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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old August 8th, 2008, 06:47 PM   #1
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EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount

I already had an Anton-Bauer Dionic 90 battery from my JVC HD100, and I decided Id like to use it on the Sony EX3 since it is rated for 6.33 continuous hours of shooting on a single charge considerably more than the 4.5 hours it gave my JVC. If I didnt already own this, I think Id just have purchased the Swit battery from B&H and extended the cord. But, I felt like a DIY project and chose this route instead!

First, I removed the cheek guard that Id installed upon receipt of the camera. It just seemed, looked, and felt cheap and it wasnt really doing me any good. I shot a short film with it off and decided not to put it back on. This left two nice threaded holes in the base of the EX3 completely open and unused and since the plastic was about 1/16 thick, I knew it would accommodate that without preventing the shoulder pad from locking shut.

All I needed was one more point near the top of the camera, to mount my adapter plate assembly, so I chose to use the rear strap bracket. This is the little black piece of metal that you can use to run the included Sony shoulder strap through. I cant imaging ever using that strap, so this bracket became my third mounting point.

My goals were:
Use Dionic 90 battery
Mount it at the rear not the bottom, on a belt, or on the top for positive weight distribution
Keep cold shoe open and usable for hard drive in the future
Keep all of the rear jacks accessible
Avoid damaging or defacing the camera must be refersible.

First, I tried making a hook for the upper bracket from some aluminum I have. My thought was to hang the assembly on that hook and screw it under the shoulder pad. Though I did manage to cut, bend, and file a piece of aluminum to the right size and shape, I could tell that it was no longer very strong. I browsed the hardware aisle at the local hardware store and found a package of heavy duty steel picture hangers. With a little effort, I straightened and bent one of them and then riveted it to the existing Anton-Bauer base plate.
Attached Thumbnails
EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-hook.jpg  
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Old August 8th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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Later, I found it necessary to cut off the tail of the hook right next to the rivet.

The next step was the base that connects to the camera. I purchase a piece of 2 by 2 by 1/16 thick angle aluminum. It was fairly easy to work with cut it with metal shears and used a file on the edges. This is the shape I needed, the two screw holes are for the screw holes that the cheek guard used to use.
Attached Thumbnails
EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-brace.jpg  
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Old August 8th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #3
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So, after quite a bit of filing to remove any burrs and smooth all the edges and corners, it was time to assemble the pieces. I chose to paint the bracket only after everything was done and tested, because I knew this was going to take a little adjusting and changing as I went along (like cutting down the hook!). I assembled with more rivets I like rivets. They are easy, strong, unobtrusive, paintable, and did I mention I like them?

And then it was time to test fit...

In the third pic, you can see the hook. Im only testing it right now, after painting it, I placed heat-shrink tubing over it heated it so that it would fit snugly in the bracket without rattling or scratching paint.
Attached Thumbnails
EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-rough-bracket.jpg   EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-fit1.jpg  

EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-fit2.jpg  
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Old August 8th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #4
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First, I built a small DC power lead using the Radio Shack D Adaptaplug, and extension cable, some protective braiding, and more heat-shrink.

Next, I drilled though the bracket and, since I didnt feel like making another trip to Radio Shack for the strain-relief I forgot, I just used plastic zip ties on either side of the hole after I ran the lead through it. Time to paint!! I recommend cleaning, priming, and painting two coats.

Finally, after double-checking polarity, I soldered the wires together using more heat-shrink to prevent any possible shorting. (I think I like heat shrink as much as I do rivets!)
Attached Thumbnails
EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-lead.jpg   EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-paint1.jpg  

EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-wiring.jpg  
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Old August 8th, 2008, 06:53 PM   #5
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Prior to assembly, since there is quite a bit of metal in the base, I chose to add an insulating layer. A piece of thin plastic would do the trick, so I used an Letter-sized sheet of plastic (used as a cover or back page for reports, etc. bought a pack of the stuff at Staples a couple years ago). The first picture is of the cut to fit version with holes punched out for the screws.

Not pictured is the hole for the wiring. I forgot to do this in advance, so I had to slice it all the way through so I could get it on there without taking the wiring apart. That was annoying. So, in case you are following step-by-step and the same thing has happened to you, I apologize. The second picture shows it assembled.
Attached Thumbnails
EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-plastic.jpg   EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-plate-complete.jpg  

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Old August 8th, 2008, 06:54 PM   #6
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So, now with a pair of screws, it goes on the camera.

The screws alone hold everything in place all by themselves, but the top could flex and move if it werent for the hook.

Oops, forgot to put the heat-shrink on the hook have to take it off the camera again to do it!
Attached Thumbnails
EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-mount1.jpg   EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-mount2.jpg  

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Old August 8th, 2008, 06:55 PM   #7
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Heres the final product with the battery. Ive also added my custom receiver mount to the other side that supports either one or two wireless receivers I made that for the last camera and used it a bunch. It attaches to the existing holes on the AB bracket that are designed to hold, you guessed it, a wireless mic!

I accomplished all my goals. The balance is superior both front to back (no longer front heavy even with that Sony WA adapter on the front). Left and right, the balance is improved as well since the AB battery is offset quite a bit to the right. I used to have to really hold my wrist back if my left hand wasnt on the camera. Now, it settles into the heel of my right hand much more nicely.

Maybe this will help someone else really only takes part of a day to do it.
Attached Thumbnails
EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-battery.jpg   EX3 and the Anton-Bauer Gold Mount-diy-ab-mount.jpg  

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Old August 8th, 2008, 07:18 PM   #8
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Ted,
great effort. Amazing what you can do with a hacksaw, vice, a few files and a drill press. Rivets are great, will never shake loose. I also use rivet nuts but the tool for inserting them is expensive, good investment though. I make a trip every so often to an aluminium fabricator and grab all manner of extrusions from their scrap bin for scrap metal prices. You never know when that odd looking extrusion will come in handy. A jig saw with a metal cutting blade can save a sore arm if there's a lot of cutting involved.

Just a heads up. Those brick batteries can deliver a lot of current under fault conditions. I couldn't really see how you'd wired into the AB plate so just make certain you haven't bypassed the fuse if there's one. If not I'd add one even if it's a soldered in one. If you do solder one in, more heatshrink, I love the stuff too. I bought a cheap hot air gun made for paint stripping to shrink it with. I find hitting it with a quick blast of very hot air reduces the risk of melting other parts.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #9
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Bob,

Thanks for the input.

Actually, the only difference between this and the AB supplied for the JVC camera, is that they converted the 14.4V supply down to 7.2V and added a dummy battery block to connect to the pins in the battery compartment - no fuses were bypassed or removed.

Basically, it's like running the camera off a D-Tap - except that there is still a free D-Tap!

This is essentially what you get if you buy the Gold Mount for the EX1/3 from AB, but they mount theirs under the camera and I didn't want to do that. Would totaly get in the way when I add rails and my 35mm adapter!
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Old August 9th, 2008, 06:40 AM   #10
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!

Excellent work!

Jus.
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Old August 9th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #11
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Great work, Ted.

And I'm certain that if you wanted to make a few of those commercially, you might find some buyers!
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Old August 10th, 2008, 12:52 AM   #12
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I want one! I also have the AB mount from my JVC HD100. What a great job you've done. I've been looking around for an AB mount especially since I use the powertap for my frezzi light. I normally have a light and hard drive plugged into my AB mount.


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Old August 11th, 2008, 01:04 AM   #13
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I'm going to talk to someone about making these - hopefull will post more info soon.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #14
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A word of caution to those would-be DIY'ers. Make sure you use the proper grinding material for soft metals such as aluminum. Very important if you use a motorized grinder. Soft metals will clog up a grind stone meant for hard metals and can cause the stone to come apart while spinning at high speed. That is usually never a good thing.

Well done Ted. And a note to Bob....

Most of the AB adapter plates such as this have an internal fuse, not to mention all the newer batteries (esp Dionics) have internal protection from over current. I found this out when trying to run a 50 watt camera light on my F350. The Dionic didn't like the high current draw from cam and light and shut itself down.

-gb-
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Old August 12th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
A word of caution to those would-be DIY'ers. Make sure you use the proper grinding material for soft metals such as aluminum. Very important if you use a motorized grinder. Soft metals will clog up a grind stone meant for hard metals and can cause the stone to come apart while spinning at high speed. That is usually never a good thing.
Greg,

I agree with you on this one wholeheartedly - happened to someone I knew many years ago! On the other hand, using a metal file and elbow grease (which is what I did) gets old fast! That's why I'm looking for a metal shop that can just build them for people and I can back away from the manufacturing business - not a hobby I'm interested in pursuing as a career!
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