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Backscatter Electronic Airlock Vacuum (a quick overview)


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#1 diverdoug1

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 12:41 PM

I just got the electronic version of Backscatter's Airlock Vacuum System.  It screws into one of your housing's existing accessory bulkhead ports (my Aquatica AD800 has three accessory ports, and two strobe bulkheads).  The Bulkhead is not included with the vacuum system and must be purchased separately.  The system costs $424, and the bulkhead for my housing cost $75.  The system is powered by a CR2032 3V coin battery.  There is an external on/off switch.   There are three LED indicators which flash green when the vacuum in the housing is greater than 6" Hg.  Yellow below 6" Hg.  Red below 3" Hg.  When the unit is turned on with adequate vacuum present, it will flash green three times in rapid sequence.   The three green flashes will repeat every three seconds for a duration of 30 seconds, and the will go into a "sleep" mode in which it only flashes green every 109 seconds.  If while in sleep mode, the vacuum falls below 6" Hg, it will wake up and flash amber or red every 3 seconds for 30 seconds, then go back into a sleep mode that flashes every 109 seconds at the appropriate color for the current amount of vacuum.  My unit shipped without instructions, so these time intervals and pressure specs were determined by my observation, and are not necessarily manufacturing specifications.  The pump and valve system appear to be identical to Backscatter's non-electronic pump, which has been thoroughly discussed on this forum.  I think the electronic version is worth considering because it gives you continuous feedback with respect to the vacuum in your housing.  I am happy with the purchase, and the technician at Backscatter was helpful with my questions about the unit.


Edited by diverdoug1, 16 September 2013 - 02:09 PM.


#2 nikonscubadiver

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 02:37 PM

I wonder why your unit shipped without instructions? ???  It is not clear from you overview as to the cost. It sounds like you are just under $500 plus shipping for the total setup? 

 

 

I agree that a vacuum check device is a very nice accessory and maybe the electronics makes a difference. I am not so sure that i like the idea of the on/off switch as this is something that can go bad from use or be forgotten to turn on or off. i think that something automatic would be better. I like the idea of different color led's and the very common battery. I have some concerns with the plastic parts that are used on the outside of the housing. It seem as if it would be easy to damage the plastic resulting in a total flood. I also don't like the pump and gauge with this system. It wasn't designed for the purpose it is used for and there are too many parts in that assembly. It was designed to pull the air out of a wine bottle, the gauge and fitting are just a add on. 

 

 

 

Roger



#3 diverdoug1

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:46 PM

Backscatter told me that they had not produced any instruction sheet yet.  Total cost was $424 plus $75 for the bulkhead....so $499 total (no shipping charges).  The stem and part that screw in are anodized aluminium.  the only plastic part is the window that you see the LED through.  The pump is in fact a Vac U Vin pump, but the whole assembly seems very sturdy.  the pump assembly is only two parts.  The on/off switch is to save the battery.  If you forget to turn it on , you will know because the light won't be flashing, and you simply turn it on (which can be done under water if needed).  As far as an on/off switch being a possible failure point, I don't even want to hazard a guess how many (switches/actuators/electronic failure points) that are on my housing and camera, not to mention on my 3 strobes, sync cables, Slave trigger, 3 dive computers, dive watch, nautilus lifeline, modeling light, and 3 dive torches, so what is one more switch?  :)

Hope this additional info. helps.


Edited by diverdoug1, 16 September 2013 - 03:57 PM.