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Thread: Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

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    RBW Member ccfish is an unknown quantity at this point ccfish's Avatar
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    Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

    Hi - is anyone here still interested in Liquivision X1? I had some of them over the last
    10 years - all dying because of batteries - which is a great pity.
    Although I have been switching to Shearwater computers long ago, which do a
    really good job, I nevertheless missed some features which only my X1 had (Ross firmware).
    So I was recently doing the effort of opening / reworking / re-potting one X1.
    Also I modified the making of battery, beeper and the potting.
    The whole thing was really time consuming - opening the screws was almost a nightmare
    and excavating the old battery and removing the old potting stuff took me a day of fiddling -
    I really appreciate Liquivision who did a similar job years ago to me as a service!

    I changed the type of battery, used a special low temperature spec type instead - it
    has a bit lower capacity but more stable voltage over temperature (I hope...) than the
    original. Beeper is now less audible than it was before - can live with it.
    I have used an especially tacky slime for potting, almost like honey - had to apply tricky
    vacuum machinery for injection of that stuff - not so easy, but result is good.
    The making prevents internal mechanical stress, which is a basic issue related to many
    pottings. My first impression after some first test dives is the water contacts became more
    sensitve/reliable - a miracle... - my X1 is living again - Im happy ))

    Hope my short report is interesting for some of you - picture shows the potting, which is covered
    by a thin sheet of PC-foil.

    Cheers
    Attached Images

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    RBW Member moose_grunt is an unknown quantity at this point moose_grunt's Avatar
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    Re: Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

    I would be really interested in any more details or pictures you can share. My X1 sadly died last year. It started acting weird, acting fine on the surface but not turning on during dives, turning on halfway through the dives, and things like that. I think it had something to do with the electrical contacts, because the end one started pitting and rusting pretty badly (shorting out?). Anywho, I left it in the garage for a few months, then when I came back, the battery had swelled and popped the back off!

    I took it apart as far as I could, getting the battery out and the potting removed, but couldn't get any deeper. Could you get the circuit board under the battery removed? How?

    Did you use a solvent to remove the potting, or did you just scrape it off by hand?

    Will you share the battery specs and where you got it?

    Great job in bringing yours back to life!
    Jim

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    RBW Member ccfish is an unknown quantity at this point ccfish's Avatar
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    Re: Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

    Hi Jim

    1. I got one old X1 with a similar issue, it didn`t want to wake up when I touched the water contacts with wet fingers on land. My idea is this is a mixed electrical plus firmware problem partially caused by a slow down of the firmware when X1 is sleeping. I found out my device was waking up some minutes after I touched the water contacts with wet fingers - I was living with it - until the device died the battery death....
    I foggy remebmer there was a firmware patch around this on Ross Hemingay`s forum?...

    2. I strongly guess the pitting/rusting you mention may having to do with breach of isolation - you dive salt water?

    3. Swelling of the battery is in my view the worst case because this causes mechanical stress to the electronic components (as long as backplate is closed) - you may see pixel errors on your display as a side effect after ... ;-(

    4. As you already removed the orignal battery save the small electronic pcb at the terminals ends of the battery - very likely you will need it...

    5. I recommend you connect your X1 via wires to a laboratory setup to see if it still lives - especially check the barometric pressure seen in menu X1-settings/clocks, calibrate/ CCR calibration (or /X1 hardware)

    6. I removed the potting with my fingers only plus a wooden tool - any kind of a steal tool may scratch pcb-wires on the back side of the base pcb, which is directly below the battery body.

    7. I did not excavate/disassemble the base pcb/display/pressure sensor electronic circuitry - I don`t believe this is possible - I was especially extremely careful around the pressure sensor area.

    8. No, I don`t know any solvent, that can remove the kind of potting Liquivision has used. I tried to melt it with heat, which is also not an option - may be we can ask Liquivision?

    9. Battery specs is not finished stuff yet - it is a 900mAh LiPo-Battery with a slightly modified chemistry which gives better results in cold climate - they say it is a new concept, so may be an improvement - will see...
    Original battery is this: GBP883048, 3.7V, 1200mAh, 4.44Wh - I found it in all three my X1 of different age.
    The battery I used is a bit more slim than the original, which is good. So far the reduction of capacity seems not to be a problem at all. Just look out for 3.7 Volt Lithium-Polymer batteries similar to that what is used in any kind of palms/phones/play toys - electronic protection pcb is important, as said above, max charging voltage 4.22 Volt (I assume). I did some very precise eletronic measurements in order to verify that the battery corresponds with the X1-charging circuitry and battery symbol - all in all it worked out finde and I believe this issue is less critical than I was expecting. Although I said it is working out fine I still have an issue with the idea of potting such kind of batteries and putting them under pressure - I found at least one manufacturer statement explicitely prohibiting such application - but what works, works!...

    And just mind you need a vacuum macinery for potting - no bubbles allowed...

    Hope my reply helps - feel free to send pm

    Cheers Helge

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    Re: Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

    Is the potting material hard or soft/flexible?

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    RBW Member ccfish is an unknown quantity at this point ccfish's Avatar
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    Re: Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

    Quote Originally Posted by plazma  View Original Post
    Is the potting material hard or soft/flexible?
    very soft and tacky, almost like a slime...

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    Re: Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

    Quote Originally Posted by ccfish  View Original Post
    very soft and tacky, almost like a slime...
    It's interesting the LiPo pouch cells work with pressure. I guess it is due to even pressure all around the cell and not in one spot.

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    Re: Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

    Hi,

    What is the reference of the poting compound ?

    Envoyé de mon ONE E1003 en utilisant Tapatalk

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    RBW Member ccfish is an unknown quantity at this point ccfish's Avatar
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    Re: Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephane  View Original Post
    Hi,

    What is the reference of the poting compound ?

    Envoyé de mon ONE E1003 en utilisant Tapatalk
    Hi Stephane - I`m still verifying the modified device - it´s not running as a main
    computer yet - don`t feel comfortable with posting such details yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by plazma  View Original Post
    It's interesting the LiPo pouch cells work with pressure. I guess it is due to even pressure all around the cell and not in one spot.
    I agree - but when I look kloser on the technical details I still have issues with this - so the cells must follow the trimix-diver`s credo: "what works works"... this was a joke!...

    Cheers Helge

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    Re: Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

    Quote Originally Posted by ccfish  View Original Post
    Hi - is anyone here still interested in Liquivision X1? I had some of them over the last
    10 years - all dying because of batteries - which is a great pity.
    Although I have been switching to Shearwater computers long ago, which do a
    really good job, I nevertheless missed some features which only my X1 had (Ross firmware).
    So I was recently doing the effort of opening / reworking / re-potting one X1.
    Also I modified the making of battery, beeper and the potting.
    The whole thing was really time consuming - opening the screws was almost a nightmare
    and excavating the old battery and removing the old potting stuff took me a day of fiddling -
    I really appreciate Liquivision who did a similar job years ago to me as a service!

    I changed the type of battery, used a special low temperature spec type instead - it
    has a bit lower capacity but more stable voltage over temperature (I hope...) than the
    original. Beeper is now less audible than it was before - can live with it.
    I have used an especially tacky slime for potting, almost like honey - had to apply tricky
    vacuum machinery for injection of that stuff - not so easy, but result is good.
    The making prevents internal mechanical stress, which is a basic issue related to many
    pottings. My first impression after some first test dives is the water contacts became more
    sensitve/reliable - a miracle... - my X1 is living again - Im happy ))

    Hope my short report is interesting for some of you - picture shows the potting, which is covered
    by a thin sheet of PC-foil.

    Cheers

    Really great to read this, i still have my first X1 and would be great to get her up and running again, got 1 of the Final batches too and that is 100% though not been Diving recently, thats about to change :)

    Cheers and I will be watching this..

  10. #10
    RBW Member ccfish is an unknown quantity at this point ccfish's Avatar
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    Re: Modified Liquivision X1 - repair works

    I continue with a short update and some more details:

    I did some few dives in the mean time with the refurbished X1. My device performs normal - I`m again happy...
    I have no pressure pot, so i`m just comparing display readings of depth and TTS with two Shearwaters while diving (JJ-CCR-Main plus Backup) - all devices set to VPMB3/GF80. We did shallow 40 to 50m depth profiles the last weeks - deeper dives follow asap. In addition to diving I check the precise air pressure on land - which is also ok within normal tolerance. I`m especially happy about this, because it was one of my worries that the vacuum procedure would damage the fine tuned calibration of X1 depth sensors.
    I get into more details about the modifications I have made: The PC-foil covering the potted battery (see the first picture at the beginning of the thread) should act like a membrane helping to equalize potential volume expansion of the very soft potting (mainly caused by the charging process) - secondly I can easily remove the backplate and having a look inside of my device at any time. I was drilling holes in the back plate in this context btw. (picture below). Changing a new battery with this modification is a piece of cake - I already enjoyed this comfort because my first attempt of potting was a shame and I must repeat it... ))
    One more modification is not easily be seen. I did a two step potting process. A first one is building a thin layer of the potting only covering the base pcb with battery not inserted - also the base PCB is sucking the stuff from its backside due to the vacuum process. This layer is shielded by a PC-foil as well - after the stuff had fully cured with no bubbles I have inserted the battery and piezo in a second potting procedure.
    I did this because I found out the cause of death of this device: There was sort of a big bubble between the battery and the PCB. Water found it`s way to this and then to the electronic circuitry by passing small PCB-via-holes. One day the device started to do unintended fast paced cursor movements even changing my settings... - I put it on the shelve for one year. Once I had opened the device and removed it`s battery, I could see the footprint of water and corrosion on the PCB. Happily the corrosion was weak - (I mostly dive fresh water). I tried rescuing the device by "washing" the internals and drying it in an oven - after that it had to suck the gel in the above mentioned vacuum procedure. The other picture below shows this intermediate potting layer.

    Smiling... Helge
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    Last edited by ccfish; 30th January 2018 at 08:49.

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