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Newer Version: Push Button Release
Nauticam has just announced its first vacuum check system to insure the watertight integrity of your Nauticam underwater housing. Feel confident when you splash that your housing is properly sealed and safe against water intrusion. This system uses a one way valve and an electronic monotoring system to confirm the housing it water tight.
**Note this system requires the proper vacuum electronics to be installed in your Nauticam Housing. New housing models designed after this release will ship with the electronics installed, however any model designed prior to the vacuum release will have to be sent in to Nauticam USA to have the electronic components installed, this costs $220.00 in addition to the valve. If you have any questions please call us at 310-633-5052**
The circuitry is built into the housings leak detector providing constand monitoring of the vacuum seal which is reported by multi color LED system. All new Nauticam dSLR and mirrorless housing with ship with this circuitry standard. The pump and valves will be purchased seperately so that you may customize the system to suit your needs.
Understanding the LED color codes is very easy. At ambient pressure, the LED slowly blinks blue. When a solid vacuum is achieved, the LED changes to a solid green, indicating system integrity. If the vacuum starts to degrade, the LED begins to flash yellow, and if water intrusion is detected, the LED flashes red, and the audible alarm is sounded.
**Update: The Nauticam Vacuum Circuitry will not work above about 5,000ft elevation. The system will return a false positive as soon as the system is turned on due to the low atmospheric pressure. However, the leak detector will still function if used at altitude**
The second component of this system is a one way vacuum valve, which is available in several styles to support various housing configurations. These Vacuum Valves contain an integrated vacuum release, and a redundant waterproof cap. No tools are required to open the housing after creating a vacuum, as the vacuum is released with a simple knurled nut. The basic valve uses a hand pump to create the vacuum, but a more advanced Dual Activation vacuum valve (Auto Valve) is also available. The Dual Activation Valve accepts a BCD Low Pressure Inflator Hose quick disconnect, and uses tank pressure to create a Venturi effect that pulls the vacuum. This is recommended for housings like Nauticam's DCES for RED EPIC and SCARLET where the internal volume of the housing makes using a hand pump impractical. "Offset" Extension Valves are used when a housing has a single accessory hole, but requires both a Vacuum Valve and electrical bulkhead to be installed in the same location. This will enable most housings to be able to utilize this valuable tool.
*Off-Set Valve - Use the Off Set Vacuum Valve on housings with only 1 bulkhead like the original D800, when you also need that bulkhead for use with a strobe Sync Cable.
If you own a Nauticam housing, this is a must-have accessory. I'm a PhD student studying coral reef ecology. I spend about three months a year doing field work in the Caribbean. As an ecologist, getting my data collected is my highest priority and consumes most of my time. But I also need to document the work I'm doing and, at least some of the time, I also like to capture some of the beauty of the reefs I study. Up until this last season, I would end my field season often dissatisfied with how few opportunities I had for getting photos and video. I need my still and video camera to document work in the lab as well as underwater, so the risk of a leak holds a special horror for me. That changed this season. This leak detector has greatly simplified my life. Where in the past I had to allow an hour to clean and check the seals on a housing (my field location is not exactly dust, sand and hair free!), I can now do a five or ten minute clean and check, pump the housing out, and leave it for a few minutes to check for leaks. If really pressed for time, I can prep a housing in minutes. I used this system repeatedly this past 3 months on an OMD EM5 housing and a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema housing. I came home with far more stills and video than I ever would have in the past and I my fear of losing a camera in the water was virtually eliminated.
There is one additional advantage to using this system. By reducing the pressure in the housing the Nauticam 45° finder (I use it on my OMD EM5 housing) is literally sucked into the housing and held there. This finder is one Nauticam product whose design I am not overly impressed with. The keeper o-ring is not adequate to the task and its groove is too far from the two sealing o-rings. When the housing is at atmospheric pressure and above water, it is far too easy to grab the finder and pull it out of the housing so that the sealing o-rings are exposed. When you use the leak detector you lower the internal pressure in the housing which exerts several pounds of force pulling the finder into the housing and keeping it seated in place. The Nauticam leak detector system make this finder a much safer product to use.
To conclude, I felt much more confident this Summer taking my housings in the water, especially for last-minute opportunities. For this diver/photographer, the Nauticam leak detection system is worth its weight in gold!
Be sure to choose the right equipment! Check our guides for best cameras to use, and which housings to go for. A must read! Buyers Guides
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