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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:05 PM   #1
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Building homebuilt stabilizer

I was adding to a post called "Check out my home made stabilizer!!! =)" and decided to start my own post.

Original thread can be found here....

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=36906&perpage=15&pagenumber=3



I purchased Cody Deegan's - Camera Stabilizer Plans and I will document my time and cost for all the materials.

$45 Cody's book
Well documented and Cody is very helpful when you need assistance. I would recommend the book!

http://www.codydeegan.com to order book
http://www.homebuiltstabilizer.com for help with building a
stabilizer

So far, I've purchased (Day 1)

$30 Manfrotto 679 Monopod(BH PHOTO)

$47 Arm Springs (www.centuryspring.com)

I purchased the metal today but don't have a total yet, they are still cutting it up. I am sure it will not be much.


I will take photos as I assemble the sled, arm and vest. I couldn't find any other post like this, so I thought I would create one. I have seen posts of completed projects, like this one

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=36071

and

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=26060&perpage=15&pagenumber=2

I will post more as I go. I do not plan to make improvements at this point. like, Jean-Philippe Archibald. So pretty much, it will be almost exactly from the instructions.

Total to date: $122

Jon
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Old March 8th, 2005, 04:09 PM   #2
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Good for you Jon. I take it you did not buy his second plans. The one utilizing the six spring setup? Any way, congrats on the purchase. Don't forget. I would love some pics for HBS when you are done.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 04:35 PM   #3
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My plans have the 4 spring setup. I didn't purchase the plans for the new arm. When I finish the 4 spring setup and I am happy with the results, I will buy his revised arm plans.

I have a buddy who has built this setup and it works great for him.

http://www.trulux.com/links/e1.jpg
http://www.trulux.com/links/e2.jpg
http://www.trulux.com/links/e3.jpg
http://www.trulux.com/links/e4.jpg

The arm is rather cheap to build. I have access to alot of free metal. :)

Jon
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Old March 8th, 2005, 11:19 PM   #4
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HBS

Jon,

I think this is a great idea. It will be interesting following your progress. BTW how much do you think your time is worth per hour even though you are doing this because it's fun.

My system doesn't have a lot of real expensive parts in it but I have invested a lot of time. It's been fun though like I said. I go to sleep at night thinking of ways to improve on the design. I get up in the morning and look forward to going to the shop to work on the improvments I thought about the night before.

Except for one final item I want to add to the stabilizer to make it easier to balance it's finished and works most excellently! (is that a real word?)

You will learn even more about the function of a steadycam system than anyone who just buys one because you are making it yourself and have to understand the reasons for the processes.

I'm looking forward to further posts!

Steady shooting,

Tery
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Old March 9th, 2005, 06:16 AM   #5
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Well, my time is worth more than most. I work in IT during the day and do videography in my spare time. If I was making them to sell it probably wouldn't be worth it. I have watched two of these go for sale on eBay. The first went for $1350 and another with LCD and monitor for $1850. The 1350 would have been a better deal considering the lcd and battery doesn't cost $500.

I am doing this for the FUN of it and to say "I built my own".

I would think, since you make them for sale, that once you made a couple, the process would take much less time.

Even if my time was $10 a hour, which I consider giving my time away, it would be less expensive to buy my own. I know that Glidecam is selling theirs for $1499.

I am creating this post so the next guy can be more informed on either to buy or build. Since most of us are on a budget. :)

I currently own the Glidecam 4000 and bodybod. I like the glidecam. The bodybod is not for me, I am definately interested in the arm.


Jon
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Old March 9th, 2005, 04:13 PM   #6
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Update

$68 for all the metal and to have it cut to size. (This doesn't include if you had them cut each piece to the actual size, some pieces would still need to be cut a couple of times) I can do this myself. I still need to purchase metal for vest.

$16 ABEC 3 Bearings - 29 of them.. Got a deal on eBay. usually they are $1 each.

Total to date = $206

Includes: Manual to build the rig, Metal(doesn't include metal for vest), Monopod, Pan Bearing, ABEC Bearings and Springs.

The only thing left I have to purchase is the hardware.. ie...Nuts and bolts

If I had to guess now that the total cost of purchasing everthing will be less than $94 putting the total at $300. I will post an update as I purchase the additional items.

My time to purchase book and all the items I have listed is around 2 hours.

Jon
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Old March 9th, 2005, 04:43 PM   #7
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Hi Jon,

Most steadicam operators will suggest an inexperienced guy to attend a workshop which costs around US$2,000 or more which will increase your allowance. 8 )

Regards
Leigh
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Old March 9th, 2005, 05:07 PM   #8
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Haha...i'll be the first operator to confirm that for you Leigh.. ;-)


Yeah, the workshops are generally always a (if not the first) part of becoming a serious operator.


:-)



- Mikko
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Old March 9th, 2005, 05:45 PM   #9
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Hi Mikko,

I read your site http://wilson.pp.fi/mikko/photos/flying/. That is nice.

From the photo galary, it seems that the workshop you attended only offer one copy of steadicam flyer for lots of workshop attendents to practise. Did every student has a copy of steadicam offered by workshop to practise in the workshop period? And the camera you were using seems quite small. Not the bigger one? I doubt this short period for workshop(around 5 days) is enough time. I guess that it only offers to open the mind to see lots of situation to use steadicam. I guess even after finishing the workshop, still can't make a steady shot. Am I right?

Regards
Leigh
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Old March 9th, 2005, 11:19 PM   #10
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My point exactly.... Where did the discussion of taking a class start? I really dislike when people take over a post but I guess it happens.

Well, I spent about 3 hours cutting up all of the metal and tomorrow I will start assembling the gimbal and sled. I am going to take pictures as I go and will post them as I take them.

Jon
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Old March 9th, 2005, 11:44 PM   #11
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Hi Charles,

I recalled that steadicam ultra package only cost around 60K. Why do you say 100K+? Does that include follow focus and other add on accessary?

TIA
Leigh
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Old March 10th, 2005, 01:23 AM   #12
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Yes. The figures are something like: $65K for vest, arm, sled; $4K for cables (yup!) $20K for wireless lens control system, $3K for assorted bracketry, $4K for video transmitter and receiver, $5K for batteries and chargers; gyros, around $8K...

Then there's a bunch of little geegaws and doodads that most operators collect over time. Most of us estimate our package at around $120K.

Sorry Jon--let's get back to your homebuild project now. Good luck with it! Looking forward to seeing the pictures.
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Old March 10th, 2005, 01:28 AM   #13
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I'm looking forward to the pictures.

BTW Charles, how do you get a link to be active when you click on it like yours. I type in the links and you have to copy and past them in order to go to the link.

Thanks,

Tery

P.S. Have you started the video yet?
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Old March 10th, 2005, 06:51 AM   #14
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Ok, i'll reply quickly to teh questions regarding my post.. If someoen wants to tlak workshops more, then start another thread..

Leigh:
I think CP did a rather fine job of describign the workshop.
- And yeah, it's all done woth big rigs. theough there are aftern other rigs around too. - At our worshop there was a Flyer there as well as a 3A, one student's SK-2 and another's Moddle 2 (!) - along with Peter Abraham's custom sled on the prototype flyer arm.
Also the workshops generally have other toys too like (in teh pictures) Buudycam, Rickshaw, Dolly hardmount, Vehicle mount. - And sometimes they break out Skyman too.

So we learn mostly on the big rigs - the same stuff can then be scaled down to smaller stuff, like the flyer. And then we are exposed to a mass of other gear that changes from time to ttime, but is very ralely in one place. - And no 5 day's won't make you a perfect operator (i'm certainly still rather green, and improving with practice). But you sure as hell learn alot. :-)

And yes the 5 days does go quickly. But any more woudl almost become too exhausting for one session. It's preatty intense. :-)


Jon:
I dind't mean it at all that you HAD to take one. I very much meant it exactly as you took it - definatly not for everyone, but something that should be considered IF you are getting serious about it :-)


CP:
"diabolical" - yes, very! :-D


Good luck with your rig Jon!

- Mikko.
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Old March 10th, 2005, 10:52 AM   #15
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Terry:

Here's the info on how to make the links active.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/misc.php?s=&action=bbcode

Actually, that page doesn't seem to describe the exact method all that well. To create the link above, I typed:

[url=http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/misc.php?s=&action=bbcode]Here's the info[/url

...I left off the final bracket, "]" from the end so that it wouldn't encode.
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