DiveX “Smart Slice” Pressure Sensor Repair


As I’ve said many times, I have a “love / hate” relationship with scooters. They are very useful tools and IMHO increase safety on deep dives — but there is a tradeoff in complexity, additional gear, etc. I know some people who have mastered using a scooter and camera at the same time but I am not one of them.

Before my trip to the USS Moray, I was planning to bring my scooter so I assembled it and tested the seal by pulling a vacuum. It has been a LONG time since I used my scooter. I had purchased the “Smart Slice” which has a vacuum valve & indicator, battery life indicator, emergency shutoff, etc. Unfortunately, the sensor didn’t register negative pressure but I knew that I had a vacuum since I could hear the air rush back in after I released the vacuum AND it got harder to pump as the vacuum pressure increased.

I brought the scooter on the trip anyway in case I really needed it. Luckily, Lauren was nice enough to tow me to/from the downline to the Sundiver so I never had to use it.

After I returned, I opened a support case with Dive Xtras to see if I could get the problem resolved….

Sensor Replacement

Tech support got back to me quickly and, unfortunately, said:

So we no longer carry the parts for the Smart Slice but there is a small blue sensor inside the electronics portion of those units and sometimes they can go bad. So thats what you are experiencing here with this. 

All is going to work but the sesor it out. 

Dive Extras Tech Support

Basically, you are SOL.

I inquired further to see if they could provide a link to the OEM part that they used and where it was located. Sure enough, they replied back with link to the sensor and a description of the location. I went online and bought two of them for $9.99 each. A total bargain if they worked. That is less than the postage it would cost me to send the Smart Slice back to Dive Xtras.

I opened up the inside cover on the Smart Slice and quickly identified the part (circled in red) and a closeup photo:

Note that most of the electronics are “potted.” I’m not sure why since it is inside a sealed compartment that shouldn’t ever get wet but my guess is that it provides some extra protection but also helps prevent any problems due to vibrations and components coming lose.

In any case, I figured I would need to “de-solder” the existing board and then solder in the new one. I got my soldering iron out and my solder wick and proceeded to remove the solder from the pins. I went to remove the board and found out that the whole thing is easily removed because it has pins onto a connector. That would have been much easier if I had known. 🙂

I cleaned away the excess potting material and the bits that had fallen into the pin sockets.

The new boards arrived and had a connector pin assembly but it needed to be soldered in. The new unit also has a bigger form factor but fortunately still fits in the space.

It has been quite a while since I’ve done any soldering, but as they say, it is like riding a bicycle. Below are photos of the board with th pin assembly soldered in and installed in the Smart Slice.


I had doubts if this would actually fix the problem.

There were a few variables including the fact that it was a “new design” of the board and that I didn’t actually know if the board was the problem. I assembled the unit and started to pull a vacuum. Nohting happened at first but then the bars started to increase as the vacuum increased.

I let the scooter sit for an hour and the vacuum indicator dropped a bar and started to blink but I figured that was just due to the temperature increase in the garage so I did a few more pumps and let it sit for 3-4 hours and the vacuum held.


Hopefully this will help anybody else that has a similar problem.

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