Wednesday, June 19, 2013

When Did These Quick Release Push Button Pins Get So Expensive?

For a number of years, ScopeRoller has sold a product that we call the Quick Release Toesaver; it replaces a stop that goes on the end of the declination axis for German-style equatorial mounts.  The advantage that our product provides is that it is very quick to remove and reinstall when taking the counterweights off the declination axis.  Here is what the version for the Losmandy GM8 mount looks like, installed:

(Corvette not included.)

Anyway, you will notice that it uses a push button quick release ball lock pin.  You have to press the button to pull the pin out -- and the force required to remove that pin otherwise is absurd -- like 8200 pounds.  It is not going to happen by accident.

These pins are patented, and they aren't cheap.  The last time I bought some was at least four years ago, and even in quantity, they cost almost $9 each.  I just shipped the last in stock Quick Release Toesaver today, and I found myself looking to buy more of the pins.  Zounds, have they become expensive!  Like $28 each!  To make a profit would drive the cost up to a level that there would be few sales.  I am thinking of switching to the much less expensive faspins, which look like this:

This would be substantially cheaper, and I could even perhaps knock down the product price a little bit.  I suspect that for the vast majority of customers, this would work well enough.  I suppose that I will have to get a couple of these locally to experiment with, and then make a decision.


  1. Try <a href=">West Marine</a>.


  2. Hunt around a bit, this place has a slightly different type at about the $9 range with shipping (the shipping listed is NOT per item, if you buy in quantity it looks more reasonable!)

  3. I don't think the FastPins that JLW suggested are quite the thing for that case, since they appear to be held in merely by friction (or in their intended use, there might be force applied by the thing being fastened).

    But the same category there has these push-button quick releases.

    Even the 5/16 x 2.5" is only $13.49.