Quick peek at my first flo design... one week left? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 25th, 2005, 11:33 AM   #1
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Quick peek at my first flo design... one week left?

I've talked to enough of you about this that I wanted to give you a preview of what I've got coming. This isn't the exact shape of my cheapest flo... but it's VERY close. I've got to tweek a couple dimensions and test some things... but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Basically this will just give you a glimpse of what I have in mind. What you see is crafted construction that I think people will either like or not. If you like American Chopper then I think you'll love these lights... If you're more of an "import" person then you may not. These lights definitely look "built" rather then pumped out of a factory... 'cause they are.

I realise that there are an assortment of options to increase the value of the final design... and I'll integrate whatever I can... but I'll probably have to offer these in a couple levels because this process hasn't been cheap for me... and creating "affordable" location flos was the whole point.

So anyway HERE is the gist of the simple design... with much more info to come later. CLICK
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Old May 25th, 2005, 11:52 AM   #2
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Looks good to me.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 01:28 PM   #3
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Matt what kinda of ballasts and bulbs are you using? That looks like a 2 foot box am i correct or was it 4'? Looks good so far!
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Old May 25th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #4
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This enclosure is just under 6" x 6" x 22.5"... 6" wide at the mouth and only 2.5" wide at the back. This first one is made to house just one 55w biax tube. I did a lot of testing with reflectors and it became clear to me why Kino designed the ParaBeam the way they did... and why they CALL it the PARA beam... it's 'cause a parabolic reflector behind the light does wonders... so I'm taking it a step further and I'm "horn-loading" the light the whole way out! The anodized aluminum that I'm using for the reflectors is ULTRA reflective... it casts a 96% perfect reflection (measured resolution) and it returns about the same percentage of light... so you can't tell the light from the reflector! Now putting the light in a much deeper parabolic curve allows that light to build until exit... so the gist is that you won't believe how many lumens you can get out of 55w! I've been testing angles, depths, and shapes for a while now and I feel I'm at the best compromise of everything I wanted in a cheap and portable flo.

I plan to make three or four more designs including a chinese lantern... but this one is "my baby" because the whole reason I started this is to offer something great for a really low price... so I'm pushing every possibility with this first design... even though I can't wait to get back to some of my more complicated ideas.

I think this is going to be an excellent "bread and butter" light... you know, something good to get you by on a budget. I also think it will make a nice addition to a larger and more complex kit.

I'm thinking about calling 'em "Fluorescent Stingers"... or something with a "sting" in it... because it's amazing how much light comes out of these. My intention with this one is to address my OWN challenges I've had when I needed a rapid-setup, capable package... for interviews and surprise shoots. These will be the lights I wanted... and after I have three of my own I don't really care what happens to the rest of 'em...

The ballasts are super-high frequency electronic. Depending on which light you get they'll be between 46kHz and 60kHz... This first model will include 60kHz... and they're instant on. The only thing that's a factor is the Kino tubes need about a minute to stabilize... Even if you have a Diva then you've seen what I mean... it's more pronounced in the 2900k tubes then the 5600k tubes... but in the first 60 seconds "on" they go from bright to unbelievable. Oh yeah, and this ballast will work in an even WIDER temp range then the Kinos! Look up a Kino or Mole biax... they recommend 50 degrees F or higher... and these will work at MINUS 20 degrees F! As soon as I get the first one completely done I'll take it into our walk-in cooler and place a thermometer on it... showing it at zero... then I'll flip it on... or maybe I'll hang the light from my tongue?

Sorry I got punchy... but thanks for your interest!
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Old May 25th, 2005, 09:10 PM   #5
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The second shot in that video confused me because the narration/copy didn't match the images on the screen (I saw the tubes and your DVX in the background). Heh, I didn't notice it was a shot of the "highest reflectivity aluminum you can get".
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Old May 30th, 2005, 11:54 AM   #6
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Matt,
You're definately getting there...still going to have some way to "soften" the specularity?....(I THINK that's the word)
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Old May 30th, 2005, 06:58 PM   #7
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David... by the time I'm done I'm going to have a bunch of variations... I also bought the best white aluminum reflector material you can get... which I may integrate later... and I'm waiting on some stuff that's hammered... that will probably be much later... but I'm really happy with the way these fixtures are going. I don't want to knock down the specularity of this fixture at all... I'd rather pop on a frost if need be... and still have the punch for the rest of the time.

Fluorescent light normally falls off so quickly that I don't want to do anything to counteract the luminous power that I've been striving for...

Control won't be a problem... you'll see.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 07:18 PM   #8
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hey Matt, if you want to sell any of your Beta designs, or early test models, I'd be happy to buy one (I've got a shoot in a couple of weeks that will be in tight quarters and this unit would come in handy!) *I'm not implying that a discount would be in order either, It's really about me not being able exercise patience! ;-)
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Old May 30th, 2005, 08:07 PM   #9
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Hey Shawn,
From my conversations with Matt and the way that he's approached this project, I doubt if there ever will be a beta...I'm willing to bet the first one that goes out the front door is road ready and a heck of a piece of equipment.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 09:45 PM   #10
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Indeed, I believe Matt said he was close to having some finished product for sendng out for reviews, like around today or so... though I think that was in a different thread over at dvxuser. Well, while we're waiting we can still get by with a generic Home Depot fixture with some good (high CRI) lights from Vita-Lite or even kinos:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...446#post318446
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Old June 1st, 2005, 12:06 PM   #11
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Matt
So, by my count (which is frequently incorrect)your week is up tomorrow. Ya got the first one ready to ship? (grin)
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Old June 1st, 2005, 01:58 PM   #12
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Hey guys... why don't you pretend like I'm just some "dude" that you know who's trying to make some location flos? (wait a minute, that's pretty accurate so far)... and this guy is going to try his best to make something cheap and decent at the same time... and keep in mind that this guy 'aint perfect.

Shawn, I probably WILL have a couple "betas" to start off with... but I'll have to test 'em for at least a couple days. I want to know exactly how much heat they'll make and details like that. I'm going to take one to our walk-in cooler/freezer and test it's performance at 0 and 34 degrees... then I'm going to leave a light on for 24-48 hours and test the temps again. Basically I want to knock a light around a bit and make sure that it's plenty tough.

I've got a good friend locally who I do video with on occasion and I'll probably give her one of the beta fixtures...

Also I've found that some of this metal-working machinery makes really tough jobs possible, but not necessarily easy. The machine I got to bend my parabolic reflectors has adjustment screws for pressure and I ruffled the edges of my first reflector after stupidly tightening them all the way... After playing for a while (with other less pricey "scrap" reflectors... as seen in one of my clips) I'm really getting the hang of it and they're coming out perfect. Everything's fitting like I imagined it would too... It's very satisfying when things litterally "pop" into place.

I've weighed a nearly completed fixture and I should be right around 6lbs... and for SURE no more then 7... and later units will be under 6 and close to 5... depending on how I compromise between throw and portability... and the associated hardware for mounting can make a significant difference in weight (about 8 oz. or so)...

If you got something from me this week it wouldn't have barndoors. The parts I'm waiting on will arrive on Thu or Fri and then I have to place a high quantity order based on which bits I like the best. (custom knobs)

Within the instant that I feel comfortable shipping you something I'll let you know...
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Old June 1st, 2005, 05:36 PM   #13
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Just don't forget us 50Hz, 240volters Matt..... ;)

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Old June 2nd, 2005, 03:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gettemeier
Shawn, I probably WILL have a couple "betas" to start off with... but I'll have to test 'em for at least a couple days.

If you got something from me this week it wouldn't have barndoors. The parts I'm waiting on will arrive on Thu or Fri and then I have to place a high quantity order based on which bits I like the best. (custom knobs)

Within the instant that I feel comfortable shipping you something I'll let you know...
Greatly appreciated, just got a gig to shot a trailer around the 16th, plus I could surely address the barndoors with a little ingenuity! I'm done with my DIY dollie, next the crane, but I don't think it would be wise, efficient, or fruitful to redo all the excellent work you're already doing... sometimes it is money well spent. (same goes with building a 35mm adapter, that's one project that would seriously cut into my creative time and my sanity!)

Thanks for taking the time to get it right, test, and R&D.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 01:29 PM   #15
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OK, 1 week and 2 days....How ya comin' Matt?
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