By Jean Rydberg
Today I want to talk to you about something that’s going to save you time and anxiety when assembling your underwater housing. Imagine being able to put your camera body into a housing at the beginning of your trip and never take it out again until you’re packing to go home. To do that you would need some way to download photos and charge the camera while it’s inside of the housing. And that’s exactly what I want to show you: it's our new USB Charging & Data Transfer Bulkhead for Underwater Housings.
The beauty of this product is in the simplicity.
Install the bulkhead in an M16 threaded port and attach our Hyper-Flex USB Type-C to Type-C Cable on the inside between the bulkhead and the camera. This gives you a USB-C port accessible from the outside of the housing for charging and high speed data transfer.
Just remove the cap from the bulkhead, plug it in to your laptop to transfer photos and charge, then replace the cap when you’re ready to go diving. It really is that simple and it saves an incredible amount of time each evening. Plus it eliminates the natural anxiety we all have every time we put an expensive camera into an underwater housing. There’s no worry that you’ll do something that causes it to stop working or leak. You just keep diving and shooting.
Check our list of compatible Ikelite housings on the product page to determine if this will work for your housing.
This bulkhead is designed particularly for our 200DL and 50DL housings for full frame mirrorless cameras. It could be used on other housings that have enough room for the USB connection, but there are specific spatial requirements to keep in mind.
The hyper flex cable is 5.5in long (13.97cm) and it requires a minimum of .75in (1.905cm) of free space inside of the housing on the side of the camera where the USB connector plugs in. The inside bottom of the port must have a clear pathway with no more than 4in (10.16cm) between the inside of the port and the USB port on the camera.
For these spatial reasons, the bulkhead is not compatible with Ikelite housings for DSLR cameras or Ikelite 200DLM housings.
Installation is quick and easy. Grab an 11/16" wrench, large flathead screwdriver, and a small bit of lubricant and you're ready to start saving time and reducing your stress with the Ikelite USB-C Bulkhead.
- Remove the plug from the M16 port using a large flat screwdriver. Keep the plug and o-ring in a safe place.
- Check the o-ring on the USB bulkhead. Put the smallest amount of lubricant on the visible surface of the o-ring. Put whatever's left on your finger along the clean sealing surface of the housing.
- Thread the USB bulkhead into the port and tighten it with an 11/16" wrench.
- On the inside of the housing, connect one end of the hyper-flex USB cable.
- Connect the other end when you install your camera in the housing.
You'll need a USB-C cable version 3.0 or above. There are some lower quality cables that you may be using to charge your phone or iPad but those will not work well for you in this application.
Charging and Transferring Data
When you want to charge and transfer data, just remove the waterproof cap and plug in your USB cable. You need to use a high quality USB Type-C version 3.0 or above for data transfer.
Not all cables are bipolar. If charging and data transfer isn't happening, you can just remove the cable on the outside of the housing rotate it 180° and reinsert it. You don't have to change anything on the inside of the housing.
Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic cameras will be automatically recognized as a hard drive on your computer.
Sony cameras will prompt you to open the USB connection mode. Select Image Transfer MSC. You can configure this to be the default on your camera.
Canon cameras will require the use of the Canon EOS utility software, which is available for either Mac or PC.
This bright red indicator serves as a reminder to put the waterproof cap back on before getting back in the water.
Always remember to put the waterproof cap back on before you go in the water. We made the insert of the port a bright red color to give you a visual indicator that something's wrong if you're getting ready to get wet without a cap in place.
Time to Dive
That's all there is to it. Of course, if you have questions on this or anything related to underwater photography, please reach out to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy shooting!
Jean Rydberg, daughter of Ike Brigham, became President & CEO of Ikelite in 2006. Prior to that, she wisely pursued a degree in Astronomy & Astrophysics to prepare herself for the challenges of running a technology-driven manufacturing business with global distribution. Jean fully embraces the need to travel outside of her hometown of Indianapolis to experience good diving. She believes that any camera is capable of amazing results in the right hands, and anyone can become a great photographer given the right advice. When she's not working she's spending time with her husband, cats, and two daughters (though not necessarily in that order).