Fastener size issue/suggestion

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  1. Fastener size issue/suggestion

    #1

    I guess this is for Nick more than anyone else.
    While I like the design of my NN, I found that perhaps some fasteners could be better sized to allow "repairing/replacing" in the field.

    I will elaborate,
    After climbing a mountain to shoot a pano I found the set screw on the upper arm scale came loose and fell out into my pack and I did not have the allen wrenches from NN wih me. Fortunately I had my 3d printed angle block in my pack.
    No worries I thought, I would be passing by one of the best stocked hardware stores in NY. I'll just pick up a wrench.
    Nope.
    They had every size allen wrench both sae and metric(up to 3/4" / 19mm)....except for the one I needed. Why? because the set screw is so small no one keeps those wrenches/screws in stock.
    I spent the rest of that weekend shooting without the upper scale.
    While it wasn't a "show stopper" for me, it was not a good feeling.
    I understand using such a small fastener so as not be obtrusive. Personally I would rather have a larger fastener that I can get a wrench for anywhere.
    Perhaps going forward fasteners can be sized to allow getting replacement fasteners/wrenches at a common hardware store?

    Beagle

    ps. I will be drilling and tapping that fastener to the next larger size...they had lots of that size in stock.
  2. #2

    Quote Originally Posted by HMS Beagle View Post
    After climbing a mountain to shoot a pano I found the set screw on the upper arm scale came loose and fell out into my pack and I did not have the allen wrenches from NN wih me.
    No offense here but I'll go on manufacturer side on this one but I do also a lot of panos outside and I always keep with my NN head the little plastic bag that includes allen wrenches needed for it ! It just weights few grams and it'll save your life ! Manufacturer takes care to include them with each product so no excuse not to keep it with head ! That's my two cents.



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  3. #3

    No offense taken
    My point was that using such a small fastener makes it very difficult to find in the "wild". What happens if I lose the wrench? Aesthetically I understand the desire to make it unobtrusive. Mechanically I think it's a poor choice, when going up one size makes it possible to get a wrench almost anywhere. This is a basic design consideration for user serviceability.
    ..NO it won't save my life :)
    The few grams are better spent on something else which CAN very possibly save my life. I hike in bear country..lots of bears. Many are very used to getting food from humans...
    Beagle
  4. #4
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Netherlands
    Posts: 1,740

    Hi Beagle,

    Hard to understand what you are talking about. Nick has to know what panohead you are using. I understand you had a bad weekend. What do you mean by upper arm scale? Please let us know about the equipment you are using and please try to explain what came loose.

    International design used by Nick sometimes he uses metric screws and sometimes BSW ones for the tripod connections for example, 3/8" on top of tripod for example.

    There are different sorts of threads aside the metric system. In America you might use different threads like UNC, which is not compatible with BSW, most commonly used in Photography. It costs me weeks to order BSW instruments to be able to get a BSW thread.

    So it is much easier to use a metric thread and screw besides one of the different anglo american systems. That way you can stay with two sorts of threads, Metric and BSW, producing two sorts of keys for your equipment and deliver keys with the equipment that is needed to be used on it.

    To produce different thread hole for every single country will raise costs and a lot more problems to deliver worldwide. Shit happens and you will receive equipment with metric threads instead of UNC of BSW. I believe that' why Nick decided to two different designs, metric and BSW.

    Similar to the hint of Vincen, I always take all keys with me. I own a lot of NN equipment and I have a lot of keys for this.

    @ Nick, might be a solution to set up a set of all keys for every single NN equipment to keep it in a small bag to carry it with us for emergency cases like Beagles.

    Heinz







    Heinz
    Last edited by hindenhaag; 09-03-2012 at 09:53 AM.
  5. #5

    Heinz,
    No matter what head I am using, perhaps I should rephrase my suggestion.

    By using an M2(.9mm wrench) set screw vs an M3(1.5mm wrench) set screw I have to special order a wrench. Perhaps consideration should be given to using fasteners that can be accommodated using tools readily purchased?
    better?

    I asked around the shop(30+machinists -20+fabricators) and no one had a .9mm wrench. Every set of wrenches I saw only went down to 1.5mm. Next time you are at the store see if they have a .9mm allen wrench in stock, in a set or singly.
    Please understand this is a suggestion to Nick, I do not know his design considerations. What I know is that a .9mm is not included in a normally available set.

    Beagle
  6. #6

    [QUOTE=HMS Beagle;37598]I guess this is for Nick more than anyone else.
    While I like the design of my NN, I found that perhaps some fasteners could be better sized to allow "repairing/replacing" in the field.

    Hi In the past I used a different manufactures VR head that seem to have parts fall off every week and most times it would happen somewhere that I could not even find were the screw or small part fell to.. I made it a habit to go threw and check the screws for tightness before going off on a shoot. Most times it was fine but I had two that always seem lose so I used product from Loctite called Threadlockers it acts like a glue but you can still remove the screw with a little extra effort. Also I know that no one wants to carry extra extra weight especially on a climb but I found a small allen wrench set at Tool Harbor that is built like a swiss pocket knife. It comes in a package of two with a very small to medium size wrench set and then medium to large. I found it to save my butt several times with photo gear issues and it has the correct wrenches that fit my current NN. I hate the lose allen wrenches in my bag I swear I put a small wrench in and it disappears to some far away planet.
    Cheers Dennis
  7. #7
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Netherlands
    Posts: 1,740

    Beagle,

    It is true that some of the wrenches need extra orders, specially M2 0.9mm even in europe. But to give you a basic answer, Nick has to know where the M2 screw is placed on the equipment to let you know if it is possible to replace it with a M3 screw. I do not want to bother you, just try to cut it short for a precise answer of Nick.

    Heinz
    Last edited by hindenhaag; 09-03-2012 at 10:56 AM.
  8. #8
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Sep 2009
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Posts: 348

    I learned a very long time ago that if I am going somewhere to do a once in a life time shoot, carry backups of everything. This includes extra camera bodies, compact flash cards, pano heads, tripods, tools, small parts, etc... You get the picture. My battery charger died on me once while on vacation. Never again. When I went to Europe I took 3 camera bodies, 4 chargers and several extra batteries along with 2 pano heads. Seems like a bit much but it is the responsibility of the photographer to be prepared.

    I do see the value in standardizing all the nuts/bolts/wrenches so repairs can be made easier in the field.

    Every pano head I have received from Nick came with a tool bag and spare parts. All that goes along with me.
  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by hindenhaag View Post
    Beagle,

    It is true that some of the wrenches need extra orders, specially M2 0.9mm even in europe. But to give you a basic answer, Nick has to know where the M2 screw is placed on the equipment to let you know if it is possible to replace it with a M3 screw. I do not want to bother you, just try to cut it short for a precise answer of Nick.

    Heinz
    I have already performed the modification. I wasn't asking a question, just making a suggestion for the future. No bother it's all good.
    Beagle
  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisS View Post
    I learned a very long time ago that if I am going somewhere to do a once in a life time shoot, carry backups of everything. This includes extra camera bodies, compact flash cards, pano heads, tripods, tools, small parts, etc... You get the picture. My battery charger died on me once while on vacation. Never again. When I went to Europe I took 3 camera bodies, 4 chargers and several extra batteries along with 2 pano heads. Seems like a bit much but it is the responsibility of the photographer to be prepared.

    I do see the value in standardizing all the nuts/bolts/wrenches so repairs can be made easier in the field.

    Every pano head I have received from Nick came with a tool bag and spare parts. All that goes along with me.
    DennisS,
    When hiking mountains every little bit makes a difference. I buy quality gear so I can depend on it and not have to carry two of them. I am not talking about once in a lifetime opportunity's(for that i'll get a Sherpa) :) . I'm talking about hiking up your nearby few thousand foot mountain for a casual pano. For this I am not going to carry 2 of anything other than water bottles. Just carrying one of everything up some of those rock walls will kick your a$$.
    Yes being prepared is the responsibility of the photographer. Being prepared for hiking up a mountain takes precedent over photography. Being overloaded with gear and getting injured or worse because you are exhausted(slipping off and falling) is not for me. It happens every year. I will, and have left my photogear behind on difficult climbs.

    That doesn't change the fact that if I want to carry two of those wrenches I'll have to order the second one ;)

    It was just a simple observation and suggestion.
    Beagle
  11. #11
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Sep 2009
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Posts: 348

    I do not carry all my gear with me on hikes. I have all the backup equipment back at base camp in case something breaks and I cannot get to a hardware/camera store. Even if I drive to a site all the backup stuff is locked up in the car.

    This last weekend I went to my sister's house. I had backup equipment with me. You never now when a "once in a lifetime" pano will present itself.

    As I stated earlier, I am totally in favor of standardizing hardware in order to help make repairs easier. I don't like relying on a 3.5mm allen wrench.
  12. #12

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisS View Post
    I do not carry all my gear with me on hikes. I have all the backup equipment back at base camp in case something breaks and I cannot get to a hardware/camera store. Even if I drive to a site all the backup stuff is locked up in the car.

    This last weekend I went to my sister's house. I had backup equipment with me. You never now when a "once in a lifetime" pano will present itself.

    As I stated earlier, I am totally in favor of standardizing hardware in order to help make repairs easier. I don't like relying on a 3.5mm allen wrench.
    DennisS,
    Heres the best part....I keep just the allen wrenches for the leveler button head and the other one that came with my NN in my pack. When I found the set screw in my bag I knew I did not have that wrench with me, nor did I know I had it at home 250mi. away. I had never seen it.
    After I came home, the first time I went thru the little bags that came with my NN I still did not see it!! It wasn't until I emptied out the bag of small parts that I found it. No matter now, I already tossed an M3 in its place.

    Beagle
  13. #13

    My index ring came out of adjustment. Not a critical situation but the only place I could get a hex wrench the right size so that I could zero the index was from Nick. I'll vote for standard, easily replaceable, readily available tools and hardware. It's not very practical to have to have Nick ship hard to find parts from Asia.
  14. #14
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Hong Kong
    Posts: 2,419

    size of set screw is chosen based on available space. We would like to use larger screw because small taps are easy to break. and small hex key is easy to wear out. We have changed M2 set screw to M2.5 which require a hex key of 1.2mm. M3 looks a bit too big for the index ring. :-)
    I will send some small hex key to our resellers, make sure they are readily available.

    Nick



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