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Monitor Swing Arm Bino Mount

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#1 Craig Simmons

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 04:21 PM

SB_Oliver posted in the RAC 1000 Chair thread about some inexpensive monitor swingarm mounts. As your typical impulse buyer I bought one of them. I figured if I can't make it work for binos, I can always use it for what it was intended.

It arrived today in one piece. It has a couple of small nicks on the base, but is in pretty good shape after it's trip from CA. It's heavy, maybe 15 lbs +/- and very solid. thick metal and clamps to a table very solidly. I was hoping the arm would have vertical capability, but it only extends sideways about 21" and pivots in azimuth. It will hold 55 lbs. so my 8 lb. binos will be like mounting a feather on it. The tray and it's azimuth pivoting arm will unbolt from the main swingarm.

I'm think of mounting it on a pier next to a turntabled chair. The arm would move to the observer from the side. So the problem is how to modify it to get the bino to move up and down enough to look to zenith and down to the horizon. Stay tuned as I rack my my brain for ideas. I'm open to suggestions also.

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#2 Glassthrower

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 05:01 PM

My first thought after reading your post was to remove the flat tray from the end of the arm. What does the union between the swing arm and the monitor-tray look like? Is it possible to couple a 2/3-way pan head to the end of the arm?

Interesting idea, keep us posted...

MikeG

#3 Craig Simmons

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 05:39 PM

The tray arm fits into the end of the swingarm where it's bolted in sideways. A male clamping knob on the bottom of endpiece of the swingarm controls the tilt of the tray via the arm. The tray isn't much use, but the tray arm might be useful. There is alot slop between the connecting pieces in the swingarm, but I think I can tighten it up with teflon washers. If I mount the swingarm sideways, it's base azimuth pivot point can act as the height adjustment, but will need something to keep it from falling if the bearing tension can't sustain the weight of the binos and swingarm. It may need counter weights or springs to allow easier swingarm motion.

#4 Craig Simmons

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 08:15 AM

I came up with an idea this morning. Mount the swingarm to a pier in it's normal upright position. Attach an "L" bracket with an all-thread hinge to the end of the swingarm. Attach a short P-mount (12" booms-4" vertical boom spacing) to the "L" bracket. Attach another "L" bracket for the binos to the P-mount. Very similar to this P-mount head I made for my Microstar...

http://tinyurl.com/c7l9y

...but without the little pivot piece on the bino "L" bracket.


I calculated the P-mount's vertical travel to be around 9 1/2" which should be enough to raise the binos' EPs for zenith viewing. I think the short booms and "L" bracket will be sturdy enough to hold 8 lb. binos. Design variances could include longer booms on the counterweight side of the P-mount to reduce the amount of counterweights. If more height is needed, increase the vertical spacing to 5" between the booms or increase the boom length on the bino side an inch or two. I think this design could be adapted to a Bino Pod or Bino Bed style turntable. I think the Bino Bed would work better since a shorter pier could be used.

Bino Bed...

http://tinyurl.com/9lkck

While this design is heavier than my current Bino Bed mount, it's 55 lb, capacity means 10 lb. and larger binos could be used which is more capacity than the wood mount I use now. Don't really need a mount like this since I my heaviest binos are 8 1/2 lbs., but for those with lighter 100mm binos it's a possible mounting alternative that could be very stable. This is going to be an interesting weekend in the basement. Stay tuned for more bino mount madness.

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 11:01 AM

Craig, what I'm thinking is following: at the end of that monitor arm you need some kind of a mount for the binocular to provide an extra 2 or 3, 90 degrees of movment. That could be achieved either mounting the binocular mount underneat the arm so that you'll have the binoculars suspended by the arm or mounting the bino mount above the arm. The other challenge will be to extend the monitor's swingarm base to ground, I think that's the way to make it more stable.
Good look and let us know what you come up with.

My :penny: :penny:
:)

#6 Craig Simmons

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 12:49 PM

Thanks for for suggestions SB_Oliver. I'll be using this mount on the Bino Bed turntable. If I go too high with the swingarm, bracing the pier becomes a problem and overall bulkyness of carrying and storing the components. Several of the other mounts like the Comet Couch and Rod Nabholz's chair use a three point rod and cable system for bracing their piers. My Bino Pod Chairs work very good as they are, so I believe this will work the best on the Bino Bed turntable I linked to above. In the other link showing the P-mount head, the head will pivot in azimuth and altitude which will allow bino control no matter how the swingarm is positioned. The foot propelled turntable provides the main azimuth panning. Any azimuth capability on the bino bracket is for minor adjustments. If I suspend the binos on a mount under the swingarm, it seems like zenith couldn't be seen unless the binos were offset enough from the end of the swingarm.

Here's a plan of what I had in mind.

http://tinyurl.com/bnzeg

#7 Craig Simmons

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 11:57 AM

Well....I built a mount this morning using part of my Microstar's homemade P-mount. It ended up being very shakey and would require alot of hand dampening to keep the binos steady. Alot of the shakeyness is in the base of the swingarm with the rest coming from the hinges. The short p-mount and it's hinge worked well and would hold the binos with 7 1/2 lbs. of counterweight in any position. Looks like the swingarm will be used for computer monitor duty. It was fun trying to make it work good enough to use.

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