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Old November 23rd, 2007, 03:51 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Birmingham, Al, USA
Posts: 7
HOME MADE STEADICAMS and other gadgets

I just got through making a couple of "Steadicams" that seem to work pretty well, and look a little more professional than the "plumbing pipe model". Check out the picture at :

The first one uses the same principle of a weight at the end of a stick, but is made of an aluminum plate to mount the HD7 connected by a threaded rod running through a piece of tubing to a steel plate. The tubing is covered with a piece of rubber pipe insulation. The counterweight is a retrieving magnet from Harbour Freight. It can be perfectly balanced by moving the magnet forward or backward. You can grab it near the top to shoot level, or further down the handle to shoot down.

The second one is based on the real Steadicam principle, and uses a 1/4" U-joint wrench fitting from Home Depot mounted on a rubber screwdriver handle. The upper end of the joint is filed to fit tight inside a 1/4" ball bearing. The outside of the bearing is glued to the aluminum plate with epoxy. That makes a dandy 3 way gimbal. A piece of aluminum rod is bent and attached to the both the top aluminum and the bottom steel plate using copper electrical connectors and screws. The same retrieving magnet acts as the counterweight, and balance is achieved by sliding either the magnet or the rod forward or backward. Having the magnet on the bottom gave too much of a pendulum effect, so I turned it up instead.
I really like the first one better after all.

The third contraption uses a small tripod head attached to a welding magnet, also from Harbor Freight, and allowed me to shoot some fun footage sticking it to the roof of my 350Z and riding up and down the hill... Just make sure you glue a piece of rubber or leather to the magnet to protect the paint!
Jean-Jacques Gaudel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24th, 2007, 01:13 AM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: switzerland
Posts: 2,133
mmmmh... you would be worry to have so many and so big magnets near my camera, on in the bag....
Giroud Francois is offline   Reply

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