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Steadicam Pilot arms "creaking"


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#1 William Santana

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 06:59 PM

I've had the Pilot for a few months now but have only gotten around to flying it three times at the most; Usually outside with a lot of noise. It wasn't until today during the exercise on page 54 of the Operator's Handbook that I notice that the arms are creaking rather loudly when I am booming up and down. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this issue and what steps have they taken to remedy it. I'm a long way from using this in an actual production (Hopefully the Steadicam Workshop I'll be attending this December 11th-12th will kick my enthusiasm and proficiency into high gear compliments of Mr. Papert's tutelage.) but I would like to resolve this pesky issue preferably before the workshop so I could continue my training without delay.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 William Santana

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 07:31 PM

After additional testing I've narrowed down the problem area to the double action hinge. It creaks when it moves during horizontal movement.
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#3 Erik Brul

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 01:26 AM

After additional testing I've narrowed down the problem area to the double action hinge. It creaks when it moves during horizontal movement.


Hi William,

You pointed out most likely the ´correct´ spot. In all cases it´s seems to be the spot were you can split the arm into 2 parts, the release pin !
I must admit, i´m disappointed that this seems happen to often to a lot
of users including myself. Use some acf-50 on this particular spot and that sound will disappear.

To be honest, í really don´t understand why all new arms, big and small are now all fitted with this release pin.. why on earth is it
handy to splitting a arm in 2 when it has been more then 30 years in one piece ??

Good luck
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#4 RobinThwaites

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 06:46 AM

Hi William and Erik

We prefer conventional oil or better still silicon oil to sprays, sprays can be messy and do dry out.

Robin
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#5 William Santana

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 12:39 PM

Alright I'll get my hands on some silicon oil. Any suggestions on brands or where to get it?
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#6 Chris McKissick

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 06:11 AM

I second the silicon oil... Worked like a charm...
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#7 Erik Brul

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:57 PM

Well.. this forum should be informative. If you search the last couple months on arm sounds (espec the Pilot) results are for example :

Thin oil by robin (customer support tiffen)
very small amount of white grease by Dave (operator)
conventional oil or better still silicon oil (customer support tiffen)

Or even do a search the last couple of years for arm sounds: Main result is ACF-50 and NOT 123 oil or simular !

The problem here is, this is a international board with people from all over the world. What is common for UK or US residents when talking
about silicon oil or ACF-50 is for them easy, they know almost exactly what you mean.

For me from the Netherlands, or guys from Denmark or Germany for example this is not so common.
So long story short:

Pls provide us with a working internet link to a shop in the UK / US were they sell specificly the oil you are talking about. The oil that Tiffen for example
is using when they get a arm in for service or repair and fix it with this specific oil from brand xxxx or brand yyyy !

I myself removed the release pin, placed it on a clean towel and used a little bit of teflon spray. This was done in september and the arm is still quiet...
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#8 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 04:02 PM

ACF-50: http://www.skygeek.com/10013.html
Also very similar and my preferred lube for most things, Corrosion-X: http://www.corrosionx.com/
Both are thin film aviation lubricants and I believe both are available in both an aerosol or a pump spray bottle. They differ from conventional lubricants in that they create a very thin non sticky layer on the metal that does an amazing job at fighting corrosion. They also lubricate and don't seem to attract contaminants quite as much as stickier lubes.

WD-40 and most simple hardware store lubricants should be avoided for most steadicam related uses.

When it comes to silicon oils, teflon lube and white greese it is possible to find a wide range of products with these description on the container. It would be nice to get some more specific recommendations.

~Jess
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#9 William Santana

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 02:10 AM

ACF-50: http://www.skygeek.com/10013.html
Also very similar and my preferred lube for most things, Corrosion-X: http://www.corrosionx.com/
Both are thin film aviation lubricants and I believe both are available in both an aerosol or a pump spray bottle. They differ from conventional lubricants in that they create a very thin non sticky layer on the metal that does an amazing job at fighting corrosion. They also lubricate and don't seem to attract contaminants quite as much as stickier lubes.

WD-40 and most simple hardware store lubricants should be avoided for most steadicam related uses.

When it comes to silicon oils, teflon lube and white greese it is possible to find a wide range of products with these description on the container. It would be nice to get some more specific recommendations.

~Jess


Agreed, I ran searches for silicon oil and get a variety of options; I don't know which one will be safe for the Steadicam.
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#10 RobinThwaites

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:25 AM

Ha Erik! I like the question! The best stuff I have found to date was at our workshop last week in the BBC training centre where I was lent some by a friendly technician. It was in a half litre squashy bottle with "silicon oil for photocopier" written on the side in marker pen. Worked perfectly on a G-50 spring and a Flyer arm pin and some socket block screws and one or two other things as well. No idea of brand though.

Robin
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#11 Erik Brul

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:44 AM

Ha Erik! I like the question! The best stuff I have found to date was at our workshop last week in the BBC training centre where I was lent some by a friendly technician. It was in a half litre squashy bottle with "silicon oil for photocopier" written on the side in marker pen. Worked perfectly on a G-50 spring and a Flyer arm pin and some socket block screws and one or two other things as well. No idea of brand though.

Robin


Well Robin, this is exactly why i pop up this question on the board.. and you are being a bit funny which is fine ofcourse ;)
But the thing is.. a lot of people have discover these problems and sometimes even directly from the factory. So there must be a general
solution or general stuff you guys use..

It ´seems´ so simple question and a simple answer....

Best, Erik
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#12 RobinThwaites

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 05:04 AM

Hi Erik,, yes a bit funny but a bit serious as well. my point is that this is an unbranded oil from an unknown source but was crystal clear suggesting that it was very pure and it worked a treat. In an emergency on these kind of squeaks you use what you can get, we even used olive oil from the restaurant on arm springs at one exhibition and it worked for a while. Chap sticks (for lips) are very effective for vest squeaks.

It is easier to say what I would avoid which is anything with detergent in it (e.g. WD-40), anything with solvent in it (many other sprays), anything that is highly coloured and anything that even hints that it is penetrating oil.
Naturally this does not necessarily apply to trunions, gimbals or anything that requires disassembly and I would defer to engineers on this.

Robin
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