The O2ptima Rebreather Rev D electronics must run on rechargeable batteries that come with the unit, but you can power the Rev C secondary on a non-rechargeable 3.6v lithium or high quality alkaline battery. The non-rechargeable lithium battery will last for up to 20 hours in the secondary and the alkaline should be changed when you change the cartridge.
Apply the same rule to the Rev D electronics: put a fresh, rechargeable battery in when you change a cartridge and set the low voltage warning at 3.3v on the Rev D primary.
Dive Rite introduced the Ring Loop bungee system as an alternative to classic sidemount bungees. We dress the bottles with stage straps and a neck loop that clips into the Ring of the bungee. The classic bungee has been around since the early 1980’s and is either a single piece of bungee connecting both bottles to the diver or two separate bungees, one for each bottle. It is important to note that when a single bungee fails it means the connection point for both bottles is severed and the diver should have a safety clip on the neck of each bottle to manage the bottles and abort the dive.
The Ring Loop bungee evolved from a desire to quickly don sidemount bottles when wreck diving or more complex cave entries. It allows the diver to manage the neck of the bottle independently, just like the lower bottle clip. The Ring Loop system requires stage straps in order to work and this puts some divers off. They believe less is more when it comes to diving. I believe you wear the gear necessary to get the job done and now that sidemounting is mainstream, rigs have to evolve to accommodate divers who don tanks while treading water in the ocean. Besides, you don’t notice the stage straps or bungee hardware while diving.
The classic method needs less bottle hardware, which seems appealing, however I believe this is the Achilles heel of the system. With the classic sidemount bungee the diver has to attach the lower bottle clip first, which doesn’t give the diver flexibility. When diving from a boat or in a cave system that doesn’t have a shallow water platform, the classic system is very challenging to don.
Anyone can attach a sidemount bottle kneeling on the floor, the real proof of a modern sidemount rig is the ability to do so mid-water, especially with steel tanks. Aluminum 80 sidemount divers have it easier because the tanks are light, yet northern wreck divers prefer steel tanks for weight and volume and today’s sidemount diving isn’t just for warm water cave divers.
We designed the Nomad to accommodate all divers and it really shines with larger cylinders. This rough cut video is a demonstration of the two bungee styles and it speaks for itself. I have dived all types of sidemount systems in some of the most inconvenient entries in the world and I know the Ring Loop bungee system is the best I’ve used in thirty years of sidemount diving. VIDEO: Classic Sidemount Bungees Vs. D-Ring Loop Bungees
With the launch of the new XT line we have the toughest line of wings available in the sport diving market. Coupled with the SuperFabric technology we also launched a new, tough 210 laminated bladder. It’s the same material used in lift bags and surface markers. It’s pinch-proof, poke-proof and snag-proof and we believe so highly in this product we now offer a lifetime warranty on all 2012 model EXP and XT Wings that carry the 210 bladder.
A lot of people ask us why the bladders are bigger than the outerbag. They discover this when they dismantle their wing to clean it. You don’t need to take your wing apart to clean. Just run fresh water through it, dump and inflate overnight. But to answer the question, the bladders are bigger than the outerbag to keep stress off of the seams. Due to the restriction of the outerbag, the bladder isn’t able to inflate to its full size. That’s a good thing.141
This month we are launching one of the toughest wings on the sport diving market today. Based upon the success of our Nomad XT Rig, plus input from our customers, we’ve developed a wing with three layers of protection from punctures, snags and abrasions. They’ll take a hell of a beating.
The first layer is the 200 weight inner bladder which is highly resistant to punctures. Next, we add a 1000 denier Cordura outerbag on the face of the wing with SuperFabric material on the reverse. SuperFabric is a technical fabric resistant to cuts and damage. Created as a base layer and then overlaid with plates, its flexible, yet will keep sharp objects from penetrating.The key to making a tough wing isn’t thick, heavy fabric. It’s layering. VIDEO: XT Series Wings
If you damage this wing, call me. I want to go diving with you and see for myself what could possibly hurt this wing.
Before launching the EXP line of wings in 2009, all Dive Rite wings had a solid mid-section with slots for cam straps. We changed that with the innovation of the EXP wings and it has worked so well, we will continue the same mid section design for the new XT wing series.
The webbing crosshair configuration lets the wing adapt to any backplate with or without slots or a single tank adapter (STA). The multiple grommet holes let you adjust the height to help with trim and placement. The webbing is actually stronger than a solid center panel. Another advantage is that it allows us to give a 3D effect to the wing, which creates the necessary lift in a smaller package. You can’t do a panel strip on the inside of the wing if it’s solid. VIDEO: Crosshair Backplate of Dive Rite Wings
The Single Tank Adapter (STA) was originally named “Singles Mounting Plate (SMP)” when I designed it in 1985. At that time, we had just launched the Dive Rite Wing, the original doubles wing with 60lbs of lift. Cave divers dropped by the old shop to share their ideas and show us their modifications, since back then no one could dive a product off the shelf without a few adjustments.
Guys were cutting slots in the wing for diving singles and my girlfriend (now my wife) was a new cave diver that wanted to dive her backplate all the time, including with a single tank. We had a ABS plastic plate, so I got the idea to rip it from top to bottom on both sides of the cradle that nestles between the double tanks. I added cam strap slots on both sides of the bolt holes. I now had a set up to attach a single tank to a backplate, my girlfriend was happy and the guys stopped mutilating their wings.
Today, the STA is so popular with the single tank crowd that we have now shortened our STA so it doesn’t interfere with the smaller center section now prevalent on single tank wings. Our single tank wings (Travel and Voyager) do not require a STA since we have gone to a crosshair center section that keeps the wing and harness securely together, however some prefer the convenience and added weight of a Single Tank Adapter. VIDEO: Single Tank Adapter 2012
I have to travel with my own rigging for stage, bailout and sidemount bottles. We are launching a deluxe version for 80 or 40 aluminum bottles, but I need to travel light and flexible so we put will also offer a travel strap combo that includes the hose retainers for 40, 80, and 8″ cylinders. The 1.5″ cam buckles and smaller clips all add to the convenience. These include chokers for the ring bungee system. I’m always looking for a way to lose a few pounds when I travel.
Look for these beginning March 1st. VIDEO: Stage Bottle Travel Straps
I have played with Sidemount regulator rigging for 30 years and what I have learned is one size does not fit all and some missions require something out of the ordinary. I used to dive a short hose, 28″, on each side because I was mission oriented and the team was on Sidemount so it didn’t require a long hose on one bottle for mixed teams. Now that I dive Sidemount for lifestyle when I’m not on my rebreather I think about other team members and now have a long hose on my left bottle for a team concept.
Right bottle, short hose, 22 or 28″ hose with a right angle adapter to manage the hose coming up from under the arm on a necklace like all technical divers are taught. A 22″ inflator hose for my dry suit so I can push the bottles back under the arms in tight places.
Left bottle, 5′ or 7′ hose is recommended, I use a 5′ because I use a Jetstream that can breathe left or right side. If you use a standard right side regulator you should lean toward a 7′ hose so it can wrap around the neck, either way it should have a right angle to make it easy to manage and a clip on it at the right angle adapter. I use a 22″ BC inflator hose so I can have room to maneuver the bottle in tight spaces.
Both bottles have 6″ SPG but some friends like 9″ SPG because it’s easier to read with old eyes, I thought the same until I got readers in my mask.
Just goes to prove that we all have to configure for our personal needs. The goal is a streamlined system, a quick check is how long does it take you to set up and get your bottles on compared to your buddies. It may be surprising. VIDEO: Sidemount Reg Set Up
If you already own a TransPac and want to convert it into a Nomad XT, you’ll need to lengthen the shoulder straps about two inches to make room for the wing. The Nomad wing rides beneath the harness, between the diver and the TransPac and this extra padding means the shoulders will be shorter unless you lengthen them.
It’s easy to do. Take one apart first and keep the other for an example. Make sure you have about two inches of space between the TransPac backplate and the start of the shoulder padding. That will give you enough space for the XT wing.
TransPac After XT
TransPac Before XT
I like to butt mount my primary light for sidemount diving. Smaller lights can be mounted on the waist, but I want easy access to my light. All of our lights now come standard with a Quick Belt Mount. This gives a quick mounting solution by slipping the QB Mount through the crotch strap on the back of the Nomad. The light will have some movement, but not the same amount of play you get with quick links.
Now I can just reach back and remove the light if I get into something small and just move it to my waist. It’s a small thing, but a great solution. VIDEO: Sidemount Diving: Quick Belt Mount For Primary Lights