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Best Vacuum System for DSLR Housing

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I'm using the sentinal V4 for about half a year.
Although the red light never flickered (as it should) when battery power was low (the sentinel always just turned off) I was quite satisfied.
But since 2 weeks the electronic system seems to have a problem:
First I had a red light consistently (no flickering) and now a flickering between red and green permanently.
Besides that, the sentinel can't be switched off anymore.
Today a replacement of the board arrived.

Edited by waso

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Is anyone using the Vivid Housings Leak Sentinel with an NA-7D housing? (That's for the Canon 7D Mk1).

 

My housing (NA-7D) has two possible ports for a leak sensor, and both appear to be M14. Looking forward from the rear of the housing, the right side port is considered by Nauticam to be the strobe/vacuum sensor port (for Nauticam vacuum sensor). Mine would need the electronics upgrade. I currently have a hot-shoe port that measures 14mm, so I'm sure it's M14. But given the size of the Leak Sentinel, it looks like it might fit better on the left side (looking from the back). That opening is covered by a plug with a coin slot. I don't want to remove it to check, but I'm thinking it is also M14.

 

Is this correct? Are both openings in the top of the NA-7D housing M14 plugs? Thanks.

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My olympus NA housings are labelled but that's probably a later feature, the EM5 has a single M16 port and the EM-1-MkII has an M14 and an M16 port. The head of both are the same dimension across the flat top portion so you can't tell that way. It's not a big deal to remove the plugs as they only have an o-ring under them. You maybe correct the OD of an M14 bolt is 14mm, but the ID of an internal thread is smaller, so it depends on which you measured.

 

see this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_metric_screw_thread

 

so an M14 x 1.5 thread would have a hole size of about 12.4mm and M16 x 1.5 an ID of about 14.4 mm so the 14mm depends which one you measure the hole ID or the plug thread OD. Searching around it seems the plug size on these housings is a state secret not mentioned anywhere in specifications or anywhere online

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Thanks Chris,

 

For the 'official' strobe / vacuum port (right port viewed from the back), I measured the actual threaded fitting, and it's 14mm from the outside of the threads, which is consistent with the link you posted for M14. The "drill hole" is smaller and you tap it to the proper size if making your own, but you are correct - if you put an I.D. caliper inside an M14 you don't get 14mm, you get 12.4 as you said.

 

My problem right now is the left port under the coin-slot plug. Even with an o-ring I hate removing plugs if I don't have to, but it looks like I must. I did try measuring the hole with the ID caliper, and I got the correct measurement for the strobe hole, but something different for the coin-plug hole.

 

In the end I guess I'll have to remove the coin plug and see how the verified M14 strobe plug fits in the hole. If it fits, it's M14, if loose, then M16.

 

You are also right about "state secrets" of housings. Worse, I emailed Nauticam about this very issue and the reply was (to summarize) "We don't know for that older housing". They guessed, but that's really helpful. Sheesh.

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Well, that was interesting. I decided to pull the coin plug to confirm the port size. This is the left port when viewed from the back of the housing. Once removed I tried the strobe plug, and it just dropped in. I measured the coin plug thread-to-thread and it's 16mm.

 

That means on my NA-7D housing, looking from the rear of the housing, the left port (coin slot plug) is M16 (hydrophone) and the right plug is M14 (strobe and Nauticam vacuum port).

 

Now I have to decide which Nauticam adapter I get with the Leak Sentinel as I have two different sized ports.

 

Question to owners of the Leak Sentinel: is the adapter user removable or factory installed? I wonder if I should get both or just choose. If forced, I guess I'd put it in the M16 hydrophone port as that frees up my strobe port for later use.

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Well, that was interesting. I decided to pull the coin plug to confirm the port size. This is the left port when viewed from the back of the housing. Once removed I tried the strobe plug, and it just dropped in. I measured the coin plug thread-to-thread and it's 16mm.

 

That means on my NA-7D housing, looking from the rear of the housing, the left port (coin slot plug) is M16 (hydrophone) and the right plug is M14 (strobe and Nauticam vacuum port).

 

Now I have to decide which Nauticam adapter I get with the Leak Sentinel as I have two different sized ports.

 

Question to owners of the Leak Sentinel: is the adapter user removable or factory installed? I wonder if I should get both or just choose. If forced, I guess I'd put it in the M16 hydrophone port as that frees up my strobe port for later use.

 

I use the Leak Sentinel on my Subal housing.

 

The adaptor is very much a user removable item. It screws on to the base of the leak detector - and then into the thread of the housing bulkhead. Really simple and easy. But, yes, you do need to get the right size!

 

Miso at Vivid (info@vividhousings.com) is really helpful. Drop him an email.

 

Tim

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Update: I emailed Miso and got a quick reply - I can buy both M14 and M16 adapters for Nauticam housings. The adapter is very inexpensive, so I bought a Leak Sentinel with M16 attached (for the hydrophone port on my NA-7D) as well as the M14 adapter - in case I want to put it on the strobe (M14) port some time.

 

It should be shipping today. :-)

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I'm a big fan of the KISS (Keep it Simple cuz I'm Stupid) school.

 

I use the Nauticam built in electronics (Nauticam housing junkie and now too many ports to switch) - the led fit where they are supposed to, the test point is easy to check, the battery is a very common coin type.

However, I use the Housing Sentry port as my point to provide vacuum. It's now on my second housing, and if the money tree takes root in the backyard, I'll put it on another housing (D850 looks so attractive!)

I like using a brake line fluid tool (may even be able to find one in remote corners of the world if TSA is kind enough to damage the one I've packed), and there's something comforting to me to be able to get a "quantitative" value as to how negative I've made the internals, plus I like how the pieces physically lock together when vacuuming/ releasing.

That said, the biggest concern I always have is that I will lose the little metal adapter that hooks to the port. A "smart" UW photographer would buy a few spare, but I never said I was smart...

 

 

Honestly, with all the options these days, the "best" system is the one you can easily learn, easily service, and actually use.

Edited by DocTock

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I own an Ikelite DSLR housing and use their vacuum system. It is a must for assurance. I am not a reseller of anything... See me observations here if interested -

Edited by olaosta

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As a follow up to the Vivid Sentinel Leak Detector, V5 model, I have used it for some 3, maybe 4 years now, no problems. it has detected leaks before a dive, nice job. I own one V5 for my Subal, one for my Nauticam, plus a spare for a friend.

 

A close friend is a "flooder" so I gave him my spare V5 for his Subal two years ago, he has since thanked me several times.

 

Q: When to pump a vacuum?

Let me tell you my story as I am an experienced diver and know better, right?

This May in Anilao I closed my Nauticam NA D500, checked it, decided against pumping the leak detector, and left the housing to taken on the boat. A few minutes later, Peri Paleracio, the dive master, came to me with the housing, and gently pointed out that I had missed engaging the lock on the left side of the housing. This was on the second day of my trip...

 

Moral of the story: Always pump a vacuum, plus always, always double check everything.

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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I use the surveyor on my aquatica and while its served me well, I really don't like the way the port protrudes out of the top of the housing. seems like an absolute snag hazard. I've yet to snag anything on it and rip it off but it would prefer if it was a little more sleek against the housing 

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