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#1 Mill


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Posted 07 September 2005 - 03:00 PM

Hey people, this is my first post.

Although i am not a steadicam operator, i have been quite fascinated by the rigs and have undertaken the task of constructing a working prototype of a steadicam rig. Now this is going to be a rig for smaller, hand-held cam-corders/digi cams/dv cams much like the steadicam jr. although i hope to include a method of attaching the rig to the body.

I'm well aware of the challenge i have set myself, considering an eight month construction time limit and a 'small' budget, so i've decided to attack the problem from the bottom up - designing a very simple rig with no frills, and then adding any additional equipment later on. I've begun modifications to a climbing harness already, and have come up with simple designs for an arm to attach to the main rig. The only real query i have is the design for the gimbal

I've trawled the internet, and e-mailed several operators and so far have come up with nothing really conclusive... I need to know how the gimbal works, how it is mounted and how it functions, ie. What the heck is the darn thing?!

If anyone else has built there own rig, i would be extremely happy to hear from them, or if anyone has any info on any aspect of the rig (particularly the gimbal) or any problems i could face in the design i really need to know!!

Thanks a lot,

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#2 Erwin Landau

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 03:39 PM

Wrong Forum...

I think people on this forum are a little iffy if you start talking about building a steadicam... again every month one person comes on and wants to build there own and every month the answers are the same... so I will not get into that. Check the archives...

If you haven't found on the net what you where looking for than you haven't looked really...

There is a site called Homebuildstabilizers or How thinks work.

Check them... you can find links on my website.

Good Luck,

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#3 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 04:57 PM

Homebuiltstabilizers also has a forum, that would be the best place for you to look.. http://hbsboard.com

- Mikko
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#4 Richard James Lewis

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 05:45 PM

*IF* you can get hold of Progear, Jan was selling some of his old style steel gimbals off (1.5") for only a few hundred dollars (well the bearing bit, you need to find yourself a handle and such like.) They keep popping up on ebay, but I’ve not seen any recently, not bad for a homebuilt.

Hope this helps,

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#5 Tery Thompson

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 12:16 AM

"I've trawled the internet, and e-mailed several operators and so far have come up with nothing really conclusive... I need to know how the gimbal works, how it is mounted and how it functions, ie. What the heck is the darn thing?!"

A gimbal is a system of bearings (usually) that allow the camera to be isolated from the person carrying it. It is intended to isolate the persons' movements from the cameras' so the camera shot will be smooth. To have a real good gimbal, you need to isolate movement that is from side to side, tilt, and rotation. Basically any way you can turn the handle has to be isolated.

Some of the simpler stabilizers available do a fairly good job smoothing out the tilt and side to side movement but don't help with the rotation at all. The have no real gimbal as the operator holds the post near the center of gravity. It works somewhat but isn't intended for the dolly like shots.

Does this help at all or is it just confusing? It's hard to describe a gimbal and steadycam principles in only a few words but if Charles P. were giving this description it would be much better.

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#6 Mill


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Posted 12 September 2005 - 09:33 AM

Cheers for the replies people. I should've checked the other threads really before posting, my bad!!

I know the principals of how a gimbal works, but the steadicam gimbal is quite different to anything i've seen. Still, i've got plenty of time to find out how these things work.

As for the 'Progear' post by Richard Lewis, it would be very nice to get my hands on one - only problem is our college only give us £40 (about $100), the rest of the funds come from our own pockets and i need that for other essential materials.

Currently, i'm looking toward other mechanisms as a stabilizer - simple ball/socket joints like you find on a fwd car - even the spider joint will provide some stabilization.

I'll trawl through the HBS forum a little longer, though - a lot to digest!

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#7 Charles King

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 02:37 PM

Mill, why not ask the next time you visit the HBS forum - It'll help ;)
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