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Hello,

I would like to install an Hdmi cable running from my camera, through the housing and up to a surface monitor in order to film from a boat not more than 1.5 m down. Does anyone has experience doing this?

I am using a Meikon A7II and would be replacing one of the existing through hull to get the cable running out and would probably need extra sealant and glue?

Any help, tips or advices would be greatly appreciated! 

Sonia

IMG_0779 copy.jpg

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I'm sure others will chime in, but does the housing have sufficient internal space to fit an HDMI plug and cable? Will an HDMI plug fit through the port you show? If not you will have to break the cable somehow...which makes the operation more difficult!

Certainly glue and sealant may provide an adequate seal, but I would be wary given that cables can get snagged and disturb any seal. Ideally you want a proper cable gland to ensure a seal, but you may not be able to fit one in the port. 

If you can resolve these issues, running an external surface monitor via HDMI is not a problem. 

Adam

Admin: Moved to video forum...

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Thank you Adam, that's great advice. 

Yes, I have to cut the Hdmi but did a quick test and it worked reconnecting it.

Cable gland option

The cable gland would indeed require enlarging the hole which present its own challenges(drilling in plastic). I found a cheap gland which is IP68 certified, can it do the job? If I were to buy one made for camera housings it was very expensive. I would imagine that enlarging the existing hole is more hazardous than using this pre-existing port as per the solution below? 

Using existing button hole w. sealant and securing cable to housing

Using the existing port and somehow securing the cable to the case itself to avoid disturbances might be the safest option since I am not going very deep. I was also planning to extend the moisture meter cables inside the case and move the warning light up above the surface next to the monitor so I can take up the camera if a leakage begins and hopefully avoid submerging the camera.

I have attached a very rough drawing of my idea. It is worth mentioning that I am using a monopod to submerge the camera and can run the cable safely up that so hopefully there will little risk of the cable getting snagged on things and damaging the seal.

 

 

PastedGraphic-1 copy.jpg

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IP ratings are more for accidental immersion - so the new iphone might be rated IP68 and can survive a drop in the water.  You will note part of the spec is a time limit if you look up IP68 - something like 30 minutes.  I don't believe it is meant for items that are routinely immersed.

Adam's advice on using sealant is sound - you don't find cables set up like that for a reason - normally a bulkhead is used which uses o-rings to provide the seal.  With that location any leak will drip straight onto the camera and assuming you are in the ocean one drop of saltwater can be enough to destroy a camera.  Capilliary action is very good at drawing in drops of water No repair shop will repair a camera damaged that way.

The Meikon housings are cheap for a reason - they don't provide functionality like ports to attach bulkheads and have various other compromises.  They will keep your camera dry and allow you to operate it UW for sure and are a reasonable solution if that's all you can afford or wish to spend. 

I would also mention HDMI cables can be fussy and while they might work if cut and re joined may not have the same data rate capability as the original cable. 

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I should also add looking at the photo and Meikon webpage, the large Port in the middle where the flash connects appears to be a removable bulkhead as they advertise a replacement sync port bulkhead in spare parts.   This looks to be a larger sized bulkhead with an o-ring seal.  Unfortunately Meikon don't specify what thread they use - most bulkheads commercially available use M16 threads.

I would also note that is you went ahead and sealed in the cable you are effectively ruling out diving with housing and any application other than what you are proposing with using it as an underwater monitor.

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Thank you very much for your reply Chris!

Unfortunately at this stage, my budget is limited for this project, which is why I am looking into DIY options. 

Cable gland option

I will rule out the IP68 gland then.

Which cable gland would you recommend and where to find it?

Using existing button hole w. sealant and securing cable to housing

ATM most filming wouldn't be below 1.5 m and in fresh water. I would also be filming with the camera upside down which means that the Port used would be a the lowest point & yes, in that case the housing would become dedicated to this application.

If I were to go for this option, which sealant and glue would you recommend?

Flash port

The larger flash Port would be ideal to use but I haven't found the right bulkhead that would fit both my budget and the case.

Many thanks!

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Hi Sonia. Several years ago I made an external monitor setup using a Meikon housing for a Sony A6300. Rather than cutting the HDMI cable, I drilled a hole in the housing large enough for the end of the cable to fit through (as well as cables for power and remote control). I think I sealed the hole with a layer of Scigrip 16 (which bonds well to the ABS and polycarbonate that the Meikon housings are made of) as well as a layer of silicone (since I wasn’t sure how well the Scigrip 16 would bond to the plastic/rubber of the cables). It never leaked and served me well. So I think what you’re trying to do could work out. In your case I would guess that just filling the button hole with silicone might be sufficient. A nice thing about that is that since silicone remains soft it could probably be undone if it doesn’t work out. Another good thing is that you can try it and make sure it doesn’t leak before ever putting the camera in there.

Another aspect of that project that may be of interest to you is that I was able to control the camera by modifying a Sony IR remote control (like this one). The basic idea is that you have to open up the remote and desolder the IR LED from the circuit board, position it to be close to the IR receiver on the front of the camera grip, and then connect it back to the remote by soldering a length of two wires in-between. It was inexpensive and pretty easy, and it was very useful to be able to take photos, start/stop recording, and change settings remotely while viewing the external monitor. So if you think you’re got enough room to fit the wires through the button hole in addition to the HDMI cable, this might be something worth trying.

Good luck!

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I'm all for DIY projects however some projects really need a proper solution.  I don't know of any glands I would recommend, they would need to rated to depth and also have some means of connecting to the housing which is water tight.   Typically there is a gland body which screws into the housing with a gasket or o-ring rated for the depth the cable is threaded through with a seal and a follower nut is threaded in to compress the seal against the cable which would need to have a smooth round OD to allow the seal to work properly.   This sort of thing is probably available the problem is sourcing one ( as opposed to a whole box of them).  The opening in the housing also needs to be suitable - the flash port is setup to seal against an o-ring.  

I would also mention that a small nick in the cable covering would allow water in as well as it would allow water to bypass the gland.

Same for the sealant there are sealants that might work but I expect the right technique in applying the sealant would be as important as the type of sealant and I don't have any experience to offer there.

I would suggest rather than thinking about in terms of budget you would like to spend to think about it in terms of how much you are prepared to pay to protect your investment in the camera.  Can you afford to replace the camera if it floods?   This is why I'm reluctant to make a specific recommendation - I don't have experience with this sort of DIY. 

The standard way of making such connections is use an o-ring sealed bulkhead and there are various companies that will make custom connectors for you but they are pricey as you are no doubt aware.  They are also expensive for a reason - they are low volume custom made items.  One company I am aware of is dive and see:  https://www.diveandsee.com/

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Isaac Szabo said:

Hi Sonia. Several years ago I made an external monitor setup using a Meikon housing for a Sony A6300. Rather than cutting the HDMI cable, I drilled a hole in the housing large enough for the end of the cable to fit through (as well as cables for power and remote control). I think I sealed the hole with a layer of Scigrip 16 (which bonds well to the ABS and polycarbonate that the Meikon housings are made of) as well as a layer of silicone (since I wasn’t sure how well the Scigrip 16 would bond to the plastic/rubber of the cables). It never leaked and served me well. So I think what you’re trying to do could work out. In your case I would guess that just filling the button hole with silicone might be sufficient. A nice thing about that is that since silicone remains soft it could probably be undone if it doesn’t work out. Another good thing is that you can try it and make sure it doesn’t leak before ever putting the camera in there.

Another aspect of that project that may be of interest to you is that I was able to control the camera by modifying a Sony IR remote control (like this one). The basic idea is that you have to open up the remote and desolder the IR LED from the circuit board, position it to be close to the IR receiver on the front of the camera grip, and then connect it back to the remote by soldering a length of two wires in-between. It was inexpensive and pretty easy, and it was very useful to be able to take photos, start/stop recording, and change settings remotely while viewing the external monitor. So if you think you’re got enough room to fit the wires through the button hole in addition to the HDMI cable, this might be something worth trying.

Good luck!

Isaac -- that's super useful & exciting to hear you were able to achieve this!

Do you have any picture of your transformed housing you'd be able to share? 

Many thanks!

Edited by Sonia Levy
add quoted text above!

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2 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

I'm all for DIY projects however some projects really need a proper solution.  I don't know of any glands I would recommend, they would need to rated to depth and also have some means of connecting to the housing which is water tight.   Typically there is a gland body which screws into the housing with a gasket or o-ring rated for the depth the cable is threaded through with a seal and a follower nut is threaded in to compress the seal against the cable which would need to have a smooth round OD to allow the seal to work properly.   This sort of thing is probably available the problem is sourcing one ( as opposed to a whole box of them).  The opening in the housing also needs to be suitable - the flash port is setup to seal against an o-ring.  

I dive a rEvo rebreather and it uses PG7 glands to route DiveCAN cables through the case and into the counterlungs to the O2 sensors and other electronics.

https://www.revo-rebreathers.com/product/r430-pg7-cable-gland-with-o-ring/

I wonder if that could work?

It can definitely handle the depth requirements. :)

I think the biggest question would be whether you could drill the hole in the case in a "flat" area with threads and have enough room inside for the cable. And, of course, I'm not sure what the diameter of a HDMI cable is vs DiveCan or whether they sell PG7 glands for different size diameter cables. I'm guessing they do.

- brett

 

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Posted (edited)

The PG7 on a rEvo have ambient pressure either side of the gland. Ambient water on one side, ambient gas on the other side. Maybe a fraction of a bar variation with breathing and gas addition, but that is all.

Could be OK for the surface end of a cable. But I wouldn't risk it on the camera end of a cable.

Edited by JohnLiddiard
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16 minutes ago, JohnLiddiard said:

The PG7 on a rEvo have ambient pressure either side of the gland. Ambient water on one side, ambient gas on the other side. Maybe a fraction of a bar variation with breathing and gas addition, but that is all.

Could be OK for the surface end of a cable. But I wouldn't risk it on the camera end of a cable.

Very good point, thanks John.

- brett

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3 hours ago, JohnLiddiard said:

The PG7 on a rEvo have ambient pressure either side of the gland. Ambient water on one side, ambient gas on the other side. Maybe a fraction of a bar variation with breathing and gas addition, but that is all.

Could be OK for the surface end of a cable. But I wouldn't risk it on the camera end of a cable.

You need to check the specs some seals such as O-rings work better with more pressure differential as the pressure acts to increase the sealing force. 

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9 hours ago, Sonia Levy said:

Isaac -- that's super useful & exciting to hear you were able to achieve this!

Do you have any picture of your transformed housing you'd be able to share? 

Many thanks!

Sure Sonia, here you go:

A6300%20Remote%20Monitor%201.jpg

A6300%20Remote%20Monitor%202.jpg

Also, after inspecting the sealed hole in the housing, it appears that the Scigrip 16 may have produced a better bond to both the housing and the cables than the silicone did. So I might retract my previous statement and instead recommend using Scigrip 16 if you're wanting to go the sealant route. The downside is that if for some reason it didn't work out it would be very difficult to undo.

Another simple/inexpensive idea worth looking into is to use an o-ring to create a seal between the cable and button hole. First you would measure the outside diameter of the cable and the inside diameter of the button hole with precision calipers. Then you would try to source an o-ring with a inner diameter slightly smaller than the cable diameter and an outer diameter slightly larger than the hole diameter so that it would create a seal when placed between them. You would also have to make some stops on the cable so that the o-ring couldn't slide out of the button hole. And for some safety margin, you could use several o-rings if the button hole is long enough. The nice thing about this option is that it is completely nondestructive and could easily be undone if it didn't work out.

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That's great to see Isaac. Thank you for sharing images. I think I am going to have to go with something fairly similar. I'll post a pictures soon :)

 

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