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#1 Lohengrin Zapiain

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 03:37 PM

Attached File  tit_spring.JPG   80.75KB   447 downloadshas any of you seen something like this before?


L. Zapiain
Vancouver BC
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#2 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:12 PM

Wow

How did this happen? What arm is the spring from? Was the arm under a heavier load than reccommended max, did it bottom out suddenly or anything? Or did it just occur in normal operating use?

Hope there was no other damage to your rig or camera.
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#3 Erwin Landau

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:56 PM

Welcome to the World of Titanium expansion springs...

It looks like a spring from a 3A arm or a master series arm. Material fatigue will set in eventually... Titanium makes a very specific noise when it brakes... almost like a small caliber handgun. When my socket block broke most of the crew hit the ground.

Ron Baldwin has a nice story how his 3A arm buckled under the weight of a Panaflex G2...

Or David Emmerichs, a part of his brocken spring took almost his Assistants Eye out, he was beside him pulling focus as the under arm top spring said good bye with a bang, went flying through the Arm cover and a piece hit his AC's face only a half inch away from his left Eye.


I hope, this time, no one got injured in the process.


Erwin"No projectiles in a PRO Arm" Landau
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#4 Lohengrin Zapiain

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 05:29 PM

It is a spring from an Ultra arm.... no heavy load.... surprisingly just an SR Advanced.

The sound is certainly the same as the one of a small gun. I was flying the sled waiting to hear action from the director when I heard this noise coming from somewhere around my back and I felt the shift of weights in my body... I guess this is as close as it gets to being shot: An unexpected loud noise and a then a moment of confusion.

Robert Luna repaired my arm and he said that it was bad luck. The arm was relatively new (I bought it from a guy in LA that bought it and never used for five years) and this was my second feature with it, so heavy stress had nothing to do with it... just bad luck.
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#5 Ramon Engle

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 08:17 PM

I had the same thing happen under not much load. It was a 3A arm. Turns out the safety cable inside the spring was being pinched by the springs and eventually abraided the surface of the spring. I've been told once you compromise the pateena or finish on titanium that becomes a major weak point and fails under stress.
Did you have safety cables inside your springs?

Ramon Engle
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#6 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 10:20 PM

Why just yesterday I got a call from a fellow NYC Op who just had the same thing. Sucks man, my heart goes out to you.

Don't think it has as much to do with a heavy load as it does with scratch/flaw in the individual spring. Be very careful when sticking screwdrivers in your arm to remove covers, etc. Scratches in titanium springs are not a good ting.
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#7 Afton Grant

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 10:28 PM

Scratches in titanium springs are not a good ting.


Was that pun intentional, Alec? If not, it was the pun coincidence of the year. High five.
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#8 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 09:27 AM

Afton,

"Was that pun intentional, Alec? If not, it was the pun coincidence of the year. High five."

I wish I was that clever, but it was just the new software for my computer, "i-Pun."
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#9 Bryan Trieb SOC

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 09:34 AM

My Master Arm snapped on me recently while working as well.
Had Rob Luna do the fix and upgrade the bearings as well.
Not being able to finish the day of shooting because my arm snapped was such an awful feeling. I decided that having backup gear for everything is the way to go for me personally. The next day I ordered my Pro Arm. I thought to myself this would be the most efficient arm because of the interchangeable canisters. No matter which arm you have, if it's based on spring/pulley design, and it snaps on the job...you're screwed....I would be so bold as to say the same could happen with the G50/70 arms everyone seems to be excited about.
G70 arm will cost an estimated $19k USD....possible failure....Pro arm is $22k USD with full set of spare canisters. The choice was easy for me!
Gonna buy a new sled next year, not for sure which one yet but it's between the XCS and Nexus.
How many of you roll with full backup gear?...Just curious!!!!
I know it's an expensive way to go, but business wise....I think it's the only way to go for me.

Cheers all!
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#10 Guido Lux

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:29 PM

Guys!

Backup seems the way to go no matter which arm you use!Since there's no titanium springs on the PRO arm...here's what happened to a friend of mine....!


Guido "stick with the backup theory" Lux

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#11 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:59 PM

Guido has a good point. While I do use a PRO arm because I think it is the most bullet proof (and the performance is unbelievable too), the reality is the two times I've had arm problems over the years were with socket blocks (both on my 3a arm)! This can happen to any make arm because they all have socket blocks. While I've heard of entire socket blocks breaking, an even more common part failure is the rod ends in the socket block itself. So, I'm not sure I'd rules out the new G-series arms considering this, but that is a personal choice.

Having said that, I opted for a steel socket block on my PRO arm, and eight spring canisters. Being in a major market with lots of near-by operators, this is good enough for me. I don't want to lug around a second arm on top of this as I think its too much. If I were ever doing a long term job in a remote part of the world, I'd consider ordering a back-up socket block and center hinge as this would be much smaller and cheaper than another arm or arm chassis.

As for other back-up components, I have a second monitor, transmitter, tuner, and lots of spare cables and bits. Again, I'd loath to carry/pay for an entire second sled.

I still own a front mounted vest so I suppose I own two harnesses, but I usually only carry the Klassen unless my stuff is living on a camera truck.
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#12 Erwin Landau

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 05:32 PM

I posted that a couple of moons ago about my socket block on the PRO arm:

http://www.steadicam...?showtopic=1695

That was a non GPI part.

Attached File  SocketBlock01web_03.jpg   6.71KB   277 downloads

I only know of about a dozen incidents over the 10 years that George was building and selling the PRO arm (I just heard that they broke the 350 mark in sold arms so far).

- 3 canisters, that does not lead to a complete arm failure, because of the compression spring design, The canister can't fail (Operators over cranking the canister and sheering of the pin to the brass screw that holds the push rod in place, easy fix, get one of the replacement canisters and send that one in...)
If you over crank on the arm and the piece sheers off, the compression spring will compress until it's totally compressed and that's it. Hung up the rig and get a new canister... and kick your self for beeing that stupid in the first place.
Not bad, when you realize that most arm were sold with 8 canisters each.

Guido, sorry but the springs are Titanium as they are in a closed and teflon lined environment, they can't get scratched or damaged.

- A couple of early A-link (Socket Block adapter) failures. (like your friend, Guido BTW: great website)
That part has since been completely redesigned

- And the rest was the titanium Socket block (mainly on Backmounted harness's, because the Socket block was not designed to handle that force). Which since was replaced with a beefed up Steel socket blocks to accommodate the Back mounts.

The beauty of GPI is, that they would implement, what they learned on the failure, and change it on the next run.

I remember an incident with Charles, he was hard mounted on ATV and the Hard mount gave way after a very violent corner in downtown, the rig cart wheeled down the street followed by the arm sliding on the asphalt. The Millennium XL was a goner and the rig needed some serious attention, but the arm had only a couple of scratches... I believe he still has the same bones on his arm...


I'm also into the Back ups philosophy... (As Ted Churchill would say)
When I heard from Garrett that the G-70 was suppose to be in the $12'500.- range I was sold on getting a back up, but with Tiffen opting to go head to head with the PRO arm on the price... (they when for under $20'000.- before GPI went up with the price, thanks to the war effort and the spiking price for all lightweight metals).

For that price I'll buy a chassis from George for now $16'000.- and use my spare spring set... voila... instant back up arm. And the G-arms are still sporting the expansion spring design... which is still prone to failure... we also will see over the next few months an near future how they will perform in the field once more and more operator put them through the trenches of location film production and the mighty butter finger Camera Assistant.

I also have a partial second rig, for the big wipe outs, like gimbal, monitor bracket, center post, 2nd TB-6... also 2 Preston's and 2 Moduli, Modulus's... (whatever the plural is for that thing) any component that let me down in the past has a back up. Also at least a double if not triple for all cables...

Fly safe,


Erwin" I love the smell of broken titanium in the morning!" Landau


PS: Bryan... go with the XCS Ultimate... only Costumer service that will also be available after hours. I don't know how many time I called Greg after an AC broke or lost something and he would leave it out on his porch for a midnight pick-up. But then again, George fixed my PRO rig, after self inflicted damage, on a Presidents weekend once.

PSS: I know it's supposed to be napalm... writers freedom damn it.
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#13 Jonathan Labby

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 05:48 PM

Wow, I have never seen that before. I was looking at buying the less expensive Titanium Gold arm from Glidecam. Has anyone had problems with this arm. Now I'm contemplating on waiting to purchase a Pro arm. Does anyone have suggestions? How often do titanium springs break? I never knew that a small scratch to the spring could compromise the structural integrity of the arm. Does anyone have suggestions about the Glidecam Gold arm? The price is only $8000 new versus a new 3a arm for $9500. I don't have much to spend right now. Should I wait? Let me know. Thanks so much. jonathanlabby@yahoo.com
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#14 Erwin Landau

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 07:05 PM

You get what you pay for...

Most important pieces of your equipment are:

The Vest: Operator Comfort hens fatigue and stamina for demanding days. And the ability to actually walk home after the day. Up to you what is your back and health worth?

The Arm and the Gimbal: Separates the body movement of the operator to the rig and minimizes the influences needed to operate the machine (the instrument). What is worth to get the perfect shot?


If you are serious about your craft you will eventually end up with a PRO arm. The question is do you want to spend the money right now or in a couple of months or years. The PRO arm is hands down the best stabilizer arm on the market and yes I still believe even better then the G-70. Try all and find out for yourself.

I have a very simple solution. If somebody asks me about the PRO arm, I usually let him/her try it for a day, if I'm not working... so far it's a 95% success rate. I have a bad influence on most people... equipment wise...

Do you need a PRO arm right of the bet? Of course not. But after you tried it, you will want one...

Try the Gold side by side to other makes and make up your mind. It's based on an out dated design that has no future in the long run. Does it work? Sure. Does it work well? No comment.

Good Luck,


Erwin"I should ask for a sales commisson" Landau


PS: Jonathan, please change your login name to your real name. Thank you!
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#15 Jonathan Labby

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 10:01 PM

Thanks for the information Erwin Landau. I had the chance to try the PRO arm at NAB this year at the MK-V booth. WOW it was amazing. I noticed that there were no springs(that I saw). The canisters looked like pistons. I am a newer operator so I will definitely be leaving more questions on these forums. I guess I will probably save my $$$ for a few more months...Years, before I can afford to buy the PRO arm. Who knows, maybe by that time some newer technology will be out. I also tried the new G-70...but again, they are springs.

Is the PRO gimbal the best in your opinion?

Obviously, this next question is completely personal preference, but what would you recommend as a great "lower cost" sled for 35mm. My current sled is a Glidecam V-20 that I have completely wired internally. It doesn't deserve a 100% for the cosmetics, but it works. I plan on moving up to a 35mm capable rig now that work is coming in for this caliber of work. Again, any and all suggestions you have as well as from other operators would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

Jonathan Labby
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