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Old September 6th, 2010, 04:27 PM   #1
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simple question for pilot/flyer other steadicam owners

When you put the gimbal handle on the arm post, does it rotate freely? That is, is the post/handle connection a source of rotation that is actually important, or does it just happen to move sometimes? I can probably explain further what I mean but probably somebody else can just describe the connection as it should be.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 04:50 PM   #2
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Yes, it should rotate. It's not a factor in the stabilization process-the rig will take out the same amount of movement even if the post is fixed--but it is a helpful tool in the process of operating. With a freely spinning arm post, if you find your view of the monitor blocked you can rotate the gimbal handle to an unblocking position. It can also relive strain on the wrist from having it at an odd angle. The post will likely have a little bit of resistance which keeps the rig from shifting around too much side-to-side. The higher end rigs have a knob to allow you to dial in the desired degree of resistance. I usually keep mine pretty free but I know others that like to restrain it significantly.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 05:10 PM   #3
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Thank you Charles! And can I just say that I find your work very inspiring. I worked with Peter Cavaciuti a decade ago on a feature and after watching him, I became instantly transfixed with steadicam - a year later I worked on a show with Robin Buerki and that just cemented it, it was a ballroom dance scene and watching Robin do a waltz in the rig along with the actors made me realize how crazy good you guys are at what you do. I am just now this month starting to try it out (on ultra light dslr stuff.) and am having to fabricate a handle to fit what I have.

So I guess as I roughly cut the parts out that I need - as long as it can turn, it's good? What I have done so far, it turns, but not smoothly, like a gimbal. It can move, but you have to push it a bit. (All the other bits are free and work correctly - it's a glidecam gimbal mating with a pilot arm.) I'm just making a curved handle.

Last edited by Robert Wall; September 6th, 2010 at 06:19 PM.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #4
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Hi Robert

One of the first "mods" owners of the Indian made flycam are doing is scrapping the fixed post as supplied from the factory and adding two flange bearings so the post can rotate !!

It certainly seems to be an essential that it's reasonably smooth too ... I found (when I still had the rig) that it makes a huge difference and is really a simple thing to do!!

Chris
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Old September 7th, 2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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Thanks Chris - I poked around the HBS group but couldn't find any photos of what you're talking about, though some discussion. If you have a chance, would you mind pointing me towards a photo?
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Old September 7th, 2010, 10:04 PM   #6
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On the Steadicam Pilot, the connection between the gimbal handle and the arm post does swivel, but it's not a smooth ball bearing type swivel. Like Charles says, it's mainly just so you can see your monitor when the sled is tilted or turned from its usual position.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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Hi Robert

Here is one from the HBS site to give you an idea

Chris
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Old September 8th, 2010, 12:24 AM   #8
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Thanks guys. I guess, at the end of the day, the only thing I can do is try out these ideas and see what works best for me.
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