Another Rode NTSM3 Shock Mount Broken at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 1st, 2010, 12:40 PM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Another Rode NTSM3 Shock Mount Broken

This is the second Rode shock mount that's broken on me - I really baby my gear and to the best of my knowledge the mic (a Rode NTG-3) has never taken a knock when on my EX3. Just in case it's not very clear from my quick snap, the plastic ring part nearest the horizontal angle adjustment thumb tightening screw handle seems to be the weak point on these mounts as that's where the last one broke too (not all the broken bits were found, by the way as I only noticed it on checking my gear again back at home after the shoot). Just my bad luck or do others have this problem with the Rode NTSM3?

Sure, if the mic had have taken a knock I'd rather the mount gave way than the mic, but I don't think that's what's happened with both of my shock mounts.

Rode make great products (and from my previous personal experience have a superb customer support/product improvement mindset) and if this seems to be a common problem I'll contact them and suggest they try and improve it. Just curious as to if this is a common failure or not.
Attached Thumbnails
Another Rode NTSM3 Shock Mount Broken-anotherrodesm3broke.jpg  
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 1st, 2010, 01:30 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Hollywood, CA, United States
Posts: 790
That's strange. I have the same shockmount and it has never broken. It was even on my camera when it fell off a car mount, and it's still in perfect condition. Maybe you're tightening it way too much, that's the only thing I can image would cause that type of breakage.
Edward Carlson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 1st, 2010, 05:41 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
When the adjustment screw is loose (I mean before the mount broke) was there any space between the parts that the adjustment screw compresses? If so I would fill that space with a thin rubber washer so that no bending force is applied to the part that broke as the screw is tightened.
Also check if the head of the adjustment screw is forcing its way too deep into the part that broke rather than just tightening on its side. If its going in too deep it could spread apart the circular piece that broke, shattering it.
In reality you don't even need both sides of the piece that broke. If you must use it right way just substitute a shorter adjustment bolt and tighten the two remaining pieces together. It may help to roughen the surfaces that mate so they have more friction without having to tighten the bolt so much. I've used a couple of broken mounts (other brands) for years simply by using a shorter bolt and they continued to work fine.
If you can't find a shorter bolt, use washers or a spacer as a (unsupported but still okay) replacement for the part that broke.
Has Rode been willing to replace them?
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2010, 04:34 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Repaired Rode Shock Mount

Thanks for the replies. Edward and Jay, I think you probably nailed it on the head. I am probably overtighening it since the Rode NTG-3, especially with the WS7 on it is pretty heavy (needed double twists in the rubber bands etc.) to stop it slowly drooping so I guess over the last 18 months or so I've got used to tightening it a bit too much to try and stop the whole mount slowly slipping downwards, revealing the end of the mic in shot (shock horror!).

As for the repair idea - this is effectively what I did last night after studying it - so spot on again!

There is one rubber washer (only - don't know if there were ever supposed to have been two) that I placed between the remaining unbroken ring on the mount part with the shoe and the ring part of mic holder. With that, and reversing the bolt orientation so the nut was not within the hexagon indent, I was able to bolt it all up with the existing bolt and nut nice and tight - hopefully strong enough to have a useable shock mount again - saves me 35 quid too, at least for a while :-) See, my 20 years in research and engineering was not wasted after all!

Pic attached in case this is ever needed by others as a stop gap.
Attached Thumbnails
Another Rode NTSM3 Shock Mount Broken-repaired-rode-shockmount.jpg  
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2010, 05:20 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Andy,

Might be worthwhile checking out something from Rycote: Universal Camera Kit » Rycote

Rycote products are supposed to be more robust and ENG-friendly (you'd hope so for the price), though I should stress I have carried out no personal testing of Rycote breakability versus Rode breakability.
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2010, 05:27 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
That's a horrible shockmount - throw it away and get a Rycote INV-7 (if it's for indoor use) or the Video Mount (if it's for a camera).

Much more robust and vastly superior shock-mounting.
__________________
John Willett - Sound-Link ProAudio and Circle Sound Services
President: Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons
John Willett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2010, 12:41 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Thanks Mike and John!

I've just ordered the new Invision Video Mount, the version with a Shoe Mount (Part # 042901 - direct link below to the Rycote product page). Should have it in about a week - so I hope my Rode repair holds out until then!

InVision Video » Rycote

The key words that caught my eye in the benefits mentioned about the Invision Video Shock Mount on the Rycote website were ones like 'virtually indestructable' and 'never sags' and 'never needs re-threading' as well as the obvious biggie - their Lyre mount is excellent at sound isolation. I also like some of the other design/flexibility aspects - looks a really well thought out product and at around £50 is not as expensive as I'd feared.

I bought the Rycote S Series Windshield (330 variant) when it first came out (mainly for my NTG-3) about 18 months ago. It was the first product to feature this new Rycote Lyre suspension (I think, you'll know John) and I've been very impressed with nearly all aspects of it - you can read what I thought of it soon after I got it on my website here:

RYCOTE S SERIES 330 MINI REVIEW

Thanks everyone for the great help and suggestions (as always on here). I'll let you know what I think of the Invision Video once I've got it and tried it out too.
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2010, 12:44 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Andy,

Do let us know how the Rycote mount works out for you. I am tempted by their complete camera mounting kit that I linked to, with mini blimp/wind jammer for on-cam mics.
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2010, 01:37 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Will do Mike. PS Your old Libec is still giving me sterling service!
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2010, 01:39 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 391
I have the same shockmount and same problem - I called Rode and was told they were aware of it .. they took my info to send me a replacement but never did to my knowledge (months ago) .. unfortunate

they said it was the material they used for that part which caused the problem.. it became brittle

Last edited by Dave Stern; June 2nd, 2010 at 01:40 PM. Reason: update
Dave Stern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2010, 04:22 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Hi Dave. Very interesting - so it's not just me then!

Real shame that Rode seemed to have dropped the ball regarding helping you out over your NTSM3 shock mount failure (I've yet to contact them regarding both of my failures....maybe it'll be a waste of time then?....). However, I must say that when my first NTG-3 shotgun mic failed in Sept 08 they were exemplary in air freighting me a replacement from Oz in just a few days at zero cost to me - really fantastic customer support.
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 3rd, 2010, 08:21 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
Andy,

Do let us know how the Rycote mount works out for you. I am tempted by their complete camera mounting kit that I linked to, with mini blimp/windjammer for on-cam mics.
I am told that the mini-blimp with it's windjammer is actually slightly better than the Softie - so the camera kit is actually an excellent buy.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Stern View Post
I have the same shockmount and same problem - I called Rode and was told they were aware of it .. they took my info to send me a replacement but never did to my knowledge (months ago) .. unfortunate

they said it was the material they used for that part which caused the problem.. it became brittle
This is what happens when you get the plastic mix wrong - outdoor use can be harsh on plastics and you need to fully understand what happens to get the polymer mix right.
__________________
John Willett - Sound-Link ProAudio and Circle Sound Services
President: Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons
John Willett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 3rd, 2010, 08:45 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 391
Quote:
"Originally Posted by Dave Stern
I have the same shockmount and same problem - I called Rode and was told they were aware of it .. they took my info to send me a replacement but never did to my knowledge (months ago) .. unfortunate

they said it was the material they used for that part which caused the problem.. it became brittle
This is what happens when you get the plastic mix wrong - outdoor use can be harsh on plastics and you need to fully understand what happens to get the polymer mix right."

actually most of my use of this mount has been indoors ... not sure what went wrong in the product but the part crumbled about 1-2 years after I bought it ... the other parts on the mount are fine, it was just that one .. my fix was similar to that above but it's not completely satisfying as there's nothing to firmly hold the hex head to prevent it from rotating .. I may try to call Rode again ..
Dave Stern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 3rd, 2010, 09:33 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PERTH. W.A. AUSTRALIA.
Posts: 4,356
My sense is that there is another factor at play besides the constitution of the plastic material alone. A tougher material may take longer to fail is all. The failure appears to be initiate as radial cracks around the bolthole. These appear to be the result of circular tension loading of the plastic in combination with crushing at the centre. Overtightening will certainly make it happen.

The thumbscrew nut appears also to have a plastic shoulder which will exacerbate the problem if it in turn crushes and wears outwards on the contact face, which becomes slightly conical in appearance if my assessment is correct.

In easyspeak, there may be a wedge force being imposed which is way beyond what the material is intended to cope with. You might even break aluminium.

If two added parts are used, this problem may go away. The two parts are metal washers, thick or strong enough that they do not dish in the centre and re-create the centre crush and wedging force which splits the plastic.

The contact face of the washer should be slightly dished or cupped upwards in the centre so that the contact pressure is applied to the outer circumference and any wedging force is directed inwards.

If there is space to add two thin metal thrust washers between the friction faces, do this too. It will all help to re-inforce the part as a clearance in itself will load the part in the centre with a wedging force through tighter clamping at a point between the bolthole and the rim of the clamping piece farthest from the pole fitting.

It will be at this point where a small rocking movement evident will be pivoting even when tight, especially if there is a sloppy fit of the hole around the bolt.

Four small added parts or a redesign with wider diameter of contact face and one or two concentric grooves molded into the contact faces on the clamped piece and clamping piece should see it right. A larger groove and neoprene "O" ring glued into the groove might make it even better with only a token tightening required.

Another issue may be if they are molding around a core to create the hole and not drilling it later through a solid molding. Where the two blobs of plastic ease around the core and come together will create a weak seam where they touch and presumably bond together. A crack will initiate there the piece will crush furthur and wedge apart, then one or more new cracks will appear and two pieces will fall out.

Drilling the hole aftrerward would make for a strong part but adds another operation to the process which in turn adds cost. Likewise the adding of two or four washers.

Another simpler solution will be to widen the hole through the clamping piece and fit a slightly longer hollow metal tube through it to bear against a flat metal washer between the clamping face and the swinging piece. The more robust rear piece will then provide the most clamping friction in this arrangement and the failure point may move there.

Beyond any other solution, that thumbscrew should have a solid flat metal washer between it and the piece beneath which fails. If the thumbscrew is same as one of those thumbscrew and captive bolt sets from China which come with the yellow garage worklights, then the contact face is plastic, not metal. It will quickly work into a cone shape which will in turn wedge the clamping piece apart.

If you are feeling motivated you can pass this on to Rode. They would not be willingly sending out something which comes back at them but the fix which does not force the price up unreasonably might also be elusive.

For myself, I have a sense I might embarrass myself if I bring it upon myself to teach granny how to suck eggs. There might also be another cause in which case I wear the said egg on my face.

PS. I modified the garage lights before I even used them.

Last edited by Bob Hart; June 3rd, 2010 at 09:57 AM. Reason: error
Bob Hart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 3rd, 2010, 09:41 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Stern View Post
actually most of my use of this mount has been indoors ... not sure what went wrong in the product but the part crumbled about 1-2 years after I bought it ... the other parts on the mount are fine, it was just that one .. my fix was similar to that above but it's not completely satisfying as there's nothing to firmly hold the hex head to prevent it from rotating .. I may try to call Rode again ..
To be honest - that design of shockmount is not very good - it's been done by a few manufacturers as an inexpensive way of producing an acceptable mount at a lowish cost that will fit a large number of microphones - and therefore the price can be kept down because you don't have to make lots of different mounts.

However - the Rycote Lyre design is technically far far better - gives the best shock-mounting there is (at any price), doesn't bounce or droop and does not wear out like rubber O-ring mounts. And they are very inexpensive.

The best mounts are the Rycote lyres, followed very closely by the Cinela Osix (very expensive) and the Shure donut - all the rest are way behind.

In fact I even use the Rycote USM mount for my Neumann LDC mics because it is better than the expensive Neumann mount.
__________________
John Willett - Sound-Link ProAudio and Circle Sound Services
President: Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons
John Willett is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:20 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network