Author Topic: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock  (Read 1857 times)

David Paterson

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2018, 01:23:49 »
Wow!
I am glad to be part of Nikongear, only here do you find this kind of knowledge and goodwill.

You must have been reading my thoughts. I was just running through all the very enjoyable times, good friendships made, and knowledge, expertise and technique exchanged freely  -  all under the big umbrella which is NikonGear. I don't think I have experienced anything else quite like it, and I expect the friendships and the memories to last the rest of my life. I marvelled at how easily we all got along - 15 to 20 individuals mostly strangers to each other - during the Lofoten and Scotland weeks. But those were no flukes; mutual goodwill is NG's principal product.

(If only we could get a few of the world's politicians to join; they would soon learn how to behave.)

richardHaw

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2018, 02:49:29 »
great service  :o :o :o

you should be making OEM parts

Hugh_3170

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2018, 11:35:50 »
We can but dream David. 

But I agree with the rest of your sentiments.  Great outcome.

................................................

(If only we could get a few of the world's politicians to join; they would soon learn how to behave.)
Hugh Gunn

Seapy

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2018, 15:32:20 »
Thank you for all the kind words, I just enjoy fixing stuff!  ;D

For those who are interested in the mechanics, Richard and others...

The internals of this Arca Swiss Monoball head are quite interesting.

The ball itself is beautifully turned from aluminium, probably magnesium. The gripping mechanism for the ball is very simple, although I wasn't able to access it completely, it seems the shaft with the main tensioning and locking knob has both left and right hand threads, probably M8 ISO thread.  When clamping, there is a semi concave clamp which grips the lower half of the ball on two sides and also presses it upwards into a similar concave pad at the top of the main body.  It's as simple as that.

The three security screws are a clever reversal of a countersink, hard steel, grip to tighten but cause a screwdriver to 'cam out' if an attempt is made to undo the screws.  I suspect while the main ball mechanism is simple and robust, it may be pretty close tolerances to assemble, hence the "keep out" screws.  There does not appear to be a spring in there.

The rotation clamp at the base is also very simple.  The three 3mm countersunk screws secure a inverted cone, when the clamping knob is tightened it clamps a corresponding collar against the cone, increasing friction until, when sufficient pressure is applied, it effectively locks.

The machining is to a very high standard, the finish of the internal parts is immaculate.  The damping is effected with thick, sticky grease, which I tried to avoid disturbing.

In short a joy to work on.
Robert C. P.
South Cumbria, UK

CS

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2018, 16:19:10 »
Thank you for all the kind words, I just enjoy fixing stuff!  ;D

For those who are interested in the mechanics, Richard and others...

The internals of this Arca Swiss Monoball head are quite interesting.

The ball itself is beautifully turned from aluminium, probably magnesium. The gripping mechanism for the ball is very simple, although I wasn't able to access it completely, it seems the shaft with the main tensioning and locking knob has both left and right hand threads, probably M8 ISO thread.  When clamping, there is a semi concave clamp which grips the lower half of the ball on two sides and also presses it upwards into a similar concave pad at the top of the main body.  It's as simple as that.

The three security screws are a clever reversal of a countersink, hard steel, grip to tighten but cause a screwdriver to 'cam out' if an attempt is made to undo the screws.  I suspect while the main ball mechanism is simple and robust, it may be pretty close tolerances to assemble, hence the "keep out" screws.  There does not appear to be a spring in there.

The rotation clamp at the base is also very simple.  The three 3mm countersunk screws secure a inverted cone, when the clamping knob is tightened it clamps a corresponding collar against the cone, increasing friction until, when sufficient pressure is applied, it effectively locks.

The machining is to a very high standard, the finish of the internal parts is immaculate.  The damping is effected with thick, sticky grease, which I tried to avoid disturbing.

In short a joy to work on.

Let me just say that your adventures are a joy to follow!  8)
Carl

FredCrowBear

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2018, 03:51:24 »
Very impressive, Robert!
Frederick V. Ramsey

Seapy

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2018, 14:00:48 »
Thank you Fred.  ;D

The postie just called, a present and an item off of eBay for my next project, an Amp/Volt Meter for my proposed external power source for the D3.

The present is from David, a lovely book of photographs, I have't had time to enjoy them all yet but a quick flip through shows they are gems of some of my favourite bits of Scotland.  Thank you kindly David, your book will be greatly enjoyed and sit alongside my 'Picture of Everest' by Alfred Gregory.

My desk!

Robert C. P.
South Cumbria, UK

David Paterson

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2018, 18:36:27 »
Well - my thanks to the man with the metal-working lathe and the skills to match. My ArcaSwiss ballhead arrived in today's post, impecccably packaged, and when tested with the heaviest outfit I could muster, it was smoother than ever and passed every test with flying colours.

Thank you, Robert.

Seapy

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2018, 22:06:57 »
That's great news David, I am so pleased, it's one thing pulling my own kit to pieces but with something as precious as that ball head, which wasn't mine,  I was very concerned it might not be a complete success.

I managed some time with clean hands to enjoy your book,  the pictures and commentary are first rate, well done.   It must have taken quite a while to amass those photographs, fitting that you used them together in the way you have.
Robert C. P.
South Cumbria, UK

David Paterson

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2018, 23:26:11 »
Well - thanks again, on all fronts - you fixed my ArcaSwiss and you like my book - I don't think it gets better than this.   ;D

I've been thinking, from time to time, about your publishing project/problem. I don't know if there is a way - perhaps a plug-in - which lets Photoshop handle multi-page documents, but if there were, that would be a good way to go. I'll do a bit of digging and see what I can come up with. What you need to do, I think, is to produce a large, multipage pdf - probably the best vehicle for online publishing but not an area I know a lot about. I'll get back to you.

Seapy

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2018, 00:51:53 »
I need to explain in some detail before you dig.

Will PM tomorrow, family commitments allowing...  It's a long term project which has stalled, mainly because I have reached a stage for which I have no experience.
Robert C. P.
South Cumbria, UK

richardHaw

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2018, 03:05:15 »
more pictures  :o :o :o

Seapy

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2018, 09:47:24 »
Sorry Richard I don't have any more photographs, except less good versions of those I have shown.  There wasn't much opportunity to get any of the inside, I only removed the base with the three screws which were originally I believe M3 x 0.5mm Philips and replaced them with three 3mm stainless steel M3 screws as described.  You couldn't see the rotation locking inverse cone really well enough to photograph it.  I will make a simple sketch so you can see the layout and principle of the internals later today.
Robert C. P.
South Cumbria, UK

richardHaw

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2018, 10:15:49 »
Sorry Richard I don't have any more photographs, except less good versions of those I have shown.  There wasn't much opportunity to get any of the inside, I only removed the base with the three screws which were originally I believe M3 x 0.5mm Philips and replaced them with three 3mm stainless steel M3 screws as described.  You couldn't see the rotation locking inverse cone really well enough to photograph it.  I will make a simple sketch so you can see the layout and principle of the internals later today.

Thanks! just curious at what's inside  :o :o :o

Seapy

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Re: ArcaSwiss ballhead won't lock
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2018, 11:25:00 »
Here we go...

Extremely rough sketch on back of an envelope!



Sorry about the poor quality of the sketch.

The rotation clamp is secured with three tamper resit screws (not shown) accessible through the base, it is a split ring, one end anchored, the other end clamped by the rotation clamp screw.

The ball clamp must be anchored somewhere at the upper part, maybe a fulcrum ridge in the main body, it wasn't visible without removing the rotation clamp, which wasn't really an option without risking damage  to the clamp.

The left and right hand threads of the ball clamp were probably ISO M8 from what little I could see of them.  It really is very simple in there but beautifully machined.  All surfaces are immaculate.

Robert C. P.
South Cumbria, UK