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DRUM System and Constant Weight

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Deep Purple
Oct 30, 2002
I decided to start a new thread....the other one was covering to many different things.

Is it possible to post a photo of what the DRUM reel system looks like?

Does it have a handle on each side like a sailboat system or is it alot bigger with only one handle on the side?

How do you keep the DRUM line from gettting tangled with the descent line when free spooling on the descent, especially when drifting or with any kind of surface wind?

It seems that no descent line is the best option, however descending in clear, deep water, it is difficult to truly get a bearing on what is perfectly vertical, especially in the first 30 meters.

Laser pointer?

I wonder if a laser pointer would be helpful as a virtual line?

Unfortunately, I think that the water absorbs red light pretty fiercely, so it might not be too practical. That said, a laser would have some nice advantages, the chief ones being that it wouldn't bend in the current, there is no risk of entanglement and it is really easy to carry and deploy.

I guess there are some disadvantages too -- the laser can't mark depth too easily and I suppose that there is some slight risk of eye injury.

Just thinking aloud ...

The original DRUM system called for two descent lines -- a 'rail', so the diver doesn't wind around the line.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
The lifelines feed out with the diver (negligible resistance).

The reel uses a double handle. The reel is a heavy duty, long-line fishing reel. The process is similar to casting your lure, i.e., the diver and then retrieving it. I'll get one of the guys to take photos over the next few weeks of the reel in action as I'll be doing some deep water training.

Previously, we used a double reference line (rail) to prevent spiralling. Now I don't bother with reference lines. On ascent the retrieval line is reeled in but not that it aids me as Paul is able to compare line depth with sounder depth and maintain some difference. We use braided mono line (invisible) for the electric hauler and sukiyama line (red, braided) on the mechanical reel. It's very important that the red line is non stretch otherwise you could get excessive compression tension on the reel with each turn resulting in compression of the reel!

To maintain verticality I do much work in shallow water working on balance at various lung volumes. I have a bottom marker as a target and see how close I can get to it making only very subtle adjustments. Ofcourse it is easier if you are negatively buoyant to start with. I'm approx. 1.5kg -ve to begin the dive. That is I dive at wet FRC (functional rsidual capacity). Can't go deeper than about 20 or so meters equalizing on air with such a lung volume.

To prevent slipping of the line on the hand reel we put some drag on it so that it may better take up. There are also some guides to keep it from coming off.

Laminarman, with regards to diving in murky water, I don't know, I've never tried it. In the coral sea the water is very clean and the vis is generally +30m, usually up to 50m!

QLD, Australia

Sebastien you better be careful out there in the Coral sea, monster Tiger sharks, silky sharks and the Aggressive Oceanic whitetips all live out in the deep water where you dive they could easily take a liking to you ascending very quickly then munch :D

I know of a guy in Miami that attaches a similar size rope you use on the drum system to himself by wraping it under his arms and clips it behind his neck so it looks like a backpack harness. He does'nt use the any reel system and just lets all the line out until it sinks. It is the only way his spotter will let him dive in Gulf Stream by themselves otherwise he does'nt use it, I don't know for sure what good it does as far as a retrieval system, I think it's mainly an issue of getting lost or separated in the event of an accident out there since there is a constant 5mph current and it is really deep, pretty basic idea: one end tied to a diver and the other to the boat or float. I talked to the guys dad last year and he told me about it, said it worked fine, he also said there was never an issue where it became necessary to retrieve the diver with it. I guess it's not totally useless but I imagine that it would take a few minutes to pull in all the slack and then someone up by hand.

- Jack
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