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Old July 6th, 2003, 11:27 PM   #1
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Next build project - steadycam

Does anyone anywhere know of where I can see GOOD and a lot of pictures of a good quality steadycam? I want to look at details of everything if possible..

The dolly is really my next one but that will take no less then a day to do, not even an issue.. Steadycam stuff - pictures and such if anyone knows where I can get some..


Many thanks!
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Old July 6th, 2003, 11:52 PM   #2
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Howstuffworks has some good diagrams:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/steadicam1.htm

The most complex thing is the arm, from my understanding, and it would be pretty hard to contruct one, maybe even for you, :D.

http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/...-mechanism.gif
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Old July 7th, 2003, 12:05 AM   #3
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Oh no - you didn't just say what I thought you said....

Did someone just challenge me? That's all it takes dude..
Fueling my fire now!!! (GRIN)

Take at peek at the facilty I have access to - this is no shabby home shop big daddy... Actually the first pic shows what the base of my boom looks like with dust cover made from the acetron, it protects the bearings from dirt.. Sitting on the bench almost in front but a little left of the allen wrenches..

http://www.realnola.com/alexchallenge/

usually I need someone to tell me I CAN'T DO IT and then - it's on..
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Old July 7th, 2003, 12:13 AM   #4
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Done...

Thats the pic I need to see really bad.. the arm itself and the inner workings. Those parts will need to be purchased or ordered.. the arm itself is not hard to make from what I can see, if I could get my hands on one for a day I could duplicate it near perfect.. It is all about measuring and throwing the measurements into a cad program like solid works. Let the mill do all the hard work for you..

Very good links though not the most exacting, they are very informational. I want good high resolution pictures of an actual system..
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Old July 7th, 2003, 04:03 PM   #5
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www.homebuiltstabilizers.com
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Old July 7th, 2003, 04:18 PM   #6
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Kevin - good luck, that shop looks nice, they need to clean it up and get organized though, heh.

Homebuiltstabilizers is a cool site, but most of them on there aren't as elaberate as a *real* steadicam, as far as the arm is concerned, mostly they just have springs and whatnot...
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Old July 7th, 2003, 05:31 PM   #7
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Some of them most certainly have the complex arms that are similar to the Tiffen/Steadicam. For the most part they are on par with a Glidecam design. Hopefully Charles King will chime in on this one and confirm what I am saying.

Also Kevin, Charles Papert would be good to talk to since he is a pro steadi operator with plenty of experiance in major films
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Old July 8th, 2003, 09:53 AM   #8
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Alex, if you think the homebuilt stuff on homebuiltsabilizers is not very elaborate, do something better! :) But DO read homebuiltsabilizers and homebuiltsabilizers forum because that will be your best help to get thinks started! Maybe the stabilizers on that site are not very PRO like but that would not stop anyone to do something better.
"as far as the arm is concerned, mostly they just have springs and whatnot" springs and over 20 bearings... You have some great forces in the arm and you need to be careful with the designs so the arm would hold. And the springs... this is to much to explain hear! Come on homebuiltsabilizers!
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Old July 8th, 2003, 11:58 AM   #9
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I agree

I met Charles when he was down here and got to watch him operate one first hand. It was impressive to see that panavision camera mounted to him. He's a really super nice guy and knows his business, he was the first one I asked when it came to me building a steadicam. homebuiltsabilizers is a great resource, I think that Cosmin has the best arm if I remember correctly - machined and gimbaled properly. I liked the video, it was impressive.

I was thinking about using hyrdaulic rams rather then springs, is that a bad idea or might it be worth trying? I think it would allow for smoother movements asn absorb more without allowing too much freedom. Springs are sharp and can get harder and tighter as they compress where as the rams will keep the same amount of resistance..
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Old July 11th, 2003, 11:04 AM   #10
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Thanks for the nice comment, Kevin. I don't think my arm is the best one but the video I admit is good! :)

"hydraulic" is not good with steadicam arms! Nothing that involves FRICTION!
Springs, at a small angle, are not very sharp. At one time we thought about using some mountain bike springs, since they're already in a nice assembly that could be easily incorporated into a homebuilt arm. But we didn't figure out how to get the friction out of the assembly...
But I'll still try it! :-)
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Old July 27th, 2003, 05:17 AM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Scott Osborne : Some of them most certainly have the complex arms that are similar to the Tiffen/Steadicam. For the most part they are on par with a Glidecam design. Hopefully Charles King will chime in on this one and confirm what I am saying -->>>

Absolutely. Although I'm way overdue on this reply I'll give one anyway.
I have to be perfectly honest here guys. Everyone have thier opinion about homebuild stabilizers and that it cannot be done right as the real ones.
Please don't let the Word *Homebuilt* give you the wrong idea. When I decided to tiltle the site I had the notion that anything that was not done on a mass production but done by folks with experience or friend for that matter(who has the experience) would be able to build something as close to the real rigs as possible.

If you have the time, money,energy, dedication and most of all a good machine shop then you can certainly build yourself a professional rig. The word *Homebuild* naturally means doing it yourself regardless of what methods you use to achieve the goal. So again, don't let the word fool you.

I'm in the process of building my new arm (frictionless and the ability to exchange springs depending on the size of the cameras), with the help of a friend who is a proffessional machinist and have is own shop, just the pics Kevin showed.

The arm is taking quite some time because it needs to be machined properly. You can never rush these things.
I always read post when people sometimes bash the HBS site but I don't say anything because if you don't know then you just don't know. People have build thier own rig and are flying film cameras with their rig - of course these rigs are properly done.

Any way, I just wanted to voice what I thought about the remarks posted here. If you think you can't get a professional rig without buying a manufactered one, then you are wrong.
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Old July 27th, 2003, 09:45 PM   #12
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Better late than never Charles....Thank You. I just dont think Alex really reads into the HBS stuff I think he just makes assumations about the quality of the a home built device....Where do you think the original steadcam was built?...I guess Alex is just a little young and doesnt now any better. ...As I have been told wisdom comes with age. Unfortunately!

Thanks
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Old July 27th, 2003, 10:15 PM   #13
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well......

I tell my son all the time that wisdom and experience comes with age, listen to your elders because they know what is best and have been there before..

I didn't read into what you are discussing BUT I assume that he is making some comments on the "quality" of homebuilt never being what commercially available equipment can be? I do not agree, homebuilt can be far superior to commercially available as long as the builder has the resources and know how. If that is the case, the builder can design and build to HIS SPECIFICATIONS and equipment and perfect his design. yadda yadda yadda

I love building and I love being creative, it is a challenge to me and I love them - more so then sex sometimes.

It is not uncommon to pop a tent when you stand back and look at your creation functioning like a 50,000 dollar piece of equipment and you have less then 500 in it. I hope I didn't go overboard here but that is the fact..

Look at it like this, Alex set fourth a new challenge for me and I will meet his challenge with a nice piece of equipment for a FRACTION of what it would cost me to buy it commercially and work just the same.
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Old July 27th, 2003, 11:33 PM   #14
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Sounds good Kevin build me one while your at it. Ha Ha. I have been meaninig to build my own but I just havent had the the time to sit down at the Bridgeport and actually fab something. Unfortuantly I dont have free acces to a CAD powered CnC. So I have to do it the old fashion way.

As for the quality of homebuilt items...Are people to say that my 1973 GTO isnt fast, because I assure you it is. Is its quality lacking because I built it in my garage...I dont think so...Infact I think that homebuilt stuff can be of higher quailty because theres a certain amount of love that goes into fabrication...It is truly a work and art of passion.

BTW Kevin I totally understand the stiffy remark. What person who has fabricated something hasnt had that feeling.....Both emotional and physically...HeHe
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Old July 28th, 2003, 01:48 AM   #15
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Quite understandable. You guys mention using CAD and and other programs of this nature. Unfortunately I find it very difficult to use programs like this if you don't have have knownlegde to use them. They can be a great help in achieving your dream system before putting them to the reality test. There are lots of people on HSH that use programs like this(Cosmin for one is using a similiar program to built built his new system).

People use different methods.How do you think Brown got started. Certainly not in a high tech machine shop. I think everything involves careful planning and knowing what the limits on materials to use, is indeed the key to achieving a almost perfect system.

I know a guy who built a rig and sold it, after he wanted to build a much better one, for $2000. Now that's what I'm talking about. Homebuilt? - One should probably call it Pro Homebuilt :D

Thanks for the support guys.
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