If you own a Single tank wing that does not have a built in STA here's an inexpensive
alternative to the $80+ ones available from manufacturers. I used 4" section
of 4" PVC pipe (Black of course) cut it in half, placed it in the oven
at 300 degrees for a couple of minutes (it does not take long at all) pressed
it into the shape I wanted (be careful - it's VERY HOT - so use gloves etc..)
let it cool, drilled a 3/8" hole in it the center, put 2 SS tapered bolts
through and bolted it to my BP, sandwiching the wing between it and the BP.
The Cam Bands go through the slots in the wing/BP and have no interaction with
this STA. Total Cost $5 (or less if you have the PVC laying around)
Soft Channel Weight
Having gotten tired of putting weights on my cam bands I decided
to move it to my STA and Channel instead - for the channel I took a 6lb soft
lead weight, removed 4lbs for the STA weight. I sewed the soft weight shut again
and removed the excess material. Then sewed 1" webbing on the top and bottom,
I put a loop in the bottom one and burned a hole in the top one for the bolts
on my BP to line up with. If I were to do it again I would not do the loop on
the bottom, but burn a hole on both ends instead. I was hoping the loop would
be easier to work with - it is not. It is designed so that I can put the majority
of the weight towards my waist, but if trim requires it I could switch it around
and move it more towards my head by simply flipping the direction it points.
I wanted the ability to adjust how much weight I put on my BP
- so I divided the 6lb soft weight into 2lb groups. 2lbs went into the channel
weight above. The remaining 4lbs were divided into 2 STA weights. I took 1"
tube webbing and measured it around my STA, so that it sat under the ridges
of the STA (This helps prevent it from coming off when no tank is attached.)
I then sewed one end shut,about 2" from the end. Using a funnel I filled
the tube webbing with 2lbs of lead - this left about 6" of webbing empty.
after shaking and forcing the lead as far down as possible I sewed the other
end of the webbing shut at the point where the lead ended. Then sewed the two
ends together making a ring. Notice how the left side of the loop is flat -
this is the area not filled with lead. I intenionally this part of the tube
empty because I know that I need less weight by my head this way I can increase
slightly the amount of weight by my waist instead.
Once sewn shut I made the second one in the same way, but made
it 1" longer because I will place it over top the smaller one on the STA.
I then pushed the smaller one first over the STA and the larger of the two over
top it. This gives me 4lbs of weight on my STA in addition to the 2lbs in the
channel besides the 6lb plate. For a total of 16lbs of fixed weight. I normally
need 14lbs, which gives me a little extra to work with if I use a heavier exposure
suit. And I can get rid of my weight belt!