Gralmarine Strobo

Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by

A GOOD FEW YEARS AGO, I rolled backward from the tubes of the club RIB and set out to explore the wreck of HMS Falmouth, leading a much less experienced buddy on his first open-water wreck dive.

We swam around the well-broken remains for an enjoyable 37 minutes before I signalled that it was time to end the dive and make a free-ascent in midwater. We broke surface within touching distance of the boat, to the utter amazement of my buddy, who demanded to know how I’d accomplished such a feat in rubbish vis and on a wreck best described as so much jumbled scrap, with no recognisable navigational references.

I mumbled something suitably modest, and otherwise kept quiet. The performance earned me a reputation for navigational excellence that I maintain to this day.

What I’ve never admitted before is that I remember nothing of the wreck, because I actually spent the entire dive with no idea of where I was, and desperately trying to find the anchorline so we could get back to the boat without a long surface swim. I gave that up only when our remaining gas supply suggested that being on the surface toot sweet would be a smart move.

Which brings me to the Strobo strobe made by Polish manufacturer GRALmarine.

This is a substantial piece of kit. It feels weighty and solid in the hand, like the sort of thing that you can depend on when everything else in your world goes Pete Tong, and you need a break.

True, there’s a whiff of the garden shed in the build quality and the printing of the graphics, but the unit carries the CE mark and the website claims that the standard strobe is tested to 150m, with a 300m tested unit available on request.

I had been sent a 300m unit, but the Editor told me that I didn’t have to take it that deep, which was good of him.

Appeared in DIVER February 2018

The Design

The strobe is an aluminium cylinder that measures 4cm in diameter and 13cm in length. It unscrews in the centre to allow you access to the supplied single 18650 battery. A charger comes with the strobe.

0218 tests gralmarine strobe in handAt one end of the cylinder is the lamphead, a clear plastic dome under which is a small three-sided pyramid with a single LED in the centre of each side (below).

At the other end is a substantial stub with a hole through it. Through this is threaded a length of bungee tied to a stainless-steel, single-ended bolt-snap.

The strobe turns on by simply screwing both halves of the cylinder tightly together, and turns off when you unscrew it a half-turn or so.

I like simple screw-to-turn-it-on-or-off kit. In my experience it’s the most reliable solution long-term. I know it’s possible to unscrew things so far that they flood, but the Gralmarine has a double O-ring seal to guard against that.

If you’re daft enough not to notice that it’s stopped flashing and you can stop unscrewing, that’s your look-out.

When you do turn it on, just make sure that you’ve either shut your eyes or are looking away. The output is 3600 lumens, and that’s serious illumination at less than arm’s-length, even under water.

The three LEDs flash five times, pause for a second, and repeat until there’s no more power in the battery. Flashing lights are far more noticeable then steady lights – just ask any cyclist who rides in the dark – and the pattern of the strobe certainly does the business. If you try it indoors in a small room, you’re begging for a headache.

The Design

The strobe is an aluminium cylinder that measures 4cm in diameter and 13cm in length. It unscrews in the centre to allow you access to the supplied single 18650 battery. A charger comes with the strobe.

At one end of the cylinder is the lamphead, a clear plastic dome under which is a small three-sided pyramid with a single LED in the centre of each side (below).

0218 tests gralmarine flashing head
Gralmarine flashing head

At the other end is a substantial stub with a hole through it. Through this is threaded a length of bungee tied to a stainless-steel, single-ended bolt-snap.

The strobe turns on by simply screwing both halves of the cylinder tightly together, and turns off when you unscrew it a half-turn or so.

I like simple screw-to-turn-it-on-or-off kit. In my experience it’s the most reliable solution long-term. I know it’s possible to unscrew things so far that they flood, but the Gralmarine has a double O-ring seal to guard against that.

If you’re daft enough not to notice that it’s stopped flashing and you can stop unscrewing, that’s your look-out.

When you do turn it on, just make sure that you’ve either shut your eyes or are looking away. The output is 3600 lumens, and that’s serious illumination at less than arm’s-length, even under water.

The three LEDs flash five times, pause for a second, and repeat until there’s no more power in the battery. Flashing lights are far more noticeable then steady lights – just ask any cyclist who rides in the dark – and the pattern of the strobe certainly does the business. If you try it indoors in a small room, you’re begging for a headache.

Surface Marker

Which brings us to the second part of the test. Let’s assume that you’ve made a complete horlicks of your dive-plan and ended up on the surface a long, long way from your boat cover. You simply switch on the strobe, hold it up out of the water and, hey presto, enhanced visibility.

Not so much so if it’s a bright day and the sunlight is sparkling from the surface of the sea, of course, but in typical British diving weather

I found that the strobe was sufficiently potent to attract attention at a quarter- to half-a-mile in the daytime. At night I was able to see it very clearly at 1.5 miles, pulsing away like a good ‘un, and looking as if it would have been easily seen from much further back.

Of course, it wasn’t possible to do more than make out the flashing light at that distance, but if they’re looking for you, that’s all you need.

GRALmarine claims that the included 3000mAh battery is good for 10 hours, but in the famous bucket-test it was still going after 14 hours when I switched it off.

The flash power and pattern does alter a bit as battery power is used up, and by the end of the 14 hours it was getting a bit wheezy, but wheezy can be better than nothing.

At the back of my mind would be the comforting knowledge that if the worst ever did happen, I would have a strobe capable of attracting rescuers for at least one full night in the oggin, and maybe even two.

Conclusion

I liked this strobe a lot. It was exactly the sort of diving equipment I prefer. Simple, robust and up to the job it’s intended to do. It looks and feels as if it will take all the abuse a normal diving career can dish out, and still do the business if needed.

Specs

PRICES> £145

SIZES> 13 x 4cm

WEIGHT> 250g

DEPTH RATING> 150m, 300m on request

CONTACT> divelights.com

DIVER GUIDE>  9/10

This week, it looks like DPV manufacturer ScubaJet has begun insolvency proceedings. PADI has distributed half a million dollars in their Project Aware campaign. Dorset coastguard have called off the search for a missing diver. And the Pearl Fleet has commented on a viral video of a shark-dive that didn’t go so well
https://taucher.net/diveinside-insolvency_proceedings_at_scubajet-kaz9246
https://divernet.com/scuba-news/conservation/padi-aware-distributes-500k-in-mission-hub-grants/
https://www.scubadivermag.com/raid-launches-ots-full-face-mask-programme/
https://www.scubadivermag.com/dorset-coastguard-call-off-search-for-diver/
https://divernet.com/scuba-news/health-safety/search-for-diver-off-dorset-stood-down/
https://divernet.com/scuba-news/health-safety/pearl-fleet-hits-back-as-maldives-shark-dive-slammed/
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The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.

This week, it looks like DPV manufacturer ScubaJet has begun insolvency proceedings. PADI has distributed half a million dollars in their Project Aware campaign. Dorset coastguard have called off the search for a missing diver. And the Pearl Fleet has commented on a viral video of a shark-dive that didn’t go so well
https://taucher.net/diveinside-insolvency_proceedings_at_scubajet-kaz9246
https://divernet.com/scuba-news/conservation/padi-aware-distributes-500k-in-mission-hub-grants/
https://www.scubadivermag.com/raid-launches-ots-full-face-mask-programme/
https://www.scubadivermag.com/dorset-coastguard-call-off-search-for-diver/
https://divernet.com/scuba-news/health-safety/search-for-diver-off-dorset-stood-down/
https://divernet.com/scuba-news/health-safety/pearl-fleet-hits-back-as-maldives-shark-dive-slammed/
Diving Into The Darkness Link:
https://www.scubadivermag.com/affiliate/mzsd


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YouTube Video UEw2X2VCMS1KYWdWbXFQSGV1YW84WVRHb2pFNkl3WlRSZS5GNzRBRjZBMTFFRDU2OERD

Missing Diver Search Called Off #scuba #news #podcast

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Sharks and Yum Yum Yellow. What are your thoughts? #askmark
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@preethasebastian8921
Sharks and Yum Yum Yellow. What are your thoughts? #askmark
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YouTube Video UEw2X2VCMS1KYWdWbXFQSGV1YW84WVRHb2pFNkl3WlRSZS4zMzg4MjBBNzZCQzY5MDk4

Are Sharks Attracted to the Colour Yellow? #AskMark

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@emilyZA460
#AskMark hi! I was hoping you could help me understand the interchangeability of a DSMB and a simple SMB if I only plan to use it when I deploy it during my safety stop at 5 meters. I used the simple version for this purpose during my last liveaboard and despite occasionally having to reinflate at the surface due to some air escaping while being deployed underwater, it didn’t seem to be too problematic and so I was wondering if it’s necessary to have a DSMB for this purpose? The issue for me is that somehow I tend to end up misplacing my SMB quite often and so the price difference between the two makes it a more acceptable loss when it’s replacing the SMB regularly rather than the DSMB at double the cost
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The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.

Diving Into The Darkness Website:
https://www.scubadivermag.com/affiliate/mzsd

@emilyZA460
#AskMark hi! I was hoping you could help me understand the interchangeability of a DSMB and a simple SMB if I only plan to use it when I deploy it during my safety stop at 5 meters. I used the simple version for this purpose during my last liveaboard and despite occasionally having to reinflate at the surface due to some air escaping while being deployed underwater, it didn’t seem to be too problematic and so I was wondering if it’s necessary to have a DSMB for this purpose? The issue for me is that somehow I tend to end up misplacing my SMB quite often and so the price difference between the two makes it a more acceptable loss when it’s replacing the SMB regularly rather than the DSMB at double the cost
#scuba #scubadiving #scubadiver
LINKS

Become a fan: https://www.scubadivermag.com/join
Gear Purchases: https://www.scubadivermag.com/affiliate/dive-gear
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OUR WEBSITES

Website: https://www.scubadivermag.com ➡️ Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Hints & Advice, Scuba Gear Reviews
Website: https://www.divernet.com ➡️ Scuba News, Underwater Photography, Hints & Advice, Travel Reports
Website: https://www.godivingshow.com ➡️ The Only Dive Show in the United Kingdom
Website: https://www.rorkmedia.com ➡️ For advertising within our brands
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We partner with https://www.scuba.com and https://www.mikesdivestore.com for all your gear essentials. Consider using the affiliate link above to support the channel.

The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.

YouTube Video UEw2X2VCMS1KYWdWbXFQSGV1YW84WVRHb2pFNkl3WlRSZS4yOUY5MUNBMTM5RDMyREQ5

What's the Point of Fancy dSMBs? #askmark #scuba

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