Hitch Hiker update -- June 27

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

Hitch Hiker update -- June 27

Post by alt-az-builder » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:43 pm

I have assembled the first production Hitch Hiker. This is a test unit that will not be sent to a customer -- but is used for final proofing and correction. It looks REALLY good -- and I will post photos tomorrow. A few small tweaks are needed before customer mounts can be assembled. Small undercuts must be added to the azimuth and altitude axes to allow proper seating of the thrust bearings. This is a really minor machining operation. One part must be replaced because the length did not match the drawing. It belongs to the quick-plate clamp assembly. The short part functions properly except does not allow installation of the optional locking pin. The shop should complete the tweak to the shafts and the machining of the new clamping part by Monday -- but the clamping part must then be sent out for anodizing. My hope is that anodizing will not take more than a week -- but this is only my guess. I don't actually know how long it will take. I can do much of a mount's assembly without this part -- and so I will begin putting mounts together in maybe three days.

I will comment on many of the new Hitch Hiker's improvements over the prototype Hitch Hiker as I post photos -- but the changes were quite successful. Although the wait has been longer than expected, I think the new Hitch Hiker will very much prove worth the wait.

One additional note: We had to require approval to join the user group and impose a ten-post moderation period for new members to protect the user group from spam and pornography. We tried less restrictive ways of defeating the spammers and the pornographers -- but ultimately had to resort to more stringent protections. We apologize for any inconvenience. We want users to be able to interact freely -- but the integrity of the user also needs to be protected.

Thanks,

Charles

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

Re: Hitch Hiker update -- June 27

Post by alt-az-builder » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:23 pm

The actual measured weight of the production Hitch Hiker is 2.56 pounds. This is very close to our preliminary estimate of 2.5 pounds. The Hitch Hiker is obviously quite light for a tripod head with so many features and being so solid with the targeted loads. Replace the payload platform with the side-saddle and the Hitch Hiker becomes a quarter pound lighter still -- while the load capacity is increased a bit. Using a telephoto lens that does not really require the guide-handle? Take the handle off the mount and save another .3 pound.

Charles

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

Re: Hitch Hiker update -- June 27

Post by alt-az-builder » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:46 pm

Here are a few quick snapshots of the new production Hitch Hiker. The production Hitch Hiker is easily differentiated from the prototype mount by the black-anodized accents applied to some components and the addition of the RAM-ball. But there are almost 30 substantive changes from prototype to production Hitch Hiker.

The first photo points out the engraved azimuth scale that was added to assist in shooting panoramic photos. The scale is marked in 15-degree increments.

The arrows in the second photo point to a couple of the changes. The arrow on the left points to the revised quick-plate clamping lever -- now machined from stainless steel instead of aluminum -- and longer and reshaped for easy gripping and more powerful action. The arrow on the right points to the nylon bumper that was added to protect the elegant guide-handle and the yoke from dings and scratches.

More photos to come ...

Charles
Hitch_Hiker_003.jpg
Hitch_Hiker_003.jpg (146.55 KiB) Viewed 2284 times
Hitch_Hiker_002.jpg
Hitch_Hiker_002.jpg (153.94 KiB) Viewed 2284 times
Hitch_Hiker_001.jpg
Hitch_Hiker_001.jpg (122.64 KiB) Viewed 2284 times

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