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Ikelite Dual Sync Cable


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#1 ATJ

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 12:03 AM

I've had an Ikelite dual sync cable for a little over 2 years and used it for over 80 dives. It was working fine until a month or so ago when I had a few failures on a dive - out of 126 shots it failed 5 times. The next 2 dives I had no problems at all. Then this last weekend I did 2 boat dives and out of 93 shots the strobes only worked 19 times. Very disappointing, too, as there were 6-7 grey nurse sharks :lol:

Is this a common occurrence? Will Ikelite fix them? Will they charge? (I will be sending them an email but being memorial day in the US on Monday, I was hoping someone might be able to answer sooner.)

By the way, I'm pretty sure it is the cable. I have a single cable (unused) that fires a strobe without problems but with the dual cable it is unreliable.

Even if Ikelite do repair it, I'm thinking of buying a second cable. Is there any thing I can do to prevent the problems from occurring?

Thanks,

#2 ATJ

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 01:57 PM

Ikelite have told me that it isn't covered by warranty and is not worth repairing. This means I'm going to have to buy another one.

I assume the damage is caused by the cable bending at the connectors. I have some ideas on how to prevent that.

#3 Steve Williams

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 04:59 PM

I have some ideas on how to prevent that.

Hi Andrew, Let us know what you come up with. By the way, are you sure the fault is not in the housing connector? Pins can corrode pretty easily and be intermittent.

Steve

Edited by Steve Williams, 27 May 2008 - 05:00 PM.

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#4 Scuba_SI

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 08:42 PM

I have repaired several Ike cables in the field in the last two months. Here's how i do it:

Set up the camera and turn everything on.

Poke, prod and bend anywhere where the wire meets a bulkhead one place at a time, where there is a problem the strobe will fire erratically.

Once you have found the weak point disassemble the connector at that end, making a circuit diagram so you can put it back together.

Make note of the lengths of the wires from sheathing to the exposed wire and teh lentgh remaining for soldering.

Cut back the sheathing to the point where the wire is failing (normally about 1 to 2 inches)

examine the wires carefully... one should be loose/broken.

Cut back the wires and resolder.

Reattach the pins then reseal.



In mine, the cause of failure was a wire breaking due to the cables being constantly bent at 90 degrees for several years. Upon taking them apart i also noticed that the person who made the cable originally had failed in a massive proportion, cut the wires to the wrong length and then rather than replace the whole lot had added extra wire by soldering together some offcuts!

I'll be doing this process again once i've moved into a new house at the weekend, i'll take pictures and do some proper diagrams for folks on here.

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#5 PRC

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:25 PM

I am with Scuba_SI, I have repaired a couple and they are not difficult. I believe Ike will even sell you the connectors.

Having said that they are the weak link and a spare costs less than the baggage surcharge that you will be paying anyhow.

The other point that I would make is that if you are shooting manual then essentially you only need two of the wires to work - TTL needs five ( or thereabouts ).

On my next trip into the innards of my cable I am re wiring it such that there are two each for 'fire' and 'gnd' to provide some redundancy as I don't seem to use TTL at all.

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#6 ATJ

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 12:28 AM

By the way, are you sure the fault is not in the housing connector? Pins can corrode pretty easily and be intermittent.

Steve,

I am 100% sure. I tested the cable with a multimeter and it is the fire line that is intermittent. I'm pretty sure it is between the housing connector and the splitter as the break is for both the primary and secondary strobes.

#7 ATJ

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 12:43 AM

I have repaired several Ike cables in the field in the last two months. Here's how i do it:


Thanks for the insight. (And Paul, too.)

Reattach the pins then reseal.

Are the connectors self sealing or do I need to do something special?

In mine, the cause of failure was a wire breaking due to the cables being constantly bent at 90 degrees for several years. Upon taking them apart i also noticed that the person who made the cable originally had failed in a massive proportion, cut the wires to the wrong length and then rather than replace the whole lot had added extra wire by soldering together some offcuts!

I figured it was the way it bends, too. My plan is to put some flexible tubing around the cables where they hit the connectors and another bit over the connector and then some heatshrink over that. I'll take some photos while I do it.

#8 ATJ

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 01:45 AM

Once you have found the weak point disassemble the connector at that end, making a circuit diagram so you can put it back together.

OK. I may need some help here. I managed to get the unscrew the metal cap off the connector to reveal the cable going through a grommet to the connector. I can't work out how to get it apart further. I don't want to do any irreversible damage.

#9 PRC

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:00 AM

The usual failure point is at the back of the nut where the cable starts to bend.

From memory the gland also slides up the cable, after that I think you can gently push the black plastic insert from the inside of the main metal connector.

If you can wait a day or so I can post a picture of the innards of one of the spare 'new' plugs that I have.

As I recall the black plastic inner that holds the pins is not mechanically secured to the connector body ( which I did think was a bit naff to be honest ).

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#10 Scuba_SI

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:10 AM

Are you pulling apart a Nikonos end?

The rubber grommet slides back up the wire, some silicone grease will facilitate that.

Once you have the grommet far enough back on the cable you can then pull the metal piece with the oring on it back up the cable - exposing the plastic where the pins sit.


For after you have fixed it, household plastic water piping will fit over the top of the nut, and could be filled with silicone sealant to provide more stability.

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#11 PRC

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:27 AM

To be honest without looking at one again I can't remember if it comes out of the front or the back!

FWIW myself I would be a bit cautious with silicone sealant anywhere near the connector, the usual stuff emits acetic acid during the cure which will corrode most anything. It will cheerfully strip the gold plating from the pins given half a chance.

If you want to stiffen up the exit point I would try heat shrink tube after assembly.

The worst cases were fixed when Ike switched over to the 90 deg bulkhead on later housings.

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#12 ATJ

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 03:38 AM

Are you pulling apart a Nikonos end?

No. Ikelite to Ikelite.

The rubber grommet slides back up the wire, some silicone grease will facilitate that.

Once you have the grommet far enough back on the cable you can then pull the metal piece with the oring on it back up the cable - exposing the plastic where the pins sit.
For after you have fixed it, household plastic water piping will fit over the top of the nut, and could be filled with silicone sealant to provide more stability.

Thanks.

Edited by ATJ, 28 May 2008 - 03:41 AM.


#13 ATJ

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 03:11 AM

OK... me again. :D

I have moved the grommet and exposed the wires.

Posted Image


Do I remove the pins from the connector? If so, how? If not, how do I fix the wiring?

D'oh... I worked it out. You pull them out.

Edited by ATJ, 29 May 2008 - 03:13 AM.


#14 Kelpfish

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 04:54 AM

Unjlass the dual cord is a cash cow for Ikelite because they indeed don't last very long, they might consider redesigning them. I would pay a bit more for them if they lasted 2-3 times longer. Instead of that straight cord coming out, but it at an angle and sheath it like the S&S cords.

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#15 ATJ

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 12:00 AM

It seems Ikelite have been listening! I received a new dual cable today (ordered Thursday night and delivered Monday afternoon to Australia - pretty damn good) and the have caps on (most of) the parts of the cable that can get kinked.

Housing end:
Posted Image

Strobe ends:
Posted Image

They haven't protected the cables coming out of the splitter, though:
Posted Image

#16 Scuba_SI

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 02:31 AM

That's great news,

Sorry i missed the above posts! Weekends in Bali are a bit hectic! :lol:

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#17 PRC

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 03:46 AM

Am not so sure that is good news for me!


Those moulded on backs make repair impossible, so when they do break it is new chord time.

Time will tell.

Paul C


Or is that a plastic cover that goes over the current style plug ?

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#18 ATJ

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 01:10 PM

Paul,

The connectors haven't changed at all. It is just a cover that slides over the connector and it can be slid back.

#19 Marjo

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 02:00 PM

Oh, can you buy that kind of covers? Maybe a two part piece that you could snap together over wire and corrector? I find I am going thru the cords with great speed and always have spare handy. I must say tho that Ike has been good about repairs/replacements/reduction in price etc.. But it still sucks when they die while you are in the water.

Edited by Marjo, 02 June 2008 - 02:01 PM.


#20 james

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 02:10 PM

Those covers are called bend restrictors - and you can find them on electrical cords to household appliances, etc. They typically slide over the cable and keep it from kinking.

Kudos to Ikelite - that's great news.

Cheers
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