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Balance Rail?

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Old Saturday 19th January 2008, 15:05   #1
aomcm
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Balance Rail?

Hi,

Use the Swarovski 65HD, with the DCA and Sony W70 for digiscoping.

This is mounted on the Manfrotto 701RC2. This setup is quite back heavy, even with the sliding plate on the 701RC2 pushed all the way forward. I suspect this is because the fixed spring in the head is set to counteract the more usual front heavy camera setup.

I would like to know if there is some way to better balance this setup. The Manfrotto sliding plate is quite heavy and the Swarovski balance rail will not fit my head. This head does not appear to accommodate the long sliding plates that I have used on other heads. Otherwise it is a great head and I would like to solve this problem, preferably without adding much weight.
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Old Saturday 19th January 2008, 21:10   #2
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Mike

Follow the link, then halfway down the page are pictures of how I fitted the 357 sliding plate to the 701rc2, by removing the qr plate assy from the top of the 701rc2.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=102296

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Old Saturday 19th January 2008, 23:35   #3
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Thanks Malc. Thats a very elegant solution. I assume the Balance Rail gives you more travel than the QR plate so you can now balance a back heavy digiscoping rig? I assume the weight tradeoff is about equal so you have not added much weight to the rig?

My problem is that I am not able to make the custom plates your solution requires. I wonder if washers or bolt heads of the right size could make it work?
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Old Sunday 20th January 2008, 08:16   #4
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Hello Mike

The 357 balance rail will give much more travel, and the rail also has it's own QR plate.
So taking off the 701 RC2 QR plate assembly will take off some weight, but then adding the 357 will put more on, but you will achieve the balance easily. I find it great for those shots of birds in trees, when the scope is angled up.

You could certainly try some big washers, but they may have to be filed down, with some flats on their edges.
And of course, the bigger the diameter of the washer, it's gonna have a bigger hole in the centre, usually.
Bolt heads I don't think will work.

To make up the plates like I did, you can cut some thin card to fit the recesses, then transfer the pattern to the metal or aluminium. Then you will need a small hacksaw and a flat file. Just needs the holes drilled and some M4 bolts and nuts, then you have it done. So providing you have a drill, it would cost very little for the saw and file.

I wish you well.

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Old Monday 21st January 2008, 14:18   #5
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Malc,

Thanks for the further information. It sounds like it may be doable. I am however reluctant to add much more weight and the balance rail is heavy. I wish the long release plates fit this head because they provide an ideal solution of extra travel and little additional weight.

Mike
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Old Monday 21st January 2008, 14:44   #6
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I had the same problem some time ago and I added a slight weight to the sun shade of my Kowa in the form of a strip of lead inside a very thin cycle tube taped around the shade ,it was only a small amount due to it being placed on the end of the scope ,it was just to be a temporary solution and only took a couple of minutes to complete but it worked so well it's still on, a couple of spare batteries placed in the end cap of the stay on cover as it hung down also worked it's trial and error.
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Old Monday 21st January 2008, 22:09   #7
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Thanks Brian,

I think my rig is too out of balance for that. I hung a pouch off the end of the extended sun shade and it took 19 AA batteries to balance it, which I think is about a pound. I do not want to add that much weight. The balance rail mod may be the only way I can go.

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Old Wednesday 23rd January 2008, 04:29   #8
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Hi,

After getting inspiration from these replies, I finally solved my own problem. I found a way to securely bolt one of my Velbon long release plates onto the release plate of the 701RC2. This adds very little weight and extends the scope another 2.5 inches. This comes very close to balancing the scope so that only a very acceptably slight amount of drag keeps the scope in position but allows it to be freely moved. Although I was worried this would make the scope more vibration prone, so far I cannot detect any effect and settling time seems normal. We will see how it holds up after a couple of weeks in the field.

If Swarovski is going to make back heavy scopes it sure would have been nice of them to place the tripod footer at the center of gravity to avoid having to make these extreme adjustments. Oh well, a reason to upgrade if this is fixed in the next generation.
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Old Wednesday 23rd January 2008, 22:41   #9
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If Swarovski is going to make back heavy scopes it sure would have been nice of them to place the tripod footer at the center of gravity to avoid having to make these extreme adjustments. Oh well, a reason to upgrade if this is fixed in the next generation.
The ATS80 models are perfectly balanced at the tripod foot. It's just that the 65 models are virtually identical, except that the objective end is smaller, and therefore lighter, that they are back heavy.
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Old Friday 25th January 2008, 20:22   #10
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Just come across this thread. I use a DCB on my Swarovski 80, which goes on a Manfrotto 700rc2 head. I need to get the balance right. Will a 357 plate work on this combination without any re-engineering?
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 00:49   #11
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Just come across this thread. I use a DCB on my Swarovski 80, which goes on a Manfrotto 700rc2 head. I need to get the balance right. Will a 357 plate work on this combination without any re-engineering?
It would probably be possible to attach the 357 adapter on top of the existing plate for your head (200PL-14), though it might not be very stable and could be a bit ungainly. Your head has a different fitting to the plate for the 357, so the 357 plate couldn't be used on its own with your head.

Personally, I use a 357 adapter attached to a 128LP head, attaced by 2 bolts to make a more secure fitting. This works very well.

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Old Thursday 31st January 2008, 15:42   #12
Brian Bullough
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Originally Posted by aomcm View Post
Thanks Brian,

I think my rig is too out of balance for that. I hung a pouch off the end of the extended sun shade and it took 19 AA batteries to balance it, which I think is about a pound. I do not want to add that much weight. The balance rail mod may be the only way I can go.

Mike
Yes definately not the way to go I thought you where just talking about grams, as in my case it was very small amount but it made a huge differance, there was an earlier thread that talked about scope re-balancing.
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