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Old May 31st, 2005, 11:53 AM   #1
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making my own steadicam

Hi there, i in the middle of making my own steadicam(for my fx1 so low weight). It's going ok but i have some difficulty with the iso arm it tents to not completly remove me walking i saw on an SKII there is sort of a steel cable that is wound op a double wheel one smal diam. one bigger. is this only to make ajusting easyer or does this also improve the stability? I am now working with one spring-arm like SKII. and i was wondering if adding one extra spring arm would also improve improve the stability or only extend the range. On this page most of the builders use two spring arms:
http://homebuiltstabilizers.com/

is there any tips out there?

thanks in advance
Martijn
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Old May 31st, 2005, 03:07 PM   #2
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Couple of things about arms...

FIrst off, a Steadicam's arm's main job is to hold the camera up in a way that doesn't transmit the bumps. - But it is yoru arms job to do that final little bit to trim out any bigger bumbs, and basically dempen the "bounce" of the arm.

The trick to goign towards an Iso-elastic (less bouncy) arm is to somehow reduce the work done by the spring by 1/3. The big rigs use 3 springs in series. The lighter rigs (SK/SK2/Provid) use only one spring connected to a reduction pully (with a ratio of 1:3) to the lifting cable. And the new generation arms (Flyer, G-40, G-50 use only one spring, but instead of connecteing accross the diagonal, they only connect 1 3rd the way up the end peice of the arm section.

An arm will perfom best with the springs operating very close to their maximum tension.
All these meathods will work to improve the perfomance of an arm.

And of course then there is the element of practice, practice, practice..

- Mikko
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Old May 31st, 2005, 03:37 PM   #3
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so a reduction pully (with a ratio of 1:3) is good?

a reduction pully (with a ratio of 1:3) is a good thing i guess? i.a.w. the flyer uses 2 springs one is each arm what do you recomend.
a ) a reduction pully (with a ratio of 1:3)
b ) 2 springs

I would like to send you some pic's see what you think

ok?

Cheers Martijn
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Old May 31st, 2005, 04:33 PM   #4
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Regarding springs in teh arm, i am of the oppinion that the Flyer arm design is bar far the best design out there. Period.
It's very simple, light weight, uses few parts (cheaper) and works like a charm!


As for the pictures you sent me. my first reaction was: "wow these are big!" - please (all of you) this is the internet, small file sizes are prefered, most monitors are 1024x768 - there is no need for pictures that are 3 megapixels. Please folks, make your pictures something aroun 600x500 at the biggest so they fit on a screen!

Now that that's done with...

I am VERY impressed with the workmanship in your gimble and stage.
It's a little shiny, but other than that it looks abotu as good as a dencet commercial rig. I hope that your gimble works nice and smooth for you.
I have 2 sugestions:
First is roudn off the handle of yoru gimble. It's jsut nicer to hodl somethign round than square when operating.
and Secondly, do you have some sort of safty stop mechanism on your dovetail mount to stop it from accidentally sliding all the way off. - no wait i think i may see a small pull-down release knob under the stage?

ok, so one sugestion then, the gimbel handle round!
- You will also want somethign ont eh gimbel to give your operating hand some grip. ..liek grip tape!

Gutsy shot of the FX1 onthe stage just ballanced on the post.

May i sugest you post your pictures somewhere where we can all see them? (at a smaller size of course)
I'm sure others would have pleanty of coments too.

- Mikko.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #5
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where could i place pic's?

i would like to place some pic's
any place you'd recomend?

martijn
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Old June 6th, 2005, 10:27 AM   #6
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Martijn,

I am intersted by your pictures too! If you haven't any space available somewhere on the web to post them, please send them to me (email jparchib_at_archeprod_dot_net) and I will host them for you.

In the mean time, some pictures of my stabilizer: http://sunens.uqac.ca/~jparchib/stab
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Last edited by Jean-Philippe Archibald; June 7th, 2005 at 01:22 PM.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #7
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Pictures of Martijn's Steadicam!

Pictures of Martijn's Steadicam here: http://sunens.uqac.ca/~jparchib/martijn/

Great work Martijn!!! How do you manage to do this fantastic gimbal?!? Do you have some plans to share?
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Old June 14th, 2005, 04:06 PM   #8
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not my credit only :)

Hi there,

basicly a friend of mine i very handy :) i have to pay him a little also i think it will be finist in a month or so. Im thinking of asking him to make it a dual spring arm lyke the flyer. He's not very keen on making it dual spring (a lot of work i guess :))
so mabey i keep it single for now just like the SK2

the only thing im woried about is that until now there is now ajustment build to ajust the arm to the vest like on the flyer. (the sk2 doesn't have this option either) i wonder if it's important

sorry no plans available :(
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Old June 14th, 2005, 04:13 PM   #9
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If you are building a single section arm, then make sure that the sprung section si closest to yoru vest, and the solid section is at the sled end - this will prevent the arm from hitting the battery and monitor when shooting. (notice the SK2 compared to the SK(1))

Yes the vest-arm connection is important. you use that to trim the lift angle of the arm to the way you stand. This will aloow you to stand up straight (properly) and have the sled float in place without falling away in some direction.
Anyone with any good ideas on this connection, speak up, i'm dooing a little work on a homebuilt rig and about to tackle this problem myself. I'll prolly jsut end up copying a regular connector.

- Mikko.
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Old August 5th, 2005, 12:45 AM   #10
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finisht (at least sort off :)

hi All

it's sort off finisht vest and gimball are ok arm is not :(
i wonder if i can buy a arm only ?

i'll try to put some vid's up here for reviewing

thanks again for all advice

about my arm it has no bearings i think this is giving me problems it's yust not real smooth to move the gimbal is good i think
i might try to make another spring section in the arm

cheers martijn
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Old August 6th, 2005, 12:31 AM   #11
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Real nice work!

If you don't have bearings in the arm, what do you have?

I've built single and dual arms with bearings and bushings. The bearings are smoother but a lot more expensive. Whatever it takes...

Tery
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 02:38 PM   #12
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where could i place first movie

hi there all i was wondering what you all think of my first test with my steadicam and fx1
i have a h.264 clip about 25 mb big
www.groenewegen-av.nl/steadicam.3gp

i know i need a good course somewhere are there any for custom build steadicams?

cheers Martijn
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Old August 25th, 2005, 09:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martijn Scholte
the only thing im woried about is that until now there is now ajustment build to ajust the arm to the vest like on the flyer. (the sk2 doesn't have this option either) i wonder if it's important
sorry no plans available :(
Actually there are 2 arm adjustments where the arm connects to the vest on the Flyer. One trims the arm from the "hinge" so that the arm stays where you put it without drifting left or right. The other trims it at the vest to stay parallel. I love the Flyer design, but hate that vest!! It doesn't support your back at all, so things get sore awfully quick.

Dan
www.DVcameraRigs.com
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Old August 25th, 2005, 11:41 AM   #14
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Yeah, and unluckily that doohickey alone (the socket block) can run you thousands and thousands of dollars. People in the Homebuilt arena have been working on it for a while now, and I expect to see a decent solution come out of our camp soon enough. I know for a fact I've seen at least one socket block finished, but I don't know what the pricing was on that.

This is definetly coming along quickly. Stay tuned.

Oh, and Dan, are you a member of HomeBuiltStabilizers' forum? If not, definetly join in, your rigs have been a great way for a lot of new people to get into the world of operating Steadicams, and also cranes, dollies, and so much more. I'm sure everybody'd give you a warm welcome over there.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 08:49 AM   #15
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Thanks Tom. Maybe I will head over there soon. I was introduced to HBS by a customer a couple of years ago, but haven't done much skulking around. I wanted to wait until the plans for the full stabilizer rigs were finished and tested--I don't want someone to think I'm using their ideas in my book, so I tend to stay away from other builders. I'll have to post my socket block. I think it works pretty good so far. Have to do some more testing.

Dan
www.DVcameraRigs.com
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