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Doh! DIY 'fixing' things and....

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by snowdog61, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. snowdog61

    snowdog61 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida's East Coast
    870
    558
    DiveAlert used to make an underwater 'quacker' called the Mini-Hammerhead. A fairly small but exceedingly annoying device that is way louder than their current version (of which I actually have 2 of but thankfully rarely ever use). My GF has the aforementioned Mini-Hammer - She is my spotter and finds lots of cool things for me to shoot so it is gladly tolerated - thankfully she too is well restrained in its use. The thing is, this thing has been dribbling air out of the button spring closure plug ever since we met. That is going on 3 years now and is something that annoys the bajeezus out of me. A nameless LDS had tried to fix it and succeeded only in buggering up the plugs' drive slot.. She relayed that the shop said it wasn't supposed to come apart after assembly which I said smelled of bovine excrement and figured they tried and failed and likely didn't want to completely trash it. They gave up and tried to save face. I contacted DiveAlert concerning parts and got a no-joy reply so was on my own. Anyways, after a good long soak and a light tap with a hammer, the cap came free quite easily (salt crystals seem to make a great loctite). I grabbed some calipers and got the part dimensions and checked it against the flattened o-ring and came up with with some numbers. I found an o-ring chart which showed two part numbers that would likely work - one of which I had on-hand (lucky me I thought!). It was 0.030 larger in cross-section but hey, I figured it would offer a bit more squeeze which would help stem the leak (more always equals better right?) I replaced the o-ring and began tightening the plug down flush to where it was previously (some of you can see where this is heading). Working to get that last bit, I heard the dreaded 'pop' of something letting go and the closure plug was now at a strange angle in its hole - sure enough I fixed it good and split it right at the thread root. DOH!!! Thankfully she has a spare that suffers the same leak. Hopefully some of this will stick and I won't have a repeat performance.

    Oh, and if anyone has some hammerhead parts they want to unload.......
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  2. teknitroxdiver

    teknitroxdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hudson Valley
    3,411
    299
    Nothing ventured, nothing gained! I consider every casualty of attempted repair as 'tuition' for future knowledge.
     
    txgoose and Newdiv like this.
  3. snowdog61

    snowdog61 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida's East Coast
    870
    558
    True, true but the really sad thing is I actually knew what the allowable clearance was and then completely ignored it. This quacker is actually a very nicely made part - good chrome and well made castings - they even included an extra air barrel so it could be converted from standard BC to Air2 and an extra 'muffler' o-ring for the exhaust port/slot. It likely wasn't cheap (not that any dive gear is) I'm just a bit sad that it suffered from my stupidity. As said, this would be a really great tool for an instructor/DM herding cats as it is noticeably louder than the new versions. It deserves to live!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  4. Rred

    Rred Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
    1,058
    447
    snowdog-
    I'm not familiar with the quacker but it sounds like the problem is a plug? or cap? that is not sitting properly against an o-ring in an orifice? If it is something along those lines, you might try "valve lapping compound" or similar fine abrasive polish, and either rotating the plug, or using a rotary polishing tool in a Dremel, to actually polish the part in and make a custom fitting seat for it.

    The art of fixing stuff is terribly underappreciated these days. There are too many guys in red fright wigs and oversize sneakers pretending to be highly qualified repairmen.
     
    Bob DBF likes this.
  5. snowdog61

    snowdog61 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida's East Coast
    870
    558
    No the plug is injection molded and it failed at the end of the threadform where it goes onto the o-ring land (think of a large hollow panhead screw - spring goes into the hollow, oring seals under the head). It can't be reliably fixed without re-melting in a mold. I'm sure it could me remade on a lathe or if someone was really ambitious, making a mold. I'm not that hard over on it. I posted looking for parts so it is what it is. Yes, fixing stuff is becoming a lost art. It seems today if it's under $100 it is considered disposable.
     
  6. snowdog61

    snowdog61 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida's East Coast
    870
    558
    Well so if anyone is interested, her backup has just suffered the same fate, splitting at the thread root in the same fashion as the other one. At least this time it wasn't from me over torquing it but it appears to be an Achilles heal for this. Looks like I'll be making new plugs to fix this - likely brass, maybe stainless but running a lathe will be a new experience
     
  7. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    62,334
    30,906
    Don't you mean: "Nothing ventured, nothing strained???"
     
  8. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    62,334
    30,906
    Heli-coils are awesome. They will leak, but hopefully the o-ring will stop that.
     
  9. snowdog61

    snowdog61 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida's East Coast
    870
    558
    2 parts - same failure mode as there was no thread relief going into the gland area. This will be a good excuse to learn something and I always have been somewhat in awe of what a talented machinist can do. I'm sure it'd be nothing for a somewhat experienced person could do as it's just a blind bore, a few diameters, and a thread turning op. It'll likely take me 5x as long. lol
     
  10. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Torrance, CA
    9,631
    10,294
    I tore a neck seal while getting into a drysuit for a night dive. I stretched some duct tape over the tear and walked into the water, expecting to abort a very wet dive at any moment. The duct tape held, not only throughout the dive but for the next hundred dives before I finally replaced the seal.
     

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