DIY Quick Fixes For Your Busted Letus Hawk

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For $400, ( Ok, B&H has them on special for $349 ) none of what I’m going to reveal next should be needed. The repairs I’ve done and problems I’ve had are to be expected from something at maybe 1/3 of the price where you can say ” well it was cheap, and the fix wasn’t bad, some I’m ok with it.”

When I first got the Letus Hawk LCD Viewfinder Loupe, the mounting holes stripped out. The inserts in the very sexy carbon fibre body are soft steel. My next replacement had ok inserts, but some weird blob, probably fungus developed on the inside of the lens. Ok, third time is a charm, right ? Well yes, for a while.

After a bit of use, the hex screws came loose. I tightened them, and one of them stripped out again. This time, I just wasn’t in the mood to exchange the unit again, even if it is covered under warranty. Instead I realized that since the bracket design was flawed, I needed to come up with a better idea. The fix was very simple, epoxy. Given that the body is carbon fibre, its made of either polyester or epoxy resin. Epoxy will stick to either very well, and I had some good quality epoxy that dried glossy black.

letus hawk DSLR viewfinder magnifier fix
letus hawk DSLR viewfinder magnifier fix with black epoxy

First I cleaned up the hood body by wiping it off with paint thinner, and letting that completely evaporate. Next I actually glued the rubber gasket on using ACC ( crazy glue ) by running the glue around the inside of the rubber bumper. I slipped the bumper onto the loupe body and this just isn’t going anywhere.

Next in the area where the metal bracket meets the loupe body, I sanded that area a bit to improve the bonding area.

I slid the loupe bracket into its socket on the camera, and made sure it was sitting the way its supposed to, and then placed the loupe itself on the LCD screen in proper alignment.

Finally I mixed up the epoxy, about a teaspoon’s worth, and applied on the area where the bracket mounts to the loupe body. The epoxy I had was very thick, and I applied a pretty small amount to just cover the immediate bonding area. Since I was working above the actual camera LCD screen I was being super careful about not dripping or squeezing out any epoxy onto the screen surface.

letus hawk dslr zacuto viewfinder
I then screwed in the two screws, each with some epoxy on their shafts. Even though one was stripped out, it still gave me some grab, and the steel pin glued in place doesn’t hurt anything.

With the remaining epoxy, I globbed it on and around the metal bracket and out onto the loupe body for additional bonding area. I also got epoxy into the screw slots in the bracket to again help with getting  the best bond I could. Epoxy does have body strength and I was just taking advantage of it.

I let it dry over night, and so far, so good. It looks like I’ll now have a solid dependable connection that isn’t letting go all the time. Sure its hard to design small reliable brackets likes this, but this is old ground in engineering. The answer is simple : hardened steel or stainless steel, not the cheap soft steel screws and inserts that are currently used. Also, if you haven’t yet stripped out your screws ( it takes 2-3 adjustments to do so in my experience ) you can add a #4 washer ( read really small ) between the screw and the bracket. This will stop the bracket from moving away from the camera when you tighten it the one or two times that you can.

So my word to Letus is : get some hardened stainless steel bolts and inserts, or just change the mount completely… please ! the great optics deserve a better mounting system.

How To DIY Fix Your Intuos 2 Wacom Pen Button in 30 Seconds

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I’ve got an Intuos 2 tablet that I “restored” a few years ago by getting a new pen surface for it, and some replacement pen nibs. While all of that works fine, the button on the pen simply falls out every ten minutes making using it far less then ideal, but hey it works. I finally got curious and frustrated enough to find a really really simple fix that has made the pen perfectly usable again, and the button hasn’t fallen out since !

Getting Your AMD / ATI GPU To Work In Premiere Pro CS6

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On thing that may of been missed by a lot of folks in the release of Premiere Pro CS6 – support for real time full res full frame effects by using OpenCL in Mercury Playback Engine. Almost everything thats done with CUDA on nVidia cards is also now being done as well in OpenCL on ATI / AMD GPU’s. Read more on adobe site for the details
A Little Hacking To Get Your GPU To Work
The list of supported GPU’s is short – just 2. However its pretty easy to get your own GPU to work provided it meets the major requirement ( at least for CUDA ) of at least 768mb of VRAM. The GPU in my 2010 iMac is a 5750 with 1G of VRAM. A slightly older GPU, but enough VRAM to give it a go. Here is how I did it.
1. Location the actual Premiere Pro application
2. right click on the Prem Pro icon and in the contextual menu select “Open Package Contents”
3. Open up the Contents folder
4. Right click on the file named opencl_supported_cards.txt and do Get Info on the file
5. At the bottom of the Get Info window click the lock icon, enter your admin password when asked
6. If Sharing and Permissions isn’t spun down, do so
7. Change to Read & Write
8. Close the Get Info window
9. Now open the opencl_supported_cards.txt file into TextEdit. You’ll see 2 cards list there.
10. Go to the OS X’s top left apple button menu and select About This Mac
11. In About This Mac hit the More Info Button.
12. On the first screen ( Overview ) you’ll see your GPU model. Drag the mouse cursor over the text so it selects, then hit Command C ( copy )
13. Back to text edit, go to the end of the last line. Hit enter, then paste the name of the GPU in.
14. Hit Save and then close the file
15. Start Up Prem Pro and enjoy hardware MPE on your ATI / AMD GPU

Fixing LION AFP File Sharing When it Won’t Connect

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On 2 machines I installed LION on, AFP file sharing quit working. I’d get the error there were too many connections to the machine, when in fact there were none. Even AFP saw their where no users. Google a few weeks ago turned up nothing. Today, paydirt !
Here is the solution :
In Lion Search for “AppleFilerServer.plist” – note that you can now once again search for system files in Lion, at least on my once machine.
In /Library/Preferences/com.apple.AppleFileServer.plist there were two keys, maxConnections and maxGuests, that were set to 0. Looked like this:
<key>maxConnections</key><integer>0</integer>
<key>maxGuests</key><integer>0</integer>
I changed the values to 10, and it seems to be working now.
Some how installing Lion is resetting these values, or installing a new file with them set to zero. The 10.7.1 update does not fix the problem, you have to fix it yourself.