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Can I interchange vests ?

Flyer-LE Merlin

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#1 Zac Gaetano

Zac Gaetano

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 01:46 PM

Hey all.


So I've been a stedicam operator for around 4 years and have my own Flyer-LE that I was handed down from a old production house that no longer had a need for it. I recently picked up Cinemilleds Ronin Adapter which lets me mount my ronin to the vest and arm. I was at a camera rehearsal last night and took a pretty nasty fall and broke one of the chest clips (somehow nothing else was damaged)


But to my question.... I have a merlin vest that can fit the flyer-LE arm. Is it safe to run the flyer arm on the merlin vest?  My rig is around 20 pounds I know the weight limit listed for the merlin is 15 pounds - but I assume the weight is heavily dependent on the arm. It actually fits and I was walking around with it , but I'm nervous that it is going to snap and just fall straight to the ground.



Anyone have any insight on this ? 


Thanks !




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#2 Tom Wills

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 02:31 PM

Hi Zac,


I remember early on in my operating career when I had a Merlin Arm and Vest, I asked Peter Abraham the same question. I believe he had in fact tried a similar thing, just to get the lightest vest possible. The plastic top portion of the Merlin vest is not rated for heavy loads, and can (and will) snap if overloaded. I believe some newer vests may have a metal top that is stronger, but I am not sure how that is rated weight-wise.


Best bet is to fix the chest clip. Even if it is quite broken, you can generally hold webbing quick release clips like that together with zip ties in a pinch, which should be enough to get you through until you can get a new clip with a lightweight rig like yours. Also look at local fabric stores for quick release clips - you may be able to find one that fits locally.

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#3 Zac Gaetano

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 06:57 PM

I appreciate the fast response Tom, I Mcgyver'd the Flyer Vest with a S hook and a bunch of heavy load tye wraps. (I ordered a clip, but I HAVE to have the vest in working order on saturday)


Think this setup will hold ? seems a lot sturdier then the actual clip is

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