Rapid Release System & Bino Tower

Rapid Release System (RRS) Overview

Rapid Release System (RRS)

The KDC RRS Family is designed with N0G (Near-Zero-Gravity) technology. The RRS Family consists of

  1. RRS Shoe and Foot
  2. RRS Bino Tower with Dovetail Bino Stud
  3. RRS Optics Balance Adjuster (OBA).

RRS Shoe

The RRS Shoe is designed to allow rapid mating of the RRS Foot, OBA, or Bino Tower. The bottom of the RRS Shoe has a 1/4X20TPI female thread. This thread is the industry standard for optic attachment. The bottom of the RRS Show is skeletonized for weight reduction, resulting in an N0G weight of .48 of an ounce or 13.6 grams. The RRS Foot can be attached to the 3L-V2 Tripod conversion, the Granite Peak tripods or most other brands of tripods.

There is a stop screw on top of the RRS Shoe that prevents the RRS Foot, or RRS Bino tower from sliding through the RRS Shoe, and assures proper alignment. The stop screw has two positions as the accompaning graphic illustrates. This allows the thumb screw to be used from either the left or right side of the tripod. The thumb screw has a limited travel range to prevent total removal and possible loss, as well as fast clamping (see graphic).

The RRS clamping system is based on a modified Weaver Scope style dovetail design.

Bottom view of RRS ShoeRRS Shoe
illustrating stop screw placement
RSS Foot
OBA adjustability using RSS Shoe or the 1/4X20 female threads

RRS Optics Balance Adjuster (OBA)

6-12 Tip Problem

The OBA solves one of the most frustrating problems with optics on a tripod. We call this the 6-12 problem. If the optic client (camera, spotting scope, binoculars), are attached to the tripod such that the mount plane is not coincident with the balance plane, the optics will be either front heavy or back heavy. If the optic client is front heavy, the moment the operator removes their hand from the tripod/optic combo, the front of the optics will tip down and the back tip up resulting in the target normally in the center of the field of view moving to the 12 o'clock position. Many times totally outside of the field of view. If the opposite is true and the weight distribution is such that the front is light and the back is heavy, then the target normally in the center of the field of view will move to the 6 o'clock position. To compensate for this problem, you have to pan and search, not in the center but near the top or bottom (6-12 positions) knowing that when your hand support is removed, the target hopefully will move to the center (if you are lucky).

On one end of the OBA there is a threaded 1/4X20 male screw. This is screwed into the bottom of your optics, be that a DSLR, spotting scope, or binoculars. The OBA has seven 1/4X20 threaded female holes that allows shifting forward/backward until the balance plane is perfect at the apex of the tripod. The OBA comes in two verisons, one where male screw has a knurled thumbwheel, and another where the male screw is flush. The pictures to the right show the two options. For most applications, the knurled thumbwheel is preferred. However the flush version is nice for the bottom of a DSLR so that the camera will sit flat and level on the ground or a table.
RRS OBA Knurled ThumbscrewRRS OBA Flush Screw
small image showing
Lincoln Penny Slot

The OBA also sports the same male dovetail configuration as the RSS foot does. Used in combinations with the RSS shoe, you will enjoy rapid attachment/detachment of your optics, with fine control of balance.

The OBA effectively ends the 6-12 problem

RRS Binoculars Tower

Binoculars that sport powers 10X and above are near impossible to hand hold for extend viewing. To get your best return on investment with these high powered binoculars, you need to mount them to a tripod. That is where the V2-SnipePod/3L combo or Granite Peak tripod plays a role, ultralight, and steady. Furthermore, many of our customers are moving to high power, large objective binoculars. Switching to a 12X-15x power with 50mm-60mm objectives is a common trend.

I recently spoke with customer at the WSF convention who packs a 15X56 SLC Swarovski with dual doublers (30X!). The case he made was sound. Less light or exit pupil per eye when compared to a big spotting scope, but multiply the exit pupils by two for two eyes. Your brain gets two shafts of light!. Incredible 30X dual light power for mid day, and remove the doublers for low light. Obviously, there was no need for a spotting scope, saving space and weight.

The KDC RRS Bino Tower is designed for easy attachment of any binoculars that have a 1/4X20 female thread on the front hinge pin. This is the preferred mount designs of most binoculars manufactured in the far east (Japan, China, Philippines), plus the Swarovski SLC, Minox lineup, and Brunton. There usually is some type of cosmetic plug hiding the 1/4X20 on these binoculars. Then it is a simple process of screwing the KDC dovetail stud into the front of the hinge, and tighten with the 4X40 set screw.

Next, dropping the binoculars into the RSS Bino Tower, pull up on the cam lever, and enjoy the views!

Watch for specific solutions to address the Swarovski EL, Zeiss and Leica lineups in the near future.

Use of the OBA is highly recommended, as it is rare that binoculars/RRS Tower combinations are properly balanced.

Bino Dovetail Stud
installation sequence
Closeup of 1/4X20
bino dovetail stud
6-12 problem and OBA solution on
faux 12X50 bino
Field installtion of Bino TowerBottom of Bino Tower
illustrating 1/4X20 female
threads for universal tripod install
Closeup action of
Bino tower cam lock

RRS Swarovski EL Binocular Mount

The popular Swarovski EL binos do not have the female 1/4X20 thread of the front hinge. KDC has developed the proper tools to replace the front hinge pin on EL binos with a duplicate hinge pin that integrates the mount design to mate with our RRS Bino Tower. This hinge pin replacement can only be preformed at our manufacturing facilities. Replacing the Swarovski hinge with the RRS-EL make no changes to the collimation of the ELs or changes any other performance factors.

EL 8X32 with RRS-EL mountEL attached to RRS Bino Tower

The design of the RRS-EL hinge pin places the bino tower 180 degrees opposite of the more typicaly 1/4X20 mount location. The EL's have ample space between the front and rear hinge locations to accomodate this position. The dual hinge design of the ELs places the RRS-Bino Tower close to the objective lenses at the front of the ELs. This introduces a significant bino-to-tripod imbalance. This imbalance is easily rectified by using the RRS-OBA as the following table illustrates.

Typical tripod attachment location
with weight distributed towards ocular end
EL with weight shifted properly via RRS-OBAEL perfectly balanced on Granite Peak Tripod