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Best Buoyancy Solutions For Underwater Cameras

Discussion in 'ScubaBoard Articles' started by BackscatterUW, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. BackscatterUW

    BackscatterUW Angel Fish

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    CanadaDan likes this.
  2. Pillpusher

    Pillpusher Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Katy, Texas
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    Funny that this article just popped up. A couple days ago, I ordered some 1 1/2' ID, 3/4" thick pipe insulation to slide over the arms. I just have no idea how much I'll need for proper weighting. I have a G7xii and use the SeaLife flex arms, so most standard float systems that I'm aware of don't fit.
     
  3. fisheater

    fisheater Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sebastopol, CA
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    How will that pipe insulation stand up to pressure at depth?
     
    Pillpusher likes this.
  4. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
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    That will work for only a few feet...maybe 10-15. Then the foam crushes and you lose buoyancy.
    Do a little thread searching on SB. Many have found that cut-up solid fishing floats work pretty well and are cheap.
     
    Pillpusher likes this.
  5. Pillpusher

    Pillpusher Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Katy, Texas
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    Well crap.... Hadn't thought of that. I'm not sure what you mean by solid fishing floats, though. The other two things I considered trying to wrap around them are these:

    Stix - FB-AQ Float Belt for Nauticam/Aquatica

    Or

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CMKOQ56/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=AMX7AP8KFUEIH&psc=1
     
  6. D_Fresh

    D_Fresh ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The Stix, while a bit expensive, are the right tool for the job. They will stand up to depth, and can be trimmed to dial in the buoyancy you desire for your cam.

    The second link, the camera float, has 2 issues.... First, it's designed to float the camera at the surface, and will likely be a PITA to get down underwater upon descent, and secondly, they're likely made of a softer foam which also compress at depth, negating their buoyancy....

    There's another option, DIVINYCELL pvc foam. It's a rigid foam which can be cut to shape, and apparently does well for DIY camera floats.

    See this thread here: Strobe Buoyancy Arms (Foam?)
     
    Pillpusher likes this.
  7. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    9,539
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    PVC Sponge Floats
    People says these work, and be cut/drilled to fit your rig.
    I have no experience with them.
     
    Pillpusher likes this.
  8. chris kippax

    chris kippax Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
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    I use STIX and they work as intended and last for a long time.
    Buy it nice or buy it twice is my motto for photography. Don't ask me how I came to that conclusion.

    Below is what I use in Macro mode, I lose the collar for WA mode
    8 x Jumbo floats in WA mode
    8 x Jumbo floats and a collar in Macro mode

    upload_2020-6-8_12-24-12.png upload_2020-6-8_12-24-40.png
     

    Attached Files:

    Pillpusher likes this.
  9. Pillpusher

    Pillpusher Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Katy, Texas
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    Thanks. I went ahead and ordered a Stix belt. I figure I can use 5 on each side and zip tie them to the arms.
     
  10. CanadaDan

    CanadaDan DMC ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Winnipeg, MB Canada
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    Another disadvantage of the fixed float arms is they tend to be less robust than standard girder arms. My first rigging had the float arms first off the grips and I had the carry lanyard attached to the ball posts. This lasted less than one dive week as the posts stripped their threads and pulled out of the float. I've reversed the arms so the girders come first and it's held up ever since.

    Important to note that Seafrog, the seller of these particular arms, stood firmly behind their product despite my abuse and replaced them quickly and free of charge.

    image002.jpg
     

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