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Not a huge fan of my GoPro

Discussion in 'Underwater Photography' started by bvbellomo, Mar 13, 2021.

  1. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    686
    249
    Firstly, it's hard to trouble shoot long distance, so bear with multiple questions. If it's holding vacuum, it seems like you are getting a few drops of water in somewhere. You didn't confirm you were replacing cap over the red button. There's two components to the vacuum check:

    First you pull a vacuum and leave it for at least twenty minutes - preferably longer - you are waiting to see if the pressure increases from air leaking in. Air will leak in faster than water and will cause the pressure to increase to the point the electronics can detect it then the light starts blinking red but no alarm. In your case I'd leave it an hour and fiddle with the controls periodically to see it's holding vacuum still. Procedure is to pump till the light goes from blinking blue to solid green then give 1-2 more pumps.

    But if you start to leak UW , a few drops of water is not much volume so the pressure doesn't change dramatically and the vacuum alarm does not go off, but once the water contacts the moisture sensor it alarms.

    To get the moisture sensor going again - it is just two wires - see if you can loosen them from their clip and wash them in a small container of fresh water and dry then rinse them with alcohol. Also wipe out the inside of the housing with a cloth moistened with fresh water then dry it - is there a hair dryer available to assist? Make sure when you clip the wires back they are separated and not actually touching the housing.

    On the o-rings if you have to ask how to check an o-ring - I would not be confident in saying it's not the port. To check o-rings - pull them using the supplied o-ring pick or the corner of a credit card. First inspect the o-ring groove and the seating surface of the housing for grit, fibres or hair, make sure you have good light. Once you are happy with that run the o-rings through your fingers feeling for grit- examine them closely in good light making sure there is no fibre/hair or grit attached. Feel for nicks/cuts etc it should be smooth to feel all the way round. Your fingers are very sensitive to any grit or cuts etc.

    Once it's clean don't put it down anywhere, squeeze out a small amount of grease and apply evenly to the o-ring to distribute evenly it should be shiny but not showing gobs of grease. Immediately install it being careful to to twist or stretch it too much. Run your eyes over it one last time checking for hairs etc. Close the housing to keep dust/grit away. Only open it to install the camera.

    That's the general procedures I'd run through all of that then leave it sit under vacuum several hours coming back to it periodically to fiddle with controls. Next see if you can arrange to drop down the mooring line with some spare air at the end of a dive with the housing lined with paper and a weight to spend 5 minutes with it at depth. The problem is you can check the port and housing o-rings and they are a common cause of leaks but checking the control buttons is more difficult. If you are still getting drops of water in then I think you'll probably need to get it overhauled.
     
  2. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    686
    249
  3. bvbellomo

    bvbellomo Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: United States
    283
    44
    Last day of diving, so I am not using the camera on this trip.

    I've seen and dealt with bad orings before, but they obviously look bad. This looks new that's why I asked how to check.

    I did replace the screw cap over the red button.

    I am only confident saying it isn't the port as the problem happened with 2 different ports.

    This held vacuum over an hour in air before spending the night under water. Vacuum was fine overnight and almost an hour again in air before the dive. Alarm went off 2 minutes into the dive, I was using the controls at the time.
     
  4. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    686
    249
    Sounding more and more like a problem with a control - if you don't soak and work the buttons after each trip salt crystals will form inside the button well as the housing dries out - so it's possible one of them is damaged. Maintenance should include soaking for an hour in fresh water and pushing each button a number of times - the salt water won't exchange out of the holes unless you work them.

    You can test this under vacuum by working the controls with the housing in a tub with a weight inside- you can use paper to help highlight which control - but to me it seems like a good candidate for an overhaul replacing all the o-rings, Talk to one of the UW photo shops that does repairs. You might need to spend longer working the controls as the driving force for a leak is smaller.

    The point with o-rings is it can be either be damage or contamination so you need to check them closely and the groove and mating sealing surfaces - it's so easy to get a hair in the wrong place.
     
  5. bvbellomo

    bvbellomo Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: United States
    283
    44
    A rest overnight did what a day in the Egyptian sun could not - the sensor must have dried completely and is now working. I have vacuum and have been hitting the controls with no luck reproducing the issue.

    Is it possible it is completely air/water tight at surface pressure but it leaks at depth?

    Is it possible the water sensor is so much more sensative than the vacuum that I have a small leak, small enough to let water in and trip the sensor, but not large enough the vacuum will fail?

    I agree a complete overhaul is a good idea, but I'd still feel a lot better knowing exactly what the issue is if I can figure it out.
     
  6. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    686
    249
    I think the only realistic scenario is something that leaks when you move the controls, o-rings seal better at depth due to more pressure pushing them into the sealing surface. It is certainly possible to set off the water alarm without the vacuum alarm, one drop of water will set it off - but it won't change the pressure in the housing.
    When you get home try sitting it in a tub for a few days under vacuum regularly moving the controls to see if it will reproduce. If that doesn't get you anywhere call one of the shops that does service and talk to them about to see if they have ideas - they will have dealt with this sort of issue before I would think - make sure they know the details - passing vacuum, but getting a few drops inside when you use the controls.
     
  7. Dan

    Dan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    7,539
    5,059
    Firstly I just join in the discussion and haven’t gone through the entire 22 pages of the thread. So, forgive me if your GoPro 6 Hero Black problems have been addressed by others. I have exactly the same GoPro and very happy with the results as you see in the videos, below.









    My answers to your problems with the GoPro:

    1. You can set it to 1 button to turn on & start video / photo and pressing the same button to stop it & turn it off. I don’t see how much more simple than that. In my 1 hour dive with probably 15-20 video clips, this 1 button press probably uses up 20% of the battery capacity. I can easily use it for the entire day of liveaboard diving (3-4 dives / day).

    2. Practice makes perfect. This is part of being a diver anyway, being aware & alert to what’s happening around you while diving.

    3. By the end of the dive day, I just get the microSD out of the GoPro, stick it to my laptop & transfer the video that way. A much faster way. You’ll need to get to the GoPro to change the battery anyway.

    4. Wide is good enough for me, as you see in my videos, above. If you are not happy with that and want to have a better macro pictures than videos, then mount your GoPro on top of your TG6 or whatever camera you would rather have, like I do with mine, as shown, below.

    9306E8EB-008C-4345-A9D5-C3EC5E22EFF0.jpeg

    5. My videos & photos from my GoPro don’t look blurry. May be my eyes are not as sharp as yours or something wrong with your GoPro autofocus sensor.

    6. GoPro is not design for macro. That’s why I have Sea&Sea DX6G for the macro shots.

    7. Yes. You need a camera, not GoPro for still frames. However, since you already have the GoPro, why not having both like my setup, putting GoPro on top of you new camera.
     
  8. bvbellomo

    bvbellomo Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: United States
    283
    44
    22 pages and topics have changed, probably should have started a new thread. Bought a 6300 and was very happy with it until it flooded, dive trip is over, not much interest in my go pro.
     
  9. Dan

    Dan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    7,539
    5,059
    Sorry to hear about the camera casing leak. It’s a good thing to have moisture sensor so you can abort the dive and save your camera from water damage.
     
  10. sea_ledford

    sea_ledford Captain

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Galveston, TX
    695
    516
    I had a nikon d7000 in an aquatica housing. Sometimes, when I would switch it to video mode it would lock up everything. Turning it on and off didn't work, putting it back to photo didn't work, trigger didn't work, NOTHING FREAKING WORKED! It drove me nuts! I couldn't get it to reproduce on land, even by removing the main o-ring to simulate the pressure at depth. Best I could come up with was something was doing a half press somewhere, but I could never figure out where. Sent it in for service, twice, to two different places, no one could reproduce it and the problem never went away. I clearly just stopped using the video function in fear of turning it into a $5000 brick I had to carry around.

    Once Nikon discontinued the D7000, I bought a back up body to have around just in case. One day I decided to try out the back up body to see if I still had the problem. Nope, it worked just fine! Video to camera, camera to video, all dive long no problems. I STILL don't know what the heck was going on, but at least a new camera body fixed it!

    It does sound like you have a crusty control button o-ring or corroded button pin, so hopefully a full service will fix it. So long as it works afterward!
     

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