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Parso

Ikelight 40D Flood-a narrow escape

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Before I start, let me say that I take full responsibility for the mishap that happened yesterday. I thought I would share this experience with everyone here on Wetpixel to hopefully reduce the chances of this hapening to someone else with an Ikelight housing. I believe some minor modifications to Ikelights port lock realese system would minimize the chance of this situation being repeated.

 

I had my 40D in an Ikelight housing with an 8 inch dome attached. I had set the rig up as normal at home, and had immersed the set up in my fresh water wash tub to make sure all was well. There were no leaks.

 

I arrived at the dive site, geared up, made sure the sync cord nuts were tight, did a final check and started to walk into the water. The water was just above my knees and I was just about to submerge the housing fully when I felt something on the housing move abnormally. I looked down and noticed that one of the housings port release buttons had disengaged and there was a gaping hole with water going into the housing. Obviously, I aborted the dive immediately. As I was a fair way from my car with no towel nearby, I re-engaged the port lock and headed back to my vehicle.

 

Once back at my car I stripped the rig down and discovered about 1 1/2 to 2 table spoons of water inside the housing. I removed the battery and the CF card from the camera and dried every thing as best as I could. At this stage, I had no idea how the port release button disengaged. I loaded everything in and headed home.

 

At home I wiped, dried and soaked up all the remaining water the best I could. It was now that I tried to figure out what had happened. I reinstalled the port and as before, I simultaneously slid the port lock release buttons into place. On hearing a definite click, I assumed the locks were in place. On closer inspection, I noticed that only one lock had engaged. I pulled gently on the port and the release button slid back quite easily revealing the same situation I had at the dive site. I had stupidly beleived both port locks had engaged when I heard the click of just one lock engaging.

 

I believe if there had been 4 locks at 90 degrees to each other, or even 3 locks at 120 degrees to each other, the chances of the port disengaging from the housing would be greatley reduced. Even better, a baynet fitting, or a screw in system similar to the way the port is attatched to the dome would reduce the risk even more.

 

Just to finish up, I let the camera sit overnight surrounded by silics gel satchels and when I fired it up this morning it worked just fine. I installed it in the housing this afternoon and the electronics for the strobe also appear to be fine. I now believe in miracles.

 

Thanks for listening

 

Regards

 

Parso

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Glad to hear you got away with it Parso.

 

My 'self inflicted injury' goes like this. A hurried battery swapout after a dive in order to shoot a pod of dolphin. I engaged the two suitcase latches on the back of the Ike and heard them click. Breath holding at 10 metres I noticed one of the latches was not fully locked. The back plate was properly located so just positive pressure held everything tight but it pays to check and recheck...

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Great news! I'm with you, I'd feel more comfortable with 3 locks than 2 (and wish they had some sort of 'keying' as well to prevent rotation, like one lock has a split shoe or something).

 

But glad your rig is ok. BTW, a bag of dry rice works great for the 'make sure it's dry afterwards' trick, in case you don't have a large # of gel dessicant packs available. We saved my daughter's cell phone that had been dropped in a toilet (don't ask) this way. Which you can imagine made her SO happy...at least the toilet didn't have one of those chemical treatments so her phone (and face) wasn't dyed blue! :)

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Parso,

 

I glad this had a happy ending. While I generally love my Ikelite housing the two port clips is the major problem with the system that I wish Ikelite would address. I know Ikelite would have to change the standard mould, but having one extra clip would make a world of difference.

 

Regards

 

Nigel

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