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PRACTICE CAGE for DV


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#1 JakePollock

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 01:38 AM

Just got back from the workshop in Melbourne, Australia (Louis Puli and Phil Balsdon ROCK!) and now I want to put together a practice cage for a little mini DV camera. Anyone know of places selling them or how best to make your own? The main thing I'm not sure of is putting proper mounting holes/threading into the bottom plate. Any info would be most appreciated. Thanks.

Jake Pollock
Taipei, Taiwan
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#2 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 08:42 AM

Hi Jack
Thankyou for your kind words on the workshop in Melbourne Australia.
I had a great time teaching outstanding operators from all around the world.
From ChetaK from India to Ron in New York,Chris in Canada and many others .
If you go to the www.steadicenter.com there in the workshop section there many examples of practice cages being used .I could have one made up here and send it to you .
Let me know what you would like to do
Practice, Practice, Practice,
Louis Puli :D
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#3 RobVanGelder

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 10:14 AM

Hi Jack,

My practice cage consists of 2 pieces of square, 8 x 8 cms tube aluminium, 1 is about 45 cms long and the other is about 30 cms.
Thickness of the material approx 4 mms.
Put them tohether so that you have an open space in front of the top-tube and here you can plase some kind of holder/screw for your DV camera.
Then I put cement in them, the quick drying type and filled them up.

Find the center of the mass from this block and put your plate from the steadicam on the right spot, drill the good holes in it and thread it with the official screws (3/8")

Now you have a slim line heave weight, approx. 10 kgs, which is a reasonable practice-weight-

Rob van Gelder, Bangkok, Thailand
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#4 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 12:23 PM

if u want to speand some mone visist www.mk-v.com they made dv cages....there
ask for susan coper o haward
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#5 thomas-english

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 01:05 PM

made a cage a while ago

my cage consists of two opposing identical plates made of aluminium, identical screw fittings on both so u can lowmode it. to make up the weight i used steel (15mm diamter) for the struts. whole thing comes in at about 7kgs. more weight? beef up those struts.

i got my inspiration from those low mode cages . but obviously u need to make the weight up.

made the struts 280mm long.. big enough to accomodate an xl1 or a pd150 on a little tripod head so u can change its tilt.

I recently saw howards one, and it looks wicked.. all sorts of dovetail attachments and stuff i would nt know what to do with. but im sure you d feel very smart if u used them

my first dvcam setup consisted of a sheet plate steal with 2, 3kg diving weights araldited (epoxy resined) on...

these cameras should weigh between 2 and 4 kg. u can always screw diving weights into the (lowmode side) top of the cage if u wanna heavy it up...

when it comes to screw attachments. i put one threaded screw port, then a 14mm hole going down with 3.5 mm clearance at the bottom so the screw head can jut out and attach to camera/tripod head. keeping em central and as close to each other as possible
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#6 Bill Powers

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 01:27 PM

One other thing to be careful of. The 1/4 20 thread hole in the bottom of the XL1 isn't as deep as most other camcorders. If the screw length is too long it will pierce the bottom of the camcorder and bust the PC board on the other side of the base. Ugly and expensive! :o
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#7 thomas-english

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 01:32 PM

well done... this forum is bloody excellent...

i would never have known that until i would have tried my cage on someone elses xl1. The moment i put an xl1 in my little cage i ll automatically owe u a pint...
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#8 TimmyKane

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 10:07 AM

Mike OSHEA Steadicam operator has a website. His website offers practice cages (which are used at the workshops in the US). Here is a link to the page:

http://www.e2etech-s...n=dbview&id=pc1

thank you Alec for correcting me. I thought that the fourm was associated with the SOA.
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#9 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 11:12 AM

If the screw length is too long it will pierce the bottom of the camcorder and bust the PC board on the other side of the base. Ugly and expensive! :o

It just boggles the mind on how many cameras do this! SR, Moviecam, etc. You'd think they'd know better; darn engineers.


On another note, Mike O'Shea - great guy and all - has nothing to do with this forum, at least directly. Tim Tyler is the sole founder. If you come to this forum via the SOA site, they are not related! Years ago, the SOA site had a forum (as did AOL and others), but it made no sense to have competing ones so we all ended up here. Once again, thank you Tim.
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#10 Erwin Landau

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 03:32 PM

It just boggles the mind on how many cameras do this! SR, Moviecam, etc. You'd think they'd know better; darn engineers.


Hey... from the money stand point it's great... how many boards can you sell until every single AC knows about the flaw... then you come up with another one...

No but seriously...

They are trying to squeeze a lot of electronics into a limited space. When they started with the design they had way less parts to put into the case, but as time goes by, they are stuck with the case and have to be inovative to fit everything in, also they don't expect different lengths of screws. Thenthey start pilling stuff on top until they comeup with anew housing/case.

Been there done that...

About the XL-1...
Canon never anticipated such a hip... and also never expected this arrey of AKS... as long as you use it on a regular tripod it's fine and that's what it was designed to do...
Let's wait for the XL-2 and then bitch around.


Erwin"Have to speak up for my fellow engineers"Landau
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#11 JakePollock

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 03:53 AM

Erwin,

Thanks for standing up for all those engineers. Yeah, they've got to jam ever more electronics into ever smaller bodies; however, it would be nice if there was at least one standard size for the mounting thread depth.

Thanks to everybody for giving their input. While the MK-V cage is sexy, it's also prohibitively expensive. I like Mike O'Shea's cage, but it's out of stock!

Now that I've gotten this much input, I'm experimenting with building my own, but I don't know what kind of spacing I should use between the 3/8-16 threads for the steadicam dovetail plate. Assuming I want to put two screws through the plate and all.

Jake Pollock
newbee operator

Taipei, Taiwan
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#12 Erwin Landau

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 04:33 AM

Hi Jake,

Also try Tom Gleason, he makes a very nice Practice cage/DV weight cage...

You can email him at tdgleason@worldnet.att.net or call him from 9 am to 6 pm Pacific time @ 1-818-769-9370

Check out the site; www.cinewidgets.com
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#13 jay kilroy

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 10:24 PM

I am pretty sure Mike has cages for sale. Last time I talked with him he did. Check www.filmotion.com or email him at callcam@aol.com. I know his site says out of stock but if you contact him I am sure he has some available.

jay
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#14 JakePollock

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 07:11 AM

Thanks a million to everyone who gave input into my practice cage question!

After ten days and as many attempts, I've managed to build my own. It consists of two 20x45cm plates; one of 4mm steel and the other of 8mm steel. This puts more weight at the bottom for easier trimming. The cage is 30 cms tall, with a 20x20 4mm steel camera mounting plate mounted 7cm above the base. Wanted to get my lens closer to movie camera height. The struts are made of 19mm steel rods. Not sure how heavy she is but it's plenty. I've also got six 1lb and 1 2lb plates for added punishment. If anyone wants to see pictures, you can email me. The whole thing came in at about $150 US.

Jake Pollock
Taipei, Taiwan.
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#15 pbalsdon

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 12:46 AM

Hi Jake,

The photos you sent me of your cage look great. As you said it'll also do as a lowmode cage. I also like Ron Waters (Melbourne 2004 student) set up that has a dummy full size camera made of wood to give you a feel for the size of the camera as well as the weight.

Be sure that if you start making parts locally the materials you use are premium quality (aluminium comes in different grades) as failure of parts could result in an expensive accident.

Good to hear you're doing well, I'm sure your positive approach and enthusiasim will bring you success.

Teaching these guys in Melbourne was great. It's only the fifth course I've taught on but they were a great group. I thought at one stage we might have get a surgeon in to get the vests off a couple of them.

Phil Balsdon
Sydney, Australia
www.steadi-onfilms.com.au
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