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Old May 18th, 2009, 03:30 PM   #1
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The hydraulic system of the advanta-jib

I'm a little interested in howe the hydraulic system works on the advanta-jib. Not that I don't think It works, and It seams to work fine.
But what kind of fluid is it in it, what kind of cylinders do they use. And most of all, how do you fill it and serve it. I seems to be a week point of their crane, but thats just how it looks to me.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 04:52 AM   #2
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Hydraulic system on the advantajib is "permanently" sealed. If i recall from some other post its just vegetable oil. There is a hydraulic piston on each end. What kind? No idea. There is also a piston bypass tube on the back, where you can loosen a couple screws and adjust the alignment between the front and back pistons without fighting the hydraulics.

Other than readjusting the front and back alignment, i've never had fiddle with the hydraulics. Certainly never had to fill mine, or ever have any direct contact with the oil. You'd have to work pretty hard to make it leak.

Hope that helps. I'm just a customer, but am happy to answer any specific questions if i can.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #3
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ok thanx.

On the index page of theirs, it says something about their "patented technology" what is that. What do they have for kind of patent? What do they have that no one else can have?
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Old May 26th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #4
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patently unsure

Hmm. No idea. Kessler had a hydraulic jib lined up then mysteriously dropped it. Since patents can include new uses for existing things and unique collections of things, i suppose it could be anything. I mean, I got a patent for a museum dvd playback system based on consumer dvd players controlled by elevator button panels. Go figure.

The way the pistons translate into tilting motion on the advantajib is pretty clever... as is the extending sealed data/oil spiral. I reckon there are other ways to achieve pretty much anything on the advantajib, but for some reason other crane/jib people haven't really come up with a clear competitor to it. There could be other reasons for that, i suppose.

So, i have no idea what the advantajib has that nobody else *can* have, but a highly portable hydraulically controlled tilt with useful wire pan that sets up as 4,7 and 10 foot lengths is something that nobody else *does* have.

Its a fun little unit. It has limitations too, but how they weigh is up to intended use and personal preference. If you want to pop over to Motukarara, New Zealand, i'll be happy to let you have a play with mine.

cheers,
-a
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #5
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limitations?

andrew,

i have been looking at the advantajib for a long time now. i am curious what camera you are using with it... and how you control focus... do you have the full kit with all the extensions... how long it takes you to set it up... what stix are you using to support it... how many counterweights do you use when you fly it... do you really need the underslung head or is the stock head ample... and finally is it a beast to transport as a one man band?????

sorry for the endless ???''s but i have to know from an actual user :)

thanks
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Old June 29th, 2009, 04:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chisholm View Post
andrew,

i have been looking at the advantajib for a long time now. i am curious what camera you are using with it... and how you control focus... do you have the full kit with all the extensions... how long it takes you to set it up... what stix are you using to support it... how many counterweights do you use when you fly it... do you really need the underslung head or is the stock head ample... and finally is it a beast to transport as a one man band?????

sorry for the endless ???''s but i have to know from an actual user :)

thanks
Hey Greg,

I've flown a number of cameras with mine. The smallest an hv20 up to an ex3, or maybe the fx1 with a letus. I got the 15lb upgrade, so i can fly more, but if its much more then there is usually a dedicated cameraman who would rather sit on my ride-on.

For the most part I dont need to "control" focus. In my experience part of what makes crane shots look nifty is the varying parallax of foreground and background. With most lightweight cameras I set the lens as wide as it will go, and stop down a bit to make sure everything is in focus. For the times when a specific focus has been necessary we've set it and flown to that. So far I've been able to avoid needing to "pull" focus. I also dont mind a little auto-focus now and then too. For the slow sweeping shots that people want, I've found the autofocus on cams like the sony fx1 to work really gracefully. I control the zoom with a lanc adapter and the focus reacts to the smooth changes beautifully.

I've gotten pretty quick at setting up the advantajib. I can set up the whole 10' full kit version in roughly 10 minutes without feeling rushed. Its not as complicated as it seems... although i found it goes a lot faster since i put stickers on the various bits identifying which they are. Taking time to label and organize the bits when you tear down being the key to a quick setup. On the other hand, changing from one length to another I find cumbersome. You basically have to totally unbuild the arm back on the ground, which is enough of a nuisance that i just build the longest length i'll need and leave it unless there is a strong demand for a different length.

I bought the full kit. I was unsure about the the 10' extension, and thought the weight extension was necessary. As it turns out, I don't use the weight extension except in extreme "we are hiking to the location" scenarios. Also, i now think the 10' is the most useful length. You get the most inertia and the most movement, so i tend to favor it first.

I use the manfrotto 528x legs. These are the ones recommended by advantajib and i can see why. They are seriously strong. While not officially rated as such, they easily support hundreds of Kgs of weight. I've heard reports of people packing 350 pounds on the 528, and i could see that. I stepped off a platform onto the 528's bowl and it didnt' seem to notice at all.

As to the amount of counterweight, i bought a couple barbell sets and just load it up by feel. Here is a picture of the advantajib flying the ex3 at full 10' in underslung without the weight reduction extension. http://regina.co.nz/advantajib.jpg The large weights are 5kg and the smaller 2.5. So, it looks like I used 8x 5kg, 7 or 8 2.5kg and if i recall, one or two .5kg. Its very important to have the small weights to get the crane perfectly balanced. So, in total, around 61kgs, or 134 pounds, give or take. I could have cut that down significantly by using the weight reduction extension, but a fully loaded crane is much nicer to operate. The more weight = more inertia, which = smoother motion. I hate dragging around jib weights as much as anyone, until its time to actually shoot, then i'm glad.

The underslung head isnt necessary, but has come in handy a couple times. In that particular setup the dp wanted the camera to glide down the middle of the banquet table, with people sitting on either side. We accomplished that by raising the 528 to full height, and adding the low slung head. The underslung meant we could dolly back and forth with the camera at chest/eye height of the table guests with the jib arm clearing their heads. Its a fairly unusual setup, so I could see skipping the underslung. In this case I was happy to have it.

If you are curious, here are "behind the scenes" and finished videos of that shoot. (I was just a grip except for the advantajib shots, in which case i became the camera op, as it does require some practice):

behind the scenes:
YouTube - Behind the Scenes - Climbers by Sleeping Dogs

finished video:
YouTube - Climbers - music video by Sleeping Dogs

As to the "beast to transport" question... Thats hard to say. I mean, compared to what? The jib itself is no drama at all to drag around in its bag. The weights can be a real pain, but all jibs need weights. I reckon compared to the hassles and weights of a remote head with batteries, the advantajib is breezy. and there is no comparison to a fixed head jib.

Compared to just a tripod, yeah, a jib is a beast and you wont pull it out nearly as often as you think you will before you have one. On the other hand, its small enough to have in your car and knowing that 30 minutes later you can have your camera 17' feet in the air with full pan/tilt control is pretty cool.

As a one man band, how do you normally shoot? If you have lots of ups and downs, the advantajib setup would get tedious pretty quickly. I've been meaning to get a tripod dolly for the 528, but haven't really had a shoot that needed jib mobility where i didn't have the advantajib mounted on my matthews dolly anyways. If you shoot in halls or something with big flat floor areas, then the advantajib on a tripod dolly would be pretty sweet.

To me, the only choices were the advantajib or a totally encapsulated manual jib like a seven jib. If i have to "build" it anyways, i want the versatility. Setting up the seven in seconds would have been useful a few times... but you still have the weights to drag around and I reckon i'd immediately crave more height and control. heh.

Sorry if i've rambled. Kinda stream of consciousness. I'll get back to work now!

Hope that helped.

-a
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Old August 19th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Dean View Post
Hey Greg,

For the most part I dont need to "control" focus. In my experience part of what makes crane shots look nifty is the varying parallax of foreground and background. With most lightweight cameras I set the lens as wide as it will go, and stop down a bit to make sure everything is in focus. For the times when a specific focus has been necessary we've set it and flown to that. So far I've been able to avoid needing to "pull" focus. I also dont mind a little auto-focus now and then too. For the slow sweeping shots that people want, I've found the autofocus on cams like the sony fx1 to work really gracefully. I control the zoom with a lanc adapter and the focus reacts to the smooth changes beautifully.

Hope that helped.

-a
Hi andrew,

Thanks so much for your detailed response... I really appreciate it!

One follow up? do the cables that come with the advantajib interface with the ex3's lens zoom control? I am not concerned so much with focus, but how do you zoom remotely? I have a Libec zoom controller that I use when i am on sticks and i was wondering if this, or any flavor of zoom controller, works with the remote cabling that comes with the advantajib?

or will i have to rig something specifically for the ex3?
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Old August 28th, 2009, 10:19 AM   #8
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The cable comes with Advanta Jib is: composite video and LANC control. So, for EX1 or EX3, the remote control have to be wired with add-on cable. For HQ monitor via component, additional cable is required.
Here is my recent shoot during setup and some clips:
Advanta Jib setup for outdoor concert on Vimeo
Concert at Light House, Taiwan on Vimeo
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Old February 19th, 2010, 09:59 PM   #9
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I built my own hydraulic head

Quote:
Originally Posted by John S. Cooper View Post
I'm a little interested in howe the hydraulic system works on the advanta-jib. Not that I don't think It works, and It seams to work fine.
But what kind of fluid is it in it, what kind of cylinders do they use. And most of all, how do you fill it and serve it. I seems to be a week point of their crane, but thats just how it looks to me.
Not sure what they are using but I am using water and antifreeze as used in you car a lot less viscus and has Rust inhibitors. The advantajib is made locally to me and I have used it a couple times. The hydraulics are 2 cylinders one at each end and are spring returned. The pan is done with a cable pulley system. If you look in the patents web site you will see their patent and drawings on the jib and hydraulic system.

Mine is fully hydraulic both pan and tilt and uses no springs.

here is a link to a short video of my head

YouTube - head[2].wmv

and here are some photos of how it is assembled

CD Video Productions Hydraulic Head

Dan C
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Old December 31st, 2011, 07:22 AM   #10
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Re: The hydraulic system of the advanta-jib

Very cool, Dan!

I'm interested in building something similar. Can you recommend a website with the parts you used to build yours?
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