Red camera hot-swap
Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:05 PM
The box was supposedly manufactured by Keslow Camera and according to the AC was not for sale. I’m wondering if some enterprising sole makes these or something like them for the Red and also for the Genesis/F23/F35. I know there are several companies that make V mount and AB battery hot-swap plates, but I’m interested in something that allows switching between the sled power cable and a block or belt battery. Does anyone make something like this for individual sale?
Thanks for any help.
Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:21 PM
Posted 11 April 2010 - 11:42 PM
Actually the plate or adapter powers the camera while no battery at all is connected. It provides the camera with power while you change batteries or switch cables.
They are also the guys that are making the Moses Pole.
Give them a call.
I think the business number is 818-282-5274.
Posted 11 April 2010 - 11:59 PM
Thanks for thinking about this some more. I do have Anton Bauer mounts on my XCS sled.
My sled can do normal battery change hot-swaps without a problem, as this is inherent in the design. I’m thinking more about when the DP wants to use the rig on the stand (on a one camera show) to light, and the camera needs to be powered up - hopefully without the need for my batteries. That being said…
I don’t really know much about the P-tap and how it works, so please excuse my ignorance. My sled has been modified to direct all three batteries towards powering the camera. One side effect of this is that the camera remains powered up regardless of the position of the power button on the sled when using the left upper j-box power connector (used for Red, Genesis etc. cameras). The camera gets power, regardless if the sled itself is powered up or not.
If I had a cable made as you suggest, would I plug the block into my rig via the P-tap on the sled’s Anton Bauer mount, then pull all three batteries off the rig (so as not to be using those as well)? This would be done whenever the rig and camera were being used to light. When ready to shoot, I’d put the batteries back on the rig, and unplug the P-tap cable – correct? Again, if I’ve completely misunderstood the concept, please forgive me. Assuming I understand (big assumption), the fact that I’d probably need to pull the batteries makes this maneuver a bit more of an ordeal than it would be on other sleds.
I looked at the Lentequip hot-swap “battery bridge” you referred to in the previous post and have an email into Emery asking a few questions, and telling him about this discussion on the Forum. This unit seems to be larger and heavier than the Keslow version, and has XLR power inputs instead of the usual Red connectors, which could be a good thing or bad, depending on what cables you owned. The fact that it is for sale (unlike the Keslow version) is a good thing. I have had great luck with my Canatrans from Lentequip, so I imagine this unit would be solid as well. Here is a link to the hot-swap Battery Bridge since the previous link went to the Lentequip Power Splitter instead, which I believe is used for something else:
Thanks again Doc, for giving this topic some thought. Please let me know if my thinking is off regarding your cable idea.
Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:41 AM
You may want to check out the Anton/Bauer QR-Hot Swap product. I used it on a feature last summer and found it to be a great solution to the "suicide cables" that seem to percolate to the set out there.
Any questions, just drop Paul Dudeck a line and he can answer all the questions.
Posted 12 April 2010 - 02:38 PM
I spoke with Keslow last year and they didn't want to sell. They weren't being proprietary, just didn't feel they wanted to be a gear maker.
That said, call Terry West and ask him about the box he made for me. It's very close. I decided to add an A/B connector and drop the battery meter. I'm very happy with it.
Terry can hook you up.
Posted 12 April 2010 - 03:38 PM
Thanks for your input. I looked into the Anton Bauer hot-swap, but it seems to duplicate what my XCS sled already does. I don’t have a problem hot-swapping batteries on my sled – I just want to be able to run the camera off of a block while in between set-ups without needing to power it down. Keslow’s hot-swap box allowed me to do that painlessly, and since they don’t sell it, I’m looking for a similar solution.
This sounds like what I’m looking for. I wouldn’t need the battery gauge either. Do you have any pictures you could post or email? You may have answered this in your post, but what connectors did Terry use for the two power-in ports – are they the same as the Red camera connectors like the Keslow design? How does it plug into the Red body? Is it a separate cable, or is it integrated? Thanks for any help. I’d love to have as much info as possible before I give Terry a call.
Posted 12 April 2010 - 04:55 PM
I'm not sure about Greg's sled specifics. I would run anything by him before plugging in to the P-tap connector, but I don't foresee a problem if you wire it properly. I get that all 3 of your batteries are running camera power so you are not looking for a battery hot swap. An input cable would just add a 4th battery to the circuit. Seems easy to pull the others off while doing a lighting set-up.
I would also say philosophically that the Steadicam should not be the primary source of power for the camera. If they want to keep the camera running during lighting set-ups there is nothing wrong with powering down to switch to shore power. Surely there is the 1 minute it takes to re-boot the camera while you strap the vest on and attach your arm. I understand being concerned about powering down between takes but this is more than acceptable. As the saying goes: You buy the dog, you also get the fleas. All these digital camera take time to boot up and it has to become accepted. If not, shoot film. My 2 cents.
Posted 12 April 2010 - 09:38 PM
I agree with you on all fronts. It is perfectly acceptable to power the camera up and down to facilitate both me saving my batteries, and the DP being able to look at a monitor to light. The boot-up isn’t that big of a deal, and in most cases, you’d have a second body ready to roll in on the dolly anyway. I simply came across this Keslow thing on a one camera body job and it made my life easier. Since that is the name of the game in this business, I was looking to see what, if any, the options were for getting one of these units to have in the kit. Thanks for taking the time to respond and to offer solutions…I very much appreciate it.
Posted 24 August 2010 - 01:26 AM
Enter Will Eichler to the rescue. He mentioned in this thread that he had turned to Terry West to build something like Kelsow was using, but without the power gauge readout. Will took the time to send me some pictures of his completed design and it looked great. I called Terry promptly and he said building one was not a problem.
Then I got busy on a feature, and only recently resurfaced to resurrect the project. I picked up my version of Will’s design today from Terry and it looks great. I’m sure now that I have it, I won’t get a Red job, but it is nice to have in the kit. I’m also having Terry build a similar one for the Genesis.
I just wanted to end this discussion on a positive note, and let anyone who might be looking for such a piece of gear know that Terry West can build them and they look great. Thanks to Will for offering up his idea, and the resource (Terry) to get it made and in my AKS bag.
Thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy day and offered opinions and advice on this topic…it is much appreciated.
Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:06 AM
Here is a picture (I hope) of the box Terry made for me. I can email it if it doesn't post.
Posted 29 August 2010 - 07:44 PM
Posted 15 September 2010 - 02:28 PM
Is this also true with the Terry West version or does the camera use a combination of block and sled batts?