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hiloboy

saved by leak detector?

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I was wondering if anyone could share their story about a leak detector saving their camera or if the leak detector just let them know the camera was indeed flooded.

 

Thanks

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Indonesia. First day of a three week trip. The boat guy hands down my camera. I take it and start to deflate my BC. Then I see the flashing red light on top of the housing. I jump back on the boat, crack open the housing, and find about 1/2 cup of sea water inside. The camera is wet but seems to work. I dry it off with my shirt and reattach the hotshoe connector, but the strobes don't fire. That night I carefully clean off the hotshoe, hotshoe connector, and the inside of the housing with fresh water. The strobes start firing again, good as new. Turns out that the o-ring pinched or came unseated when I bayonetted the port onto the housing. In the end, the only thing that didn't survive was the leak detector itself, since it consisted of an unprotected circuit board that was fried by the salt water. It saved my trip though.

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First time out with my 'new' (for me at least) Subal and D70s. Stuck it in the rinse tank just before getting on the boat and left it for a minute. CAme back to the flashing red light. A small amount of water had got in via the port o-ring being pinched. Camera wasfine although I supsect if I'd been at any great pressure that trickle would have been more.

 

Leak detector seemed OK after a blasting with compressed air - but then it was fresh water in the rinse tank. I did get a false alarm later in the week and aborted the dive half way through. I don;t really know why as the sensors are obscured a bit and there was no water in the housing....

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I've been saved a number of times.

 

Went off at 80 ft in Indonesia. Third diving day of the trip. Turns out there was a crack in my domeport. Did someone knock the camera off the camera table the night before? Or was there a fracture in air travel that took some time to grow?

 

Several times in rinse tanks. O-rings with nicks in them. Pinched O-rings. Protruding camera parts that didn't let the back of the camera housing quite close completely.

 

Every flood I ever had was with a housing that did not have a leak detector. Even if you put it in a rinse tank and look for bubbles, it is too late by the time you realize you have a leak.

 

If you follow the rule of religiously checking your housing in the rinse tank with a working leak detector you just might not ever have a loss of camera leak with your housing Otherwise it is only a matter of time.

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On 5 meteres in a lake the light starts flashing red :P . After an immedeatly jump out of the water there was little water inside the housing, but the camera was fine :) . (I think the leak was because of a pinched o-ring).

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First time in the pool with the new housing. This was after giving the new rig a test without the camera. Turns out a golden retriever hair across the o-ring is just big enough to cause a leak, Freaked me out and has affected my ability to get in the water ever since but the little red light saved the camera.

 

I have learned from watching guys like Alex that a common method is to do the initial descent with the camera held above you, port down facing you. If you have a problem you'll see it while you can still do something about it. ( Of course you can't see the red light) :P If you descend with the camera below you, and the port leaks the last thing to get wet will be the leak detector. A lot depends on how you hold the housing.

 

One other note, I've watched two guys hand their flooded rigs back up on to the boat dome up. Both lost causes. :)

 

Steve

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Hmm lets see here.

 

#1. Sony Z1U in a Gates housing with Moisture alarm (see my avatar this was the dive it happened on). At Tiger Beach in Bahamas with sharks all around in 20 feet of water, moisture alarm goes off, so I went to the surface (with sharks following me but was trying to keep the housing level). There was a cup or two of water in the housing, but the camera survived thanks to quick action, and most notably the moisture alarm going off, or else it would have been a full flood by the time I noticed it. I had bent a control shaft after using it on the swimstep during one of Jim Abernethy's famous shark wrangling episodes and quickly jumping backwards when a Tiger Shark came head up onto the step.

 

2. This past winter in French Polynesia while using my EX1. It was a half hour into the dive, I was at 70 feet filming Lemon Sharks, and all the suddent the MA went off! I went straight to the surface, opened up the housing on the boat. Again probably a cup of water...camera was saved (quick removal of the battery and dried everything off). The Iris control had come loose during transport, and it was just loose enough to the point that me using the control throughout the dive loosened it enough for water to get it.

 

These are my personal stories. I have customers who have been saved by the MA on their SEA & SEA housings, Light & Motion housings, and Gates housings. To me, a Moisture Alarm in my housing is as important as having both arms and legs! Otherwise, by the time you realize it, its too late. The common thing I hear is well by the time the water is in there, its too late. That is DEFINITELY not the case.

 

Camera floods are like riding motorcycles...if you do it enough, its not IF, its WHEN.

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My $5 DIY leak detector has saved my rig twice! Damn that was the best $5 i'd ever spent. The first time i had a slight twist in the oring due to a rotated port. The second time i didn't snap one of the clips on the backing down properly. On both occassions, my little buzzer went off and i was able to switch off my strobes, and camera striaght away and hold my rig on an angle that didn't flood the electronics at the bottom of the housing. A quick clean out and i was ready to go again..i didn't even miss my dives. The best thing about detectors is that they warn you not to run current through the electronics, so even if you have a major flood, you might have a chance of cleaning it up with fresh water.

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Chalk down two leak detector saves for me too.

 

A label in a Subal housing reminds you to remove the rubber eyecup for Nikon cameras. No mention though of the LCD screen protector. Back seemed to fit ok with the protector in place...... doh.

 

In the last 12 months I have used my housing almost every day in the Lembeh Straits. On day 360, after an overnight flight from Bali, I rushed putting my system back together and happily popped it into the rinse tank as usual. And guess who never thought to check the main o-ring properly. Thank you Leak Detector! Phew.

 

:lol:

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