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Well, I did it.  Yesterday I went and played with the backplate and wing (plus single 12 & usual side-slung pony) art the St*n*y place (shhh!!)

It was a very weird day.  I can honestly say that I experienced the worst dive I have ever had!!  

First dive was planned to be a plop down to the Stanegarth, swim around a bit and then practise SMB deployment, me hovering off the bottom and Caroline however she felt happy.  Unfortunately it was not a happy dive from start to end as for some reason the demons got a hold of Caroline and she spent most of the dive looking terrified.  Neither of us have any idea what caused it but her old fear of wrecks came back (to a woman who has loved wrecks since I dragged her onto the Thistlegorm) and everytime something loomed out of the gloom (the viz was dreadful) she was close to panic.  So I spent most of that dive baby-sitting in the nicest possible way and not really thinking about the wing.

Second dive and we were going for a long shallow swim for me to play about seriously with the wing and this was the one.  It was horrible.  I was too heavy full-stop, plus the weight was all too far forwards and all I wanted to do was to plough a furrow in the shale with my nose!!  Have you ever seen a purple –clad woman having a serious temper tantrum underwater – if you were at Stoney yesterday you would have done!  I struggled for 40 mins and then gave in and surfaced.  I was so mad with myself for feeling like a total novice again, so we gave it a reasonable SI then went back in.  I was 2 kg lighter and the tank was moved lower.  That dive was much better.  Trim still isn’t right but I did feel something of what the wing should feel like and it was good.  

The major conclusion is that I need to adjust the harness to sit it further down on my back – I think the harness is too tight making it sit too high.  I saw a site from a link once that showed where it should sit (is it the second vertebrae down?).

The second thing is that it needs a crotch strap adding.  We bought it second hand and the crotch strap had been removed.  This meant that there was a tendency for the wing to ride up and that exacerbated the “head heavy” feeling.

Finally I need to work out where I am putting the damn inflator.  The previous owner obviously had it under his arm as it now appears preshaped to want to go there.  That’s fine but it clashes a bit with my pony so I will need to “bungee” it, and that then means I can only dump by pulling it.  I couldn’t really reach the “arse dump” with any ease – this might improve when I move the whole lot down?

Anyway, I thought I would share my experiences so all you guys who are in the same boat and just getting a wing won’t feel quite so bad if your first experience is a shite as mine!!  Plus of course, I will accept grateful any handy tips to remedy my problems from the experienced users on the forum!


Cheers all

Lou
 

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my sparkly fairy wings look beautiful on my tank and they don't affect my weight or trim at all
 

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Sorry Lou I'm laughing with you not at you...  And suddenly it brings to mind my first dives with a wing and harness.

Deffo on the crotch strap,  I found the wing had a tendancy to lift everything out the water except me on the surface,  nothing like seeing most of the harness and wing bobbing on the surface with just half my head clear of the water.  Under water it also keeps the whole package held lower down so stops it riding up higher and making everything top heavy (ala nose furrowing)....

As for the "damn" inflator,  I bungee mine just above the chest area,   I initially tried bungee lower down the harness but like you could not lift the inflator to dump.  With the bungee higher up I can still lift it to dump but it stays where I can find it and does not try to play hide and seek behind me.

I try to avoid using the arse dump as much as possible, it is bad enough with me adjusting my crotch strap without rummaging around my arse area as well  


Keep at it, it is worth it in the end....  

Daz

BTW: I made my crotch strap out of normal 2" webbing and two metal 3 bar weight retainers.  I had to fold it at the back in on itself to get it through the crotch strap slot,  then unfold it once it was through so the weight retainers would hold it.  looped over at the front and held with the second weight retainer.  Then the waistband of the harness just threads through the loop at the front.
 

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<font color='#000F22'>The crotch strap is the most important one.

It holds the rig in place, it moves weight to the centre of gravity and takes pressure off the shoulders above the water.

Just experiment with your weighting 'til you get comfortable.

It will take time but it'll be well worth it.

Remember this might have to be adjusted - in fact it will - when you pop in the sea.

Stick at it matey
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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I don't blame you for laughing at all.  I must have looked an absolute pillock (although I did feel better when I got to the quay again and whilst ascending watched a guy trying to fin himself up.  Ok, he had a slow ascent but he also dug a hole halfway to Australia in the silt!!).

It was just all so different - and anyone who says I should have trekked down to the coast for that experience can line up against that wall over there.....



Ho hum, looks like some more trips to devil's pits to get it all sorted before I'm brave enough to try it in the briney.

Thing is, I've now lost my BCD to Caroline as she much preferred it to hers when she used it yesterday (I'd nicked the camband off hers to use on the wing) so I am stuck with it ..

Cheers for the support everyone...my name is Louise and I am an epileptic hippo/diver in new wing...*sniff*

Mary - stick with the fairy wings in public!

lou
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]The major conclusion is that I need to adjust the harness to sit it further down on my back – I think the harness is too tight making it sit too high.  I saw a site from a link once that showed where it should sit (is it the second vertebrae down?).
The DIR sites all show it with the waist strap around your stomach.
There's a clue in the name tho - waist straps go around the WAIST. I don't want a stomach strap

My bp sits at about the top of my hip bone. It was massively uncomfortable and awkward when I tried having it higher.
But hey, that just shows what a stroke I am, right?
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Hi Lou
Stick with it girl
I also found that if you arn't carefull (with twins) when you turn in the water the rig trys to flip you on your back.
I personaly think you should be able to use the bum dump, especialy if you are having a tendancy to nose dive.  

I had to use my old rig (buddy comando) the other day. The imidiate difference and sence of restriction leads me to thing that the wing will be my preferd choice in the future.
wack  
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Wacker @ Aug. 13 2003,18:47)]I also found that if you arn't carefull (with twins) when you turn in the water the rig trys to flip you on your back.
Wonder why that is Wack  


Could it have something to do with having 2 x 300bar 12's  


I'll stick with my 232 10's

Daz

Actually I noticed that as well even with my puny 10's but can't say I notice it any more.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>actualy daz
it was quite scary on the first dive doing an impresion of a dying fly on the bottom pinned down by two great big lumps of steel.
I had to inflate wings to sort out the predicament and then use ass dump in anger to dump air quick enough.
 

wack
 

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Hi Lou

Which wing did you settle on by the by?

I did the bull dozer bit when I first started. I spent the entire dive waving my hands about trying to keep level trim. Just droping the set lower did the trick for me but others used V weights low down on the twins. Strangly I have never noticed it on a single tank I just tend to bung that any old where.

And hey, your a tec diver now kid. We will have none of that lifting the inflator hose above the head and dumpung milarky. Pull to dump is the cool way to go


I rout my one under my arm and have it in a bungy loop on the lowest D ring. That way it is always where i put it. Others put two loops on the top and botom chest D rings and have it over the sholder. I never use the bum dump the stage is always in the way.

I dont use the crotch strap either as my ample tummy keeps the wast belt low and so keeps the rig in place. Oh yes, and I dont have hips to contend with


I realy strugled at first but I would never go back to a jacket BCD now.

So keep it up, it will be worth it in the end.

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Hi Mark,

The one we have, currently, is a Custom Divers TDB wing on a Portland Oceaneering b/p (the whole lot is secondhand).  I like the backplate because it has a handle and the reverse groove for the singles.  Currently trying to get another wing so we have one each and can both look equally ridiculous rather than me look like an arse as Caroline floats by peacefully!  We might have luck this weekend, going to see a bloke about an OMS without b/p or harness.

Reading all your posts I am sure that the shoulder straps need loosening and the waist strap wearing lower - Mark, your comment about the hips is spot on, it is the same as a weightbelt, sits too high on girls with hips because the waist is so much higher than on a bloke.

Using the pull dump will be odd at first.  On my BC didn't raise the inflator, I used to use the toggle dump on the right shoulder all the time on descents, and the bum dump during the dive.  The bum dump n the wing is on the "wrong" side though?
 On the side facing me, so that when horizontal it is on the bottom of the wing (unless I do a "Wacker"
)?


Anyway, I'm glad to know it is a common syndrome.  I will persevere, I could feel the benefits on the third dive when things had improved slightly.

But Mark....never call me tech, I a (w)rec(k) through and through!!

Lou




 

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Hi Lou Regarding the problem of searching for the wayward inflator, I'm not keen on fastening things with bungy. I find if I put my arm between the inflation hoses and pull it up above the shoulder dump the inflator mouthpiece end stays fixed in a position which I can instantly find by touch.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Hi Lou,

I know the feeling about using your wing first time. I use a CD TBD double inflator. The best way I found and that now all my friends use is to fix a loop of bungie to your shoulder at chin high and pass inflator throght. This way you can still lift to dumb or just pull to dumb. This way your inflator will not move behind your shoulder. The dumb valve is good, I have a double bladder, as they use same inflator bag design the right one will be faceing you and left out pointing to cyinders. Also what harness do you have?

Hope you understand my english  

Regards


Pierre Malta
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Hi Pierre

The CD one we have (we did get the OMS at the weekend too) is a TDB single bladder.  This means that the inflator is on the left, facing me, and there is a blanking plug on the right shoulder, cylinder side, top.

The bum-dump is facing me, bottom right with a blanking plate on the cylinder side, bottom left.  Is that how you understand it?

The harness is the Aquatec one that I guess was bought with the Portland backplate.  It is ok, but not great, however the previous owner rewebbed it so that only the right shoulder unclips and the left is fixed.  we'll see how we get on with not unclipped the left before we go one-piece on that!

The OMS wing we bought on Saturday is the old style 45lb wing, but it looks like new.  The guy had hardly dived it (being in the envious position of being able to borrow dive kit from work!) and was upgrading to a 100lb wing so he sold it seperate from the b/p and harness.  Hence I am now debating which b/p and contemplating webbing my own harness.  I am also having to make a single tank adaptor for it - no camband slots.

At this rate I'll have to get a workshop.....I'm halfway through my torch a la Dominic-esque.

Cheers

Lou

p.s  your English is great, don't worry about that.
 

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Hi Lou,

Get a Combro plate for the OMS wing,  It already has 2 sets of cam band slots in the plate so no need for a single tank adaptor.

Price is £40 including postage,  webbing is a doddle and you already have a template to follow on the other backplate.

Daz
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Daz
Me think's Lou is saying the wing only has bolt holes, and no cut outs in the material to thread the cambands through

If this is the case a cheap answer is to get a pair of buddy twining blocks, drill them in the narowest section and bolt through the block, then wing, and through (combro) back plate washer wing nut job done then thread the belts through the blocks.
 Blocks cost £4
Wack
 

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Gotcha...

But then it should be possible to make some slots in the material and even reinforce the slots with some extra material stitched on (Might be safest to remove the bladder first though  
)

I'm sure I read of someone else doing something similar.

Daz
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Hmm...
Cutting and modifiying, or make simple adapter.
Now let me see???
[email protected]  8mm x 20mm mush head stainless bolts 2 stainless penny washers 2 wing nuts 2 buddy blocks total about £12.
10 minuets to drill 2 holes 8 mm job done !!!!!
yep reckon the cutting and sewing option is the girllie way  

sorry only joking but I cant sea the point in doing irreveresable dammage/moddification when the bolt option leaves the wing standard
 
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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Hi Guys

You're right, no slots in the wing.  I was going to try an STA before I resorted to cutting the wing, although I spoke with Dom who has added slots as those on his Buddy didn't tie up with those on the combro b/p.

I have obtained a bit of heavy duty aluminium u-section, about 2" x 1" that I was going to try and fettle, see if that worked.  If not I'll give the buddy blocks a shot.  Dom described the method to me but i wasn't getting it.  I see now, but doesn't it space the tank off a bit far?

As for the b/p I really like the Portland Oceaneering one that we got with the other wing....it has a handle, and I guess that this *is* a bit girlie but we found it really useful!  However, it is twice the price of the Combro....
 
 


On the upside if I got the Combro and made the STA and webbing I would have got a wing with b/p and harness for <£160 which could convince me to be happy about it


Decisions, decisions...

lou
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Lou @ Aug. 13 2003,14:49)]Finally I need to work out where I am putting the damn inflator.  The previous owner obviously had it under his arm as it now appears preshaped to want to go there.  That’s fine but it clashes a bit with my pony so I will need to “bungee” it, and that then means I can only dump by pulling it.  I couldn’t really reach the “arse dump” with any ease – this might improve when I move the whole lot down?
Lou,

if you bungee the inflator to the left chest D ring you should still be able to use the 'deflate' button to dump from the wing and not have to use the pull dump, just lift it up, the bungee will stretch. Use the surgical stuff for this. This will keep the inflator hose just where you need it. Remember, you need the inflator hose to be of a length so that it can reach your drysuit inflate button and your nose. Then you can inflate your wing, put air in your suit and equalise your ears all with one hand when on descent. This then keeps your right hand free to keep contact with descent lines etc..

As for the crotch straps etc, If you do decide that you're going to go down the single piece harness route (the best and cheapest way if you ask me) then this link

http://baue.org/faq/backplate_sizing_inline_images.html

helped me alot when was adjusting / getting mine settled.

Hope this helps,

Ian.
 
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