Calling all bogen 503 head users - help! at DVinfo.net

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Old February 3rd, 2007, 09:17 AM   #1
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Calling all bogen 503 head users - help!

Last month, got a 503 to upgrade from my 501, which I've had for 3 years, thought the 503 would be a bit better for HDV.

Opened it up, and immediatedly noticed a loud crackling when adjusting the tilt drag knob on the right side, sounded like rice krispies in there. It actually kept crackling for a few seconds after I stopped turning.

Also noticed that when I tilted up or down, same crackling noise, not as loud as the noise from the knob adjustment, but still quite audible.

Sent it to Bogen, got a new head back, and same exact deal - it crackles.

Do other owners have this problem? Did I get two lemons in a row? Is bogen not what it was 3 years ago when I bought the 501?

I have to say, my 501 is SILENT.

Much appreciate feedback from other 503 owners, going to be taking it up again with Bogen and my dealer on Mon. a.m., just don't feel this is acceptable.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 02:55 PM   #2
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Hi Stu, yes I found the same thing on mine too when I got it about 8 months ago.
It happens when I adjust the fluid drag mostly and when it is tilted. I panicked at first but just continued to use it assuming it was normal or just the 'newness' of it. It has become somewhat better with use but I still hear the odd crackle, almost like plastic straining or something. I really don't know, but considering you had 2 heads that both did this and I have one also, then perhaps it is normal but that's hardly conclusive. I would be very interested too if those of you who have a 503 could give some feedback or perhaps someone could shed some light on it?
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:47 PM   #3
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Well this is not good Im planning on buying the 503 for my A1 but i dont know anymore .Is the crackle loud enough to be picked up by the mic?
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:54 PM   #4
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I haven't even used it yet becasue that's what I'm concerned about.

Damian?
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 07:02 PM   #5
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I got the 503 at Christmas. With drag set at higher levels on the tilt, I notice an occasional crackle when I try to tilt it faster than the drag is set to allow. To avoid it, if I need rapid pans or tilts, I think less drag is what is in order.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 07:17 PM   #6
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I've been using the 503 for 3 or 4 years and haven't noticed any crackle. If it's there (on mine) it must be very quiet.

Richard
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 07:30 PM   #7
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I've have a VideoMic on the cam at one time or another for some shots and I haven't noticed anything being picked up, but I mainly used slow pans and tilts.
I agree with Chris B, faster movements seem to make it worse.
You will sometimes hear a bigger 'pop' if you mess with the fluid drag too much. None of this seems to interfere with the functionality and you won't have to worry at all if you don't use onboard mics in really quiet rooms while tilting rapidly lol, but it does kinda tick me off, and now that I think about it I wish I could afford to bring mine back and pay the difference for something better. (I'll get that Vinten some day!)
If your thinking of buying a 503 then just ask to try it out first and see whether it happens at all.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 07:41 PM   #8
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I just checked mine out again, and could not get it to make a sound with any type or speed of movement. Must be some variation in models.

Richard
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 10:02 PM   #9
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Looks like the older ones are quiet and the newer ones crackle, which would seem to indicate that the new ones aren't as well made.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 12:10 AM   #10
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I don't think you can come to that conclusion. Could be breakin time is needed. It sounds like when you squeeze a paste or jell out of a tube, and there is some air in it. I don't know what the guts of these things are like, but there must be some kind of "jell" or semi liquid fluid that creates the drag tension. Any body have any idea ?
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Old February 4th, 2007, 02:24 AM   #11
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My 503 is just over one year old. Last week, for the first time, I noticed a problem like you describe. As I adjust the Fluid Drag I hear the snapping noise. It sounds like thick fluid in a tube. I would agree with Chris's description, or kind of like a caulk tube with air pockets. Mine is quite when panning or tilting, so it really does not bother me.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 01:11 PM   #12
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I've owned a 503 for several years and have NEVER heard a noise from it. I would send it to Bogen for repair.

Best wishes,
Peter
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