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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
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    Your entire counter-argument seems to be reliant an a fictitious diver who insists upon wearing a 22" hose locked in a necklace. Remove that 'factor' and put the fictitious diver into a longer (40") short-hose with breakaway from the necklace and the story changes dramatically, doesn't it?

    We didn't discuss 'multiple' hose crossings. You mentioned it. It was denied. There would, at worst, be one hose crossing. You know this as truth, so stop exaggerating. If you've ever tried this, you'll know that, in sidemount, that hose crossing doesn't prevent the full deployment of the long hose. Once deployed, the donor has ample time to remove his reg and re-orient it to remove the cross-over.

    This is a principle I teach on every sidemount-technical course. If divers opt to route their deco reg around the neck, it crosses the long hose. I get them to donate the long hose at that point (during deco) to illustrate the cross-over. It's never a great learning point, because they can always still fully deploy the long hose. Then the noobie tech diver simply resolves the cross-over. They look at me "so what? dealt with".

    I'm surprised this would cause significant problems to UTD trained divers - but perhaps the realities of this remain theoretical to them and thus have suffered a chinese whispers process of exaggeration into full-blown horror stories...

    I'm guessing any delay would extend to the amount of time it took to unclip the bolt-snap, or pull the breakaway, and donate the long-hose in exactly the same manner as you would do from the mouth.

    So... how long to unclip a bolt-snap or pull-and-release from the breakaway? A second?

    You use stage tanks on cave dives? You handle them? Pass them through restrictions? Ever crushed a team mates' skull or knocked their teeth out?

    Maybe to learn diving sidemount, rather than prolonging the attempt to be a backmount diver with sidemount tanks... just a suggestion..

    So, in order to justify the z-manifold, one has to abandon the concept of minimizing failure points? We have to just trust towards "good maintenance" and assume that 'nothing that can go wrong, will go wrong'?

    You are aware that these sentiments can be used equally to support not using the z-manifold? :wink:

    You are absolutely entitled to express that opinion. Be wary of stating, what is a very minority opinion, as a fact.
     
    mathauck0814 and PfcAJ like this.
  2. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Orca

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
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    This is the most coherent and correct thing you've posted in this entire thread. The bad part is that its not a great sentence, and you weren't even serious.
     
  3. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
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    Nice link placement :wink:

    So, during the design process, you think it was a deliberate decision to place the manifold behind the diver? Because that would permit easier access than placing it in front of them?

    You need to "re-adjust to accommodate the inability to reach", to "pull on straps"...to get your hands on the isolation valve, rather than - for instance - just putting the manifold on the chest where anyone can instantly and easily reach (and see)... and where it would be more protected?

    Or is this just another example of tunnel vision towards explicitly replicating back-mount? An illustration that dogma over-ruled common sense in the design process?
     
  4. eelnoraa

    eelnoraa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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    Devon, the location on the manifold is actually NOT hard to reach at all. It is actually easier to reach than backmount manifild and valve because it is just right under my neck touching my back. Backmount valves and manifold are further away in comparison.

    Ok, that was my first dive with Z system, in fact first side mount dive ever.

    I have to admit, I know very little about side mount, so I don't know the in and out of it, failure modes, how should things be handle if problems occur. Having background in GUE backmount, I raised every questions I can think of to AG after the Z-system test. He actually have my "satisfied" answers. He never once dance around my questions. He also knows the limitations of the z-system and he would admit them when brought up. Z-system is his philosphy, I don't know if I agree with it at this point, but I do truely appreciate his effort and passion. Also, I want to mention that in the entire UTD demo event, not once, AG NEVER tried to sell us anything. Instead he openly willing discuss dive gears of other brands, good and bad, to me, in a very objective way. Weather I were to buy into the UTD z-sytem concept or not, AG sure gained my repect. I only wish to be able to dive with him to see how he is in water.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
    decompression likes this.
  5. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
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    Eelnoraa, I'm sure it isn't that hard to reach. However, is it the optimum position? (when it could, just as easily, been put on the divers' chest)

    Also, can it be seen by the diver? And is it as well protected?

    We understand why backmount manifolds are where they are. Why slavish copy that with sidemount... which does not have those location constraints? This slavish replication of backmount seems to underline the UTD approach to sidemount... even when it is obviously counter-productive and/or far from optimal.
     
  6. eelnoraa

    eelnoraa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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    I agree with first point. Behind my neck probably isn't the best location. Althouhg I can reach, but I can't see.

    As for it is well protected or not, I actually think it is better protected than backmount manifild because it is much close to my body. You can tell from pictures, it is literately on my back touching. If I am in trim, head up, looking front, there is no way anything will touch the manifild value. I think the argument of damaging the knob is really a moot point.
     
  7. Kevrumbo

    Kevrumbo Banned

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
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    Z-system integrates perfectly with my backmount team of SE Asia/Indo-Pacific Wreck Divers; we use scooters to help get down in current on the deep WWII wrecks in the South China Sea (as well as getting out of the way of the big container ships in the busy shipping lanes to Singapore) --another one of the reasons why I went with the Z-system SM is that you always breath the long hose primary in normal diving situations on bottom mix. All I have to do when alternating tanks is turn one on and shut down the other --all easily done on-the-fly & on-the-trigger while scootering in open water at depth. IOW --I don't have to swap/deploy/stow regulators if I went with a traditional/conventional independent SM set-up, which would be an inconvenient juggling act to perform on-the-fly and on trigger.

    Used Z-system SM for the first time after initial training in Truk Nov 2011. Then was in Truk/Palau for Oct-Nov 2012, and Vanuatu Nov-Dec diving the SS President Coolidge transport wreck from shore --all on Z-system sidemount; Finally returned to Truk to close out 2012 diving both Z-system sidemount and conventional hogarthian/dir long-hose doubles backmount.

    Just returned from Bikini Atoll (backmount only) and Truk (backmount & Z-system sidemount) this past 29June thru 20July and have decided to retain the Z-distribution block instead of upgrading to the Z-isofold (isolatable manifold) --I never did like having that isolator knob, even on a conventional backmount manifold, jabbing the back of my head & neck whenever I was looking upward. . .

    So far no such "QC6 accidents" or "Distribution/Manifold Block Single-Point-Failures waiting to happen" have occurred and I didn't & still don't expect any to happen: I am confident in the training I've received to deal with such rare contingencies (btw --QC6 diluent changes are done all the time on CCR: Where are the reports & instances of major QC6 failures in that implementation???)

    And no long hose trapping on Z-system sidemount with two tanks because I either tuck the excess length in my waist belt in front, or now with the larger Z-plus 23kg/50lbs wing, I just tuck the excess loop in between the Z-harness & wing on my back (AG taught these options during the training course) --and no, I have not cut the long hose yet on jagged metal sliding into engine rooms, crew-spaces and other confined areas of the WWII wrecks I've been diving on including getting momentarily stuck inside the I-169 submarine in Truk this last trip :confused: (vulnerability of the long hose is the only thing I'm really worried about on Z-system & careful in preventing).

    This is practical reality --anecdotal perhaps but objective, adaptive & actual experience diving for weeks at a time with initial basic training on the Z-system, but now out there overseas on my own with minimal support diving on hazardous/in situ, sunk-in-action WWII wrecks; and not just the idle speculation or specious arguments of worst case & unlikely scenarios like in most of the rebuttal posts & rhetoric above. . .
     
    decompression likes this.
  8. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

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    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
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    It's certainly closer than a backmount manifold. Nonetheless, it is a protrusion on the back - a place exposed to damage, especially when the sidemount is used to it full potential in very tight restrictions. If it did entrap, you couldn't cut it away either... Maybe not such a risk in caves (although the risk exists), but in a wreck, I can envision that valve getting caught up...

    Kev, I don't think anyone's claiming the z-manifold won't work. Just that it's not the only workable solution... or even the optimal one.

    Proper protocols and effective training are the key issues. If diving sidemount-backmount in mixed teams, then the arising problems are best dealt with via protocols and training. In my mind, the z-manifold is just a (very) expensive and self-defeating (break multiple principles to fulfill one) attempt to prevent any requirement to address protocols and training.

    If non-z-manifold sidemounters were dropping dead in hordes, or leaving scores of dead back-mount team mates in caves... then it'd be fair to identify a critical problem in need of solution. That just isn't happening...at all. Those who are properly trained and educated for the dives they do know what capabilities they need - and they address those capabilities.... and it works. That's the difference between reality and dogma, IMHO.

    This isn't to say that the z-maniold is flawed. It isn't (but it could be drastically improved, IMHO). It's just a statement of reality that other options exist, that don't negate other core tech/cave diving 'rules' and are equally practicable given appropriate training and education...
     
  9. tiki_bill

    tiki_bill Nassau Grouper

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    KevRumbo, tell us more about your dive experiences in SE Asia and ww2 wrecks. Don't forget to leave out the dates.
     
    PfcAJ likes this.
  10. Kevrumbo

    Kevrumbo Banned

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    Location: South Santa Monica Bay/Los Angeles California, USA
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    Use the search function here on Scubaboard; look at some pictures in my Photo Gallery.

    Z-sidemount pictures & blog here:
    kevrumbo's Page - Unified Team Diving
     
    DevonDiver likes this.

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