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Old February 13th, 2012, 02:59 AM   #1
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GoPro case vacuum shut

Hi guys,

A bit of a conundrum here. Not sure if this is the exact cause, I started at sea level 80 Fahrenheit then climbed to 13700+ feet where the temperature was about 33 Fahrenheit. Spent some hours in the cold. I get back to sea level and try to open the gopro (3D Hero Case actually) but the door won't pull out. It seems to be vacuumed shut. I tried submerging it in warm water then tapping around the case but it is still shut. Anyone have suggestions?

Update: Tried putting it in the fridge, then heating the case but leaving the door cold ... still a no go. This thing is stubborn.
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Last edited by Mike Dulay; February 13th, 2012 at 03:31 AM.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 06:30 PM   #2
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Re: GoPro case vacuum shut

Press the buttons in and out a few times, air should eventually pass the seals.

The case at normal altitude when closed has a gap between the door rim and the case, this is so the case seal will close tighter as water pressure increases, so it's a very good sealing system.

Last edited by Ian Newland; February 14th, 2012 at 04:25 AM.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 01:54 AM   #3
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Re: GoPro case vacuum shut

Thanks for the suggestion Ian. Tried pressing the buttons in several times but haven't managed to pop it yet. Funny thing, I could get a finger nail in but I haven't anything non-metallic try and pry it yet. This sure is a good seal. Makes me wonder if sky divers ever have this problem.

I have a ticket open with GoPro. If all else fails I can drill a hole in the underwater door to free the cameras, providing I can somehow get a replacement.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 01:57 AM   #4
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Re: GoPro case vacuum shut

What about unscrewing the bezel on the lens, then popping the lens open?

Less surface area so there's less total force holding it shut.

BTW, this happened to me with an older Pelican case. And TSA takes away all your tools, so one can't have a screwdriver to turn the screw in the bottom of the case to relieve the pressure.

Luckily a friend had a dime that fit.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #5
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Re: GoPro case vacuum shut

Dean, that's a good idea. Given the altitude and temperature changes that caused the "lock up," the pressure differential has to be 5psi or less. A good pry on an unscrewed lens bezel ought to break the seal.

If all else fails, yeah, just put a drill to the case. A replacement lens kit is $20 and a whole new case is $40 at GoPro's web site and I think most Best Buys have GoPro stuff, too.

I've noticed once or twice myself that a case was a bit hard to open after flying (cabin pressure altitudes up to about 8-9K feet from a field at near sea level). Conversely, I was concerned that the suction mount might loose its grip when flying but it has stayed solidly stuck to the glass. No problem.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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Re: GoPro case vacuum shut

Unfortunately, I didn't read this soon enough for the helicopter ride I wanted to shoot (why didn't I take it with me? Doh!). Which gave me a thought. Since I'm flying back tomorrow maybe the airplane's cabin pressure altitude would be close enough to equal where I can break it open.

@Dean
If that fails I'll try your idea when I get home. I notice you're based out of Honolulu. I'm currently visiting Kona. The GoPro 3D Hero Kit locked up when I took it up to Mauna Kea summit.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #7
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Re: GoPro case vacuum shut

If you cant get it open any other way maybe take a small drill bit and carefully drill a hole.....Last resort but it would work
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Old February 16th, 2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Re: GoPro case vacuum shut

Good news! The case opened after about 10 minutes of achieving cruise altitude from Honolulu. I tried it the first few minutes after going over the clouds and it didn't open. Kept trying and finally it popped open. Next time I have to remember to switch to the skeleton door when going up high altitude.

Bad news, not a peep from GoPro support. They used to be respond within 2 days, it's now been 4.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 12:54 AM   #9
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Re: GoPro case vacuum shut

Good to hear you got it opened.

Speaking of Mauna Kea, someone who worked up there told me about a woman who drove up to the summit. She was wearing an orange shirt, orange pants and her hair was orange, too.

Apparently she had an unopened bag of Cheetos in the car and it exploded on the way up.

Don't know if that's an urban legend but it sure was funny.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 05:42 PM   #10
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Re: GoPro case vacuum shut

Well i guess that outcome is a testament to the awesome Gopro seals and weatherproofness.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 07:32 PM   #11
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Re: GoPro case vacuum shut

@Ian
Quite true about those seals, they were too well made in my case. :-) I got a reply from GoPro after the evening after I got it unlocked.

"Wow Mike,

That is crazy that the solution was going up in an airplane. We have not heard of this happening before, but happy to hear that you got it opened. If you are ever in need of a new backdoor for the 3d housing, we can do a special custom order for you over the phone. You can contact one of our support reps Monday - Friday, 8am - 6pm Pacific time, at the below number:

Toll free (within the US, excluding Alaska)
1 (888) 600-4659

From all other locations
1 (650) 980-0252

Sorry for the inconvenience. Please let us know if you have any further questions."
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