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The H-Plate.

My own design single tank DIY travel backplate in 3mm '316 marine grade' stainless steel.

Finished dimensions: Length 370mm, Width 223mm, weight 1.9kg (4.2lbs).

I have never been quite convinced that using an adapter bolted to a backplate designed for twin tanks makes the truly optimum solution for a single tank rig.

A single tank adapter pushes the tank away from the divers back (with some designs, by a couple of inches), which is not ideal for a sleek profile or easy balance, and can make it difficult to reach the tank valve. For dive travel, an STA is another separate piece that must be packed and transported. (And the wingnuts of an STA -are- an unnecessary failure point, however unlikely.)

The H-Plate is slightly smaller and lighter than a conventional plate for easy travel without sacrificing comfort, with a reversed groove to securely mount a single tank close to to the divers back, and includes cam band slots to match popular existing single tank wings.

This design was made as a batch of eight (spares now all sold - sorry). Cost for material, laser cutting and folding, just over UK£40 each.

Showing harness routing. The only difference to a standard twinset harness, the webbing passes back to the front of the plate through the top pair of slots in the spine to allow a cam band to also be used through these slots.

Back view with cam bands through top and bottom slots. The top and bottom cam band slots line up with Dive Rite Wings. The middle and bottom slots fit (2003 model) Halcyon Pioneer and OMS single tank wings.

The holes along the spine allow semi-permanent attachment of a wing using line or bungee through existing grommet holes. This prevents the wing flopping about when rigging to a tank without being a critical part of the system for the dive. There is not enough space between the plate and a divers back for bolts and wingnuts, so the plate is not suitable for use with a twinset.

A complete single tank rig using a 15l steel tank, Dive Rite Travel Wing and Apeks reg.

First sea trials, English Channel, February 2004. Performed perfectly for comfort, fit and trim.

Note to self: Remove flowerpot from tank before being photographed.

My other backplate designs:

  • H-Plate Mk II lightweight aluminium (2007)
  • H-Plate Mk III full-size stainless steel (2010)
  • Aluminium twinset backplate (2008)
  • Stainless steel twinset backplate (2009)

    A page describing the background to this plate, as well as tips for designing your own backplate

    A drawing of the basic template for my backplate designs is available for download here.

    All content © Copyright Huw Porter 2004-2010