How often should I maintain them?
- If you are doing shore dives, or where you are most likely exposing your rig to sand, do it each time you open the housing.
- If you are boat diving or on a live-aboard, where you are diving in clean water, you should service your O-rings at least once each day.
Considerations for setting up:
- Set up your housing ahead of time. Avoid rushing right before a dive.
- Try to set up your housing in a cool, dry and well-lit area (e.g. Camera Room).
- If you are on a boat, set it up in a calm, sheltered area with minimal people traffic.
- If you’re a glasses wearer, use reading glasses to see best close-up.
- A head-lamp can come in very handy to see well as not all camera areas, hotel rooms, etc. are well-lit.
Types of O-ring seals on your Nauticam Housing:
Your Nauticam housing has two types of owner serviceable O-ring seals; axial or face seals and radial or piston seals.
For Nauticam housings where the back comes completely off, such MIL and DLSR housings, the main housing O-ring seal is an axial seal. For all ports, and compact camera housings where the camera back hinges to open, a radial O-ring seal is used.
With both types of seals the O-ring is captured in a groove. However, with axial seals the O-ring is only compressed when closed while with radial seals the O-ring is both compressed and must slide when closed.
The maintenance of both types of seals is the same with the only difference that O-rings in radial seals requiring greasing with each maintenance.
This is the meticulous part, don’t get distracted.
To remove O-rings:
- Use the O-ring remover (supplied) to gently pry it out.
- NEVER use a knife, tweezers or any sharp object to remove the O-ring.
To clean O-rings:
- If the O-ring has sand or grit on it, wash the O-ring in fresh water to remove. Dry O-ring with a lint-free towel or cloth.
- Gently clean the O-ring by wrapping a microfiber cloth or lightly moistened paper towel around a portion of it and pulling the O-ring through it very gently with your fingers. Be careful not to stretch it. If you feel any nicks, cuts, or dents in the O-ring discard it and use your spare.
Housing or port preparation:
- Clean the O-ring groove with a microfiber cloth, high quality paper towel slightly moistened with fresh water, foam swab, or a cotton swab with a piece of lens tissue wrapped around the tip.
- Clean the O-ring sealing surfaces. For an axial seal this will be the flat portion of the housing back that presses against the O-ring in its groove. For radial seals this will be the lip or edge of the housing or housing port opening against which the O-ring will press and slide. As with the O-ring groove, use a microfiber cloth, high quality paper towel slightly moistened with fresh water, foam swab, or a cotton swab with a piece of lens tissue wrapped around the tip.
- Axial seal O-rings need only be lubricated at most once a day. Lightly coat the O-ring with the lubricant provided and wipe away the excess. A sheen on the O-ring is good enough, not globs of lubricant that will attract sand and grit!
- Radial seal O-rings need to have a sheen but also a thin layer of lubricant should be applied to the exposed O-ring surface after the O-ring has been placed in its groove to assure the O-ring slides properly.
- Do NOT use anything other than genuine Nauticam lubricant.
- Carefully place the O-ring into the groove, ensuring that it lays flat and inside the entire groove.
- For radial seal O-rings, apply a thin layer of lubricant to the exposed portion of the O-ring as previously described.
- Inspect the O-ring again, make sure there is no lint or hair on the O-ring.
- Close the housing and/or attach the port. Make sure the housing latches and port locks (if equipped) are fully closed.
- Lift up the entire system and inspect where the housing back and port meet the housing. There should be a thin, uniform gap with no extruded O-ring.
Please refer to the manual of the vacuum valve for details of the operation
Possible Causes for the VCLD System Malfunction
- Corroded moisture detector pins, battery socket, or other electronic parts, which caused by water droplets from:
- opening the housing in a wet place
- or from wet hands
- or from wet hair
- or from a wet suit
- or from opening the vacuum valve whilst there is water still on the valve
- Using the wrong type of replacement batteries
Care of the Vacuum Check and Leak Detection System
- Setup your housing and close it in a cool, dry area to minimize the moisture inside the housing.
- After the dive, please only open the housing after drying it completely.
- Dry it out by blotting the housing first with an absorbent towel, and then use an air gun to gently blow off any trapped water.
- Ideally, leave the housing in an air conditioned room after resetting the vacuum system for at least a half hour.
- Reset the system when you are dry, avoid water droplets from your wet hands, hair or wetsuit.
- Use only the recommended battery.
- Leave the housing in an air conditioned room overnight if the alarm keeps activating even when it is dry.
What to Do if the Leak Detection System Activates During a Dive
- Orient the housing to keep the water as far away from the camera as possible. For some systems this will be with the port pointed down. For others it will be with the housing upright and level.
- End the dive if possible.
- Ascend in a safe manner.
- Remember, your safety is worth more than any camera.
- When the housing is removed from the water, maintain it in the preferred orientation.
Entering and exiting the water:
- Never jump in the water holding your housing. Always have your housing handed to you.
- Keep the port covered with a neoprene or dedicated cover as much of the time as possible to prevent the port becoming scratched.
- Add a lanyard for carrying your housing and easy handling.
In between dives:
- Soak the housing in fresh water for a few minutes after every dive in salt water. While immersed, operate all buttons and controls for a few seconds if possible.
- Towel-dry the housing and do not leave it out of the sun between dives. Don’t leave your housing unattended in the rinse tank!
- If you cannot rinse your housing after a dive do not allow the salt water to dry down on it. This will deposit salts and minerals that are difficult to re-dissolve. These deposits can abrade the double O-ring seals in the controls, compromising their seal. In this situation keep the housing wet with salt water by placing it in a tub or bin with a lid and a small amount of salt water. Or the housing can be placed in a plastic bag or wrapped in a towel soaked with salt water. Rinse the housing with fresh water as soon as it is available.
Changing lenses or batteries:
- Rinse the housing in fresh water and dry it off with a towel if this has not already been done.
- Open the housing in a calm, sheltered area with minimal people traffic.
- After opening the housing, wipe off water on the O-ring with a microfiber towel or clean paper towel.
- Examine the O-ring and sealing surfaces carefully before closing the housing.
- Do a vacuum test 30~40 mins before the next dive to make sure the system is intact.
- Make sure the vacuum valve cap is on.
It is recommended that you to ship the housing to our distributor for a complete overhaul every year or after every 200 dives.
Need servicing? Send to us. Enquire about our overhaul compact, mirrorless or DSLR servicing. Call or WhatsApp +6012-3552588 us for more information.