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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok then getting together a pony setup to help with an OOA situation. Now questions on setups. Can't decide whether to back mount, or side sling it. Not sure whether I should hand it off or keep it for me etc. Thinking OOA buddy is gonna go for whatever he knows he/she (gotta be PC) can get air out of, probably my primary. Therefore should I re-rig my setup to have my primary on a 2m hose, keep my octo for me. If i do this what should I do with the pony? Should I stick a side breather on the pony if its back mounted to make it easier to use by anyone?

Thought this would start a nice lively debate. Am interested in how other people set up their kits and why you do it that way. Also do you have spg's on your ponies. Let the discussion commence. Hope no one falls out over this one again. :teeth:
 

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PADI Internet Specialty Diver
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.... Hope no one falls out over this one again. :teeth:
Awww where's the fun in that?

Side slung would be my preference if you really must have one. its an emergency tool so why would you not hand it to a diver in need? More to the point why do you need to?

Anyway. Whatever you do make sure you can tell by mouthfeel and by handfeel and by sight which is the bailout 2nd stage. People have died as a result of breathing the bailout by mistake and I'm sure, sadly, someone somewhere will do so in the future, so no apologies for repeating myself....

Chris
 

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Team Starburst
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have you bought one yet?

if not consider a larger cylinder than the standard 3l which will give you a few breaths from 30+m

i have a 7l which i sling in front of me so i'm nice and balanced. the hose & reg are on the cylinder so it is a compact complete unit [i could hand it off but the idea is it's my reserve] so it's very obvious which reg goes where then as your diving develops and you might get a twin set it'll act as a deco stage

dave
 

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I suppose a 7ltr would be useful if you ever go on to do deco diving in the future.

Personally I have a 3ltr pony side slung, reg is connected to the pony. I used to use back mouted (inverted) but on one dive I used a different cylinder (clamp was jaubille clipped to main cylinder) so had to knock up a side sling system sharpish. Found I actually preferred having the cylinder there so have stuck with it ever since.

What I'd suggest is buying yourself the gear then setting up a side sling system (two piston clips, a bit of nylon rope, and one jubilee clip from b&q), nice and cheap, if you don't get on with it then you can buy a mounting bracket and you'll have a couple of piston clips and other bits for different gear!

Lloyd
 

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Yep i'd say sideslung, I use an Aluminium 40cf which is 5.74 litres i think. This is perfect size and has nice bouyancy characteristics, I would not backmount my pony/bailout ever again I love it sideslung.

HTH,

Dan
 

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Irish Cave Diver in the making
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Try both methods and see which you prefer.

If you think you may want to side sling then borrow a few tanks - 3L, 7L & Ali40 and try those too if you can.

If you backmount then think about inverting the cylinder so you can get to the valve if you need to.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good idea ardhill, may give a few a go n see what I feel comfy with. Think this is best idea for deciding on size of cylinder. How about regs, and hoses? Any advice on types of reg? Would like something different to my primaries i think (got oceanic delta 4 and alpha 8 octo) to make sure i can tell difference. Anyone any hose length preferences for pony and also primary reg set?
 

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I have a 3l faber back mounted, and offset by loosing 2kg on that side.
decision was based on my max depth at the moment, about 25-30 max, so 3l is about enough to get me to the surface, or at least a damn site closer to it, without being overkill for shallower dives, plus buddy should be near by.

Its backmounted (on Buddy bands....very secure and easy to use/remove!), because it is my backup, and hence the reg sits under my chin, on a necklace, where I can get to it very quickly. Most of the people I dive with also carry ponies, so have thier own backup, so no real need to pass mine off......hopefully! I do still carry 2 regs on my main though, in case of non pony carrying buddies, and in case they don't have enough pony gas to get to the surface, I can still help. In most cases, I have enough gas in reserve to at least get to my buddy, and then get to the surface with them.

I am sure others will find cause for comment, but this setup makes good sence to me, is comfortable to dive with, and provides far better backup than no pony at all.

Phil

(bugger me, that was a long post!)
 

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I have a 3l faber back mounted, and offset by loosing 2kg on that side.

Its backmounted (on Buddy bands....very secure and easy to use/remove!), because it is my backup, and hence the reg sits under my chin, on a necklace, where I can get to it very quickly.

I do still carry 2 regs on my main though, in case of non pony carrying buddies
I carry the same set up, except I use a Northern Diver Pony Clamp which I have found is great. I use a different brand of reg for my pony and a larger mouth piece (so I can tell by touch which one it is, and which one my primary reg and octopus is).

Tim
 

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YDs Most Southerly Monkey
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If you side sling it so you can hand it off, or even not bother diving with it, it's better for this if it's aluminium rather than steel, as the allys are only slightly negatively buoyant, the steels much more so. If you hand off a steel to an OOA diver, you are going to have a sudden and significant change in buoyancy, which is the last thing you'd want when you are loitering close to the edge of the incident pit.

Likewise, if it's rigged to your main tank, an Ally is less likely to cause trim problems (I understand), although a steel does means you can say goodbye to some lead.

As per usual, it's swings and roundabouts. Personally, I have a 4L ally, but only because the LDS took weeks to get the 3L I'd ordered (and paid for in advance) and when it arrived, it was a 4L, which they let me have for the same price.

I sidesling it for three reasons:

  1. My 15L steel is heavy enough without adding another 3kgs to the load
  2. I like the flexibility of choosing to leave the pony behind, say for an 8m bimble.
  3. It's less hassle than removing it from one cylinder and replacing it on another, between dives (using the camband setup).
  4. I prefer the flexibility of being able to easily hand it off to an OOA diver.

As for the sideslinging rig, I have 2 clips but lately, have taken only use one, the one near the neck, to secure the whole thing to my BC D-ring. This is probably considered to be heresy but the thing is close to neutrally buoyant in the water, so there's no real force exerted on the clip and I'm no more scared of losing it than I am my camera, which cost over twice the price and also hangs by but one clip. I guess the difference is that I don't tend to dive snaggy places over here, so danglies getting trapped is less of a concern than it may be to others in British waters.It actually tends to float horizontally anyway as it's the valve and reg that have the weight and that's the end that's clipped to me.
 

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if i was going to start with a pony again i would side sling a 7 litre ! :teeth:

i started with a 3 litre back mounted on a pony bracket and it did fine for me !

good luck with whatever u choose best wishes leigh :teeth:
 

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It doesn't look like that from where I'm sitting..
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I have my 3l steel side slung, with a pony reg and short hosed SPG attached. My main reg is on a 2m hose, I don't dive with an octopus on the main cylinder. I have then got the option of handing off my pony (although I'd prefer to keep this bail out for me) or offering off my main reg, while I switch to pony. Let's face it, if you are in an OOA situation, then the dive is effectively over so it's all hands to the pump, and as long as both divers have access to a supply of air, then you stand more chance of reaching the surface safely.

2m hose is bungeed twice on my main cylinder, so it's not all hose hanging around.

Pony has bungee to hold the excess hose too.

Pete
 

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I suggested trying them all out as different methods suit different people and the conditions they dive in. Richard has just told us what he dives and why. Yes, some people may disagree, but it is what suits him and the environment he is in, so that is why he does it.

When I dive a single and pony, I use a 3L steel and side sling it. I use a 1m hose BTW, which is a bit long for nice neat rigging on the pony, but (1) it is more useful than a shorter hose (2) I use the same regs for a stage cylinder when deco diving, I just transfer from cylinder to cylinder.

If I was doing it again, I would probably buy an Ali40 instead of the 3L steel and side sling it, but that is because I personally like the buoyancy characteristics of the Ali 40's and 80's as stages.

You may try the two main methods and decide that you don't like one of them for a particular reason. Both methods work, as do the subtle difference within those methods, but each may have advantages in certain environments and people. Just find what you find most comfortable, both physically and for other reasons e.g. safety, usefulness etc.

Others have already listed some of the advantages of both methods.

Have fun playing :)
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I'd go for side slinging it.

I've watched various people kitting up on rhibs with backmounted 3L and it seemed like an open excuse to get the wrong reg or confused, regs and gauges everywhere. I've also been on a boat where someone did get the wrong reg and ran out of air 35m, luckily he was clued up enough and calm enough not to panic.

side slinging it means, to me anyway, positive identification of cylinder, gauge and reg. Option to turn it off and on without having to struggle, and the ability to hand it off. As has been said if your on a shallow bimble it can be left on the boat.

but in reality i'd go for an Ali40 for the way it sits in the water and that little bit more gas. I don't feel a 3L pony is really a sufficient amount of gas to get you out of trouble, its a means of escape to the surface (Gods gas change) but not alot else.I once did the calculations for an acsent using a 3L pony and unless you can breath like a zen master under the most stressful of conditions, it didn't make too good reading.
 

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Side Slung

I started with a 3l steel pony on the right side turned on. After an incident when it free floowed and I lost half the gas I switched to inverted on the left with the system pressurised but turned off. Now I use either an Ali40 or Ali30 side slung (like a stage). I have always thought of the "pony"as my AS and normally dive with a long hose primary and necklaced reserve. I would normally hand off the long hose in an OOA situation.(That way it is the same drill whatever configuration I am diving.) Having a side slung dose mean that once the drama is over the gas can be passed to the other diver and an independant ascent made. I think this is more comfortable and also saves the other guys blushes!
 

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One thing I noted in one of the posts, if you're ever thinking of handing it off (and it doesn't nessecarily have to be side slung for that) then I definately wouldn't remove any weight from your set up. If you take the pony off suddenly you're potentially in trouble yourself. One thing you may need to do is to move some weight around to counter balance the weight of the pony. I found that this was nessecary with a backmounted system (2kg moved to left hand side) but not at all with sideslung).

Lloyd
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi lloyd, I wasn't planning on dropping weight cos if I remember correctly (and i'm probably not but someone will tell me) an almost empty steel pony is about neutral anyway isn't it? Also if i'm on my pony chances are my back gas is somewhat missing so my steel 12 will be pretty buoyant too. So removing lead might be a little like asking to do a polaris impression wouldn't it? If i've got this completely wrong please tell me.
 

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Yeah that's about right, some people however will drop a couple of kg's after doing a wegith check with a full pony (which will be a couple of kg's negative). Take it off or empty it and you're looking at a fair bit of extra positive bouyancy.

What I plan to do is to switch to pony @ 50bar on main that way I've still got plenty to provide bouyancy on the surface, and further piece of mind if I have to switch back. That said I've never actually used it in anger :angel:

Lloyd
 

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Yeah that's about right, some people however will drop a couple of kg's after doing a wegith check with a full pony (which will be a couple of kg's negative). Take it off or empty it and you're looking at a fair bit of extra positive bouyancy.

What I plan to do is to switch to pony @ 50bar on main that way I've still got plenty to provide bouyancy on the surface, and further piece of mind if I have to switch back. That said I've never actually used it in anger :angel:

Lloyd
You switch to a pony during the dive because you have lost all means of using your back gas, you should not assume the pony is part of your gas planning. Unless of course you are using the pony as a small stage, a very small stage, at which point you really should be thinking twins anyway IMHO.

Some people drop a couple of kilos because they are more relaxed when they have a pony and the reduction in required weight is because of better bouyancy control, better breathing etc.

Matt
 

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You switch to a pony during the dive because you have lost all means of using your back gas, you should not assume the pony is part of your gas planning. Unless of course you are using the pony as a small stage, a very small stage, at which point you really should be thinking twins anyway IMHO.
When I say 'plan' I meant plan when things go wrong, so to speak :)

Some people drop a couple of kilos because they are more relaxed when they have a pony and the reduction in required weight is because of better buoyancy control, better breathing etc.

Matt
Ahh, then I add the caviat if you're already correctly weighted in the water and a controlled relaxed diver (any more to add to that?)

Good to clear that up :)

Lloyd
 
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