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Old October 2nd, 2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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The Pilot Arm and bounce!

Hello All.
I'm new to mechanical stabilisation and having some difficulty minimising the vertical bounce from my gait.
The forearm does all the movement, the double action hinge and upper arm virtually none. I was under the impression that it was meant to be the other way round.
The only way I can get some movement out of these two is by relieving almost all the tension in the upper arm so that it's almost vertical when hanging freely.
Can anyone help?
Camera is EX1 with 2 sxs cards, a T1 IR filter and BP-U60 battery on the Pilot-AA.

Thanks.
Omar Idris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2010, 11:38 AM   #2
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Omar - you might try asking this over at the steadicam forum - since all the users are already ops, you will probably get a faster and maybe better answer.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 01:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Idris View Post
Camera is EX1 with 2 sxs cards, a T1 IR filter and BP-U60 battery on the Pilot-AA.
I have the same setup except for I have VL and feed EX1 and monitor from the same battery,
first - I added 4 additional weights, plus i always have a wireless unit and a light, even if I don't use them,
that way i don't have to rebalance when i need any of them and also keep the rig as heavy as Pilots arm can handle it, which is about 20Lb, well at least it feels like it
that way i find it much more stable and easier to operate;
second- I fly my pilot second year, every weekend for 2 - 4 hours, plus randomly during the week for 10 - 20 min and I am just starting to get decent flying shots;
and i thought it'll take me couple months :)
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Old October 25th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #4
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Thank you both.

Buba, how much tension is in your upper arm? Does anything I said in my original post make sense to you? It's just that for me the hinge hardly moves unless there's almost minimal tension in the upper arm. Isn't the hinge supposed to absorb operator motion?

I haven't had much time to practice in the last couple of weeks but soon as I do I'll experiment with the weights.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 07:43 AM   #5
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those tension screws for both sections are all the way in, and when i let the arm go it is in more or less in horizontal position, and as I said, the heavier rig is, the better, we're not talkin 40-60lb real rig load, so don't worry, load your pilot up to it's max, you'll get use to a bit heavier setup, but the result will well worth it;
best.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 01:30 PM   #6
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I am no great Steadicam expert but this doesn't sound right at all. When the arm is loaded it should stay horizontal & you then press down against the springs to boom down & pull up against the springs to boom up. Both segments of the arm should move when you change the height of the arm. If one or other limb of the arm is already extended then the arm is not set up correctly.

It would be worthwhile you taking a workshop or at the very least have someone who is a Steadicam operator take a look at what you are doing with your rig. What about wherever you bought the Pilot?
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Old October 31st, 2010, 02:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buba Kastorski
those tension screws for both sections are all the way in, and when i let the arm go it is in more or less in horizontal position, and as I said, the heavier rig is, the better, we're not talkin 40-60lb real rig load, so don't worry, load your pilot up to it's max, you'll get use to a bit heavier setup, but the result will well worth it.
I agree.

I actually have a little spare room on the thumbscrews, in case I want to have the arm float higher for a given shot. But no matter what camera and accessories I'm flying, I always add enough extra weights to get the rig just under 10 pounds. The Pilot is much more stable near the top of its range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker
It would be worthwhile you taking a workshop or at the very least have someone who is a Steadicam operator take a look at what you are doing with your rig.
Right. The workshops are money well spent, and it's great meeting other people too.

I also found it helpful to meet up with other operators in my area as practice partners. It's really hard to practice meaningfully without shooting some other person moving though some space. After a while, family and friends get tired of volunteering for this. With a practice partner, you can shoot each other, and see video of how you look as you're operating, in addition to how well you're framing the other person.
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