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bghazzal

Any ideas on how to build / attach a tripod system for a Nauticam Flexitray?

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Posted (edited)

Hello all

I have a Nauticam Flexitray system on for a compact rig -  I would like to keep using the tray, and I'm currently looking into ways to build a simple tripod system for the unit (base, ball mounts, clamps, 3 or 4 legs)

However, I can't really see how/where a tray could be attached on such a system. I was told by a retailler that I would need to buy another Nauticam handle with tripod attachements mounts, which is not great (expensive, especially in Japan where I am now, more clutter, etc).

I'm thinking there are probably more straightfloward ways, if a litte DIY, of attaching a tray mount to this flexitray, maybe using the existing screwmounts or similar.

Has anyone embarked on similar endeavours, or have any ideas on things that could work before I bring out the cable ties?

 

Thanks!

Ben

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Edited by bghazzal

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Posted (edited)

You have 2 screws on each side that hold the adjustable handle mounts.  A piece of aluminum or 

Delrin (POM) flat bar could be attached there with appropriately longer screws.  You now have a clean base to work with for either 3 or 4 legs.

Edited by PhotoJunkie
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A simple aluminium plate would be my suggestions.  Drill it to match hole spacing of the housing mounting screws, countersink those holes and attach it replacing the existing mounting screw with longer countersunk cap screws.  Then drill and tap tripod mounting holes in the plate wherever you like.  The plate would need to be long enough to reach the two plates that are bolted to the main tray so it can sit flat on those plates and thick enough to tap a good hole and not flex when you crank down the countersunk mounting screws.

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I had two Flexytray with different tripod options. Your version is the worst ")

Anyway you have 3 options:

Unfortunately this is a nearly permanent mod. I used it several times. It's perfect but I had 2 flexytray.

The second option is Chris suggestion.

The third option is similar to Chris one except for using the extra holes you already have:

 

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You will need longer screws to retain your alu/plastic plate.

Regarding tripod plates that will not break the bank....

https://www.flex-arm.com/en/tripods-and-monopods

 

 

 

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Thanks everyone! Really great ideas there.
Looking into Tor Inge's plan posted by Davide ( https://www.ti-leidland.no/en/blog/46-scubadiving/136-diy-quatropod-for-underwater-housing ) , I found similar ball arms but pre-drilled with 1/4 threaded holes, which could be an option.

Main issue is that I'm in a remote place with no hardware store so have to order everything online, but I think I know which way to go!

 

 

Screenshot 2021-08-29 at 20-57-08 9 22US $ 12% OFF 5 7 9 11 inch Dual Ball Head 1.png

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Posted (edited)

Two different types of Flexitray

IMG-20210829-WA0020.thumb.jpg.94513e34b719f9c0c1e542978827d81c.jpg

 

My old setup using Tor Inge's idea

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Edited by Davide DB
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There is a new ULCS tripod that is designed for this type of housing.

Bill

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11 hours ago, Davide DB said:

 

My old setup using Tor Inge's idea

IMG-20210829-WA0019.thumb.jpg.475d86d5cd747e11fc49f4e72aef8b8c.jpgIMG-20210829-WA0018.thumb.jpg.bc801b8b7ef80a46c4aeaf680f7dde99.jpg

Looks great!
What diameter + length bolts did you use ( I'd have to order online, no way to test things out on the island).

I also wanted to ask you if, based on use, there is a reason to go with 7" arms rather than shorter 5" ones which would be a little closer to the Flexitray base.

Thanks again

B

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, bvanant said:

There is a new ULCS tripod that is designed for this type of housing.

Bill

Thanks Bill. Issue is fixing the base of the Nauticam to a tripod. If i remove the flexitray, I have 2 1/4 threads at the base of the housing, so it's quite simple.
But I'd like to keep the Flexitray mounted, and there's the rub...

Edited by bghazzal

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6 hours ago, bghazzal said:

Looks great!
What diameter + length bolts did you use ( I'd have to order online, no way to test things out on the island).

I also wanted to ask you if, based on use, there is a reason to go with 7" arms rather than shorter 5" ones which would be a little closer to the Flexitray base.

Thanks again

B

IIRC I used 4mm bolts and Self-locking nuts.
For the length I don't remember but I think at least 10 12mm. I do not have with me the arms to take measures but when you cut the bars of polycarbonate or aluminum, you have to make sure that their width allows you to insert them within the shape of the arms. In this way you save thickness and the whole is more compact.
The total thickness should be equal to the thickness of the polycarbonate bar by 2 plus the thickness of the inner part of the arm.

If you have at least one you can measure it.

For the length of the arms I used those of 200mm / 5". Maybe with a FF camera and housing, 7" will add more stability.

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Something like the attached images can be made with cost of less than USD 90 plus shipping. Its available at 

https://www.bgningoem.com

Butterfly clamps, tray, arms etc. all included in this cost. 

Hope this helps 

 

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Posted (edited)

Instead of plexiglass or aluminium, you can use wood to put on both sides of the base (arms). It might be easier and cheaper to find on a remote location.
The screws and bolts 4mm / 5mm diameter is more than enough. 12mm / 15 mm long should be ok also. The most important is to have them in stainless steel, 316 preferably 

Edited by pbalves
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Hello all - I've made some progress on the project, ordering 5 inch ball arms on Ali Express with predrilled 1/4 inch threads, along with assorted countersunk screws -  I settled for M5 (5mm diameter) as 1/4  inch was too thick to fit in available and usable tray spaces, and there's not that many lenght options available in the format.

I mounted the arms to the tray using M5 screws in the 1/4 mount holes.

However the Nauticam tray is asymetrical, so what worked was having the bolt up on the smaller side and bolt down on the larger side. The mount is not 100% symmetrical, but close, and I think it will do.

It's pretty stable already as is, but I'll need longer screws - the ones I'm using are 20mm M5 and that's a little short, so I ordered 25mm in 316 stainless - I I'll probably need washers as well. I'm ordering the bolts etc on amazon.jp, so choice is limited, but ordering from China direct takes over 2 weeks and I might be on the move again soon.

I also ordered a polycarbonate sheet, with a thickness of 5mm that I should be receiving in a couple of days. Idea is to reinforce this setup by adding a plate to the arms, so I can have another bolt to secure the whole thing, as suggested.

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Edited by bghazzal
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The arm seem a little bit short. See if with the house in the tray you do have space enough to use the clamps, if it does not reduce the access to any function of the housing.

David refers 200mm/5” arms, but it was a mistake. 200mm is 8”.

To secure the tripod base (the arms used as tripod base) you should use 2 screws in each, to avoid the arm to rotate.

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On 9/14/2021 at 5:10 PM, pbalves said:

The arm seem a little bit short. See if with the house in the tray you do have space enough to use the clamps, if it does not reduce the access to any function of the housing.

David refers 200mm/5” arms, but it was a mistake. 200mm is 8”.

To secure the tripod base (the arms used as tripod base) you should use 2 screws in each, to avoid the arm to rotate.

Thanks - I hesitated between the 5" and 8" arms, but when with the shorter as I couldn't see reasons to go with longer arms - It's for a compact housing and I couldn't see functional issues when measuring things out  - when looking into it I also saw that actual Nauticam tripod mounts are quite close to the housing (albeit at an angle).
My housing's in for repairs should be back in a couple days, so i'll get to check if the arm length is problematic or not.

I got the 4 legs today and it's looking quite good, but I'll definitely need a second screw to avoid rotation.
The polycarbonate sheet should be arriving tomorrow, along with longer screws, so hopefully I'll be able to fix something.
I'm pretty happy with the way it's going - the biggest expense / headache are the screws so far, which hard to come by and expensive in these parts....

We're leaving Japan to work in Maldives for winter, but if all goes well I might actually get to test the setup on a couple of dives before we set off.

 

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Edited by bghazzal
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Got the housing back today, and it's all good.

I tried working on making 2 bits of polycarbonate to screw into as instructed but do not have the right tools to saw/pierce something cleanly unfortunately, so finally went for a slightly more rustic option.

I used the arm's 1/4 inch holes to fasten to the tray using M5 screws as I'd initially done as this worked quite well, apart from the rotation - I then took  longer M5 screws and used a 1/4 tripod mount screw adjuster as a form of large washer for this 2nd screw. It's not the cleanest but does the trick to secure the arm further and avoid rotation.

The mount isn't identical same on both sides, as there was only minmal working space on the Felxitray's right side, but by inverting screws / bolts I found something that works - if anyone wants to try working with the same openings on this Flexitray (see Sept 14 post), maximum screw size in the narrow openings is 5mm (M5) - anything bigger, M6 / 6mm and 1/4"do not fit...

The shorter 5"arms used were not an issue with a compact housing such as the NALX10

 

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Edited by bghazzal

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What maters is that it does the job. The tripod looking pretty is not your main goal. That said, the end result looks good. At first glace it looks PRO equipment.

Now it is time to put it underwater. Do not forget that if you want to use a tripod, you do not want to have a neutral buoyancy rig. You need to have it heavy to grant that the tripod stays put. Otherwise, if you have waves motion or some current, you might have difficulties to have it steady.

Edited by pbalves
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Thanks! I'll get to test it in a few days and will report back.
Neutral buoyancy isn't an issue with this rig - like most compacts, it's like a brick in the water with 900g+ negative buoyancy as is, without the tripod arms + legs (or lights...) - this should work quite nicely without floats.

Thanks to everyone for your help with this project!

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