View Full Version : Inflatorunit with bigger buttons

27-06-2018, 01:15 PM
A disabled diver contacted me about starting technical diving. A complete healthy person, but only some things that normal people can do and this diver not. I am a person that thinks in possiblities and not in impossiblities. Where this ends, we both don't know. The first dive will be a confined session with 'technical equipment'.
The wheelchair will not be a problem. BUT: the diver is now using a normal bcd with an 'airtrim', Aqualung Pearl I3. This means a big button or handle to inflate and deflate the bcd. A normal inflator/deflator has too small buttons. It is impossible to use them.
The diver has a special made inflator on the drysuit, a big button like the ones that are used for doors. This works well.
But on the I3, no twinset can be fitted and it is not made for sidemount. So we look for better options. My harnasses for a backplate or sidemount only have normal inflators.
So now I am looking for an idea to make the buttons of the inflator and deflator (1 piece) BIGGER. Glue something on it, or? Who has an idea?

The buttdeflator I already have an idea: I can make it longer with some line and put a golfball on it and make it on a D-ring on the chest. Then it is just an easy pull.

For now no discussion about abilities to handle valves (valvedrills), share gas, handle the more heavy equipment. This will be the next thing. First the inflator/deflator must be suitable for this diver.
Who has an idea?

27-06-2018, 01:30 PM
I'm not sure on how much fine motor control you'll need, but I used to work with a chap with cerebral palsy and we put levers across buttons to create a bigger target.

Typically a simple rod about 10cm long with a spring behind it was fastened just beyond the button set to a similar height as button, then fastened about 5cm the other side. To press the button any point along the lever can be pressed, or rested on and tracked to end for mechanical advantage. A smaller version set on the base of the inflator or even the hose and run across could work, but not sure on snag hazard.

Maybe something to try?

27-06-2018, 01:31 PM
The disabled divers I know (through DiveAbility) have a BCD similar to the 'airtrim' one you describe and have a modified lever. If you know someone with a 3D printer and design capability I guess you could get a bigger button made to the same fitment. 'ReallyMadRob' on here does some 3D printing so you could try contacting him.

I'd be interested to hear how you solve the problem though as it'll open up more options for our divers too.

27-06-2018, 01:37 PM
Decades ago(pre ablj decades), we made a plastic housing for an inflator system for a local "Inventor", it was about 150 mm diameter with inflate and deflate (large) buttons on the front face and was mounted on the weight belt/waist.

The contraption ended up on tv on Tomorrows World at the time, bcds rather made it pointless though.

Decent machine shop could cobble something similar together, probably make a hole in 5~600 euros though.

27-06-2018, 02:05 PM
A larger button could be made to either replace the standard button on an inflator or to fix temporarily over it.

For valves again either a replacement rubber/plastic part or a larger ring/notched part that fastens over the top of a standard valve handle, etc., or maybe a lever like the lever operated hand basin taps?

If the wing inflator is one of the standard ones where the button is screwed on then replacement bigger/wider buttons shouldn't be much of a problem.

... Decent machine shop could cobble something similar together, probably make a hole in 5~600 euros though.

Happy to help but wont need 5-600 Euros to do it, stuff like this tends to be materials & postage only.

I have used rings on cords for a disabled person before as they could put a finger/thumb in the ring, about 50mm wide, and drag it rather than being able to grip it.

Give me a shout if I can help machining you something up.

Tim Digger
15-07-2018, 07:20 PM
The buttons on my Atomic SS1 inflator are huge. It also is an octopus ie regulator with its own larger hose and connectors. Might be worth a look.

16-07-2018, 10:17 AM
I can't offer advice but may I offer my respect to someone who is not being held back by "disabilities" and to others who are helping out. :handshake:

01-10-2018, 06:39 AM
As with T Digger the Scubapro air 2 latest generation has larger buttons and can be part of a wing system from Scubapro.