The Merlin Accessory Bracket - Radio mics, etc... with 5lb+ cameras on the Merlin at DVinfo.net

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Old July 17th, 2006, 03:53 AM   #1
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The Merlin Accessory Bracket - Radio mics, etc... with 5lb+ cameras on the Merlin

A while back there was some discussion of how to mount accessories to the bigger cameras like the HVX200 when used on a Steadicam Merlin.

The HVX and Z1 for example at 5.5lbs are right at the max limit of the Merlin, they flies very well, but you can't put a radio mic reciver on there.
With a DVX or FX1 you can put a radio mic reciver on the camera, but then you need to add more counterweights making the whole rig heavier. Bummer.

There was talk of a guy who was developing a bracket that would allow you to mount accessories on the bottom of the rig, in place of those counterweights.

His name is Jim Farrell, and I had the pleasure of meeting him at NAB and testing his prototype. He's one of the operators on the instuctional DVD that comes with the Merlin. After some work he's got a finished product: The Merlin Accessory Plate!
http://www.jimfarrell.com/merlin/


He has very kindly offerd to send me one for testing, so I'll report back more once I've taken it for a spin. The prototype I tried at NAB worked very well allbight a couple of small challenges that have now reportedly been overcome.


I will note right off the bat that this does allow you to put more weight on the bottom of the Merlin than with just the normal weights. I'd recomend very strongly against doing that, as the rest of the Merlin (including that precision gimble) can't take too much extra weight safly.
So don't use this plate to add any more weight than you'd normally use, just use it to replace the dead weight with usefull weight!

- Mikko
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Old July 19th, 2006, 09:05 AM   #2
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Other Accessories for Merlin?

This is great news! I'm planning on ordering one.

Any idea when the other accessories might be coming out - the ultralight arm/vest & the lightweight monitor? Also, any idea of costs on those?

thanks,
Don
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Old July 19th, 2006, 09:54 AM   #3
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Mikko, just want to make sure I understand this correctly.

You can take a 5lb camera and still add 1.5 lbs of weight to the bottom? (reduceing the weight to counter/balance the top)

I believe my merlin (boss ordered it) is in the mail and this product would be great as a wireless receiver or an HardDrive would be great on the bottom.

There is a arm/vest coming out?
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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #4
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Both the ultralight arm/vest & the lightweight monitor are mentioned here:

http://www.merlincookbook.com/faqs.php
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Old July 19th, 2006, 12:37 PM   #5
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Tom,
you are correct.

With a 5lb camera on top, you normally have about 1.75lbs of steel weights on the bottom to balance.
This bracket replaces one of the weights, leaving you about 1.5lb to go, with an accessory, then then the regular weights for the rest.


For example:
If you have a 5 lb camera counter balanced with 1.75lb of weights.
You take all the weights off and add the plate.
The plate weighs 0.25lb, so you still have 1.5lb to put back on the bottom.
You velcro a 1lb radio mic reciver to the plate. So you still have 0.5lb to add.
So you screw 2 wieghts (at 0.25lb each) onto the bottom of the plate.
This brings your total back up to 1.75lb on the bottom.

If your Mic reciver only weighs 0.75lb, then you'll return 3 weights to the plate. - or a 2nd reciver at 0.75lb. And so on...


The steel weights included with the Merlin are a very slick and easy way to counter ballance, but there is no reason not to use something else of the same weight instead, and that's what this plate is for.



I haven't heard anything regarding the vest/arm yet.

- Mikko
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