Cheaper Accessory Quick Release Adapter

In a previous post, I was looking for feedback on a decent quick release adapter for accessories. There were only a few options, but the better options were easily over the $50 dollar mark. Here i've decided to order the Mag system from Trek Tech. The base has a standard 1/4-20 thread and sits flat (flush) on any base. The mounting plate (attaches to your accessory) is available in different densities so that you can have a fairly strong bond, or one that is incredibly strong. Another type of adapter they offer is the Ball Head MagMount Star with safety latch. They even offer a much larger 'Pro' version of this anti-rotation toothed Ball Head MagMount with safety latch for heavier payloads (not shown in video).

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Trek Tech MagMount Star

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Trek Tech MagMount Star - Pro

Before we start diving in, I know a few people will ask about how safe magnets are around digital equipment. I've looked in to this and they don't have the same effect on LCD screens and flash media storage. Old CRT monitors used a magnetic field which could be interrupted with a simple magnet. LCD screens don't work that way. Compact flash and Smart Media cards (solid state) also are not affected by magnets like this. It's a very safe system. Especially once you've mounted the plates to the base, the magnetic field is almost completely blocked. The ball head adapter even comes with it's own cover so that the safety latch isn't left swinging around when not in use. Comments and feedback are still open if you find something better as a QR system for small accessories.

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Light weight mount, Heavy weight mount, Ball Head Star MagMount

I'm extremely impressed with the size, strength, and build on these little adapters. It's about the size of a quarter and of course all solid metal. I'll definitely be adding more to my rigs for times when I need to build, reconfigure, or break down quickly. Considering the options for the smallest quick release systems available for accessories, this is the one i've found to be the best bang for the buck. Here's the kicker though, which i'm still trying to get more information on. The smaller kit seen below (comes with quarter size base + 1 light duty plate + 1 heavy duty plate) are no longer listed on the Trek Tech website. The Ball Head style mounts are still available, but some of the older items are listed as discontinued. No record if the small kit will still be in production. I've put in a few more orders for myself as I've found these to be the the smallest, fastest, and most convenient QRs I could find. I was able to contact a few eBay sellers that says they have quite a few of the 'Complete Kit' available right now following the link (click here).

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find-price-button Trek Tech Mag System Quick Release Base Mount Adapter



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16 thoughts on “Cheaper Accessory Quick Release Adapter

  1. With the light force adaptor and the Z96 light (with no batteries, not even AAs) comes off SOOO easily for me. A single light shake and the light comes flying off my rig (into my soft mattress). =/ Not sure why your light force and heavy force magnets seem to be much stronger.

  2. @Emm - I suppose it's the extra weight of the HUGE Sony battery attached to the Z96 that makes it easy to come off even with the heavy force magnet.

    The Zoom H4n with heavy force magnet also fell off with some shaking (harder than you showed in your video, but not something unreasonably violent in run and gun event situations).

    I wasn't able to pry the magnets apart by hand without them attached to my rig either, but when attached to my rig, some medium strength shaking was enough to shake the magnets loose :( I'll have to be careful. I'm thinking I need to go with the PRO version to be safe or at least the non-pro one with safety clamp.

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Peter - Hard to imagine that possible not to hold the Zoom or Z96 LED light. My magnets nearly broke the plastic off the bottom, so I needed to switch to the light duty mounts.

  4. I was looking forward to this product a lot. Sadly, I just received a set of these today. Within seconds, my SmallHD monitor using the heavy force magnet crashed to the ground, chipping the paint off of my $500 dining table legs, the SmallHD itself, the Trek Force magnet, and the SmallHD mini ball head. It was a two foot fall. These are not strong magnets at all.

    Then I carefully tested (over a sofa this time) if it could hold the weight of an H4N and a F&V Z96 light with Sony NP970 battery. Could not hold the weight of either well. It holds fine for light shakes, but any medium force shaking or bumps and your accessory will crash to the ground.

    I thought the tutorial video shaking seemed violent enough while still holding onto the accessory, but I guess with some heavier shaking, it will fall off.

    I honestly wasn't shaking it that hard, just with a medium force, similar to some bumps I've encountered shooting weddings.

    I wouldn't trust these at events...you have to be EXTREMELY careful. My heart would fear things breaking every minute...not sure this product instills a lot of confidence. Perhaps the one with the safety latch will fare better if the latches doesn't break straight off with some medium to heavier shaking.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Phil - You could probably remove the plastic neck and replace it with a strong ball head. It won't be pretty, but you could add a 1/4-20 coupler held in place with some Steel Putty (epoxy). Then you can screw any 1/4-20 hot shoe or ball head under it. You probably see this stuff in your local Auto store: Epoxy Steel Putty. It's easy to mold, holds strong, can be sanded and painted if needed.

  6. @Emm

    I have the 160 LED light from eBay and the plastic mount to attach to the hot shoe has broken. I was interested in these magnets in your article/video, but I don't think they will work with my application.

    Do you have any suggestions on replacement (hopefully metal or magnetic) for the plastic mount?

  7. Patrick, I used to use the ballhead with my H4N, unfortunately the battery cover is just too close to the 1/4" mount. You have to remove the plate to remove the battery cover.

  8. Amy Barrett

    I think this could be a great DIY project. You can buy Rare earth Magnets this size pretty cheap. You just need some thumb screw things. You can go magnet to magnet. They are the same thing. I bought 25 magnets for $5.

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @DigitalCyclops - I don't suggest forcing magnets on anything, but today's hard drives actually have magnets inside too. Most magnets you'll find (even large speaker magnets) don't affect todays hard drives like they did in the past. Of course, there's never any guarantees, but I feel pretty safe throwing this in my bag of stuff including next to my external hard drives. For additional peace of mind, once you put the plate on to the base, the magnetic field is nearly extinguished (doesn't pass through). Oh but magnets could do some thangs with your credit cards...

  10. Very cool. I've been looking at those 16x9 connectors, but could not justify the price.

    Just a word of warning folks, keep em away from hard drives though. Solid State memory is all good, but magnetic media is a nono.

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @Madeline - Thanks for the info. Sounds like the magnet part still holds strong in your case. I'm definitely sold on the smaller base design and think it would work better using the heavy duty mount under my Giottos ball heads (like in the video).

  12. I have a Trek Tek magmount star ballhead and I have to say over the long term it's no good. Mine lost it's ball joint locking strength after about 9 months of use. My monitor kept slipping so I stopped using it. Definitely check out the pro if you like the system, it's an interesting design.

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