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BrTalon

Nauticam NA-RX100IV flooding

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Hi guys,

I am new to the forum so please let me know if I should post this on some other sections.

I took my brand new Nauticam NA-RX100IV housing on my diving trip here at Cabo. On my first day of diving, I did not have the vacuum alarm turned on. The first dive was fine, but during the second dive, I noticed some condensation on the LCD of my camera inside the housing. I ended the dive, and found there maybe about 2 teaspoons of water inside.

Luckily the camera is fine, it just got a little wet on the outside (a few drops of water), but there was a little bit more in the housing. After the dive, I tried get the water out using a paper towel, as well as hair dryer. After I blew some warm air into the housing, I put a bag of small desiccants in to it and closed it for a few hours. Soon after I found that the moisture alarm system stopped working all together. Initially I thought it's the battery ran out or was shorted, so I bought some new ones, but it turned out it was the leak detection system just doesn't work anymore.

In an attempt to save the housing, I contacted Backscatter and got suggestion of using denatured alcohol to clean the housing. So I bought a bottle of 200ml 70% alcohol to clean it out. Luckily it brought the moisture/vacuum alarm system back online. However, I've have the housing went through 20 minutes of hair dryer blow using cool air, as well as putting two desiccant bags inside the closed and vacuumed housing for about 40 hours (occasionally opened to check if the moisture is out).

After being through all this, the moisture alarm still detects moisture inside even I cannot find any clue of any. The alarm will turn on once I flipped the switch on, the LED will go through a few blue blinks and then turn to red blink with the alarm beeping.

Is there something I am missing? Or is there something else I should do to get the moisture out...

Edited by BrTalon

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Possibly corrosion on the connector pins or cabling under the heat shrink wrap behind these pins which is causing a bridge and indicating a leak to the sensor. Do the connector pins have visible corrosion on them?

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I have this housing and was worried from day1, because of the single O-ring and bought the Leak sentinel valve. Any idea what caused the leak? Was the camera in shade or on the sun between the dives?

 

For cleaning, I'd also recommend high purity distilled/deionised water. Anything containing alcohol or isopropanol doesn't dissolve salt deposits well. I'd also consider servicing the housing, especially if it has some warranty cover.

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There are many points of failure in a housing especially those with accessory ports however the reason for 99% of floods is user error I would not worry about single or double o ring

 

Vacuum systems are great as you can check integrity before entering the water

 

In this case the user did not even switch on the moisture alarm (I presume no vacuum valve was installed) so he is lucky not to have trashed the camera

 

You can get a replacement circuit for a fee of course and it will be back to good if few days in a bag with rice don't restore things

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Hi,

 

While I read always what Interceptor121 writes about Nauticam and the Sony series i have to say that i do not agree on his opinion that 99% of floods is user error

specially with Nauticam houses because i already has two problems with new houses just from the shop so brand new. First housing the flash lever stopped

working on my diving trip. Got back and got a new housing. Went on a trip and went snorkeling and alarm got off and there was water in the housing .

I was lucky could save the camera. So snorkeling no pressure on the Nauticam house but a leakage. After research of the shop they found out that the

plastic window of the flash was not installed properly.

 

So two problems nothing to do with human error. I will use my Nauticam house next summer so I hope that everything will be oke. And yes now I have

the vacuum system.

 

But have to tell you that i am not impressed with quality of Nauticam anymore. Dive shop was always there for me and two times got a new house. But two

problems nothing to with human error but bad quality control.

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Hi,

 

While I read always what Interceptor121 writes about Nauticam and the Sony series i have to say that i do not agree on his opinion that 99% of floods is user error

specially with Nauticam houses because i already has two problems with new houses just from the shop so brand new. First housing the flash lever stopped

working on my diving trip. Got back and got a new housing. Went on a trip and went snorkeling and alarm got off and there was water in the housing .

I was lucky could save the camera. So snorkeling no pressure on the Nauticam house but a leakage. After research of the shop they found out that the

plastic window of the flash was not installed properly.

 

So two problems nothing to do with human error. I will use my Nauticam house next summer so I hope that everything will be oke. And yes now I have

the vacuum system.

 

But have to tell you that i am not impressed with quality of Nauticam anymore. Dive shop was always there for me and two times got a new house. But two

problems nothing to with human error but bad quality control.

Floods occur in shallow water immediately you don't need pressure.

 

The alarm worked but obviously you didn't have vacuum and did not test in the rinse tank that would have saved you the issue

 

When you pressurize your housing with vacuum you are checking the integrity

 

if you don't have vacuum you should test your housing in a rinse tank empty of course before you even attempt to use with the camera

 

I have never jumped in the water without testing the integrity of the housing especially after a flight

 

Manufacturing defect can occur but floods occurs mostly for user error. Did you check the integrity of your second housing at all?

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If u are really want to be sure that new housing is working fine and such. First dive... No camera. Do what u need to do. Do down. 15m-20m. Press all the buttons.. If nothing flood or anything.. Then u are good to go. Everything else after is user.

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You don't need to go down to 20 meters or take the housing for a dive empty that is just a legend. If there is a leak you can find out after half hour in a bucket I would not waste a dive like that

 

The benefit of vacuum systems is that they make all those procedures obsolete. The RX100 costs nearly $1,000 it is not the camera I would take in a cheap housing. The Nauticam housing is $995 I can't see how you would not spend money for the vacuum valve

If you don't want to spend $220 for the M14 OEM valve you can get the valve only from a third party for another $100 you have a vacuum system that is the best insurance for your rig and will eliminate a number of issues including changing batteries on a small boat

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Hi guys,

 

thank you all for the advise and suggestions. I cannot find any visible corrosions in the connector pin. Anyway I can be sure that it is the connector pin causing trouble?

 

 

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Take The circuit off and place it in a bag with rice seal it and then wait A few days.

Edited by Interceptor121

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This is bad advice:

 

 

You don't need to go down to 20 meters or take the housing for a dive empty that is just a legend. If there is a leak you can find out after half hour in a bucket I would not waste a dive like that

 

I have seen housings that are perfect in shallow water leak at depth. I have also seen housings and ports that have manufacturing defects that occur over time and pressure and they are not picked up by the leak tank test. I have seen ports that haven't seated that seal at shallow depth, but leak when you take them deeper.

 

If you don't want to "waste" a dive, use it as a ecce to figure out where the critters are.....Ideally do the test dive at home before you go away.

 

I have posted some ideas for those with new housings here: http://wetpixel.com/articles/wetpixel-guide-your-new-housing

 

Adam

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I disagree with Adam. Taking a housing on a dive is only a requirement if you don't have a vacuum system and can't leave the housing in a sink long enough.

 

There is relatively little pressure increase after the first ten meters and a small leak will show up when you leave your vacuum depressurised of if you leave it long enough in a tank

 

When you are on a trip you may damage your housing whilst you dive and you are not going to do a single dive without your rig every day

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There is no harm to take an empty housing out for diving for the first dive once you arrive at the destination, that's why most resorts require a "Check out dive". The check out dive is critical not only it lets you test your housing integrity, but also allows you to:

 

- confirm your BCD, regulator etc is working correctly

- have the right amount of weight (especially if you gained weight since you last dive)

- get use to (observe) the way the dive master work

- learn how your dive buddy behave (especially if you have a new dive buddy)

- observe how the boat crew handle your camera setup on and off the boat

 

I have seen many divers bring camera during check out dive, and it makes the divemaster's job difficult because they want to see how you dive and behave underwater. Often time they couldn't get the diver's attention because the diver just fiddler with camera and swim away from the group so the divemaster assume that the diver is "obnoxious" or "Mr/Ms Know it all" (This is especially true when you deal with Asian divemasters). I paid attention during check out dive and I can sense the diver master feel being respected, and guess what? For the remanding of the dive trip, he found critter/creature and let me know right away, and it's a nice divemaster/diver relationship. I seen some divemasters found critter, and don't bother to show it to the "Mr/Ms know it all" because they are far, and tend to ignore the divemaster (or the divemaster perceive that those divers don't need the divemaster's service). My point is, first impression do makes a difference.

 

I think the mentality of "wasting a dive" is not that true consider most check out dive are done in house reef, or some dive site that's shallow/less interesting. It's better to be safe/cautious than sorry.

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If your check dive is an average dive that is the most important reason to take your full rig so that you can actually test all parts, controls, strobes, buoyancy

 

I would not want to take my housing empty to find out a control is not functioning on the next 'real' dive and then I need to stress myself up trying to fix it

 

If you are not a good diver and your camera affects your buoyancy you should not dive with one.

 

Likewise someone who is fiddling with their camera and does not know their rig is just an unwise photographer that should have tested new equipment in the pool and now is messing around in water. Not having the camera in the check dive warrants that they will mess around in a real more difficult dive so what's the benefit or not taking it?

 

I think you need to make a distinction between people that are clueless and the reality of doing tests they are two different things requiring different approach.

Edited by Interceptor121

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Which part do you disagree with?

 

I have first hand experience of all these problems that I list. Some of them happened to housings equipped with vacuums too.

 

Physics also states that the pressure doubles at 10m, as opposed to being 0.1 x greater than surface at 1m (the depth of the average rinse tank). This pressure increase can cause issues that are not apparent at shallow depths. Again I speak from real life, practical, first-hand knowledge......

 

In my experience, the best underwater imagery often comes from spending time getting to know an area and diving on it repeatedly. If you go on "photo oriented" type trips, or use "photo friendly" dive resorts, they will often use the first dive to show you around the area. This is a great opportunity to orientate yourself with the local environment and to try and figure out where the best creative potential is. In many ways, not having a camera while doing so enhances this process.

 

You can of course also do your camera test dives at home, before venturing away....

 

I regularly have to figure out settings underwater so I am sure that this could be described as "fiddling" with it. I guess that makes me "unwise?" Perhaps I am also clueless :)

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Not that part. I disagree with the dive with empty housing part only. The rest were comments on Moses post and the check dive logic that's were the clueless comment cones

Edited by Interceptor121

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Likewise someone who is fiddling with their camera and does not know their rig is just an unwise photographer that should have tested new equipment in the pool and now is messing around in water.

 

So base on your logic, if one mastered the camera in the pool, he/she shouldn't fiddling with it in a real dive....... you do know the pool is a controlled environment while the real dive is different in light/visibility condition right?

 

Also, I would be cautious to leave the rig in the rinse tank for more than 10 minutes. There is a risk of people just dump their rig on top of yours, causing things to open/become loose. Yes, I read that it happened to people.

Edited by kc_moses

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No what I said is that there are many people that use new equipment for the first time on a trip that's why they fiddle with it at the start

You test it In the pool first and eliminate that issue. And I meant leaving the rig in the sink at home or in the bathtub at the hotel. Ultimately I have a vacuum and now don't do any

Edited by Interceptor121

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Diving or not with an empty housing can also be approached by answering the "how many flooding happened on the first dive of the gear" (incl first dive after flight, longer inactivity, etc) question? Also if the manufacturer tests (does Nauticam?) every individual housings in a pressure tank, I see little chance for trouble. Anyway, taking an empty (vacuumed) housing on our quarry dives doesn't harm and I doubt I will miss a Nessie shot without the camera in it...

 

In the presented case, the flood happened on the second dive, I suspect something happened with the case during SI. Obviously if we are after manufacturing faults, we have to crash-test the case at the certified pressure, which I'd do before expensive/exotic trips (Raja Ampat, Antarctica...).

Edited by tamas970

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I have to agree with Adam. And from now on i will abide to your reply to this tread. I think what you say is very logical. Also pressure increase can cause issues that are not apparent at shallow depths and that's the first lesson every underwater photographer should know. i am into photography underwater nearly 20 years and had some problems but 80% of my problems where related to new equipment malfunction because of bad quality control. Even with vacuum system i had leaks who where not apparent on the surface but at 12 meters red lights and bleeps went off. Happily i never lost a camera or flash. One big mistake from me was snorkeling with Nikonos 5 without closing the flash cap. Repair in Mexico was 100 dollars only :dancing: . And i understand that the market for underwater photography is small and mistakes happen. As long as the brand recognize its mistakes and and then reimburse the customer i have no problem. Mistakes happen. So you see from this forum everybody can learn something.

 

But i also regularly have to figure out settings underwater so I am sure that this could be described as "fiddling" with it. I guess that makes me "unwise?" Perhaps I am also clueless :aggressive: :aggressive: :aggressive:

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There is a risk of generalising everything taking one sentence out of context. Taking a housing empty when new is not the same as doing the first dive of a trip with an empty housing with gear you already know. And the purpose of a check dive for a dive master is not the same of a photographer. Ultimately you do what you think is right for you and you need judgement. Having a check list helps but doesn't solve all problems. A trend in floods seems more to be linked to the lack of any check list than manufacturing defects. The clueless comment is for those guys that don't follow any kind of practice either recommended sanctioned or personal and was not directed to Adam but to the example of Moses. Anyway enough said each to their own procedures but before complaining to manufactures is good to know what you can do to avoid issues

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Hm.. Sorry If my little suggestion raise up some discord. It's my point of view on my own experience. There are many ways to prevent flooding. Have a great coming new year of diving folks :)

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Just my personal experience. For new housing, take down to 30meters empty. Fully work all the buttons and knobs. Afterwards, leave as long as can w vacuum check on / or in bucket of water and camera in place, test all the buttons/knobs, then dive as normal.

 

Then last year, my camera with 200 dives passed all my normal checks, but at 20 meters flooded when I hit one of the buttons. A teaspoon of salt water got in, leak sensor went off, I tipped camera down so water would pool in the port. Camera survived, it is listed as "weather proofed", but housing electronics fried. I didn't have the tools/parts/knowledge to do an in field repair, so was out of a camera for the entire trip. But at least I saved my camera, and the housing was easily fixed back home.

 

I still stick to my old procedures, only if i have new items such as port or bulkhead connector will I do a dive with no camera in the housing. Nothing is 100%, but a rinse tank/vacuum test is enough assurance for me. Unless the check dive is absolutely boring, I think the benefits of an additional test of a housing at depth without a camera do not offset the cost of not having a camera for one dive. This is my personal choice, others may make a different one for their own preference. I will say my camera flooding concerns were initially at World is Ending Paranoia, but hundreds of dives and one flood later, it is down to Another Scuba Related Risk to manage levels.

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I just loved your "World is Ending Paranoia", watboy. :lol2: So true - and then even truer is your Another Scuba Related Risk.... and a story to tell.

 

I'm with you on generally not doing a housing without-camera first dive. The vacuum system does the assurance test for me too. Great gizmo!

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