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Old March 4th, 2011, 05:00 AM   #76
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-Power Options

Thanks Andrew, your explanation is clear and very helpful. I frequently visit the B&H site as well as that is were I discovered the hot-swap options. I was also looking for batteries with a larger capacity than the stock camera ones. I didn't realize that battery weight was so significant in balancing the Steadicam. And more importantly, I didn't know that the Island now has a "republic" missed that on the BBC World News. Cheers aah;-)
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Old March 4th, 2011, 09:57 PM   #77
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Here's what I know about Zephyr, Flyer and batteries...

First, a little story:

I recently flew a Panasonic HPX500 on my (original) Flyer. It's right at the Flyer's nominal 15lb weight limit. I balanced it with one A/B Hytron 120 (NiMH), which is 5lb 9oz. The sled is V-lock so I used an adapter plate. Later in the day I had to swap to V-lock Endura 10 stackables. These Lion batteries are substantially lighter: I had to use three batteries (one on the "dummy" position and two stacked on the live connector.) Awkward, but workable.

I take delivery of my new Zephyr rig next week (in transit to my dealer). The Zephyr is listed on Tiffen's website as follows:

"Optional 2nd battery mount for parallel 12V capability or 24V capability". This language appears in two places on the web page.

After my experience with the Enduras on the Flyer, I immediately emailed Tiffen this week, inquiring about a price for a Zephyr "dual battery bracket." Quoting from the response I got:

"There is no plan in the foreseeable future to offer a dual battery mount
for the Zephyr."

I replied, candidly expressing my disappointment. It substantially hobbles a feature of the Zephyr (second battery mount, presumably with hot-swap, and 12/24V capability) that has been publicly promised for many months, still is listed on the website today, and is important to me.

By the way, I asked "Should I be asking about a "second battery mount" instead of a "dual battery mount"?" Just in case my original question was inaccurately phrased. That was Tuesday. It is now Friday and have not received a clarifying reply.

I guess I'll have to look into third party options. Just looked at the A/B hotswap plate. Biggest Hytron it accepts is Hytron 50's, two of which are still lighter than one 120 or 140. Plus it's $300. The Switronix V-mount plate doesn't look like it will accept v-mount to AB adapter plates. Hosed either way.

Not happy with this development...significantly limits the flexibility of the rig.

Last edited by Mark Schlicher; March 4th, 2011 at 10:54 PM. Reason: info on hotswap plate
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Old March 5th, 2011, 07:14 AM   #78
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Back from a desert job for a few days and was surprised to see no images of the Zephyr up yet.
I thought somebody would have posted them while I was away. Anyway I've quickly snapped a few
(hand held in low light at 1/4 of a sec!) but hopefully it will give you the idea. I'm off to bed now but will shoot some better ones tomorrow and answer some of the other queries above. If you want me to take a pic of anything in particular please let me know in the meantime.

As they say in Germany Gutenacht!
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Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2864.jpg   Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2865.jpg  

Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2868.jpg   Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2869.jpg  

Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2871.jpg   Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2882.jpg  

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Old March 5th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #79
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Thanks for the pics. Did they provide any specs on the monitor? Looks strikingly similar to this one: 7 Inch Headrest Monitors with Dual Video Input - Product Picture From Shenzhen Luview Co., Ltd.

Could you snap a pic of the back of the monitor?
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Old March 6th, 2011, 01:32 AM   #80
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Wow Mark, u found the OEM of the monitor! Its exactly the same! Below are the specs of the monitor i found. not sure if it is the same thou but it works ok to me.

7" TFT LCD stand-alone review monitor-Shenzhen Luview Co., Ltd-Rear vision systems,Wireless product,Cameras,Video parking sensors,Recording systems,Monitors,Accessories
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Old March 6th, 2011, 01:47 AM   #81
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Generally Tiffen will add a proprietary anti-reflective coating to the OEM monitors they use for the lower-end rigs. But they don't (or shouldn't!) claim to be manufacturing the monitors.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:22 AM   #82
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

While many of us are all awake at the same time (!) here are a few more pics. There is no doubt that this is the same monitor Mark mentions. Will make further comments about other posts above soon.
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Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2884.jpg   Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2885.jpg  

Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2886.jpg   Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2887.jpg  

Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2895.jpg   Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2903.jpg  

Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2899.jpg   Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2890.jpg  

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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:56 AM   #83
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Tom W: the dovetail plate itself was not faulty, but one of the smallest (and ironically most critical)parts of the rig, the pictured adjusting screw, wasn't able to be tightened enough to hold a camera plate on. I presume the Dealer here had to get right in and under the plate to re-set it but I wasn't going to touch anything that would void the warranty. Charles P: yes please make a DVD and take pre-payment up front. I'd pay $100 U.S. no problems. Barry J: Sorry as I work at the office/edit suite in the rural area of town its not often I have anyone out here to take shots while I've got it all on! Maybe the kids can have a try. Mark S: I hope that image gives you what you need on the battery bracket. You are absolutely correct on the dual battery mount always being offered on the website etc., the original press release even says "Optional 2nd battery mount for parallel 12V capability or 24V capability" You will note one of the images I've posted also has that printed on the actual machine. If people have bought this as a requirement I'd be asking for my money back.

Also the monitor specs are disappointing, I know they are nothing more than a framing guide, nevertheless it would be nice to be able to play back at least a good standard res image when out if the field to get a better feel for what you've got. But the resolution is a rubbish 480 X 234. in PAL countries it is even more noticeable as we are used to 576 lines of vertical res, am I right in saying this is half SD resolution? This raises the question if Tiffen call this an SD monitor when it is nothing like it, what do they call an HD monitor? This becomes even more important when the list price between the Zephyr SD and HD kits vary by $3500 and the monitor seems to be the only point of difference.

Last edited by Chris Tangey; March 6th, 2011 at 06:47 AM.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 09:50 AM   #84
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Chris, thank you for the photos. I'm really jazzed about the changes. The lower spar looks great amongst other things.

One thing I am curious about is the very bottom of the rig, the underside of the lower spar and particularly right under the post. Wondering if it is suitable to get some additional machining done to mount a battery plate directly under the post. If you wouldn't mind taking a picture of that, it would be most helpful.

A shot of the top stage showing the slots and attachment mechanisms for the wedge plate would be helpful as well.

Barring any announcements on Steadicam suitable monitors at NAB, I would be adding this monitor that has a battery plate on the back: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=702619&is=REG
and the A/B hotswap device, if I were to get this rig. TIFFEN's decision to not have a second battery mount on the rig aside, I simply see these, particularly the hotswap as essential...
Anton Bauer QR-HOTSWAPGM Hot-Swap Battery Plate QR-HOTSWAP-GM


One thing to keep in mind about this monitor, that I mention above, is it does not do image flip so it becomes an ordeal if you have to go into low mode.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 05:42 PM   #85
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Andrew, hope these are helpful. As you can see it does indeed have a mounting point below (sorry have no idea what the thread is!) While the outer wings are made of moulded plastic as part of the whole lower post cover, it does seem very solid, probably high impact material.
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Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2916.jpg   Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2917.jpg  

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Old March 6th, 2011, 08:37 PM   #86
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-hard case

A few people have also asked about the Zephyr hard case, not having had one before I'm not sure if this is new or has been around for a while.

Overall it is quite good even for desert conditions where dust and dirt road vibrations are your worst enemy. However, even this has issues. The way it is packed, due to the way they have arranged the foam cut-outs, is that the arm is on the top, making it top-heavy especially as you wheel it around corners. To exacerbate this the handle meets the case very low and the aluminum rods have a real torsion issue, twisting quite badly when it has the zephyr in it. It feels very flimsy as if either the rods or the light plastic handle will break eventually, and I have tipped it over on several occasions going around corners. Not a good look at an Airport. A couple of images show the handle distorting with no weight load on it with just a slight twist of my thumb.
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Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2920.jpg   Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2922.jpg  

Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes-img_2923.jpg  
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Old March 6th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #87
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Better than I thought! Is that a threaded metal tripod mount style hole on the bottom of the lower spar?! Chris, you probably have both a 1/4" 20 and a 3/8" 16 threaded bolts with your wedge plate or a tripod on hand. Give if a go see if they fit and if it's robust enough to support a few pounds.

Photos are nicely done. Many thanks Chris!

EDIT:

Just saw the 3-pin lemo on the lower spar. The unit should then be wired for 24 volt operation. You may have to do have the wiring done up a bit to utilitize it and get a switch installed. There are people around who specialize in doing this kind of stuff.

I know the unit was originally pitched as being 24 volt ready but obviously with only one 12-14 volt mounting point it isn't quite 24 volt ready but it shouldn't be hard to get it there. Way easier than retrofitting a standard Flyer to be 24 volt capable.

We may even find out if all the stuff is there inside for this to be so.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 12:03 AM   #88
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Andrew, just given it a go on my way out the door. The larger of the two screws you get on any number of
camera plates fits perfectly. I suspect a few pounds is no problem as I would be very surprised if the female thread goes anywhere but into the end of the post.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 12:37 AM   #89
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Thanks Chris. That's a 3/8" 16 thread mounting screw (bolt).
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Old March 7th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #90
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Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Generally Tiffen will add a proprietary anti-reflective coating to the OEM monitors they use for the lower-end rigs. But they don't (or shouldn't!) claim to be manufacturing the monitors.
I have been asking for specs on the monitor (knowing that they add their own special sauce as far as coatings and perhaps other enhancements by the OEM to Tiffen specs), but they have been unable to provide them. So I got curious and did a little Googling to see what I could see.

Still waiting for Tiffen's specs.
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