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-   -   Servo City Remote Head (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/jibs-cranes-booms/110021-servo-city-remote-head.html)

Andrew Fraser December 11th, 2007 10:49 PM

Servo City Remote Head

Will be released early in the new year. If you look carefully the Canon XL1 cannot rotate completely due to the lens hoods, after contacting them I have been told that there will also be a large model which is 4 inches bigger in each direction for larger cameras. Starting from US$500.

Should be more within the budget of the smaller companies than with the larger remote head costing over $1500

Eric Stemen December 12th, 2007 07:42 PM

I may actually buy a jib if this stays around the $500 price.

Andrew Fraser December 12th, 2007 09:36 PM

We have two units. The one shown on Youtube is the shorter (smaller) of the two. It will hold a Canon XL1 fine but will not allow it to rotate all the way around as you could see. From the center of the mounting plate to the back is 8 inches....basically if your camera is 14 long and the threaded mount on your camera is in the middle, you can rotate it completely around. Our second unit that will be shown very soon is four inches larger in every direction and will handle larger cameras with ease. Both units can easily handle up to 25 pounds with the roll attachment and over 25 pounds when just using the pan & tilt.
Not to get more confusing BUT we will be offering 2 versions of each size, a professional unit that is both very fast but can also move at a crawl and everything in between. This unit is great for "live" broadcast video. These units have external potentiometers and use our patened servo gearbox setup. They can rotate up to 500 degrees. The second version will also operate very smooth but uses less expensive servos that have multi-turn internal potentiometers. It is not quite as fast nor can it move quite as slow but still produces fantastic video. Both versions can be controlled with our wired or wireless 2.4GHz joysticks and our recordable joystick.
Prices for the Pan & Tilt Pro Series will be right around $600.
Prices for the Pan & Tilt Standard Series will be right around $500.


Eric Stemen December 13th, 2007 12:15 AM

this is fantastic news!!

Gerry Gallegos December 13th, 2007 12:14 PM

pan tilt head
I have just found out as well that if you have a smaller hand held cam (under 5lbs) they have a smaller even more affordable pan tilt. with servos and a small controller and ads up to less than $300. great news for all the HV20 and that sized cam users. even more reasons to get that crane you've always wanted. Im definitely getting one of those.

Jon Omiatek December 13th, 2007 02:09 PM

Are you going to take pre orders? I would be interested in a few.


Andrew Fraser December 13th, 2007 06:49 PM

For more information as it comes to hand...


(Sorry to promote off-site activity)

Jon Omiatek January 2nd, 2008 03:55 PM

Purchased mine today!!!

Eric Stemen January 2nd, 2008 10:09 PM

cool. Looks like it costs a little more than originally planed but it still seems inexpensive. Please post a review and a video from the footage when you get it up and running. Did you get the pro version?

Andrew Fraser January 3rd, 2008 04:13 AM

still yet to release the 3rd axis part. Shouldnt take long hopefully. BTW They are not continuous rotation, but can be ordered that way if required - it would probably cost a little extra.

Jon Omiatek January 3rd, 2008 08:55 AM

The nice part about the system, is that you can customize it any way you want. When the 3rd axis comes out, just add it. Want to change the gear ratio, just change it. I will post a video as soon as I get it and connect it to my crane. The 2.4ghz wireless option should be out soon as well.

Andrew Fraser January 3rd, 2008 05:46 PM

cant wait to hear more. can it just be hooked up to a standard remote control kit? That type of system already works on the 2.4ghz band and allows over 12 channels. something to look at is trying to put a gear on a continuous rotation servo and using it for changing zoom or focus on your lens (if indeed you have that type of camera)

Jon Omiatek January 3rd, 2008 08:46 PM


Originally Posted by Andrew Fraser (Post 802210)
cant wait to hear more. can it just be hooked up to a standard remote control kit? That type of system already works on the 2.4ghz band and allows over 12 channels. something to look at is trying to put a gear on a continuous rotation servo and using it for changing zoom or focus on your lens (if indeed you have that type of camera)

From what I was told yes, you could control it with a surface RC Kit. Although, they said their 2.4ghz digtal would provide a better link. They even said they would have a control unit that would control up to 2 pan and tilt systems, which would be great.

The only issue I see is how to get the video back to monitor. With all the wireless required, meaning pan/tilt system, video link and zoom link it would be lots of room for interference.

Anyways, it sounds good to me just to give a try. Honestly, I would be very happy with one wireless camera control. :) If the wireless doesn't work well then it will make a great edition to my crane(wired to a joystick)

Would be really nice to have the features of the Grizzly Pro system I use, all camera controls at your fingertips... Running rj-45 takes a while but it works.

I should have the 985 system next week and I will post video shortly after.


Andrew Fraser January 3rd, 2008 10:40 PM


I bought one of them for a project I am working on now, tested it with a friends rc set as I haven't got my own yet and it works fine with an XL1. Features wireless lanc control including...
Focus Manual/Auto
Focus In/Out
Zoom In/Out

Jon Omiatek January 4th, 2008 08:24 AM

Wow, thanks. I will have to get one!

Jon Omiatek January 12th, 2008 08:04 PM


UPS notifed me that Servocity's pan/tilt head will be arriving on Tuesday. I will post some video of the setup when it arrives. I feel like a 5 year old on Xmas morning, Grin!

Andrew Fraser January 13th, 2008 05:36 AM

should be interesting to see if it lives up to expectations...

Jacques Mersereau January 13th, 2008 10:41 AM

I am also interested in whether if it has variable speed and if so, how fast and how slow can it pan and tilt?

How much motion/cam information is recorded and repeatable?

Jon Omiatek January 13th, 2008 12:09 PM

I purchased the servo recorder and I will have to see when I get. I will post a full report when I get it.

Bill Hamell January 13th, 2008 06:06 PM


When you do please include how load it is.
I am curious as to know how much noise it makes.

Thank you,

Jon Omiatek January 15th, 2008 07:09 PM

I received my Servocity 985 pan/tilt head in the mail today. It was packaged very well and they even give you a small bag of candy, which my daughter liked alot....

As far as the sound issue goes, it's sounds like a servo and it get's louder that faster you move it and it's almost silent at a slow pace. Which is what I expected.

Both servos were out of adustment and start past the neutral point, which I hope is adjustable. I will call them tommorow to see about fixing that.

I really need for the neutral issue to be fixed prior to testing. If it's an easy fix I will have video of the setup posted tomorrow.

Definately worth its price provided it can be adjusted.

Andrew Fraser January 15th, 2008 07:47 PM


Originally Posted by Jon Omiatek (Post 808988)
and they even give you a small bag of candy, which my daughter liked alot....

When I ordered some parts from them I also got a small bag, found it surprising - particularly because you can't buy half of those brands in Australia.

BTW - If at the time of purchase you request ServoCity to modify the servos, you can get continuous rotation on all axis. Turns the limited servo travel into a continuous run motor.

Jon Omiatek January 17th, 2008 07:36 AM

I spoke with Brian at Servocity yesterday and he was able to fix my neutral issue. I plan on setting it up on Friday night when my new 2.4ghz 6 channel rc controller arrives.

I purchased the wireless lanc, thanks andrew! and plan to operate the servocity head remotely with pan/tilt, zoom & focus controls on the same controller.

I also purchased a range video wireless video system so I can see what's going on remotely.

I plan on shooting video of the setup in action.


Eric Stemen January 17th, 2008 02:37 PM

cool, can't wait to see the video.

Mark Utley February 2nd, 2008 07:18 PM

Any updates?

Cam Crawford February 8th, 2008 06:38 AM

I agree the waiting is killing me. I think i check this thread 3 times a day looking for an update.

Mark Utley February 28th, 2008 01:54 AM

I take it people are too busy enjoying these pan/tilt heads to let us know what they think of them, haha...

Cam Crawford February 28th, 2008 05:38 AM

Hi Mark, I did hear from Jon off the board about his unit. I was to impatient to wait. He likes it and works very well and is using it wirelessly but mentioned it's quite touchy and maybe the gearing needs further refining.

He also mentioned he has been on holiday and will get a vid up as soon as he has time.

Jon Omiatek March 17th, 2008 11:32 AM

I will post pictures and video sometime tonight or tomorrow.


Jon Omiatek March 17th, 2008 09:19 PM

I accidently fried my RC Receiver which is needed to control the unit. I hope I can find one locally tomorrow. If not it will be at least 2 or 3 days for mail order.

Anyways, here are some pictures. The head doesn't come with a tripod plate, I had to make my own. Very easy to make just need a piece of metal between the head and my tripod plate.

Here are some pictures of the head with a camera mounted on it.


Cam Crawford March 18th, 2008 05:36 AM

Thanks for the update Jon

How did you fry the receiver? just in case I do the same thing in the future.

The only thing that scares me about this unit is the way the joystick moves. Ie. with limitations on pan tilt movement as per the the limits on the physical joystick travel. From my understanding if you leave the springs in the joystick, when you take your hands off the controller and the joystick centres the pan tilt head does the same thing rather than just stopping. Have you found this hard to get used too or am i completely off the mark?

I also have the grizzly pro R-one, how do you compare the two Jon?

Thanks for taking the time to post, I know your busy

Jon Omiatek March 18th, 2008 07:28 AM

I fried my receiver by shorting it out. My battery back had a tear in the cord that I didn't notice and set the receiver on fire which stinks considering its $100. I was in a hurry and wasn't paying attention.

Once servocity gets new gearing, I will like the system much more. Currently, anything more than a slight movement will create too much movement for video. They are working on a quiet servo which would be better than the current servo noise. If you are moving it slow, it's really not too much of a factor but fast movements are too loud for my intended use.

I have a Futaba 2.4ghz wireless transmitter which is light years better than the joystick that comes with the system. I really like the fact that I can use the system from across a church without needing any wires. I have a 2.4ghz wireless video transmitter that works pretty good. I have the entire system powered by a 6vdc battery pack(servocity) and a 9vdc battery pack(video). Both battery packs will run the system for hours. I have tested it for 2 hrs constant movement and video transmittion.

As for a comparison between the Grizzly pro and Servo city, there really only two, SC offers more movement(360 degrees on either axis) and wireless. Obviously the grizzly pro offers more options and its pretty silent. I have the 3 camera system and love it for what it is. The servo city head would need 3 remotes to control three cameras, as the grizzly pro needs one. If and when the gearing gets resolved on the servo city head I will like it as a one camera system compaired to the grizzly pro due to the wireless factor and probably movement as well.

Tim van Weldam April 20th, 2008 06:37 AM

Help needed on my servocity pan/tilt system!
Hello Jon!

My name is Tim, I'm from the Netherlands and I have an urgent question.

I received my Servocity pan/tilt head a week ago, but I don't know how to install it on my crane or tripod, because of the weird surface.. Already sent them an e-mail with the request to send me an instruction manual, but still no reply..
I'm afraid if I make something myself, eventually my camera will fall off & that'll not be good for business! I was wondering how you created your surface to fit it onto your tripod. I also have some issues with the screws and bolts that came with the package. In the 2 bolts there are white rings that don't allow you to tighten it better. The plateau wiggles like crazy, so that's not so good either...

I also have the 985 series, and I think you have way more experience working with it than I do, so I really hope that you can send me in the right direction!

I hope to hear from you!

Grtz, Tim van Weldam

Jon Omiatek April 22nd, 2008 07:17 AM

What tripod are you using? Does it have a tripod plate? I suggest purchasing a piece of metal or Aluminium, then attach your tripod plate to the bottom of the Aluminium and then attach the servo city head to the top of the Aluminium. I will take pictures of what mine looks like.

I have had lots of people asking if I would make one for them. The piece of Aluminium cost me $15, the nuts and bolts cost another $3. With pictures of mine and a drill, you should be good shape to make your own.

I would also recommend seperate the POT from the arm(s), DO NOT REMOVE IT COMPLETELY, see pictures I posted in an earlier thread. The constant feedback isn't something you will want. You will need to be very carefull when you remove them, if not, it will break. http://www.omiatek.com/dvinfo/Cam4%20(Large).JPG

I ordered the new gearing for Servocity last week and it should arrive this week. I hope it will make the movements much easier or slower. The stock gearing is WAY to touchy.

I also purchased the WEVI video transmitter. I would highly recommend either of their products, depending on your budget. I picked up the WV-5, which isn't the camera mountable one, for $325. The camera mountable one is way out of my price range.

Jon Omiatek April 22nd, 2008 07:46 AM

Mounting to Crane
I used the Bogen quick release plate and mounted it to my crane. It makes for easy mounting and dismounting.


Tim van Weldam April 22nd, 2008 11:44 AM

Hi Jon!

Thanks for your reply! I went to the local hardwarestore, bought a piece of alluminum and a couple of nuts & bolts.. Because I don't have the proper equipment at home, I left it at a shop that will drill all the holes for me..;)

I don't think my tripod is the right one for the Servocity Head.. I own a manfrotto 700RC2.. I was planning to use the remotehead on my crane (ProAm DVC-250).. I do have the Bogen Quick-Release you recommended, it came with my FigRig..

I do have one question: What is a POT?? Where can I find it on the remote head and what is the effect of modifying it?

Sorry for asking so much, but I'm new in this area. I don't have the technical knowledge yet. It's my first servocity product..

I hope you can help me again!

Thank you for your time!


Jon Omiatek April 22nd, 2008 12:20 PM

Here is a picture, compare it to your Servocity Head.


The pot must stay attached to the wiring that goes back to the servo. If not, it will not work. You will have to manually adjust the silver part the comes out of the pot to find neutral. + or - either way and it will be off one way or ther other.

Giroud Francois April 22nd, 2008 01:13 PM

where did you get the WEVI WV-5 for $325 ?
(they sell it here for 300$) http://www.ggvideo.com/idx_videowave.php
i plan to purchase one an modify it to make it camera mountable.
after all this model must not be far from the other one.
a pair of small 5.2 ghz antenna is easy to mount.
you just need to remove the video plug from the printed board and make a nice aluminum box (antennas on top, plug at bottom)

Jon Omiatek April 22nd, 2008 06:17 PM

I bought it from the same place, add shipping and it will be more than $300.

I might take the cases off and see what would be involved. Camera mountable would be very nice upgrade.

They work awesome, nothing like it for the price.

Giroud Francois April 23rd, 2008 12:20 PM

ok, i will order one set + antennas and let you know if it is ok
I am pretty sure these guy do not re-engineer a full print board for the same device.

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