Modified the Steadicam Pilot vest from velcro straps to buckles - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 27th, 2008, 02:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Gish View Post
I've never seen any 2" wide velcro with hooks on one side and loops on the other. Do you know where I might find something like this?
Go to mcmaster.com I would post a link directly to the product but the site doesn't allow you to as it uses frames and javascript. Type "velcro strap" in the search box and click on "One-Piece Self-Grip strap." You can get a 30 foot roll of 2" wide black velcro for less than the price of one 22" strap... that's like 16 for the price of one! That should last you for like... 8 years ;)

Last edited by Peter Chung; October 27th, 2008 at 03:45 PM.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #17
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Note from Garrett Brown

I just got an email from Michael Craigs at Tiffen, who forward my mod to Garrett Brown and other members of their staff.

Garrett Brown responded back with, “Please pass the word to Peter Chung that I like the 'quick release' buckle to capture the arm.” How cool is that? I feel like I've just been contacted by a celebrity! ;)
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Old October 27th, 2008, 02:32 PM   #18
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Very cool Peter! Thanks for all the useful info you've provided.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:06 PM   #19
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Wow, Peter!

A message from Garrett Brown is indeed something to cherish! I know I would certainly feel honored by such a thing as that!

Well done!

I should be receiving my Pilot on Wednesday, so if my thoery on the shoulder buckles proves viable I'll certainly post it.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:28 PM   #20
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Peter

That arm holder is GENIUS! I definately need that!
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Old October 28th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #21
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Hey Peter,

I've decided im going to give the mod a go, just a quick question in regards to which straps you used where..

Im guessing you are now using 3 straps around the chest? 1 on the chest plate and then one on each side of the back of the vest?

And then are you only using 2 around the waist? which is where you've got the third one for the chest mod?

Now time to go find some good buckles..

Cheers

Joe
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Old October 28th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
Hey Peter,

I've decided im going to give the mod a go, just a quick question in regards to which straps you used where..

Im guessing you are now using 3 straps around the chest? 1 on the chest plate and then one on each side of the back of the vest?

And then are you only using 2 around the waist? which is where you've got the third one for the chest mod?

Now time to go find some good buckles..

Cheers

Joe
Exactly! You might have better luck out in NZ but the widest buckles I found were 2 inches wide. The velcro straps, however, are a little bigger, at 2.25 inches. It's a tight fit to get the straps through but the buckles are just wide enough.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #23
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Cheers Peter, have found 2 inch buckles.. time to make them fit.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 06:01 PM   #24
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Well i gave the buckles a try, it was alright, but i still couldnt get them attached to the velcro straps to how i like them, so i've swapped back to the staps. If Steadicam do release a buckle vest for the pilot i'll probably upgrade but for now i'll stick with the velcro.

On another note, i've just got my power drop down soldered up, no more camera batteries! My HVX is now powering off my sled.

Now how do i make/where do i put a D box... hmmm
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Old October 31st, 2008, 05:32 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
On another note, I've just got my power drop down soldered up, no more camera batteries! My HVX is now powering off my sled.
How did you achieve this? Got a pic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
Now how do i make/where do i put a D box... hmmm
Is one really necessary for this extremely light setup?

As for the vest, it is just a matter of knowing how to do it right. It is possible to get it to work like; for the example, the Glidecam vest, which I assume it the idea.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 12:13 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
Well i gave the buckles a try, it was alright, but i still couldnt get them attached to the velcro straps to how i like them, so i've swapped back to the staps. If Steadicam do release a buckle vest for the pilot i'll probably upgrade but for now i'll stick with the velcro.
What didn't you like about the buckles?

Quote:
On another note, i've just got my power drop down soldered up, no more camera batteries! My HVX is now powering off my sled.
Cool! I'd love to see photos and explanation, too! :)
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Old October 31st, 2008, 08:00 PM   #27
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The biggest problem i had was i actually had the wrong style buckle. It looked like the one from the attached picture. With only 1 part of the buckle being the locking style. Both need to be. But even then one side that did have it wouldnt lock correctly and kept coming loose. And of course you cant thread the velcro through the non-locking buckle and then securely velcro it as when you fold it back through you get velcro hooks on velcro hooks.. so you'd then need to have a piece of double sided velcro loops inbetween.

Will post a picture of the power cable soon. Its a frezzi product. Made for the Frezzi Stable Cam shoulder mount to go from the VLock/AB mount on the back to the DV camera your supporting. I've just cut the ends off and soldered on the correct plugs. I've got 7.2v coming out the end.

Actually, just found it on BH - Frezzolini | 99106 PC-P2 Adapter Cable | 99106 | B&H Photo Video

Mine looks different, however they have the same model number so maybe frezzi redesigned them, Theres also one on there for the Z1, DVX, and a couple other cameras. All you'd need to do is cut off the end that normally plugs into the Stable Cam, solder on a new 2.1mm positive center connector to plug into the pilot sled and away you go.

Charles, the only reason im thinking a distribution box is because along with powering the camera i also eventually want to power a video transmitter. Which means i'll also need to power a small DA for video signal as my camera only has 1 cvbs out.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 04:31 PM   #28
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The buckle in your picture is the sew-on type.

That's strange that the one side wasn't locking in place for you. Did you make sure to hook it in properly? You should put the strap in the hole closer to the buckle and then the loose end should go back in the hole that's further from the buckle so it kind of folds back on itself.

Nice power cable, btw!
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Old November 7th, 2008, 03:14 PM   #29
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OK, so I finally received my Pilot, and last night I did my version of the buckle modifications.

First of all, they are VERY much like Peter's original mods. The chief differences with mine are that I did add buckles at the shoulders, and I swapped out the stock velcro straps with nylon webbing straps with velcro sewn onto them. The main reason I went this route is because I do a lot of shooting in backstage areas, and I get tired of my vest sticking to every curtain I brush up against. With my version, there is no exposed hook tape.

In figure 1 I made a strap of Loop Tape thread through two female buckles which are sewn into place. The space between the buckles is exactly 7.75", which is the wide if the center chest spar on the vest.

Figure 2 shows how I made the straps for the chest and hips. The nylon webbing can be as long as needed, according to the operator's measurements. But the Loop Tape portions are exactly as long as the Hook Tape sections on the vest. They are sewn to the nylon webbing in a box X pattern as indicated. The opposite ends of the straps have the Side release buckles applied to them, along with a triglide, which eliminates the need for them to be sewn and allows for the greatest range of adjustability.

The shoulder buckles are applied as shown in figures 3 and 4. For the female buckles on the vest spar, I took a short length of Hook Tape and Loop Tape and angled them (3a) to help follow the curvature of the spar. I sewed them together along the angled edge, with the "business sides" of the velcro together. Then I simply threaded the buckle onto this new piece (3b) and applied it to the spar (3c).

For the vest pad I again cut a piece of Loop Tape, this time slightly longer than the length of the Hook Tape that is on the vest pad. I threaded the male buckle onto the Loop Tape and positioned it right against the plastic common loop that is on the Hook Tape.

I really like how quickly and easily I can get in and out of the vest now, and I also like the fact that I can set it down, and when I pick it up again it won't have a bunch of stuff clinging to it.
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Modified the Steadicam Pilot vest from velcro straps to buckles-pilot-buckles.jpg  
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Old November 10th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #30
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Nice, Frank!

Thanks for the explanation and for the diagrams! Did you do the sewing yourself? I don't know how to sew so I just reused the existing velcro straps but I totally understand about having stuff cling to your vest every time you put it down on carpet or you brush up against curtains, especially when the fabric isn't black and you get discolored fuzzies stuck in your velcro. Yuck!
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