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-   -   Balancing Magiqcam with heavy battery (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/stabilizers-steadicam-etc/34191-balancing-magiqcam-heavy-battery.html)

Tony Hall October 29th, 2004 02:35 PM

Balancing Magiqcam with heavy battery
 
I've got my Magiqcam set up with an XL1s a monitor and a 7 hour battery that weighs about 4lbs. The sled is very bottom heavy and there's not really anything I can do to change it. I've raised the camera a little to shift the center of gravity.

Now, I don't think that this should really be a problem because I'd think that the weight on the bottom would help keep it level, but the instruction manual says that you want the top and bottom to be balanced... why is that by the way?

Thanks.

Wesley Wong October 31st, 2004 10:10 AM

I was under the impression that the instructions/this forum recommends a drop time of 2 -3 secs , and not balanced top to bottom ?


I'm using a frezzi battery for my camera top light and a monitor battery from the Marshall monitor on mine and I still find it pretty difficult to balance my magiqcam.

If I were to add spirit levels to help, where's a good place on the rig ?


Hope I can get pointers from the 2 Charles here ...

Charles Papert October 31st, 2004 09:34 PM

Tony:

The problems with a significantly bottom-heavy rig are several. Tilting becomes an issue of force, which is never a good thing. Also, the rig will tend to pendulum, i.e. swing out during acceleration/deceleration or stops and starts.

A 4 lb 7 hr. battery for an XL1s is, honestly, overkill. You would be better off with a 1.5-2lb battery for that set of masses (you're probably into a back-heavy situation with that heavy battery also).

Wesley:

The most critical axis is side-to-side balance. The best place for a level is on the monitor, either above or below the screen so you can keep an eye on it while operating. You should also have another one at the camera plate as a master level that you can true the monitor level to (mount it on velcro etc so that you can adjust it). Fore-and-aft levels are not really useful in my opinion, you can set it up to eye and it will be close enough. Generally one should be trimming the tilt (fore-and-aft) to the specific needs of the shot.

Charles King November 1st, 2004 03:25 AM

<<<-- The best place for a level is on the monitor, either above or below the screen so you can keep an eye on it while operating. You should also have another one at the camera plate as a master level that you can true the monitor level to (mount it on velcro etc so that you can adjust it). -->>>

I second that.

Wesley Wong November 1st, 2004 03:56 AM

hmmm. any pics that I can have a better idea of ? that will really nail it for me.

Thanks for all the pointers !!

Charles Papert November 1st, 2004 08:20 AM

Charles K., take it away--I'm on a job & can't take the time to wrangle photos.

Tony Hall November 1st, 2004 01:10 PM

Ok, thanks for the info... I think I'm pretty much stuck with this heavy battery for the time being. I'll probably just try to add weight to my camera to level it out.

Tony Hall November 1st, 2004 01:17 PM

By the way, email notification hasn't been working for me lately. Is anyone else having that problem.

Charles King November 1st, 2004 04:10 PM

I'll post some pics when I get home.

Tony Hall November 1st, 2004 11:41 PM

by the way I just ordered a battery about half the size that will work with my monitor. I'll take some pictures of my setup and post them when it comes. I'll also try to post some Magiqcam footage when I get a chance... although I'm not very good yet :)

Wesley Wong November 29th, 2004 08:21 AM

hmmm... busy busy month for me. worked on a stage to tv adaptation as a grip...

Gonna try to find some spirit levels and start experimenting...

Tony Hall November 29th, 2004 11:13 AM

By the way, I just ordered the Nebtek lithium to 12v battery adapter and I think it's going to be the magiq solution to the problem of heavy batteries.

That's one design fault I see with the Magiqcam. You really have to have a HEAVY camera to have a monitor and battery on the bottom of the sled and have it balanced properly.

Wesley Wong November 30th, 2004 07:49 AM

yeah. I'm getting a 2nd np-1 to try to balance my DVX on it , its leaning 'left' with the Marshall monitor and batt on the 'left side'.

what I don't get is how sticking a spirit level on the top on the monitor is going to help my balancing, seeing that I don't have my monitor horizontally flat out in front of my knees, but at an angle up directed to my eyeline, a bit further out in front.

Charles King November 30th, 2004 08:15 AM

Leaning Left?!!!

Wong, It seems to me that your rig is not balanced sids-to-side if it's leaning left, if I understand you right.

Any pic to see your setup, so I can get a better understanding?

By sticking on a spirit level makes it t's simply a guide to help balancing your rig a little easier.

Wesley Wong November 30th, 2004 10:57 AM

<<<-- Originally posted by Charles King : Leaning Left?!!!

Wong, It seems to me that your rig is not balanced sids-to-side if it's leaning left, if I understand you right.

Any pic to see your setup, so I can get a better understanding?
-->>>
Hehe. was waiting for your pics on where to stick the spirit levels...

Is it possible to post pics here on the forum or has it to be outside link? I'll get around to taking a shot...

Charles King November 30th, 2004 11:18 AM

Sorry about that. I had forgotten about the sipirit level pic. I'll get onto it.

You'll have to have an outside link to link your pics.

Wesley Wong November 30th, 2004 12:08 PM

no need to be sorry. You've been most helpful to steady rig newbies like me.

home.pacific.net.sg/~jeng_hsiung/PICT0155.JPG

here's my pic

Charles King November 30th, 2004 12:36 PM

Here's the link I put together of the various places to put a bubble level: http://homebuiltstabilizers.com/bubblelevel.html

Charles Papert November 30th, 2004 12:46 PM

Holy cow--umm--jeez.

Wesley, the monitor and battery are supposed to be at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock relative to the camera, not 3 and 9.

As far as the level; stick one bubble under the camera mounting platform so that it reads side to side level. Put another on the face of the monitor. Periodically check that they match each other (adjust the monitor one to match the other one). This will give you a hint of when your horizon is level. Having levels in the fore-aft plane is less important because you are likely to be constantly tilting the rig, but rarely wanting to shoot off-level side to side.

Charles King November 30th, 2004 12:46 PM

First of all Wong. I see your problem already. I don't know if you meant it to be that way but the sled base is positioned wrongly. You have the top stage and the base opposite each other.


thet are supposed to be align with the post in one direction.

Apparently Charles P. post made it before mine. Good to see you CP

Ed Liew November 30th, 2004 09:24 PM

charles k,
very nice looking bubble level. did you make them?

ed

Charles King November 30th, 2004 09:43 PM

Hej Ed. Just to be sure. Are you referring to the one in the first pic or the third?

Ed Liew November 30th, 2004 10:03 PM

hi charles k,
the third pic.

ed

Charles King November 30th, 2004 10:19 PM

It was purchase the way it is.

Ed Liew December 1st, 2004 12:26 AM

did a search with the link on your homebuilt site and found some very interesting and useful items. you must have spend quick alot of time compiling all the info on your site. great work charles.

ed

Charles King December 1st, 2004 01:55 AM

Glad you apprecite it Ed. It took som time but the results does reap... :)

Wesley Wong December 1st, 2004 09:55 AM

:(


Ok I get more balance, now that they are in 12 and 6 o'clock position. Thanks ! What a klutz I am !

But now it seems like my battery mount is in my knees way when I walk and the monitor is no where useful , being obstructed visually by the sled ...


Should I find a way to mount the monitor a little off 12'oclock position and walk funny like a penguin to overcome this ??

Charles King December 1st, 2004 10:20 AM

Wong. The monitor is suppose to be in front not on the back. In other words, place the monitor at 12 'o clock instead of 6.

Take a look at my pic of my old sled:homebuiltstabilizers.com/mysled.jpg

The monitor is up in front while the anton bauer battery is at the back. In my case, lower at the bottom.

...or this: :homebuiltstabilizers.com/charlesrig25.jpg

Wesley Wong December 1st, 2004 11:21 AM

duh. yes, I get that. my bad for wrongfilly misleading everyone to think I mounted it at 6 o'clock for the monitor ...

monitor IS however still visually obstructed by sled and battery is getting in my knees' way.

the magiqcam isn't fanciful and it does not have laterally space saving tilt arms (unlike your seld/rig Charles K.- nice) that lets you save couple of inches from my kness while I fly them. Instead its a dead horizontal piece for the monitor and a downwards diagonal piece with velcro-ed NP-1 battery for my frezzi light, jutting out from the bottom of the sled...

check out my pic again to see why...

Thus the intuitive way for my , straight out-of-the-box was to wrongfully put the monitor mount and the battery/counter weight mount perpendicular to the fore and aft of the camera sled, to easily see the monitor and also not let a big chunk of battery get in my knees' way

Charles King December 1st, 2004 11:46 AM

Thanks for the clarification. I can see how your battery is getting in the way of your knees, seeing that it is way out in the back. You could try to draw it closer or try to adapt the connector so it hangs downward instead, similiar to mine. Just a suggestion of course.

This could be a mild case of just trying to get use to it by practicing to avoid it when operating the rig.

Wesley Wong December 1st, 2004 11:54 AM

SWEET !!! thanks for all the valued instructions !!!

I was about to post Dave's pics of the sled from the other thread ... http://www.awesomedental.com/images/sled%20images/DSC00075.JPG


Thanks again ! Charles K, and P and everyone else !!!

I'm gonna work around that monitor too and practise it.

Wesley Wong December 1st, 2004 12:36 PM

Oh as far as I can tell, I can't fit a spirit level under the camera plate mount,

so is it advisable to fit one on the monitor and the other on the battery and try to match them ?


I see the 2nd pic in Chrales K's link that some are mounted on the battery too.

Charles King December 1st, 2004 12:42 PM

Glad to be of help Wong. Anytime.

If you have a place just on top of the stage than you should place one there and and another on the monitor and match it up that way. I Think I have a pic of one somewhere.

Charles Papert December 1st, 2004 01:40 PM

Wesley:

As far as the battery hitting your knees and the monitor being obstructed, it sounds like you are flying the rig directly in front of you. It should be off to one side, the opposite side that the arm connects to the vest. Swivel the gimbal handle within the end of the arm to open up your view to the monitor.

In certain flying positions such as when running, there is more of a danger for the rig to get knocked with the knees; in this case, you allow the rig to fly further away from your body.

After much practice, your body will "learn" where to fly the rig so that you never hit it with your knees, but you are also flying it as close to the body as possible without this happening to reduce fatigue.

Ed Liew December 1st, 2004 08:22 PM

wesley,

"Oh as far as I can tell, I can't fit a spirit level under the camera plate mount, so is it advisable to fit one on the monitor and the other on the battery and try to match them ?"

i place a bullseye level on top of the aluminium plate right underneath the camera plate
( http://visualline.7p.com/gimbal_leveling.html ) and another tubular level just on top of the lcd monitor (sorry, don't have a pic of this at the moment). the bullseye level is use for balancing the rig and the tubular level is more for reference when flying the rig but honestly, it not easy flying the rig, framing the shot and looking at the level. need lots of practice.

ed

Charles King December 1st, 2004 09:52 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Ed Liew : wesley,
but honestly, it not easy flying the rig, framing the shot and looking at the level. need lots of practice.ed -->>>

Ed, the idea is not to look at the level when flying the rig at the same time. It is only there to make sure the rig is level before you start flying the rig. That's the idea.

Wesley Wong December 1st, 2004 11:53 PM

wow. ok. got it... bull's eye level... hmmm.


Off to the opposite side of the arm. *check* .


more practises.

Ed Liew December 2nd, 2004 12:03 AM

"It is only there to make sure the rig is level before you start flying the rig. That's the idea."
now i know. thanks charles k

ed

Michael Best December 2nd, 2004 12:28 PM

Off topic but in the right place
 
Ok, potentially stupid questions here. Just got mine, are you guys flying these on your right side, in front, or off to the left.
Seems it will work anywhere but what are you guys doing?
Also, how much tension are you guys using? I have an XL1s on it
now and seem to prefer the tenison on the arms about maxed.
Any starter tips? How far down did you place the gimbal? I've
got it well balanced on the docking station but still need to reduce
the sway a little more. What helps reduce side to side movement? Any input would be great to help reduce initial
mistakes. Thanks!!!

Ed Liew December 2nd, 2004 08:20 PM

hi michael,

did you get the new gimbal?

i'm not the expert to actually give advice on how to fly this rig but this is my experience. i'm sure both charles p and k can correct me if i'm wrong on this one.

magiqcam is design to work on the left only as the socketblocks is fix to the right. if you fly it any where else, its pretty difficult to control and not to say the amount of stress it put on your back.

as for the tension, you have got to get it tune to work with your particular setup. i still have not got mine to work in the way it should. i'm flying mine (panasonic dvc200) with the tension almost to the max and it look very "choppy" when i walk parallel to a roll of parking meter. and it take alot of strenght to rise the rig.

ed


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