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Yet Another DSMB Size Thread

Discussion in 'Lift Bags, SMBs and Reels' started by ActinopterygiiGuy, Nov 1, 2020.

  1. ActinopterygiiGuy

    ActinopterygiiGuy Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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    Hi guys,

    I hope this isn't too similar to previous threads, I haven't been able to find the information I'm looking for.

    I'm tossing up what size DSMB best suits my needs. I'm leaning towards the Halcyon DAMs but I haven't really decided. Using them as an example, I don't know if I should go for the standard 1m/3' or the super slim 1.8m/6'. I want a closed-circuit one and visibility in decent swell is important to me, but I'm likely to be launching from a depth of 5m so I'm concerned about the difficulty of orally filling the larger sized ones adequately.

    Halcyon's website lists their lift capacities at 2.7kg/6lb and 5.5kg/12lb respectively, so the larger option has double the volume - would this be impractically large to fill at 5m? Also, how bulky is each? How does the visibility of each compare, given the thickness vs height tradeoff?

    Appreciate any input
     
  2. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

    1,926
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    When I launch mine (2m) from 6m I’m happy if it’s half full when I surface. On the surface I top it up. Like everything, practice, practice and practice.
     
    D_Fresh likes this.
  3. jborg

    jborg Lurker ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Sweden
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    None of these things are double the other, but the second one is typoed somehow?

    If you want it fully filled at depth with minimum oral faff, perhaps using an inflator hose might be an option? For me this improved my dsmb comfort significantly.
     
  4. ActinopterygiiGuy

    ActinopterygiiGuy Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Auckland, New Zealand
    13
    4
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    My bad, it should read 2.7kg/6lb and 5.5kg/12lb. I've edited my post.

    Ideally, I want to be able to do it orally, but if I need to choose between visibility and ease of oral inflation then I'll bite the bullet and use an inflator hose. I'm starting to wonder if I should just launch deeper anyway.
     
    jborg likes this.
  5. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
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    I use my LP inflator (Drysuit) to inflate the DSMB, always have it connected when I dive wet too.
     
    D_Fresh and rongoodman like this.
  6. rongoodman

    rongoodman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Albany, NY
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    Agree. When I'm going someplace like Cocos Island where I might want a large SMB, I put a 26" LP hose on the reg and clip it off to the left D-ring on the waist belt. I keep a Dive Alert on the end of it too. The extra length means I can keep everything comfortably in front of and away from me while inflating the SMB.
     
    Hoyden likes this.
  7. NothingClever

    NothingClever ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
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    Just out of curiosity, what is the reason you choose to shoot no deeper than 5m?

    I vote for the 1.8m bag. I think you want the reach to be seen over swell and the available buoyancy is useful should you suffer a wing puncture or compromise.

    I like shooting deep for a few reasons:

    1) It tells the boat where I’m at as early as possible.
    2) It tells the boat whether I’m on schedule or not, that I’m ending my dive and starting to decompress.
    3) The reel provides a useful reference point for blue water ascents.
    4) The buoy’s always at full puff at the surface...definitely not at risk of coming up to a limp bag.
     
    Hoyden and Sifossifoco like this.
  8. Hoyden

    Hoyden ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Rockville, MD
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    After having a buddy blown off the line on an off-shore night dive and seeing how hard it was to see his DSMB (we were using small ones) I immediately ordered us both Halcyon Super Big Closed circuit SMBs. I will never do an off-shore dive without one of these again.

    On a related note, you can do an awesome job of lighting your DSBM at the surface with your HID can light... this is probably the only reason that we could see Keith at all. And yes, this was some time ago.
     
    NothingClever likes this.
  9. NothingClever

    NothingClever ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
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    1,090
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    Having read accounts like yours before and having my own experience marking my location during limited visibility, I had an alterations shop sew a flat nylon loop to the top of both my DSMBs so I can attach an 11 hour strobe. It’s permanently tied on and fits in my leg pockets nicely. No interference with shooting or the buoy standing proud if I really tension the line.
     
  10. RogueClimber

    RogueClimber ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Honolulu
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    My experience as a diver and as the boat looking for divers.

    As a diver: The Halcyon Super Big is virtually impossible to fill (yes I understand you don't "fill" it at depth) from even 75-60fsw. The 3 footer is much easier and has less risk of pulling you towards the surface as you fill.

    Up top on the boat: Even in a small swell the 3 footer can be very hard to see from not too far off.

    My solution: Use a 3 footer as a DSMB shooting it from depth. Keep a spare Super Big SMB as a spare and fill it on the surface if I need to be seen
     
    NothingClever likes this.

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