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A Template for Designing your Own SCUBA Backplate

The web page for my original H-Plate single tank travel steel backplate went up in early 2004, followed by the Aluminium Hplate Mk II in 2007 and a Standard Aluminium backplate in 2008. Ever since the beginning, I've received a steady trickle of emails from people interested in designing or making their own backplate - mostly asking for an electronic copy of the design. Well, I've finally downloaded a copy of inkscape, and produced something to share.

This is the basic template for my full-size backplate, with alternative fold patterns for dedicated single-tank use, or, conventional use (with a twinset/single tank adapter/wings with built-in stabilisation). To this basic template, you can make whatever modifications - larger or smaller, multiple bolt holes, accessory holes round the edge, more cam-band slots, handles, fold the bottom corners etc - are required to make the backplate of your dreams. (I can't do all the work here - besides, coming up with the design is half the fun to my mind. :-))

This design is published under a Creative Commons Licence:

Creative Commons License
Huw Porter Backplate by Huw Porter is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Download a full-size PDF here, or below is a detailed image of the design:

Note: I don't have AutoCAD - or anything similar - nor will I be buying a copy just to make a AutoCAD version. (...Though if anyone wants to pay for a copy for me, I'd be happy to produce a CAD version in return. ;-))

Don't fancy this version? There are several others floating around the web, including:

  • A CAD file on a Dutch diving forum, apparently (I havn't seen the result) based on the single-tank version of my plate:

  • This thread on Scubaboard has a few useful links including what looks to be a version of the classic Roger Lacasse design:

  • Nigel Hewitt has been kind enough to leave available the autocad files for the famous UKRS / Combro backplate:

  • Chad Green has designed an STA to go with this design, and has provided a template, available for download here (thanks Chad!). There are some pics of hisfinished plates and STAs in SS and Ali up on Flickr.

    I've also written up some of the knowledge I've gained during the process of making my plates.

    Good luck, and, please, drop me a line if you do succesfully make a plate for yourself...!