Thursday 19 June 2008

I have had a minor annoyance with the design of the tray handle that came with the housings for both the D70 and the D300. No matter how much I tighten the mounting bolts, there is always a certain amount of movement between the tray and the housing. After thinking about it for over 12 months, I finally did something about it last night and made some spacers out of aluminium.

Problem description

The shape of the mounting holes in the tray base for the housing allow for some flexibility in the placement of the housing relative to the tray (see Figure 1).

Hole in housing tray base
Figure 1: Hole in housing tray base.

While flexibility is good, the problem I have had with both housings is that I can't stop movement from happening while on a dive. When I push on any of the buttons on the rear of the housing, the housing moves forward on the tray. Adjustments on the front of the housing push it back. Figure 2 illustrates the movement.

Figure 2: Movement of the bolt relative to the hole in the tray base.


My solution to the problem is very simple: I made some spacers out of strips of aluminium to replace the plastic washer/spacer that comes with the housing. The aluminium spacers fill the hole so there is effectively no movement. They have a hole at one end and can be used either way around to have the housing all the way to the front or to the back.

I bought a strip of aluminium 10mm wide and 3mm thick from the local hardware store. I cut the pieces so they are just longer then the holes and filed them down so fit into the hole. The corners had to be filed off so that the curve matches the hole. Once the strips fitted the holes, I drilled a 5.5mm hole towards the end of each strip to take the supplied bolt. I cleaned the strips up with a bit of fine sandpaper and they were ready to go. Figure 3 shows one spacer in a hole.

Spacer in hole of tray base
Figure 3: One of the spacers in the hole of the tray base.

I ended up making four spaces, two for each hole. This is because the supplied washer/spacer is between 5 and 6mm thick and the DIY spacers are only 3mm thick. With a shorter bolt a single spacer could be used.

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