XL2 dedicated remote head at DVinfo.net

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Old September 19th, 2005, 09:56 AM   #1
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XL2 dedicated remote head

Got recently a crane and XL2 dedicated remote head constructed. I posted some photos on my webpages www.luontovideo.net (click then "Special") for those interested on such equipments.

The photos were taken when the crane was installed outdoors for the first time, and thus, the cords are hanging around bit messy. Nevertheless, the system works perfectly well, and the camera can be smoothly pan and tilted. The motors are swissmade by Maxon with a 1:900 gearbox.

There's also a small solenoid controlling the aperture switch of XL2, but that was not installed when the photo was taken. Will post more photos and footages when ever have bit more time.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 08:18 PM   #2
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Thanks Lauri,

I'm very interested in your remote aperture switch! Please keep us advised! Thanks again,
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Old September 29th, 2005, 02:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
I'm very interested in your remote aperture switch! Please keep us advised!
Chris, I've now added still photos of the details. Among them is a photo of the solenoid controlling the iris knob. There's also a sample video of some footages taken with the crane and remote head.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #4
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Lauri

very nice work. Would be interested in details on all of it especially the remote head (motors and controls) as well as the selenoid

nice work. I am just downloading the sample video to watch that as well
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Old September 30th, 2005, 09:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Michael Salzlechner
very nice work. Would be interested in details on all of it especially the remote head (motors and controls) as well as the selenoid
Michael, I wonder which way to tell you information of the details. The motor head has two 12V DC motors and pan is restricted to 350 degrees and tilt to about 120 degrees with small switches. Once the camera reaches the restrictions, the motor head recognizes only a command from the remote control to turn in the opposite direction. (This is to protect the camera. The torque of the motors could cause damage.) The axis of the motor head have bearings and there's a spirit level to set the camcorder horizontally.

The crane itself has four cables in tension, which keep the whole thing -three rods each about 2.2 meters- together. The length of the crane is about 6.5 meters. The screw kind of systems which are needed to adjust the tension of the cables are meant for a sailing boat. (A mast of the sailing boat has similar kind of cables.) Three of the cables are symmetrically around the crane from the tail to the tip, and the fourth cable is about 1 meter from the tail supporting vertically the connection of the two front rods.

The crane weights about 8 kg and the camera and the head together about 4 kg. The crane is set on a Manfrotto 510 video head lying on a Manfrotto 500 MV tripod to which I add an additional monopod kind of support in the middle.

The remote control has 12V input and three regulators. Two for the DC motors and one for the LCD monitor. The output voltage of the motor regulators are adjusted with potentiometers, whereas the monitor output is fixed to 12 V. The joystick sets switches on/off, that is, the joystick sets whether the camera moves up left, up, up right, left, doesn't move, right, down left, down, or down right, and the speed is set from the potentiometers. One may rather easily embed the speed control within the joystick (the more the joystick is moved from the neutral position, the faster the camera turns), but I wanted to have these controls separated. A so called pulse control may be more elegant, but my main goal was reliability, and thus, my choice was a remote control which does not let me down in outdoor conditions.

Finally, the LANC control is a serial interface, and the Canon remote control is attached to the remote control from which the signal gets to the camcorder within a multipin cable along the signals to the DC motors and the Iris control solenoid.

For some reason a 10 MB restriction appeared on the files which can be downloaded from my web pages. Thus, probably you did not get the whole sample video. I've split the sample now into two separate files.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 12:40 PM   #6
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Lauri

thanks for all the information. Very helpful. Do you have details on which motors you used and what you used for the controls ?

thanks again. Very interesting work
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Old October 1st, 2005, 12:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Michael Salzlechner
Do you have details on which motors you used and what you used for the controls?
The motors are swissmade Maxon W06 41.040.038-00.00-117, www.maxonmotor.com. Such a motor costs around 100 in Europe.

The electronics of the remote control is self made. But if you have anybody around you who know about electronics, it's a fairly simple thing to make the regulators. Be aware, in the neutral position the remote control short circuits the motors. Otherwise the camera would not stay promptly in the position it is left. (Short circuiting means that if the camera moves a bit, the motor acts as a generator generating a current in the coils preventing the motor and the camera from turning. Together with the gear box the torque is big enough to hold the camera steady.)
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