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The "All Star" Rig


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#1 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 12:08 PM

For those that are interested, I thought I would share some thoughts about my new rig.

It was finally time for a change after about 16 years of operating with a highly modified EFP. My old sled consisted of, custom electronics to accommodate 12/24 volts, a 3A center post, PRO D-box2, PRO Gimble, Arm, and Vest, Transvideo Monitor (Cine I), a variety of custom machined parts, etc. This rig handled everything from video, 16, 35, and even Imax, very modular, very simple and very hard to part with. I'm not, keeping it for back -up.

But time for the change. I took about 8 months of equipment demos and research to come up with a combination rig which meets my individual needs. In keeping current and upgradeable, I thought it might be beneficial to be Alien ready, so this led me to MK-V. I was also very interested in the 4 stage post. After many trials and close examination with different sleds I began to feel that this post was the best for me. Stuck on a 2" inch post now created my next problem. I am, and always will have, a love affair with the PRO gimble. Unfortunately, PRO only makes it for 1 1/2" posts. Only 2 options here: MK-V or XCS. I flew both gimbles back to back and ended up with XCS, purely because I like the feel better. This was certainly the most difficult decision; I struggled with it for some time.

Electronically, I had some choices, but after evaluating my needs for additional wiring for my live video work, I was most comfortable with MKV's nexus system. I actually utilize the AR wiring for my additional video feed and tally system. This took some custom work. Also, the Nexus allows me the most variety of configurations of battery positions and power needs. Very modular. I can fly any camera weight!

As for my monitor, I have stayed with Transvideo, for now. The latest Ultra-Bright. I did a side by side comparison of the Hummingbird and CineMonitor 3. Although I felt Hummingbird was a slightly better, bigger and brighter image, the difference was marginal, not worth the trade off of size and weight... Hummingbird is just too big of a chasse for its screen size.

Topstage, another tough choice. I ended up with Chroiziel. Howard recommended this and I took the leap of faith sight un-seen. Needles to say I love this topstage. Rock solid. And in a stroke of luck, it fits every dovetail I own. I just needed to tap 4 small screws around the borders for a safety catch.

Batteries, Dionics. These are proving to be incredible. I haven?t had to charge on the set, I get through 12 hours with 1 battery change, amazing, really. I have been in the extreme cold and warm, they are performing great. I use a combo of 2 Dionics and 1 trim pack. For Video work I can use 1 or 2 Dionics, depending on my weight issues. The Nexus sled offers me many configurations of Monitor/Batteries for Dynamic Balance. This sled pans perfectly flat.

Lastly, I am sticking to my PRO arm and Vest, no need to improve this!

To sum it up, I have found a rig that is meeting all my needs. Operationally and technically, I am very happy. I always avoided low mode because of its limitations, now, I love it. I convert in about 4 minutes, and I can offer supper low in just another minute. I am totally enjoying the extendable 4 stage post. Total rigidity, dynamically sound, and sexy as hell.

I want to thank Howard Smith and his folks at MK-V, Greg and Carol Bubb @ XCS, and George Paddock of PRO. All great manufacturers. You guys have set me up with my "All Star" rig, Thanks.

I hope this info is helpful. Lots of choices out there enabling us to get the Rig that fits our needs. Pretty cool.

All the Best
Jeff

Attached File  All_Star_Rig_LR.jpg   45.49KB   430 downloads
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#2 thomas-english

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 02:57 PM

Thankyou very much Jeff, I found your decision making proccess and eventual choices very informative.

May I ask a small question?

I was looking at the Chroiziel topstage mostly because it would fit so nicely with my Chroiziel tilt head. When you say you had to tap four safety screws in as a safety catch was this due to using non-Chroiziel dovetails or were you unhappy with the saftety catch that exists on the Chroiziel topstage ?

4 minutes to go into low mode! Cool! I am going to work on that.

thanks for your time.
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#3 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 03:15 PM

Thankyou very much Jeff, I found your decision making proccess and eventual choices very informative.

May I ask a small question?

I was looking at the Chroiziel topstage mostly because it would fit so nicely with my Chroiziel tilt head. When you say you had to tap four safety screws in as a safety catch was this due to using non-Chroiziel dovetails or were you unhappy with the saftety catch that exists on the Chroiziel topstage ?



This was only for the old, non Chroiziel dove tails. I just replicated what the new ones have. Small screw heads in all 4 corners of the underside of the dovetail plate to prevent a tragic slide off.

Jeff
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