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The main knob on my Q3 locked up earlier this week, while I was on a trip (no I have not immersed the ball head in water salt or otherwise). The minimum tension knob was set correctly for my camera and the main knob was not too tight. When flipping the orientation of the camera on the L-bracket the tension seemed to release and the ball started to rotate. The ball is not completely relaxed however as their is still tension, just not nearly enough to keep the camera in place (well below what I had set for the minimum tension). Additionally the main knob, and tension knob are now both absolutely jammed.
Anyway, I stumbled on this topic before writing to Markins, so I wanted to share their response:
Based on your description, it is most likely that the main knob is turned counterclockwise too far and firmly engaged with micro knob for tension adjustment.
The solution is to rotate the main knob clockwise to disengage the contact at the micro knob and main knob.
It need quite a large torque(force) to rotate the main knob, wearing a rubberized grove would help to apply more torque.
And when applying force to rotate(clockwise), apply with a sudden impact(impulsive rotation) would also help.
Or sometimes it's better to ask someone with more power.
Hope this solves your issue.
Looks like I'm not going to try a complete tear down, I'd be interested if anyone has any pointers!