After our last diving trip, I've begun to wonder if I can depth-proof my little Kodak Playsport camera. The Playsport delivers terrific underwater videos, but is only rated to 10'. As far as I can tell, it only has two ways water could push its way past the seals, those being the ports on either side of the camera, shown below*.
These ports have coverings with internal seals. I'm thinking that the seals are what give out at depths greater than 10'. I think a layer of silicone sealant over these ports will protect them down to 30-45'. Once back at the surface with videos stored on the little guy, I can just peel the silicone off and voila! the camera is back to normal. What we need now is a test rig.
Enter the Gorilla Automotive VS401C tire valve stem and a bit of PVC pipe.
I think I can make a pressure chamber large enough for the camera out of PVC pipe, using a threaded end cap with plumber's tape on one end and a glued end cap on the other. I'll drill a hole in the threaded end and attach the VS401C there. Then I take the silicone-sealed camera, put it in the pipe, cover it well with water and seal up the pipe. I take the pipe to a gas station and put compressed air in it until it's at 3 ATM, which is equivalent to 60' of depth**. There's a simple PSI to ATM conversion, so the reading on the gas station air pump can be used to figure out where I'm at.
1 ATM = 14.7 PSI.
I let the thing marinate in the high-pressure water for an hour or two, check the pressure with a tire gauge before releasing and then I take it out and see how it worked. If it leaks, all I let in was fresh water. If it holds, then it's time to dive!
* - Our Maximum Leader provided the background on these photos. In the second one, you can see a little of the texture of her fur.
** - I might start smaller, say 2 ATM, but it kills me to have to spend another $0.50 at the gas station to run another test at 3 ATM.