January 28th, 2013

Go Pro Hero Finds Good Marriage with NEW RX Video Light

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RX 10 Video Light Blog Pic

Since the day I got my first GoPro Hero all the underwater video I have shot is with it, then the Hero 2 and now the Hero 3. When the Hero 2 came out we started working on a video light for it. The RX Video Light is a proprietary light from Dive Rite with a four LED array spaced and mounted on a reflective board, which gives us the even light seen on the video. The Hero 2 needed 2 RX video lights to fill the capture area and now the Hero 3 only needs one RX to do the same job. This is a great upgrade since in a cave setting the rule was you can never have too much light, now you can.

For me one of the tricks was use the LCD back screen to make sure you have the subject matter in view and the lighting correct. Tilting the camera can create dark spots around the edges. The system I came up with uses the attachment pieces that come with your camera and this mounts directly to the leg of our Goodman style handle. You can easily check your lighting and subject matter set up like this.  You can set up more lights for fill lighting, but remember with the Hero 3 anymore than one on camera will overpower it. Here’s a sample of a single RX video light in action with the Hero 3. VIDEO: RX & GO PRO DIVER WALKING ON CEILING

Lamar

 

January 21st, 2013

Is it necessary for a stage regulator to be high performing?

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XT Stage Regulator by Dive Rite

I see divers in the field settling for a regulator with a lower performance for their stage regulators. I think this thought process on regulator selection should be analyzed again. Let’s separate usage first, travel and decompression regulators are one class while stage regulators, deep travel and bailout regulators for cave CCR are in a different class. Travel and decompression regulators have depth limitations, usually shallow or limited use by nature. The argument for a regulator of performance not equal to the “primary system” can be debated.

The other class of regulators is different and you should look at all regulators in this class being of equal performance. Since I am always testing gear I find myself with multiple models on a dive doing the “Pepsi/Coke taste test” which is better breathing what makes them different. When you get in to high stress conditions, brought on by current, visibility or some other stress related event, regulator performance can be the little thing that magnifies the problem. I know, I have switched back to the better breathing regulator in stressful situations because I needed to feel good about something while everything else was hitting the fan. This can lead to over breathing a bottle’s gas planning and create another cascade of issues.

When it comes to regulators that I use at the same depth under the same conditions they are all just as important and I don’t compromise. At 200′ all my regulators need to be up to the task not just my primary.  Food for thought.

Lamar

Dive Lab Reg Performance Article

 

January 14th, 2013

Custom Nomad XT

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Nomad XT Custom extra small

We had a request from Canada for a Nomad XT to fit a female diver who is 4’11″ and 105 pounds. The Nomad XT sizing begins at size medium because it its designed around the standard TransPac XT back plate. Because we build almost all of our products in-house, we can usually do just about any custom requests. Kenny and Jon accepted the challenge and built an Extra-Small, Nomad XT. With just a few minor alterations they put it together quite nicely. They used a small-size TransPac XT and the Nomad LT buttplate to make sure the length would be correct. Daisy chain ring bungees gives the diver additional customization to ensure tanks hang correctly.

We checked sizing first on Kathleen, our marketing director, and knew we were on the right track. The guys played with it and got a friend to come in that matched the size of the customer to make sure it would be a perfect fit. Congrats on another custom-job well-done.

Lamar