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Old October 12th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #16
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

Taking your advice, I will respectfully ask for an update on this project and any decisions in hindsight that you might change with regard to construction.

I plan to build one of these, but was think about adding plumbers tape ( a mold-able steel strap) around the front and back to solidify the side tubes.

Thanks for the inspiration.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 10:34 PM   #17
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

Hi Joel, welcome and thanks for asking. Over 2 yrs later I'm still using mine without any problems, I travel in small planes to airshows and wouldn't be without it. I set the NTG-3 up inside the Blimp before we take off, so I'm ready to shoot asap.

What would I do differently? Well I'd make the main barrel 2.5 inches (6.35cms) longer, to better accommodate the accessories in the end compartments. My NTG-3 foam cover just fits. I didn't cover mine with dark colored vinyl, the idea was to dull it down so it wouldn't draw unwanted attention if I left it by the plane. So far no problems people keep away, one guy thought it might be a short barrel Bazooka!

The end caps are designed to be glued on permanently in situ and I thought mine become loose through use but this hasn't happened. I was concerend about the total loaded weight because of the airplane and the gear to carry around but it is what it is. Don't use anything but Locktite 406 to glue this type of PVC pipe.

IMO the first thing to do is visit your local plumbers supply outlet to see what's available .. in Denver you might have some other pipes to consider, maybe darker colored ones? Don't get gloss painted, it'll chip off.

At the sales counter they might be able to go on line and you can show them this thread and see what they say. I'd do this at a quiet time for them, my guess is they'll think it's a hoot and a novelty and for them it is.

'G'day to the plumbers in Denver, you might have some other ideas, Joel can let me know :)

My outlet asked if I'd show it to them when I finished it, I did and they think it's great.

To see how strong that plumbers pipe is, get a small curved piece and smack it with a hammer, it's pretty strong, I don't think you'd need straps .. but :) HTH.

Cheers.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 09:10 AM   #18
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

Allan thanks very much for the reply... very helpful.

The reason I was thinking about the plumbers tape:

You mentioned weight, and I was thinking about using a "thinner" PVC pipe, so I picked up a 10 foot / 6" diameter pipe that is less than half the wall thickness of traditional pvc (I believe I can get a 3" diameter version for the side tube as well).

Since it is so much thinner, I had concerns about how well the Locktite would grip the edges of the side pipe onto the main shaft; thus, the plumbers tape.

Do you so any potential problems with this strategy? If you do, pls let me know.

As you said in your original post (way back when), the key is to take your time on something like this. I have serious doubts mine will turn out as nice as yours, but if I can get closed, I will be quite pleased.

Thanks again for your originality. You have come up with a great solution.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 08:23 PM   #19
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

Hi Joel, thanks. The fully loaded weight of my case is 2.5 Kg (5.5lbs) and I haven't had any problems with that, it's just a case for carrying to the job, then stored close by.

I was originally concerned about the total gear weight in a small plane, everything has to be weighed and within each planes capacity.

The plumbers outlet guys were a big help in advising me about everything to do with PVC pipe and whether Locktite 406 would hold the edges together without giving way in use. They thought the thickness of my PVC walls would be the minimum. And they were right, fully loaded mine has accidentally fallen about 4 feet onto grass, no cracks.

If you use a pipe with thinner walls, it might crack along the glue line and break through tension around the handle area. Make sure you reinforce that with a plate fixed inside. Something heavy might accidentally smash through a barrel wall, to get an impression I'd test it with an offcut.

Check all your end caps actually fit before you leave the shop, they're tapered inside to push lock on. I glued the rear barrell cap on. The fancy bits are reinforcement on the front caps to glue and hold them together.

PVC pipe is usually coated with atmospheric crap, I cleaned mine before I started work. First washed it all with soap and warm water, paper towelled it dry then sanded all exteriors down with Scotchbrite and water, fine wet and dry would work too.

My Blimp lives in my case, I remove the NTG-3 first. HTH.

Cheers.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 11:00 PM   #20
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

Yes, I figured your "fancy bits" were more than just for show (they add a nice sense of design to the final product and were a very creative finishing touch) ... but helped to reinforce the smaller tube as well.

I guess I will push forward with my thinner wall pvc version since I already have the pipe, and then do a 2nd one with thicker pvc.

[Due to my manufacturing skills, I have a feeling I may be producing a couple of these before I get something close to yours.]

Thanks for everything.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 05:24 PM   #21
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

So Joel .. did you make one, how did it turn out?

Cheers.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 07:25 PM   #22
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

If we're doing show and tell, check out the "case" that I made for my Rycote s series blimp, shown below.

Garrett from this forum had made a case very similar to that of the original poster, and it was very impressive in person. But clearly overkill. It was way heavier and stronger than it needed to be, mostly because PVC pipe is super dense.

I spent an hour at Lowes walking down all the aisles trying to find some material better than the 4" PVC pipe, and found epiphany in the garden section. I bought some drainage pipe normally burried beneath a gutter downspout. It has several advantages over PVC:

1. Even though it has the same nominal 4" diameter, the drainage pipe has a wider actual inner diameter. This is important for the S series blimps where the fur is permanently part of the blimp; the 4" PVC was such a tight fit that the fur might get crushed if stored for a long period of time. The 4" drainage pipe had a wider actual inner diameter, and the ridges provide places for the fur to stick out rather than getting crushed.

2. The drainage pipe is much cheaper, lighter, and easier to work with relative to PVC. $5 total and easy to cut with tin snips. Like the PVC it's only available in 10' lengths, but I don't feel so bad about the environmental issues of wasting a few ounces of drainage pipe versus many pounds of PVC.

3. As a bonus, the ridges tend to "comb" the hair on the blimp every time it is slid on or off.

As you can see my "case" is just two lengths of drainage pipe that slide onto the blimp, with a short length in between that locks them in place. It fits perfectly in a bag with my boom pole and protects the blimp when I throw it in the back of the car at the end of a long day.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 07:26 PM   #23
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

Here are the pics. As you can see the handle is left exposed, which greatly simplifies design of the "case". By the way this thing is plenty strong; I can do pushups without crushing it.
Attached Thumbnails
A carry case for the RODE Blimp.-img_1444-1280x768-.jpg   A carry case for the RODE Blimp.-img_1445-1280x768-.jpg  

A carry case for the RODE Blimp.-img_1446-1280x768-.jpg   A carry case for the RODE Blimp.-img_1447-1280x768-.jpg  

A carry case for the RODE Blimp.-img_1448-1280x768-.jpg  
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 11:24 PM   #24
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

Hi Tom your mileage is obviously different. I wanted a Rode Blimp carry case that did look professional, is useful as well as attractive to our clients.

Members here have said so and it certainly leaves a positive impression with our clients.

The 2.099Kg weight is not a problem and I wanted the storage compartments, see post one.

Mine is totally waterproof, so bad weather doesn't affect it and environmental issues just don't come into it.

After each previous post in this 2.5yr old thread, Rode HQ here in Sydney tell me their dealers around the world get enquiries about buying one. They've looked at marketing it but even with minor modifications from mine, it's an easy DIY project as my previous posts bear witness.

Cheers.
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Old January 4th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #25
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

Hi Allan:

Yes I did complete the case.

I went with the materials I had purchased, and for all practical purposes, it works.

It is nowhere near the finished piece of craftsmanship you produced, but I knew going in that I would not have the skills to accomplish your case. Plus, as I noted, my main pipe was a much thinner wall, and that created some problems ... I had to add reinforcement on the grip (as you recommended), and my steel straps that I wrapped around the perimeter actually caused the pipe to collapse a bit - making my end caps a looser fit which I solved by lining them with heavy duty plumber's tape.

Nevertheless, here is a video I produced briefly outlining the project:


Next I have moved onto a motoroized revolving product table (a.k.a. "Lazy Susan"). I have finished it and similar to my Blimp Case, it works ... but could be much better if I were better at fabricating and engineering. Pls see the "TRUSMT Ultimate Cage" video on my Vimeo site for some examples of rotating products:


Thanks so much for the Blimp Case inspiration.

Best, Joel

Last edited by Joel Ailes; January 4th, 2012 at 04:48 PM.
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Old January 4th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #26
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Re: A carry case for the RODE Blimp.

Hi Joel, both your builds there are just great, as is your video presentations. You've done this before :)

I'm also 99% sure your Blimp is the special B&H custom black model, so you matched that with your cases black pipe and caps.

That's what I call class and style mate, you can't beat either one.

It's a fine summer morning here in Sydney and you've made my day, thanks :)

Cheers.
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