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Socket Block Size


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#1 Lee Clements

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 03:08 PM

Does someone have a measurement/size of the socket block holes/posts? If you have both the smaller and larger sizes (Zephyr/Flyer and Clipper/Ultra), that would be greatly appreciated.

Reason being, I have an arm that works, and I am trying to see if I can get a Steadicam or Klassen vest that will work and be more comfortable than the one that's included.

Edited by Lee Clements, 02 November 2012 - 03:09 PM.

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#2 JobScholtze

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:51 AM

Hello Lee

Whats your arm that works? Brand, type? Could help a lot, as most arms fit all vests.

Best
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#3 Lee Clements

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:39 AM

The arm is a "Proaim 7000". A friend of mine bought the whole "Flycam Fluojo" set on eBay, which I have been pretty leary of, but it's actually quite solid--they've taken a lot of cues from the higher-end Steadicam systems, even if some of the execution is a little off.

The arm is almost a cross between the Flyer/Zephyr arms and the G-50/G-70's, and works pretty well as yet, but the Flycam vest they provide is a nightmare. Again, it takes cues from the Steadicam vests, with the ability to clamp down to provide that extra snug fight (which is much more than I can say for the Glidecam X-22...ugh) but the design does not fit a human well, and the socket block is pretty much fixed where it is--you can't drop it lower to the waist because the waist-band clasp gets in the way.
Posted Image

The arm feels very solid, and works well with the system, despite some things that simply aren't making sense. Perhaps it's because they're not Steadicam operators, or they just copied what Steadicam has done without understanding why.

Posted Image

So my hope is that Flycam would be willing to knock a few hundred dollars off the price if I don't get a vest from them, and I can find a real Steadicam vest somewhere online or on this forum, and start building my rig piecemeal. If I had the money, I would go right out and buy a Zephyr (well, if we're dreaming, I'd rather get a Clipper) but the market around here will not support the work I'd need to repay that amount of money in a decen time. The Flycam system is cheap enough that I'm comfortable spending the money on it, knowing that I'm going to be making severe modifications to it, but well built enough that I know it'll handle a lot of what I can throw at it.

But in order to know if I can do that, I'm looking for the socket block sizes, so I can measure my friend's Proaim arm, and determine I if I can start down this road.
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#4 JobScholtze

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

Hi Lee,

I already expected that you would come up with something like this. i do understand your situation, but still i would like to show you some options.

There is a Steadicam SK on ebay. 2100 dollars
http://www.ebay.nl/i...=item1c2ce10a26

Its not the best system, but way better then the flycam stuff. I started with an SK wicj could fly everything i needed. And you learn to live with its limits. I did some pretty cool stuff with it and most important, i made money with it. So i could save up for better gear.

The flycam you showed is indeed not made by operators. There not using the best material ( like bearings and stuff ) and at the end you get nothing for it if you want to sell it. You have to spend to get it to work and the sk is ready to work.

It isnt a good idea to try to put this arm on a tiffen vest. The measurements arnt precise enough, The arm can get stuck in there.

Just my 2 cents
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#5 Lee Clements

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:35 AM

With all due respect, I'm only asking for the measurements. I have a lot of ideas about this system, and were I to go through with this, I would not simply throw the arm on the vest: I would work to adapt it, either milling the current post down, or searching for the correct parts to replace it with something more appropriate.

While I am the first person to preach about the Tiffen/Steadicam "name-brand" stuff (I have been the Steadicam teacher at my school for the past year, having to work with a Glidecam X-22 system is infuriating to say the least) I am also a realist and an engineer. Which means (1) I recognize that the Virginia Beach market will simply not support a lot of Steadicam work, so I don't know how long it will take me to pay off a loan of $10k or $15k to buy the Tiffen system that I really want, and (2) I can see, from messing around a fair amount with my friend's Flycam system, that the principals are all there, and that it will support what I'd need to mold it to my requirements.

The sled has some minor issues that I've already corrected, the vest is atrocious, but the arm is solid. On top of that, Flycam has been very communicative and supportive. So if I can get the sled and vest for under $1,000, I can afford a nicer vest, and give myself more options in the future to upgrade arms and sled. But right now, I need to know what the socket block size is to see if this is even a possibility, and/or how I would go about it.

Edited by Lee Clements, 07 November 2012 - 09:36 AM.

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#6 JobScholtze

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:26 PM

Oh excuse me.
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#7 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:21 PM

I measure the Zephyr/Flyer male socket block pin at 1/2" (12.7mm) diameter and roughly 1.65" (42.0mm) long. I have cheap calipers, so YMMV. Hope that helps.

That arm looks like a close copy of a Zephyr/Flyer arm...I don't see much that resembles G-series arms. Out of curiousity, what is the rated lift?

Be aware that the Flyer vest, at least in my experience, is pretty uncomfortable at the top end of it's range (19lb of camera payload-which probably equates to about 25-28lbs of total lift, I'd guess).
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#8 Lee Clements

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:17 PM

The website lists the lift capacity as "2 to 20 lbs" which I highly, highly doubt. So far, we've flown a JVC HM700U, which is not a terribly heavy camera, and it didn't seem to favor too well. I've only had a few hours to mess around with it--dubbed it all "Further Research Required". Hopefully next week I will get his rig from him and run it through the gamut. The heaviest thing I've got here is an Arri SR3, which will clock in at probably 25 lbs with a 400' reel, or a variety of cameras in the SR3 mattebox/rails system.

I hadn't heard that about the Zephyr vest--that's good to know. The Zephyr is the rig I've been looking at for a long time, but as I said, this market won't really support that kind of a purchase, and Zephyrs aren't old enough to have great deals on used ones yet.
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#9 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:00 AM

I was referring to the FLyer vest...the Zephyr vest, by comparison, is much more comfortable.

Tiffen has been notorious for vague, inaccurate and incomplete information on arm lift capacities. Numerous threads here on that. Nevertheless, the important difference is total arm lift (including the weight of the camera, sled, monitor, AKS and batteries), and "net camera capacity", which is Tiffen's way of estimating how much mass (including the camera and all other AKS carried ABOVE the gimbal).

This number is the "20" on the Flyer page refers to net camera capacity, and earlier Flyers has slightly lighter load limits. The "2" advertised is probably hype...you would need a weight plate to fly a camera that light. Realistically its lower weight limit is more like 5 lb net camera weight.
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#10 Lee Clements

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:32 AM

I was referring to the FLyer vest...the Zephyr vest, by comparison, is much more comfortable.


Indeed you were. My mistake--I've used the Flyer LE quite a bit, and I agree with you on the vest. I tend to shoot for a middle-of-the-range load anyway, just to keep as much potential energy out of the springs as possible. I've spent some time combing the forums about the Zephyr and its foibles (and you've actually helped me answer some questions about it before--thanks again!) but I just don't see being able to support it here.

Perhaps as I investigate this thread of possibility, I will follow up on here. The Flycam sled has developed some electrical issues, and I'm going to be taking it home next week and taking it apart to see what the story is. That could be a deal-breaker for me, if it's a mess on the inside. But everything on the outside seems fine, and is all wired with authentic LEMO's, which gives me hope.
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