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Bluefin ZIU with Sunray Pro HID's light pod issue

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I am diving a Sony Z1U in an L&M Bluefin housing with Sunray Pro lights and have been enjoying great success with this combination.

 

I have used the lights only occasionally but decided to take them to Mexico last week for some shooting of the deep arches and swim-throughs off Playa del Carmen. I have not had the lights below 100' before and my attempts during this trip resulted each time in the pod locker coming loose and both battery pods detaching from the housing and dangling from the leads (with the lockers disappearing into the bottom). Between dives, I adjusted the tightness of the set screws holding the locker in place but the result was the same - snug on the surface but separated at depth. If the screws were set too tight the pods would just pop out of the tracks.

 

Has anyone using this housing/lighting combination experienced the same or am I doing something wrong??

 

Thanks in advance for any help!

 

Alan

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Call Light & Motion, the pod channels need a shim.

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Call Light & Motion, the pod channels need a shim.

 

 

Thanks Ryan - I'll call them now!

 

Alan

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Alan,

 

I have the same setup as yours.

 

Love the lights, but the pods are a pain in the neck. The pod lock works most of the times, but sometimes it does get loose, even after you tighten it.

 

With the BFin HD housing, the safest thing is to use good ol' duct tape to keep the pods from sliding off the bottom of the housing.

Also put duct tape on top of the pod lock, that way it won't come off.

 

It is obviously a flaw in the design of the pod lock and pod grooves on the BF HD. Elegant, yes. But 100% realible, nope.

 

Never had that problem when I used to use the same battery pods with my BFin 900, or Stingray, since the back and front plate of those housings would keep the pods from sliding off the grooves.

 

Also, if you do lots of dives (I dive almost every day, with my uw video biz here in Palau), you WILL eventually start having problems with the bulkeads on the pods. They're very finicky, to say the least.

 

Most realiable way of keeping the wet contacts inside the bulkheads in good working order is to gently spray a small amount of WD40 every few dives, or as soon as you start seeing some corrosion/buildup on the "female" connectors. (this holds true even if you rinse you cam after every dive, etc. ).

 

My five cents.

 

Nick

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Alan,

 

I have the same setup as yours.

 

Love the lights, but the pods are a pain in the neck. The pod lock works most of the times, but sometimes it does get loose, even after you tighten it.

 

With the BFin HD housing, the safest thing is to use good ol' duct tape to keep the pods from sliding off the bottom of the housing.

Also put duct tape on top of the pod lock, that way it won't come off.

 

It is obviously a flaw in the design of the pod lock and pod grooves on the BF HD. Elegant, yes. But 100% realible, nope.

 

Never had that problem when I used to use the same battery pods with my BFin 900, or Stingray, since the back and front plate of those housings would keep the pods from sliding off the grooves.

 

Also, if you do lots of dives (I dive almost every day, with my uw video biz here in Palau), you WILL eventually start having problems with the bulkeads on the pods. They're very finicky, to say the least.

 

Most realiable way of keeping the wet contacts inside the bulkheads in good working order is to gently spray a small amount of WD40 every few dives, or as soon as you start seeing some corrosion/buildup on the "female" connectors. (this holds true even if you rinse you cam after every dive, etc. ).

 

My five cents.

 

Nick

 

 

Thanks Nick,

 

After talking with the folks at L&M, I was informed that a number of the Bluefin HD housings had battery pod channels that were machined too wide. Mine is obviously one of them. The formal fix is not a user-install (shim) but a re-work at the factory which I have opted to do. Mine were so wide that the battery pods could be popped straight out (not just slid down the track) so, like you I was using bungees and tape to keep them secured on the housing. I keep those items in the repair kit now next to the WD40 pen!

 

Interesting point about the BF 900 with the front and rear bulkheeads holding the pods on. Even the BF HD manual says to remove the rear plate before installing pods. Obviously a spinoff from the previous housing's manual as this is not a necessary step on the HD since the tracks are open at both ends (unfortunately).

 

Having said all that the housing and lights are a pleasure to dive and housing, camera, lights, batteries, 2 regulators and 2 dive computers can be easily carried on board aircraft by two people.

 

I'll let you know how the fix works out when I get the housing back the week after next.

 

Alan

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Hey Alan.

 

Hope L&M will re-machine those grooves correctly.

Keep us posted on the result, ok?

 

And personally, I'd still duct-tape the pods AND the pod lock even after your housing comes back.

You never now. I once lost a pod (slid off my BF HD) and had to fork out an outrageous $550 for a new one...

 

Nick

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