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Old January 26th, 2014, 07:03 PM   #1
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I don't even know what this would be called

I am looking for what I guess amounts to a box. A box to mount under my camera.

Here is the situation- I run a multi-camera live production setup. For each camera (there are four of them) there is a SDI converter, intercom radio, battery pack, and power adapter. Currently when setting up all this gets strapped to the tripod with gaffer tape. Doing it this way works, but as a result I go through a lot of tape, it adds to the setup/take down time, and it is a pretty un-elegant solution (things taped all over the tripod).

In an ideal world I would like some kind of an accessory box that I could pack all this into. The box sit between the camera and the tripod, attaching to the bottom of the camera and mounting to the top of the tripod. The way I envision it, the box would then work as an extension of the camera itself and the whole unit would go on the tripod..

I'm sure something like this must exist, but I can't find it. I have tried searching for camera accessory boxes, and just browsing websites like BH Photo trying to find such a thing. Unfortunately the closes I have come up with is wireless receiver boxes. I don't even know what a box like this would be called to even know exactly what I should be searching for.

So, if anyone out there has any ideas for me or could point me in the right direction I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks!
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Old January 26th, 2014, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: I don't even know what this would be called

Something like this may be heading in the right direction...

Jimmy Box Jimmybox Large - Wireless Receiver Holder JIMMYBOXLARG
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Old January 26th, 2014, 07:30 PM   #3
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Re: I don't even know what this would be called

My one word of caution is that you might not want intercom radios so close to the camera ? A box under the camera will add weight on top of the head and raise the centre of gravity , making balance more difficult .

Have you tried the like of PortaBrace ( the company who make rain covers , carry bags etc ?

How about a soft , compartmented bag which would Velcro onto two legs of the tripod ? A bit like the audio cases you can get to hold a field mixer and several radiomic receivers ? Manfrotto also make a sort of pouch which velcros across the legs to carry stuff on the tripod .

Portabrace will make custom products to your requirements , but something may already exist which would do the job .
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Old January 26th, 2014, 10:52 PM   #4
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Re: I don't even know what this would be called

As Derek says, raising the camera centre of gravity significantly is a bad idea. And depending on what type of radios and cameras you have, the high RF output has been known to adversely affect video output OR trip optical imaging stabilizers, shifting the image sideways when keyed up.

I used to Velcro adaptors to my battery packs before I bought HD-SDI equipped cameras.

Intercoms, in MY humble opinion, belong on the operator, not on the tripod.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 01:19 AM   #5
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Re: I don't even know what this would be called

Thank you so much everyone for all the replies so far.

Unfortunately I made a mistake in my original post- My mind was elsewhere while I was typing it. The radios I am using to communicate with my camera operators are not being attached to the tripod right now and are not something that I am looking to put into this box I want for the camera.

Here is my current setup- The cameras I am using are Sony FX1 camcorders. I am taking the analog component video out and going straight into a Blackmagic analog > SDI mini converter. From there I am dong an SDI cable run to my switcher.

To power both the camera and the mini converter I have a battery pack and a power adapter for the camera and mini converter. When possible though I like to run the camera's off AC power, especially when doing longer events.

At this time the mini converter, battery pack, and power adapters are all being taped to the tripod. I am looking for a more elegant solution to manage all this. I thought some kind of a simple box or cage that could be mounted under the camera would be ideal.

In the very near future I plan to move away from SDI and switch to fiber. When this happens I will be using the Blackmagic camera converter. I will still be using the same battery pack/power adapters I am now and the mini converter and will be adding the camera converter. So whatever solution I go with will need to be able to handle all these things.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 08:15 AM   #6
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Re: I don't even know what this would be called

The sort of thing that sprung to my mind was a combination case , like the one in the link below - designed to hold a field mixer plus radiomic receivers etc - and which could be hung around the legs of the tripod with velcro straps ...

PortaBrace - Mixers | Audio Mixer Cases

The website says they will make custom cases to your own spec - no doubt at a cost !

Maybe the above is too big , and something like this would do ?


http://www.portabrace.com/products/p.../75-belt-packs

The waist strap could easily be put around the top of a tripod and be adjusted so it hangs just below the head .
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Old January 27th, 2014, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: I don't even know what this would be called

What I've seen on many large shows I've worked on is a bag or Camplex unit suspended from a hook under the ball head of the tripod. A soft sided bag like a Portabrace attached via a carabiner might be your best bet. Fast attach/detach.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 04:03 PM   #8
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Re: I don't even know what this would be called

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Grunseth View Post

At this time the mini converter, battery pack, and power adapters are all being taped to the tripod. I am looking for a more elegant solution to manage all this. I thought some kind of a simple box or cage that could be mounted under the camera would be ideal.

In the very near future I plan to move away from SDI and switch to fiber. When this happens I will be using the Blackmagic camera converter. I will still be using the same battery pack/power adapters I am now and the mini converter and will be adding the camera converter. So whatever solution I go with will need to be able to handle all these things.
Perhaps some kind of cage at the bottom of the tripod would work better. The weight would stabilize the tripod rather than create a higher center of gravity on top. And you would benefit from the added distance to the camera (interference wise, not cable wise).
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Old February 5th, 2014, 10:54 AM   #9
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Re: I don't even know what this would be called

Have a look at the Manfrotto 166 Utility Apron. It attaches to the three tripod legs and has three compartments to organise odds and ends.
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