What Are Some Good Dsmbs?

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KDAD

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I have the Halcyon 6 ft DSMB regular size. It folds up into a small 6 x 12 size and fits inside one of the XS Scuba mesh pouches that I hang off of the bottom of my back plate. Not bulky and out of the way. Big enough for when I really need it and has 50# of lift as well.

Highland by XS Scuba Mesh Carry Pouch
 

Lorenzoid

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Anyone have personal experience with the DSS SMB (other than Tobin)? My wife and I have been using the 6' (2m) DAN SMB, and while it's surely great if you're far from a boat and trying to get attention, it's annoyingly large for ordinary use. I'm trying to decide between the DSS and Halcyon 3' (1m) SMBs.
 

JohnnyC

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A DSMB should have an OPV, an LPI nozzle, and be tall. The LPI is the best option for safest deployment. You use your mouth. It just happens to also be compatible with LPI hoses.

Blow into the LPI. No wasted gas, no fiddle f*cking with your regulator or putting all of that gear awkwardly around your face hole while you're going out of trim or risking an entanglement, and if you're on a rebreather, plug in to an LPI hose on your bailout or drysuit inflator (you're ascending, you don't need to add gas) and shoot the bag.



Here's why open bottoms DSMB's are more risky than using the nozzle:
 

noj3333

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Anyone have personal experience with the DSS SMB (other than Tobin)? My wife and I have been using the 6' (2m) DAN SMB, and while it's surely great if you're far from a boat and trying to get attention, it's annoyingly large for ordinary use. I'm trying to decide between the DSS and Halcyon 3' (1m) SMBs.

I have the halcyon 3' Dsmb and it's great, well built, sturdy, and a good size for surfacing without a flag/ not by your boat. Mine only has an oral inflate valve (so I can't use my low pressure hose). With that size it's not an issue at all for me to inflate it at 15' with a single breath. I think I'll add a Halcyon 6' slim Dsmb when I have some money to grab another one. IMO the 6' would clearly be better on the surface, but it may require to be shot at a greater depth, or require more skill to maintain proper buoyancy if shot shallow. With my skills and experience I would surface with the 3'... and depending on the situation inflate the 6' Dsmb on the surface with the help of my buddy, if needed. YMMV.
 

watboy

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Not to challenge what you wrote, but I think divers should take into consideration what their dives will be like when choosing a dSMB. I actually have 3, a 6' fat one, a 6' slim and a 3'. All are Halcyon LP inflate (i've had too many bad experience with reliability on other brands). The big fat one is always on me, strapped to my backplate and is there in case i'm really far from the boat, but this i will inflate on the surface. Most of my diving is warm water reef dives, they are generally multilevel and end near the top of the reefs where the dingy will come in for pickup. The 3footer is easily launched from as shallow as 5meters by orally inflating (I find the LP inflate models much easier to orally inflate than the oral inflate ones). If I'm diving a wreck or doing an open water ascent, I'll bring the 6' slim if the seas are calm and weather is clear (if they are not, I rethink the dive). I bring the sllim because its much easier to launch, one breath of air at 20 meters is enough to get it fully errect. If I have messed up my exit badly and will be coming up somewhere not planned/expected, my dSMB wasn't adequately inflated, the swells have picked up, or any other reason I think the boat may not spot me ... I cut the safety stop short. Its more important to get to the surface quickly and signal the boat then to do a safety stop. I should still be in whistle range and if necessary i'll inflate the big boy. If I did a full 3m safety stop in 3knot current, I'll have drifted almost 300 meters. I've seen divers in situations where they should be managing their exit and thinking about where the boat will be but instead were just fixated on completing their safety stop.

... and harder for a boat to see if it's off in the distance.

I was on a boat down in NC last year where a guy surfaced away from the boat and was carried off by the current. By the time the rest of the divers were back aboard and we could unhook and go after him, he was totally out of sight. And this was a bright, partly cloudy day, with 4-ish foot seas. We drove at a good speed in the direction he went for a good couple of minutes before someone caught a glimpse of his SMB waving off in the distance. Then, we could only see it when he and the boat were both somewhere close to the peak of a swell.

I'm happy to stow the extra bulk of my fat, DAN SMB.
 
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