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jgttrey last won the day on June 6 2017

jgttrey had the most liked content!

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About jgttrey

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  • Location
    Houston, Texas

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Sony A6500
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam NA-A6500
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    2x YS-D2
  1. Yes, I still have the camera, spare batteries and charger. Happy to have it go to a good home. Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
  2. Sorry, I don't know about the A7 battery pack. Hopefully, they're working on that too.
  3. So, mid-trip report: The new version of the battery pack is great. The firmware fix has fully solved the issue of the pack going to sleep. It appears to stay awake indefinitely once plugged into the camera. I had no problem setting it up at the condo several hours before the dive. I can get through 2 dives before I even begin to draw on the camera's internal battery. One thing I noticed -- I think, but will check out today -- is that while the camera is on the external battery, the camera itself will not turn off the LCD after 2 minutes, or whatever you have programmed. Of course (assuming I verify this), that is a camera issue not a battery issue. So, just be aware that you should turn camera off during surface intervals, etc. because I don't think it will shut itself down while on external power. I haven't really run this to ground yet, but will try to look at it today. There may be a menu setting that would address this. Anyway, the bottom line is that Nauticam fully addressed this issue and I am very appreciative of the way they listened to their customers and took action to improve this product. A+
  4. Nauticam has a new version of this battery pack. I just received it a couple of weeks ago. It appears to stay active as long as it is connected to camera but, if unplugged, will go to sleep. I've only tested it on my desk so far, but am headed to GCM today and will update after I dive with it. I think they have solved this issue. FWIW, it does seem to slowly discharge while plugged into the camera. I left it plugged into a fully charged camera and after about 6 or 7 hours, one of the four LEDs had gone out, but that doesn't seem unreasonable to me. I'll update with real world trip report when I get back. Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
  5. Yes, I still have the camera. Happy to visit if you want to send me a pm.
  6. It is a problem, for sure. The key trick is to keep the battery pack "on" until you begin your first dive. After that, it will keep the camera charged and even if it later finishes "topping off" the camera during your surface interval and shuts down, at least you can start the second dive with a full camera battery -- and I have no problem getting through a single dive on a full internal battery. Whether the level of hassle associated with "teasing" the battery pack into staying active until your first dive starts is worth it is up to you. In some situations, that might not be a big deal. In others, it would be a major headache or impossible unless you want to open the housing again. Let me add a few things in fairness: 1. I will say that the line of communication with Nauticam is wide open. There was a missed email earlier in the process, but since then they have been very responsive and I give them high marks on that. 2. While they believe the current system offers advantages to certain types of divers, they are not oblivious to the limitations created by the auto-shutdown. Apparently, a firmware update on the battery pack is not as simple as I suppose it to be for various reasons (I am an amateur after all), but they are looking at other approaches. They are not ignoring this, and I appreciate that. 3. I do love the housing. The battery issue is not a reason not to buy the housing. It just may not (yet) be the positive differentiating factor that I hoped it would be. For some users with different habits or needs, it might be advantageous. You just have to understand the limitations in light of your needs and factor that into your decisions.
  7. Colin, That's a good find and something like that is probably workable in theory. The big questions are whether there is room in the housing and what load you'd have to set to keep the pack awake (and what heat is generated by that load). It's only a 2500 mAh pack, so if you had to run that little unit at 150 mA to keep it awake, you'd go through battery fast and maybe generate more heat that was desirable. At lower mA settings, it might be a good solution provided it fits. I'll look tonight, but I'm thinking that without some creative cabling, it won't fit. It's a pretty sharp bend. FWIW, the Nauticam battery pack comes in a box marked "iThin". If you Google IWO iThin, there's an Amazon listing but is no longer available -- but you can still find an image for it on the Google search page. So, it's just an off-the-shelf cell phone battery charger that has been repurposed. It isn't even packaged in a Nauticam box and still comes with a little leatherette pocket case. In short, I don't think Nauticam had anything to do with the product specifications. Obviously, the correct solution would be to get with the manufacturer and make a simple change to the firmware -- not all chargers go to sleep, after all. But, I suspect (a) Nauticam has an inventory of these things and (b) probably doesn't have the volume needed to get the factory in China to do a custom run. That's just a guess, but it's the only reason I can imagine why they wouldn't fix this problem the correct way. It would be very easy. Right now, Nauticam sees the user of this system as either folks that do a lot of video or extended run times - and are willing to open the housing right before the dive and then leave the camera on thereafter (A6500 will shut down in 30 minutes even at max delay). I just think that is bad practice and asking for a flood. I want to seal my rig before getting on the boat and plugging in the battery pack in that tight space means getting all up inside it. There's a real chance of messing up your nice clean o-ring. It's not just a quick open-and-close. They did say they would look at updating the product description to make its limitations clear. That is a good thing, but it would be so easy to get this right rather than just make it clear that it is not very useful. There are any number of chargers of this type with similar dimensions on Amazon. I'll measure my actual unit tonight, but the old Amazon listing for the iThin was 98x58x6.5mm. The best solution would be to see if there is a similar sized unit that doesn't have the auto power off feature. They only cost 12 bucks or something.
  8. Update. Nauticam responded this morning to my latest ping. I appreciate that, but the answer was less than what was hoping for. According to them, (1) this is how the batteries work, (2) they have been unsuccessful in getting a software update to remedy the problem and (3) there is no workaround. Nevertheless, they think it is "valuable in extending single dive run times". I will simply say, "only if you wait to plug in the battery and close the housing until 5 minutes before you dive." That defeats the purpose of the vacuum system and requires me to open the housing on the boat immediately before my first dive. So, the battery system is only useful for those people who are willing to ignore standard good practices and greatly increase the chances of flooding their rigs. Bottom line for right now is that I would give the availability of the battery system zero weight in making a housing choice and I continue to believe that Nauticam should withdraw this product until they get a more permanent solution. I think the marketing of this product is misleading.
  9. I have not discovered a solution. When I contacted the [major online retailer] from whom I bought the housing and battery they confirmed that they have seen the same issue on the A7 auxiliary battery system. It's not a secret, except to consumers. I did email Nauticam over a month ago. I received a prompt response that they would have their engineers look at the issue and get back to me. Since then, it has been radio silence. I did ask for an update after a couple of weeks and received no response. I'll ask again. I'm really disappointed with Nauticam. The availability of the auxiliary battery was material both to my decision to go mirrorless and to get this particular housing -- and the battery, without question, fails to do what it is supposed. What good is an auxiliary battery system that turns itself off before you can get in the water? I understand this is a niche market and I don't expect Nauticam to have a 1000 beta testers. Some hiccups are totally understandable. I get that, but I do expect them to try to fix the problem. More importantly, I don't think it is acceptable is to continue to sell this product knowing that it is a 100% fail. It isn't just the $60 battery itself. There are surely people like me that are choosing the housing vs Aquatica or others because they think this battery system will address the single biggest problem with mirrorless bodies -- battery life. I hope they will address this. If they simple got with whatever Chinese factory makes this battery packs and told them to change the firmware to extend the time before the pack goes dormant they could largely fix this. Nauticam is a good company and I think/hope this is out of character for them, but in my opinion it is irresponsible to keep selling this product until they fix it.
  10. Sorry Jeff. I was out of pocket yesterday when you posted. Unfortunately, I only have the camera left now.
  11. I think positive vs. negative depends on whether you plan on hand holding the rig for the entire dive or whether you occasionally need your hands free and have clip off the housing/let it dangle from a tether. I shoot for just a little bit negative. Yes, it will sink slowly if I drop it, but it's not like a rock. I'd rather have it hang down when its clipped off that have it float up in my face when I'm shooting a DSMB, stowing hoses, or switching bottles around. There are just times when I need my hands and I want the housing out of the way (down). 2-3 lbs negative is a lot though.
  12. Thanks guys. The housing and o-rings have been sold. I do still have the camera and tray. I'd sell the camera, with the charger and 3 batteries, for $300 and the tray for $100. For the buyer of the tray, I also have a lanyard I'd sell for another $15, which basically the cost of the materials. If you're familiar with the basic ball mounts for the Flexitray, you'll know they do not come with any provision to attach a lanyard. You can get more expensive ball mounts with attachment points but I couldn't find any other off-the-shelf product. My solution was paracord and stainless snap shackles. It's worked great. Joe
  13. So, I have a new A6500 with the Nauticam housing. Love them both, FWIW. However, a big selling point for me on this setup was that the new Nauticam housing has provision for a thin battery pack under the camera that plugs into the micro-USB on the camera and gives you another 2100 mAh of juice. That solves what, for me, was a pretty big limitation on the camera. Here's the problem and I'm curious if anyone has a solution (or failing that, at least it gets the word out to Nauticam and potential buyers): The auxiliary battery pack is basically a small and thin version of the ubiquitous little power packs like you'd use to recharge your phone. Charge it up with a USB charger and it has 4 little blue LEDs showing the charge state and that it is "active". Take any Anker portable battery product from Amazon and shrink it to about the size of a deck of cards but half as thick, and you've basically got this battery. To use, you charge it up, plug it into the camera, close the housing and draw a vacuum. All good. However, the problem is that the battery pack will go to "sleep" after some period of time if it isn't charging the camera. Of course, at the beginning of the day when the internal camera battery is full, there's nothing to charge, and at some point, the auxiliary battery turns itself off and it will not turn itself back on and commence charging, even when you discharge the camera battery. To "wake" it up, you have to unplug and replug it. In other words, once it goes to sleep it is useless no matter how much you drain the camera battery until you open the housing unplug it and replug it. The problem, of course, is that it might be an hour or two after I close up the housing before I hit the water, by which time the thing has gone to sleep. I'd prefer not to have to open the housing again, on the boat just so the battery pack "wakes up" That sort of defeats the purpose and I'd like to see my little green vacuum okay light for more than 5 minutes before I jump in.... I had some limited success with periodically turning the camera on for a minute or two here or there before the first dive so the auxiliary battery would see a voltage drop and maybe do a tiny charge and reset its sleep countdown, but that is an uncertain PITA. Any ideas out there?
  14. Hi all, I’m upgrading to a mirrorless setup, so I’m letting this complete package go: Nauticam NA-RX100II housing Sony RX100ii camera with soft case Flexitray II tray and handles 3 batteries (Wasabi brand, with charger, all hold full charge) Two O-rings, one has about 30 dives on it the other is a brand new backup Housing is in excellent condition. Purely as preventive maintenance, I sent it to Backscatter last May for a checkup to see if service was needed and got a pressure test. No service was required other than I replaced the leak detector which had a broken solder connection. Since then, I’ve put about 30 dives on it and its perfect. The camera is also in excellent condition. Very slight cosmetic mar to on the plastic surround on front of the lens, otherwise unblemished. Glass is perfect and it takes great photos. One note: I bought this set up from the original owner in Australia, so the camera is the PAL version. You can set it to NTSC with no problem, as I have, and it works perfectly. However, when you turn the camera on, you get a splash screen warning that you are in NTSC mode and have to hit the Select button to acknowledge it. It never bothered me, but I want to point it out. If it had, I just would have left in in PAL mode b/c I rarely shoot video. Everything is A-1 perfect function and it takes great photos. It served me very well and I hate to let it go, but it’s time for someone else to enjoy it and I gotta make some room for the new rig. $950, domestic shipping included. Feel free to PM me and I’ll be happy to send you more photos, closeups, whatever, and answer questions. Joe
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