Newport Damped Optical Posts

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mawyatt
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by mawyatt »

Hi Cam,

I don't have any of the 66m rails so can't compare, but the XT95mm rails don't have a Dovetail. These are more like the conventional extruded bars that use the "T" nut type mounting scheme, and Thor has the "T" nuts and other fasteners for them. It's an extremely well engineered rail, and if you look closely you can see how they've maximized the rigidity of the 95mm bar, more so than conventional bars. However, I'm sure these 95mm extrusions cost more and thus more expensive than a conventional bar.

I use the Thor sliding clamps to attach to the rails, then mount to the clamp, either directly, or by way of an ARCA system. These clamps are another well engineered solution, they are extremely rigid when clamped but loosen two Allen Head bolts and you can slide the clamp along the rail, loosen a little more and clamp can disengage from the rail. You can use the standard tapped holes, or custom drill and tap the clamps to allow various attachments, this is what they are designed to do and they do it quite well!!

I started with this setup back in ~2010 and added things over the years, the latest is the 600mm XT95mm vertical rail. Thor stuff is expensive but of lab quality/engineered, so worth the investment in the long run. Note I said investment, not cost, since it's expensive with short term mentality, but a value for long term use.

You can have two (actually 4 if have a wider base) setups without changing things. As you can see the XT95 can hold a clamp on each side, so 4 possible setups. One could be for Vertical and another for Horizontal, and so on. Very versatile setup.

The WeMacro is also versatile, especially with the simple mods. You can easily switch between V and H modes with a few bolts. These are so reasonably priced you can have a couple, one for V and another for H use.

Best,
Attachments
IMG_5097-VLR.jpg
IMG_4096-VLR.jpg
Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

ray_parkhurst
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by ray_parkhurst »

What is it about these posts that is "damped"?

kaleun96
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by kaleun96 »

ray_parkhurst wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:09 pm
What is it about these posts that is "damped"?
I don't know the details for the Newport one but you can find a patent from 1985 for a Melles Griot damped optical post. It's probably similar generally to the Newport one but I'm sure these days the "damping masses" are a bit more high tech.
- Cam

ray_parkhurst
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Thanks for the link. Very cool.

Macro_Cosmos
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

https://www.thorlabs.com/thorproduct.cf ... er=XT95P12

These work well. The side lockable ones are very expensive. There used to be some on ebay for ~$30, all long gone.
1.jpg
These iShoot clamps are the best, they can be found on ebay for ~$20.
2.jpg


I personally want to lower the centre of gravity even further, so I got a replacement rail made for the stackshot (video soon). The rail was $50 I believe.
3.jpg

kaleun96
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by kaleun96 »

Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:24 am
These iShoot clamps are the best, they can be found on ebay for ~$20.
The short 1/4" (or 3/8?) countersunk channels either side of the centre thread look like they could be very useful! I'm always finding it a challenge to get Arca clamps with more than one point of connection that have a hole pattern compatible with most SmallRig plates or adapters.
- Cam

Macro_Cosmos
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

kaleun96 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:45 am
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:24 am
These iShoot clamps are the best, they can be found on ebay for ~$20.
The short 1/4" (or 3/8?) countersunk channels either side of the centre thread look like they could be very useful! I'm always finding it a challenge to get Arca clamps with more than one point of connection that have a hole pattern compatible with most SmallRig plates or adapters.
Yep, they are extremely useful!
These are 6mm channels, they can be used with both imperial and metric, they are a bit more than 2 inches apart, making them perfect.
The knob is also small enough, so one can just mount this directly onto an optical breadboard without the knob being jammed in place. Smaller knob does make tightening a bit harder -- 3D print a cap.

mawyatt
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by mawyatt »

Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:03 am
kaleun96 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:45 am
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:24 am
These iShoot clamps are the best, they can be found on ebay for ~$20.
The short 1/4" (or 3/8?) countersunk channels either side of the centre thread look like they could be very useful! I'm always finding it a challenge to get Arca clamps with more than one point of connection that have a hole pattern compatible with most SmallRig plates or adapters.
Yep, they are extremely useful!
These are 6mm channels, they can be used with both imperial and metric, they are a bit more than 2 inches apart, making them perfect.
The knob is also small enough, so one can just mount this directly onto an optical breadboard without the knob being jammed in place. Smaller knob does make tightening a bit harder -- 3D print a cap.
Agree these ARCA circular types are very good ARCA clamps, I've used them for some time, they also mount directly to the Thor Labs sliding clamps which is convenient.

Best,
Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

ray_parkhurst
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by ray_parkhurst »

I also like the big circular clamps primarily because their knob sticks out far enough to use directly on a camera body. Most are too short, and the knob hits against the mounting surface (camera bottom) so an interposer of some type is needed. The big circular ones work great on their own.

lothman
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by lothman »

here a sample of the Thorlabs 66mm rail, with an Arca double clamp everything can be attached. They also provide a single dovetail rail thick enough for the head of M4 hex srews or threads.
Thorlabs_rail
Thorlabs_rail

ray_parkhurst
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by ray_parkhurst »

What are the dimensions of the rail? I assume those are not standard Arca clamps, right?

lothman
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by lothman »

ray_parkhurst wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:58 pm
What are the dimensions of the rail? I assume those are not standard Arca clamps, right?
see this thread above, standard Arca clamp fit :D

ray_parkhurst
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by ray_parkhurst »

lothman wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:02 pm
ray_parkhurst wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:58 pm
What are the dimensions of the rail? I assume those are not standard Arca clamps, right?
see this thread above, standard Arca clamp fit :D
Thanks, I missed it. Interesting extrusion! I've built several systems with 24" standard 40-series extrusions, and mounted a 480mm Arca plate, and created something that sort of looks like this but with the Arca mount only on one side. I guess I need to check more into this further...

mawyatt
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by mawyatt »

kaleun96 wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:26 am
I have and use a Thorlabs XT95 based setup
Thanks for sharing Mike, makes me wish I had all of these components and could try multiple setups before deciding on one. I'd like to have a vertical-to-horizontal convertible setup and my current one using breadboards is perhaps not best suited for that. I'll have to screw in the post, unscrew the rail from the breadboard, and then mount it to the post. And that's not even including shifting the specimen holder, which for the time being can't easily be used in a vertical orientation setup.
BTW those Modified Wemacro setups shown were made for some other folks, so not mine. I do have a couple myself tho :D

Best,
Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

kaleun96
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Re: Newport Damped Optical Posts

Post by kaleun96 »

RobertOToole wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:36 am
I have tried a dampened post years ago but I did not like the nylon geared rail strip that was mounted on the post.
The optical post arrived yesterday and I think I see what you mean by not liking the nylon geared strip. There's quite a bit of rotational play between the rack and pinion mechanism and I'm not super confident that tightening down hard is not going to break something. In fact, one of the "riders" within the pinion mount has already broken off a small part (it arrived that way) that helps keep it in-line and I suspect the others could easily break too.

The vertical adjustment is a bit tricky as well since turning the knob to move it up and down only works if the clamp isn't tight. Once you tighten the clamp to support a larger load, turning the knob to adjust the height will cause the clamp knob to loosen.

I might look at either the newer M-370-RC, perhaps it does not have the same problems as the older 675-T. I could also look at the M-340-RC, which lacks the pinion mechanism, but it seems like that may not be particularly useful anyway.

The M-370-RC is expensive but the imperial version can be found on eBay US for a fair bit less. It could be trickier to adapt to metric though, with the 675-T I was able to use this adapter: https://www.newport.com/p/M-UP-1A
- Cam

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