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UTD Z-side mount with isolatable manifold

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by eelnoraa, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    I believe the issue that the z-manifold attempts to address is that of mixed-teams. The donation would be to a back-mount diver, not another sidemounter.

    That the backmount diver would run out of air, wheras the sidemount diver wouldn't is due to the manifold. Solving that problem by putting the sidemount diver also into a manifold system seems illogical... or am I missing something? :wink:

    Of course, if a problem occurred during passage through a very tight restriction, then the option remains to simply hand-off a complete tank. The OOG diver progressing as per no-mount. But wait... you lose that option with the z-manifold..
    Johanan and nakatomi like this.
  2. TecDiveGear

    TecDiveGear ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NJ, USA

    Oh that's a very easy to critique in "constructive" way.

    First major emergency procedure problem: Basing on your drawing, in this case if you are breathing at the moment from break-able (will get to the break-able things later :) necklace if something goes wrong and you will be able in timely manner break away the necklace it probably will be fine (if you don't brake your neck by trying to brake whatever should be strong enough not to brake in normal diving) - BUT - when you switch to your right side long hose and something happens then donating this long hose will cause this hose to be stuck (blocked) underneath the necklace long hose which goes on top of the right one (your picture) and here is the huge problem of entangled hoses and complete chaos in this very already stressful situation !

    I'm assuming you dont wanna re-route the hoses every time you change the reg right ? Since that will be a complete circus.

    Thats why you put long hose on top of necklace regulator, why ? because you always donate the long hose which is always on top !

    Hope that solves you thinking path going toward two long hoses :)
  3. corvettejoe

    corvettejoe Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Orlando, FL
    That's what I dont understand... how does this make it better for the side mount diver... when the side mount diver STILL has a reg to donate to a back mount diver? It just makes the side mount diver have a LOT more points of failure.

    Ahh the fun of "innovation" :wink:
  4. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    Fair points.

    So what if the 'short hose/left-side regulator wasn't around the neck?

    Even around the neck... it's hardly a "huge problem". It's one hose crossing the other. That's a big problem with backmount donation, but it doesn't cause major obstruction given sidemount routing - the donated hose will pull through to its full length. It doesn't prevent the OOG diver accessing and deploying the long hose they need. Very easy to resolve...and nobody is going to drown, are they?

    It certainly sounds less risk-fraught than having a shut-down primary cylinder as you donate with the z-manifold. And, on balance of risk, the elimination of hose clutter and failure points is still vastly preferable (at least, it is for all those not involved in z-manifold sales or chewing the UTD pill...).

    I use a Manta-style necklace for my short hose sidemount. I dislike them for backmount, they work great for sidemount. No neck-snapping involved to release.

    As you are a z-manifold user/distributor... can I ask the rationale behind locating the manifold behind the diver? Why make it difficult to access?
  5. corvettejoe

    corvettejoe Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Orlando, FL
    unrelated to the main topic: I quit using a necklace because I got it tangled in an "OMG EVERYTHING BROKE AT THE SAME TIME" training situation once, so I just tuck my short hose into my chest strap now. Stows nicely, easy to deploy. Exact same setup works in backmount for me too. But this eliminates the above point he had should someone want to not use a necklace for fear of entanglement. I liked the necklace, but got used to just stuffing it in my chest strap and quit using it altogether.

    But to add to your comment...NEVER had an issue pulling it OUT of the necklace either.
  6. Tortuga68

    Tortuga68 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Puerto Galera, Philippines
    Not trying to stir the pot, but as a non-sidemount diver...

    So is it fair to say that if you're not diving in a mixed team, there's no need for the Z system?
    mathauck0814 likes this.
  7. OkByMe

    OkByMe Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Collierville, Tennessee, United States
    I remember when use of a rigid manifold to connect 2 or more tanks together was considered "risky" and if you look at some of the old manifolds, you can see why. The military had to, but the sport diving industry raised some eyebrows. Technology caught up to improve that situation and now you will find complete confidence in its' use, I know I do. In the old days you could just touch the manifold with a little lifting effort and cause a leak. Today, I use my manifolds to assist as a lifting method without a problem. That high strength stainless steel makes a difference.

    Manifolding tanks in side-mount is a convenient and do-able idea... It just needs some improvement to offer the the same reliability and isolation methods that the rigid manifold does. So the flexible manifold is in a state of development, needing some improvement and some will see it as "risky". The reliable technology is available, and someone is going to figure it out. It might just be me... I have been working on this idea for a while...

    I would like to see a low profile DIN block that screws into the DIN valve and the DIN regulator screws into the block. The block needs a shutoff valve to the regulator, while leaving the tank gas available to the isolation valve. For that matter, you could design a replacement tank valve instead of adding a block, just like the L/R rigid manifold valves. A quick disconnect with check valve, to remove the tank from the manifold, would make swapping tanks out available to the diver underwater.

    I can see it now... Swim up to your stage, plug in the hose, open the tank valve, open a purge port in the isolation block to purge water out of the line, close the purge and open the isolation valve. I see no reason why back gas could not be incorporated into the set up. Right now, there has to be a regulator on each tank. If you don't pressurize your stage regulators and shut off the valve... you might find an empty tank... Then there is no guarantee that the regulators won't bleed down and fill with water.

    You could pounce on the multiple failure point issue... But the space shuttles worked flawlessly until one was launched in temperatures below design parameters for the boosters and another was damaged and attempted re-entry without checking out the gear. So if you have a good design and stay in maintenance mode and don't exceed the limitations... You should be fine. We all do that now??? don't we?

    As for which is which second to donate... You have 2 or more... give one (or they take one) and accommodate the other for your use... no point in trying to engage in some analytical situation in a pending emergency. All my seconds are break away and readily accessible to all. The one I wish to donate, or have taken, is marked with yellow tape on the hose and on a yellow loose necklace just above the inflation valve (dry suit).
  8. sebaworld

    sebaworld Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: PA/NJ
    Yes, UTD equipment is one of many brands we sell at Dive gear store - Tec Dive Gear - Backmounted and Sidemount Dive Systems, Technical Diving Equipment
    Its very easy to reach that manifold. In addition Stealth can be easily re-adjusted to accommodate inability to reach :) means you can pull up on straps the upper part of the harness.
  9. TecDiveGear

    TecDiveGear ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NJ, USA

    Please read the previous very possible scenario description : ... you can't see (silt, no light) single file on the line in narrow cave passage or shipwreck hallway.

    ---------- Post added August 1st, 2013 at 03:35 PM ----------

    Ok, so I will summarize !

    So for given scenario: no lights, no viz (silt) condition, holding the line with one hand for dear life, one diver is out of gas, but when reaching for dive buddy regulator its a 22" necklace - ZONK !
    Happens that donating diver had two independent sidemount cylinders.

    So here are the most heroic answers (no names)

    1. having two long hoses, which as we discussed would create a multiple hose crossings, and depends on donated hose being cut off by the other stowed at the time long hose
    2. some wrote that in complete pitch black black out will somehow signal to the buddy that he should wait (have no idea how long) and the donating diver will detach the tank and again in complete darkness
    pass the tank with regulator (using one hand, other on the line) to his OOG buddy, hope his buddy wouldn't loose any teeth or end up with crushed skull after getting hit by steel tank, and his OOG one handed buddy will catch the reg with the tank and rescue himself !

    Even as a UTD instructor I just realized that I have to still learn so much !

    So my answer again is simple, just donate the long hose and always long hose as you were trained to do in backmount and lets swim back home !

    Any piece of equipment is a failure point, fin strap, mask strap, going through hose connections, valves, lights etc. Have you noticed that even without having isolatable manifold we (divers) will differ with "possible failure points" on regular basis. for example I dive drysuit and argon bottle, other wetsuit and no argon, its counting two ends of the hoses few more or less possible failure points.

    Remember as long as something has a proper procedures that team is thought we can solve any arose problem and just go home safely regardless if we have 4 or 6 hose connections etc.
    Still advantages of UTD isolateble manifold are way grater then cons.

    decompression likes this.
  10. rongoodman

    rongoodman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Albany, NY
    Of course, when the donating buddy feels the OOG diver clawing up his body, he could just hand him the long hose. Or, they could agree beforehand to both dive backmount or both dive sidemount.
    DevonDiver likes this.

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