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iPix – GoPro HERO3 Alu housing review

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iPix – GoPro HERO3 Alu housing

Here is a review of the iPix aluhousing for GoPro, made by Swedish Jonas Roos. Jonas is a keen cave diver, and needed a reliable and tough setup, that could cope with both the hards rocks in a cave system and the wrecks.
This is his experiences with it:

iPix GoPro Hero 3 housing KIT Review

I have used my GoPro a lot but got a bit fed up with the short battery time the internal battery provides. So I have looked at different solutions for this problem but have not found a good one until now.
The iPix housing promises 2,5 hours with the LCD and 6h without. My plan is to use it on wrecks and to document exploration in the Swedish mines with my Megalodon CCR so the battery time is very important to me.

I was very excited when I first received my iPix housing and couldn´t wait to get in the water with it. A friend of mine is just starting his cold water diving so I thought it would be perfect to bring the camera  to document his first tries with double 12s and a drysuit.

Dive 1:
I did as I usually do when bringing the GoPro on a shore dive. I assembled the camera and did some filming above water just to get the atmosphere and  to check the camera. The battery in the camera was almost full but I decided to turn on the external battery pack just in case – to charge the camera. Everything was working fine so I put the camera in the water to let it acclimatize to the water temperature while we geared up.

We took a giant stride into the water from the dock and checked our gear. Once we where done with the primary equipment I turned my attention to the camera. But I couldn´t get it to start…. Since I couldn´t get back up directly on the dock I decided to leave the camera on the line while we did our dive. I thought that I had drowned it…
After the dive I checked the camera again and I still could not get it to start while in the casing.
I took the camera out of the housing and disconnected it from the external battery and everything looked dry. But I still had the same problem.
I took away the LCD backpack and I could see the small led on the backside of the actual camera flashing.
Once I removed the internal battery from the GoPro and put it back again everything worked fine again.
That got me thinking…

Later in the evening i tried a few different scenarios and I found the problem – and a solution.

The problem:
Once the battery in the GoPro is fully charged it goes into some kind of error mode when you continue to charge it.

The solution:
Start the camera before you start the external battery pack. This way the camera will never be 100% charged, and hence that – can always receive power from the canister battery. (I later discovered, that GoPro did a new software version, that causes this problem)

Dive 2.
Exactly the same dive as the first dive, but this time I waited with turning the camera & battery pack on until I was in the water. Then I powered up both at the same time. Everything then worked as a charm and we had a really nice dive. I could easily control all the camera functions with thick gloves in 3 degree water. There was only one problem… I need more lights for cave diving 🙂

Now that I know the kink with the camera system I am very happy with it. It will join me on deeper mine and wreck dives during the summer. It will be a valued member of the team when we document and explore.

Jonas Roos
Dykarna.nu

Link to housing system

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Lars Kirkegaard Lars is one of Scandinavia's very experienced photo/videographers with many years of working as both an active member of the Scandinavian Underwater Community, an underwater photographer, studio photographer, TV-videographer and as a Graphic Arts specialist. Owner of FOTOGRAFIT.eu