Wednesday, September 12, 2007

DIY: PW Stand Holder for less than 5,00€

PW supportIn my last post I wrote that I was working on 2 projects well here it is the first one.

I've been looking, for quite a while, for something to hold my PW when I use them.

Since I bought the Gadget Infinity system I haven't been using the PW a lot, first because of the too much wiring system required to connect them to my 580Ex, second their size and second because I do not like to have them bumping around on the tripod while on use.

I hang them by the little lanyard it bounce and bang on the stand every time I have to move the stand around for positioning the light so I was needing a solution for when I use them... this means that when you're into a more serious assignment you cannot trust the GI misfiring system and when a Client is near by watching every move you make this could be a terrible thing so I need the PW system.

There are people who are using the Velcro system with great usability but I do not think this would stick and hold very well on the thiner Manfrotto Nano 01 stands, so I was in need of a solution...

After seeing the Ziv's project for a Pocket Wizard holder that he's selling, a set of 3, on his blog for $24,00 plus shipping. I think this is a little bit too much for a small piece of metal that you have to bend, cut and shape.

But then again you could make one yourself, with the right tools, with no effort and with less than 5,00 euros I guarantee you that, just follow along.

I had to do some search around on several hardware stores near Luxembourg before I found the right one and the right holder. The one I bought was very cheap at Le Roy Merlin in France.

I know that there are a lot of hardware stores where you can get this stuff but the biggest one around here was Le Roy Merlin France, maybe IKEA would have this holder also I will have to check it out also.

As always I start with a picture from the setup light so you can see how one small strobe can do this kind of presentation.

PW Stand Holder_0001

580Ex shot through umbrella to camera left at 1/16 power. Camera ISO 100, Tv200, Av9.0.

Now let's go to business.

PW Stand Holder_0002

Picture of the inventory:

- Pocket Wizard (For testing purposes)
- Electric Drilling since I do not have a drilling one I used an Electric Screwer
- 1x 6mm (thick) snap ring
- 1x 6mm (thick) nut
- 1x 6mm (thick) stainless socket cap screw, size length 1,5cm
- 1x 8mm (thick) stainless socket cap screw, size length 4,5cm
- 1x Plastic Systemtac 2198 (used to hold together 2 corner pieces of a furniture) . It also bends in the middle making an L shape.

The Systemtac 2198 (name printed on the holder) you can find it near the pieces to build the pre-made furniture. At Le Roy Merlin they only had it in white but later on you can spray it black if you like.

PW Stand Holder_0003

Now let's drill on one side one hole of 6mm (thick) and on the other end a 8mm (thick). The holes are already made so it would not be very difficult to drill a larger one.

PW Stand Holder_0004

Since this is plastic you can drill them with almost anything. It's a kind of flexible plastic near the already made holes so it will be very easy to drill.

Just remember I did my holes with my electrical screwer :)

So you now have the 2 holes on each side let's move on.

PW Stand Holder_0005

Remove the original 8mm (thick) stainless socket cap screw from the flash adapter.

PW Stand Holder_0006

Here is a side by side from the original 8mm (thick) stainless socket cap screw with size length 3cm (on the right) and the new 8mm (thick) stainless socket cap screw bigger size length 4,5cm (one on the left).

PW Stand Holder_0007

Closer look.

The original 8mm (thick) stainless socket cap screw with size length 3cm (on the right) and the new 8mm (thick) stainless socket cap screw bigger size length 4,5cm (one on the left).

I choose another one bigger since this way you can now put the plastic holder between the umbrella stand and the stainless socket cap without loosing screw turns for better tight.

PW Stand Holder_0008

Let's assemble everything starting by putting the new 8mm (thick) stainless socket cap screw bigger size length 4,5cm back into the umbrella adapter.

PW Stand Holder_0009

Now we put the plastic holder, it's indifferent from which side you'll put it through I leave that to you.

PW Stand Holder_0010

I choose to put the white holder on the beginning part of the stainless socket cap screw instead of the end because this way you will have a more stable screw in since the socket cap will be fixed to the umbrella adapter see picture.

PW Stand Holder_0011

Now let's put a snap ring to better hold it together. On the final version I ended up adding another snap ring to the other side for a better tighten.

PW Stand Holder_0013

So the first part is now finished. You have the white holder in position so let's move on to the PW itself.

PW Stand Holder_0014

When I bought these 6mm (thick) stainless socket cap screw I took the PW with me and looked around for something that could be attached to the hole on the PW and that would not be very long so it won't stay out too much on the white holder.

The PW screw is not very deep so take this in consideration when buying yourself the stainless socket cap screw so they could fit in there. Maybe you could find some more fancy one's but where I looked I couldn't find none suitable for this except this one's.

------------ Update 05/01/2008 ------------

Found a better replacement for the PW screw in, much easier to screw and tight take a look at the picture below.

DIY Manfrotto Umbrella Adapter Improvements_013
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PW Stand Holder_0015

At the end of the 6mm (thick) stainless socket cap screw I put a Nut to hold it against the white holder.

PW Stand Holder_0016

Next screw in the PW.

PW Stand Holder_0017

This is what it will look like when everything is in place.

PW Stand Holder_0018

As you can see the white holder is bendable at the middle so it will be easier for it to bend where it won't collide with any swivel or the umbrella hole. Main reason why I choose this.

PW Stand Holder_0019

A view of the all thing assembled together.

PW Stand Holder_0020

This is the setup shot for the next sequence.

580Ex shot through umbrella to camera left at 1/16 power. Camera ISO 100, Tv200, Av9.0

PW supportPW support

This is a standing view from one side and the other.

You can see how it's holding the PW straighten up. You can even swivel it for a better position.

PW Stand Holder_0023

Full picture with the umbrella on. I even put the umbrella metal holder a little bit out so you can see that it would not touch it even if you put it in a little bit.

PW Stand Holder_0025PW Stand Holder_0024

Now for the final shots I would like to show them from above also made one straight and the other bend so you can see the possibilities.

Since you can bend this little piece of plastic you can point it to what best suits you.

------------ Update 05/01/2008 ------------

Finally got some time to paint it out for a more "Pro" look here are the pictures.

DIY Manfrotto Umbrella Adapter Improvements_012DIY Manfrotto Umbrella Adapter Improvements_011
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Hope this all DIY would be helpful for you as it is for me.

Enjoy this inexpensive and very portable way to hold your PW while using your umbrella adapter and spray can it black if you like it better on black.

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