Taming long strobe arms out of the water:

The orange dots are bead-to-loop connections.

  • what you'll need:
    • Three 20mm beads with 3mm hole (check ebay)
    • 10 feet (3 meters) of 3mm dacron accessory cord
    • matches or a lighter to seal the ends of the cord
    • total material cost less than $10.00
  • assembly instructions:
    • start by wrapping one end of the 3mm line tightly with scotch tape and cutting the line through the tape (result: a clean non-fraying end that you can thread beads on)
    • if the beads cannot be threaded on the line, you'll have to run a drill through the hole to enlarge it (I used a 5/32" drill bit and clamped the bead in a vice to do this.)
    • thread all three beads on the 3mm line
    • bead section
      • tie an Osterman's Stopper knot at the end of the line
      • slide one bead to the stopper knot
      • measure 10" from the base of the bead along the line
      • wrap the point you want to with scotch tape
      • cut at 10" through the tape
      • tie a bowline on that 10" tag end
      • repeat two more times
    • loop section
      • measure 10 to 12" of line
      • wrap the point you want to cut with scotch tape
      • cut at your mark through the tape
      • tie a sheet bend to form a loop
      • repeat two more times
    • light a candle and heat seal all the ends to prevent fraying
    • installing
      • one bead section and one loop section for each of the three points noted above.
      • lay the loop across the part you want to attach it to
      • thread the other end through the loop
      • pull tight (you just tied a Lark's Head knot)
  • Questions you might have:
    • Why use three bead-to-loop connections when one at the top looks like it would work?
      Answer: the outside arm segments could still swing if you grab anywhere except the top corner of the triangle.
    • Why not use only the two lower bead-to-loop connections?
      Answer: the third buckle at the top locks the arms and camera tray in to a rigid triangle so it won't move no matter what point you grab it on.

Bead to loop connection: