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Static Balance Issue


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#1 Surinder Singh001

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:23 PM

Hi Everyone,

I recently picked up a Stedicam Zepher from the guys at Tiffen UK.

I am unable to static balance the rig. I get a good balance in one spot then if I turn 180 degrees it leans forward.
If I rebalance at this new point then return to the first point then it leans the other way.

I've made a short video to demonstrate and I've forwarded to Robin and Danny at Steadcam/ Tiffen UK. I was hoping that
It was me just doing something wrong. But I've now tried rebalancing with various different camera of different sizes and weights all exhibit the same problem.

Here is a link for you guys to also look at. May be someone more experienced may be able to offer some advise on resolving the issue while I await suggestions from the guys at Tiffen.

Here is the link:

http://dl.dropbox.co...lance Issue.mp4

Please right click and select 'Save Target As'
Or copy and paste the link into your bowser.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Surinder.
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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:27 PM

Hi Everyone,

I recently picked up a Stedicam Zepher from the guys at Tiffen UK.

I am unable to static balance the rig. I get a good balance in one spot then if I turn 180 degrees it leans forward.
If I rebalance at this new point then return to the first point then it leans the other way.

I've made a short video to demonstrate and I've forwarded to Robin and Danny at Steadcam/ Tiffen UK. I was hoping that
It was me just doing something wrong. But I've now tried rebalancing with various different camera of different sizes and weights all exhibit the same problem.

Here is a link for you guys to also look at. May be someone more experienced may be able to offer some advise on resolving the issue while I await suggestions from the guys at Tiffen.

Here is the link:

http://dl.dropbox.co...lance Issue.mp4

Please right click and select 'Save Target As'
Or copy and paste the link into your bowser.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Surinder.



Your gimbal is in need of service/parts replacement. You have most likely a bent gimbal fork
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#3 Surinder Singh001

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:50 PM

Thanks for the rapid response Eric.

The rig is ex demo from Tiffen uk I have not managed to use it yet because of this issue.

Luckily I had my old Steadicam mini at my last job as a backup. I spent 2 hours trying to balance up the Zepher at my last gig and eventually gave up and resorted back to my older rig to get the job done.

I was hoping to use your dynamic balance method, but i guess this issue need to be resolved first.

Would you recommend getting a Mikey?

The Zepher has no side to side adjustment for the monitor as I've seen in the Mikey demo video will that be an issue?

I'd also like to upgrade my membership to this forum to become a sustaining member. How would I go about doing that and what would it cost.

This forum is by far the best resource for Steadicam.

Surinder.
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#4 Ian Thomson

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:01 PM

Thanks for the rapid response Eric.

The rig is ex demo from Tiffen uk I have not managed to use it yet because of this issue.

Luckily I had my old Steadicam mini at my last job as a backup. I spent 2 hours trying to balance up the Zepher at my last gig and eventually gave up and resorted back to my older rig to get the job done.

I was hoping to use your dynamic balance method, but i guess this issue need to be resolved first.

Would you recommend getting a Mikey?

The Zepher has no side to side adjustment for the monitor as I've seen in the Mikey demo video will that be an issue?

I'd also like to upgrade my membership to this forum to become a sustaining member. How would I go about doing that and what would it cost.

This forum is by far the best resource for Steadicam.

Surinder.


G'day Surinder,

I'm sure that the guys/gals at Tiffen will contact you with details for how you can get the rig serviced.

certainly looks like some sort of mis-alignment/damage in the gimbal.

Just had my Flyer LE serviced at Glendale (CA) for the exact same thing - static balance; then spin rig 180 = loss of static balance.

don't know where you are in relation to a service-centre (for example I'm in Australia - but was heading over to the USA for a workshop) so I chose to bring my rig with me and visit the factory.

bought my rig 2nd hand in January, and it was off from my first attempt at balancing (most likely bumped in transit when shipping home from the purchase).

apparently the fix was a simple "re-alignment" using a #6 spanner (2-pronged screwdriver thingy) and they didn't charge for the work done. :)

now flies very flat and I'm super-happy.


all the best, Ian
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#5 Dean Smollar

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:49 PM

Get your gimbal repaired before you worry about anything else. That should be your priority. Then once it's fixed, resume practicing your balance. After that you should have a better idea of the kinds of adjustments you may want to make. However, until you get your gimbal taken care of, you won't really be able to tell.
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#6 l_thomas

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:06 PM

I have my merlin have similar problem.
After trimming and adjust to my desire position, the trimming will not hold and gradually shift out of balance after using for several minutes or after i test the drop time.
Now I need to test drop time every time I trim to ensure it won't shift much.

Firstly I found that there is a gap which leads to small play in the hinge, I tape it with gaffer tape.
Now the hinge play problem is fixed, the trim problem is improved. However it still can't hold the setting trim exactly. I don't know whether it is the gimbal problem.

Posted Image
(the fine white line in the hinge is the gaffer tape)

Edited by l_thomas, 10 April 2012 - 09:07 PM.

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#7 Surinder Singh001

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:30 AM

Thank you all for your replies.

Hopefully I should hear back from the guys at Tiffen today. I'll update this post to let you guys
Know how I get on.

Surinder.
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#8 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:47 PM

Thank you all for your replies.

Hopefully I should hear back from the guys at Tiffen today. I'll update this post to let you guys
Know how I get on.

Surinder.


Yes let Tiffen handle it.

My gimbal screws were backing out with use and throwing it out of 180 degree static balance, so Tiffen added threadlocker to prevent this from happening. So far that has solved the problem for me.
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#9 Surinder Singh001

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:18 PM

Thanks for the advise Mark.
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#10 Elliot Gabor

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 09:44 AM

Something Similiar is happening to my pilot.  I do a dynamic balance before anything is on the stage, I then do a static balance and then do a spin test.  At first I thought maybe I wasn't dynamic balancing properly but then I realized that my static balance wouldn't remain in the same position once the rig was rotated 180 degrees.  Could this be at all related to not having proper dynamic balance? or is it definitly something with the gimbal? 

 

Thanks!


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#11 Jerry Holway

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 12:10 PM

Eliot-

 

You cannot do dynamic balance without the camera...

 

Put the whole rig together and do static balance first. Check that it works 180 degrees and 90 degrees to see if the gimbal is okay (the subject of this thread). Then proceed to dynamic balance.


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#12 Elliot Gabor

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 01:12 PM

I use a mickey type setup for dynamic balance without the camera, it does indeed work.  As you mentioned, its not the topic of this thread, however, I was wondering if having an improper dynamic balance would effect the static balance once rotated.  Based on your response it sounds like your answer would be no.


Edited by Elliot Gabor, 13 March 2014 - 01:20 PM.

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#13 Jerry Holway

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 01:40 PM

Answer is no as you suspect. 

 

To be clear clear, the Mickey only works perfectly if the monitor and battery c.g.'s are exactly co-planar, and the Mickey gets you close to db if those c.g.s are close to co-planar. It is more and more useless the more the monitor is raised up from the battery or batteries.

 

Since one can't be sure the c.g.'s are exactly co-planar (what happens if you tilt your monitor, for instance), I feel the Mickey is not a particularly useful tool for balancing any rig in any configuration.


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#14 joe mcnally

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 01:58 PM

Hi Jerry

 

hope all good

 

I use and sell the Mickey and it is indeed a useful tool,

 

1 If only to get a feel of what the various forces are doing and affecting things on the rig

 

2 I and others often have the monitor and batteries nearly coplanar so it is valid to get you in the ball park.

 

3 helps a lot to get the side to side elements in place not sure this is necessary for dynamic balance but its neater and looks good :)

 

It helps me for sure

Joe

 

 

 


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#15 Elliot Gabor

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 02:23 PM

I hate to get into this discussion in a non dymamic balance thread....but dynamic balance is too intersting of a topic to resist =)

 

I use the mickey approach even when I change monitor height.  Notice how in the below video the operator levels it for front and back weight distribution and then levels it for side to side distribution.  The monitor is not along the same plane as the batteries.  As long as the mickey is being balanced from above the monitor it seems to work from my experiences.       

 


Edited by Elliot Gabor, 13 March 2014 - 02:29 PM.

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