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Old May 28th, 2003, 09:13 PM   #1
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Our jib

Along the same lines as our dolly: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...&threadid=9563 my crew and I got together last weekend to build a jib.

The home-built jib is definitely a more involved project than the dolly, both to build and operate, but I'm very happy with the results. We basically just printed out a bunch of pictures from various online home-built-style jibs, took those pictures to lowes, and improvised.

The jib we ended up with is 12 feet long, disassembles into 3 parts for easy transportation (and a very quick setup time of about 5 minutes) and from our few hours of testing, seems to be about as sturdy/useable as some of the lower-priced online offerings (such as the habbycam or cobra.)

Our jib, like the cobra or habby, requires a heavy-duty tripod with fluid head for the best results. I'm using a bogen 3066.

Some of the parts we used:

We found this fantastic piece of alluminum pipe with a huge threaded bolt on each end that fits into itself. We just cut one of these in half (lowes will do it for you) and we had an instant assemble-able main arm. It was in the lumber area at Lowes, and was about 19 dollars.

Garage door opener pulleys.

Rubber-coated steel-branded rope for the cable, with loops that attach to a short bungee cord for quick assembly onto the pulleys.

The rest of the parts were various nuts and bolts and L-brackets.

If I had to do it again, I'd try and find something else to use besides the garage door pulleys I think. The bearings in these pieces are not well made, and tend to allow for some play, which can translate into harder-to-control pans.

To get around this, we basically had to tighten the pulley up against the pipe using nylon washers to create a poor-man's bushing. It works fine for our purposes (and actually has a nice effect of damping the movement through the friction of the nylon washers against the alluminum) but it seems like the real way to do this would be to weld a good bushing and bolt into the pipe. If anyone else has a different solution (or even where to find bushings - lowes had none!) please let me know!

So, after we got it built, we took a few test shots and I threw that together into a short movie, here:

http://208.193.239.21/~winter/movies/jibtest.avi

Once again, you'll need divx to watch this movie. The file is 50 megs.

Compared to the dolly, the jib definitely takes some practice. I'd say about 30 minutes before you can pull smooth shots off of it.

BTW, this is the same DVX100, scene file F5, cine-gamma, etc. This test footage wasn't shot with an intention of assembling it into any kind of film, so please excuse the random nature of the shots and all that. Also, the camera was stopped down too much, darkening the scenes, sorry about that.

You'll also probably notice that some of the overhead piano shots are a bit wobbly, and the camera is kanted - this isn't a flaw of the jib, just bad camera work/tripod-placement on our part - we were actually fixing something on the jib while the camera was rolling (someone forgot to turn the camera off.) That said, it was a fortunate mistake because it gave me a soundtrack! :-)

caveat, caveat, caveat... anyhow, it was fun. Next up, the film, I hope :-)

paulb
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Old May 28th, 2003, 11:19 PM   #2
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You should be able to find about any mechanical part you need here.

http://www.mcmaster.com/
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Old May 29th, 2003, 12:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link Matt! I'm going to look into buying a more professional bushing for the main joint.

The cost was about 80 dollars (after I return the few parts we didn't end up needing.) I think it could be done with less than 50 if you planned it well and bought the parts online.

You can definitely build this without welding, but the difficult part is mounting the bearing/bushing at the main joint... like I said, we used a ghetto system where we just pushed the pully up against the pipe with nylon washers; it worked though.

You definitely need a heavy duty tripod to support the thing. Even with a lightweight alluminum arm you're still looking at at least 30 or 40 pounds with the counterweights. I'm using what I had, a bogen 3066 with nice sturdy bogen legs... Check out the support your local camera forum here, they have lots of good recommendations there.

The shakiness in a couple of shots was due to the fact that we weren't actually trying to hold it steady during those shots - we were in fact working on the main joint while the camera was rolling (yah I know, not so smart ;-) but I used the shots anyway because they had the piano in them :-) You can hold it pretty steady after some practice, but it can require a few takes to get it right.

paulb
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Old May 29th, 2003, 01:03 PM   #4
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Building a jib

Best to use aluminum but the one I am building will incorporate both steel and aluminum. All my parts are going to be custom made - I have quite a complete shop here and access to a full machine shop:)

One thing I am looking for before I get started is some differences between motorized heads and manual cable driven heads. I can get smooth action from either one but the motorized head will require me to build a joystick panel and also carry a battery (ehhh). I imagine that if the cable system is not perfect in every way, you can get bounce-back when making movements. I am interested in hearing from ANYONE that has a jib, built a jib or is considering building one. I live in the New Orleans area and welcome others to get involved in this project. I work out of a shop in my home and have full acess to a big machine shop here in town (Metairie). My offer is good and extends to building your own as well, you will have to purchase your own materials. If I get some feedback and anyone is curious, I can post some pictures of the head I am considering using. My second project is a track and dolly. Thanks!

PS: how do I change my handle to my real name? I can't find that option in my profile..

Kevin Nardelle
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Old May 29th, 2003, 01:13 PM   #5
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You can e-mail chris@dvinfo.net, but I bet one of the other mods will hook you up before you even get a chance to do this.
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Old May 30th, 2003, 09:13 AM   #6
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Change already done.

The footage looked amazing. Good job!!

Can someone explain to me what a "bushing" is.. please? Also
how did you connect the jib to the tripod??
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Old July 9th, 2003, 07:52 AM   #7
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Hey, I'm really interested in building a jib like this. The problem I'm facing is that I'm a college student sans funding, so the thought of a 3066 head costing upwards of 400 bucks let alone any legs that can support the neccessary weight is pretty devastating. Does anyone know any other idea for me, must I build it on this fluid head/tripod combo to get a quality jib? What other tripods/heads would do for me? I unfortunately just purchased a 755b set of legs with a 501 head for normal shooting, so I'm cautious at buying more tripod gear.
I'm going to be using a VX2000 and a GL1.

Also can you post some more detailed photos of your jib?

Thanks,
Spencer Houck
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Old July 9th, 2003, 01:38 PM   #8
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Me??

are you asking this question to me? I have pictures of it posted right now on http://www.realnola.com/dvprojects/

I have the first clear day outside to get the thing out the garage and test it, dont know how long the weather will hold but I am going to try and get it out to take some pictures today. i can post some clearer pictures later on.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 02:30 PM   #9
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Hi Kevin, I was asking Paul specifically, but pictures of yours would also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Spencer Houck
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Old July 9th, 2003, 04:13 PM   #10
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Okie Dokie

I got a chance to get outside with the crane today - jib is a lame word for what i have.. Mine is REALLY heavy and designed of steel and aluminum with NO CABLES, that is not reliable if you are serious about your work, use the control arm method. Some of the top cranes in the industry all incorporate a control arm for keeping the head level. Example - the Giraff, it uses a stainless rod just like mine or it's really the other way around, I used a stainless rod on mine just like they did :)

It allows for smooth sliding and corosion free surface - thats about it.. The pulley system is ok if you are intending on using this for amateur stuff and want a simple jib to fool around with, I personally would not trust that too much - others may disagree but I have seen first hand what is out there.. I just started assembling my dolly, it is BIG but needs to be to be able to support my crane. It's 4 feet wide and 6 feet long using heavy wall 1X2 rectangle steel tubing as a frame. I intend on building a small and easily portable dolly for simple stuff but this one is strictly for the crane. I was considering adding the track system under it but that would require about 40 of those scateboard wheels and a ton of machining for the track and wheel mounts. I am going to avoid the track for now. Currently it's using air filled tires which provide a nice cushion ride.

I will haev pictures posted later on today along with some test (FIRST) video of the new crane design. It will not include the electronics and head positioning system yet so there is no head panning on this video. I am still waiting for parts and some chips for the controller.
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