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The ultimate low volume 'mask', Pipe goggles !

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Oz freediver
Oct 3, 2001
Hi All,
just like to tell you about the pipe-goggles I made and have been using for deep diving. Basically the same as a pipe mask, but much better !
Talking about the ultimate low volume mask, and with the aid of a nose-clip hands free equalisation as well. I have built a pipe-mask and the goggles are much better. The vision I rate as good as a big scuba mask. And the volume is so small you barely put any air in at all.

The goggles cost me $11 US, plus some glue and a bit of pipe, say maybe $13worth all up?
Takes about 1/2 hour to glue in the pipes, you need a connecting piece between the 2 goggles. I'm also using some great nose-clips my firiend Andy Ross built me, maybe a few bucks worth of materials. AIDA would have no excuse not to change those outdated rules, if everyone can have low-volume hand free equalising solution for a very low cost!

I actually thought of the goggles idea over 4 years ago, before I even knew about pipe-masks, just didn't get around to building it till now. ;)

Will take a better picture of just the goggles when I get the chance and post it for you. They work great !


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can you make some illustrations and show how you made them? Are these goggles anything like the liquid filled goggles?
I am interested to see how these are made and how they work. Thanks
Nice hand work.
How did you perforate the lenses?, Just drill?.
I bought all the materials to make a pipe mask, but I get afraid of ruin the mask.
I think your idea is great.
If you have low volume goggles, perhaps you could use a pipe that is longer and has a larger diameter. It would contain enough eir to equalize the goggles for you, so you wouldn't even have to hold the pipe in your mouth.
A flexible pipe should be easy to attach to your wetsuit to keep it out of the way.
Of course you could use any kind of flexible air container, but I think the pipe would cause the least disturbance to the diver.

If, for example your goggles are 0,2 dl in total volume (my swimming goggles are about that size), you would need to take down another 2dl of air to be able to dive to 100m:
At 100m P=11bar
(2dl + 0,2dl)/11 = 2,2dl/11 = 0,2dl
So if your pipe contains 2dl of air on the surface, at 100m your goggles would still be equalized!

This could be done, for example, by using two 50cm long flexible tubes with a 1,6cm inner diameter, one for each side of the goggles.
Volume of air in the pipes:
2*0,5m*Pi*(0,016m/2)^2 = 0,000201m^3 = 2,01dl

Shouldn't be too cumbersome if you find a smart way to secure the tubes to your suit. And if you are like me and don't plan to dive to 100m in the near future, you can use shorter or thinner tubes.
You could always just let the goggles equalize with blood from your eyes! :)

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
That was just a suggestion, open for comment, nothing more. I'm not saying that it will work or that it should even be done. But if you think there's a problem with it, why don't you post it?
If you close the ends of the pipes, then there probably is a risk of equalizing with blood, as you say :)
If you make small holes in the ends of the pipes, then you will probably get some water in the goggles.
So the idea needs work, that's for sure.

That's a good idea and it has been done.

Some of the older AMA goggles were similar to a normal swimming goggle, except that they had two small balloons attached to them. As the diver decends the air would get forced out of the ballons and into the goggles.

If you look at some of the original stuff that the early west coast freedivers made it was some what similar. I believe that Terry Mass has a picture of a mask made along these lines in his FREEDIVE book. The mask was made by Jack Prodovnovich (SP?) and had a ballon attached to it, but NO nose piece!

It's an interesting idea with the tube, but I wonder if a simple balloon wouldn't be more streamlined?:confused:

A balloon could be more streamlined, but probably also harder to tie down. Either way, the pipe tugging on the goggles as you move in the water could be a problem. The goggles that I have tried leak very easily if they are moved even just a little bit.
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I tried to build a pipe mask in 1998 but it was harder than it sounded. Also I didn't like how it was difficult to switch from the snorkel to the pipe.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Not the most streamlined, but here's a shot of the mask in Terry Mass's book FREEDIVE.

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I'm surprised so many people are struggling to make their own pipe masks when there is a guy in the UK who has been selling them for at least a year.... I would post his website but I seemed to have misplaced the link.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
This one's a little bit harder to see since it was an archive photo that I lifted out of the book: A PICTORAL HISTORY OF DIVING.

If you look at the sides of her goggles closely you can see the ballons that are tied into the straps. I have seen better pictures in the past, but this was the best one I could find on my book shelf.

I imagine the limiting factor would be the size of the bulbs that you could attach to the side of the goggles. Since most of these divers were only going to 20 meters, but doing it all day long, they wouldn't have needed balloons bigger than that. For someone diving to 100 meters they would have to be a quite a bit bigger- but I'll let some other math wiz figure out the size of them for me.;)

The pipe mask would be the quick fix since it would use the air you already have in your lungs. This wouldn't amount to any more than you would already be using with a standard mask, but it would allow to use a nose clip and clear hand's free.

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Interesting pictures Jon! The idea did feel too simple to not have been done before :)

The reason I used 100m as the max depth in the calculation was to show that even if you were to dive to huge depths, the length of the pipe would still remain manageable (well, almost manageable...).

If 50m is your max, you need only half as much tube, 2*25cm. These would be short enough to attach to the strap of the goggles with cable ties or something similar. I believe that would be more streamlined than the masks in Jon's pictures.

But this is just theory... like Eric said, in reality it's probably a lot harder than it sounds.
Way ahead of you guys.
I thought of using a filled bag of air to equalise the goggles. Did it last week, and it worked. Whilst at Kmart I bought some kiddies floaties, the ones they put on their arms. Cost 50 cents. The air valve was right daimeter. Tried it, took it down to 41m, no problem! Started with about 150ml of air or so.

And no Eric I did not struggle to make this pipe mask, drill 3 holes, some glue, all done in like half hour. Why would I want to pay someone in the UK to do that for me ?
This cost me almost nothing. Hate to think what it would cost in pounds ??

And this is far superior to a pipe-mask, the volume doesn't even compare. It does take a bit of practise. For example when doing the mouthfill you need stick your tongue out to block the pipe. I used the goggles again today and dived 67m, they are great, really don't notice much air lost at all. You don't really need to blow to put air into them, just block & release with your tongue on the pipe.

When I get time will show some better pictures. Today been busy diving and helping out getting stuff ready for Annabel's records.

you do not drill into the lenses, just into the frame. Also need the right goggles, the ones I use have a soft silicon frame, They will only work with goggles that seal very well, most rely on suction, which will be lost once you atach the pipe.

Took part of a picture and blew it up a little, best one I could find at the moment. Did take some pictures of just the goggles but don't have a digi camera and still have to pick up the photo's.

Basically I used a drill, put 3 holes in the frame of the goggles. Inserted the pipe, used superglue to hold it in, then silicon to seal it better. I used smaller bits of pipe to go into the goggles, to keep the holes small, then atached the larger sections to that.

The brand of the goggles is Aqua
Sphere, made in Italy. They have a soft rubber frame and are really good, also have mask style strap system. Great goggles if you want to use normally for pool training also so you might want to buy 2 pairs.

Hey maybe I should ask them for a commision right ? :duh



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Hello Walrus,
At what max depth did you reach with that equipment and excuse me I don't understand that the open hole of the pipe is in your mouth i think,am i right?
Thanks for the info.
One question, Do you have any leakage while diving?
Specially when you blow the air?.
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