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Barmaglot

PSA for SeaFrogs housing users regarding vacuum testing

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Most people here are aware of SeaFrogs/Meikon, a budget housing manufacturer. Most housings that they have released in the past four years or so have included a vacuum system port. In at of itself this is a very good thing, but unfortunately, instead of a standard M14 or M16 port, they're using a proprietary one, fitting only their own VPS-100 system.

SeaFrogs' instructions for the use of VPS-100 are quite clear: "WARNING - THIS ACCESSORY IS NOT MEANT TO BE USED UNDERWATER AS PER MANUFACTURER INSTRUCTIONS! ANY ATTEMPT TO DO SO CAN CAUSE EQUIPMENT LOSS AND IS NOT COVERED BY THE WARRANTY!"

And indeed there is a reason for this warning - the protective cap that covers the top of VPS-100 is not 100% waterproof. Over the course of 250 or so dives on which I used my SeaFrogs housing with the VPS-100 attached, I have had two instances where this cap leaked, filling the valve with water (which destroyed the valve electronics) and admitting small amounts (several drops) of water into the housing - not enough to kill the camera, but not a good experience nonetheless.

On the other hand, following SeaFrogs' instructions to 'Remove the valve from the backplate and place the vacuum opening lid in its original place, make sure the O-ring is still there (Illustration 1). - safe to dive!' does not strike me as an optimal solution either - for one thing, there is nothing that tests the integrity of the vacuum port cap seal itself, which makes it a potential water ingress point; for another, having the housing under vacuum pre-loads the o-rings, reducing the chance of leakage on the surface or if the housing is bumped in the rinse tank, and releasing the vacuum removes this advantage.

However, as it turns out, there is an alternative - Vivid Housings makes a version of their Leak Sentinel V5 XB that is compatible with SeaFrogs housings. It is not listed for sale anywhere that I could find, but if you contact Miso Milivojevic directly at info@vividhousings.com, he will sell one directly for €230 including free worldwide shipping by registered mail, although this does not include a pump - manual pump is an extra €25 while an electric pump is another €50. I have just taken delivery of mine and can confirm that it fits and it works.

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I'm not affiliated with either SeaFrogs or Vivid Housings in any way, but as an avid user, I can wholeheartedly recommend this solution.

I hope this doesn't violate any forum rules; these housings are getting more popular, and I felt it's important enough for this to be more widely known.

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Many thanks - this is really useful info.

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@Barmaglot Looking for something like this. Does it fit in the VPS port, or does it use the strobe cable bulkhead?

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6 hours ago, ashic said:

@Barmaglot Looking for something like this. Does it fit in the VPS port, or does it use the strobe cable bulkhead?

The Vivid Leak Sentinel V5 XB uses the VPS port - there is no synchro port bulkhead on the A6xxx housing.

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