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New Housing "Airlock" Vacuum from Backscatter


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#141 John Bantin

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:28 AM

I know of someone who did forget to pull a vacuum and went in the water without the plug. This is essentially like diving with a hole in the bulkhead of your housing. Fortunately, he had a dome port on and caught it as the water started rushing in so he was able to turn the camera so the water began collecting in the dome as he was aborting the dive.

To Adam's point, having a vacuum system isn't completely fool proof. You still need to check your system before jumping in.

This doesn't add up. Surely, if water could get in, air would have got in first, before he hit the water. Sounds like someone ignoring the red light. Thank goodness he doesn't have a rebreather!


I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#142 AndyBarker

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:39 AM

This doesn't add up. Surely, if water could get in, air would have got in first, before he hit the water. Sounds like someone ignoring the red light. Thank goodness he doesn't have a rebreather!

Is that flashing red or full red it makes a difference, the choice is yours. :pardon: 

Andy. 


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#143 John Bantin

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:53 AM

I think we are venturing into the realms of the urban myth, where diving computers, BCs and even pressure-gauges can kill you!


I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#144 adamhanlon

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 02:02 AM

Not all systems have a red light. Just saying.....

 

If my housing tries to kill me, I'll definitely get a vacuum system :)


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#145 andy_deitsch

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 03:15 AM


This doesn't add up. Surely, if water could get in, air would have got in first, before he hit the water. Sounds like someone ignoring the red light. Thank goodness he doesn't have a rebreather!


He doesn't have electronics on his system. He just checks the vacuum before going in. Just forgot to do that on this particular dive.

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#146 nikonscubadiver

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:57 AM

Vivid Housings has tiny electronic indicators available for less than 75 Euro, with a switch and red and green LEDS to indicate whether the vacuum has been lost. I think most housings would have space for these where they can be seen from the outside. They also make the Leak Sentinel which is the complete unit, valve, vacuum sensor etc.

Can you please provide a link to that item and price? 



#147 nikonscubadiver

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 12:13 PM

The airlock from Backscatter looks nice but I was wondering about the black fittings in the pictures. Is anyone who purchased this system able to let us know what material they are made from? I saw another posting here that said "I am removing the valve for packing the housing, closing the bulkhead fitting with the included cap. Packing pressure on the valve could possibly leverage into breaking the plastic bulkhead fitting. Reintalling the valve will just take a few seconds." I was just wondering about the other mechanical parts of the system. 



#148 NikonKidF3

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 12:45 PM

Can you please provide a link to that item and price? 

Here is the link to the Leak Sentinel, which I used for week in Key Largo earlier this year and highly recommend to reduce your stress levels!

 

http://www.vividhous...ak-sentinel.php

 

I see you are using nearly the exact same setup I use: Aquatica housing, with D90, ULCS arms.  I use S&S YS-110 strobes though!

 

Willis



#149 nikonscubadiver

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:29 PM

Vivid Housings has tiny electronic indicators available for less than 75 Euro, with a switch and red and green LEDS to indicate whether the vacuum has been lost. I think most housings would have space for these where they can be seen from the outside. They also make the Leak Sentinel which is the complete unit, valve, vacuum sensor etc.

 

Pete 

I am looking for a link to the electronics for 75 Euro. I have searched the site many times and can find no reference to this. 

 

Roger



#150 adamhanlon

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:08 AM

Hi all,

 

Just a "heads up" that I have and am diving a Backscatter Airlock at the moment. I'll write up my thoughts about it very soon!

 

 

Adam


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#151 vividhousings

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 01:20 PM

 

Pete 

I am looking for a link to the electronics for 75 Euro. I have searched the site many times and can find no reference to this. 

 

Roger

Hello,

I have added the PCB only on the Leak Sentinel's product page. I will update the website soon, until then, please contact me by email with any questions you might have.

Miso


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#152 adamhanlon

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:42 PM

Hi all,

 

have posted a review of the Backscatter Airlock on the Wetpixel front page.

 

http://wetpixel.com/...ty-check-system

 

Enjoy!

 

Adam


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#153 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:21 PM

Hi Adam, 

 

Good work. The best analogy I can think of is it is like diving with a buddy. It is always more sensible to have the extra checks. 

 

Alex


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#154 John Bantin

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 03:57 AM

"Despite some proselytizing from some individuals, no vacuum system by itself can guarantee that a housing will not flood" - just like an oil-pressure gauge/light on your car does not guarantee your engine will not run out of oil, but if that light comes on, I'm going to do something about it!


Edited by John Bantin, 02 June 2013 - 03:58 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#155 gdfallon

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 02:10 AM

Just returned from Bonaire where a fellow on the boat had the Backscatter system. According to him the vacuum caused a problem with his camera in that not all the buttons worked.  His theory is that the vacuum caused the buttons in the camera to get sucked in a little bit which meant they did not meet up properly with the housing controls. Any comments on this?



#156 conger

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:40 AM

I just returned from Bonaire as well, we arrived home last night at midnight.  We purchased two of the Backscatter systems, one for myself and one for my wife both worked great with no issues at all with any buttons, and we routinely pressurized to 10lbs.  I am using a Seacam housing.   I have the simple system without the lights, although our housings have audible and visible leak detection as a back up.  I was away for 16 days and made 52 dives with the housing my wife made about 30 with hers.  Changing lenses, downloading cards and restoring the vacuum was quick and easy.  The only difference I noticed between my housing when it was under vacuum and prior trips was that I had to remember to release the vacuum to open the back or to change ports.  I grew to appreciate that the Backscatter system requires you to insert the pressure gauge to release the vacuum, originally I though it would be nice to have a switch on the valve that is attached to the housing, but knowing that the default position has the valve sealed, and the valve is only open if the gauge is plugged in makes it almost impossible for me to make an error and depressurize the housing by accident.  The system is easy to use and extremely light for travel.  This system very quickly became second nature, and barely added any time to my camera rigging/derigging.  

 

I was originally disappointed that I purchased the system from Backscatter without the lights before the one with the electronics was available.  Now I am happy with the current system and I am not sure I would upgrade for the additional cost if I could do it again.  Although I have not used a vacuum system for years I did have one with indicator lights installed on an RS in the 90's, I am much happier with the Backscatter system then I ever was with the RS.  I can see the obvious advantage in general of indicator lights but for me it is not a big deal if they are missing.  The ancient system in the RS probably is not comparable to more modern systems, but it did drive me crazy on my last dive of the day when I changed film and re-rigged the RS, I would then apply vacuum, and check after 30 minutes and have the green light.  The next morning the light was red and I knew it was the temperature change, but I could either ignore the red light or repeat the pressure test.  With the RS the pump was not mechanical it ran off the pressure fitting on your B.C. as I recall so it was really kind of a pain to pressurize.  I think the biggest factor to consider with any system is how easy is it to use, from my experience if there is a choice between a hand pump and one that requires air or a/c or even batteries to run I would choose the hand pump.  A hand pump reduces the chance that you will skip the vacuum just this once because of lack of an outlet, batteries etc.  

 

This is not meant as a comparison to the other available pumps, this is a rare case where I did very little research before purchasing.  It was an impulse buy based on an email Backscatter sent out before release of their product.  It is also not meant to recommend going with a no light system over one with lights for anyone.  For me I think this is the right choice, based on my prior experience but I think it depends upon the system, your rigging protocol, and your comfort level as well as any incremental cost.  Finally I have no connection to Berkley White or Backscatter other then having made purchases from the Backscatter store in the past.  



#157 JimDeck

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 08:27 AM

Just returned from Bonaire where a fellow on the boat had the Backscatter system. According to him the vacuum caused a problem with his camera in that not all the buttons worked.  His theory is that the vacuum caused the buttons in the camera to get sucked in a little bit which meant they did not meet up properly with the housing controls. Any comments on this?

While anything is possible, it is highly unlikely that the vacuum would cause an issue with the buttons. At -5 inches of Hg (the recommended vacuum to pull) is only 2.5 PSI or the equivalent to about 5 feet in water. So it's as if you're diving the housing 5 feet deeper than your depth.

 

Jim


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#158 drsteve

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 10:27 AM

" Changing the pressure inside of your housing at sea level using a pump is different than changing the pressure outside of your housing at depth using seawater."

 

Assuming that the inside of the housing is always at a lower pressure that the out side,

then only difference I can see is the size of the water molecule compared to an air mole.

 

And that is why commerical leak detectors use helium!

 

Acutally that is not why commerical leak detectors use Helium.  Helium leak checkers are small mass spectrometers tuned to only detect Helium, which makes them equisitely sensitive.  Since there is no Helium in the atmosphere there is no background signal except where the gas is intentionally introduced.  With a small tube you can bleed Helium around each fitting and localize exactly which one is leaking.

 

On a related note, the Backscatter system looks great and the fact that it can easily be installed to existing housing makes it addtionally appealing.  I am surprised that when I was at the Long Beach scuba show a few weeks ago they didn't display it prominantly at their booth.  I probably would have come home with one.  Years ago I ran across a videographer that had glued a Presta bicycle valve into his video housing and used a bicycle pump to pressrize his housing.  He claimed that one benefit was that if the housing did spring a leak, you would see bubbles exiting the housing.  It seemed a bit sketchy to me.  I think vacuum pump systems are a much better idea.


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#159 John Bantin

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 03:43 AM

When I first saw an SPG I thought it a good idea and got one - despite those who didn't have them telling me it could explode and kill me.

When I first saw an ABLJ (the original equivalent of a BC)  I thought it a good idea and got one - despite those who didn't have them telling me it could send me hurtling to the surface with my lungs hanging out of my nose.

When I first saw a diving computer I thought it a good idea and got one - despite those who didn't have them telling me it could kill me and that I should use tables.

When I first saw a drysuit I thought it a good idea and got one - despite those who didn't have one telling me it could leave me inverted and drowned.

When I first saw a BC and thought it a good idea and I got one - despite those who didn't have them telling me BCs could leave an unconscious diver floating face-down at the surface.

 

Why do divers hate ideas that are obviously good? You will ALL be using vacuum leak tests (complete with flashing green lights) within a decade, apart from the dinosaurs among you!


Edited by John Bantin, 10 July 2013 - 03:48 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#160 DocTock

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 11:17 AM

John - That posting  :goodpost: is a classic! I would love to use it as my Signature!

 

 

I just added a Housing Sentry vacuum check with no electronics. 

The vacuum added a level of comfort/ security; decreasing the level of risk of a catastrophe. 

I used a hand pump as it has an attached gauge (and yes, everyone on the boat HAD to make a joke about the hand pump).

Prior to each dive I would check the state of the vacuum by simple insertion of the hand pump.

After checking the status, it became routine to re-plug the bulkhead, especially as the pin is chained to the bulkhead on a very short chain.

 

The biggest advantage for me is I ended up using my camera out of the housing more than I have in the past.


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