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Problem with my Zephyr Gimbal


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#1 AaronGantt

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:19 PM

Greetings everyone!

 

Long-time lurker, first-time poster.  Love the forum; an incredible resource and I must say I've learned a lot just browsing and reading. 

 

Just purchased a Zephyr a few months ago (couldn't be happier with it) and two days ago I found myself outside in the cold rain for four hours.  Once I wrapped, I dried everything off for a day and everything seemed to be fine.  Just broke the rig back out for a shoot tomorrow morning and my gimbal is sticking.  I can hear an unfamiliar whirl in my gimbal when I spin the post and whatever the problem is, it's causing the rig to drag to the side once I'm in motion.  Not to mention slow kiss offs are nearly impossible.  

 

Any tricks to solving this problem?  I searched around and found people with similar issues, but I couldn't find anything on the Zephyr gimbal specifically.  Is this something I can fix myself (I've never taken apart a gimbal)?

 

Thanks,

~Aaron


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#2 Alan Rencher

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:30 AM

Does your gimbal clamp have this spacer that stops the clamp from spinning? The first models didn't have this and had to be sent in for an upgrade. What would happen is the clamp would spin and come loose, and it was very easy to over-tighten; causing the screw to bend. The gimbal is the weakest link on the Zephyr. Mine still comes loose from time to time, especially with heavy loads.

 

2012-04-17_08-24-36_696.jpg


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#3 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:06 PM

I don't think the OP issue is due to the gimbal clamp. 

It looks like some water got into the gimbal gearings and it needs some cleaning. I never opened mine and don't know how to do it.  

 

About the clamp. I contacted Derek Hester at Tiffen and he told me to put some Loctite 222 (purple lo strength, not the standard blue one!) on the screw where is is in contact with the barrel of the clamp. this allows the screw to spin with the clamp and won't tighten or un-tighten without you using a tool.  Apply some more Loctite 222 when you feel like it is coming loose again.  If your clamp is locked due to over tightening, call Derek to get a replacement. He also mentioned that they know about this issue and are working on a solution.


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#4 AaronGantt

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:24 PM

Thanks for the replies, gentlemen.

 

@Alan: I believe I have the same gimbal as pictured.  I had the same issue with my gimbal slipping when I had a heavier camera on it.  I just took an allen key to it and it hasn't given me a problem since.

 

But yes, Victor's right, my problem is with the bearings, not the actual gimbal slipping on the post.

 

Since my original post, I removed the top cap of the gimbal and took a blow dryer to it.  The noise went away and it seemed to be doing better.  However, today on set the original problem remained.  I've read where others have described my same problem as "hunting" (correct me if that's not proper lingo).  When I let the rig settle, the gimbal will constantly rock side-to-side forcing me to grip the gimbal much harder than I should have to.  From what I've read, it appears as though I have a problem with the bearings in the gimbal.  Luckily all the moves today were fairly fast so my overcorrection wasn't noticeable.  

 

So now my question is (assuming I'm right in my diagnosis), can I fix this problem in a hotel room or does my gimbal require a trip back to Tiffen?  And if it's repairs I need, who would be best to talk to?


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#5 AaronGantt

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:40 PM

Also, upon further inspection, I've noticed the gimbal itself has the slightest bit of play in it.  I can rock the pan section of the gimbal side-to-side on the post.  (Does that make sense?)  Basically, the two rotating sections of the gimbal that allow the rig to pan seem to be slightly out of synch with each other.  Hopefully this will give someone a better idea as to what's wrong with my new toy.  


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#6 Alan Rencher

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:24 AM

You should send it in to Tiffen for service.


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