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Vintage aqualung steel tank and backpack

Discussion in 'Vintage Diving & Equipment' started by rfwoodvt, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. rfwoodvt

    rfwoodvt Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Vermont
    14
    6
    Howdy

    Picked up early seventies aqualung steel Tank with backpack. The backpack is in very good to excellent condition. Pictures to follow.

    Just wondering about the backpack seeing as it is not part of a BCD.

    More to the point, is it something I, as a new diver, would ever consider using?

    Can I add a wing to it?

    Or, would I be better off to post it on the for sale by owner section of this site so somebody else could make good use of it either in the water or as part of a collection?
     
  2. Gene

    Gene Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida
    111
    107
    I remember those backpacks! I had one that I found on the road on Anna Maria that someone had ran over. My grandfather fixed it with fiberglass and resin that he was using to build his second houseboat. Some were plastic and some metal. They were the thing to have circa 1973 when I started diving as an 11 year-old. Put a photo up please of it.
     
  3. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    4,424
    4,800
    The pack is junk. Send it to me so I can dispose of it properly.
    Come to think of it, if the tank is a galvanized steel 72 with no liner and straight 3/4” threads with an O-ring you should send that to me too because “nobody uses those anymore” and they are junk. I can dispose of that too while I’m at it.
     
  4. James79

    James79 Reinventor of Wheels ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lower Alabama
    862
    1,140
    The backpacks were often used with no BCD, or the horse collar styles. You could add a wing to it (depending on how handy/creative you are), or see if you can sell it to a collector (probably not much in that... I have a few of varying styles laying about). Or pursue the vintage path, and work your way to no BCD diving.
    The tank, on the other hand, should be sent to me for proper disposal... lol. If it's late seventies, I'd bet a dollar it's an LP72 (if it's stamped "3AA 2250", and about as tall as an aluminum 80) with modern standard 3/4 straight thread on the neck... depending on the valve that's on it, either rebuild the valve or buy a new one. I'm a big fan of 72's... but be aware that at 2250 they are more of a 65 cf tank. 72 is based on a "+" fill (10% overfill) or about 2475 psi. I run mine at 2800 ish (but most shops will only fill to rated pressure. Don't get overfills without doing your own research and making your own risk assessment) which puts them at about a true 80.

    Respectfully,

    James
     
    Yawana-Dive and OTF like this.
  5. rfwoodvt

    rfwoodvt Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Vermont
    14
    6
    I truly love the "Trash Liberation Front" contingent of any group. Being a gearhead myself I have "disposed of" numerous bits of kit and other gear over the years for people :yeahbaby:

    Tank is steel with a J-valve and matches one other that I presently own So I will be keeping it TYVM. :-D

    Seriously though, if I can make use of this backpack reasonably soon in my diving career I'd rather do that. So, the adding a wing to it holds a lot of interest for me.

    How would I go about doing that and what type/model/make wing is most likely to succeed? Perhaps more helpful, as anyone here already done such a thing and how did it go for you?
     
  6. happy-diver

    happy-diver Skindiver Just feelin it

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: knowone here!
    1,925
    1,234
    This one has a VDH 18 bolted to it

    full.jpg

    after I stripped out the eyelets and roll devices

    full.jpg

    and filled the pak with lead

    full.jpg

    See how it packs

    full.jpg


    It dives magnificently!
     
  7. James79

    James79 Reinventor of Wheels ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lower Alabama
    862
    1,140
    Not quite the same, but my kids and I are using BPW's that I made from scratch:
    Dirt Cheap BP/W Mk2
    And I know @JamesBon92007 uses a plastic backpack with a "wing" made from a snorkel vest.
    Many options, depending on how creative you want to get!
     
    happy-diver likes this.
  8. captain

    captain Captain

    10,727
    11,669
    The backpack with no BC is great for warm water diving. You will not believe the sense of freedom you get using this setup.
    Swim suit, mask, fins, depth gauge, watch, backpack, tank and regulator is my favorite way to dive. I don't need a weight belt and run tables in my head.
     
    Yawana-Dive and Eric Sedletzky like this.
  9. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    4,424
    4,800
    All you need to really do it get a wing that you don’t mind burning in some cam band slots (or one) where you might need them. Some you don’t even need to do that. You can run cam bands around those packs in different areas depending on the brand. All you really need is one cam band to hold the tank on and just sandwich the wing on between the pack and tank. Maybe a little fiddly but certainly can be done. The other thing to do if you’re handy is to built some sort of STA that can be attached to the center holes in the plate and the wing and cam bands would go on the backside of the STA.
    I have an old Healthways pack that I use with no BC for goofing around in water up to 40’ in and around rocks shooting fish and getting scallops etc.
    I also use it plain with no wing to clean boats and unfoul props. Why clean a wing if you don’t have to?
     
  10. Open Ocean Diver

    Open Ocean Diver ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Toronto, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
    1,088
    719
    Hi Eric, using your freedom plate without wing any suggestion what to use for an STA?
     

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