Posts Tagged head

Above-tank mounted sump design

There are few things that can benefit an aquarium, particularly a salt water aquarium, as much as a good sump. Sumps allow you to create an entire system separate from the main tank that contains all your water processing, heating, conditioning and so on without crowding or visually afflicting the main tank; they allow you to add chemicals and treatments to the water and have them pre-mixed with a large volume of water before they reach your aquarium’s inhabitants, and much more.

But traditional sumps require expensive main tanks with plumbing ports (you can’t add ports to your typical large, inexpensive aquarium, as they are inevitably built with tempered glass), and are mounted underneath the main aquarium where they require bending over to service. Both of these issues go away with this design. You can use any non-ported aquarium as your main tank, so that $500, 75-gallon aquarium with stand from Petsmart you’ve been eying is just fine, and the sump is above the tank, perhaps on a floor above, where you can actually get at it and maintain it.

Here’s my design. You are most welcome to use it.
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Review: Manfrotto 322RC2 Horizontal Grip Action Ball Head

rc2
The 322RC2 Ball Head and rapid connect plate,used in combination with a decent set of tripod legs (for example, Bogen Manfrotto 190XPROB) are a profound step up from the all-in-one tripods you may be used to. Even more importantly, they are a step up from most other ball heads by virtue of the immense improvement in both speed and ease of aiming your camera once actually mounted to the ball head. I can’t emphasize this enough: This product actually changes how you use your camera, because repositioning the camera on all axis at once is a one hand, fraction of a second operation.

I know that’s hard to visualize, so let me describe the process. The head has a handle sticking out the side, quite substantial and comfortable, that fits in your hand (right or left, your choice.) On this handle is a very large “trigger” that fits beneath all of your fingers as they wrap around the handle. When you pull this trigger, the ball head releases your camera and you can move it, using the handle as a precise and ergonomic lever, to any new position you like in no more time than it takes to adjust your wrist and arm – essentially immediately. Then you simply let go of the trigger and the ball head locks the camera right where you have it pointed.

The process I just described applies equally to large pans and tilts as it does to tiny pointing adjustments. If you find that difficult to believe, I’m with you – so did I – but having used the head extensively, trust me, it really works as advertised.
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