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Old Universal model 1 Low Mode questions


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#1 Erik Ippel

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 07:24 PM

Aloha,
I am a newbie to this site & the whole steadicam world. I recently purchased an old universal model 1 am trying to get it into low mode. I know it takes a bit but I dont have any instructions & could use some help. Does any one know where I can get some old Model 1 instructions or does anyone have any knowledge of how to do this.


Any help would be greatly apreciated.
Mahalo,
Erik
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#2 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:11 PM

Aloha,
I am a newbie to this site & the whole steadicam world. I recently purchased an old universal model 1 am trying to get it into low mode. I know it takes a bit but I dont have any instructions & could use some help. Does any one know where I can get some old Model 1 instructions or does anyone have any knowledge of how to do this.


Any help would be greatly apreciated.
Mahalo,
Erik


Post a picture

Then let us know if you want to sell it, I don't want to use it just want to collect it, maybe hang it on the wall . . . . hehe

Give Tiffen a call, they'll hook you up
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:00 PM

As I recall (and I don't recall it very well, it's been 18 years since I had the 1), you could unclamp the center post and the front support and invert the base to keep it right side up when in low mode. However, your view of the monitor was pretty awful unless the rig was as low as possible.

Eventually I adopted the mirror method, where the sled is simply inverted and a small rectangle of mirror was taped or velcroed to reflect the image upwards. This required having a couple of scan reversing switches installed that would flip and flop the image to correct its orientation in the monitor. Still wasn't ideal, especially when the rig was boomed up significantly. Somewhere I have some behind-the-scenes shots of me with my neck craned backwards like a victim of a half-botched guillotine, struggling to catch sight of that tiny screen floating above me.

At this stage of the game, you would be well advised to organize yourself an LCD monitor that could perhaps migrate up and down the fore support post, flip over etc.
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#4 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:47 PM

"it's been 18 years since I had the 1"

Really? Really? No. Really?

That was the sled I learned on people.

18 years? Really?
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#5 Erik Ippel

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 10:00 PM

Aloha,
Thanks guys, I will post some pics soon of my rig. I am trying to fly an ARRI 35-3 with SL cine 200ft mags & a Optex Canon 14mm lens.
I was able to see a couple photos on this site that show the model 1 in low mode. I can see that it is the back post that gets taken out & Inverted. I think this model 1 was modified by the guy that did all the mods to these as I can see the battery looks like the mod he is known for. I am just not sure how the post comes out & dont want to break anything.. I recently set it all up normal & ran an HVX 200 with some weights & the monitor was working fine now after mucking with it the monitor seems to have a loose connection as I can only see an image now when I wigle the wire. I am going to take it apart & check all the connections but am wondering if there is anyone out there that you all could recomend that can work on these old rigs. Also I am definatly thinking of another monitor (lcd) but am keen to get one I will be able to use outdoors as this is where I plan to do my shooting. any suggestions???

Thanks for all the input I post pictures soon.
mahalo,
Erik
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#6 Charles Papert

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 10:05 PM

haha Alec...well, 18 years since I bought the 3A; you were playing with the 1 subsequent to that. But the Northampton videos (remember "Whiskey in Me Tea"?) were all on the 1, 19+ years ago.
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#7 PeterAbraham

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 04:07 PM

Must wade in here. Cannot find my Model 1 photos. Here's what I did. Had an adaptor made to match the angle of the plate welded to the front post as it screwed into the top of the Model 1 monitor housing. One end was angled, the other end was flat. That end was screwed into the bottom of the sled housing.

Upside? Quite rigid solution. Downside? The monitor was angled up towards the sky. Fine if I was in low mode and tilted up slightly ( in fact, it was great then ). A bit rougher if one is in low mode and boomed up some, and shooting downwards. In that situation, the monitor was angled up and away from the eyes.

Remember, we like to be able to look down as we work. With a bit of electronics work, you can get a BNC jack mounted on the bottom taking video from the video line coming from the top J-box. ( gee, the language sure has changed ). I suggest you mount a lightweight LCD from a small magic arm from the front post. It can be tilted to face up towards you. A 7" LCD is light- the one we sold for the Flyer LE was about a pound and had a nice AR coating on the face.

Please note- the Model I Steadicam was front-heavy by design. ( Who knew from Dynamic Balance?? ) Mounting an LCD will do the trick in terms of visibility of monitor. It will, however, throw your sled more out of balance. Not a problem- be aware that you will want to add some weight in the back end to compensate. If it is modified for an Anton Bauer mount already, or has the old DeRose vertical battery mod, you can find a way to add weight back there after adding an LCD monitor and get it into lovely Dynamic Balance.

Let's see. Got my Model I in the spring of 1987. Nickname: " Ole Smokey ". ( still reeks of burnt electronics from fire damage ).
Incredibly, this unit came with the original follow focus. Not only the first design- the first one sold. It was Lens Control Unit # 001. Spare box was LC-1 # 002. Before I owned it, it was rented by Ted Ashton to shoot the Oscars the year Garrett won for the Steadicam system.

I got to see Charles' Model I as well once.

Mine was cooler.

:P

Show us pictures of the solution you came up with, and enjoy the rig !!! Feel free to email me for a few other tips on how to wring all you can out of that sled.

Best,

Peter Abraham
Dir. Technical Services, Steadicam®
The Tiffen Company

pabraham@tiffen.com
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#8 PeterAbraham

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 04:09 PM

"it's been 18 years since I had the 1"

Really? Really? No. Really?

That was the sled I learned on people.

18 years? Really?



Right? Right? Can you believe he's that old?

I can't.
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#9 Brad Olander

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 09:26 PM

Here are a couple of photos of a Model 1 sled, with the Bob DeRose modifications, in low-mode. I had two thumb screws on top of the monitor that allowed you to disconnect the front post, flip it, and attach it to the bottom of the monitor.

Attached Files


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#10 PeterAbraham

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:48 AM

Hey Brad !
Superb examples of the mods that used to be available. There's a Model II sled at the Steadicam factory in Glendale that has the DeRose battery mod bracket on it.

Love the 2-piece BetaCam with the nightmarishly high C.G.
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#11 RonBaldwin

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:16 AM

ah the good old days! I remember "Old Smokey" Peter! I still have my model2 in the basement.
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#12 Charles Papert

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 03:31 PM

Don't you mean you have two models in the basement, Ron? Thats what you told me when we bumped into
each other at the fetish store and I asked about those ball gags in your shopping cart? Next feeding time, say hi for me.
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#13 nealnorton

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 06:48 AM

Wow, over 20 years later I learn a model 1 can be made to do lo-mode. I found a broken model 1 serial no. 006 in a closet at a TV station in Tampa Florida in 1985. The TV station had bought the rig thinking it would be perfect for helicopter work. The news photogs wanted nothing to do with the thing. I conned the management into having the sled repaired and spent a LOT of time trying to make it work. No training, no instructions. . . it was a lot of fun. It never occurred to me the thing could be flipped over. When I did a work shop in 1987 with G.B. there were no mod. 1's around and I had bought a model 2 with the Bob DeRose tail attached. Never really gave the model 1 a thought after that. . . I guess I was spending too much time with soldering irons and spare parts trying to keep the Model 2 and then model 3 from bursting into flames.

Great pictures and information.

Neal Norton
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#14 RonBaldwin

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:05 AM

Don't you mean you have two models in the basement, Ron? Thats what you told me when we bumped into
each other at the fetish store and I asked about those ball gags in your shopping cart? Next feeding time, say hi for me.


shhhh, or I will be overrun by steadi-ops! I feed them in the evening, so stop by after work. Don't tell BJ or Brad...not sure BJ's fj could handle the pitch of my driveway and Brad would hit me for not telling him.
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#15 Erik Ippel

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 07:14 PM

Aloha,
Thanks for the input from everyone... I recently did my first test with my Arri 35-3 & my old model 1. Everything went well except at the end of the shoot my 3" green screen CRT went on the fritz... The image just started to roll.. I can get a stable image when I push on the faceplate of the circuit board where the video signal comes into the bottom box from the J-box.. I don't know what happened or what to do. I am currently looking into replacement LCD monitors as this one is old but I would like to at least keep this old girl working properly.. anyone know of anyone that can get the old CRT back up & holding a steady image... I also thinking of getting a Transvideo 5" rainbow monitor.. does anyone know if this will be bright enough with a hoodman on it for outside work?? or have a good recommendation on a comparable monitor.. I can pick the rainbow up for about $300 so I am looking for an equivalent price range... Also I am trying to upload some photos of my rig from the test shoot but there is no attach option just insert image which looks like it wants an HTTP address.. any help would be greatly appreciated!

mahalo,
Erik

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