J-Mate in the Field

Shawn Billings

Shawn Billings
I've been testing the J-Mate on a conventional tripod since receiving it, but today I assembled the pieces for the J-Mate to mount to the J-Pod to test its stability. The improved J-Pod proved to be sufficiently stable for the J-Mate and Triumph-LS. It is also much more compact and lighter in weight than a conventional tripod.

The J-Mate with the Triumph-LS on top mounted to the improved J-Pod. The major changes are in the leg yokes (which are tapped for screws) and a plate that mounts to the top to accept a tribrach. The servos turn the J-Mate quickly, but do not produce enough torque to displace the J-Pod.

LS, J-Mate, J-Pod 2.jpg

The LS can rest on top of the J-Mate (or not when running remotely). The J-Mate locks to a standard tribrach and a new plate is added to the J-Pod with a 5/8"x11 thread for the tribrach to screw down on.

LS, J-Mate and Tribrach.jpg

The screws on the legs at the leg bracket take the play out of the legs, virtually eliminating side play in the J-Pod.

Leg Bracket and Screws.jpg

This configuration should work out to produce a very portable system compared to other approaches on the market. Soon, I'll attempt to figure out how to pack all of this in the J-Pack.
Shawn, thanks for the pictures and report!

A thought and a few questions:
That tribrach looks way out of place in this setup. What I mean is that it looks way too conventional (not Javad at all) and unnecessary, especially with the tilt sensors on the J-Mate. The J-Pod's level should be more than enough to level the J-Mate up, correct? Is the tribrach "puck" a permanent fixture on the bottom of the J-Mate? I would suggest eliminating the tribrach all together if possible, making it even lighter and more portable. Just have a 5/8"x11 female thread on the bottom of the J-Mate so it could be put on a tripod (or tribrach with puck) if someone didn't want to use the J-Pod and wanted to use tripods instead. (But who really wants to lug tripods around???)

What do you think? Sometimes less is more, doesn't it seem like the tribrach is unnecessary? Hard for me to say though, I don't have one in front of me.