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Involved and Committed

Posted by Tom Benedict on 28/04/2010

Back when I worked for IBM, we had a second-level manager who liked to walk around with his hands on his hips and give orders that started with “I want you to commit to me that…”  It was during this time that I developed my philosophy regarding involvement in a project and commitment to a project:  In a ham and eggs breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.  Needless to say I rarely told him I would commit to something, considering his own level of buy-in was typically as a chicken.  I no longer work at IBM.

But the analogy holds true, and is applicable in most aspects of my life.  Take the KAP rig modifications I’m doing.  I was able to back out a number of changes I’d made to my rig over the years.  I had involved my KAP rig in those changes, but I hadn’t committed it to them.  Even when building the HoVer parts for my rig, there was a clear point when I would switch from being involved to being committed to this modification.  That moment came last night.

Toward dinner I finished making the hub that goes at the end of the HoVer axle.  0.875″ diameter, 0.300″ thick 6061 aluminum with four #4-40 threaded holes set on a square pattern 0.440″ on a side.  (I guess I have a thing for fours.)  The hub threads on and locks with a set screw, so there’s little chance of it just slipping off, even if the set screw comes loose.  Involved.

I drilled the matching pattern in my existing tilt bracket, counter-sunk the holes, and found screws to match.  Still just involved.  It’s when I sawed off the ears that attach the tilt bracket to the tilt servo that I really committed to this modification.

Leap of Faith

Ok, ok, to be fair I can still go back and order a replacement tilt frame and revert the rig to its earlier configuration.  But for what I have on hand there’s no going back.  The ears are chopped off, the bracket was milled flush and filed clean, and from this moment forth my KAP rig includes a HoVer axis.  >gulp!<

But along with the hammering heartbeat came a certain sense of satisfaction.  The modification worked.  The bracket had plenty of clearance on all sides, and by tonight I should have my rig back together and ready to roll.  When I head out to do photography this coming weekend, I’ll be able to shoot single-stripe panoramas with the camera held vertically, and in the same flight switch the camera to horizontal to do single shot exposures.  It’s a huge step forward.  And it came together as smoothly as I could’ve asked.

Now I’m committed.



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