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Thanks for the advice, everyone. It seems like the consensus is to ask Jeff. I'll definitely be doing that. I had a long reply typed up days ago that I thought I posted, but I obviously didn't post. As far as masks and fins go, I have a mask and fins...but I'm not the biggest fan of either. As for the lift bag, y'all are right....I don't know why it was stuck in my head that I needed one. So, that's quite a bit of cash savings there. Enough to go on a couple more dive trips to get used to my gear .
I already own a BP/W setup....but not a SM setup. I've been diving SM on a few (like 1 OW and 3 pool) dives and had my local Tech mentor (co-owner of the LDS I work at) said he likes my setup. I also had someone I trust (Buck Buchanan) help decide on the setup. I know it's okay...but I need to compare it to a proper setup on something like an SMS100/Nomad. I also need to get my regulators set-up properly for sidemounting in terms of what goes where and which hoses to use.
As far as the $160 on a reel. I'm not opposed to spending $160 on good stuff...but I'm going to be spending over $4500 in scuba after the $1000+$250 I've already spent on BPW/Regs and Regs, along with ALL of the other crap I've purchased for Scuba slowly over the years, plus training/trips leading up to this point. In the past 6 months, I've spent over $4k on Scuba plus hundreds of hours working for the LDS....and am about to spend another $4500 or so. The problem is I'm have a very limited earning potential this summer and am ONLY going to be able to make a certain amount of money. If yIou would like the spreadsheet calculating cost of stuff I'm going to buy and the money I'm making, just let me know and I'll e-mail it to you. Another problem is I was hoping to assemble a VERY thorough save-a-dive kit, and this cuts into that budget.
The problem I have with $160 for a reel is that it's $160 I can't spend on a trip to get comfortable in my gear. But let me ask you this, everyone seems to use the words "reel" and "spool" almost interchangeably. Would a high-quality reel really be any better than a high-quality spool?
As far as needing to impress an instructor, I feel no need. I simply want to be as prepared as humanly possible (including both owning and being familiar with gear) so I can get as much out of his course as humanly possible. I don't want to worry about learning how to use a piece of gear, where to place it, how to clip it to stuff, etc....I want to focus on the cave stuff that I'm paying to learn. I'll be sending Jeff Loflin an e-mail today (hopefully) about some clarifications for some of this stuff.
dont worry about knowing how to run reels or where to put them our how to clip them off that is one of the many things you are going to learn in class. I would suggest working on your side mount another time and use what you already know for class. your going to have a great time enjoy.
Yeah, I've been looking at what I need and what I need to do. And, like I said, I'm not trying to impress anybody....I'm just trying to make sure of two things a) I want to pass, and b) I want to learn as much as possible from this class.
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Also, I've been working on buoyancy. I'm just diving singles in a wetsuit, but still....I can keep good buoyancy in 3 feet of water in what I think is the right posture. I'm even trying to add stuff to myself by task-loading and doing some of the OW skills while doing it all. I'm also working on keeping horizontal, slowing my breathing rate, readjusting my harness (really annoying...I might go 1-piece, like everyone said). I'm going to a gear-rigging session with my local Tech mentor on Wednesday as part of my PADI DSAT Tec40 course and will hopefully get stuff sorted out then. I still need a pool session to figure out my harness, though. Anyone else here have a two-piece harness that's getting annoying?
So I'm currently working on my Sidemount setup and have a couple of questions. I'm diving a standard BP/W (Hollis Alu, Hollis S38, Hollis Elite). My anti-tacoing device is a piece of paracord strung through my lower camband slot that are tied into loops around my webbing around my waist. I know it's hard to describe, but it keeps the bottom of my wing from tacoing. For the top, I have been using the bungee kit from the SMS100 with the shackles threaded through my upper camband slot. I'm looking at making my own bungee setup and trying to figure out exactly what would work best.
As far as attaching tanks to myself, I'm using normal cabands but on the webbing I've placed a trislider with a knotted piece of paracord through it attached to a bolt snap. I've got basically no play other than the length of the clips there. I'm using those same bolt snaps (they come with the SMS100 package....they're the large Hollis ones) on a choker setup for the top. I'll ask about regs in a second.
For the bungee, I was thinking about getting a 6" long piece of 2" webbing and putting three of those metal grommets in it, one in the middle and one on each edge. The plan would be to use the sex bolt up top hold it in place in the middle grommet, and use the outer grommets to attach the bungee to. The other option would be to make my own bungee, run in through my top camband slot, and call it a day. I'd use the proper crimps and heatshrink to produce it....but if I make it I'd need to know what diameter/length bungee to use.