does it matter what my tripod connector plate at home is like (granted it's a non-prop $100 type one) that I barely use... or are the clamps usuable with many tripod mounts?
You need a clamp that's compatible with your tripod quick release plate(s). If that plate is an Arca-Swiss type (which are used with ballheads from Acratech, Arca-Swiss, Kirk, Markins, Really Right Stuff, and Wimberley, among others), then any Arca-Swiss type clamp would work. In that case, I'd go with the Kirk QRC-1 or the RRS B2-FAB-F. RRS gear is only available directly through them, Kirk distributes through B&H, Adorama, etc.
What sort of head do you have on your tripod?
I have a local camera store brand tripod made by Velbon. It is a copy of a "Sherpa" model tripod. B&H has the plate sold under QB-157. Not sure if that helps I can try and send photos. I am not sure if I should wait until I upgrade to A better tripod either ...