Nauticam Vacuum Leak Detection System
Nauticam's exceptionally comprehensive vacuum system that allows the underwater photographer to confirm watertight integrity before entering the water. This system provides additional peace of mind with expensive camera equipment and should mean fewer lost dives due to minor equipment issues.
The system is comprised of two parts, a one-way vacuum valve and an electronic monitoring circuit.
The electronic monitoring circuit is compactly integrated into the housing's leak detector, where it constantly measures the vacuum level and reports its status via a multi-color LED easily visible on the rear of the housing. This sophisticated circuit has an advanced temperature compensation capability, so changes in ambient temperature or changes in internal temperature won't cause a false positive.
Starting with NA-70D for Canon 70D, all new Nauticam DSLR and Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera housing models will ship with the electronic monitoring circuit installed as standard equipment. Vacuum valves are sold as optional equipment, allowing the user to customize the housing accessory configuration as needed.
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.
Retrofits for existing housings are available for most DSLRs and newer mirrorless cameras like the NA-EM5. The housing must be sent to NauticamUSA for the new electronics. Cost is $220, plus shipping for the upgrade, as well as the valve of your choice.
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 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.
All vacuum valves also include a hand pump and spanner tool for installing valves.
The Bottom Line
This new system is the most advanced integrity check system available today, and the only one with integrated leak detection and temperature compensation. With it's intuitive multi-colored LED status codes, the underwater photographer can now be assured with a simple glance that the watertight integrity of the housing is secure.
Valve Model Numbers:
25611 M14 Vacuum Valve
25612 M16 Vacuum Valve
25613 M16 Dual Activation Vacuum Valve (compatible with low pressure inflator hose quick disconnect)
25621 M14 Offset Connector with Vacuum Valve
25622 M16 Offset Connector with Vacuum Valve
25623 M16 Offset Connector with Dual Activation Vacuum Valve (compatible with low pressure inflator hose quick disconnect)
Please see the specifications tab for which valve you need for your housing.
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