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Old April 7th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #16
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David, even though I'm no expert on these things, maybe I can give a bit of advice on a few of your decisions.

First of all, since you have a big LCD and a nice battery, why not use them for your framing? Your camera can output information over its video signal, so you wouldn't even lose the overlays you have on your LCD. LCDs on Steadicams are in the place they are for multiple reasons, primarily to give balance to the sled, but also so that the operator can watch his footing while walking, and still pay attention to the shot. It allows your peripheral vision to be directed at the surroundings that matter. Peter Abraham, in talking to us in the workshop I just took said that very rarely does one walk unexpectedly into a beam at eye level, but it's often that there will be treacherous things on the ground. It's better to be looking down there to avoid them.

As to being worried about your sled pulling you over, yes that is a slight concern, probably not as much with a rig of the weight you're talking about though. I'd be more worried about the arm being properly machined, and being able to absorb shocks both laterally and vertically rather than trying to create friction to keep it from running away from you. With the higher-end rigs, you can adjust the "pitch" of the arm connector, to steer it so that it rests directly in front of you while you're standing in the proper position (leaning very slightly back and to the right). Getting the proper lean down is a bit difficult at first though, so I'd strongly suggest taking a workshop if at all possible. It'll save you some headaches. You might be able to devise a simple way of adjusting the pitch of the arm pin into your design, but if not, I'm not sure that adding friction will produce a desirable result.

About mounting the arm to one side or another - try both. Really. One will probably make more sense to you. Unless you truly have no preference, I wouldn't base it upon which side of the camera will give you what you want, you can always turn the camera with the left side facing you between shots if you need to adjust something.

Good luck with your project.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 11:43 PM   #17
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Hey Thanks Tom!

You’re absolutely correct about having the vest adjustments for the arm, and I will have a pitch adjustment. As for the sled pulling ME over, not likely, I'm 6' 3" and built like a football linebacker, but anything is possible.

Workshops are out of the question unless they show up in the Detroit/Toledo area. There is no way I could take a vacation and not spend all day without my wife :)

I did buy the Indicam DVD, and I'm looking forward to trying some practice drills they have. I should also be buying the EFP DVD soon, and can start watching that as well.

I feel a bit alone with all of this for where I live, but everyone who helps me out on these message boards I'm greatly appreciative, thanks to everyone!

Dave
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Old April 8th, 2008, 12:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David L. Holmes View Post
There is no way I could take a vacation and not spend all day without my wife :)
Now here's a man who's got his priorities straight! :) Props to you, David!
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Old July 27th, 2008, 11:42 PM   #19
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Top Stage Done :)

Hello Everyone again!

It's been a while since I've last updated about my sled progress. Life takes precedence over hobbies, so things have been progressing slow these last few months. One major advance is that I have completed the Top Stage!

I decided it would be best to use the Manfrotto 3419 micro-adjustable plate for the upper part of the top stage, but the bottom was going to have to be a custom build. I like the idea of the micro-adjust for ease of balancing my sled, so I came up with this design. The dovetail plate was machined to .001" tolerance, so there is little to almost Zero play. After anodizing, I'll have to recheck tolerance to make sure nothing is binding. The brass threaded rod is silky smooth, and the bronze clamp makes sure everything is locked tight so there is no movement. I still have to drill a hole for the Main Post mounting hardware and the outlet hole for the power cable from the Lower Stage battery, but it's 95% finished.

Next will be the finishing touches on the Gimbal handle, milling a slot into the Main Post for my wires, and a final fit and finish before anodizing. The end of the road is getting nearer, and I'm looking forward to going "Flying" for the first time :)

Till later,

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
The DIY challenge...-top-stage-1-copy.jpg   The DIY challenge...-top-stage-2-copy.jpg  

The DIY challenge...-top-stage-3-copy.jpg   The DIY challenge...-top-stage-4-copy.jpg  

The DIY challenge...-top-detail-copy.jpg  
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 07:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David L. Holmes View Post
Hello Everyone again!

It's been a while since I've last updated about my sled progress. Life takes precedence over hobbies, so things have been progressing slow these last few months. One major advance is that I have completed the Top Stage!

I decided it would be best to use the Manfrotto 3419 micro-adjustable plate for the upper part of the top stage, but the bottom was going to have to be a custom build. I like the idea of the micro-adjust for ease of balancing my sled, so I came up with this design. The dovetail plate was machined to .001" tolerance, so there is little to almost Zero play. After anodizing, I'll have to recheck tolerance to make sure nothing is binding. The brass threaded rod is silky smooth, and the bronze clamp makes sure everything is locked tight so there is no movement. I still have to drill a hole for the Main Post mounting hardware and the outlet hole for the power cable from the Lower Stage battery, but it's 95% finished.

Next will be the finishing touches on the Gimbal handle, milling a slot into the Main Post for my wires, and a final fit and finish before anodizing. The end of the road is getting nearer, and I'm looking forward to going "Flying" for the first time :)

Till later,

Dave

looks a little heavy.
But please dont tell us that you gave up on this DIY challenge.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #21
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Nope, didn't give up. It weighs only 16 oz alone, or 32 oz with the Manfrotto micro-adjust plate.

We have been busy refining the little detail of the sled, and waiting for my cousin to finish rebuilding his 1933 11" Southbend lathe...

All this work does take time, it is definitely easier to just buy an already complete sled, but not quite as much fun :)

More to come SOON!!!!
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Old November 14th, 2008, 12:35 AM   #22
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Finally FINISHED!!!

Hello Everyone

What a proud moment to be able to finally post here! After 11 months of on-again, off-again fabrication, my FINISHED sled is here!

Final specs are:

Empty sled weight with LCD, but without battery and counterweights = 10 lbs (4.54 Kilos)

Fully loaded sled as shown = 20 lbs! (9.07 Kilos)

Obviously if I fly this thing for more then 30 seconds, my arm will fall off SO the next build will be the vest and my ISO-Arm.

Wish me luck!!

p.s. A great thanks to all that have inspired me, and have helped me by answering my questions. Please feel free to comment about anything about my sled, you may only help me make it even better.
Attached Thumbnails
The DIY challenge...-top-stage-3-.jpg   The DIY challenge...-gimbal-3-.jpg  

The DIY challenge...-finished-sled.jpg   The DIY challenge...-finished-sled-1-.jpg  

The DIY challenge...-finished-sled-2-.jpg   The DIY challenge...-finished-sled-3-.jpg  

The DIY challenge...-finished-sled-4-.jpg  
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Old November 21st, 2008, 12:06 AM   #23
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David,

We would like to thank you for all the info and great pictures you posted. Your design looks well done but you will want (need) the support system.

Keep us informed on your progress there. If you need any information just post the questions here and the great minds of this forum will answer.

Soon you'll be the one giving the answers.

Tery
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Old November 21st, 2008, 10:24 AM   #24
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Thanks Tery, I'll be starting a new thread with the vest and arm once I get going on the final design. I'm getting everything anodized today so I'll have some new pics of the sled a little later.

Thanks for all your help as well, and good luck with the Indicam!!

Dave
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Old January 4th, 2009, 08:39 AM   #25
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After anodizing

Here is the final sled after anodizing. I'm very happy with the final look, plus the anodizing makes everything slide very smoothly.

Enjoy,
Dave
Attached Thumbnails
The DIY challenge...-sled.jpg   The DIY challenge...-top-stage.jpg  

The DIY challenge...-top-stage-2.jpg   The DIY challenge...-bottom-1.jpg  

The DIY challenge...-bottom-2.jpg   The DIY challenge...-bottom-stage.jpg  

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Old January 4th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #26
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Dave,

Wow, that is a lot of work you have accomplished. Let us know how well it operates. What camera are you going to use on it again...?

Tery
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Old January 4th, 2009, 10:04 PM   #27
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Hey Terry,

I'll be flying a Canon GL2, and maybe a Canon HV30. Next up is the Iso-arm, so I'm still a bit away from flying...

Dave
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Old January 10th, 2009, 05:55 PM   #28
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DIY Redneck Steady Stick Progress

I added weights, maybe 1 or 2 mm steel bird shot. No footage from it as of yet. I thought about a pivot bearing but may add that later. The foam became a pivot surface. I would like to add a quick disconnect.

Last edited by Gary Szunyogh; January 11th, 2009 at 01:23 AM. Reason: trying to add pics
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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:29 AM   #29
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http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/members/g...5-steady-1.jpg
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Old January 13th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #30
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David's project seems to be going very well; fine workmanship resulting in nice-looking gear. This is a DIY that I've been interested it for a while, but I've come to realize it beyond my level of expertise.

This time I don't want a DIY, I want a DISE (Do It Somebody Else)!
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