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Member Since 26 Jun 2006
Offline Last Active Apr 04 2018 01:44 PM

#391428 WTB Aquatica vacuum system

Posted by divengolf on 19 January 2018 - 06:33 PM

Mrasette: I think that's a good call. IMO the LS is most useful to insure that you have integrity before you start the dive. Pump the housing down and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. I believe that the LS is of less value once the dive has started. That's why keeping the moisture detector is a good call. The moisture detector will pick up a few drops of leakage into the housing while the pressure in the housing will not have increased enough to trip the LS. But nothing will save you in the event of a catastrophic rupture.

#388892 Best Vacuum System for DSLR Housing

Posted by divengolf on 31 October 2017 - 04:53 AM

I've used the Leak Sentinel since they introduced version 3, I upgraded to version 4 a year or two ago and am quite pleased with it. Version 4 has temperature compensation and the ability to turn it off and not have to reset it later. I use it in an aquatica housing. I removed the external microphone, and installed the LS in that port. The manufacturer provides adapters for most housings. Before you decide I contact Vividhousings and confirm that they have an adapter for the housing you're considering. AFAIK you can use any vacuum pump as long as you have the small fitting that screws into the LS. Mine protrudes only about 1 to 1-1/2 inches from the housing and has never been an issue with fouling.

I have never tried any other vacuum system as I have been very pleased with the LS. When I first purchased mine, the pricing was far more attractive than either manufacturer installed or other third-party systems. I've not priced it lately to confirm if this is still true.



#380359 Strange Shutter Delay on DSLR???

Posted by divengolf on 08 January 2017 - 04:42 AM

Here's a long shot to consider. I don't have a D800, but do have a D500 and I assume that the menus are similar. If the delay is consistent in length, there is a setting in Custom called Exposure Delay Mode. It's d5 in the Shooting/Display menu on my D500. I's assume that it's also on the D800.. If that is set to other than off and is somehow getting triggered while UW by pressure, that may cause the problem. This is different than Timer Release. Like I said, this is a real long shot.


Also try this. Make sure that you're using AF-C focus mode and set the a1, AF-C Priority Selection to Release. This will cause the camera to fire without the need to achieve focus. If this eliminates the problem, then the camera is, in fact, waiting for focus before firing and, for some reason, it taking an inordinate long time to get focus.


Like the others have said, misalignment is the most likely cause. The trick is to figure out which button is getting pressed to cause the problem.


I'm not familiar with the S&S housings, but I had an old Aquatica D70 housing that had plastic thread protectors on the end of the rods used to activate the buttons. Occasionally one of those protectiors would work itself loose and contact a button before it was intended to do so. This drove me crazy until I figured that just a slight amount of sea pressure on a button would cause contact with the button when the protector was slightly out of place.


Reef Photo isn't too far away. Consider taking the rig into them for a look.


Let us know what you find.

#364453 storing fins between trips

Posted by divengolf on 20 August 2015 - 03:38 AM

When the fins shipped from Mares, they had inserts in the foot pockets and tabs on the end of the fins to keep the shape. Two tabs for each fin. If the dive shop didn't give these to you, so back and ask for them. If you bought them on line, you're probably out of luck.

I used to work for a dive shop and sold Mares for years. We stored the fins flat with the pockets and tabs installed and always gave them to the customer with instructions on how to use them.

I own quattros (both FF and OH) and love them. Take care of them and you'll get many years from them. Mine are going on ten years with about 100 dives a year.

#363441 Diving trip to Batangas-Anilao+Poerto-Gallera.....few questions PLZ(my first...

Posted by divengolf on 21 July 2015 - 02:43 AM

As an alternative in Anilao, consider Crystal Blue as already mentioned. Mike Bartick is either an partial owner or in the management chain (or both). He's a well known pro photog and has a lot of influence on how the place is run. It's really set up for UW photogs. One of the best camera rooms I have ever seen.


Four (or fewer) divers to a boat with a guide. And the guides are excellent.


Mike does periodic dedicated photo trips/classes and is an excellent instructor if that works with your schedule.


The only downside is that the only spaces that are air-conditioned are the guest rooms and the camera room, if that makes any difference to you. Not sure it that's the standard in that area as I have not stayed anywhere else in Anilao.


Have only been there in April/May timeframe and conditions have been excellent.


PM if you want more info.



#359284 Second thoughts about vacuum systems

Posted by divengolf on 27 March 2015 - 04:50 AM

I have emailed Miso for the nominal set points on the sensor in the LS3. I have had one for about 18 months and LOVE it. As I recall, Miso told me at one time that it takes a 10% reduction in internal pressure to turn on the green light. I'll confirm that, but:


Assume the housing is at 15 psia (that's absolute). Then the green light comes on at 13.5 psia with the removal of 10% of the volume inside the housing. 10% of the volume of the housing is a lot of water, at least for my Aquatica with the dome port installed. So to get the red light to come on, you need a portion of the 10% in water volume to be introduced into the housing. So, IMO the LS3 (or any other vacuum system) isn't going to help much in dealing with a leak that starts after you're underwater. It's main value is to insure that the system is secure before getting in and, to a much less extent, during the first few feet of descent before the outside pressure firmly seats everything. 


BTW I still have my electronic leak detector installed in my housing. That will tell me as soon as any water is introduced into the housing-long before the pressure increases to trip the red light. That may save the internals. As both perform different functions, having both methods gives me max chance of avoiding a flood.


I'll post an update once I hear from Miso,.

#350968 Hammerheads

Posted by divengolf on 30 July 2014 - 04:06 PM

Just got back from Cocos on Sea Hunter and I can affirm what matt215 said above. It was el nino conditions and the water was warm. Around 82F. The guides said that the hammer action was down due to el nino. We saw a good number of scalloped hammers, white tips, black tips, a couple silver tips, 5-10 tigers and a whale shark at Dos Amigos (Small). Diving from the rigid pangas makes a big difference for an old guy like me. Definitely easier that a zodiac. The water was kind of murky and good photos were tough unless they came right to you, which did happen. Diving is deep, generally starting at 100-110 feet, definitely on nitrox 32. Three dives a day. Watch your nitrogen loading. We had a couple folks end up on oxygen due to symptoms of skin bends. They were diving within the NDL limits of their computers, but got mild hits anyway. No long term effects.


It's 36 hours each way from the mainland. Fortunately we had mild conditions both ways. Not always the case.


Crew is excellent and boat is very comfortable. They are running the Sea Hunter and Argo to Cocos. I don't believe that they are using the Undersea Hunter for that itinerary any longer. Combination of older vessel and lower demand for the trip.


If you're planning on 2015, you need to get moving. These trips book up early. At least the Undersea Group does.

#350730 Upgrade to YS-D1 or Z240-Questions

Posted by divengolf on 23 July 2014 - 04:04 PM

I started this thread a couple months ago. Just completed a trip to Cocos Is. with my new YS-D1s and am quite pleased with the result. No problem with the FO cable coming loose from the strobe-concern was obviously unwarranted.


Minor problem with the FO cable coming loose from the bulkhead. This occurred mostly when handling in the zodiac. Simply reinserted it into the bulkhead connection. I plan to engineer a small clip to hold the FO cable at the bulkhead in place before my next trip.


The one nit that I experienced was that the rotary switches were too easy to rotate. They frequently got knocked out of position while being handled by the boat crew. The detent positions just are not strong enough for the intended use. I had to check and reset the switches when entering the water on every dive once I figured out why the strobes were not firing.


Batteries were changed every two dives with no sign of reduced capacity. Camera battery lasted the entire day. 


These are powerful strobes, more than my old DS-125s or at least it appeared so to me. Plus they are somewhat lighter. Made my rig a bit easier to handle above water.


And using AA batteries rather than a proprietary battery pack makes things a bit easier. One less charger to carry since I carry a AA charger anyway.


Shot with manual strobes the entire trip. Lots of flexibility with 11 power settings. No problem with syncing up with my D7000.


Very happy with this strobe.


Thanks to all who posted to this thread.

#350011 Traveling with underwater camera to international destination - packing tips...

Posted by divengolf on 08 July 2014 - 08:05 AM

I recently went to Bali from US (IAD) via Qatar airlines. Did not see anything weighed at any point in the trip.

I take a somewhat different tact from above. I check two bags at 23 kg each, one with mostly dive gear and clothes, the other is a carry-on size bag inside a large rolling duffle. The second bag has my housing, strobes, and all accessories except cameras and lenses. I pack wetsuits around the carry-on for added protection. Since it's not an obvious high value bag, I.e. Pelican, I've never had a problem with it. Even TSA doesn't go into it anymore.

I carry on all my cameras, lenses, chips and other similar stuff. I also have a high value reg that I carry on as well. Put all your heavy carry on stuff in your reg bag. It looks like a computer bag and never gets questioned. Mine weighs about 35#. Plus my backpack weighs about 30#, but I don't overload it, so it never gets attention as well.

I have all risk insurance on all of my photo gear, so losing it isn't a financial worry. But that would make for a lousy dive trip. Maybe I've been fortunate, but have never lost a bag and have only had bags delayed on the way home.

I used to carry on a Pelican with all the essentials, but age (now 68) and back injury now makes that less of a option.

#344900 Nikon 105vr manual vs auto focus

Posted by divengolf on 23 March 2014 - 04:08 PM

Eagle Ray's point of Back Button Focus is spot on for macro and super-macro shooting. I've shot D70, D90 and currently D7000. On the back of your D200, there is an AF-ON button. Use this to achieve the back button focus and eliminate the focus lock with the shutter. I use it for all my shots, except that on my D7000, I have to program the AF-L button to AF-ON. You don't have to do that. AF is so good these days that I don't know any pros who are using manual focus UW. But I'm sure there are a few.

#339389 Installing Vivid Housings Leak Sentinel V3 on Ikelite Nikon D300s housing?

Posted by divengolf on 13 November 2013 - 03:45 AM

I'd email Miso directly at Vivid Housings. He is most responsive on installation problems.



#334237 Zen minidome for Aquatica - advice required

Posted by divengolf on 12 July 2013 - 09:30 AM



I used numerous ports with the Aquatica housing for the Nikon D70. This was before they had port locking on their housing. Probably did 2-300 dives with it and never had any port or extension ring loosen at all. But I had a mark on the exact top of the port and extension rings, so if anything moved, I'd, hopefully notice it. But it never happened.