How to Balance a Steadicam Merlin (or Jr, etc..) when adding height on your camera? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 24th, 2006, 01:09 PM   #1
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How to Balance a Steadicam Merlin (or Jr, etc..) when adding height on your camera?

I have a PDX10 and a Merlin. I can balance with with the camera. Now, when I put the XLR adapter on it AND the wireless mike receiver, well, it just stacks on top of each other like A TOWER.

Thus I have added weight and raised the center of gravity on the camera and stabilizer set up. I can seem to rebalance it. I have to add another weight, extend the arm, but what do I do with the center of gravity at the gimple? Lower it or raise it (turning it).

Anyone have any ideas? thanx
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Old January 24th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #2
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Ronald,
How does the PDX10 fly on the Merlin?

The effect of the gear on the Merlin is simply: "mass times distance"
That means that either adding mass (like a bigger camera) or moving it furthur away from the balance point will make that side "pull" more.

When you add accesories (weight) on top of the camera, you do a bit of both. To counteract this you need to add more weight down below, or move the existing weight furthur from the gimble.

For the most part the "Z" turns are just a fine tune to that vertical ballance. If you can get in ballance without changing it, then there's no need to!

Note that this means that there are actually multiple configuration in which the merlin will balance (more weight but closer, or less weight but futhur away.) I'd sugest experimentign a little to see which works best fo ryou, both for a stafic balance, and how the rig flies (including Dynamic Blalance - how flatly it pans)

So simply: if it works, you are set!

..And if it doesn't, just tell us what's going wrong and we'll help you out!

Once you find a good set of settings you like, be sure to add them to the online cookbook: http://www.merlincookbook.com (link at the bottom)

- Mikko
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