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Bill Macdonald

Member Since 22 Mar 2007
Offline Last Active Nov 14 2008 01:54 PM

Topics I've Started

Sea & Sea HC-1 housing on-off switch

11 November 2008 - 05:58 PM

Another trip, another head-ache, or avoiding a larger head-ache
The Wetpixel brain trust sure helped when I was in Yap, with moisture issues
camera serviced but it speaks japanese to me (no problem) arigato.

New dilemma:

HC-1 (SEA & SEA) video housing on-off switch clicked this AM whilst I was prepping for another great critter dive.
The camera still goes on and off as normal, but the control is floppy


Rinse tank to 1ft and operate switch several times, no leak
Guess the pool is the next step, then ocean test w/o camera
but h20 and electronics are not bedfellows. Esp salt h20.
I do not want salt water to enter at all, obviously.

I do not know the design of the switch as to thru hull or not

I am in Lembeh with 8 more days of diving
airline weight restrictions pre-cluded a back-up
first time no back-up (50 lbs/bag vs. 70 lbs)

So here I am, scared absolutely fartless that a leak will kill the system.

So, anybody know about this control??
It works, but ...................advise!!!!!!!!!


Bill Macdonald

BTW: 3 free swimming frog-fish in blue water was captured
as was Mating blue-ring octopus (never even saw one before)

FOREX in Indonesia

10 August 2008 - 08:36 PM

Make sure you have clean new, crisp, unmarked $$ too.

If you are going to Raja Ampat bring Euros
or convert ahead of time to Rupia (they do take Rupia)
they take Euros without the inspection dilemma of US $$
(I even bring Euros for Manado)
No $20, or $10, or $ 50, just crispy $100's
$100's need to be from 2006 or later
Big problem

Solutions to Video lighting and housing buoyancy

06 August 2008 - 04:30 PM

Over the years I have tried several lighting systems
for videography, most were bulky and added weight
and negative buoyancy. However this is in the past.

My main system is a Sea and Sea Housing for the HC-1 Sony HD
with the $$$$ wide angle conversion lens X0.35 VX,
which we call the "family jewel",. However, Sea & Sea had no way to correct the buoyancy
and the system nose dived. If I added the Sea & Sea BLX lighting package
it became a boat anchor, very negative and hard on the shoulders, and swim profile.

I switched to the Light & Motion lighting modules (2) by using plastic-ties.
They are good lights but made to fit my L&M Bluefin housing (back-up system)
which I went to when my shoulders ached. I used sections of lobster trap (CA)
floats to ease the buoyancy problem, but it looked very weird and compressed somewhat at depth.

Solution: StiX floats for my Ultra-Light arms (4 each 2" floats on each side)
and a StiX lens float (designed for a still camera macro port) but converts just fine.
For lighting I am using the Keldan (Swiss made) Luna-8 (2 each)
and although pricey(over $ 1500 US cy each), I can get 3 dives before recharging overnight.

The result: neutral buoyancy and "sweet-even" HID lighting (using the diffusion reflector)
for really beautiful HDV results, and that Swiss workmanship that is so nice to handle.
This allows the $4000 lens to be used w/o being an ordeal. Without the diffusion, the beam is narrow
but can light subjects in clear water some 10-12 meters away, no problem.

This year I celebrate 50 years of diving and u/w filming, and tho I wish I had solved these issues
sooner, I am very happy with the results. One entry "Raja Ampat" will be screened at The
San Diego Underwater Film Festival later this month at the Qualcom Theatre big screen in HD.

BTW: the StiX floats were about $150.00 with extra floats if needed, a real bargain from Backscatter in Monterey, CA

Bill Macdonald

Moisture alarm in HDR-HC1 cameras

06 August 2008 - 03:52 PM

Oh Darn;

I am n Micronesia (Yap) with TWO HC1 Sony cameras
humidity is 90% there-a-bouts and I have continual problems
with the moisture control alarm, thus shutting down the cameras.
Today I am out of the water due to non-operation on both
(one was stored overnight in a zip lock with dessicant).

Admittedly, I have been shooting them much this year, but never have had such
a problem. I tried bagging them(like I said) in a zip-lock with desicant, overnight, and keep the AC on
in the room, but not more than 3 degrees cooler than outside, still problems.
It usually takes about 4+ hours to clear with the cassette door open. Once it is ok, it goes straight away into the housing
air tight with dessicant.

There is a hair drier here, but I am reluctant to take that step towards abnormality and
maybe further complicate things.

Any thoughts? Solutions?
Much appreciated.

Bill Macdonald