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-   -   Steadicam Pilot - Getting Started Q & A (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/stabilizers-steadicam-etc/115235-steadicam-pilot-getting-started-q.html)

Dave Gish April 1st, 2008 07:21 PM

OK, I sent them an email.

By the way, the white grease like I used is available here:
http://www.amazon.com/AGS-Lith-Ease-.../dp/B000GKTZ5K

This stuff seems to last forever.

Sean Seah April 1st, 2008 09:42 PM

Does the integrated backpack come standard with the Pilot?

Dave Gish April 2nd, 2008 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Seah (Post 852770)
Does the integrated backpack come standard with the Pilot?

With the Pilot - yes, with the Co-Pilot - no.

Sean Seah April 3rd, 2008 10:44 AM

Wow sounds like the bag is missing with the shipments! Not good! Anyone had the same problem? BTW, is it possible to use the pilot handheld without the monitor? The handle doesnt look like it is possible but I still have to find out if anyone has tried. Thks!

Dave Gish April 3rd, 2008 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Seah (Post 853602)
BTW, is it possible to use the pilot handheld without the monitor? The handle doesnt look like it is possible but I still have to find out if anyone has tried. Thks!

Do you mean using the sled without the vest and arm, and then removing the monitor and batteries? I think a Merlin would be better for that.

In general, I've never heard of using parts of the Pilot. The Vest and Arm only take a minute or so to get into (once you're used to it). Without the monitor at the bottom of the sled it would be harder to see the ground you are walking over and the camera image at the same time.

The Pilot doesn't really collapse down much like the Merlin. The Pilot backpack/carry-case is big, much larger than the pictures lead you to belive. Why would you want to lug all of that around and then not use most of it? Also, since the Pilot post is carbon-fiber, I wouldn't want to bring it anywhere without some sort of case.

Sean Seah April 3rd, 2008 08:08 PM

so i see these two r totally different in application purpose. I noticed products like Glidecam and Indicam comes with a straight handle for handheld and also an option to upgrade to a dual arm system for better flying. Thks for the hints!

Terry Thompson April 4th, 2008 11:58 PM

Sean,

Humm...a backpack for carrying your stabilizer. What a great idea.

PILOT...that sounds familiar as well.

Tery
Indicam

Eugene Presley April 28th, 2008 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick Tsamandanis (Post 833000)
I have this: http://www.allthings.com.au/Catalogu...%20set%204.htm
It's the size and weight of a box of matches.


Hi Nick,

How do you power these?

Nick Tsamandanis April 28th, 2008 07:18 AM

They are both AC, I had the transmitter modified so I can power it from the Steadicam battery.

Eugene Presley April 29th, 2008 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick Tsamandanis (Post 868747)
They are both AC, I had the transmitter modified so I can power it from the Steadicam battery.

Is this hard to do?

Nick Tsamandanis April 29th, 2008 06:38 AM

I had a qualified person do it for me.

Steven Davis April 29th, 2008 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Gish (Post 852481)
Now that I've gotten the weight up to 10 lbs, I'm getting the exact same sound from my Pilot arm as well. Which hinges are squeaking? I'll try some white grease on them and let you know how it works.



Hey Dave,

I finally gave up on the noise and sent mine back to California. They found several issues with the arm which is causing the noise. One issue they found was the arm was 'tweaked', which means it was out of alignment. For being only 4 months old and used once, I was a little concerned. But the guys at Steadicam are great and I expect my arm to ship back to me this week.

Sean Seah May 4th, 2008 04:52 AM

does anyone have photos of the rig in the included bag?

Nick Tsamandanis May 4th, 2008 06:27 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Tis a nice bag.

Dave Gish May 4th, 2008 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steven Davis (Post 869336)
Hey Dave,

I finally gave up on the noise and sent mine back to California. They found several issues with the arm which is causing the noise. One issue they found was the arm was 'tweaked', which means it was out of alignment. For being only 4 months old and used once, I was a little concerned. But the guys at Steadicam are great and I expect my arm to ship back to me this week.

Let me know how it works when you get it back and what it looks like they did. Mine seems to be working without any noise at the moment using the white grease, but if there is a factory mod that eliminates this issue altogether, then I'm interested.

Dave Gish May 4th, 2008 09:07 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Seah (Post 871818)
does anyone have photos of the rig in the included bag?

Here's some more pictures of the backpack. By the way, it's worth mentioning again that the case is much bigger than it looks in the pictures.

1st picture - backpack closed. There's a front pouch for carrying accessories. There's a clear plastic window for your name label. I keep extra name labels in there to hand out to people in lieu of business cards. Also, I've tie-wrapped the SteadiStand cloth bag strap to the top of the backpack so there's 1 less thing to carry in my hands.

2nd & 5th pictures - I've mounted my two 8xAA fast chargers on a piece of 3/8" plywood so that it fits easily in the front pouch along with an AC extension cord and an AC splitter.

3rd picture - when you open the case, the vest is on top of a 1" foam divider.

4th picture - after removing the vest and foam, you see the sled mounted in the foam cutouts. The top foam cutout layer is more rigid for structure and durability. Lower layers are soft foam for padding. There's also a cutout for the docking plate. The yellow-handled hex wrench sort of fits in there also. Another cutout is for the Merlin, which I don't have, so I use that for small tools, supplies, and extra pre-loaded 10xAA battery packs. At the bottom, there are 3 small circular cutouts for the weights. I ordered extra weights, so I needed to add 2 more circular cut-outs just left of the dock plate cutout. This was pretty simple to do just turning a hole saw with my hand (no drill involved). On the upper left and right, there are 2 velcro cloth compartments that hold the Arm sections. There's also some additional room between the foam and cloth compartments to hold more small tools, supplies, and a baseball hat for working in the sun.

Hope this helps.

Sean Seah May 7th, 2008 11:43 PM

thks for the photos.. i read that the size is HUGE :) Btw, I thought I didnt see the arms anywhere... is it me or ..??? Where r they supposed to go. Is it at the 2 sides pouches?

Dave Gish May 8th, 2008 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Seah (Post 873808)
thks for the photos.. i read that the size is HUGE :)

Yes, the case is very large, but you can wear it as a backpack, which leaves 2 hands free for carrying your camera case and other stuff. Ends up saving a lot of time when you're lugging things around.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Seah (Post 873808)
Btw, I thought I didnt see the arms anywhere... is it me or ..??? Where r they supposed to go. Is it at the 2 sides pouches?

On the upper left and right, there are 2 velcro cloth compartments that hold the Arm sections. There's also some additional room between the foam and cloth compartments to hold more small tools, supplies, and a baseball hat for working in the sun.

Sean Seah May 9th, 2008 11:28 AM

ah i see.. thanks! BTW, can the pilot arms mount the merlin? I noticed in some photos that the merlin mount on the arm seems like 45 deg but the pilot has a short stud on the arm. Is there a need to get a interface or something?

Dave Gish May 12th, 2008 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Seah (Post 874564)
BTW, can the pilot arms mount the merlin? I noticed in some photos that the merlin mount on the arm seems like 45 deg but the pilot has a short stud on the arm. Is there a need to get a interface or something?

I think the Pilot and Merlin share the same arm & vest, although I haven't seen the Merlin arm. By your question, I'm guessing that you might want to buy the Merlin and later upgrade to the Pilot? The problem here is that Steadicam doesn't sell the Pilot sled seperately. The Merlin is quicker to grab, but one you have to deal with the arm & vest, you might as well use the Pilot sled.

Hart Boyd May 19th, 2008 08:14 AM

LANC Control on Steadicam Pilot
 
I was watching a webcast on MacVideo ( http://www.macvideo.tv/camera-techno...ticleid=100761 ) where Garrett Brown is being interviewed and he talkes about new accessories for the Pilot such as LANC control @ 7:26 in the clip. Any one heard anything else about this or other accessories?

Sean Seah May 19th, 2008 09:58 AM

I was thinkin if buying the Pilot first followed by the other way may be an issue too if the arm doesnt fit. I noticed the Pilot arm has a short stud while the Merlin arm seem to have a longer and bent stud.

Steven Davis May 19th, 2008 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Gish (Post 871845)
Let me know how it works when you get it back and what it looks like they did. Mine seems to be working without any noise at the moment using the white grease, but if there is a factory mod that eliminates this issue altogether, then I'm interested.

Dave, it seems to be better, I don't hear the noise. When they got it from me, they said, it was tweaked and they replaced some of the hardware.

I was supposed to get an email regarding what they did exactly, but I haven't gotten it. Either way, there was something or somethings wrong with it. I had about a two week turnaround.

Dave Gish May 23rd, 2008 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Seah (Post 879926)
I was thinkin if buying the Pilot first followed by the other way may be an issue too if the arm doesnt fit. I noticed the Pilot arm has a short stud while the Merlin arm seem to have a longer and bent stud.

You can buy the Merlin arm post here:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Arm_Post.html

You can also buy the Pilot arm stud here:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Arm_Post.html

So whatever one you buy, you can switch to the other one for less than $50.

Sean Seah May 23rd, 2008 07:51 AM

Ah thanks for the info!

Tyler Schlombs June 4th, 2008 07:24 AM

what a great thread...

I've been looking for quality information on the pilot, and I think I hit the motherload.

Has anybody here used both a steadicam and a glidecam in the same weight class? I'm looking to use several different cameras around 2-5 pound range.

Any comments on pros/cons between the two rigs?

Thanks

Charles Papert June 4th, 2008 07:29 AM

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...833#post887833

(also try searching under "pilot"--your mother lode will further reveal itself!)

Tyler Schlombs June 4th, 2008 08:02 AM

Charles,

Thanks for replying so fast. I have been looking in these forums for quite a while now, and I realize most of the information has come from you directly.

You say that the steadicam uses iso-elastics instead of springs for tension. Is there ever a benefit to using springs?

Charles Papert June 4th, 2008 08:11 AM

Uh...I did??! Please link to thread where I suggested that so I can correct it!

The Pilot (and all models above it) use springs in the arm to achieve iso-elasticity, which essentially means that the tension is uniform throughout the boom range (or as close to it as possible). Many of the competitive units out there have much less uniformity, resulting in a bouncier arm that requires more force to raise or lower.

Tyler Schlombs June 4th, 2008 08:18 AM

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.ph...ighlight=pilot
post #8

"The arm is pretty sleek looking but functionally it is not different than their previous arms, or the Indicam arm; a single set of springs attached to a fixed point in each section. This design is economical but it only creates the appropriate tension at the center point of its travel; once you boom up and down it "wants" to return to the center point, adding a certain amount of bounciness to the shot. This can be overcome by the operator but it is a whole different animal than the iso-elastic designs being used by the Tiffen Steadicams or the canister system used by GPI, which demonstrate the same lift characteristic throughout their range."



It is very possible I am just confused.

Charles Papert June 4th, 2008 08:33 AM

Thanks Tyler, I've reworded that post slightly.

Confusion is perfectly acceptable; my understanding of the engineering behind the various models of stabilizer arms is rudimentary at best. Basically enough to get by as an operator...! I just know a good arm when I use it (and conversely, a bad one). Some 12 years ago I attended the unveiling of the PRO arm which was really the first one that demonstrated truly smooth operation, and I was ready to write a check ($22K!) right then and there. The Pilot arm, like it's big brothers, has a very similar feel and for a fraction of the cost, and capacity, of course.

Tyler Schlombs June 4th, 2008 08:45 AM

Thanks for clearing that up.

I guess my question needs rephrasing as well. I have seen the difference between the "springs only" models and the "springs with iso-elastic technology." The ones with iso-elastic seem to stay where they are put when boomed up and down. From what I have read, they are much easier to boom, and cause less strain on the wrist.

So, what I was trying to ask was, when would the "non-iso-elastic" apparatuses be beneficial? (besides the cost)

Dave Gish June 4th, 2008 09:17 AM

Charles,

Do you ever work on the East coast? Do you need a PA?

Dave Gish June 4th, 2008 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyler Schlombs (Post 888205)
The ones with iso-elastic seem to stay where they are put when boomed up and down.

Not really. The Steadicam brand arms just boom very smoothly.

Sean Seah June 10th, 2008 11:07 AM

EX1 RCA Cable Question.. I like to know how u guys with the EX1 connect the LCD screen to the EX1. I noticed the connector is not the same as the Z1. Its some special conn. DO u buy the original n cut it short? Or is the conn available out there?

Christopher Witz June 10th, 2008 12:37 PM

I thought this questions was answered for you already in the ex-1 thread.... buying a sony proprietary mini d-sub to composite/svid cable is the only option. Only takes about 15 mins to cut, solder, shrink tube.

btw... this cable is the same as the one for the HC1 and other sony HDV handicams.

Sean Seah June 11th, 2008 12:26 AM

ooh ok. I was hoping there was any chance that someone has access to the connector alone. Thks..

Julian Frost June 11th, 2008 12:54 PM

Pilot, IDX E-7S Batteries and Canon HX-A1?
 
Would the IDX E-7S batteries which come with the Pilot VLB also power a Firestore FS-C? The specs on the FS-C says it requires "15V", which I suspect is probably more like 14.4V, the operating voltage of the IDX battery. Has anyone tried this combination?

I'm still trying to decide which Pilot system would be best for me -- The AA battery system would be cheaper overall and the batteries both the cheapest and easiest to replace at their end of life. But, f I could power the monitor and an FS-C using one set of batteries, that would be excellent.

BTW, I just got back from a 2.5 week trip to England and France. There were so many places where I would have loved to use a Steadicam!

Steven Davis June 11th, 2008 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Julian Frost (Post 891496)
Would the IDX E-7S batteries which come with the Pilot VLB also power a Firestore FS-C? The specs on the FS-C says it requires "15V", which I suspect is probably more like 14.4V, the operating voltage of the IDX battery. Has anyone tried this combination?

I'm still trying to decide which Pilot system would be best for me -- The AA battery system would be cheaper overall and the batteries both the cheapest and easiest to replace at their end of life. But, f I could power the monitor and an FS-C using one set of batteries, that would be excellent.

BTW, I just got back from a 2.5 week trip to England and France. There were so many places where I would have loved to use a Steadicam!


Hey Julian,

I went through the same question before I bought my steadicam. I ended up having to relay specs back and forth between Frezzi and Steadicam, because I wanted to know if I could power my light off the plug that runs up the neck of the sled. I don't play around with electricity, so I had to call.

Dave Gish June 11th, 2008 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Julian Frost (Post 891496)
I'm still trying to decide which Pilot system would be best for me -- The AA battery system would be cheaper overall and the batteries both the cheapest and easiest to replace at their end of life. But, if I could power the monitor and an FS-C using one set of batteries, that would be excellent.

Note that the Pilot VLB has a "special" charger. I've heard this special charger takes a long time to charge, perhaps overnight. So you may end up spending a lot more for a fast VL charger. If slow charging times are an issue, you might want to check this out.

Hope this helps,
Dave


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