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Member Since 14 Sep 2009
Offline Last Active Apr 27 2017 04:25 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Housing maintenance

17 April 2017 - 10:21 PM

While I tend to subscribe to the "if it's not broken, don't mess with it" philosophy, I serviced my own by putting the deep springs on my Aquatica housing after about 3 years of ownership. There was some grime on the o-rings behind each button and I felt better for having cleaned and changed them to less-squashed ones. I took the housing for a camera-free dive after the o-ring change to make sure all was well before submerging the camera again. 


You'd want to have some spare c-clips on hand too as some of them go "ping" and disappear during removal.


If you have to mail the housing to get it serviced, I'd say the risk of it getting lost or damaged in transit is greater than the benefit of annual servicing.

In Topic: What gear for 120-130m?

10 April 2017 - 07:21 PM

I took my Aquatica 5D2 to 100m multiple times, and to a maximum of 120m. I installed the deep spring kit myself beforehand. I found that the tolerances were not the same across the whole housing and some buttons didn't work with the deep springs. So I changed half a dozen buttons back to regular springs and it all worked perfectly at depth on the next dive. 


I have just bought a Nauticam 5D4 housing and I looked into getting the deep housing (150m instead of a 100m rating). I was told by the dealer that the buttons on the deep housing are the same in the Nauticam, but they reinforce the housing body itself. The deeper housings are correspondingly heavier. Nauticam aren't making a deep housing for the 5D4, apparently because they believe the normal housing body is fine. I know Gemma was using a Nauticam (with a Nikon I think) past 100m, and Damien Siviero in Sydney has taken one to depth recently.


If the weather is good I will test my Nauticam out at depth this weekend. So far I've had no problems with the housing down to 60m.


On the port front, you want an acrylic dome. I've seen people moving to smaller domes but I'm not sure what evidence there is for this beyond nerves.

In Topic: A nasty Honduran surprise

05 April 2017 - 10:34 PM

The US is not the gold standard in border crossings, it's a nightmare. Three and a half hours in line is less than I spent in the line at LAX and the only reason I was there was to immediately leave the country on a connecting flight. At least you hadn't come off a 14 hour flight and were in approximately the same time zone you'd (presumably) just left. The USA is the only country that forces passengers in transit to pass through immigration. I avoid it whenever possible and have done very little diving in the Caribbean as a result.


I'm sure un-aware travelers feel the same way about Australia's quarantine inspections when they get hauled out over the apple they picked up on the plane, or the wooden souvenirs that get confiscated, or the way gear used overseas in freshwater gets gently boiled for an hour before being returned.


Each country can do what they want to you and your stuff including refusing entry and deporting you. It's a hazard of international travel and the only available defenses are a positive attitude and comfortable shoes for standing in lines.

In Topic: Non-firing Inon strobe - what's up with that?

04 April 2017 - 04:24 PM

There's one other option - leave it in the shed for a month, no batteries, no cables. Forget which strobe is the broken one, take them all diving and see if it works again.


My six Z240s have always been buggy. Being able to fix tubes has been a huge improvement, but they still play up on occasion for no diagnosable reason. At least one of mine only works on S-TTL and the other settings refuse to fire. Another does this temporarily and then swaps and has to be back on Full instead of S-TTL to work. One had a melted capacitor after dry cave shooting. One looks like something got loose inside and shorted across the circuit board - that one is currently cactus. Another won't do a full dump under any circumstances, just a weird little half-fire. I put the most reliable two on the camera and distribute the other four on the dive. If half of them work at full power and one more at some kind of output, the photos normally work. All six working at full power is a good day.


I'm looking forward to a pair of retras arriving in June to see if it's me or the strobes that is the problem. I suspect overheating from full power shooting is the underlying cause of the periodic electronic weirdness with the inons.

In Topic: Non-firing Inon strobe - what's up with that?

03 April 2017 - 09:17 PM

If it's tubes, send it to Steve at TFM in Melbourne for replacement. They start to look slightly brown on the ends and obviously different to a brand new strobe. For me I have burnt out both tubes (easily replaced) and capacitor (harder to fix). Have you been doing any dry cave photography? It was Camooweal that did my capacitor.


If you send it to inon via a dealer they don't replace parts and will only replace the entire internal unit of the strobe. Might be worth it if you can get it done under warranty but otherwise it's expensive.