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Specialist Forums > Equipment Forum > Use Of Deco bouy
posted : June 24, 2007 Post subject: Use Of Deco bouy
Hello Divers..
I Am going on a diving trip this summer and I was advised to buy a deco-bouy and a reel, which I have done - but I have never used such a thing before..
My questions are:

Is it sent up from the bottom or near just before you reach your deco stop depth?

Wont the lift from the bouy drag the diver towards the surface when he uses the reel to send it up?

It would be an enormous help if someone could answer the questions and give a fast instruction in how to safely use a deco bouy.
Thanks - Jonas

posted : June 25, 2007 Post subject: Use Of Deco bouy
you will not be able to learn how to deploy a dsmb from any internet forum, however to answer your questions.....

if you are connected to the reel AND the reel jams / you don't allow the line to spool off, it will yank you towards the surface.

where you fire the dsmb from is up to you. the line on my reel is marked every 5m. personally, i fire the buoy from depth (it gives the boat advanced warning you're on your way up) and ascend using the reel. the markers give me an indication of depth so i don't need to watch the computer.
others will just fire it from the stop depth, however firing the blob from depth gives you more control as you don't need much gas in the buoy & it starts off slowly. it does accelerate as the gas expands in the buoy so the reel jamming can become a possibility.

my procedure is this....
unclip reel & buoy from wing
unroll buoy
put a *small* amount of gas into the buoy (either from an inflater or from a reg) so that the buoy is no longer flapping about and is pointing towards the surface.
holding the rig away from your body, do the main inflate - the deeper you are, the less gas is needed in the buoy (remember all those gas expansion lectures?)
it will start to pull you, so let the reel unwind. when the line goes slack, it's either on the surface or become detached ;-) job done.

as for how you fill the buoy. lots of ways, the 2 i use are:-
a dedicated inflater thingy when i'm not using a drysuit
swap to the necklaced reg and gently (don't want a cold water freeflow) use the main reg purge button as the gas source. you need to be careful to not get the reg hose tangled or the reg itself caught as you do this.
other people use the exhaust bubbles from the reg they're breathing. i don't do this as the dsmb rig is too close to the body and may get tangled on something you can't see.

the above is for a solo, mid water deployment. if you have a buddy to hand then they can help. if you have a wreck to hand, then you can clip the reel to that. that said, both of these things will not be there when the sh*t has hit the fan, so learn the solo technique.

i also carry a 2nd dsmb with a lead weight and 10m of line attached. if i've had to abandon the primary (reel jam) then the 2nd can be used when i hit the shallower stop depths.

posted : June 25, 2007 Post subject: Use Of Deco bouy
and the easiest way of filling a dsmb is to use one that has a built in gas source...just need to remember to fill it before you get into the water.
ap valves make one with a small (about 0.3L) cylinder attached. you crack the cylinder and just let the reel feed the line out. dead simple and can be done in a few seconds.
you're still better off learning the manual technique though as you never know what kit will fail and when.

if you're concerned about your reel jamming, you can always attach a 2nd reel to the first. you're then increasing the snagging points so you're better off getting a good quality reel to begin with, making sure it's fully functional and that when you wind the thing back in, you pay attention to how the line lies on the drum.

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