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It's About Convenience...

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#1 segal3


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Posted 10 July 2005 - 11:07 AM

I always try to look for ways to change or improve upon certain objects, in an effort to make things more convenient or to save money. Prior to leaving for my trip to Mexico, I had my Ikelite 20D housing sent in to Ikelite for a few modifications‚€¶

Before: Posted Image

After: Posted Image

Aside from the obvious usefulness of the 90-degree right angle bulkhead to alleviate sync-cord bending that replaced the previously agonized over straight strobe bulkhead (and I expect that Ikelite may be flooded with retrofit orders for this design), the other noticeable change is the addition of a second strobe bulkhead.

If you have a dSLR, you know how long the batteries can last - a long time. For awhile now, I thought it‚€™d be great to be able to download pictures...without having to open the main housing seal. A little research, and I found that USB carries four wires: ground, +voltage, +data, and ‚€“data. After a few emails to Ikelite, the housing was shipped over and went under the drill. With some creative wiring, soldering, and insulating, the bastard child of a USB cable and a sync-cord was born:

Posted Image

Along the course of this work, I found that on removing the shielding of the USB cable, odd things can happen if one isn't careful. I went through a stage of "USB device unrecognized", "not responding", etc before I was able to finalize what had to be isolated - this is made more difficult by the fact that all the wires *still* have to travel along the same core. A final solution involved tin foil restoring the USB shielding with additional plastic insulation. Some trial and error involved...

Posted Image

Internally, everything had to match up so that I didn't have to worry about destroying my camera and/or computer :D. Multiple checks with a multimeter for connectivity and wire attachments were necessary. In this case, check ten times, solder once. :D After that, a little maneuvering of the wires inside the housing, and it was set. I sealed the housing, turned on the camera, and plugged in both the sync-cord and USB cable. Windows beeped, and started downloading images off the camera. Success :D

It's still rough-cut right now, but fully functional. I am now able to download photos over a USB2 connection, merely by plugging in a sync-cable socket. This is so much more useful on a dive boat, when opening up after every dive really becomes a hassle. When I get the energy, I'll probably clean it up a little as I figure out how everything is holding up. A special thanks to Ikelite, for being open to such radical ideas and for performing the bulkhead changes and installs in such an expedited manner, especially with the all of the craziness during the July 4th weekend. Again, hope this was informative and possibly inspiring. I'm always interested in comments...

~Matt Segal
Matt Segal - carbonos scuba

#2 james


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Posted 10 July 2005 - 12:17 PM


Congratulations, that is some excellent engineering work! A few housings come with these ports already installed, but you are the first that I have known to make one yourself.

I like what you've done in both cases.

I've been putting the second coat of polyesther resin on my buoyance module today - I'll post some photos later this week. Hint: It's a faired module that fits over the port and makes my macro setup completely neutral.

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#3 Arnon_Ayal


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Posted 10 July 2005 - 01:44 PM

Now you only have to find a way to recharge the battery without opening the housing.
Arnon Ayal www.arnonayal.com
Nikon D200, Ikelite housing, Dual SB105.

#4 kriptap


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Posted 11 July 2005 - 04:32 AM

Matt you should get the inventor of the year award for that. It's people like you who do the things that the rest of us would like that give the idea to the manufactures so they can produce them, I think in the not to distant we'll see these rolling of the production line, great job.

#5 Peter Schulz

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 05:00 AM

I REALLY like the right angle bulkhead connector. I didn't think there was a real problem with the design as it was. But turns out, I was wrong. Wrong in the sense that my updated rig looks tougher and more professional and I feel better about it. It just looks right and feels right.
Nikon D70 with Nikkor 10.5, 18-70, 60mm & Sigma 15mm lenses in Ikelite housing with 2 Ikelite DS 125s.
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