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Liz's post on upgrading her Aquatica spring set led to this post...

 

My Aquatica housing is probably due for an overhaul. It has about 300 - 400 dives on it, although the vast majority of them are in clear, fresh water.

 

I'd be interested in peoples' thoughts about tackling this myself, vs. sending it in. I'm pretty handy so the task isn't daunting at all, but I'm wondering if all controls can be be removed and replaced with out special tools. I seem to recall a friend did this himself and he said that he couldn't get to all the bits himself.

 

I think it might be fun and also be a good way to learn more about the intricacies of the housing. On the downside, I don't have a chamber handy to test it afterwards!

 

Thoughts?

Edited by Stoo

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Do it yourself! I would order new/extra c-clips before you start. My o-ring rebuild kit didn't come with any and you will definitely send one or two spinning off into space and never see them again. The only non-standard tool I used was a butter knife to save my fingers on getting the c-clips off the buttons. The wheels take a small allen key. Do a dive with the housing without the camera after you're done and voila :)

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I have some own experience of doing overhauls "semi-professionally". Considering the hours required vs a reasonable price for the overhaul, this is more in order to support my local (european) clientele than actually earning anything.

 

Whilst pondering whether to do a full overhaul yourself or not, consider:

- how good you are at fine mechanics

- that you should be prepared to use several hours, or more, on the overhaul

- that it is wiser to document the bits and pieces before you tear them down

- that different housing models (even under same brand) vary in internal complexity

- that although most parts are relatively straight forward, some might be surprising difficult to reassemble in close quarters

- that at the middle of the overhaul you might realize you need an additional tool or spare part, thus leaving the project on the bench for a while

- that eventhough all the sealing surfaces and shafts might be clean, there might be corrosion elsewhere, e.g. preventing removing a knob or an external lever

- that despite best efforts the newly reconstructed housing might develop a minor leak that might be difficult to locate

- that after reassembly some of the controls might become stiff/jam at depth depending on a number of factors and that you'll need to analyze and solve the problem(s)

 

The points above originate from actual cases, i.e. this is not a service sales pitch.

 

Finally, you wouldn't believe how much peace of mind you get by performing a proper hydrotest to the rated depth.

Edited by r4e
  • Like 1

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LOL... Well, I'm glad that we got that all sorted out! :-)

 

I spent some time poking around with the housing this week, and confirmed that I am comfortable with doing this myself. Of course, confidence and ability are two different things. My guess is there might be a couple of bits in there which, due to my stubby, semi-arthritic fingers, might prove problematic. But after careful self-analysis, I concluded that I would indeed be able to successfully complete this project, assuming "successfully" and "half-assed" are synonomous! I'd probably get this about 94% done and give up on the last bits!

 

Assuming Aquatica can fit this into their schedule, I think I'll leave it to the experts. The next chance I'd have to get my housing any deeper than my local pool, will be on my first dive, 60 miles offshore in Belize in March... not really the place to find out I forgot an o-ring!

 

Maybe next time!

 

Call me Chicken.

 

Thanks!

Edited by Stoo

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Chicken :)

 

If you're sending it off to Aquatica anyways, consider removing and replacing some buttons first yourself. As long as you don't get too lucky they should be able to fix up whatever you break. And this might give you confidence for in-the-field repairs under duress at a later date.

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and you will definitely send one or two spinning off into space and never see them again.

:mocking:

 

Yeah, somewhere out there is a c-clip shaped black hole where they disappear with light speed, the end of most c-clips...

 

Chris

Edited by ChrigelKarrer

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Hey Stoo,

 

I was in the same boat not that long ago - my A7D was as long over-due as your housing! Anyway, I sent it in Aquatica and they did an amazing job! They even replaced the somewhat scratched back LCD window! My housing came back looking, and working, like brand new. Definitely worth it for me!

 

Lee

  • Like 1

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Such a helpful bunch! But some good ideas. Maybe I can just randomly mix up some controls to test them...

 

Lee, we must have similar dive styles... My back screen has a pretty nice gouge in it... It would be nice to have that replaced! It's probably from bouncing around in the bottom of my RIB.

 

Honestly, if I was in a pinch for time, and if I could dive test it before going away, I would tackle this... But I can't do that test, and I'd really hate to have a problem when I'm in Belize!

 

I only live 5 1/2 hours from Aquatica, so I'll take it in myself... then carry on up to Tremblant for a couple of days of knocking trees down with my face!

 

Besides, maybe Jean will buy me lunch!

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Did anyone make the overhaul for a Nikon D7100? I already sent mine to Backscatter, but it seemed very expensive to do it every year.

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