Diy Ultralight Bino tripod adaptor

JRMiller

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
299
I have to first thank Nrolson2002 and 16Bore for inspiring ideas on how to lighten my optics load backpacking and still feel a tripod is worth the weight to bring along.
I started out with a few stock adaptors laying around but none were ideal and as lightweight and fast as I would have preferred.
In an attempt to not waste any more money, I re-utilized a vortex uni-adaptor to suite my needs.
The uni-adaptor was a nice setup to start with I will admit, but the bottom of the adapter was starting to pile and presumably eventually tear the inside of my bino harness pack.
Anyhow heres the skinny;
Parts needed (besides the uni-adaptor, or any similar strut type adaptor) :
qty 1 5/16" x 1 1/4" clevis pin
qty 1 5/16" hair pin
qty 1 5/16" spring

Using a 5/16" drill bit, bore the inside of the uni-adaptor out to 5/16"
Cut the head off the clevis pin and thread the end to 1/4"-20 threads
Thread the clevis onto your binos. Be sure its tight, you dont want to lose it out in the field
Cut the spring (if needed) to about 3/8" long
Put a slight inward bend on the last loop of the spring with needle nose pliers so it stays on the clevis pin by interference fit.
Slide the spring onto the clevis pin
Done

You have a few options here.
You may either toss or keep the original base for the uni-adaptor to use for your tripod. For the least weight, toss it, as its not needed.
The spring is not necessarily needed, but it purpose is to keep the binos tight in the adaptor but still allow them to rotate clock/counterclockwise as needed.
Optional is of course is an arca plate for your tripod, but that depends on your individual base mounting needs
If you lack the tools to cut and thread a clevis pin, you can use a pin/bolt already threaded 1/4"x20 and drill a hole at the end for the hair pin.
You also have the option of using a magnet at the end of the clevis pin instead of a hair pin. Not as quite as secure, but a touch faster.
You also have the option of using a cotterless clevis pin ( as suggested by 16Bore) instead of the hole/hair pin method, but a spring is definitely needed in that case to hold things tight.
And last, you have the option of drilling and threading a hole in the top of the uni-adaptor to install a wingnut to fully lock down the binos if you want. I originally started with this option, but after using the pin/hair pin method I found it was not needed.

Weight. With my setup, my tripod, ball head, and bino adaptor come in at 2lbs, 3oz.
 

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Elcy

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
38
Nice job, couple of questions though.

In regards to the spring:

-What keeps the spring from going 'boing' and shooting off when you release the cotter (hair) pin? The interference fit?
-What's an interference fit?
-Does the spring keep enough tension on the binos so they stay in place if you rotate them so one side is above the other (clockwise/counterclockwise)?
 
OP
J

JRMiller

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
299
Nice job, couple of questions though.

In regards to the spring:

-What keeps the spring from going 'boing' and shooting off when you release the cotter (hair) pin? The interference fit?
-What's an interference fit?
-Does the spring keep enough tension on the binos so they stay in place if you rotate them so one side is above the other (clockwise/counterclockwise)?
Many thanks.
Interference fit simply means the inner diameter of one object (the springs last coil) is slightly smaller than the outer diameter of the object its mounted too (the pin).
This is what keeps the spring from falling off the end of the pin. The last coil of the spring is basically ovalized with needle nose pliers so as to fit tight on the pin, but only on the end nearest the binos. The far end is free to slide and provide tension.

The spring tension is preference really. I, like most guys I would think, prefer the binos to be firm enough in the adapter so as to not flop up/down, or left/right, but still be able to rotate to accommodate adjustment of the interpupillary distance (distance between both eyes).
You can use a firmer spring as you prefer, or simply use the thumbscrew to complete lock down the binos (see photo).
The thumbscrew adds only grams to the total system weight.
 

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