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The View: Video Display Hardware and Software
Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old October 28th, 2002, 09:48 AM   #1
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TFT, field monitor options.

Hiya all,

my friend here in australia owns a small online store that sells small 5" monitors which have are actually in his line of work been destined for car dashboards and so on.

Well i was thinking of grabbing one cheap off him and converting it for use as a field monitor for a xl1s.

http://www.realtime-systems.com/rts-lcd-205013.htm

that is what i am thinking of using. I can get very cheaply from the local parts store a 12v power supply.

I think i am most likely able to find a mobile battery pack capable of powering this beast as well.

This unit retails for around $130 USD but i can get it at cost as he is my friend.

Any opinions on this?

Anyone advise against it. It seems fairly easy to build a small sunshade for it, and because it has a metal frame around it, i can also attach a shoe to the bottom of it fairly easily for us on a camera or tripod..

anyways
thanx all

kermie

BTW Chris if this seems like a good idea and i get this going, i will be perfectly happy to write a little thing up for you on making a custom made lcd display for your little site here.
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Old October 28th, 2002, 10:07 AM   #2
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These little monitors are handy for framing and focus. There's a similar article on the Watchdog already but I always welcome more, especially if it's a custom adaptation. Thanks,
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Old October 28th, 2002, 12:14 PM   #3
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Kermie,
that is exactly what I did. I have an older sharp TFT monitor, a 5 inch one, and I got some parts from an electronics store and built a D size battery pack, it takes 8 D size, also built a C size pack and ordered an AA size and C size from the web. I order them for US$10 and US$15 respectively, they cost about the same to make. I bought them before I found the store with the parts so now I make my own.

Now when I do shoots I hook up my wireless transmitter, a cheapy I got from http://www.concealedcameras.com/cata...trans_rec.html it's the one for US$150 at the very top, and I have a small box that holds the battery packs for the monitor and wireless receiver and so my friend can see what I'm shooting without me having a cable hooked up to the camera. The battery packs are in the accessories section. http://www.concealedcameras.com/catalogue/acc_main.html

The signal has some noise once in a while so it's only good for checking the framing and to see what I'm doing. But for remote shoots when there's no wall socket, now I can run it all on batteries and with no cables also. that transmitter is not bad, used it last saturday running around the club and people could see themselves on the monitors and projector that I set up.

Definetely build the battery pack, having a mobile monitor is great, plus it's one less cable you have to worry about. I used to hate having a cable for the power supply and another connected from my camera to the monitor, no more getting tangled up with the cables
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Old October 28th, 2002, 12:43 PM   #4
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Sounds cool.

I don't have much experience with these things, other than on a jib rig once, but do these TFT monitors have the ability to underscan? I use an older CRT directors monitor, and when I don't have a power outlet, I use a car battery and power inverter. This is attached with a long bnc cable from the back of my camera.

The wireless transmitter interests me, but it's more important that we can check ALL of a frame, rather than have no cables.

Would be nice to not have to lug that 9" crt though.

Adrian
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Old October 28th, 2002, 03:51 PM   #5
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TFT field monitor

Radio Shack now sells those 12 volt active matrix automobile TV screens. The resolution is incredible. I bought one for $179.00, plus about twenty bucks for a 12-v wall plug and cable, and used the shoe off an old still camera flash to make a mount to go on my XL-1s. It cost me about four bucks for some plastic and velcro to make a shade for it.

ZGC is selling a packaged monitor that has a little doohickey that converts the Canon camera batteries into 12 volts. I was thinking about contacting them to see if you can buy just the converter doohickey. It fits really slick on the back of the monitor.
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Old October 28th, 2002, 04:28 PM   #6
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It would be nice to find a good source for one of these. Marshal and KnebTec both sell a 5.4" monitor for around $300-400. It's kinda pricey for what you get. Marhall sell the 12 volt battery kit and NebTek sell the adapter to convert 7.2 volts to 12 volts from a camera battery.

Canadian retailers want your first born as well as your reproductive gear. They're $575 canadian for the basic marshal 5.4 and thats with no battery.
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Old October 28th, 2002, 10:58 PM   #7
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That Nebtek canon battery converter is US$135. It looks good but using one of my canon batteries means one less for my camera, or spending another $100 or so for a battery just for the monitor. I just got the C size battery adapter for $15, I will get rechargeable ones if I start using it more on the go.

If you got the money, then the Nebtek adapter is nice. Right now I'm doing lots of guerilla type shooting, the homemade look with wires sticking out adds to the look, people get a kick out of the things I built to save money, but as I move up to more professional jobs, I'm sure I'll get some nice power adapters like that Nebtek Canon battery adapter.
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Old October 28th, 2002, 11:32 PM   #8
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Chorizo, i am lucky enough to have 2 friends, one a lather operator and the other an electrical engineer, i think we will get together and make a beast, the electical engineer is looking at coverting 2 remote control car battery cell packs into something workable for this camera, which can also charge while being used.

seems interesting.

kermie
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Old October 29th, 2002, 12:29 AM   #9
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Ok,

I'm gonna check out radio shack tommorow. Check out one of them TFT units, and see about a battery pack.

Where do you stick 8 D-cells on your camera? Somewhere along the bottom I take it?

Adrian
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Old October 29th, 2002, 12:46 AM   #10
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the 8 D size battery pack will be used on the sled of the homemade steadicam my friend is building for me. I have an 8 AA size pack that I got from the link on my earlier post. That pack I velcro to the top of the carrying handle of the XL-1.

You can just get a longer power cord to put onto your battery pack, carry the pack in a waist pouch, just make sure to unplug the cord before you walk away from the camera:)

The store I went to didn't have the plug that fits into my monitor, so I had an extra power adaper that goes into a car cigarette lighter and just cut off the plug and put that end onto the wire connected to the battery pack. I could still use the cigarette adapter if I put on another plug to fit the power cord I made.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 01:57 AM   #11
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funny enough, I was thinking of taping the 8 D's to the bottom of a mono pod myself, kind of a poorman's steadystick.

I'd love to see pics of yer homebrew steadycam rig. I've been thinking putting one together as well.

I'm really big into hotrodding DV rigs too.

Adrian
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Old October 29th, 2002, 02:50 AM   #12
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Right now I use the 8 D size battery pack and the monitor as the counterweights for the sled. shot some video last night, have to fine tune the balancing on the sled but so far it looks good.

I use the AA size pack for the wireless transmitter which is velcroed to the door of the tape transport, and the two CC size battery packs power the monitor and wireless receiver. Those two packs and the receiver are in a tupperware box with the monitor velcroed to the top of the lid. That setup makes it a self-contained wireless monitor so my friend can see what I'm shooting, get the framing set.

To use the sled in the next couple of weeks, he's making an arm handle so I can hold it for now, I'll split the video out to my sled monitor and send it wireless to the other monitor my friend will hold.

Lots of velcro being used, that and duct tape seem to hold lots of our gear together.

when I get the steadicam rig finished, I'll take photos and post a thread on it. end of this year we should have it finished.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 04:33 AM   #13
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Adrian:

The 5.6" TFT monitor I have underscans. It's a Varizoom, somewhere between the $260-280 price range. It doesn't have framing marks, however. I BELIEVE the Nebtek does.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 09:05 PM   #14
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Thanks Josh.

/A
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Old October 30th, 2002, 02:42 PM   #15
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5" Varizoom monitor may be the best single accesory I have purchased for my camera (thanks Ken!;)

I mount it on the camera and then duct tape 2 6v lantern batteries wired in-line to the bottom of my monopod stabilizer. Or just sit them on the floor if I'm using a tripod.

These things are worth their weight in gold. Everyone should have one.
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