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DearWebby is actually Helmut Morscher, the CEO of Webby, inc.

Originally the "Tech Support Pits" were reports of the funniest tech support incidents, but over the years the column gradually shifted to answering tech support questions put forward by the readers of the Dear Webby Humor Letter.

This collection of computer and web advice was started partly because readers demanded an archive, and partly because some questions were asked again and again. Each page has a different day's Tech Support Pits column.

Have FUN!
DearWebby
   
Tech Support Pits column from Dear Webby's Humor Letter of
04/10/04: Downward tripod

Tech Support Pits:
From Leo=== Dear Webby, This question is not really web related, but since you answer questions about digital cameras,... is there a gadget for adapting a tripod to take pictures downward, and that don't cost more than the camera ? Dear Leo Just take a piece of flat aluminum bar about the size of a ruler and shorten it so that it will fit into your camera bag or carry-on case. Drill a 1/4 inch (5.5 mm) hole about 2 inches (5cm) from each end. Clamp one end for about the length of the camera into a vise, or with a clamp onto a table, or between a door and the door jamb near a hinge. Then grab the bar about a third from the other end with a crescent wrench, vise-grip or pipe wrench, and gently twist it until the two ends are at 90 degrees. Twist, don't bend the bar! If one end is clamped to the table, the other end should be straight up and down. In case you scratched up the bar with rough tools, sand out all scratches and knicks, then polish the bar nice and smooth.Round the edges at the ends. An upside down floor polisher works great for polishing, but you can do a fairly nice job with a steel wool scouring pad. Make it look as professional as possible, because airport security will be quite suspicious. It doesn't hurt at all to print a fancy logo and instructions onto an address label and sticking that label onto the bar. Then get a chromed 1/4 inch by 20 wing nut and a 1/4" x 20 x 1" long wing bolt and a bunch of 1/4" washers. The wingnut is used to hold one end of the bar to the camera mount bolt on the tripod. The wing bolt is used to attach the camera to the bar. NEVER saw off that bolt unless you are a journeyman machinist. The threaded hole in the camera is in very soft aluminum, barely harder than jello, and a less than perfect bolt end will do permanent damage. Use enough washers on the side away from the camera so that the bolt does not quite bottom out in the camera. Once you have determined the exactly right number of washers, epoxy them to the bar so that you don't lose them. Don't try to use metric equivalents for the wing nut or the wing bolt. Cameras mounts are standardized on 1/4" x 20 threads per inch. Have FUN Dear Webby
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