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desertdiver11

M14 or M16 port for vacuum?

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How does one decide on where to put the vacuum on a Nauticam D500 housing or which one to get, M14 or M16?  Is it personal preference? 

I have no plans to add an external monitor, electrical bulkhead, hydrophone or anything else, but may get a 45 degree viewfinder later.

Does one location keep it "out of the way" more than another (and maybe allow you to peer over the housing easier when shooting macro for example)? 

I understand the M14 is designed for smaller housings, but the DSLR housings can take either M14 or M16, and in either location?

 

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Hi

On my housing I use the M14 bulkhead behind the on/off control. I find it is out of the way there and causes me no problems at all. This was installed at the time of purchase and I recall including a step up adapter if I needed to move it from m14 to m16 in the future. By having the adapter all your bases are covered if you need either bulkhead for an accessory on the future.

Keep in mind I am talking about the Nauticam vacuum system.  On my previous rig I had a leak sentinaI which I really liked. It was available in m14 or 16.

The viewfinder will not affect anything. For what is is worth can I suggest that you go ahead and get the 45 degree viewfinder -- it takes a little while to get used to but once you get the hang of it you will wonder how you ever worked without it! It is good gear!

All the best

John

 

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Any advantages, pros/cons with the Leak Sentinal system vs Nauticam?  I understand the Leak Sentinal can be pressurized at night, and the circuit be turned off without opening the housing, and continue monitoring the following morning without having to keep fully pressurized overnight?   Does the Nauticam operate the same way? 

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Having used both I can comment! The nauticam system has its electronics inside the housing. To turn on and off you must use a switch in the housing, so if you want to set it the night before it will stay on the whole time. I have that system because it was available pre-installed.

The leak sentinal is self contained and can be set and then turned off. Turn on again when ready and it continues where it left off. I liked that feature when I had the leak sentinal. Maybe take a look at the size compared to the nauticam, the exterior may be slightly larger.

The latest leak sentinal is V5. The guy behind it is Miso Milivojevic (email info@vividhousings.com). He is very helpful! The v5 is a little more user friendly in terms of battery replacement etc than the v4 that I had.

Just one point though, even though it is a bit of a pain not to be able to turn the unit off externally I must say that they really use very little battery power. I started using my D500 underwater on 24th March 2017 and have dived pretty well every weekend since then and I am still on the original battery. I have no qualms in leaving it on for a full day or more and a new battery is easy to keep handy.

Either way I won't use the camera without a vacuum system!

If there is anything else you need to know don;t hesitate to ask, I have clocked up quite a few hours on the rig now!

Cheers

John

PS if interested in seeing some shots,  I created a FB group called underwater Vanuatu to share shots taken here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I agree with what John says about the Leak Sentinel.  I've been using the Leak Sentinel for some years and have gone through versions 3, 4 and 5. It's easy to use, the battery life is excellent and, as I've written a number of times in various posts, to me having one is a no-brainer. As John says, Miso is really helpful and if you ever have a problem, he's very approachable and quick to respond.

On your initial question about M14 or M16, I'm not sure that it makes any real difference which you use - it depends on personal preferences and where on the housing  you would find it easiest to see yet not be in the way. You can get Leak Sentinel adaptors for either. It is helpful to be able install the valve where you can see the blinking light easily although in brighter, shallower water it isn't always that easy to see the green light - whereas, I've found,  the red (trouble!) light does show up better. I find the v5 slightly better to see the light  than the v4 because of the positioning of the warning LEDs on the Sentinel structure. The V5 LEDs are on the top of the valve whereas they are on the side of the V4. But then, doubtless, there will be folks who find it easier to read when on the side - it all depends where you install the valve on the housing.

 

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Thanks John and Tim, super informative info!

I'm pretty neurotic about setting up my gear in advance, i.e. night before, rather than rushing in the morning, so I like the idea of pressure testing the night before.  However, I've also read somewhere that it's not ideal to leave your system pressurized all night, because the way the vacuum pulls is not the same as pressure exerted on the o-rings as when one dives down.  So sounds like the Leak Sentinel would be  "better" in that regard.  I guess, on the other hand, one could pressurize the Nauticam system, check that it holds (what 30 mins?), then depressurize overnight, and then pull the vacuum again in the morning. 

John, Wow, you dive every weekend?!?!?  I'm jealous  ;-0

Tim, can I ask, why do you keep upgrading Leak Sentinel versions?  Are you upgrading your housing and selling, then buying the newer version?   
 

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I often leave my system pressurised overnight and have never had a problem. I usually prep it, like you, the night before, check I've got a green light after, say, 20 mins and then.... err forget to turn the valve off. So it's on overnight.

As for upgrading, the valve has improved over the years. V3 to V4 was a very simple exchange of the small electronic board which I bought from Vivid. Really easy to do.

Moving from the v4 to v5 was quite a change as the design is different - better - and the v5 has a number of advantages, I thought, over the v4. I sold my V4 to a WP member who, as far as I know, is happy.

As I have changed camera housing I have moved the Vivid to the new housing: D800 to D500. It's really easy to install.

 

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2 hours ago, desertdiver11 said:

However, I've also read somewhere that it's not ideal to leave your system pressurized all night, because the way the vacuum pulls is not the same as pressure exerted on the o-rings as when one dives down. 
 

?? I don't understand this, and I expect if I did understand it, I  probably would not agree with it!

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Vacuum doesn't pull, the atmosphere pushes the o-rings in the direction of the pressure gradient, so no difference at all to being in the water from that aspect.  There is a lot of myth and legend and just plain made up bunk published on vacuum systems on the net unfortunately.   In any case the leak sentinel is turned off - the vacuum is not released.

I always leave my housing pulled down overnight, and don't stress about turning it off.  A long test is better as it has the potential to catch a slow leak, though beyond a couple of hours there is probably no benefit.  You could test it, open it, turn it off then pull a new vacuum in the morning, but you loose some of the benefit of a long test.  Anytime you open a housing you risk o-ring contamination risk might be low but it's real.   Better to pull the vacuum and leave it there.

I see no benefit for a leak sentinel over the Nauticam vacuum valve if you have a Nauticam housing - the Nauticam comes with the electronics, you just need to add a one way valve to make it work. 

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