March 18, 2015

Desmond CAB-1 Cable Anchor Clamp Review

Desmond CAB-1 Cable Anchor Clamp
Are you shooting in tethered mode frequently?
Having two or three cables hanging out from the side of your camera?
Well I always do, when I shoot in house, all the product "studio" sessions are shot tethered.
This involves a USB cable, an AC to DC coupler cable and sometimes a Wireless Remote cable.

Trust me, the most frustrating part comes when once a while I accidentally step on one of the cables, and connection with the PC is lost due to an unplugged cable.

Needless to mention that apart from having to start some procedures over, there is always the potential damage of the camera connectors due to the strain caused by the hardly pulled-off plug.

The Cable Anchor

Manufacturer Specification:
Width :15 mm (0.59")
Height:35 mm (1.38")
Total Height w/ knob:50 mm (1.97")
Length:48 mm (1.89")
Total Length w/ knob:63 mm (2.48")
Weight:44 gr (1.55 oz)
Material:CNC Machined Aluminium

Desmond CAB-1 and similar cable anchors come to rescue, since via a clamp and a cable bar they secure the cables (USB, HDMI, etc) attached on the camera side on a L Plate or Bracket featuring an Arca-Swiss® compatible dovetail.

Desmond CAB-1 Cable Anchor Clamp Side I
The Desmond CAB-1 Cable Anchor is totally made of Aluminium. All parts including the knobs are CNC machined with the exception of the screws and the metal rod which are made of stainless steel. The concept is simple based on a Π part ending into two small jaws that are meant to clamp on an Arca style dovetail via a screw knob which squeezes the two opposing legs together. The metal rod controls the width acting as a stopper.
Desmond CAB-1 Cable Anchor Clamp Side II
The top cable bar has five zigzag indents in different widths and depths in order to secure different cable diameters through the pressure exercised by the second screw knob on top.
The screw knobs have a lot of drive but are not captive so caution should be taken when loosening in order to avoid accidental drop in the field where they might get lost.

Using on a Camera L Plate

Desmond DAL-02 Universal L-Bracket on Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i
The Desmond CAB-1 best fits on a Camera equipped with an L bracket like the Desmond DAL-02 Universal Modular L Plate ( Review ) illustrated above attached on the medium sized Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i. The L-Bracket is shifted away from the camera side in order to allow for tethered shooting with larger plug cables (Mic, USB, HDMI etc).
For the record, the whole setup is clamped on the Desmond DBH Tension Control head.
Desmond DAC-1 installation sequence on DAL-02 Universal L-Bracket
As we can see in the sequence above, the addition of the Desmond CAB-1 on the vertical side plate of the L-bracket, offers an anchor point for the Remote Release and USB cables depriving them from accidentally getting unplugged during a session.
Desmond DAC-1 clamped on DAL-02 Universal L-Bracket w/ cables closeup
A closeup shot above shows how the cables are held by the cable bar so even if the cables are stressed or stepped on, the CAB-1 will sustain all the strain and protect the camera connectors from damage.
In the same manner for shooting in portrait orientation the CAB-1 cable anchor may alternatively be attached on the then free base plate instead.
Another issue that becomes obvious from the above closeup is that the CAB-1 metal rod is positioned very close to the clamp jaws. Therefore, in order to slide the Cable Anchor in the dovetail of either plate of  the L-Bracket any existing safety stop screws have to be removed first and reinstalled afterwards. Unless of course the L-Bracket has a cable opening like the Desmond DAL-2 above or like most L-Brackets customised for Canon EOS cameras where the Cable Anchor may be slid in through the opening. No matter if it sounds troublesome, to remove and reinsall safety scews, their existence will prevent also the Cable Anchor from slipping off the rail if its clamp is accidentally loosened.

High quality 100% CNC machined Aluminium structure.
Slim and lightweight.
Universal fitting.

None captive knobs require attention not to be loosened too much and get lost in the field.
Requires removal of safety stop screws for installation (unless rail has cable opening).

A nice and handy accessory which may keep your cables tidy and you camera connectors safe when shooting in tethered mode. Considering the very low price tag, it is a must have with excellent value for money.

Note: The CAB-1 Cable Anchor Clamp presented in this article was kindly offered by Desmond Photographic Distribution, USA,  for evaluation and review. It is a pre-production sample, therefore there might be some minor optical differences from the current production units.

I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos: © 2015 S.C.Vlachos

Price & Availability:
Current price for the Desmond CAB-1 is US$ 14.95 11.95 (+Shipping where applicable) and is available from Amazon or from eBay.

Referenced Articles:

Desmond DAL-02 Universal Modular L Plate Review

Desmond DBH Tension Control Ball Head Review

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