cine city proaim pan tilt head?? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

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Old April 16th, 2010, 09:40 AM   #31
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so far from what ive seen while using the item, it has a bit of an easy ease, not a sudden stop, so its pretty smooth.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 07:09 PM   #32
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Sounds good!
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Old April 17th, 2010, 04:11 AM   #33
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see any reverse switches for the pan/tilt motors. This is important, if you're going from overslung to underslung mode. If there are no switches, you'll be panning and tilting opposite of where you want to go.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 08:47 AM   #34
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I suppose one could simply turn the control box around, but switches would be nice,
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Old April 18th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #35
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you are correct, there is no switch, I just simply turn the box and it works fine for me.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 07:18 AM   #36
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My Review - ProAim Pan and Tilt Head

Hi all - just found this site and thought I'd contribute to your discussion on the ProAim Head.

I've copied the page from my site so I'm not sure yet if the html will work here - but the images and full review can be found at http://www.playpauseclick.com/blog - EDIT - Seems I cant embed the images here?

Alot of people have messaged me recently (particularly from eBay) regarding the ProAim pan and tilt head and asking for an honest view of it. The head I'm referring to in this article is this onehttp://"http://www.thecinecity.com/t...0&page=1">
I have to say that in terms of value for money it's pretty good. If compared against something as sophisticated as a Varizoom model it probably won't even come close in terms of quality of functionality. BUT - you have to take into account that it's probably only about one sixth the price.

When mine arrived, I was keen to open it up, have a look and see exactly what my five hundred quid had bought me.

The whole unit is well packaged in its own custom foam cut case, which is quite sufficient for its needs. One thing you do have to be wary of when packing though is that you dont move the head around my hand. The instructions state that damage can occur to the motors if you do. So make sure that before you power down the head, ensure it's in the correct position for packing.

The whole unit is powered by a 24v laptop power supply which terminates in a four pin XLR plug. The manual states a lower power supply can be used, but the speed of the head will be affected if you do.

The main control unit has a clamp bracket on the 'front' end which I have to say is entirely the wrong place for it. I had to dismantle the box, drill two new holes and move it to the side, where it will clamp to my pan bar or jib and still be facing the correct way. Exiting the control box is a single XLR'd cable of decent length which splits neatly into two - one for the vertical motor, one to the horizontal motor. The cable is decent quality and plenty long enough for my Hague K12 jib.

The joystick control was another area where 'tweaking' was required. Once my Z1 was mounted on the head, it drifted off constantly. So - again, inside the box and by moving the pots left and vertical of the control I found the dead spot where no power was being sent to the motors. Irritating but not the end of the world.

Incidentally, mounting of the unit on my jib was a bit of a challenge too. The ProAim's mount is square. with four slots in which to my mind doesn't really match up to anything standard tripod or jib wise, so I had to fabricate another plate with four holes matching the ProAim's ones and mount on my Hague jib that way.

Once the minor irritants were dealt with I have to say I'm pretty happy. The movement is smooth (if somewhat noisy) and fine control of speed is possible - although I think some practice will be required. I can now get the shots I want and it hasn't cost me a fortune.

Overall - I would recommend the head as a good, budget alternative to the pricey stuff, but if you can afford the Varizoom (or better) you probably wont have to do the tweaking I had to do to get it how I wanted.

I will be taking some pictures shortly to illustrate my points - so keep nipping back and having a look!

EDIT - I've had a bill from FedEx for 14.20 which they say is from the taxman for unpaid import duty on the head. I've been in touch with DVAccessory (who sold the head to me) and the guy there called Simer has assured me I'll get this money refunded to me via Paypal. I've just this moment emailed him with a copy of the bill, so we'll see how long the refund takes to arrive.

Edit AGAIN - Pleased to say Simer has emailed me this morning (less than 24hrs from first contact) to let me know my refund is on its way - Top Service I'd say!

Andy.

IMAGES

IMAGE ONE - View inside the control box. I've arrowed the trim controllers on the underside of the joystick control. Careful adjustment of these was required on mine to stop the head 'slewing' away when it was meant to be at rest.
http://www.playpauseclick.co.uk/crane/trim.jpg

IMAGE TWO - Another view inside the control box. I found that the arrowed plug became easily detached fromn the PCB when working inside the box. Ensure if you need to access the innards that you check the plug is correctly reseated before assembling the box again.
http://www.playpauseclick.co.uk/crane/plug.jpg

May 2010 Update.

Right - I've had this unit for a while now - and my experiences haven't been QUITE as good as I would have hoped for...

First of all there is the issue of the gears. The large ones are made of aluminium - and pretty cheap grade ally in my opinion (and that of an engineer friend of mine too). What I've discovered - and I freely admit this is my fault to a degree but I believe it reflects a poor quality of design or build.. is that often times at the end of filming, it's easy to forget to reset the head to its parking point and the temptation is to move it by hand to get it to fit back into its case. The problem is that the gear skip teeth and it burrs the edges so easily - and once burred - the movement is totally knackered. I asked the price of new gears and got an answer of 40 per set. Helpfully - my engineer friend has taken the knackered ones and is having some made out of stainless steel. So - lesson one - DONT move the arms by hand - it will cost you!

Second on my list of gripes is the fact that I identified the 'speed control' wasn't really having any effect and every so often the head would rotate off on its own. Only switching off and on again seemed to 'reset' it. I took the control box to another mate of mine who designs high grade hi-fi and asked him to take a look. He found the speed control (a 1k pot) had been wired poorly and was burnt out. Further - he took a close look at the circuit board and found splatters of solder all over it. He said the random movement was probably due to stray voltage striking out and screwing with the IC. So - and in fairness to the suppliers, I asked for and recieved a replacemet circuit board fairly quickly and free of charge.

Next - position of the head. I've once or twice wanted to use it 'overhead' rather than underslung off my jib. The main problem then is that the joystick controls have no 'reverse switch'. So the joystick has to be mounted upside down. Not ideal.

Overall at this stage my assesment is that the ProAim head is ALMOST good. Just not brilliant. And extreme care has to be exercised in its use.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 08:15 AM   #37
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Thanks for the info Andy..

I was wondering, do you know how much the head weighs on its own ? I couldnt see this info on the cinecity website.. Id like to know what the total weight will be if i get one because im planning to use it with a custom made bracket.

All up i think it seems fairly good value.. If you ensure you use the motor to bring it back to packing position and dont mind turning the joystick upside then it doesnt seem too bad. I guess you can expect a few things given its so much cheaper than other brands... Has your opinion changed on the smoothness of the motion ? That would be my biggest concern, i couldnt handle jerkiness.

Also i had a thought, would it be possible to create an XLR lead with the positive and negative reversed to reverse the joystick controls ? something tells me that wouldnt be that hard to customise ?
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Old May 7th, 2010, 10:09 AM   #38
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Randy - I will weigh it tonight and let you know.

As for the reversal of XLR - I'm not sure if that'd work or not. I'd thought of having my man fit a flick switch that reversed the joystick to board cables. I've attached my joystick box to a quick release plate now rather than use the bracket provided. I've removed that completely because again - it didn't do it for me at all..

Smoothness wise - it's absolutely fine as long as you take care of the gears. I'm wondering whether to start a business selling stainless steel replacements for people - I'm pretty sure its not just me that's identified the problem.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #39
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yes, i dont think it would be that hard to engineer something to reverse the controls.. Ideally i would like to rebuild the joystick box and add a reverse switch and lanc zoom facility.. That would be ideal.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #40
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Randy - Very Approximate (I had to use bathroom scales) - 2.5kg for the unit.

As far as the control box goes - I have considered binning the whole thing in favour of some radio control hardware - I've been told the accuracy would be far better and I could achive a ramping stop and start if I wanted to. Which I do.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #41
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Thanks Andy... 2.5kgs is ok for what i want to do i think so thats good.. Wireless would be great, there is definately some potential for modding gear like this..
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Old May 7th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #42
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Randy - I think it's almost inevitable you'll mod it - I've tweaked mine in lots of ways so far - some have worked, some not. But for the price I think you have to expect some shortcomings that need overcoming.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 12:33 AM   #43
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I actually dont mind a bit of modifying (as long as i get it right).. I usually learn something along the way.. I might ask cine city what a replacement controller is worth just so i know beforehand.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 05:03 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Lockwood View Post
Randy - I think it's almost inevitable you'll mod it - I've tweaked mine in lots of ways so far - some have worked, some not. But for the price I think you have to expect some shortcomings that need overcoming.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #45
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Any video yet? Anything will do! Test footage, anything.

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