needing to check/replace ...
I was back to using "octoholders" which never seem to actually hold ...

Trying some of these because the length seems about right and the little loop should work well with a fastening cable tie or line/bungie tie to retain when separated:
 
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SlugMug

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Great Idea!

With clip-on hose breakaways $15+ and only available from a few sources ...
I've always been leery of the tie & o-ring - finding the rite balance of strength and needing to check/replace ...
I was back to using "octoholders" which never seem to actually hold ...
Right, the o-rings either are often much tougher or weaker than expected, and break-down with repeated exposure to water. And if they break mid-dive, it's rather inconvenient to re-secure your regulator.

I have a variety of those octo-holders you mentioned.... and they're fine, but I've ended up not using most of them for one reason or another. Probably the main reason, is they're generally bad for regulator-switching, which all divers should be practicing on a regulator basis :rolleyes: for safety reasons. As a sidemount diver, switching isn't practice, it's diving. For the octo, anything which covers the mouthpiece opening is an automatic "no" along with anything you cannot easily clip and unclip.

Here's a few retainers I found in my save-a-dive kit. (I've got a ton more styles in misc-storage boxes, many are garbage). The necklace is okay. The silicone-rings are fine too, but need a different clip (which can be done, see photos below).
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Trying some of these because the length seems about right and the little loop should work well with a fastening cable tie or line/bungie tie to retain when separated:
Amazon embeds are broken on SB, but I put B07XYWVCMJ in amazon search. Those used with zip-ties would probably work great because of that hole, so it gets my stamp-of-approval. The ones I'm using are B08ZXQ3YLV.
 

Zef

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Wait a sec....who is recommending that one should dive with their primary 2nd stage on a necklace and their backup clipped off with a bolt snap?

The convention of "primary donate" is to dive with the backup 2nd stage on a necklace and the primary in the divers mouth...because many will incorporate a longer hose (commonly from 40" to 84") to this setup the tendency is to add a bolt snap to hose of the primary 2nd stage....the reason for the bolt snap is to stow the primary 2nd stage before and after the dive so that the 2nd stage does not smack the ground when taking off ones gear.... In a "air sharing" scenario, the diver providing the air will switch to the back up on the necklace and "donate" their primary 2nd stage to the diver needing air. In this configuration there is no need to figure out how to "resecure" the donated regulator because the one on the necklace is just dropped from the mouth as the returned primary 2nd stage is placed back in the mouth...nothing to fiddle with.

There is a caveat to the above and it is technical diving when one is diving with multiple cylinders (stage bottles)....when diving in this configuration, the primary 2nd stage may be clipped off to a chest D-ring when switching to the 2nd stage of a stage bottle.

Regardless of recreational or technical diving, the prudent recommendation is to connect the bolt snap to the regulator in a manner that can be cut or broken free in an entanglement scenario....those who also heed the recommendation to dive with at least one cutting device, located where it can be accessed by either hand, are fairly well equipped to cut the cord, ziptie, or other means they use to attach the boltsnap to the regulator hose.

For recreational diving, I would expressly not recommended diving with either 2nd stage clipped off by a bolt snap.

-Z
 

Gone for diving

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He is not talking primarily donate...
It's a hopped up version of receational diving...

My buddy runs a necklace on his primary.... he never needs to look for it.
The secondary reg sits on the triangle like padi says... but for some reason it never seems to stay in the retainer... so a breakaway bolt snap sounds good to me....

But for me its a long hose primarily donate... any day of the week
 
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SlugMug

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Wait a sec....who is recommending that one should dive with their primary 2nd stage on a necklace and their backup clipped off with a bolt snap?
This is a DIY thread, and these magnetic attachments can be used in countless ways depending on your preferred gear configuration, and not just for regulators (ex: securing SPG, inflator-hose, cutting-devices, etc). There are plenty of threads out there debating correct gear setups, safety, long-hose, primary-donate, and so-on. I will simply answer why my setup is the way it is, and ask we remain on-topic, or start a new discussion.

---

I dive Sidemount, often solo. With sidemount, you technically have two primaries, and are switching regulators frequently. There are a few ways to configure regs (and sidemounting.com shows a few), however the important thing is that your regs are easy to find and swap. (which IMO, every diver should consider) Using a config with a necklace on one side, and bolt-snap on the other clipped to chest is fairly common. If you hate regulator-necklaces, you might clip on both left and right sides.
  • My left "primary" tank regulator is short-hose, on a necklace, and a moderate blue color.
  • My right tank is on a bright-green 7ft long-hose, hose tucked under bungies on tank, reg clipped by my right collar-bone d-ring.
Many people do sidemount with proper long-hose donate side-mount, but I'm usually solo. Personally, I tell dive-buddies (when not solo) to always grab (not ask) the reg attached to a bright-green hose, whether it's on my right-chest, or in my mouth. The necklaced-regulator will therefore always be below my chin, or in my mouth, even in the event of being kicked out of my mouth. I can even tighten the necklace to ensure it doesn't fall out of my mouth in an emergency.

However, if my left-reg is unavailable, right-reg takes a mere 1-2 second longer to find, as it's clipped to my chest d-ring. (I can actually breathe my right-regulator while clipped, but breakaway is better).
 

-JD-

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Amazon embeds are broken on SB, but I put B07XYWVCMJ in amazon search. Those used with zip-ties would probably work great because of that hole, so it gets my stamp-of-approval. The ones I'm using are B08ZXQ3YLV.
The embeds seem to be browser/OS sensitive for some reason.

I saw the (B08ZXQ3YLV)

I was thinking of these (B09DYJF8Y7)
for other applications like you have been doing - more for less ...
 

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