simple (dumb?) question: Flyer at DVinfo.net

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Old June 15th, 2007, 04:12 AM   #1
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simple (dumb?) question: Flyer

Most of the batteries available for the Steadicam Flyer are 14v. And for one of the mounts, Anton Bauer, the AB website recommends a number of 14v batteries specifically for the Canon XL-H1.

My simple/dumb question: how is it possible to power a 7v camera from a Flyer-mounted 14v battery and not fry the cam?
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Old June 15th, 2007, 07:12 AM   #2
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Hi Philip,

It's not. The batteries on the Flyer are there primarily to power the monitor and perhaps an accessory or two. Most cameras of the size that would be on the Flyer have their own on board battery options which is definitely the way to go if possible.

You may check the specifications of your camera. There is usually a voltage range in which it will operate. If it is large enough to accommodate the range of the battery, you are all set. Otherwise, you would need a downconverter if you still wished to use the sled to power the camera. Still, the recommendation is to use a factory on board battery.

Best,
Afton
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Old June 15th, 2007, 07:37 AM   #3
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Afton, thank you! I was confused because the Steadicam lit says, basically, don't bother connecting your on-board cam battery because the Steadicam batt will supply the power. I guess that's just for bigger cameras.

Another source of confusion: enter your camera brand and model on the AB website, and it lists a bunch of recommended 14v batteries for the H1. (I'm attaching the list.) Is the list just wrong in this case?

Anyway, if I'm just getting a battery to power the monitor, and I don't plan to switch from my H1 to another camera in the foreseeable future, is there a best choice among the 3 Flyer mounts/battery brand? I tend to think AB has the most options, but it's also pretty expensive.

Thanks again!
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File Type: pdf H1batts.pdf (16.9 KB, 374 views)
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Old June 15th, 2007, 02:57 PM   #4
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I believe the flyer will work with the ABs IDX or V mount so it's a matter of which you prefer.
If you choose the ABs the Hytron 50s, Dionic 90s or Trimpacs will work. They're different chemistries so choose your poison. Don't go with the BIG batteries (Hyton 100s 140s or Dionic 160s) as the weight becomes a real issue.
Any of the above mentioned brands will do the job but remember you need a charger also so before you decide look at the total package. Also keep in mind you probably only need 2 batteries to do the job since you wouldn't be powering the camera off of them.

HTHs
Don
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Old June 15th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #5
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Don, thanks. I really doubt that even one 3-hour battery would expire before I do! I had a lot experience with a kind of Steadicam/Groucho Marx walk back in the age of dinosaurs, when I shot handheld with a Bolex 16mm, but I'd better not do 2-batteries worth/day now! (I guess this makes the slow, one-station AB charger a reasonable option for me, too.)
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Old June 15th, 2007, 04:36 PM   #6
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Philip,
The "IDX Starter Kit" is a great way to go. Very economical for a good changer and a pair of IDX batteries.

Having just one batery is hugly risky business, beacuse if it fails - or does run flat - you are SOL. With 2 batteries, you have 3 major benefits:
1) you have a spare battery that sits on the charger and is full when you need it.
2) you have a spare battery incas your first one fails (and they do on occasion)
3 ) you can use both batteries to balance up a heavier camera on your Flyer (it takes 2 batteries for the upper weight range of cameras on the Flyer) by using it as adiational counterweight.


Look at what gear you will most likly be using. - If every rental house and production company in town uses AB (for example), then your descision is made. That way you can use the bateries that come with any camera you use, instead of burning up your own.
If you are startign off cold without any reason for either AB or V-mount/IDX. Then I'd go with IDX, they are a little cheaper, you can get *really* light ones if you want, and you have the option to upgrading to the Steadicam Power Cube batteries (also made by IDX) if you ever need to.

- Mikko
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Old June 15th, 2007, 04:48 PM   #7
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Here's why the Anton Bauer page told you about the "big" batteries. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Mount_for.html

That plate goes on the back of any of the XL series cameras and steps down the voltage to what the camera can take. Using that, and AB batteries on the Steadicam, you could have one set of batteries to power everything.

If you wanted to be able to power the XLH1 off the Steadicam's 4-Pin XLR power, all you'd need then is an Anton Bauer plate to 4-Pin XLR adapter, like this one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...R_Snap_On.html
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Old June 16th, 2007, 06:45 AM   #8
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Thanks, Tom and Mikko. A couple more questions for each of you....


Mikko, now that I look at the BH Photo website, there are MANY different IDX kits with a wide price range. I found one that includes NPL-7S Batteries, a 2 Position Charger/Power Supply, and Power Cables for $700. Would that be a reasonable choice? I see you can pay twice that much for a different pair of IDX batts and charger.
-------------

Tom, is there a way to remove an existing Steadicam mount and replace with the AB mount you linked to? Or can you attach one AB mount on top of another? (If it were simply an adapter that fit between mount and battery, I'd understand better how the system would work. But I guess it's not...)
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Old June 16th, 2007, 11:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Fass View Post
Thanks, Tom and Mikko. A couple more questions for each of you....

Tom, is there a way to remove an existing Steadicam mount and replace with the AB mount you linked to? Or can you attach one AB mount on top of another? (If it were simply an adapter that fit between mount and battery, I'd understand better how the system would work. But I guess it's not...)
I'm not sure I follow your question here. The Flyer has the mounts it needs installed from the factory. The first Adapter plate I showed attaches to the back of your XLH1 and has a cable that hooks into the battery socket on the XLH1. The other adapter is so that you can feed a 12v power cable from the Flyer into the first adapter plate, and then into the XLH1.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 02:08 PM   #10
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Tom, I must be driving you crazy! Forgive me...but where is the battery? On the Flyer or on the camera.

If I understand, a battery on the H1 adapter feeds power through 2 cables: one to the camera itself, and another (XLR) to the XLR adapter on the standard Flyer AB mount.

Am I getting warmer? Thanks.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 10:44 PM   #11
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Close, but not quite. When not using the Steadicam, you'd just have a battery on the camera adapter, and it'd power the camera. When using the Steadicam, you'd have the batteries on the Steadicam's mounts. Then, on the top of the Steadicam, there's a power plug, and a cable which connects that to a 4-Pin XLR socket. You'd plug that into the XLR-Anton Bauer Adapter, and put that adapter onto the camera's adapter. Does that make sense?
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Old June 17th, 2007, 08:05 AM   #12
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Yes! I think my confusion was partly because I never before thought of XLR as way to carry power, only sound. I bet you could do some real damage if you mixed up your XLR connectors! Attach a battery to your mic? Ouch!

Just curious about this: what sort of resale value would a Flyer have? If I kept it in prime condition and had to sell it later? I know used ones seem to be scarce -- you search "Steadicam" on ebay and get lots of imitations.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 10:58 AM   #13
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With 24v equipment, it could indeed get confusing - some 24v stuff uses the standard 3-pin xlr. However, in your case - 14.4v - the convention is a 4-pin xlr. Much harder to come by in the audio world, so it eliminates a lot of confusion. If you're just starting a kit from scratch, you use the H1 and do not own a "broadcast" battery system for the H1, as mentioned before there's no problem just using the on-cam batteries to power the camera. The H1 batts last quite a while, and the batteries on the sled will power the sled monitor for a long time too. A lot of people use flyers without ever tapping into the stage power. But, should you need it, it's there...and can power things like focus systems, lights, etc...And if you use the H1's internal batteries, you could power any one of those things in addition to your camera without any splitter cables.

As for resale value, with any well-machined rig, it should hold most of its value. In this case, the Steadicam name has less to do with the value of the rig than the quality does. If you're buying it used, you may find that selling it a year or 2 from now, you get exactly what you paid for it. BUT, like any equipment you use professionally, remember that you're making money off it, so you can't be too nitpicky about end values. But the clear answer isYes, it holds its value extremely well. I sold mine not too long ago and felt that I got a very fair value for it.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 11:17 AM   #14
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Yes, that would be the simple option, just using the XLH1 batteries to power the camera while using the ABs or V-Locks to power the sled. Heck, that's all I ever do with my rig. But, if you want to make the switch, the option is there.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #15
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Just wondered about V-Lock batts, which have the advantage of being somewhat less expensive than AB.

Will any VL work on a VL-mount Flyer? It seems to be a Sony standard, but I noticed several companies (including IDX) make them, too.

Thanks!
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