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Pilot drift


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#1 Richard Carter

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 02:43 PM

Hello all,

I recently bought a Steadicam Pilot and am loving flying the thing. I have had no problems with getting a nice static balance, a nice 2-3 second drop time, and even FINALLY getting a pretty tight dynamic balance...

Here is my dilemma: Do you experienced folks find that the Pilot will drift in the pan axis without any wind or bodily influence on it? When this thing is on it's balance stud and I very gently point it in a certain direction, when I let go the camera will always drift in a repeatable direction. If I change the angle of the gimbal to the center post I can get it change where the camera wants to drift to. When I suit up with the sled and do a hands free balance, one again the rig will ever so slowly want to (seek level?) pan to some other direction. My lockoffs are slightly more shaky since I am subtly fighing tendency of the drift.

I can get a great static balance but the thing wants to drift to a different direction - if you get my drift! What am I missing here?

Thanks,

Rich
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#2 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 02:54 PM

It looks to me like you need to adjust your arm socket between your arm and vest.
The two screws can be used to balance the sled falling away or towards you, unscrew the bottom one a lot the set the top screw so that the sled doesn't flies of then tighten the bottom screw. The two silver knobs are for right and left to set them up you will need to relieve the weight or remove the sled from the arm.
I would also recommend you to memorize the number of turns (or 1/2 or 1/4 turns) needed for each set up.

For more info, read the Steadicam Operator's Handbook http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/0240811658, it's a golden mine wether you are flying a Pilot or a Clipper.
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#3 Richard Carter

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 03:11 PM

It looks to me like you need to adjust your arm socket between your arm and vest.
The two screws can be used to balance the sled falling away or towards you, unscrew the bottom one a lot the set the top screw so that the sled doesn't flies of then tighten the bottom screw. The two silver knobs are for right and left to set them up you will need to relieve the weight or remove the sled from the arm.
I would also recommend you to memorize the number of turns (or 1/2 or 1/4 turns) needed for each set up.

For more info, read the Steadicam Operator's Handbook http://www.amazon.com/Steadicam®-Operators-Handbook-Jerry-Holway/dp/0240811658, it's a golden mine wether you are flying a Pilot or a Clipper.



Thanks for your quick response to my question! I will be sure to buy the operator handbook.

You know this slow drift issue happens whether I am flying the thing or have it on the balancing stud on the C stand, so the arm is out of the equation.

When I am flying, I have the socket block screws set so the arm and sled can hang next to me with my not touching the sled or arm (Obviously I won't be operating that way). This issue is making me ever so slightly fight to keep a nice steady lock off shot. Is subtle drift in the pan axis something all operators just deal with?

Edited by Richard Carter, 20 October 2012 - 03:13 PM.

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#4 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 03:40 PM

Gimbal forks are bent, pan bearing is not level in the gimbal cup or the tilt bearings in the gimbal pan cup are not level
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#5 Richard Carter

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:21 PM

Gimbal forks are bent, pan bearing is not level in the gimbal cup or the tilt bearings in the gimbal pan cup are not level




Thanks for the info!

This rig looked pristine and had very little use. I can only imagine what the repair bill will be...
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#6 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 06:14 PM

Richard,

With the exception of a bent gimbal fork, none of the others should be that expensive. In a nutshell, time for a gimbal overhaul.
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#7 Richard Carter

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:01 PM

Richard,

With the exception of a bent gimbal fork, none of the others should be that expensive. In a nutshell, time for a gimbal overhaul.



Thank you Alec, I will get Tiffen to make make the correction - hopefully it won't be the gimbal fork!
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