Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/01/23

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: M motor drive/Abrahamsson Rapidwinder
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 18:17:57 -0500

In a message dated 1/23/2003 5:12:35 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> Where do you find a "RapidWinder 2"?  I looked at Tom's web site, and there
> is not one listed that I could find...  There is an M2 
> RapidWinder...
> Austin
The Rapidwinder II is the same as a  M6 Rapidwinder for the user. The difference is that I now have the inside cover-plate machined from the same alloy as the outside housing. The older style Rapidwinder has an inside plate made from brass and did require that I soldered on the “ridge” and also it had to be painted. Brass does not like being painted! Whatever paint you use it will ultimately chip or flake with use (think of old M2’s and M3’s in black paint). The alloy inside plate allows me to have it anodized in a matte black finish as well as “anchoring” it to the base with stainless steel screws. In its latest incarnation, the stainless steel “stop” for the locking disc has been omitted and is now an integrated machined “boss” that stops the disc in its correct position. The beauty of CNC machining is that the machining center will produce 100’s of identical pieces to a tolerance level that would be difficult to achieve by “human touch”. Unfortunately running costs on CNC machines are high so the saving in assembly time is more or less absorbed by the higher cost of machining and material. Brass is cheap and high end aero-space alloy is expensive!
 The reason for the change in designation is so that I will know which type of winder it is, if I would have to supply a part for it. It is still very much a user friendly product when it comes to servicing or fixing it.
 There is still a fair bit of labor involved in making a Rapidwinder and so far, no machine exists that can tell me what it feels like on a camera. Every winder is tested with film before it is shipped.
The web-site is outdated, but we are working on upgrading it and that will show the Rapidwinder II, as well as the “BarnackWinder” (Rapidwinder for Leica IIIc/f/g and the M2 Rapidwinder will be removed as a current product. I am just finishing off the last few of those. As a matter of fact I am going outside to shoot a couple of rolls with two M2 Rapidwinders right now – it stopped raining and the beach beckons.
All the best,
Tom A
Tom Abrahamsson

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