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Thread: Sidemount Kits, D-Rings and Questions

  1. #1
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    Sidemount Kits, D-Rings and Questions

    Well, most of my kit for my new Optima is coming together.

    My new Armadillo kit arrived today. I have the counterlung attachment hardware on order from Tobin (who was soooo helpful with suggestions along the way), and I have six Tobin d-rings. (I also have two under-the-counterlung d-rings that I will experiment with. More on that below).

    I already have an aluminum backplate, and I have an old Dive Rite ABS plate that I dug up as well. (I am looking for an excuse to get Tobin's composite plate or possibly a Meadows plate down the line). I am going to try a couple of different wings out when I start my training. So, I haven't quite decided on what to get in that department yet.

    I have practically bought stock in Jakub's company, Golem Gear, after buying so many things from Golem already. ;) I am awaiting delivery of Golem backup lights (expected mid-January) to replace my Halcyon Scouts. I just hope I will find a way to store these on my harness without them getting in the way of the front counterlungs, and while also being easy to access.

    I am looking at putting this all together, and I am wondering about the new Armadillo kit. Specifically, I am trying to figure out crotch strap, lift bag clip and d-ring placement in relation to the aft section that bolts to the bottom of the backplate.

    I am guessing that you are bolting the kit to the inside of the bottom of the backplate, and you are feeding your crotch strap though the webbing of the aft piece. For anyone using sidemount that is also an ocean diver, are you able to put your aft crotch d-ring on the aft sidemount kit while also keeping a rolled lift bag back there? I haven't put it all together yet, but it looks to me that the crotch strap would come out very low between my legs if I feed it through the webbing, letting it exit at the "tail" of the sidemount kit. Anyone have good pics of themselves (or others) wearing one with a lift bag and d-ring on the aft crotch?

    I am also using an MC Storage Pack on my backplate presently. Where will I now clip off my lift back that I have stored back there? (Yes, I dive with two lift bags: one rolled and one stuffed. I tell the boat that if they ever see two bags on the line, it is an emergency.)

    Regarding the under counterlung d-rings, I just can't see them being able to work without mounting them so high (to avoid hitting my arms when I reach across my chest) that I would then not easily be able to clip anything onto them with one hand. I think I am going to just use the Tobin regular d-rings I already have to start. So long as I can clip off my bottles and backup lights while having my counterlungs, that's all I am looking for.

    I also think I am going to put one inch webbing around the tank neck, clipping this to my chest d-rings rather than using the bungee setups. Maybe I am missing out on something here, but I wonder why so many people use the bungee. If someone knows something that I should know, I would appreciate you sharing it with me so that I don't have to find out the hard way.

    I am coming from almost straight Hogarthian style diving. So, I am looking forward to seeing if sidemounting my bailouts will work any better for me. I also wonder how this will impact my scootering. It sure looks like it will be better balanced, and like it should also be extremely streamlined with having the bottles positioned under my shoulders.

    I hope I won't be too much of a handful for my instructor! :D I just want to be ready to start my training with as much homework done as possible. I sent off my instructor fee check this week. So, as soon as my unit arrives, I should be ready to start soon thereafter.

    Thanks for everyone's help along the way.
    Last edited by ScubaDadMiami; 20th December 2005 at 02:01.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sidemount Kits, D-Rings and Questions

    I am threading my crotch strap through the lower of the two full-length 2" webbings and then through the backplate slot. The ArmadilloCCR bolts to the inside of the backplate. There is plenty of room for a D-ring between the two webbings (short and lower long). You can also put it below the butt-plate. Also, you can use the side handles to clip things on.

    I am using 6mm cord instead of 1" webbing around the tank neck. It needs to be as short as you can make it and still get it around the tank neck, otherwise you will end up with a dangling bottle.

  3. #3
    Prism 'prentice Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike is a splendid one to behold Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Sidemount Kits, D-Rings and Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaDadMiami
    I just hope I will find a way to store these on my harness without them getting in the way of the front counterlungs, and while also being easy to access.
    Good luck with that, if you work it out let us know... I've tried on the counterlung to waist harness attachment and they don't really fit.

    Regarding the under counterlung d-rings, I just can't see them being able to work without mounting them so high (to avoid hitting my arms when I reach across my chest) that I would then not easily be able to clip anything onto them with one hand.
    Bingo. I dive a Prism, not a OWW2PITA, but couldn't get the UCL D-rings to work. Either too high to reach, or low and getting in the way. So I ditched them, and the shoulder straps from the harness, and just use the counterlungs

    I also think I am going to put one inch webbing around the tank neck, clipping this to my chest d-rings rather than using the bungee setups.
    See above - I now use the bungy for two reasons - 1: it holds the tank necks back/higher, and 2: I don't have any chest D rings, just small rings at the bottom of the counterlungs. If you use rings at the bottom of the counterlungs the tank necks hang too low.
    Tip - use thick bungy (thanks JDZ). I tried with 6mm bungy and it is too stretchy, use 10mm+

    I am coming from almost straight Hogarthian style diving.
    Good luck - It doesn't work so well with OTS counterlungs. I tried, but it get's too busy. I've spent hours trying out different approaches, and ended up with the sidemount / bungy approach with some advice from friends.
    BTW - Tobin's solid D-rings mounted on the waist strap with the D-ring part pointing backwards seems to work OK to clip off the sidemounts, plus it was suggested that the UCL D-rings would also work OK here.

    Edit: I just do one DSMB through two loops of bunggy at the bottom of the backplate, and run two crotchstraps around to connect to the same attachment that the counterlungs connect too. Seems to work OK.

    Mike

  4. #4
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    Re: Sidemount Kits, D-Rings and Questions

    Pictures, anyone? :o

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