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Removing deposits from housings and lenses

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Manual controls are great if they are well thought out from an ergonomic point of view. But usually they are not and so you have to take your hand off the handles and fiddle around to operate them. Or customise them like I did with my Gates VX2000 zoom lever. It looks awful but it's wonderful to use. This gives me the kind of "fingertip" feel and control that I can't get with electronic controls. It's not just about the reliability.

 

Hi Nick,

 

This is a bit off topic, but how many dives did you do with your v2k housing? There is a lot of build up on there.

 

I think i had two thousand plus with my amphibico one, and the paintwork still looked like new. I don't treat my stuff particularly well either, it got battered!

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oops, just saw 1000+ on the last page! D'oh

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Yeah, around 1000 but over around 4 years, showering it well between dives, not dunking. Then dunking/washing at the end of each liveaboard trip.

 

Dean I just need to figure out where to fit the subwoofers now.

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Was the showering on a liveaboard that made their own water or was it from tanks filled at the Dock?

 

Maybe you have really hard water out there, maybe on your next trip to Bangkok get an aquarium test kit for pH and calcium Carbonate and test your water. It will play havoc with your new LMI glass and housing if it's very hard water.

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Good point there Simon. The water comes mostly from tanks filled at docks in Phuket.

 

I was crap at chemistry. What exactly will hard water do to the glass and housing?

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Good point there Simon. The water comes mostly from tanks filled at docks in Phuket.

 

I was crap at chemistry. What exactly will hard water do to the glass and housing?

 

The Phuket water is quite hard and the stuff they put into boat tanks at the docks there has all sort of stuff in it. And sometimes it is even a bit salty but that could be either leaky tanks on the boat or a leaky pipe along the dock.

 

Fortunately Bangkok water is very soft (pH 6.8) so a good overnight soak after the trip (with a bit of baby shampoo to break down deposits) keeps my L&M in good condition.

 

The only effect of the hard water on my L&M is a slight discolouration of the aluminium.

 

But the important thing is to NEVER allow that hard water to dry in a droplet on the lens. The edge of the droplet will leave a ring of carbonate that will need a jack-hammer to remove. Of course, it is better not to let any type of water droplet dry on the lens.

 

One of the few design issues with L&M is that water can hide in the little groove around the front edge of the lens. You find out about that groove when you find salt crystals growing on the very bottom edge of the glass, growing out of the groove. One of the previous technical guys at L&M told me to direct a low pressure jet of water into the groove to flush out the sea water. Of course, you also don't really want hard water drying in that groove either.

 

What I do is flush out the groove as part of the after dive shower rinse and then, before wiping the front lens dry with an old soft towel, I use a big photo puffer-blower or a puff of breath to blow the rinse water out of the groove.

 

Regards

Peter

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on the carbonate ring issue...anyone yet figure out how to remove safely. i have tried rubbing alcohol, vinigar, buffing, soap, etc. nothing seems to touch it.

 

thoughts?

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Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) will dissolve in the presence of an acid.

 

So if vinegar doesnt work maybe try something a little stronger, Citric acid.. Coke or Lemon juice.

 

Next stronger is:

 

Phosphoric Acid... rust remover for cars and boats. Check the molarity first, and maybe dilute, this stuff can be nasty, stings like hell if you get it in a cut.

 

Check all these with LMI first about optical coatings, or see if you can replicate the build up on another glass object to see if these things cause damage. I would think a nice can of coke might do the trick if left for a few hours.

 

If it's formed calcite it might be harder to remove.

 

If the boat has a Reverse osmosis desalination system it should contain only trace minerals, hence its dull taste, this stuff is good for soaking housings in.

 

Failing that, setup a rain water collection system on the roof of your house for post trip soaks.

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Thanks for the advice guys.

 

Shawn when I was a kid I used to clean coins with tomato ketchup. It contains vinegar and stays where you put it. Might be worth a try.

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Using anything to clean a lens needs to be agreed with the manufacturer, especially if still under warranty.

 

Coated lens are particularly susceptible to cleaning problems.

 

I think (but do not know for sure) that L&M do not use lens coatings on their lenses as coatings do not do well underwater. But, even so, any cleaning substance can possibly damage a lens surface so best to check first.

 

I once had to throw away a lens because I used a computer screen cleaning liquid on the front surface and the glass surface went all splotchy...

 

Regards

Peter

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Split this into another topic for better discussion.

Although I personally think that housings should look used for that ...errr... used look.

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So good he said it twice

 

So good he said it twice

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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