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Old September 13th, 2004, 11:36 PM   #1
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Tickled pink with new Home built Crane!

I just got back from the Powder coaters so I dont have any new pics of it looking finished but here it is naked

http://prohdstudio.com/_wsn/page3.html

A Wrought Iron buddy of mine owed me some favors so he said I could use any aluminum I needed and he gave me a 30 minute crash coarse on welding aluminum and 2 days later ( $175 in the hole for 6' tripod and accuators) and he had it powdercoated free and I am as happy as can be! I am amazed at what a differance crane shots make, everytime I view one for the first time I am blown away at how high 13' looks on film and how action packed a tree or shrub can be in motion. I spent an hour tonight playing around with it and ran out of light to take pictures of it looking professional.

Just after my last weld my buddy walks in with a catalog of what I SHOULD have built it out of for a small amount more and could have extended it to 20' which I will someday this winter, if anyones interested its called T-Locks aluminum ( no welding needed)

If your in Oregon and want help building one or use mine let me know , They are very nice
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Old September 14th, 2004, 12:27 AM   #2
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Most cool.

What sort of tripod is that?

Michael
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Old September 14th, 2004, 03:06 AM   #3
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Aluminium welding is so tricky... 30 minute crash course? WOW! Great job...
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Old September 14th, 2004, 09:17 AM   #4
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Michael,
the tripod is a Dewalt Contracters Heavy duty tripod $69 at Lowes
It was the only one I saw that had extruded square aluminum and I actually extended it in the store , got down under it and hung from the pedastal to check its strength ( hope nobody saw me).

Chris,

Yes aluminum was seeming to get the better of me the first day but I figured out to take everything in SMALL steps because aluminum gets so hot so fast and thats when you start blowing through.

I could get about 1" of good looking welds at a time in my second day with a wire feed.

I spent most of my time Die Grinding the tight spots (inside corners) and grinding my ugly welds to resemble some sort of representation of two peices connected together
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Old September 14th, 2004, 11:21 AM   #5
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Mark, can you post some video from your creation? Anything would suffice... even at low res just to see the stability and effect of a crane shot... even that shrub would be interesting just to give us an idea of what you can do.

Hey I want to personally thank you for putting this up so far... I'm VERY impressed. With only 32 posts you really crash landed onto the dvinfo scene... most of us don't put up such helpful posts for a long time... if at all. So thanks!

I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time now... you just convinced me that NOW is the time.

Also if you can expand on the catalog/sources of the T-Lock Aluminum and also those trick actuators... some video showing them in motion... or the ACTUAL video while using them... would be great... also what's all involved with that? Cost, difficulty, rigging, operation... etc?

This could really grow into a super-thread.

If your video output looks as good as I think it will you're going to inspire a lot of us to finally tackle this approach.
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Old September 14th, 2004, 11:36 AM   #6
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Mark,

Please describe the pneumatic (?) controls you are using for pan and tilt; how well do they work? What does the control console look like? Can you feather moves? Thanks! Looks like a great project.
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Old September 14th, 2004, 11:41 AM   #7
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It looks like the 2 long arms on the back are the pan/tilt controls.
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Old September 14th, 2004, 04:40 PM   #8
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Hey guys, I will try and answer some questions quickly because I actually have a shoot in 3 hours and Im getting my fire wired monitor hooked up right now and needed a break , also Ill get some new pics tonight while Im filming.

I will have no trouble showing you guys shots but i need somewhere to upload to, my site is real stingy so any help would be good and since Im shooting HD it would be nice to show it off in a media 9 format ( it looks spectacular on my HD TV and even better on computer!)

On the pneumatics, they are great!

http://www.clippard.com/cylinders/

4 Clippard - 1-1/16" bore and 4" stroke (stainless steel - air or fluid driven- 1/8" NPT quick connects and 5/32" hose) $110 locally in stock and great people to deal with!!! I am using air right now but will change to anti freeze soon when I am not being bombarded with filming.

Yes indeed the 2 bars on the back are pan and tilt and the reason for the length is that with a 6' tripod and the camera laying on the ground, it gives me perfect height in the controls and as I drop or raise I just slide my hands smoothly, disadvantage= planning to hit between tripod legs at full height , they might get chopped a couple inches


This stuff is the aluminum I should have used ! my buddy figured we could extend upto 25 feet with no trouble in the same size configuration as it is now ( 10 ft long and we are going to build a trailer next for transport as well as a dolly, shoul cost about $150 to build....I cant wait even though it fits in the back of my suburban as of now)

http://www.tslots.com/

awesome stuff , not T-locks as I posted

Gotta run will take new pics and post tonight as she is a whole differant beast today
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Old September 14th, 2004, 05:37 PM   #9
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Mark... you can send me up to an 8mb file at a time... my email always has about 1mb in it and it holds 10mb... I'll host anything you want me to.

Use my first intitial and last name all lowercase at charter dot net.

I'll host as you post.

Personally I like wma best because it downloads and plays so fast.

See, I told you this thread would explode.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 09:07 AM   #10
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As I have been recently building a small jib of my own, a friend who used to build models for a living sent me these links for ideas about materials. Similar to the tslots, at least in the same ball park. Just thought I'd add to the resource guide!

http://www.outwater.com/catalog04/outwater/opi180.htm

http://www.8020.net/index.asp
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Old September 15th, 2004, 10:06 AM   #11
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Matt is going to be kind enough to post a 6meg, 1min 29 second sample(matt I resent a lil bigger one)
that I shot last night. The original is 40MB 720P and looks pretty nice

I'm sorry for the quality but we ran out of time and we were fighting the rain ( next addition to the crane is an umbrella or a hood) it was also windy, so when camera was fully extended the camera was getting a slight side to side wobble. But remember 1 person can carry this system so it is a trade off.

In one shot I hit a tree and got rain drops one the lense, I left it in so you could see how stable it is if you hit an object. You can see the raindrops in the rest of the pictures but I could not see them on my small monitor (need a bigger monitor)

In the new pictures that I posted in my original link you can see that I added rubber pipe insulation to the cage for protection on interior shots of peoples property, I think this is why it did so well when it bounced off of the small tree.

Chris those links are great! I saw the Tslot sample and the thing that is really cool about it was that it had a "smoke" look to it as to not "stick out" so bad at fucntion such as weddings.

My crane works really good and I am happy but.......it could be much nicer and I will change a few things next time, I will let you all know tonight because I am going to try some serious shots tonight, some in the house ( wish me luck on not hitting one of the 50K chandeliers)
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Old September 15th, 2004, 03:54 PM   #12
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http://www.gettreel.com/craneshots[1].wmv

Normally I use a word or phrase and link a page off of that... this cut 'n paste thing isn't my style... but the [brackets] mess with the coding needed to do that... so you gotta' cut and paste!

Looks good... I was going to score something for it but maybe later tonight. The crane video is so interesting that it doesn't really need sound for effect.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 09:48 AM   #13
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Hey Matt thanks!
Be expecting a much improve version in your mail tonight or tomorrow since I am improving and yesterday provided better shooting (lighting) situations and at noon today we move inside. hopefully my nervousness of breaking something in the house wont transfer up the crane. I wish the internet was improved towards a couple minute feature in 720P full sized because this footage from yesterday is really cool and my first night is in the trash ( in one shot I come a few inches above the water in the pool and into a wide pan of the house)
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Old September 16th, 2004, 09:56 AM   #14
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Mark, in a word, WOW.
Thanks for sharing, truely impressive, really smooth.
What did you use for bushings?
And what was the total cost?
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Old September 17th, 2004, 12:07 AM   #15
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Cliff,

WOW is right but not on that footage, cranes are really cool but take practice and its always exciting to see the results in full resolution with good Lighting, hopefully I will have some time to get the new stuff up quick so you guys can see what these things are supposed to do.

Pan & Tilt is overated no matter how smooth it is and trust me its great but only for "setting up" from monitor position, the less movement you get at the camera on a swivel the better because even the pros with $50K cameras avoid panning at all costs because it is an unatural thing at the base of the camera off a crane and I have about 1 hour of footage to prove it. The best shots are leaving the camera locked and let the crane pan for you at least in the Digital world, film may be differant.

Total cost ( for me) is

Aluminum free , for you it could run $175-$250

pneumatics $110ish complete

since I welded everything nuts and bolts ( stainless steel) $20

I used brass inserts and nylon washers instead of bearings, this is a wash at probably $20

Tripod $69, mine is fine but if you are gonna do it, do it right and invest big here..........this is the heart of a crane and mine takes 2 people to operate efficiantly on SETUP ( hills and such)

10' Firewire $29 for monitor

Powdercoating is unnecessary but aluminum is very bright and distracting in sunlight (wedding video) , aluminum primer and flat black paint would be $10

Weights/counter balance 20-30lbs $5 for the nice ones

If anyone wants to build one and needs little pieces of this and that maybe me shipping it may be cheaper than buying full sheets or 10-20' lengths of certain items that you only need 4" or 5"X5" and so on, planning would be critical to save money ( I had access to anything but your local Wrought Iron gate/ Heating& air conditioning people surely have scraps laying about for reasonable prices.

the wife informed me that I had $300 ish invested including the umbrellas i bought yesterday for above camera and monitor incase I get caught in rain again
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