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Minor housing flood

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As mentioned I had to send a housing back a couple of times. Passed pressure testing, got it back, but I still knew something was off. It was only when it was taken underwater and the actions I described were taken that the company who made my housing realized that in fact there was a problem and replaced the parts. My issue was that the housing leaked when I pressed the shutter button and it started after about a 15 dives on a new housing.

Thanks. My frustration is that I already described in details the actions that are needed to cause the link, and the fact that sending the housing back costs me $120 plus takes a week (and add another week to get it back). I don't understand why they didn't even contact me before shipping it back.

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Thanks. My frustration is that I already described in details the actions that are needed to cause the link, and the fact that sending the housing back costs me $120 plus takes a week (and add another week to get it back). I don't understand why they didn't even contact me before shipping it back.

 

I know how you feel. I spoke to someone on the phone before sending it in and included a very detailed letter of exactly what had happened. I had figured it had to be the shutter release. When it started trickling the first time I thought I messed something up. Then I made sure everything was fine and truiple checked all the things I could get to. Got down to about 90 feet or so with no leak. Took a couple of shots and the water back in. I almost had it returned after I sent it back the second time with the same "passed pressure testing," so practically begged when I heard that result again. Spent alot of money on shipping and handling also. Not quite as bad as what you have to pay though....

 

Once everything got straight, it worked fine from then on in and became a reliable rig (The housing/strobe combination was somewhat snakebit, went back and forth about 5-6 times to get it correct. One strobe failed the first day, etc....)

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A static pressure test (putting it in a pressurized tank) doesn't prove that much. Its better than nothing, but not the best test. You really need to do a dynamic pressure test where all the controls can be worked several times under pressure. I like to do this in 50-60ft of water with an empty housing. If the housing passes this test I'm comfortable installing the camera.

Edited by jcclink

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A static pressure test (putting it in a pressurized tank) doesn't prove that much. Its better than nothing, but not the best test. You really need to do a dynamic pressure test where all the controls can be worked several times under pressure. I like to do this in 50-60ft of water with an empty housing. If the housing passes this test I'm comfortable installing the camera.

Indeed. And this is why I have now taken the empty housing on 3 separate dives to between 10 and 15 metres (32-50') for testing.

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If Ike can't or won't fix the problem, can you order the questionable complete assembly & change is yourself. I know you shouldn't have to do this, but is sounds like you're running out of options. There could be a dimensional tolerance issue with your current assembly. If the gland diameter is on the "+" side, & shaft is on the "-" side, then there will be more play in the assembly, more side to side movement possible. Could be enough to cause the leak.

Edited by jcclink

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On most "O" rings , there is a fine ridge on the out side and inside where the O ring mold plates meet during the manufacturing process. When the O rings are ejected from the mold, there may be a thin fin where the mold platens did not totally close. This is subsequently removed by tumbling the O rings with liquid nitrogen, but some tin=mes the thin ridge line is left. Inspect a ring with a magnifying glass. Any way, If your O ring istwisted when installed, this ridge could act as a small leak path. Just do a good visual after installing your port and back rings to make sure the ring is not twisted or rolled.

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I think my next course of action is to go for (yet) another dive with an empty housing exactly as it is now and see if I can get it to leak again. If it is the sub-command dial control (as it was for at least 3 of the leaks) I can then concentrate on that area - pulling the control apart again and checking for burrs, etc. I may also see if I can get Ikelite to send me a complete control assembly - although I bet they will be reluctant claiming they are the only ones that can repair the housing - yeah right!

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On most "O" rings , there is a fine ridge on the out side and inside where the O ring mold plates meet during the manufacturing process. When the O rings are ejected from the mold, there may be a thin fin where the mold platens did not totally close. This is subsequently removed by tumbling the O rings with liquid nitrogen, but some tin=mes the thin ridge line is left. Inspect a ring with a magnifying glass. Any way, If your O ring istwisted when installed, this ridge could act as a small leak path.

That would not explain why water leaks into the housing when (and only when) I jiggle the sub-command dial. It would also not explain why I have actually seen the water leak past this particular control.

 

Just do a good visual after installing your port and back rings to make sure the ring is not twisted or rolled.

I do this before every dive.

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Andrew

 

Just seen this thread as I have been away, would have jumped in earlier had I seen it.

 

I had an Ikelite video housing a few years ago and had almost exactly the same issues on one of the controls. The stainless steel shaft was passing through, I believe, 4 O rings and was suffering intermittent failures. The problem eventually got identified as a problem with the stainless steel shaft not actually being that "stainless". Over several weeks of diving and then storage, small particles of rust would build up on the shaft, in particular those that are lightly use, and these would get trapped in the O ring when you did use that control. Sometimes these are REALLY small particles of rust and hard to spot. The solution that I came up with at the time was to slap a lot of additional silicon grease onto all control shafts when there was more than a week between dives, so that no rust could build up, and then to make sure reach control was given a good operational 'jiggling' prior to any dive.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Blucky

Sydney, NSW

 

P.S. where was the dive with giant cuttles and weedies ? Wasn't shelley by any chance was it ?

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Thanks, Blucky, I'll have a look at that if I prove on my next dive that it is that control again. The shaft looked in very good condition when I had it apart in June.

 

Interestingly, while the D300 housing was away, I got my D70 housing out. It is nearly 2 years since I last used it and the pushbuttons on the back were sticking. I removed each one and gave them a good clean. A few of them had corrosion and I was a little worried about leaks. I took the housing (empty) for a dive and worked each button well underwater (as well as the other controls) and there were no leaks at all. I was already to use to take the D70 for a dive but the weather on the weekend before last was less than desirable. Then the D300 housing came back. I may very well take the D70 for a dive this weekend.

 

The giant cuttles and weedies were at The Steps at Kurnell, although I have seen both at Shelly in the past.

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You seem to get out a lot for someone from the Mountains. I haven't been out for a few weeks, having now moved from Manly to French's Forest :wacko: . I actually blame the birth of my daughter for this unusual hiatus.

 

Haven't dived The Steps at (Far)Kurnell, done Inscription Point. Maybe see you underwater somewhere in the coming months, I will be the one with the D300 in a Sea and Sea housing with the big strobes - no forget that, it could be any one of us from Dive 2000, we all seem to have the same set up these days.

 

Have you been to South West Rocks, my favourite spot in NSW.

 

Blucky

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It just keeps getting worse... :);):cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

 

I'm just back from another dive to test the housing - empty of course. I went to 13m and tested every control. While I could not get the sub-command dial control to leak (which perhaps means I did fix it after all), I was able to get three (3) other controls to let in water. In each case it was a matter of pulling the control out slightly and jiggling it a bit.

 

These are the controls:

D300Housing-leaking-controls.jpg

 

It is unlikely that I'd even use the card cover latch or the focus selector underwater, they could easily get a bump and let water in. The Quality/White Balance/ISO control could get used underwater and what's worse it would drip water all over the camera.

 

I'm starting to wonder if I should just switch to another brand. It will cost me a fortune but it is better that the heartache.

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man, youre making me nervous about my shiny new ike housing!

 

I honestly cant believe you've had so much trouble with them, the only reason I went with them (other than price) was their alleged good customer service.

 

I feel like i've been lied to now.

 

I do hope you can get things sorted out, not having a camera is a bit like leaving home without your pants...

 

Mike

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Why would there even be a control for the card cover latch (for CF card - right?)? Isn't the main point here is that you shouldn't have to be sorting out a bunch of stuff on a new/almost new housing? Customer service may be great, but at this point I think you deserve a virgin housing. By pulling a control shaft out a little it would seem easier to wiggle it than in its normal position with the knob against the gland. It still shouldn't leak, but may do so easier.

Edited by jcclink

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Why would there even be a control for the card cover latch (for CF card - right?)?

 

 

you you can change cards without completely removing the camera. its actually a rather handy feature.

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So the camera mounts on the back plate? Sorry, I don't keep current on Ike.

Edited by jcclink

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So the camera mounts on the back plate?

Yes. I believe they always have.

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I thought a lot about this last night while I couldn't sleep - yes, I'm now losing sleep over it.

 

The housing was fine for the first 46 dives I did with it. I had no leaks and never had any water in the housing at all. Then, on the 47th dive it lets water in through the sub-command dial control. It makes sense to me that the other leaks I have seen since I replaced the rings on the sub-command dial control are similar but just coming in other controls.

 

I wonder if some (or even all) of the O rings and/or X rings are on the way out. They still have enough elasticity to stop water getting in under static pressure, but can no longer cope with a bit of manipulation of the controls as this stretches them more. I believe this is almost certainly the case with the sub-command dial control as it was definitely letting water in before I replaced the O and X rings and now I can't make it let water in.

 

What I don't understand is why they are on the way out. I believe my maintenance regime is the same as for my D70 housing which did over 60 dives and still seems to be fine after no use for 18 months.

 

If my thinking is right, every single O and X ring needs to be replaced and if this fixes things, how often would I need to replace them?

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O-rings should last at least a year with lots of dives. If you do much muck diving then the fine sediment will work its way into the gland, making the control gradually harder to rotate or push. My Nexus has made over 200 dives each of the past 2 years (over 140 on one trip alone) with only a couple of o-rings requiring change out (lots of muck dives). If I wasn't diving so much or not in the mucky stuff, I'd probably go 2 years between major service (assuming no problems). Total change out of o-rings may very well solve your on-going leakage problem, but it just doesn't sound like you have that many dives or have abused the housing in any way to warrant having to do this so soon. If you can order a complete factory rebuild kit you can change everything yourself. Then again Ike may provide an extended warranty if they do it.

Edited by jcclink

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If its only happening on one housing, dud batch of seals seems the most obvious answer (softer than spec or chemical mix or whatever). Replace them all and check at 30 dives maybe? Either that or something went wrong with cleaning routine at some point but Id assume you'd have considered that by now - I only mention it because 60 dives isnt too different as a comparison point, might be in another 10-20 dives similar was going to happen.

 

You said it felt tighter when replaced, so Im betting seal quality, particularly given so many have apparently gone at the same time.

 

If it does happen again at 30 dives, I guess it must be some kind of tolerance problem with your individual housing, or you'd think you'd be seeing this come up as an issue more generally. Maybe push for a replacement?

 

Otara

Edited by Otara

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I bought the housing in February 2008 so it is 18 months old. I haven't done anything I would consider muck diving (although the night dive last Friday came close). Viz in Sydney is not always great so perhaps a bit of sediment, etc. gets in on the dives with poorer viz. I really can't explain why the D300 housing has problems when the D70 housing (bought May 2006 and over 60 dives) is still going strong.

 

I guess it could have been a bad batch of rings.

 

Hmm... reading over the (very scant) information provided by the Ikelite repair department, it is possible they replaced the O rings.

 

Here's what I got:

The repair tech had done the vacuum test on the housing and moving all controls wasn’t able to get it to leak as you had found. When he tore the controls apart, one control on the back had an oring that he could see where water had passed. It was driving him nuts as he water tested it a couple times and no leaks. When he did the vacuum test, it was not leaking. Very aggravating.

He rebuilt the complete housing, replacing the orings and that control. If you have a problem like this with it on your next dive, please let me know.

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id wonder if they may have screwed up rebuilding it since those controls didnt seem to be leaking when you tested it out the first time.

 

something doesnt sound right, those rings shouldnt be that bad that fast, even if you do muck dive a lot. id agree with the bad batch of rings theory, perhaps do a search and see if you can find reports of any other housing from that time frame with similar problems.

 

Mike

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perhaps do a search and see if you can find reports of any other housing from that time frame with similar problems.

I'm having trouble finding any reports of similar leaks with Ikelite housings from any timeframe.

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Andrew

 

Not wanting to sound like I am plugging the shop that I work for, but it would be well worth you having a chat with Kevin Deacon at Dive 2000. They are agents for Ikelite, and Kevin is one of the most experienced underwater photographers in Australia, and is always willing to have a chat to help someone out.

 

He may know of batch or other such issues with Ikelite housings, I know that we do stock them. Phone number is 02 9953 7783.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Dave Bluck

Sydney, Australia.

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Thanks, Dave.

 

I know Kevin and used to go to Dive 2000 quite frequently when they were open (are they still closed on Sundays?) when I dived more on the north side. I now mostly dive on the south side so don't get by Neutral Bay all that much.

 

Incidentally, I bumped into the guy that does Kevin's housing repairs the other day while diving at the Steps at Kurnell. He was pottering along the shore shooting insects and we got to chatting. I have definitely considered taking the housing along to Dive 2000.

 

The main reason I haven't taken it there or any other local places is I figure if it has to go back to Ikelite, that's just extra handling that will increase the time and the cost. I can ship the housing to Indianapolis in under a week just by taking it to the local post office. It would probably take me longer just to take it to Neutral Bay.

 

Anyway, Ikelite should be back from Memorial Day tonight so hopefully I'll have a better idea of next steps tomorrow.

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