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How Many of Each Cable?


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#1 invalid username

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 06:18 AM

I know this is a very open question, but how many of each different type of cable should an operator have in their kit?

I'm assuming no less than two for all your camera power cables, maybe three for ones you work with often, and three or four of each of the cables that are always used (FF, monitor cable, centerpost cables)? I'm not sure though how the pros handle it.

I also include fiber/triax jumpers in the question. For those of you who do TV, how many of each do you bring with you?

I'd love to hear some feedback on how many you keep of each around.
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#2 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 08:09 AM

I know this is a very open question, but how many of each different type of cable should an operator have in their kit?

I'm assuming no less than two for all your camera power cables, maybe three for ones you work with often, and three or four of each of the cables that are always used (FF, monitor cable, centerpost cables)? I'm not sure though how the pros handle it.

I also include fiber/triax jumpers in the question. For those of you who do TV, how many of each do you bring with you?

You have to look at what market your in and what cameras are in demand. For instance, I started off with one cable for each ARRI camera, no Panavision and no Aaton, there was no RED then.

I'm in Atlanta and there was not a Panavision and everything I would fly on was 435, SR3, F900, Varicam and Arricam/Moviecam. So I had only one for each film camera and a 4pin. When I got booked on a show that was Panavised F900, i bought the single $900 cable for Panavision and when Panavision landed in Atlanta, I purchased a Genesis cable for PV because now I was getting called for dayplaying and possibilities where greater. I didn't order my first RED cable right off, because they simply didn't make one, but when it took off and more jobs went RED, I then got one.

I still have two of my original three preston motor cables and only carry three, one was broken in Nairobi so I still had a backup. I very rarely mount up three motors and if you work more on a stage, then you more than likely going to use only one and occasionally add a second motor. Now its a trend to fly an iris motor that the DIT will control from his tent.

If you know your going after TV work, then get yourself a jumper and then back it up after a few gigs... its not like the cable wrangler would be handling your jumper and it should get you through for enough gigs and if your being asked to work on a regular, then get the second one

The other thing is that if you live in an area with many ops, you can skate by with less with great relationships... or a FedEX account (remembers Janice rant)


My Cable list valued at approx $10,226.00

POWER
1 12v Camera power cable 4 Pin XLR
1 24v Power cable [open end]
1 Panavision 24v Power Cable
2 Arri 24v power cable
1 RED Camera Power Cable
1 Genesis/F35/F23 Power Cable


PRESTON
3 Motor Cable w/Right Angles Lemo 24"
1 Lens Cable: Fujinon (MDR-2)
1 MDR Power from Ultra 12V/24V Power Cable
2 MDR Power from Anton Bauer Battery
1 MDR Power from 24Volt Panavision
1 MDR Power from 24Volt Arri/Moviecam
1 MDR Power from 12V 4 pin XLR 8'
1 MDR Power from 24V 3 pin XLR 8'
1 Camera Cable: Arriflex 3 (MDR-2)
1 Camera Cable: Arriflex 435/535/SR3/ Mvcm 3 pin
1 Camera Cable: Panavision (MDR-2)
1 Camera Cable: ARRI 435/535/SR-3 Speed/Shutter control
1 Camera Cable: Sony Hi Def (MDR-2)
1 Camera Cable: Red Digital Cinema (MDR2)

CAMWAVE
1 XLR 4Pin Y-Cable
1 XLR to AB P-Tap
2 3' Ultra to CamWav Power Cable
2 3' P-Tap to CamWav Power Cable
2 3' Ultra2 to Decimator & CamWav Power Y-Cable

MODULUS
2 Ultra to Modulus Power/Video Cable
3 Arri to Modulus cables
2 PRO to Modulus
1 Pana to Modulus
2 AB P-Tap to Modulus

DECIMATOR (modes my Decimator to use above Modulus cables)
2 2' AB P-Tap to Decimator Power Cable
2 2' Decimator to Modulus Power/Video Cable
2 2' Ultra2 to Decimator Power/Video Cable
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#3 invalid username

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 10:04 AM

Thanks very much. I'm still unsure what market I'm going to start off in (I have ties to a lot of places), but I'll do plenty of research into what's in the area once I relocate. Am I also correct to assume that most video cameras (i.e. broadcast) use the Arri 12v?

Also, I'm a little confused here. I was under the impression that I would also need a video cable for each of the different types of cameras to connect to the J-BOX. Is this not the case?
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#4 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 11:58 AM

Thanks very much. I'm still unsure what market I'm going to start off in (I have ties to a lot of places), but I'll do plenty of research into what's in the area once I relocate. Am I also correct to assume that most video cameras (i.e. broadcast) use the Arri 12v?

Also, I'm a little confused here. I was under the impression that I would also need a video cable for each of the different types of cameras to connect to the J-BOX. Is this not the case?



how much experience do you have? your question about the video cable leads me to believe that you don't have much and as Janice says you might be putting the cart WAAAAAYYYYYYY before the horse.
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#5 invalid username

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 12:36 PM

I don't have much experience with building big rigs. Ive done training with bigger rigs, but they've always been focused more on the operating side. Unfortunatley I only have had the chance to work with video cameras on my own rig. I'm taking a workshop soon, hopefully in December, so I agree this is a little soon to be asking, but with prices what they are and me not getting any richer, I'm preparing for the expense well in advance.

The reason I asked was that Tiffen sells a red-specific video cable, but I haven't seen specific cables on other ops lists.

Cheers,
Alex
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#6 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 02:03 PM

Never to early to budget, it's true...you must be strategic about your purchases, especially getting started in today's economy.

A quick, very rough rule of thumb is that cables will usually need to be custom-built (although the custom builders tend to make the same cables over and over), and will cost anywhere between $100 and $200 each. Some, like fiber and triax jumbers, considerably more ($500-700).
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#7 invalid username

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 03:05 PM

Never to early to budget, it's true...you must be strategic about your purchases, especially getting started in today's economy.

A quick, very rough rule of thumb is that cables will usually need to be custom-built (although the custom builders tend to make the same cables over and over), and will cost anywhere between $100 and $200 each. Some, like fiber and triax jumbers, considerably more ($500-700).


It's an expensive business alright, but at least there's high wages and no undercutting. Oh wait... :huh:

I suppose $200 each isn't too bad. My main focus is television and video, but I'll look into cables for a few film cameras I might come across (i.e. I might take some RED jobs when I'm getting started, but I don't plan, nor would I be qualified, to take jobs with big 35mm rigs). So could somebody confirm that the Arri 12v would cover my TV/Video needs?

The jumpers are quite a bit more, which is why I'll have to see if I'll need two of each. If anybody from the TV industry could chip in. How often do these things get worn down?

Also has anybody here ordered a cable package from MK-V? It looks easy enough to get a single bundle with "everything" you need, but all the description says is "includes cables for every camera...we can also sell cables for the RED, ...(and a list of a bunch of other cameras that apparently don't qualify as "every camera").

And finally, could somebody explain the video feed? I've seen camera-specific cables for sale somewhere, but from Erik's response, I'm guessing that Steadi ops don't use those?

I appreciate the help everybody. Obviously I'll learn a lot of this stuff at the workshop, but once I'm done with the workshop, I think I'll be too eager to create a realistic budget and business plan.
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#8 William Demeritt

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 03:09 PM

What RED specific video cable? I'm trying to find it on the Tiffen website. As far as I know, All of the Tiffen sleds (which are HD compatible) have an HD-SDI capable BNC on the lower electronics section. All you need to get HD video from sled to monitor are 75ohm shielded min. 1.5Ghz coaxial cables with male to male BNC's.
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Posted 15 July 2011 - 03:27 PM

http://www.bhphotovi...ideo_Cable.html

I took it to be for connecting the camera to the j box at the top of the sled.
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#10 Brian Freesh

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 04:03 PM

Different cameras have different connectors, as you seem to be aware. The Red One is the only camera with that power connector (though I've heard the Epic may change to be the same) so that is why there is a specific cable just for that. The thing to do, as previously indicated by others would be to figure out the cameras you are likely to use in your market, and make sure you have power solutions for those. From there you can add more as you see fit.

Why would you not be qualified to fly a 35mm camera, big or not? The only limitation is the sled itself and your willingness to carry more weight. If you can use a steadicam, you can put any camera on it that will be supported by the rig you are using.

Point of clarification: Pro rigs have junction boxes, under the donkey box, while Tiffen rigs have top stages. Not that it really matters, I was just momentarily confused how you were going to plug a tiffen cable into a Pro rig.
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#11 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 04:30 PM

Yes, fullsize broadcast one-piece camcorders pretty much all have a 4-pin XLR power cable with the same pinouts as a 12V Arri cable.

Studio cameras (like the common Sony 1500 series) typically take power from the Triax or fiber cable, and therefore don't need a separate power cable.

Even the weeklong workshops focus mainly on operating rather than cabling and stuff like that. The Steadicam Operators Handbook doesn't go into much detail either. The best way to really get a handle on this stuff is find an operator willing to mentor you, and develop a relationship with a studio or remote truck engineer.
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#12 invalid username

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 06:28 AM

Brian, I understand that each kind of camera needs its own power cable, but what I'm asking about is the video signal cable, which runs from the camera to the topstage/j-box to provide a video feed to the internal cable, which in turn connects to the monitor.

The video cable I linked to was just an example. I'm either buying Pro or MK-V (nothing against Tiffen, it's just what's in my area), so I'm not interested in that cable. The thing about it though is that it's not a power cable, it's a video cable. Having a RED-specific video cable lead me to believe that each kind of camera needs its own type of video cable. However if somebody could explain that, I'd appreciate it.


Mark, thanks for clarifying that. I do have an operator friend in the area, so I'll see if I can get together with him for a weekend and just focus on all the little things that I'm still confused about.

A big thanks to everybody here, though. Apart from the video cable issue, I feel much more confident in knowing what I'll have to buy than I was yesterday.

You can expect to see a few more questions from me on the forum though! I'd like to bring the horses up to speed with the wagon.
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#13 Brian Freesh

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 09:21 AM

My apologies, when I clicked the link to the Red cable, I glanced at the picture and assumed it was the Red power cable based on the picture. The picture is not accurate to the description. In fact, looking closer at the pin configuration on the picture, it's not even a Red One power cable.

The cable it's describing is specific to the Red One because the Red One does not come with BNC connectors. The cable described here connects to the Red and ends in a standard BNC connector. I haven't seen a Red One in years that was not outfitted with an adapter to provide BNC outputs.

With little exception, all cameras will have a BNC connector for video. Whether it be Composite NTC/Pal, SDI, HD-SDI, Component. So BNCs, in different lengths, thin and flexible, and capable of HD-SDI, are what you need for video.
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#14 invalid username

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 10:07 AM

Thanks very much, and no problem. The link confused me too.

Now I finally have a solid understanding about cables! I'll still have to look at what's in my area, but now I know what kinds to buy.

Still, if anybody could comment on which cables are included in the MK-V pack, that'd be appreciated.
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