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Sidemount gear configuration practices - 4 questions

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by Colliam7, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Progen

    Progen Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Malaysia
    503
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    Interesting. I might have to give that a try. Have to admit that I am a sheep and have been doing all along what I had been taught which was to have both valve handles facing out so left 1st stage will be facing up and the right one down. Left SPG will be on top and right SPG below. No problems so far.
     
  2. ShootnStr8

    ShootnStr8 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location:
    21
    5
    3
    1. I use a 7 foot hose on the left side. It goes over the back of my neck and feeds the reg with a 90 from the right side. It has a bungee necklace. The right tank has a 20 inch octo hose. It stays under the inner tube bands until I use it.



    2. I use a 90 on the left and nothing on the right.


    3. In the winter, when the 7mm farmer john makes me as nibble as the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, I use the traditional bungee method. I find it easier than the Dive Rite ring loop bungee system which I prefer to use with lighter suits. I only use AL80s and they all have 2 inch brass rings around the neck. When using the ring loop bungee system with the lighter suits I use a large snap bolt to connect the ring from the ring system to the ring on the neck.


    I use a cam band with a belt keeper holding a piece of paracord. The paracord is tied as short as possible to a large snap bolt. The snap bolt connects to a D ring on the backplate harness belt.



    4. Valves are 90 degrees away from my body.
     
  3. victorzamora

    victorzamora Solo Diver

    3,021
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    I really didn't mean it grumpy. I just meant it as reasons against. He said he saw no reasons against, although there are many. There are also many reasons for, as you noted. Diving with two long hoses would be standard if there were no arguments against it....and wouldn't ever be seen if there were no arguments for it.

    However, I truly DO believe it to be a skills deficiency. The reason most often quoted is to not have to take the time to donate the longhose if clipped off. That should be trained to be quick enough to donate before panic. And, like I've said before, anybody that freaks out and grabs at a reg in a cave situation isn't someone trained well enough for me to want to dive with. There's NO reason for them not to signal, first....and there's NO reason to have the buddy that close to begin with.

    This is pretty funny, in my opinion. I think it's the exact opposite. I believe if sidemount had developed first, we'd be diving Kelly's method of two SHORT hoses. Why? Both divers have redundancy with NO failure modes wiping out both tanks. There's little-to-no need to donate if everyone is diving independent gas sources.
     
    Omisson likes this.
  4. KodyWalley

    KodyWalley Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    26
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    Yup no hard feelings I am very confident in my diving abilities! I started with the long hose because I did my tec 40 training in twins just before sidemount was becoming popular here, and have carried that onto sidemount. Obviously there are different configurations for different environments, as you mentioned trading tanks in an open water column situation it is probably just easier to breathe from a long hose. That being said I shall not wrap it around my neck anymore, and will try switching to a 5" hose length or at least borrowing a reg with a 5" hose and try it out, for a happy medium to do wreck pen and open water shenanigans.
     
  5. karstdvr

    karstdvr Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: South GA
    1,853
    624
    113
    I think there is a weakness in the sidemount configuration that is being used. There is a desire to move the back mount configuration and thinking to having tanks on your side,but no manifold. Where in backmount in an OOA emergency,the OOA diver moves to the long hose,and the donor uses the short hose,this is great because the tanks are linked together for one large gas supply. Hence if the long hose tank has 1500 psig and the short hose has 2500 psig,and there is an issue at near maximum penetration,then exiting could be complicated. I feel if sidemount divers want to use a long hose,no problem,but they need two. Having two 7ft hoses wrapped around your neck will become a charlie foxtrot,so that is why I go with the two 5ft hoses.
     
  6. gearhound

    gearhound Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    323
    182
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    Karstdvr,
    If you're at max penetration with 1500 in one tank and 2500 in the other, then it is a skills problem. You have not been monitoring or managing your air properly. If you're diving aluminums, then you've violated thirds on the one side. If you're diving HP steels, then you've definitely violated thirds. Even diving LP steels (assuming a 2600 fill), you've violated thirds (but you haven't penetrated very far). This is not a diver I would want to go cave diving with.
    Now don't get me wrong, if you want to dive two long hoses, go ahead. Myself, I don't see the need. It seems to me that the majority of open water divers are taught with two shorter hoses. Thousands of instructors and DMs dive this way each day. They are taught to donate their octo in an OOA situation. On more than one occasion, I've had another diver on my octo. Why, now at the tec level, are we saying we cannot figure out how to donate the long hose that is clipped to a d-ring? Should divers at this level not be more experienced and squared away?
    I'm with Victor on this one. In fact, if we're not diving in a mixed team, we cave dive with two short hoses.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
    Omisson and tiki_bill like this.
  7. karstdvr

    karstdvr Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: South GA
    1,853
    624
    113
    You are right and this is a skills issue. This gas level has happened,and fortunately without the OOA scenario. This being said I don't want to be caught in a CTJ moment because I discover the person I am diving with is complacent with their gas management. The key point is that the attitude of manifolded doubles has not completely eluded the sidemount configuration transition,such that gas for a safe exit can completely come from the long hose. In overhead community there is no standardized point at which to make a gas switch,so there is no guarantee what gas levels there is in each tank if you have an emergency,other than trusting your dive buddy. The prevailing attitude that has existed is 1/3 for the dive,1/3 for the exit,and the other 1/3 belongs to my dive buddy,but this isn't concrete axiom with sidemount divers because at a given time,more gas can have been expended from the long hose tank (aka your gas for a safe exit). I am not arguing on behalf of 2 long hoses versus 1 long/short hose,but playing devil's advocate,and having people realize in predive planning you need to know what exactly your buddy will be doing with YOUR tank.
    Can we count on this? Majority of sidemount divers at the tech level bought a sidemount harness and hardware,and presto they are a sidemount diver. This goes back to what I was saying,many dive traditional manifolded doubles scenario,but with tanks on their side,but many of the gas nuances have eluded them.
     
  8. kwinter

    kwinter Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Jersey
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    Just because simple OW setup is a short hose and a short octo doesn't mean that's a good configuration for an overhead or confined space. I can't imagine trying to exit a tight space with someone connected to me that closely. I agree with Kelly that 2 long hoses wrapped around your neck would be inviting disaster, which is why my hoses are stuffed. And 5 footers are probably sufficient.

    As for Victor's comment about not diving with someone who isn't patient enough to wait for the long hose to be deployed and choosing buddies more carefully, I can only say from personal experience that it isn't always your diving buddy that grabs the second stage from your mouth. I had it happen to me by surprise by an exiting diver when I was on my way in.
     
  9. gearhound

    gearhound Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    323
    182
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    Kwinter, re the octo, what I was trying to convey, is that open water divers can donate their octo, but some people seem to be saying a cave diver can't donate a clipped off long hose. At that level, I'm sure they've practiced s-drills and continue to :wink:

    In open water, the long hose isn't that necessary, but is convenient. There's no restrictions to go through.

    In your circumstance, if an exiting diver grabbed the reg out of my mouth, I would switch to the other regulator whether it was on a long or short hose. Obviously we are not in a restriction, or else we wouldn't be passing each other. It could be a short hose, because we would be face to face. Once the OOA diver has air, the emergency is over. If he isn't on my long hose, we can just switch regs at that point.
     
  10. Progen

    Progen Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Malaysia
    503
    79
    28
    Thread's getting interesting because I'd thought all along that having a short hose on the left and long on the right with both coming from the right of the neck was 'standard' practice. :D
     

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