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New Freedom Plates are here!

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) & Weight Systems' started by ZKY, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. JCR

    JCR Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sierra Foothills, Near Sacramento
    90
    0
    I don't want to pre-empt Eric here, but these are alloy 304 stainless as he notes in the first post. Mine looks and feels like stainless, weighs about 4 pounds on my little postage scale. I believe he did make some al ones in the past too.
     
  2. halocline

    halocline Solo Diver

    8,850
    3,179
    You're right, sorry I missed that. I'll go back and change my post. Thanks!
     
  3. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    2,644
    485
    I did make a run of 1/4" aluminum plates on the last go around.
    This run is s/s.
     
  4. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    11,518
    1,713
    Mine is also an AL plate, but quite thick compared to the average AL plate, so a normal thickness SS plate would not be significantly lighter.

    As for trim, I also bought my particular plate for double hose use to be able to mount it low on the back for better double hose performance. That places the plate even lower than normal but I have not noted any trim issues.

    It is true that when worn in a conventional manner, the plate has more of it's mass low on the back rather than over the lungs, but that is more than compensated by moving the tank about a 1/4" to 1/2" higher on the plate as of the two, the tank is far more massive and has a far greater effect on trim.

    For doubles, a thick AL plate or a thinner SS plate around 4 lbs in weight would I think be ideal.
     
  5. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,387
    820
    Mine's all set to get christened tomorrow. It feels good in the shop, I think that's a good sign. More to come.

    Pete
     
  6. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,387
    820
    I got to dive my Freedom plate with a Mk5 30# wing Sunday. It happened to be a mentoring dive with some freshly certified divers making their first post cert dive. As such I didn't have a lot of time to of time to scrutinize the experience. I did however come away with a handful of observations. Keep in mind that this is coming from over 400 dives with my Sherwood Avid which I have been very happy with. My biggest reason for switching is to have more control over where things are. My size L was also bordering on small when diving my drysuit with much under it.

    Walking to and from the water it was very, very comfortable (stiff 2inch shoulder straps, no padding)

    I had better freedom of movement dealing with fins

    From the first drop I felt like I had been diving the rig all along

    For a first guess in positioning things I was impressed in being able to lay out horizontal and hang better than ever.

    It did not plant my face in the water

    My double hose fit and worked just great even with my stumpy HP80s

    I did wuss out and start with quick release/ sliders in the shoulder straps. It was a breeze to get in and out and I did not die.

    Yellow webbing all over complements the Oxycheq embroidery, looks cool and adds visibility.

    Bent D rings are more friendly

    The crotch strap did not change my inability to carry a tune.

    My hair is as thin as ever.

    I'm looking forward to some more introspective dives soon.

    With all of the contours of the Freedom Plate it fit like it was part of me. The deburring and finishing job Eric does is phenomenal. As much as I like to tinker I never considered touching that thing with a tool.

    Pete
     
  7. D_B

    D_B Kimber/TekDiveGirl storyteller and memory keeper ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego, Ca.
    16,516
    11,029
    This is a cool idea and well made plate
    .... any thoughts/preferances on threading the shoulder to waist webbing ?... inside to outside, outside to inside , and why ether way
     
  8. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    2,644
    485
    I dive the plate both ways, the inside method and outside method. Both of them have different feels.
    With the inside method you get more strap material between you and the plate which would be good for really skinny people. One minor problem with the inside method is that when donning the unit on dry land it can be difficult sometimes to fish out the waist straps because they have a tendency to want to turn inward, so you have to jump the bottom of the tank out and feel around for them. One benefit is that if you wish to place a d-ring in between the slots to fix the straps in one position the keeper will be on the outside of the plate and you wont feel it.
    With the outside method the straps are mostly on the outside (reverse) except where they loop through between the two slots. This style allows the plate to fully contact your back and the straps will press the plate against your back more completely. It's also easier to find the waist straps because they are right there on the outside of the plate. I am currently diving my plate this style. The only drawback with the outside method is that if you want to fix the shoulder straps in one position by placing a keeper on the webbing in between the slots it will add enough bulk that you may feel it against your back. Instead what I recommend is to place a keeper on the outside right where the webbing comes out to go around your waist. This will prevent the webbing from sliding backwards and loosening up beyond a certain point. Personally I leave all keepers out and don't lock the shopulder straps in one position. I prefer to place a d-ring about 3" foreward of where the waist straps come out and I like to be able to adjust the tension of the shoulder straps by allowing the webbing to slide through the slots. When gearing up out of the water I lean foreward and jump the tank up and pull foreward on the waist straps at the same time. I get the perfect tension everytime. At depth if the rig loosens up because of suit compression I can take up a little slack, and when coming up when the suit retracts I can loosen the rig up a bit.

    I hope this explains it without being to wordy.

    Thanks

    Eric
     
  9. scubajunkee

    scubajunkee Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Jose, CA
    415
    2
    Eric,

    I'm glad you've made another run on the Freedom plates. I've seen Tao's and really like the new design--one of these day's I'd like to try his out, or just get one myself. I'm still very happy with the first-gen plate I have and to this day get plenty of double-takes when they see a nicely polished plate with bright yellow webbing. I've been diving a lot with Tao and my camera, so if you ever need video footage of the Freedom plate in action, just let either of us know, or better yet you can see for yourself at the NCD website. I along with many of my dive buddies are huge believers in the Freedom Plate and won't hesitate to talk to anyone about it.

    Ericson
     
  10. zahgurim

    zahgurim Divemaster Candidate

    100
    1
    I've been using one of the alu plates. Just swapped a Zeagle 34lb wing out for an Oxy MachV 18lb. Awesome setup for travelling and warm water.

    The raw alu wasn't liking the seawater so much, so I pollished it up and anodized it when I did up a bunch of bike parts. Turned out good. :)

    [​IMG]
     

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