Adjusting the width of the quick-plate clamp

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alt-az-builder
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:12 pm

Adjusting the width of the quick-plate clamp

Post by alt-az-builder » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:26 am

Adjusting the quick-plate clamp is quite easy. The most common mistake will be to make the clamp too tight. You only need to make the clamp tight enough that it does not slide with an applied force of about 15 to 16 pounds for the side-saddle -- maybe 10 to 11 pounds for the payload platform. These applied forces are about 20 to 35% higher than the maximum rated weights for the capacity of the mount. Making the clamp tighter does nothing but potentially damage the clamp and/or quick-plate.

Here's how to adjust the clamp:

1. With nothing loaded in the clamp, slightly loosen the four screws on the side of the clamp (2 per side) that are recessed into the adjustment slots.
2. Put a quick-plate (with nothing mounted on it) into the clamp and close the clamp operating lever. Closing the lever should not take a lot of force. If the lever does not close easily, back the micro-adjusting screw at the end of the clamp out a little bit until the only a little force is needed to close the lever.
3. Push on the end of the quick-plate to test its security. Only push with a force maybe 25% greater than the weight of the load to be carried -- about 11 pounds for the payload platform -- about 16 pounds for the side-saddle. It's easy to push with much more force -- but making the clamp too tight will damage the quick-plate and the clamp. So, be realistic.
4. If the quick-plate slides noticeably, then use the micro-adjusting screw at the end of the clamp to tighten the clamp a little. Don't overdo it!
5. Test the tightness of the clamp once again.
6. Iterate the tightening of the micro-adjust screw (in small increments) until the plate does not slide with the appropriate level of force.
7. Snug the side screws. Don't overdo it. They only need to be snug. (That means just barely tight -- only tight enough not to come loose.)
8. Try removing the quick-plate from the clamp by loosening the clamping lever. If using one of our plates, it should come straight out with a little tilting. If it won't, you have set the clamp too tight. Loosen the side-screws a bit -- and back-off the micro-adjusting screw slightly. Tighten the side screws -- and then try removing the quick-plate again. Repeat until the quick-plate can be lifted out of the clamp. You will find that at this threshold, the plate can be removed (perhaps with a slight wiggle) but the plate will not slip with any of the approved load levels.
9. When loosening the clamp to insert or remove a quick-plate, note that the cam on the operating lever has a long flat that corresponds to the loosest setting. Install or remove a quick-plate with the operating-lever set so that the inner-lever bears against this long flat.

Once you have the hang of it, adjusting the clamp takes barely one minute. If you use only our plates, you will fins that you only have to set the width of the clamp one time -- and you get the added benefit of our exclusive fore/aft safety-stop system.

Charles

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