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Wireless Follow Focus for Flyer?

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#1 Chris McLean

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 06:11 PM

I've just purchased a Steadicam Flyer which should arrive Friday. I hope to work my way up to larger cameras/projects in the future. But in the meantime, I forgot to ask some Flyer questions when making the purchase.

1) Does the Flyer accept a wireless follow focus or is that only attachable to the higher end Steadicam models?
2) Same question, except does it accept a wireless zoom control?
3) if the Flyer does accept these wireless devices, are they the same models as those that are used on the higher end Steadicam models? In other words, can I take these accessories with me as I migrate up the Steadicam line?
4) If the Flyer does take these wireless devices, any preferance on brands and estimates on price ranges?

Thanks in advance,

Chris McLean
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#2 charlesneufeld


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Posted 02 May 2006 - 06:40 PM

Hi Chris,

1) 2ish) FF systems are standalone. That is, they only require power input from the rigs ( most newer models, older ones had integrated wiring). Most can handle a wide voltage range and this should not be a problem. Thus, as long as your arm can handle the additional weight of the receiver/motors/cables and brackets you'll be fine, but this may limit the max camera weight.

3) Since these systems are standalone, they can move with you as you upgrade.

4) There are numerous post on various FF systems which can range from 2K-20K+

Hope this helps,

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#3 Erwin Landau

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 04:08 AM

The Flyers (at least the ones I have seen) have one power out put (2 pin Lemo) and one video in (BNC) integrated into the Camera platform.

Depending on the camera you are flying and the power requirements, you could power the Camera from an onboard battery and the FF from the sled. Or power the camera from the sled and the FF from the camera.

Unfortunately, CP at the time and Tiffen now have not taken that in consideration (maybe on the Flyer24 not sure). The Top stage could use an additional power plug or 2... for FF and Transmitter. As most AKS that we use are 12Volt it would make sense to provide that to the top... The Cameras (Prosumer Video) are these days 7.2 Volts. You would still need a special cable to power the camera from the sled.

FF... all units these days are stand alone units that are attached to and powered by the sled you use. Mainly the MDR (Motor Driver) is attached to the rig, the motors are attached to the Camera/Lens. And the hand controller... you get the picture.

Attaching it to the Flyer... I don't think that Tiffen thought about that either. I'm sure you can find a spot to drill some holes... but velcro works most of the time (straight to the Camera).

Look into the BFD (Bartech) and the M-1 motor (Palomar). Great value, Jim Bartell and Don Wetzel are great guys, great costumer service and you can buy channel buy channel.



The Bartech single channel is $1850.- (Hand unit, MDR, brackets, Power cable)
The M-1 motor is/was $2100.- (all gears, mounting brackets, motor cable)
Plus whatever cables you additional need.

Good Luck,

Erwin"I actually owned 5 BFD's over time..."Landau
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 09:32 AM

Erwin"I actually owned 5 BFD's over time..."Landau

And that was indeed a very Bartellesque signoff...!
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#5 Erwin Landau

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 12:02 AM

Here Don's new website:


Erwin "Jim Bartell's Number One Fan" Landau
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#6 thomas-english


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Posted 07 May 2006 - 05:33 AM

I have Don s motor, the M-1 type. It is superb, will pull anything and is supebly well made for changing gears etc. I am inordinately happy with it.

I don t think it is the best motor for your setup. I think it is heavy for you and you are trying to save any last gram if you are trying to fly dsr570 s, XDcams JVCHD100 etc. I think it demands too much power for you to be able to run it directly from these cameras (although I could stand corrected, I have had probs running it from sr3 s and their onboard lithiums) and you simply don t need that much power! not with these video lenses.

Get yourself a bartech and the cheapest lightest little motor you can find secondhand. Upgrade to an m-1 when u upgrade your rig.

Howard mk-v has a cool new light follow focus too but again don t use his chunky motor, get a little heden or something.

Genio is too heavy, forget about the preston or LCS, never rent them they ll be far too heavy. I reckon u could carry the C-Motion though.

I have a bartech.
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#7 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 12:44 PM

Howard mk-v has a cool new light follow focus too but again don t use his chunky motor, get a little heden or something.

Howards motor is a FMG-6 so that also need to be struck from the list
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#8 thomas-english


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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:23 PM

Howards is well made little motor that could pull the horns out of an Ox. It seems very nice and it only weighs 230g . With the M-1 motor at 370g

My quick internet search leads to the heden m28VPT being 290g so having had a little gander at a few figures I might retract my earlier thought of not using howards motor and think it might be a really good choice.

To myself a 100g here or there for something as important as a follow focus motor is a minor consideration against power and reliability/usability. On a flyer the lightest possible motor is needed. What are those hedens that come with the genio ? tiny little things....... would not be nearly as strong as the FMG or M-1 but would be great on a flyer....
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#9 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:46 PM

The older style Heden motor is: http://www.heden-eng...6,57,92&i=92&n=

Very light, but you need an Idler gear and a swing arm probably causing it to weigh as much/more than the mini-vertical motor:

(still no listed under products, but listed in the "News section." You'd want the analog version to work with a Bartech).

I'm not sure the specs listed for the M-28VTP are correct since the same weight is listed for the M-28VP (no tachometer for zooming) and they list the weight of the M-28VT (no potentiometer) as a bit more than the VP version.

The M-1 is a little heavy, but it is one of the (if not THE) most powerful motors I've ever seen (on any system). Yes, on a Flyer, look at Heden's Power-Drawf, but otherwise the M-1 is the motor of choice on any Bartech.

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#10 MagnusBalte



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Posted 09 May 2006 - 10:31 AM


M28VP (focus/iris) 290grams
M28VPT (focus/iris & zoom) 320grams
M28VT (zoom) 305grams

M21VP (focus/iris) 180grams

M26VE (focus/iris & zoom) 240grams

Magnus Balte

Heden Engineering Co
P.O. Box 102
Delivery address:
Flojelbergsgatan 14
Tel: +46-31-272110
Fax: +46-31-278191
Website: www.heden-engineering.com
E-mail: magnus@heden-engineering.com
SkypeIP: servomotors

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