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Flyer Arm spring upgrade


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#1 Rusty Geller

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 01:34 AM

Sold the PRO, bought a Flyer, figured it could handle the light cameras I use these days. This is supposed to be the 19lb. arm, which I have determined is actually 21lbs.I found the limit this week. One of the arm sections seems to be stronger than the other. I had a full load on: EPIC,Master Primes, HD transmitter, sound receiver, 2 Preston motors,, mattebox, glass, etc. (see photos). I'm also flying a Preston MDR-1 on the bottom for stability and a MARSHALL 7" with electronic level display box.

I punched out the 1/2" insert in the arm post socket and it carries 5/8" posts, much more solid and can take long posts.

Here's my problem, with a full load the ARM section closest to the vest is out straight, the one closest to the sled is dipped 60 degrees down, so that means that spring is weaker. There is a spring manufacturer here in Perth that can make stronger springs, any size, any material. I want to dismantle the arm to replace the springs. Maybe get them to make a set 15% stronger. Is it possible for me to do this without special tools or jigs to re-fit the springs? Does Tiffen make stronger springs? What are the spings made of?

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#2 JobScholtze

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:17 AM

Sold the PRO, bought a Flyer, figured it could handle the light cameras I use these days. This is supposed to be the 19lb. arm, which I have determined is actually 21lbs.I found the limit this week. One of the arm sections seems to be stronger than the other. I had a full load on: EPIC,Master Primes, HD transmitter, sound receiver, 2 Preston motors,, mattebox, glass, etc. (see photos). I'm also flying a Preston MDR-1 on the bottom for stability and a MARSHALL 7" with electronic level display box.

I punched out the 1/2" insert in the arm post socket and it carries 5/8" posts, much more solid and can take long posts.

Here's my problem, with a full load the ARM section closest to the vest is out straight, the one closest to the sled is dipped 60 degrees down, so that means that spring is weaker. There is a spring manufacturer here in Perth that can make stronger springs, any size, any material. I want to dismantle the arm to replace the springs. Maybe get them to make a set 15% stronger. Is it possible for me to do this without special tools or jigs to re-fit the springs? Does Tiffen make stronger springs? What are the spings made of?

I am not sure this would work. Would a atlas arm suit you better? Considering your coming out of a pro
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#3 James Elias

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:37 AM

Hi Rusty,

The springs are steel and are identical. I'd be reluctant to simply put stronger springs in there - take a close look at a Zephyr arm and there are a couple of structural differences to help the arm take the heavier load and reduce twist. The adjuster itself may well be different also, I don't remember.

James
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#4 Rusty Geller

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 01:57 AM

James, have you taken a Flyer arm apart? How hard is it to reattach the springs?
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#5 RobinThwaites

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:18 AM

Hi Rusty

I have done it with ropes and pulleys, a huge screwdriver and a metal chair but without a jig it is tricky and you are likely to a) damage a finger, B) damage the finish on the arm.

Robin
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#6 James Elias

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:47 AM

Hi Rusty,

I have but I used a jig designed by the factory to do it - but as Robin says it's possible without that if you're very careful. It's quite a skill!

I'd still be concerned what springs end up in there. I think the Zephyr springs were stronger, maybe Robin can fill you in. Though a change in the adjuster will get extra lift also.

regards,
James
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#7 Rusty Geller

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 03:23 AM

Currently the upper stage (gimbal end) spring is weaker than the lower stage spring. I noticed the upper section drops 45 degrees while the lower stage is still horizontal. Tiffen says this is normal.

Tiffen won't sell a Zephyr arm seperately, so I'm having a pair of springs for the Flyer arm made up here in Perth by a company that specializes in making custom springs for industrial and commercial equipment. They're going to make the new springs to the same exact size, but make them 10-15% stronger than the stronger one of mine. They're making them up for about $100 total--obviously they're not aware of camera gear pricing.

A few months ago I made a Garfield mount for the Flyer arm. I'll use that to anchor the arm to do the deed. The Flyer arm sections unpin from the elbow. I'll do each section pinned to the male end of the socket block. I intend to pull the upper cross axle from the end of the arm, flop the end on the lower axle exposing the end of the spring, then pry the spring end off the axle with a brake spring tool (big bent pry bar with a screw driver handle) while withdrawing the axle by having my wife push it thru. "Oh, honey..." Alternately, I can push several screwdrivers into the coils to partaiily expand the spring to make it longer. I intend to reassemble it the same way. I'll drop the old spring off at the company on Monday so they can build the new ones to it. I should have it back in a week.

Wish me luck.
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#8 joe mcnally

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 08:13 AM

Hi Rusty
Ive done this job twice and its really easy. I cannot remember the exact procedure but stare at it for a while and it all comes good.
Release the tension take out the pin one end will do then put the new spring in. I didnt need to do any ratcheting or stress or straining at all it just pops in. If you feel energetic separate the upper and lower arm sections to make it simpler. Joe
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#9 Rusty Geller

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 11:50 PM

Just removed the spring, quite easy, no pullies, chains or dramas. I ended up only having to remove one axle-pin, the one on the non-adjusting end of the spring.

I adjusted the arm so the spring was shortest, then c-clamped the bottom of the arm flat to my work bench. I removed the circlip & fabric washer, then had my Lovely Wife apply leverage under that end of the spring by prying with a large screwdriver under the spring hook and against the inner shell, taking the load off the axle-pin. I gently drove out the axle-pin with a flat-ended punch of the same size, being careful with the bearings and washers. The axle pin out and my Lovely Wife back in the house, I placed the parts safely on a paper towel in a tuperware tub, and sketched the order of the parts. I then unclamped the arm, turned the arm adjuster to the opposite end until I could extract the spring from the adjuster.

Monday it's off to Boing Boing Springs so my main man Jarran can build me a pair the same size but 10-15% stronger.

Next episode: the reassembly.
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#10 Charles Cowper

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:16 PM

Next episode: the reassembly.




How did it go? :)
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#11 Brent Johnson

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:53 AM

I need to know how all this turned out.  Did the Lovely Wife disagree with all the spring talk?


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#12 Adam Smith

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:43 PM

I'm guessing it didn't go over well.

I'm curious however...what's with the Zacuto viewfinder in the HDSLR setup? I guess it was just left on after hand held?

 

-Adam


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