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Brand new Nauticam 550D housing flooded due to rocker button fault


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#21 Drew

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 05:50 AM

Due to the overwhelming response on the Nauticam 7D housing, I've split the thread so WT's issue and the 7D housing has more clarity with their own respective threads. You can find the 7D housing thread here:

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=37484

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#22 Cp

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 06:20 AM

Chris,
Benthichi says his dealer is in the US. Are you saying that no one has reported any leaking shaft issue about the 550D/T2i housings at all?


I said no D90, D300s, D700, or 7D returns for leaking shafts. Yes, we have received the one 550D and we are evaluating it now. Sorry if I wasn't clear there.

Cheers,
Cp

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#23 tdpriest

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 08:42 AM

So since I'm a newer photog with a brand new nauticam 550 housing im curious on what a more experienced photog would do/not do to their housing that a new guy wouldn't.


OK - common problems in the (less) experienced:

over-greasing the main o-ring...
not greasing the main o-ring...
trapping the main o-ring without noticing...
leaving the rig in the dunk bucket where the port gets displaced...
setting up the housing in a hurry (that's my specialty, and, yes, I had a leak)...
failing to make sure that the port is properly seated...

... and so on.

I've learned from other photographers and reading a lot. I've witnessed a few salt-water camera disasters, and had a couple myself.

I've been a diver and photographer, as well as having an interest in diving medicine and having been around salty water for long enough to realise that 90+% of all problems start with human error. I'm also very familiar with the temptation to look for equipment failure rather than face up to the possibility of human error. I apologise if you think that I have been personally critical, but I'm not apologising for a little aged cynicism!

Tim

:)

#24 Paul Kay

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 11:23 AM

To add to Tim's comments, its also worth bearing in mind that if you are traveling and the housing has to go in the hold luggage then it will need a careful scrutiny upon arrival at the destination. I've had flash units simply not work (internal connections dislodged), control shafts bent and metal handles bent too, I know of broken port shades as well (even in Pelicases). I always thoroughly inspect the housing, etc., on arrival, which is how I picked up the bent control shaft (I managed to straighten it enough to operate but it was later replaced). Again, experience means that you just accept such checks as a routine part of traveling with a housing (or I do anyway) but its very easy to assume that everything is ok because it was prior to departure. One of my suspicions is that luggage is treated badly enough to loosen bits and pieces even if they were properly assembled, and I've seen luggage fall off the trolley trains so its hardly surprising.
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#25 Drew

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 11:49 AM

To add to Tim's comments, its also worth bearing in mind that if you are traveling and the housing has to go in the hold luggage then it will need a careful scrutiny upon arrival at the destination. I've had flash units simply not work (internal connections dislodged), control shafts bent and metal handles bent too, I know of broken port shades as well (even in Pelicases). I always thoroughly inspect the housing, etc., on arrival, which is how I picked up the bent control shaft (I managed to straighten it enough to operate but it was later replaced). Again, experience means that you just accept such checks as a routine part of traveling with a housing (or I do anyway) but its very easy to assume that everything is ok because it was prior to departure. One of my suspicions is that luggage is treated badly enough to loosen bits and pieces even if they were properly assembled, and I've seen luggage fall off the trolley trains so its hardly surprising.


Paul, I totally agree with the preventative steps needed, but again look at the facts of complainant's posts, which is the topic of this thread. Both occurrences happened between the 10th - 23rd dives. Which means it passed the scrutiny test but loosened as it was used. There is no reasonable way you can test for such an issue short of doing a test dive before every real dive. I'm not sure this is a case of mishandled housings.

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#26 Paul Kay

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 01:34 PM

I'm not sure this is a case of mishandled housings.

My post was to add information to Tim's. Without knowing more 'facts' about the two housings in question, their immediate pre-flood history and so on, its impossible to conjecture about what the precise cause of the leak was. If you read my 'flooding' post you will see that the cause of my flood was found by careful dis-assembly post flood (and caused by carelessness before). I'm sure that Cp will respond on this precise issue when and if a cause is found. In the meantime information is a valuable tool in preventing most floods and here is as good a place to post it as any.
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#27 Benthichi

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 01:06 AM

The dealer tested the housing and determined that the housing was leaking from the rocker switch, and not from the pushbutton shafts located beneath the rocker. A machine screw that holds the rocker key assembly on the housing had backed out with use. The screw was tightened, and immediately the leak stopped. The screw was secured with loctite thread locker to prevent a recurrence (which should have been done at the factory). The housing back was overhauled, replacing the leak detector and corroded parts, pressure testing the housing, and sending it back within 4 days of shipping it from HI to FL! The interior and exterior snap rings are a low-grade stainless that do rust, and I consider this cheap manufacturing (the dealer is replacing these themselves). The dealer picked up shipping costs both ways (second day and overnight shipping)! By the way, to those of you suspecting user error, I've been shooting 125-175 dives per year UW for 9 years, and this is my first major leak, which was not caused by user error.

Hi all,

Our service department handles all of the Nauticam USA warranty claims, and we've had no Nauticam D90, D300s, D700, or 7D returns for leaking control shafts. The piano keys on 7D use a different design, and are no more complicated than any simple pushbutton from a sealing perspective. The rocker key on NA-550 is a new assembly.

As mentioned above, there are tolerance variances from camera to camera that affect control alignment. Nauticam housings have some adjustments available to compensate for these different tolerances; and our service department will be glad to help fine tune a housing for a particular camera if needed. It rarely is.

We are anxious to evaluate the causes of these issues, and will provide whatever after sale support is necessary. We will continue to stand by Nauticam owners.

Cheers,
Chris



#28 Drew

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 04:21 AM

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear the problem was taken care of by the dealer expediently and you have your housing back. It is a pity you had to go through that but at least now, our readers can check for the issue and perhaps avoid it.
Can you please take a pic of the actual area so people know where to look?

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#29 wtneo

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 05:45 AM

The dealer tested the housing and determined that the housing was leaking from the rocker switch, and not from the pushbutton shafts located beneath the rocker. A machine screw that holds the rocker key assembly on the housing had backed out with use. The screw was tightened, and immediately the leak stopped. The screw was secured with loctite thread locker to prevent a recurrence (which should have been done at the factory). The housing back was overhauled, replacing the leak detector and corroded parts, pressure testing the housing, and sending it back within 4 days of shipping it from HI to FL! The interior and exterior snap rings are a low-grade stainless that do rust, and I consider this cheap manufacturing (the dealer is replacing these themselves). The dealer picked up shipping costs both ways (second day and overnight shipping)! By the way, to those of you suspecting user error, I've been shooting 125-175 dives per year UW for 9 years, and this is my first major leak, which was not caused by user error.



Thank for the update ben, looks like we have the exact same issue with the rocker key.

My housing is due back in my hands tomorrow. Yay! :)

#30 Paul Kay

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 06:08 AM

Well. Looks like another preventative step is to examine ALL parts of the housing held in by bolts which may loosen (there can't be that many on most housings)! :) I just did this on one of my housings and it took 60s to ensure all were tight - at the same time its worth checking that any circlips are intact - these can fail although to be fair it is unusual - and a push button switch without a retaining circlip could just pop out and leave a hole! In another thread there is a query about whether to carry a camera inside the housing. But the housing itself can be subject to substantial vibration during air travel which could loosen a thread. Once loose it is probably only a matter of time before it becomes looser

Glad everything is sorted and regarding suspected user error, I still maintain that the vast majority of leaks ARE down to user error and its impossible to judge experience and understanding from a few web postings.
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#31 Steve Williams

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 08:29 AM

The housing back was overhauled, replacing the leak detector and corroded parts, pressure testing the housing, and sending it back within 4 days of shipping it from HI to FL!


Very glad you got some great service and you're back up and running. Thanks for letting us know what to watch out for.

Cheers,
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#32 Benthichi

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 12:04 PM

IMHO, Nauticam should recall all of the 550D housings issued to date, as I'm assuming, that with enough use (or transport), the screws will loosen, causing a leak, and potentially flooding the camera and lens. When examining the rocker switch in question previously, I did not observe any screws, but I'll check later today when the housing arrives. Fortunately, I've only missed out on taking photos on two dives, and they weren't in the middle of a liveaboard dive trip!

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear the problem was taken care of by the dealer expediently and you have your housing back. It is a pity you had to go through that but at least now, our readers can check for the issue and perhaps avoid it.
Can you please take a pic of the actual area so people know where to look?



#33 Drew

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 08:57 PM

Benthichi or WT
If you have a chance, can you put up a picture of the assembly? So others can know what to look for.

As for a recall, seeing how there are 2 incidents that we know of, it may be just a bad batch or something that's not pandemic throughout the manufacturing process. Only Nauticam can answer that.

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#34 Benthichi

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 07:20 PM

Here's a photo of the machine screw that loosened, causing the leak. For those of you who don't think a recall is necessary, here's a quote from a dealer e-mail: "Nauticam is investigating a mechanical fix for this in future housings. Loctite is messy, and can complicate service work at a later date...".

While I truly hope that no more housings leak, this screw is subject to vibration, and will loosen with a lot of use of the toggle lever. I've designed and built systems for high-vibration environments, and you can never have too many lock washers, and if those fail, lock tite!


Benthichi or WT
If you have a chance, can you put up a picture of the assembly? So others can know what to look for.

As for a recall, seeing how there are 2 incidents that we know of, it may be just a bad batch or something that's not pandemic throughout the manufacturing process. Only Nauticam can answer that.

Attached Images

  • A0Machine_Screw_1.jpg


#35 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 11:50 PM

Hi all,

I think you will be interested in the official response from Nauticam regarding the two reported cases of screw unloosening seen on this forum. All distributors and dealers have been sent this email to forward to their NA-550D customers. I applaud Nauticam for their reactivity in this case and this seems to me to be a belt and braces approach.


Dear Nauticam NA-550D customers,

We are very concerned about the two reports that a screw, which fastens the Rocker Key* assembly, is believed to have loosened from its original position. Upon careful examination of the two housings in question, we suspect that the only possible cause is that the conventional mounting method we utilized might be weakened by abrupt vibrations, perhaps induced during frequent/various means of transportation. We would therefore advise our customers to check for the integrity of the Rocker Key before continuing to use the housing.

Although the chances of occurrence of the phenomenon are extremely slim and we have been unable to replicate it in our testing facility, our company consider it of paramount importance; and most beneficial to our customers to further improve the vibration resistance of the assembly. As such, we have redesigned the way it is fastened. The new design involves changing two parts in the assembly, and we have carried out extensive testing to verify the durability of the new construction. Upon the satisfaction of the new design, we have taken immediate action in switching to the new design for all new NA-550D housings.

In order that existing NA-550D customers can improve the vibration resistance of their housings to the new design, we are offering one set of the new parts to each NA-550D customer. The changing over to the new design only takes several minutes, and does not need any special tool other than the set of allen keys originally supplied with the housing. Within the next two weeks you will be receiving notification from your dealer of this improvement kit. You can also liaise with our dealers should you need their assistance in carrying out the change for you at your convenience.

We at Nauticam are constantly striving for improvement to build the best products for underwater photographers and welcome continued feedback from our users about our products.

Sincerely,

Nauticam Management
Aug 31, 2010

*The Rocker Key is the two-way press key that activates zoom-in/zoom-out function of the 550D camera

Edited by Alsky72, 01 September 2010 - 12:05 AM.

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#36 adamhanlon

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 12:48 AM

Topics merged-details of the announcement are on the front page as well

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#37 Timmoranuk

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 02:24 AM

First class customer service from Nauticam :)
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#38 wtneo

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 05:32 AM

A quick update,

The housing has been overhauled, with corroded parts replaced as well as the leak sensor. However, there are some workmanship issues.

First of all, the bottom rubber support/padding. The edges are irregular and jagged.

Posted Image

The other issue is that the plastic part holding down the leak sensor wire drop out when I opened my housing for the first time.

Posted Image

The screw securing the rocker buttom has reinforced with loctite, similar to Benthichi's.

Posted Image

However, a closer examination revealed that they have loctited alot of other screws. Attached an example.

Posted Image


Seems like nauticam has quickly updated their design and sent out replacement kits for current 550D housing owners which is the right thing to do. I believe loctite will be secure enough to withstand the normal use of the rocker button for me and Ben. But is having so many screws loctited going to poise a issue for future servicing of our housing?

WT

#39 wtneo

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 05:43 AM

One more thing, my housing leaked during it maiden trip. I hand carried my housing and all equipment onto the cabin while travelling - yes, all 20kg of it in a lowepro computrekker plus.

WT

Edited by wtneo, 01 September 2010 - 05:44 AM.


#40 Drew

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 06:15 AM

Seems like nauticam has quickly updated their design and sent out replacement kits for current 550D housing owners which is the right thing to do. I believe loctite will be secure enough to withstand the normal use of the rocker button for me and Ben. But is having so many screws loctited going to poise a issue for future servicing of our housing?


Yes they did react quickly, which is a good thing. The loctite issue, if you are not doing the service yourself, is for the dealer to handle. If they mess up the screws etc, they can deal with it.

One more thing, my housing leaked during it maiden trip. I hand carried my housing and all equipment onto the cabin while travelling - yes, all 20kg of it in a lowepro computrekker plus.


It could've loosened anywhere from the manufacturing plant to your first dive. Vibration occurs all the time.

The question I think most people are interested in is the camera drowning due to a fault in design/manufacturing. It'll be interesting to see what is done about that.

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