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Old January 9th, 2009, 09:23 PM   #1
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Shooting steady footage from a Jet Ski

I posted this under stabilizers but it probably should be linked to this sub forum

Purpose Rig built for shooting Hi Def from a Jet Ski, with 7Ē external framing monitor, remote control zoom/record with TOSLINK fibre optic extender,1080i Hi Def Cam 2hr recording to SD Card, 4 hrs external battery pack. Comes with waterproof covers for the cam, monitor and remote.







A 12v battery in the bum bag runs the big monitor and the Cam. It has an 8.4v regulator in line to the HF100 and full 12v to the monitor.

The base of wheel has a 3/8 adapter to take a Gyro Stabilizer, but at $2500 ÖÖ well have to sell some DVDís first. But i hired one and itís awesome. It spins at 20,000rpm and trying to turn the wheel is like fighting a Formula 1 car around a corner, but dead steady footage even when the jet-ski bounces.

The monitor is already splash proof, the cam has a clear WP bag with glass port and the remote has just a clear bag (Not shown). Itís not for IN water only ON water. The cam bag had to have a breather as it generates heat, but thatís no problem.

On mild days when there's little chance of getting the Cam wet, i just put a ziploc bag over the Cam with a hole for the lens and a small breather hole cut in the top of the bag. There is a UV filter for protection and a rubber band keeps the bag in place around the filter. Other times i put the Cam into a housing i adapted from an Everready 6v waterproof torch and mount that to the tripod head with the quick connect tripod mount.



The cam is secured inside the housing by foam inserts.The Canon HF 100 fit's perfectly into the area where the battery was and i have replaced the original torch lens with a low iron glass. Cables are routed thru a small rubber port in the torch housing to connect the extn monitor, extn power and fibre optic remote cable.





That is about prototype 10, i keep changing it all the time. I have clip on mounts for duel lights, external shotgun mike and a laser pointer and the best thing is, all the cam controls are available with both hands on the wheel and that is important for steady footage.

I suppose i should explain the Laser pointer. It helps train your coordination to keep a steady position even when bouncing around on the back of a Jet Ski. You aim it at say a white area on the hull of a canoe and try and maintain the spot in the monitor, especially when zoomed in. It also allows you to take your eyes off the monitor for a while, knowing that if you hold the spot, you have the framing you set up.

How it's made
The wheel is made from flexible 25mm poly pressure pipe and joined at the bottom with a copper "T" piece and riveted together. The Tripod head fits over the single end of the "T" and is also riveted in place.( The Slik tripod head still works as normal and the whole wheel will attach to a tripod just by screwing it on to the normal tripod screw mount via an adapter thread on the bottom of the wheel)





A car steering wheel cover is then stretched over the pipe for looks and to hide all the cables. The monitor clamp is adapted from a bike handle bar mount that comes with a GoPro Camera kit i had. Car DVD Monitor mounts will also work.

As i only use the Monitor for framing not focusing (i only use auto focus), the Sony DVD Car Accessory monitor is sufficient for my needs. Actually, its very good resolution and has good brightness controls. It's connected via av (composite) and works in playback or record mode.

I use the remote control to steer the Jet Ski while facing rearwards. .... Only kidding. I engage a driver and i sit facing the rear and shoot both sides and rear. Also turn around and stand and shoot over the drivers head. The wheel gives great stability control and you can access the remote with both hands on the wheel. You can see some footage here.
Rambos Locker Outrigger Canoe Blog: Vaka Eiva Teaser Video1

That was my first time using the wheel, I have got better since and when i use a Gyro, it's even steadier. Requires good team work and communication between the Jet Ski driver and the Cam operator ..(me)

UPDATE
Ok, here are the pictures of version 12 ..whew. Will i ever leave this thing alone.







The HF100 is fully "dunk" proof now and the case looks less like a torch housing with the handle removed and painted. For on land shots, i just remove the glass screw on front and replace it with one with no glass.

The Button on top is a waterproof cable gland adapted to work as a power button to turn the Camera on and off. so now most all the controls are available from out side the case.

There is a tripod quick release mount fixed to the base of the housing for easy removal.

More info here Rambos Locker Outrigger Canoe Blog

Cheers Ian

Last edited by Ian Newland; January 10th, 2009 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old January 10th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #2
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footage looks good. were you in the water at one point? around 1:19?
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Old January 10th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
footage looks good. were you in the water at one point? around 1:19?
Yes, the underwater shots were done with the green torch housing. However, i can also use the wheel and the black housing for in water shots as well.

Thanks for watching.

Cheers Ian
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Old January 10th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #4
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Nice mod

Hi mate. Nice mod. Where did you get the glass cut from ? Did you do it yourself ?
I would really suggest Lexan and the glass shatters on impact but Lexan is tougher..
I might try to get the torch at Dick Smith or where ever you bought it (where did you buy it anyway ?) and use Lexan for this project..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Newland View Post
Yes, the underwater shots were done with the green torch housing. However, i can also use the wheel and the black housing for in water shots as well.

Thanks for watching.

Cheers Ian
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Old January 10th, 2009, 06:43 PM   #5
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I like it even more

Do you mind elaborating on this mod ? How did you adapt an external power button ?
Quote:
The Button on top is a waterproof cable gland adapted to work as a power button to turn the Camera on and off. so now most all the controls are available from out side the case.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Anmol Mishra View Post
Hi mate. Nice mod. Where did you get the glass cut from ? Did you do it yourself ?
I would really suggest Lexan and the glass shatters on impact but Lexan is tougher..
I might try to get the torch at Dick Smith or where ever you bought it (where did you buy it anyway ?) and use Lexan for this project..
Glass cut at O'Brians Glass $20. I doubt 5mm glass will break that easy at 100mm diameter. The housing will break before the glass.

Lexan scratches permanently.

You need to find a torch housing that suits the size of your camera, this one is perfect for Canon HF100 and maybe many others. Take you cam with you and shop around.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anmol Mishra View Post
Do you mind elaborating on this mod ? How did you adapt an external power button ?
It's an electrical cable gland with a solid plastic rod inserted that presses the power button. The reason i used it is, it can be LOCKED by twisting the knob on top so it can't be accidentally activated.

The gland comes with an adjustable "O" ring inside to waterproof the button. The tighter you turn the knob the the more it closes on the rod.

Available at all electrical wholesalers $2

Just drill a hole in the appropriate place, insert the gland and tighten with the flange on the inside of the housing. (apply a little silicone if you wish)

Cheers Ian
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Old January 10th, 2009, 07:09 PM   #8
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Gyro suggestion

Can I suggest this place for gyro stabilizers ?
Super Precision Gyroscope - From Gyroscope.com
It should be OK to mod one of their products for less than the cost of the Kenyon rental.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 07:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anmol Mishra View Post
Can I suggest this place for gyro stabilizers ?
Super Precision Gyroscope - From Gyroscope.com
It should be OK to mod one of their products for less than the cost of the Kenyon rental.
It's a toy, it won't work.The Kenyon Gyro's are the only ones made specifically for cameras. You need 2 rotors off axis at 20,000rpm to get a sufficient effect.

Cheers Ian
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Old January 10th, 2009, 07:55 PM   #10
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Ah. So the contact is mechanical. The plastic rod just presses on the HF11 power button. That makes sense..
Do you tape this to the power and/or record button on the HF ? I'm curious about the actual mechanical attachment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Newland View Post
It's an electrical cable gland with a solid plastic rod inserted that presses the power button. The reason i used it is, it can be LOCKED by twisting the knob on top so it can't be accidentally activated.

The gland comes with an adjustable "O" ring inside to waterproof the button. The tighter you turn the knob the the more it closes on the rod.

Available at all electrical wholesalers $2

Just drill a hole in the appropriate place, insert the gland and tighten with the flange on the inside of the housing. (apply a little silicone if you wish)

Cheers Ian
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Old January 10th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anmol Mishra View Post
Ah. So the contact is mechanical. The plastic rod just presses on the HF11 power button. That makes sense..
Do you tape this to the power and/or record button on the HF ? I'm curious about the actual mechanical attachment.
It's simple, go buy a $2 cable gland and you will see.

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Old January 10th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #12
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Power and Record

In that, would you not need 2, one for the power and 1 for the record. Then you do not need the remote..
And I reread the post, your foam inserts are what keeps the camera in place.
May I suggest 3M industrial velcro from bunnings. This will keep the camera rock steady and in place each time..
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Old January 10th, 2009, 09:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anmol Mishra View Post
In that, would you not need 2, one for the power and 1 for the record. Then you do not need the remote..
And I reread the post, your foam inserts are what keeps the camera in place.
May I suggest 3M industrial velcro from bunnings. This will keep the camera rock steady and in place each time..
May be fine for your needs, but i need all the other functions on the remote, like Zoom etc.

Anmol, the setup i have works perfectly for me, if you want to change any of it or try other things, then build it the way you see it. There is more than 1 way to skin a cat.

Cheers Ian
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Old January 15th, 2009, 05:43 AM   #14
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More modifications.

I have put a hood on lens to protect it from water splashes and sunlight. The water spray usually comes from side on so the long hood should keep it clean.



I've also put a removable foam surround around the LCD screen to protect it from splashes and to enable putting my face up to the hood and blocking any reflections on the LCD screen coming from behind.

Also installed a splash proof shotgun mike.





Cheers Ian
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Old January 25th, 2009, 10:19 PM   #15
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Unit in action

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