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The H-Plate Mk II

My design single-tank SCUBA backplate in 3mm 5052 Aluminium alloy.

Finished dimensions: Length 370mm, Width 222mm, weight 0.6kg (1.4 lbs).

The design principle of the Mk II is as per the original Stainless Steel H-Plate: a SCUBA backplate optimised for, and dedicated to, single tank use, with reduced size and light weight compared to off-the-shelf backplates, for easy portability without sacrificing comfort, and incorporating refinements from a couple of hundred dives over four years on the Mk I.

Key changes compared to the original are:

Change of material from 316 Stainless Steel to 5052 Aluminium alloy. (Weight down to roughly a third of the original, and negative buoyancy less than 0.5kg/1 pound.)

Fold angle of backplate sides and bottom corners increased slightly.

Shoulder straps angled out slightly for greater comfort without restricting mobility, and angle of waist strap slots increased slightly to optimise the 'fold angle' of the webbing.

Slots reduced to 3mm width, and slot ends changing to a rounded profile (more cosmetic than functional, though the slimmer slots hold webbing more firmly than before)

Shape slightly altered to a more elegant form. ;-)

Black Anodised H-Plate with harness and Oxycheq Mach V Extreme 30lb wing. (After 35 dives in Papua New Guinea)

Since designing the original H-Plate, STA-less backplate and wing combinations have become more common (see Oxycheq, Deep Sea Supply, previous version Halcyon Eclipse etc), and the reversed spine idea has even shown up in a commercial backplate (Mark Meadows / Golem Gear) for rebreather use.

Left: Original H-Plate. Middle: H-Plate Mk II. Right: Halcyon SS backplate. The H-Plates are approx. 28mm shorter and 34mm narrower (at the widest points) than the Halcyon plate.

Rigged up with a single Ali 80.

My other backplate designs:

  • The original H-Plate (2003)
  • H-Plate Mk III (2010)
  • Aluminium twinset backplate (2007)
  • Stainless steel twinset backplate (2009)

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

    All content © Copyright Huw Porter 2009