Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Gates AX700 / Z90 Housing -Threaded Ball Mounts Issue

sony gates ax700 z90 housing ball mount

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Laval

Laval

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 42 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Toronto
  • Interests:UW videography: macro and wide angle

Posted 23 February 2019 - 01:05 PM

I have a question for owner of Gates housings with threaded ball mounts on the top of grip handles.  Could you please tell me how significant is a problem with threaded ball mounts becoming loose?

 

In the review of  Gates AX700 / Z90  Housing (Sony FDR-AX700 / HXR-NX80 / PXW-Z90 / PXW-X70) by Karena and John Ellerbrock (owner of Gates), they pointed out on a problem with threaded ball mounts:  "Ball mount on the top of the grip handles have been ¼-20 threaded type for over 20 years.  They worked well, but have a tendency to rotate loose.  Especially when re-positioning GT14 lights. So we fixed it.  Within 3 days of our return to the office, a new design was done and headed to production.  No more loose / spinning ball mounts."  

 

​To address the problem, they developed no spin ball mounts, which are sold separately for $94 a pair (!). 

 

How big is this problem to spend additional $94 to address this design flaw?

 

Also, have you experienced  any other problems with this housing?

 

Many thanks.

 

 



#2 bubffm

bubffm

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 429 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany

Posted 24 February 2019 - 04:04 AM

I have a question for owner of Gates housings with threaded ball mounts on the top of grip handles.  Could you please tell me how significant is a problem with threaded ball mounts becoming loose?

 

 

Hi Laval,

 

remembering from my days with the Gates AX100 housing (which is the same design), it's actually a pretty BIG problem. Mine came loose all the time. I fixed them with 3M adhesive tapes: didnt help. Glued them on: didnt last. Also, in generell I did'nt like the fact that the lights were placed asymmetrically (due to the handles being asymmetric).

 

So I ended up going to a local toolmaker and had two arms build that I could screw into the top handle.  That solved both problems: no more loosening and the balls and both lights are now placed symmetrically.  As a positive side effect, this allowed me to take off the entire light unit just turning one screw :-))

 

See attached photo. That solution certainly cost me more than $94 dollars, but worked pretty neatly  :-)) 

 

I am actually surprised that Gates only notices now that there is a problem....

Attached Images

  • IMG_3186.jpeg

Edited by bubffm, 24 February 2019 - 04:09 AM.


#3 wydeangle

wydeangle

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 225 posts

Posted 24 February 2019 - 06:43 AM

Interesting - I had this problem. However, I had it on one of my cars! The air filter is oval and kept rotating atop the throttle body.

 

My solution is in this photo: AirCleanerRollPin1Websmall.jpg

 

I used a 1/16" diameter rollpin (spring pin) which is a hollow tube with an open slot down one side, so it can be lightly pressed into an undersized hole drilled in the mating surface. It will stay in place due to a light press fit.

 

The opposite surface (the underside of the ball mount or in this case the underside of the air filter) has a slightly larger hole so it can be slipped vertically downward into place, and yet removed easily if needed. It is held down as usual by the screw in the center.

 

The price of the pins is insignificant.

 

The hole is about 1/16" in each piece - care should be used not to break the small drill bit while drilling. The hole in the handle is slightly undersized, and the hole in the ball mount is very slightly oversized.

 

When the mounting balls on the AX700 housing began to rotate, I installed the same pins on the housing's handles. I may have used an even smaller pair of rollpins than 1/16". Also, the length sticking up above the handle can be very short - I think mine are sticking up only about 1/16" or 3/32" of an inch.

 

So far, no problem. And no budget hit...

 

Tom

 

EDIT:

 

Memory is so wonderful! Here's the AX700 ball mount:

AX700 rollpinWeb.jpg

The ball mount is at the top of the photo. The pin is permanently embedded in it. At the center the drilled hole in the handle can be seen to the right of the threaded mounting hole.

 

The process was to drill the ball mount first and install the pin, then installing the screw loosely and pressing down lightly an arc was scribed on the top of the handle - this gave a place to mark the center of the hole so the pin could drop into it somewhat accurately.


Edited by wydeangle, 24 February 2019 - 06:59 AM.


#4 JackConnick

JackConnick

    Orca

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1406 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle, WA
  • Interests:Sailing, diving, women, cats

Posted 26 February 2019 - 10:39 AM

There is a new ball mount plate and kit from Gates to alleviate this issue. It uses standard 2 screw base to ball mounts from UCLS or others.

 

New consumer housings with these handles are coming pre-drilled for the pin from the plate, but it can be retrofitted onto existing handles by drilling the necessary hole.

 

Part number 3000-97-274 – Ball Mount Adapter Disc, KIT, set of 2 (Ball Mount Sold Separately)

 

 

 

 

Attached Images

  • #2 - DRILL PIN HOLE.JPG
  • #3 - INSTALL NORMAL.JPG
  • #4 - INSTALL BALL MOUNT.JPG
  • #5 - ASSEMBLED.JPG

Jack Connick
Optical Ocean Sales.com

Nauticam, Subal, Sea & Sea, Olympus, Seacam, Gates, Ikelite, Zen, Fix, 10Bar, Kraken, Light & Motion, iTorch/I-DAS & Fantasea Line
Cameras, Housings, Strobes, Arms, Trays & Accessories. System Packages. Photo Expeditions.

Blog & Gallery: Optical Ocean Sales Blog - Flickr Galleries: Optical Ocean on Flickr


#5 wydeangle

wydeangle

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 225 posts

Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:56 AM

For those who don't wish to use the least expensive way to prevent rotation of the 1" ball mount described above (1/16" rollpins ~US$2, about an hour to drill and set the pins as above), there's a ready-made 1" ball mount made by Ikelite that will work: part #4081.74. They're about US$30 each from B&H, Amazon, Adorama, etc and most of them have shipping included and no tax. It already has the 1/16" rollpin installed and uses a 1/4"-20 screw to fasten it to the handle. It would still need the handle to be drilled to accept the rollpin.

 

This solution will work for mounting a ball to almost any housing.

 

Tom



#6 Laval

Laval

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 42 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Toronto
  • Interests:UW videography: macro and wide angle

Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:24 AM

 

Hi Laval,

 

remembering from my days with the Gates AX100 housing (which is the same design), it's actually a pretty BIG problem. Mine came loose all the time. I fixed them with 3M adhesive tapes: didnt help. Glued them on: didnt last. Also, in generell I did'nt like the fact that the lights were placed asymmetrically (due to the handles being asymmetric).

 

So I ended up going to a local toolmaker and had two arms build that I could screw into the top handle.  That solved both problems: no more loosening and the balls and both lights are now placed symmetrically.  As a positive side effect, this allowed me to take off the entire light unit just turning one screw :-))

 

See attached photo. That solution certainly cost me more than $94 dollars, but worked pretty neatly  :-)) 

 

I am actually surprised that Gates only notices now that there is a problem....

 

 

Hi bubffm,

Thank you very much for your reply and tips.


Interesting - I had this problem. However, I had it on one of my cars! The air filter is oval and kept rotating atop the throttle body.

 

My solution is in this photo: attachicon.gifAirCleanerRollPin1Websmall.jpg

 

I used a 1/16" diameter rollpin (spring pin) which is a hollow tube with an open slot down one side, so it can be lightly pressed into an undersized hole drilled in the mating surface. It will stay in place due to a light press fit.

 

The opposite surface (the underside of the ball mount or in this case the underside of the air filter) has a slightly larger hole so it can be slipped vertically downward into place, and yet removed easily if needed. It is held down as usual by the screw in the center.

 

The price of the pins is insignificant.

 

The hole is about 1/16" in each piece - care should be used not to break the small drill bit while drilling. The hole in the handle is slightly undersized, and the hole in the ball mount is very slightly oversized.

 

When the mounting balls on the AX700 housing began to rotate, I installed the same pins on the housing's handles. I may have used an even smaller pair of rollpins than 1/16". Also, the length sticking up above the handle can be very short - I think mine are sticking up only about 1/16" or 3/32" of an inch.

 

So far, no problem. And no budget hit...

 

Tom

 

EDIT:

 

Memory is so wonderful! Here's the AX700 ball mount:

attachicon.gifAX700 rollpinWeb.jpg

The ball mount is at the top of the photo. The pin is permanently embedded in it. At the center the drilled hole in the handle can be seen to the right of the threaded mounting hole.

 

The process was to drill the ball mount first and install the pin, then installing the screw loosely and pressing down lightly an arc was scribed on the top of the handle - this gave a place to mark the center of the hole so the pin could drop into it somewhat accurately.

Thank you very much, wydeangle.


There is a new ball mount plate and kit from Gates to alleviate this issue. It uses standard 2 screw base to ball mounts from UCLS or others.

 

New consumer housings with these handles are coming pre-drilled for the pin from the plate, but it can be retrofitted onto existing handles by drilling the necessary hole.

 

Part number 3000-97-274 – Ball Mount Adapter Disc, KIT, set of 2 (Ball Mount Sold Separately)

 

 

 

 

Many thanks, Jack.  I appreciate your reply very much.


For those who don't wish to use the least expensive way to prevent rotation of the 1" ball mount described above (1/16" rollpins ~US$2, about an hour to drill and set the pins as above), there's a ready-made 1" ball mount made by Ikelite that will work: part #4081.74. They're about US$30 each from B&H, Amazon, Adorama, etc and most of them have shipping included and no tax. It already has the 1/16" rollpin installed and uses a 1/4"-20 screw to fasten it to the handle. It would still need the handle to be drilled to accept the rollpin.

 

This solution will work for mounting a ball to almost any housing.

 

Tom

 

Thank you very much Tom.  It looks like a very economical solution.  I will take a look at it.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: sony, gates, ax700, z90, housing, ball mount