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BFD Receiver powered by Red power-out?

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#1 David Michael Rivera

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 07:49 PM

Hello, everyone!

I've been out of the Steadicam game for quite some time... and I have a question (that might seem simple... but I gotta make sure).

I have a shoot coming up (non-steadicam) that the First AC would like to use my BFD on.

The BFD has 2-pin power connectors going into the receiver and the Red One camera has a set of 4-pin Aux power outs coming out. Two questions:

1) Is it just a matter of making a cable (to power the receiver/Heden motor) going from the two-pin to the four connectors (of course: following the proper wiring diagrams/layouts neccessary)?

2) Has anyone powered a BFD (or any other focus receiver) this way on the Red?
I've only ever powered the BFD off my sleds...

I'm a little paranoid about this (hence the post here), but my BFD is not in my possession right now and I don't know what cables I had in that kit. Also, the power outs on the rear of the Red concerns me (for my current cable-lengths).

Thanks for any comments/help you give.

David Michael Rivera
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#2 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:18 PM

Hi David,

You can buy a P-tap to BFD cable from Jim. That's more versatile than using the 4pin on the RED, since those are used for accessories (such as a run/stop cable from Jim) =)

I rent my BFD to some friends for Jib work, or just when they want the wireless option. It's worked out great.

One call to him and you can have it tomorrow...or maybe day after.

If you decide to make the cable yourself, make sure the polarity is right, or you'll be sending in the receiver for repair.

Bryan "been there done that" Fowler
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#3 William Demeritt

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:16 PM


I get the feeling that powering the BFD receiver (or any receiver) has to come directly off a power supply and cannot pass through the camera. I'd be interested in reading other people's experiences, but everything I've seen online hints that most receivers are powered off a battery plate with the P-tap.

In fact, doing a bit of research here (and on REDuser.net), everyone seems to gently recommend you not bother with the accessory power ports on the RED and just P-tap into the battery cradle. I think some conversations have taken place about the max amperage output of the RED One (something like 1.5 amps). I can't seem to find anyone saying that the accessory port WON'T power a BFD receiver (controversy over the actual amperage draw, etc).
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#4 JimBartell


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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:41 PM

Hi David,

Bryan and William are absolutely correct (and damned eloquent, too). The 12V auxiliary outputs cannot be used to power the BFD as they are current limited to too low an amount to power a follow focus. You need to come straight off the P-Tap on the battery mount. I do have a cable for this purpose in stock.

This has become very common on most HD video cameras. Most 12V outputs are intended only for small accessories, not a follow focus. The days of the 4-pin Hirose with unregulated battery voltage are going away.

Jim "unlimited and unregulated" Bartell
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#5 David Michael Rivera

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 08:04 AM

You guys are the best! Thanks for the info!

Jim, I will probably contact you today about ordering that cable. I would need to get it by Friday (that is, if I can get my BFD back as well!).

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