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Russian and Ukrainian snorkels

Discussion in 'History of Diving Gear' started by David Wilson, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

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    Not only dative, and Russian often uses a dash as a "fill in the blank". It could be a possessive, too, but "youth's technology" wouldn't have a dash. :wink:

    Amazingly, there is a wikipedia article with an English stub that gives the correct translation. Otherwise I think the only way one can figure it out is if one's a native speaker.
     
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  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    I said in a previous post that I'll be tying up the loose ends by throwing in a mixed-bag of snorkels that may not even be Russian or Ukrainian at all but were owned by people in those countries during the Soviet era. I'll begin with pictures of breathing tubes that appeared in diving manuals but do not have an established commercial counterpart.

    Frontal snorkel
    59.jpg

    I am talking about the third snorkel illustrated above. The illustration appears in the Soviet diving manual posted at 2.6. Комплектующие изделия и принадлежности. The caption for the third snorkel reads "передняя с прямым загубником", which means "front-mounted with straight mouthpiece".

    A similar design appears in another Soviet manual that now appears to have disappeared from the Web:
    4.png
    Again, the relevant image is the third, with the caption "спортивная с прямым загубником" or "competition straight mouthpiece". A further explanation: "спортивная – перед лицом пловца и удерживается с помощью металлической планки с ремнем. Планка с внутренней стороны прокладывается пористой резиной и изгибается по форме лба", which translates as "Snorkels for competitive swimmers are positioned in front of the face and secured by a metal bracket with a strap. The bracket is lined with sponge rubber on the inside and bent in the shape of the forehead."

    And here's a third source for this style of snorkel:
    Shnorkhel.png
    This time the caption for the third image reads "для скоростного плавания в ластах" or "for competitive finswimming".

    Here's a fourth source, an article entitled "НОВАЯ ДЫХАТЕЛЬНАЯ ТРУБКА" or "A new breathing tube" in the Soviet diving magazine "Sportsmen Podvodnik" (Underwater Sportsman):

    English translation:

    An underwater swimmer’s oldest piece of equipment is believed to be a breathing tube. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) proposed using a hollow tube for extended stays under water and ‘breathing in the same way as elephants do when their trunks project above the surface.’ Now no one takes seriously the idea of using a breathing tube to increase time spent underwater. In the 1930s, Frenchman Maxime Fauré patented a breathing tube (or ‘snorkel’, as he called it) designed to make breathing easier for a swimmer while located on the surface. If you swim with a breathing tube, you do not have to raise or turn your head to breathe. The rhythm of breathing, the duration of inhalation and exhalation, is regulated by the swimmer arbitrarily, but breathing is not associated with the phase when his arms rise above the water while swimming crawl stroke. The swimmer’s movements become more symmetrical, his body better streamlined. The swimmer had the opportunity to observe continuously through the lens of the mask, without disturbing the rhythm of breathing.

    The hollow area within the breathing tube, however, creates additional breathing resistance, growing as the respiration rate increases. Hence the desire to reduce the length of the tube as much as possible to reduce its volume. The use of a variety of valve devices preventing water from entering the hollow area of the tube has not become widespread. Underwater swimmers prefer using the simplest tubes.

    Flutelike.png
    Fig. 1. A tube with a flutelike mouthpiece
    Goggles.png
    Fig. 2. A tube for speed swimming

    A breathing tube with a V-shaped bend, made of metal or plastic and fitted with a rubber mouthpiece, has become the most widespread. This design has been further developed into a steel tube with an offset (flutelike) mouthpiece (Fig. 1). There is no V-shaped elbow; the tube is shorter, easier for the head to retain, its volume slightly decreased. This tube is now used for underwater sightseeing and spearfishing.

    This design, however, does not satisfy swimmers now aspiring to top performances in speed swimming with fins. Our sprinters have begun in recent years to use breathing tubes located symmetrically in the centre of the face (Fig. 2). The tube is firmly retained by the head, enabling swimmers to dive in from the starting blocks and to complete high-speed ‘backflip’ turns with no risk of it being dislodged.

    Unfortunately, industry has not yet mastered the production of a new breathing tube model, and athletes are making their own. To do this, a section of tubing made from aluminium alloy, and often polyethylene or vinyl plastic, is used with an inner diameter of 20 to 22 mm and a length of 400 - 450 mm. One end of the tube has a sharp bend, the outlet end with a mouthpiece attached. A mouthpiece suggested by the DOSAAF underwater sports instructor V. I. Khokhlov is often used. This mouthpiece is held in the mouth in such a way that its orifice does not overlap with the teeth, does not reduce the airflow area, making it easier to breathe. The tube is attached to the head with a special bracket with a buckle made of a thin sheet stainless steel or a holder with a rubber strap. A soft foam or microporous rubber lining is glued on the underside of the bracket or holder. The tube can be used with or without a pair of underwater goggles. The slight deterioration in visibility has no significant impact, reducing drag when swimming and affording an opportunity to carry out complex movements that play a major role in achieving good results.

    B. Zerkaly, Yu Shmelev, Engineers

    Fifthly and finally, here's a variation on the picture of the "speed swimming tube":
    Goggles2.png
    Here the caption is "a pair of goggles and a snorkel located in the centre of the face. When swimming and diving at a high speed, sportsmen often use a pair of goggles and a snorkel located in the centre of the face."

    The frontal snorkel is, of course, nowadays exclusively associated with finswimming races and most of the sources above make the same association. In the Soviet Union, competitive finswimming was classified as an underwater sport and we all know how much the socialist countries valued athletic competition as a means of achieving world-class standards to rival the West. At the same time, it should not be overlooked that the frontal snorkel was not an uncommon configuration in mid-1950s British snorkelling:
    front snorkle.jpg
    The above image appeared in Kimmins' title "Underwater Sports on a Small Income" from 1956. Here's another example from the British Sub Aqua magazine "Neptune" (January 1956):
    CombinedMask-Tube.jpg
    I'll take a look at snorkels with flexible hoses in the context of Soviet diving in my next message.
     
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    I focus in this message on snorkels with plain and corrugated rubber elbows. I have not been able to determine their provenance, which may be foreign.

    Plain elbow
    2886135120.jpg
    1965195809.jpg
    0_c5b62_58a1dffa_XXXL.jpg

    Corrugated hose
    336793312_1_1000x700_maska-trubka-dlya-dayvngu-striy.jpg 2255969715.jpg
    2886116296.png

    Corrugated flexible-hose snorkels do appear in Soviet diving manual illustrations, e.g.
    trubka.jpg
    The accompanying text reads: "В магазинах продаются также полиэтиленовые трубки с изгибом, сделанным «гармошкой». Смотрятся они красиво, но если пловец выпустит на долю секунды загубник у такой дыхательной трубки изо рта, она принимает прямое положение, и подводнику надо несколько секунд, чтобы вернуть трубку в первоначальное положение. Если это произошло в том месте, где под водой есть какая-то растительность, распутавшийся линь от подводного ружья или, не дай бог, забытая кем-то сеть, то такого отклонения трубки может оказаться достаточно, чтобы зацепить загубником за препятствие. Если же все это случится при движении, трубка, зацепившись за что-нибудь, может быть потеряна. Подводный охотник «загруженный» подводным ружьем или тяжелой добычей, вынужденный плыть без трубки, держа голову над поверхностью воды, быстро устанет."

    Translation: "Stores also sell plastic tubes with ‘accordion’-type bends. They look nice, but if the swimmer releases the mouthpiece from his mouth even for a split second, the breathing tube will straighten out and, while underwater, the swimmer will need a few seconds to return the snorkel to its original position. If this happens somewhere underwater, where there is some vegetation to untangle when spear-gunning tench or, God forbid, someone’s forgotten fishing net, then the obstacle hooking on to the mouthpiece may be enough to cause such a snorkel malfunction. If all this happens while the swimmer is moving around, the snorkel catching on something may lead to its loss. An underwater hunter with a ‘loaded’ spear gun or a heavy catch, who has to swim without a snorkel, keeping his head above water, will tire quickly."

    So the writer isn't a fan of flexible-hose snorkels for underwater hunters. Another Russian spearfishing authority, Vitaly Vinogradov, doesn't agree and describes how to make such a snorkel from scratch at Виноградов:
    18-00001.jpg
    Russian: Загнутую часть покупной пластмассовой трубки вырезают и на это место вставляют отрезок гофрированной трубки длиной 15—18 сантиметров. Можно использовать гофрированный шланг от противогаза старого образца. Резиновую трубку притягивают к пластмассовой толстой капроновой ниткой, наложенной методом "виток к витку" на длине два сантиметра. После закрепления конца нитки весь шланг обмазывают водостойким клеем и прикрывают хлорвиниловой изолентой. Гофрированная часть трубки позволяет охотнику, находящемуся на поверхности, без помощи рук освободиться от загубника: надо только открыть рот и загубник выскакивает и уходит в сторону. Это удобно, если находясь в воде, необходимо обменяться с кем-то информацией или если по какой-то причине трубка перестала пропускать воздух и, только минуя ее, можно вдохнуть.

    Другое, еще большее достоинство такой модернизации в том, что гибкая часть трубки гасит постоянные колебания верхней ее части при плавании в густой траве. Вернее, не передает эти колебания на загубник и, в конечном счете, на внутреннюю поверхность губ пловца. Ранее, после многочасового плавания, загубник стирал кожу. И, наконец, проще пробиваться через густую траву и ветки, так как трубка при необходимости отгибается назад и ложится в плоскости движения охотника.

    Translation: Cut off the angled portion of a shop-bought plastic snorkel and replace it with a section of corrugated tubing, 15-18 centimetres in length. You can use the corrugated hose from a vintage gas mask. Attach the rubber tube to the plastic one by winding thick nylon thread with turn touching over a length of two centimetres. After securing the end of the thread, coat the whole hose with waterproof glue and cover it with vinyl tape. The corrugated portion of the tube allows the hunter to dispose of the mouthpiece on the surface with no hands: simply open your mouth and the mouthpiece comes out and drops away to the side. This comes in useful if you are in the water and you need to exchange information with anyone, or if the snorkel is no longer breathable for some reason and bypassing it enables breathing.

    Another even greater advantage of this renovation is that the flexible portion of the tube dampens the constant vibrations in its top part while swimming in dense grass, or rather, it does not transfer these vibrations to the mouthpiece, and, ultimately, to the inner surface of the swimmer’s lips. Previously, after hours of swimming, the mouthpiece would rub skin off. It is finally easier to penetrate dense grass and twigs with this snorkel, folded back if necessary and lying in the hunter’s plane of motion.

    That's all for the moment. Next time I'll move on to snorkels with valves in what may be the last message in this thread. Valved snorkels appear to have been home-made devices in Soviet times.
     
  4. iamrushman

    iamrushman Great White

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    i find this very interesting however i must ask what's in the containers around the grill?
     
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  5. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I was thinking the same thing. At first I thought that they were guavas but on closer inspection look some some kind of mollusc (?).
     
  6. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

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    Rapanas maybe, or some other type of whelk. I think there are/were rapanas in Black Sea, though I never seen them barbecued. But without knowing where the picture was taken, who knows.
     
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  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    Can't say for definite what the catch is, if catch it is. My first thought was Brussels sprouts, but closer examination indicated some kind of shellfish. I'm certain the original web page on Avito, Russia's equivalent of eBay, didn't leave me any wiser.

    Back to breathing tubes and this may be my last in this thread. I promised to post something about Soviet snorkels with valves, which was a do-it-yourself enhancement, not a commercial option as far as I have been able to ascertain.

    Snorkels with valves

    f_05_big.jpg
    The snorkels on the right of the above image are among the few I have been able to locate with fitted valves. I get the impression that there were plenty of valved snorkels on the USSR's drawing boards, but they never ended up in commercial production.

    Awareness of the limited benefits of valved snorkels
    Soviet diving and spearfishing manual writers were clearly aware of western forays into the manufacture of such snorkels as well as the disadvantages of such device enhancements:
    [​IMG]
    The illustration above is from a Soviet manual about diving equipment, whose Russian text you can access for yourself at Маски (полумаски, очки), дыхательные трубки, ласты. Here is a rough English translation; I have changed the lettering on the illustration from Cyrillic alphabetical order "е, ж, з, и, к, и, л" to Roman alphabetical order "f, g, h, i, j, k.":

    [​IMG]
    Fig. 22. Breathing tube design.

    Some breathing tubes have automatic safety valves at the top end, whose purpose is to prevent the ingress of water into the tube while diving (Fig. 22fgh). A number of such tubes (fig. 22, h) have a purge valve at the bottom, allowing water lodged in the tube to clear with each exhalation.

    We are aware of two types of safety valve: ball and float (Fig. 22ijk). The ball valve is the simplest, consisting of a rubber cage with side windows and a celluloid ball, which sits in its socket blocking access of water to the snorkel when the tube submerges. Use of a ball valve requires the top of the tube to bend over or to have a special nozzle, which increases inhalation resistance by 50- 60 mm of water and exhalation resistance by much more.

    The presence of automatic valves does not preclude the possibility of water entering the tube, which may result in undesirable consequences if it happens unexpectedly to the swimmer.

    The unreliability of automatic valves and their elevated breathing resistance restrict the use of breathing tubes with valves. Their primary use is in combination with masks, where the breathing tubes pass through the side or the top to the space within the mask, without ending in a mouthpiece (see Fig. 14ad).

    Valved snorkels as a do-it-yourself project
    Vitaly Vinogradov has written several books and articles on Soviet spearfishing, one of which contains a chapter about adding a mushroom valve to a snorkel. It is also online, at Виноградов, so I'll just provide here a rough rendering into English.

    Breathing tube with valve
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Fig. 6. Breathing tube: Valve - Mounting and stop for the valve - Elastic band for connecting the tube to the mask - Bandage - Corrugated rubber tube - Mouthpiece.
    This essential element of equipment takes on an entirely different form after all the proposed alterations and additions have been made (Fig. 6). Cut off the angled portion of a shop-bought plastic snorkel and replace it with a section of corrugated tubing, 15-18 centimetres in length. You can use the corrugated hose from a vintage gas mask. Attach the rubber tube to the plastic one by winding thick nylon thread with turn touching over a length of two centimetres. After securing the end of the thread, coat the whole hose with waterproof glue and cover it with vinyl tape. The corrugated portion of the tube allows the hunter to dispose of the mouthpiece on the surface with no hands: simply open your mouth and the mouthpiece comes out and drops away to the side. This comes in useful if you are in the water and you need to exchange information with anyone, or if the snorkel is no longer breathable for some reason and bypassing it enables breathing.

    Fig. 7. Dimensional drawing of valve. Cover (D16T). Rubber seal. Float (foam). Type A. 16 OMV. Valve base (D16T). Cover glued or welded to the base.
    Another even greater advantage of this renovation is that the flexible portion of the tube dampens the constant vibrations in its top part while swimming in dense grass, or rather, it does not transfer these vibrations to the mouthpiece, and, ultimately, to the inner surface of the swimmer’s lips. Previously, after hours of swimming, the mouthpiece would rub skin off. It is finally easier to penetrate dense grass and twigs with this snorkel, folded back if necessary and lying in the hunter’s plane of motion. The operating principle of the valve is simple: when descending, the foam float rises and presses the rubber seal into the holes, blocking them and preventing water from entering the tube. When ascending, the float drops down under its own weight along with the rubber seal, opening up all the holes.

    Fig. 8. Blueprint for valve attachment. “Mushroom”. Rubber seal. Insulating tape. Float. Studs for securing valve. Breathing tube.
    The dimensions in the figure have been selected using empirical evidence and tested in practice. The fundamental point in the design is the balance between the total volume of the bypass holes (4.5 mm) and the internal bore of the tube: the first should be equal to or greater than the second, otherwise there will be breathing difficulties. At first, the valve’s sole purpose, when submerged, was to prevent the snorkel from releasing air, whose gurgling sounds would scare the fish away. Later on, its other positive features emerged. For example, when ascending into very dense grass, it will almost certainly clog up a conventional snorkel and no breathing will be possible without removing the grass by hand. Worse still, you could end up surfacing under a layer of duckweed where breathing results in a portion of these small floating plants being sucked in with the air. The valve reliably prevents such misadventures.

    The invention, once again, is appreciated when beginning winter hunting. Indeed, what a ‘pleasure’ it is to rinse one’s teeth in icy water for a few hours. Although the valve is sufficiently streamlined, it still sometimes catches on the littoral branches of bushes. We have to pull the snorkel firmly out of its captivity. The valve, therefore, may come off the tube if it is not rigidly attached. Such incidents do happen. The proposed fastening is safe, reliable and very easy to put into practice. When installing the valve, the distance from the mushroom to the float at its fully lowered point should be chosen by experimentation in such a manner that a sharp intake of breath does not cause the rubber seal to be sucked on to the mushroom. The tube is anchored to the mask by a rubber loop specially cut in a figure of eight. This soft fastening prevents the transfer from the tube to the mask of jerks and vibrations that might otherwise displace the mask, allowing water to leak inside. Since this fastening is not immune to rupture at the most inappropriate moment, be sure to cut out two such rubber loops at the same time and simply put the second one on the tube for an emergency. It does not prevent the moment from happening, but it will come to the rescue. Finally, the tube must be on the left side of the mask, because the hunter has his speargun in his right hand, leaving his left hand free and, if necessary, able to hold back the tube or remove it from grasses or drain water out of the mask.

    Soviet patent for a snorkel with a valve
    Finally, here is a Soviet patent for a valved breathing tube:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Трубка для подводного плавания — SU 1694165

    I don't have an English translation this time, but hopefully the patent drawings will convey the drift. I am going to move on next to the masks, snorkels and fins produced elsewhere in pre-1990s Eastern Europe, starting probably with the German Democratic Republic, which we tend to call "East Germany".
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  8. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
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    David
    I have enjoyed your very informative posts.

    I sincerely hope that you will create a separate thread for the "Other European models"

    Keep up the good work it is appreciated

    <<<The mollusk appear to be similar - close cousins-- to "Kellet's Welk. very common in SoCal, also very edible >>>

    SAM MILLER III
     
  9. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

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    DRW,

    I think the patent drawings above show a much more complicated system than is necessary for good snorkeling. It also looks like the design introduces a lot of air resistance which would affect the work of breathing. Is there any evidence that this patent design was ever manufactured?

    SeaRat
     
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  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    All my findings about Soviet snorkels with valves are in this thread's 37th posting, John. I'm certainly unsurprised to hear that the patent design looks overengineered. It's my belief that no valved snorkel design wentt into commercial production in the Soviet Union.

    On the other hand, there will have been "do-it-yourself" efforts by individual Soviet spearfishermen such as the couple in the top right of the picture below reproduced from the same posting:
    f_05_big-jpg.425003.jpg
    Those snorkels look like commercially manufactured Soviet L-shaped models with home-made valves attached to the supply ends. Their "do-it-yourself" valving may have been inspired by, or indeed inspired, the "mushroom" design published by the leading Russian spearfishing authority Valentiny Vinogradov:
    18-00001.jpg 18-00002.jpg 18-00003.jpg
     

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