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MagnaBoxer
01-29-2008, 09:51
Last April I bought a LE Atom 2.0 from ST. I really like this computer and have logged over 40 dives without problems until lately. When I was getting my gear together to go on our most recent dive I noted the low battery indicator showed Low and decided to change it.

This is the second time I've changed the battery and last time noticed no gap either before or after changing. Before removing the hatch this time I noted the hatch cover had a gap between it and the base. This concerns me as I know it wasn't there before. I did a search here and on SB and found that this is something that many people have experienced. The Oceanic rep even went on record to say that the hatch is designed to have clearance between it and the housing on the "drop point" end. I have a hard time understanding why something with such critical tolerances would be designed with a potential failure point. If it is designed this way why wasn't mine like this from the beginning?

I did change out the battery with no problems and inspected both hatch and housing and saw nothing that would cause the cover to be raised on the drop point end. I can only speculate that the cover has "warped" and this is causing the gap. I made a dive to 34 feet afterward with no leaking but this really makes me uncomfortable while diving. I can't stop looking at it every few seconds to see if it's crapped out. I'm going to Coz in March and really would like to avoid any issues and certainly don't want to lose my LE because of something that is completely preventable. What can I do? Is there a better / new / replacement hatch cover available, possibly SS or titanium? Anybody else see this gap on their units or had failures because of it?

MagnaBoxer
02-21-2008, 10:09
While I won't be home for 3 weeks to take a look I believe Joey from ST may have solved my problem. His explanation sure made sense to me and I hope I can pass this on as well as he did to me. There are two parts to this post. One part is Joey's explanation to me that I take to be fact. The second part is what I SPECULATE could have happened to my computer.

First the facts. On the back of the battery hatch there are two small holes. The hatch removal tool has two corresponding "prongs" which fit into these holes and when you then twist the cover with this tool the hatch comes unlocked and you can then lift it off the back of the computer. The problem is that the hatch cover is thinner on one end and the hole that the "prong" fits into goes all the way through the cover. The prong protrudes through this hole and makes contact with the back of the computer base. If sufficient inward pressure (think pill bottle) is applied while turning to unlock the cover this prong will scratch the back of the computer. This could cause a raised area that would allow the cover not to sit flush with the back of the computer when re-installed, and therefore leave a gap between the cover and base on the drop point side of the cover. I distinctly do remember seeing scratches exactly as Joey described to me the last time I replaced the battery however, when I examined them they were merely gouges and not raised surfaces and I didn't think much of it at the time as it really didn't sink in what they were from.

What I SPECULATE is that at some time in the past when changing batteries I may have gotten a little heavy handed and possibly caused some material to be gouged up by the tool when putting the hatch on. This material could then have rolled up or gotten caught up under the hatch cover when twisting the hatch to lock it into place, and over a period of time the pressure of this foreign matter between the hatch and the base could have caused the hatch to look warped and leave a widening gap that was the cause of my alarm. When I removed the cover the next time this piece of material could easily have been dislodged without my seeing it resulting in me thinking that the cover was just warped for no reason which is what I thought. Again, this is purely my mind trying to rationalize what happened to my cover. Joey explained that it is not normal for them to warp and I have to come to some conclusion as to what happened to cause it. May be BS but at least it sets my mind at ease thinking this could have been my problem and that it is preventable. Joey is even sending me a new hatch cover. Hooray Joey!!

Things I've learned in all this are these:

1 - It is not required to push in and twist with the hatch removal tool. Just fit the prongs into the holes to where they engage and then turn.

2 - Oceanic could have been a little more creative with the design of the tool so this would not happen.


I am extremely satisfied with ST, and especially Joey for supporting me on this. However I must say that I'm disappointed in Oceanic's support on this site. Surely they have experienced this issue elsewhere and to not respond to a request for help after three weeks time doesn't leave me with a good feeling.

Again, thanks ST. Can't wait to get home, put my new cover on, and put this whole thing behind me.

JasonUWPhoto
04-04-2008, 08:21
I have an Atom 2.0 for just about a year. Probably have put 150 dives on it and original battery is still good. However, mine also had clearance on the battery cover from day 1. I asked about this. Doug at Oceanic usually gets back on forums pretty quickly, but sometimes he is traveling. You can always call Oceanic and they have great customer service. Lost one of the screws on the wristband on a trip in December. They mailed me out a new set immediately. No questions asked