I had a chance to play with a new toy while I was in PNG...quad ball adapters, a product that a company in California called Xit 404 makes.
The concept behind this neat little gadget is simple. The adapter gives you the ability to attach up to four ball joints to any place where you can secure a standard T-plate mount.
Here, I've attached one of the adapters to a T-plate on a housing grip, and then hooked up four ball joints to the adapter:
Close-up view of quad ball adapter with four balls
Though it's certainly possible to use four balls at one time, in practice, I only used two on either side of my housing.
I attached strobe arms to one ball joint, and used the remaining one on either side as a means to clamp down bits and pieces (light modifiers and such) in a secure manner...in effect, using the spare ball joints as extra hands to hold onto stuff I thought I might need (i.e., allowing me to carry even more junk than normal).
The extra ball joints also came in handy when I wanted to carry both strobes and constant lighting sources at the same time, such as when I wanted to have a focus light for shooting Dinah's gobies, or when I thought it would be useful to have the flexibility of switching between taking still images and video footage.
I'm a big fan of simple, effective solutions like this.
If you find yourself wanting to carry lots of stuff down on a dive and/ or needing to have a range of lighting options, the quad ball adapter is worth checking out.
This is a bit of an extreme scenario,
but it's possible to attach four arms via a quad ball adapter
Disclosure: The quad ball adapters I tested were provided by Xit 404.