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Okay guys and gals, I am fixing to bite the bullet and switch over to a B/P and wing setup. What I need to know is how I should order this type of setup for using a single al80 90% or the time. I have read threads about STA's and all kinds of adaptors, and I was wondering if any of the B/P wing makers systems work better than others wit a single tank. I will be taking some tech courses in the future and I am sure I will be switching to doubles for any tech diving I do after that, but the majority of my diving will stll be done with a single tank in local lakes. Any help with how to set this up would be appreciated. I was thinking of buying all Halcyon stuff, of buying a Fred T plate that so many have talked about on the board. Also I do most of my lake diving in either a 4/3mm full suit or a 3mm shorty, and would like some wing suggestions. Thanks!
I suspect Fred's lighter SS plate and lighter STA would be OK for you, with a 27lb Halcyon wing. It would depend on how much weight you require with an 80. You certainly don't want all the weight wrapped into a plate and STA. You may need an AL STA from somewhere (the Halcyon AL STA is/was too expensive).
For singles, buy a FredT AL BP and a two piece "light" single tank adapter. The get a 27# halcyon wing, you're good to go. The FredT 2 piece adapter is far superior in design to anything Halcyon makes - its genius is its simplicity.
This is what I have (I have the 36# wing) for warm water diving. For cold water, I use a SS BP.
with the "built in" STA. Some have complained that the wing moves around too much when the tank is not on the bp, which can be a pain if you're rocking around on a boat, but there a couple of really simple fixes to this, right now I have a long shoe lace threaded thru the wing and bp and cinched with one of those spring released tube thingies (can't remember what its called), works fine because all it has to do is hold the wing in place until you add the tank, then the straps hold everything tight to the bp like its supposed to. I am going to home depot tomorrow to get a longer bolt and matching flat head nut (like the ones used to hold the storage pak on the bp) to hold it rather than the string. With this setup you don't have to add any extra bulk (or money) to the set up.
I went with the 36# because the 27 is the same size as the 36, but the 36 has bellowed sides to increase capacity. Not a whole lot more drag, but more versatile if you need more lift in the future.
Why not go for the SS bp, you already wear 20lbs of weight, if you get the 6# on your back, you've still got 14 to ditch if you need to, and less on your hips.