Frequently Asked Questions
Do you rent viewers?
Yes! We offer short term rentals of our viewers. We do rent units for photo shoots, movies and TV shows.
All that is required is a short 1 page rental agreement, and pre-payment for the rental and shipping both ways. Prices are $400 / week for each per unit, with a minimum one a week rental plus shipping both ways.
Please email us your request for a short term rental firstname.lastname@example.org
Where’s the best spot for a viewer?
What do you need to know if you’re considering placing coin-operated viewers on your site:
First, find out the pedestrian traffic flow to the site. Then find out the pedestrian traffic past the place you want to put the viewer. These two numbers may be the same but they are often not the same and the latter is the one that matters. Secondly, do not assume the best view is where you’ll take in most revenue.
You’ll take in the most revenue where the most pedestrian traffic passes in close proximity to the viewer.
You need a view but not necessarily the best view. As an example: if tour buses regularly unload unto a plaza with a view, but the passengers only stay at one close end of the plaza, then don’t put the viewer at the other end of the plaza just because you think it has a better view-not if maximizing revenue is your goal.
Viewers are impulse items and they need to be convenient. As an example: people may well walk out to the end of the pier but they do not walk there because a viewer is out at the end of the pier. Having a viewer there may be an added feature but viewers will not be the cause of the draw out to the end of the pier.
Don’t make that mistake. If very few walk out to the pier just putting viewers out there will do little to increase that foot traffic.
Thirdly make sure the machine is relatively secure. If the site locks up at night you should be fine; but you should be concerned if viewers are left alone in the dark all night and vandals can spend unlimited time at them. I personally avoid any site-even ones that look like winners –if villains can drive up to the machine at night.
Lastly, be prepared to move the viewing machine. Placing viewfinders is a lot like fishing. You may have to try different spots and you’ll be surprised sometimes 20 feet can make a difference- because of pedestrian traffic flows.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many products does Hi-Spy Viewing Machines make?
A: There are a lot of models. We make non-coin and coin viewfinders in both binocular and telescope models in different magnifications. We make coin and non-coin wheelchair-accessible (ADA compliant) models as well. In addition we make specialty models such as machines with “donation”(“Donated by…”) or “memorial” (“In memory of…”) features and we will customize machine heights on request. And we now make wall-mounted units in coin and non-coin for those who do not want a base and have a wall or suitable railing. In 2011 we introduced a new dual model with two heads, one at wheel chair height.
Q: Do you customize machines?
A: Yes we do. We make customized heights. For childrens’ museums we have made 9″-14″ shorter tubes. We also make “donation” machines which have no shutter and therefore a free view but also have a donation slot and plaque to encourage donation. And we are happy to add a memorial plaque (brass) to any machine in honour of a person or sponsor.
Q: Will you consider special requests?
A: Yes. We have done special projects for people every year and we will not say we can do it unless we can.
A: Hi-Spy viewers only use manual focus. It is clearly the better choice.
And for a very straightforward reason. Auto-focus binoculars use one less lens in the internal optics and substitute it, in effect, with the lens in your own eye. And everyone’s eyes are different. If everyone had 20/20 vision that would be one thing but everyone does not. In tests here, we found three out of four users could not get as clear an image using an auto-focus binocular as they could with a manual-focus binocular. In fact, some could not get a clear image at all.
A manual focus, though more costly, allows each user to fine-tune the focus to their own vision.
Q: What coins can we specify?
A: It’s up to you. In mechanical acceptance, acceptors for over 60 countries are in stock and if your coin is not-in-stock it can be adapted for a small charge. If we need samples we always request six (6) of your coins for our engineers to produce a custom coin acceptor.
Q: Can an acceptor take two coins?
A: Yes if you specify. But not two different coins – they must be the same.
Q: Is there an audit feature?
A: Yes. Our new coin units are equipped with a digital audit for tracking.
Q: How are your machines better than other viewing machines?
Q. How long is delivery?
Q: Do your machines use batteries?
A: Our non-coin machines have no batteries. Our coin models require batteries for the shutter servo motor only. These are 4 AA cells. Expect them to last 12 months at an average site. They are easier to change than flashlight batteries.