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Strap head for tripod? (1 Viewer)

Jaywalk

Well-known member
My spotting scope is an antique, a Kowa 60mm (ca. 1966) with 25x, 40x, and 60x fixed eyepieces. It has no standard screw attachment for tripods.

The tripod that I use with it has no brand name marked on it; I suspect it was part of the package when bought new. It has 8-inch cast aluminum legs. It stabilizes the scope with a removable strap that goes over the top of the scope barrel and thus attaches it to the head.

It works well enough for my purposes, but I'm no longer comfortable lying prone to use it and want to be able to sit or stand. That implies a new tripod, but I haven't seen any that use this old-fashioned way to strap the scope to the tripod. I'd rather not modify the scope to accept a standard screw.

Do I have any options or must I buy a more up-to-date scope?

IMG_6339 copy_1500.jpg
 
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jring

Well-known member
Hi,

a probably repainted example of Kowa TS-1 - normally it should have a red ring and a tripod lug at the bottom... the tripod attachment might actually be an early version as some images of it can be found on the internet...

Can you separate the clamping mechanism from the tripod head in some way? Maybe there is even a 1/4" thread in the clamp (which would be standard for a scope foot or camera body) or one could tap one in there...

As for the eyepieces - are you sure they are 25, 40 and 60mm and no 25, 40 and 60x magnification? Because if they were really in mm they would probably result in quite low magnifications...

Joachim
 

Jaywalk

Well-known member
Hi,

a probably repainted example of Kowa TS-1 - normally it should have a red ring and a tripod lug at the bottom... the tripod attachment might actually be an early version as some images of it can be found on the internet...

Can you separate the clamping mechanism from the tripod head in some way? Maybe there is even a 1/4" thread in the clamp (which would be standard for a scope foot or camera body) or one could tap one in there...

As for the eyepieces - are you sure they are 25, 40 and 60mm and no 25, 40 and 60x magnification? Because if they were really in mm they would probably result in quite low magnifications...

Joachim
Joachim,
Yes, of course - 25x, 40x, 60x. I wasn't thinking.

I can easily remove the clamping mechanism using the knurled knob just above the tripod body, but moving to another tripod would require a 25mm (approximately) screw thread attachment on the new unit or adapter. I cannot see any way to further disassemble the clamping mechanism and I see no standard screw or lug.

My father bought this new in Japan so it may differ slightly from export versions. It does have a red ring, however, covered by the carry strap.
 
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jring

Well-known member
Hi,

ok, still trying to imagine how it looks with the clamping mechanism removed from the tripod - could you post a picture of that?

But in any case, why not make a replacement clamp from wood with a 1/4" drive in nut from the top side... that is, if you can detach the tupe from the clamp...

Joachim
 

Jaywalk

Well-known member
Hi,

ok, still trying to imagine how it looks with the clamping mechanism removed from the tripod - could you post a picture of that?

But in any case, why not make a replacement clamp from wood with a 1/4" drive in nut from the top side... that is, if you can detach the tupe from the clamp...

Joachim

Certainly.

The first pic is the tripod disassembled:
IMG_1482 copy.jpg

The second pic is the locking collar lightly attached to the 25mm tripod screw threads:
IMG_3690 copy.jpg

The third pic show the trip mostly reassembled with a closeup of the knurled locking collar almost in place but not tightened down onto the tripod's screw threads.
IMG_9230 copy.jpg

As for the wood connector, it may come to that, though I have doubts that wood will adequately prevent wobble. The first step is to see if there were any factory-built connectors. I appreciate your efforts.
 

Jaywalk

Well-known member

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
In principle, I think the type of adapter (RRS) suggested by Alexis is the way to go, but this particular item is much too short and will allow the scope to pitch and yaw. I also think a textile strap will not allow you to apply sufficient tension.
You should be able to cobble up something suitable based on the same principle as this Leica binocular adapter https://www.bhphotovideo.com/images...Universal_Binocular_Tripod_Adapter_247498.jpg
An aluminium or brass plate tapped 1/4"x20 or 3/8x16 for atachment to a tripod head with two suitably dimensioned and widely spaced "V"s front and rear should be very stable. The scope could be secured with a bungee cord.

John
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi,

Do I have any options or must I buy a more up-to-date scope?

It looks to me as if it should be fairly easy to design and 3D print a new "cradle" for the scope that has a standard tripod attachment nut at the bottom.

Basically, that's the same idea Joachim suggested, only implemented with fancy technology instead of woodworking skills :)

If you provide me with the length of the cradle, and the diameters at the fore and aft end, I might give it a try. I can re-use design elements of other adapters like this one, so it's not a big thing:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2971091

Regards,

Henning
 

Jaywalk

Well-known member
Hi,



It looks to me as if it should be fairly easy to design and 3D print a new "cradle" for the scope that has a standard tripod attachment nut at the bottom.

Basically, that's the same idea Joachim suggested, only implemented with fancy technology instead of woodworking skills :)

If you provide me with the length of the cradle, and the diameters at the fore and aft end, I might give it a try. I can re-use design elements of other adapters like this one, so it's not a big thing:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2971091

Regards,

Henning

Thanks, Henning.

The scope dimensions where the cradle usually sits are 59,8mm and 67,5mm (derived from the circumference at each point). The original cradle isn't that critical - there is no difference in diameter, front and back, but there is a little more space than the exact number I provided, as there is room for four soft buttons that prevent the finish from being damaged.

The length of the cradle is 109mm.
IMG_7419.JPG
 
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Jaywalk

Well-known member
Ouch, that would be expensive. Maybe just use some cloth gaffer tape (not duct tape!) to connect the scope to a threaded piece like the one at your link. That ought to work quite well!

--AP

I like the idea of gaffer tape and a support cradle with nut support. I'd never thought of gaffer tape, nor had I considered a "temporary" solution that I could leave on permanently. I'll adopt this, one way or another. Thanks.
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi


The scope dimensions where the cradle usually sits are 59,8mm and 67,5mm (derived from the circumference at each point). The original cradle isn't that critical - there is no difference in diameter, front and back, but there is a little more space than the exact number I provided, as there is room for four soft buttons that prevent the finish from being damaged.

The length of the cradle is 109mm.

Here's a 3D-printable design:

Parametric Scope Cradle.jpg Parametric Scope Cradle 2.jpg

It allows for felt pads of 2 mm thickness to be glued to the cradle.

The scope is fixed by ca. 4 mm bungee cord looped through the holes over the scope body. You can either knot the ends on the side with the complete holes, or use one knot and one cord stop for adjustment on each cradle support. On the other side, the loop can be inserted in the notch for quick attachment/removal of the scope.

You'll also need one 0.25" hex nut to attach the cradle to a conventional scope adapter.

Here's the file ... rename from *.txt to *.zip, unpack, and it will be an STL file ready for printing.

View attachment Scope Cradle.txt

(I can easily adjust the cradle for different scope sizes by changing a couple of parameters, so if someone needs different dimensions, just let me know.)

Regards,

Henning
 

Jaywalk

Well-known member
Hi




Here's a 3D-printable design:

View attachment 738745 View attachment 738746

It allows for felt pads of 2 mm thickness to be glued to the cradle.

The scope is fixed by ca. 4 mm bungee cord looped through the holes over the scope body. You can either knot the ends on the side with the complete holes, or use one knot and one cord stop for adjustment on each cradle support. On the other side, the loop can be inserted in the notch for quick attachment/removal of the scope.

You'll also need one 0.25" hex nut to attach the cradle to a conventional scope adapter.

Here's the file ... rename from *.txt to *.zip, unpack, and it will be an STL file ready for printing.

View attachment 738747

(I can easily adjust the cradle for different scope sizes by changing a couple of parameters, so if someone needs different dimensions, just let me know.)

Regards,

Henning
Thanks, Henning. I particularly like the relief cut for the attachment nut. All of my other DIY approaches failed there, with the nut standing proud enough to mar the finish of the scope barrel. I appreciate your effort.

Now to find someone with a 3-D printer!
 

pete_gamby

Birds? What Birds?!
There's a Dutch 3D printing company that will ship worldwide. The price for Henning's model, printed in polyamide, polished and dyed black, is around $60 plus about $20 shipping:

https://i.materialise.com

Shapeways.com cost about the same but lower shipping ($10).

HTH

Cheers, Pete
 

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