Triton powered respirator fix

I was wearing my Triton powered respirator last week and realized that I wasn't getting any air through it. Put the little tester that they provide on it and the ball didn't move. Charged it. The ball moved up about 1/3 of the way to where it's supposed to be. Replaced the filters. No change. Rebuilt the battery pack. No change. Somewhere along the way I noticed a little breeze on my fingers when I was holding the tester on the filter/blower unit. Inspected the cap carefully and found that the rubber gasket was crushed and the groove it fits into was closed up a little bit in the way of the latches. Sealed it as best I could with electrical tape and the ball moved up to 2/3 of where it needs to be. Pulled the rubber seal out of it, took a hot air gun to the cap, and managed to get the groove spread out to about where it's supposed to be, then ran a piece of 18-gage hookup wire from Radio Shack down around the bottom of the groove for the gasket for a spacer and put the gasket back. Closed it up, and the ball went right up to the top.
So, I'm posting this in the hope that someone else encountering the same problem will find it and not have to go through so much effort to repair it--all it really needed was to put a spacer under the gasket..
Incidentally, the battery pack uses five 5000MaH D-cell NiCds and a "dumb" charger that's really just a 9v wall-wart. I rebuilt the pack with 10000 MaH NiMH and got a smart charger, both from /. I picked theirs because they were the only ones I could find with solder tabs. Make sure to put some extra insulation under the positive tabs--if they manage to short on the edge of the battery case (the insulation there is thinner than it should be IMO) then they glow red-hot and melt (DAMHIKT)--those batteries can put out some serious current. The smart charger will also work with the factory NiCds.
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