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I was wondering if any of you out there are familiar with Abysmal backplates...www.abysmal.com...? They appear to be very well made and they are all laser cut without sharp edges, and come in three sizes. I got all of this information from the website so I know some of it is probably sales hype, so I was wondering if some of you who are knowledgable about backplates would go to the site and check them out and let me know what you think, I would very much appreciate it. I have a local guy that I can get them through at a much cheaper price than what they are on the website.
The laser cut is nice but the edges need to be rounded. Lasers can't do that. That way it wont put the pressure on one point. You can either round them yourself or use Innertube on the harness. Or have it Line X coated after you buy it. Like I did....
I think most backplates are laser cut. Although I'm not sure.....
I'm not big on powder coating. It still chips of and some solvents still tear it up.
And $200 for a backplate and harness is ridiculous. Or crazy if I spelled ridiculous wrong.
Also need to know what kind of diving you're doing. Do you use a drysuit? Those are stainless and if you don't need the weight you would want a AL not a stainless. Also I didn't see what stainless it was. FredT's are 316. Mucho good for salt water... Halcyon is a lesser quality stainless.
I mostly dive in freshwater but I plan on diving once or twice a year in salt water, and I currently dive wet, but I plan on getting a drysuit this winter, however, most of my diving will still be done in a shorty wetsuit in the summer as it gets mucho hot here in Texas. Does that mean I will need to get an aluminum backplate for diving wet and a stainless for diving dry?? My ultimate goal is to get wreck and cave certified but that will be a couple of years away I think.
There's no reason why you can't dive a SS backplate in a wetsuit, if the backplate (usually 6lb) weighs less than the current amount of lead you currently have on your belt. Just deduct 6lb off your belt when you wear the backplate.
That's assuming you're using a heavy wetsuit - you mentioned drysuits so I'm guessing you're diving a 5mm or 7mm. If you were somewhere tropical and you only dived in a skin, sure, you probably would not need the extra weight a SS backplate provides.
With a shorty I would suggest a Al backplate. Especially if you like to dive in shorts and a t shirt when it's hot like I do. If you're wearing a 5 or 7mil suit probably a stainless model. But if you're gonna try and use the backplate for both. Get the Al one. You can always add lead.
I dive with a HP100 faber and a sst backplate in shorts and a t shirt. No drop weight though. And I'm not neutral at the start of the dive either. I'm heavy. So, I switched to an AL and I'm neutral now. But still no drop weights... But I can swim it up.... I also have my buddy and a lift bag and spool.
You also have to consider if you're diving steel tanks or Aluminums too.
Scott Koplin designed and made the backplates Abysmal originally sold but they had a parting of ways... Scott is back in business for himself and you can get his plate direct at a lot less $$...
I know for a fact that Scott had to put a lot of time into deburring the laser cut plates... they are totally unusable IMO with significant deburring effort....
Or buy a FredT... or buy a Halcyon...
(btw..this business about every one but FredT using a inferior SS is crap... (you guys are splitting hairs when you should be out diving)... we have a Koplin plate, a Gary Hoadley plate and a Halcyon plate (there isn't a nickle worth of difference between them) and none of them show any signs of rust, deterioration, delamination, corrosion, explosion... or what even it is you guys think is going to happen to these things... after two years diving them ~that's a lot of dives ~ and I don't rinse stuff after ever dive either!)
I have a koplin, halcyon and dive-rite SS BP's. No difference on how they hold up. The dive-rite is the least polished of them, but I don't date it I use it. I have also poured hot lead into the dive-rite channel and it has caused no problems.
Actually what stainless does is oxidize. Depending on what temp you leave it at and a few other things.
So if you leave your backplate in a 50/50 mix of Sulphuric acid and water. Then kick a steam sparge on it for a few minutes the 316 will last about 5 times as long as 304. Also, imported stainless is known to be a lesser quality. In that it doesn't seem to be what they say it is. Japaneese 316 Stainless lasted as long as 304 American. We actually use Hasteloy C. It can last for months.
If I'm buying it and it is the same price with like features. I'll buy the better quality stainless. For one thing, it cost's more to buy for the manufacturer to.
It will rust if contaminated with something. Like a grinding wheel. But ours just disolved. So you wouldn't notice till you weighed it.....
So actually 304 stainless is inferior to 316. You might not need it but I'd rather have it. I wanted one made out of Titanium but couldn't find anybody who would cut and bend it for me.
And I have a Dive rite, FredT, Halcyon SST plates. Also AL plates. Not much difference in the corrosion but I do get some on the Dive rite. At least till I had them coated with the Line X.