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Old Style ActionCam Arm


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#1 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 10:16 PM

I recently got my hands on an older ActionCam rig with no documentation. It has their older single action arm that uses two large springs instead of the usual parallelogram setup. Does anyone know what the weight range of this arm is? It seems to be reasonably wide, but I don't know the actual maximum weight. I am talking to someone about shooting 35 and I need to know what cameras it will take. I have seen it fly an SR2, but beyond that I don't know.

Does anyone have any other input on the drawbacks of this particular arm design? It actually works rather well despite not having nearly the vertical range that a double action parallelogram setup would. Basically I am wanting to know how much use I can get out of this arm before needing to upgrade. The sled is already setup for 24V so it seems like I can get a good amount of use out of it. Unfortunately the sled and vest are not using standard connectors so I can't borrow an arm from anyone else in town unless I can get some adapters made up.

~Jess
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#2 Jamie Hammond

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 02:42 AM

Hi Jess,
The Actioncam was my first rig and worked very well for me. The best bet is to give Brian a shout over at Action Products for the exact weight limitations of that arm. The heaviest I ever flew on that arm was about 10kilos, so best speak to him. You can get him at:

info@actionproducts.ch

His webpage is:

www.actionproducts.ch

Hope this helps

J
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#3 RobVanGelder

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 09:54 AM

I think that rig was mainly made for Betacam-style cameras, so a weight between 8-12 kgs?

I tried this arm and rig too once, when it was just out and was surprised by the arm, as it performed reasonably well.
The only thing I found that it tends to lock-up/shoot to the highest position when you boom up, so you have to be aware that you don't release your rig in a high position. This can cause some unwanted movements in the operating.

But in the sweet-spot, in the middle range, it worked very well for a single spring arm and i was surprised by the boom range.
That is, if we are talking about the same type of arm, the one with the big cylinder in the middle with torque springs.

Rob
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#4 Erwin Landau

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 01:44 PM

When I met Brian way back in Switzerland and checked out his rig design for the first time, he told me that he had made an arm for a Japanese operator that was able to hold 80 plus Pounds...

You should talk to Brian directly as he does mods for the individual op. Also I believe that he had modified that arm (The double wind up spring design) in the past to be used with the "traditional" steadicam parts... like vest or rig...

It works on the same principal as the traditional 3A, it performs best in the middle booming range (boomed not to high and not to low) and at close of the maximum weight it can handle (less springy).

Good Luck,


Erwin
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#5 Stephen Press

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 05:32 AM

I?ve got a manual somewhere. I?ll see if I can find it.
Till then there are three settings for the springs, first (furthest away from the springs) for light weight cameras, the middle for beta type cameras and the third (closest to the springs) for heavy 35mm type stuff. I?ve flown some very heavy cameras and have yet to max out the arm? maxed out me but not the arm.
If you are changing the arm spring settings its? easy but be careful. There are lots of little Allan key screws that are there to lock the bigger screws in place so make sure you undo them first. Oh and expect to get greasy?
Also don?t let the springs rest against the two stopping screws unless they are screwed up tight, the springs will bend them if they have any slack at all. In fact everything on the Action Cam that carries a load must be finger tight or you will find yourself having to get screws straightened.


I love my Action Cam. It?s fast to rig, very versatile and amazingly light for when it was made. Best of all it gives me some terrific results.

Edited by Stephen Press, 07 October 2007 - 05:38 AM.

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#6 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 01:36 PM

Thanks for the info. I have been shown how to adjust the arm, just curious what the ranges are. I emailed actionproducts a few days ago asking about a manual but haven't received a response.

~Jess
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#7 Stephen Press

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 03:43 AM

Jess. After a look around I think my Actioncam manual is in ?storage? up in the roof of my house. Next time I?m up there I?ll grab it and scan you a copy.
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#8 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 09:22 AM

Thanks. There are a couple of other questions I have and I have a feeling the manual would answer them all.

~Jess
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#9 Stephen Press

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 01:02 PM

Well I thought I knew exactly where the manual was but after looking around the roof space I can?t find it. I must have put it somewhere ?safe?
I?ll keep looking but it my take longer than I had hoped.

Sorry
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#10 Stephen Press

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 08:05 PM

Still haven?t found the manual but according to some old advertising info I did find the arm can carry from 3kg to 18kg, so that?s about 40lb although I have had just over 30kg/66lb with no problems on mine.
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#11 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:37 AM

So sounds like it could even take a BL4 without any problems. Part of me wishes that wasn't the case...... :-)

Thanks for all of the help Stephen. Brian did finally respond to my email a few days ago saying that he is out of town until the 22nd. I will send him another email after that to see if he has one of the old manuals lying around.

The rig has already started to become a frankenrig. The original monitor was busted so I replaced it with a 7" widescreen LCD. I still need to make a new mounting bracket and redo the wiring for it, but I have it ghetto rigged in the case of the old monitor at the moment. One of the 3 pin accessory power lemos on the bottom of the sled was pulled out at some point which also killed the power to the other bottom accessory plug. Sometime soon I will be taking it apart to fix that, I am contemplating redoing the wiring at the bottom a bit, possibly adding a voltage regulator and/or video DA in a box of some sort at the bottom. If I do that I may also add a switch to switch between 12v and 24v so that the adapters won't be required. I havn't really figured out how and where I would want to house everything.

My only real complaint with this rig is the top stage. After adjusting it it seems that the action of locking it down shifts things a bit. I will get it perfectly balanced but then when I lock it down it no longer is. I can compensate for this, but maybe there is something I can do to fix or improve it?

What do you think of the vest? It doesn't seem to be the most comfortable or easily adjusted design. I am thinking of redoing the straps a bit. Mine is very worn and is torn in a number of places, I am sure that doesn't help matters. Any advice on getting the best fit with this vest?

~Jess
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#12 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 06:09 AM

I am a dumbass. When he responded Brian attached the manual. It is a slightly newer version, it talks about the backmount vest while mine is frontmount. Also looks like it has an LCD while mine was a CRT. Not sure if there are any other differences. Manual doesn't really seem to cover much, but its still nice to have.

Brian basically said that the arm can handle just about anything I would ever want to put on it. The manual says the whole system can handle camera loads of 9-48 pounds while the arm has a listed load capacity of 28-73lbs (the sled weighs 19lbs without batteries.)

~Jess
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#13 Stephen Press

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 01:57 PM

I haven?t had any problems with the top stage, are you twisting both adjusting knobs in the opposite direction at the same time?

Not sure how standard my vest is as it had just been refurbished? but here is my dance:
Loosen all the straps. Hold harness in right hand and throw the left hand side of the harness around your back. Hold it in place with your left elbow and chin while you lock it on the right hand side. Now throw the right hand side of the harness around to your left. Lift the bottom of the harness up and that helps you click the left hand side in place without being a contortionist. I then tighten the bottom straps till they are snug. I?ve sown two D rings into the ends of the top straps and that is very handy for tightening those up. I mount up the rig briefly to make sure its sitting right then unhook and twist all the padding so it is comfy. Then when I?m ready to fly I tighten the top straps till the bolt in the top V is just about digging into your chest.

When I take off the vest I un-click both sides and holding the front bar with both hands, cross my ankles and stretch forward to open my vertebra so they settle back in the right place.

The vest itself is very adjustable. It took a while to find out how to make it fit me best. I have a sport configuration, short harness resting just above my hips, for running that?s not quite as steady but easier on me with the 80min games and a more regular long harness sitting on my hips that give steadier shots but limits how fast I can go.

Have fun
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#14 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 02:08 AM

I haven?t had any problems with the top stage, are you twisting both adjusting knobs in the opposite direction at the same time?

When you say both knobs which two are you referring to? If you mean the two side to side knobs they are connected to the same piece of threaded rod on mine. I don't think the top stage is really a problem, there is just a bit of play in it until I lock it down which I am learning to deal with. When I loosen the fore/aft adjustment for example it can shift side to side a little bit messing up the side to side balance. I think this was partially because I was loosening it too much.

Not sure how standard my vest is as it had just been refurbished?

Did actionproducts refurbish it and if so how much did that cost?

I?ve sown two D rings into the ends of the top straps and that is very handy for tightening those up.

Do you mean the straps that go over your shoulders then look around to the front and have the adjustment on your chest or is yours setup differently?

I think my main problems with the vest are not having it tweaked perfectly yet. That and the fact that the shoulder straps won't stay on top of the pads which aren't in that great of shape to begin with.

I feel like when I get the straps as tight as they need to be it is causing the vest to ride up on me and ride too high. Have you noticed this? It seems like the way the straps are routed this is kind of inherent in the design.

I am thinking about redoing the straps to make them a little less convoluted. I am thinking about adding a buckle so that there is a single waist strap and then possibly making the top a little more like a traditional steadicam vest by having a strap that comes around in the middle and buckles in front with the shoulder straps attached to this in back. I will probably end up with more buckles, but I think it will make tightening the vest down easier and keep it from riding up. Does this make sense or should I spend more time playing around with the original configuration?

Thanks again for all the help.

~Jess
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#15 Stephen Press

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 04:06 PM

Rather than tell you I thought I?d show you.
This is my Vest
Posted Image

And this should be a video of me putting it on

Action Vest

I'm getting a error message from the video link, got to go shoot but I will try and fix it latter.

Edited by Stephen Press, 23 October 2007 - 04:10 PM.

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