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Archer 2 maximum weight


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#1 Adam Eden

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 06:22 AM

Hi all

I have an Archer 2 SE with a G50 arm.

Can someone tell me if I am damaging my gymbal with the below config,

RED EPIC M
Arri/Zeiss LWZ 15.5-45mm lens.
Jerry's antlers

This is on top.
So to balance the rig i need to fully extend the steadicam rig. and add about 2 kilos of weight to the bottom of the rig. IE attach the double weight kit from red rock micro. As if I rely
on the 2 x IDX batteries I dont have enough weight below the gymbal to balance the rig.

The total weight would be about 20 pounds + . But my g50 arm still has a little but to go

I can statically balance and dynamically balance the rig. Buy the yoke in my gymbal has given out and when I fly the rig the balance goes out.

I am getting my gimbal serviced in the next few days... But I think the antlers and the extra 2 kilos might be damaging my gimbal.

Thanks in advance


Adam
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#2 James Davis

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:39 AM

Have you weighed this set-up to be sure of exactly how much it weighs?

When you say the yoke in your gimbal has given out, what do you mean exactly, it no longer spins freely, it does not spin at all, it's cracked or...??

I regularly fly 20-24lb Red MX set-ups on my Archer 1 with no issues, from what I know the gimbal on this is rated at a lower capacity over the Archer2 Gimbal.
Thinking about it, that is pretty much all I have had on my rig this year apart from one job with an Sony Broadcast camera, it never seems to do my rig or my gimbal any harm.

Not sure about this Red Rock weight kit, but have you tried adding a 3rd v-lock battery to the back of your monitor as supplementary "below the gimbal" weight instead?

Or maybe just add one IDX to the back of the monitor and work using two redbricks attached to the rig, that should give you a nice amount of extra run time, whilst adding the extra weight you need without adding needless accessories.
Plus you get the added bonus of saving wear and tear on your own batteries, 99% of the time thats what I usually do on Red shoots.
Although I usually don't bother with the battery on the back of the monitor and just use two Red Bricks, but then again my weight would be distributed differently to yours on your archer 2, being less back heavy as I use the secondary battery plate from Hocus Products to run my second battery just below the centerpost (or sometimes just forward of it).

I hope thats of some help.

James

I don't use Antlers though so can't really comment on them
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#3 Aaron King

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 11:23 AM

I work with the Archer 2 set up and the heaviest payload I have carried was pushing 40lbs and I as well had the post near fully extended. It was an ungodly camera setup for a student project, so they did not have access to proper gear for steadicam use. I used one Power Cube, and a heavier off brand batt to give more bottom weight. My post wasn't fully extended, but close, with the battery stage angled down. I did find once during that day that a couple of the hex screws in the gimbal handle came loose and created friction. Quick fix and all was well. It very well could have been caused by me during docking over time not coming in at proper angles and working it loose. Beyond that, I felt no issues and haven't had any since, and I have worked with payloads close that a time or two since but I have been better prepared.

I think your issue is using the antlers and getting to much of your weight up top and not close to the gimbal. That is why you have to fully extend your post and add bottom weight to compensate for all the top weight. Try it without the antlers and use a weight plate instead under the camera keeping the weight near the gimbal. This will allow you shorten your post and get rid of the extra weight on the bottom. With 20+ pounds, your post shouldn't have to be extended that much at all and no where near damaging your gimbal. For more reference, check out this thread from Chris Fawcett. http://www.steadicam...showtopic=10358
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#4 Adam Eden

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 04:59 AM

Hi Aaron

I was taught by Chris the recent australian steadicam course!

Sorry I am at nearly 20 kilos not pounds, so I am really maxing out the Archer system. The antlers weigh a fair bit.

The sled is fully extended with the batteries facing down and I am adding about 2.5 kilos of red rock weight to the bottom of the sled. Adding a third vlock to bottom still isn't enough weight.

Jerry's antlers just really max out the archer as they weigh so much. I will weigh everything tomorrow at gear check and re post.

Re my gimbal... The yoke is either damaged or needs adjustment. I am taking it to my local Tiffen authorised service dept in Australia tomorrow.
The problem with the gymbal is when you balance the rig both dynamically and statically you spin the gymbal round the to other side and the rig is out of balance. The only time I use Jerrys antlers is in high wind exterior, or when I have to move as fast as I can around people like i did a couple of weeks ago when I was filming a music video inside a circus ring and the group were a bunch of crazy dancers and yes they were dancing all around me whilst I ran around the bloody ring for hours in both directions. Even though the antlers add a lot of weight, they really help your horizons when you start getting tired.

Thanks for your input also james
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#5 James Davis

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 06:09 AM

20KG....jeez I think you are not only way past the sensible limits of the rig, you are also way past the not so sensible limits and entering into the territory of putting yourselves and others in danger by slinging 20kg of weight on top of an Archer 2, potentially putting yourself in a position where you are risking your gimbal snapping or at least destroying the bearings on a regular basis as you have done already.
Do yourself a favour, cut that down by at least 3-4 kg....if not more ideally, or you'll be paying regular visits to tiffen to get your bearings replaced and it won't be long after that your yoke snaps off.
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#6 RobinThwaites

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 05:38 AM

Hi Adam

20kg is definitely over for the Archer 2. Quite apart from the gimbal we rate the stage to 15kg, I don't think it will let go but you may get other problems that are yet to be found.

Losing the Antlers seems like the way to go, to a certain extent you can get back some stability by simply extending the monitor and battery mounts (add rotational inertia).

Robin
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#7 chris fawcett

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 06:46 AM

I'm with Robin on this,

The A2 is an amazingly flexible rig, capable of flying a wide range of cameras. I push the limits sometimes, right up to the carrying capacity of the arm, but I wouldn't recommend you make a habit of it.

Chris
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#8 Adam Eden

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 04:33 PM

Sorry let me be more clear.. 20 Kilos in total weight.. About 14 kilos at the top. And I am adding about 3-4kilos to the bottom of the rig to counter balance.
My monitor is fully extended out with the monitor bracket facing outwards also.

The issue is when using Antlers (Which isn't that often), the Antlers are really high so I cannot extend the bottom post any longer, so even with the battery pack facing towards the ground I am still a bit short. That is why I am adding extra weight.

What James said is correct by adding an extra IDX vlock battery, ie having 3 instead of 2 works fine with a prime lens. It isn't quite enough weight when using the Arri/Zeiss light weight zoom 15.5-45mm zoom.

Thanks for your help on this guys. I really try not to make a habit of doing this, but the antlers really help in strong wind, or running around a circus ring in circles for hours like i did a couple of weeks ago.

This wont be too much of a problem in the future when I get my steadiseg from Chris!
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#9 RobinThwaites

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 05:01 AM

Hi Adam
Don't get me wrong , I love Antlers but that 14 + 3 or 4 makes 17kg plus the weight of the sled and monitor which means you are pushing the envelope as far as we know.
Best
Robin
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#10 Adam Eden

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 06:05 AM

Thanks Robin.

I know I am pushing the boundaries! Maybe Brett Smith can trade in my Archer for the new Phantom for me, or maybe you can!

But all I know is that I really like the Steadicam product and believe me I have looked at the competition but your arms are the best in my opinion. I regularly crane in shot from the lowest extremes to the highest extremes without glitches or bumps. I really like the G50/G70 range, and in my opinion they are a huge leap from the master series and your competitors.

Now can I have a free Phantom upgrade? :rolleyes:
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