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Tweaking a new Nauticam D800 housing.

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#1 PeteAtkinson


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:32 AM

When a new housing arrives, there are a few things I like to do before it goes in the water. I’m not saying everyone should do this, but it suits me. I just sold my two year old D7000 Nauticam, and removed the handles, anodes and flash dovetails to check for corrosion, and they were fine. But then, two years ago, I did what I’m about to describe with my new NA D800 housing.
The handles, handle support plates and anodes are all assembled dry, i.e. no lubricant or anti seize compound. Or at least none I could see.
I lived on yachts for 23 years, and stainless fittings on masts always had Duralac anti-seize compound on the threads of the screws, so you could get them out at some future date. Otherwise the dissimilar metals and seawater would bind things together forever. So I like to do this on housings too.
Duralac is a corrosion inhibitor and a yellow gooey paste that gets everywhere of you’re not careful. First I removed the handles, put plenty of goup on the threads and reassembled.
I don’t like having balls sticking out of my housing; they are slow to disconnect and often make the housing larger than it need be. I like flat dovetails parallel with the film plane, probably a hang-up from using Oceanic flash arm plates many years ago. The aluminium plates on top of the Nauticam handles don’t have holes where I need. Last housing, I had the dimples each side of the 6mm aluminium plate welded up, and new holes drilled and tapped M5 x .8 for the dovetail screws. Then, I made stainless steel support plates to go between the housing and the handles because I could have them made here for a fraction of the retail price. The new housing came with these plates. This time, rather than have the dimples filled with weld metal, I just made new handle top plates out of some marine grade 6mm aluminium plate and drilled the three holes in each that were required. The small holes are tapped M5 x .8.
The whole assembly was put together with plenty of Duralac. My thinking is this; anywhere that seawater can lodge, I want filled with Duralac or grease before I take the housing underwater. Rinsing is all very well, but not having salt on sensitive parts at all is best.
One issue I have is the handles. My wife has small hands, and it would be a simple matter to increase the thickness of the plastic where the bolt goes through by 10mm, so that people like me could file away 10mm from the inside of the handle and thus bring it 10mm closer to the housing. Handles are available in two sizes, but I am unsure whether the small handles are closer to the housing.
Having bought a new housing, I have no coins left for securing the camera to the tray. Last housing, I filed a bit of stainless to fit as a handle in the camera securing screw. Normally I would silver solder it to the screw, but I was lazy and superglued it in position. This worked just fine! One trick is to clean both parts with abrasive paper and soap (not detergent); traces of remaining soap helps to polymerise the cyanoacrylate. This time, I bought a stainless steel TIG rod, 3.2mm, bent the end to roughly the right curvature (to fit the curved slot in the camera screw), flattened it a bit with a hammer so it was a good fit in the screw, then cut and filed it to reduce the profile. You may have to lift it a little to get the tray in with no camera, but it’s infinitely preferable to having to borrow a coin… The indignity!
PeteAtkinson-1264.jpg PeteAtkinson-1265.jpg
The new body cap and extension cap are a great improvement over the initial version.
I have not as yet disassembled any controls; I like plenty of grease between the shafts and the anodized aluminium to keep seawater from lodging there. But that’s just me…
Overall, the housing exudes intelligent design and beautiful engineering. I can’t wait to use it!

#2 Deep6


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:42 AM

Great tips Pete. Thanks.

Carpe carp - Seize the carp

#3 John Bantin

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:31 AM

Many people seem unaware of the problems of electrolysis caused by different metals in seawater. Add some Sofnolime and you've got a heady cocktail for corrosion! I had an aluminium aux. motor mount on my boat once. I disappeared before my eyes!

Edited by John Bantin, 27 January 2013 - 08:32 AM.

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#4 JackConnick



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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:16 AM

I have to say that while a bit of grease never hurts, particularly on the handle bolts, putting anti-sieze on Nauticam or other quality housings isn't really that necessary.

They have a very good, hard anodizing. So s/s and aluminum never come in contact. And they are using very durable, hard plastic now for a lot of parts. I've used various Nauticam housings for several years, and have seen customer housings that have had 100's of dives a year, and I've never seen a seized bolt from corrosion. Yes, salt build-up can be an issue, but if you are traveling, or take things apart once in a while to rinse it off, it's not a problem.

Really rinsing well in warm water with a little vinegar does the trick.

IMHO, I'm not saying the above will hurt anything, but seems like overkill to me, and can actually act as glue for salt and sand.


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#5 loftus


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:37 AM

A pipe thread teflon paste is also cheap and easy. Ryan from Reef Photo advised it.
Maybe not essential, but can't hurt. I started using it when I had some problems with seizing of the lock nut on Nikonos strobe cables. Now any part of my equipment that has a thread gets a layer of the stuff about once a year.
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#6 ChrigelKarrer


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:24 AM

Good write up to not oversee or underestimate the terrible effects of galvanic corrosion!

I use some wraps of Teflon tape on the treads of stainless steel bolts going in metals parts different than stainless steel and it works great,
on y boats and on my housings.

You have to be very careful applying grease to treads as excess grease between the bottom of the hole and the bolt will not compress and
tightening too hard can crack the housing! $


Edited by ChrigelKarrer, 28 January 2013 - 07:27 AM.

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