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Tricks for tethering?


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#1 Dan Coplan

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 02:40 AM

Wondering how you all manage your cable(s) from the rig when you have to fly tethered. I've done F900 and Viper jobs with one very slinky cable that came off the back of the camera, velcroed to my vest, and connected to a barrell feeding a beefier setup. No real problems.

But now I'm flying the F23 with two solid core BNC's coming off the back and I'm fighting it. The one trick I came up with was to attach right angle connectors at the camera so there's some play. At first I kept the length from camera to vest with relatively short slack but realized that it was better to add significant slack so there's less chance of movement pulling the cable/camera. My latest idea is to run the cable forward and tie it off where the camera is center to the post so any pull is at the center, not at the end where it would have greater effect, but it's still not ideal.

With HD becoming more popular, my concern is growing that we all are going to have to get much more used to this BS. Sure, we may benefit from flash mags as they become available, but DP's are going to want to see the full res signal. Y(F)UCK!

Dan
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#2 Charles Papert

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 12:23 PM

Many like to wrap the cable around their operating hand/wrist right as it exits the camera, with no loop. I get the theory behind it but it freaks me out a little having my hand feel like its in bondage. It works about as well as having a generous loop that attaches to the shoulder, which is how I've always done it. I always thought the dual solid core BNC's would kill the precision of the operating but I haven't detected this in the results. The biggest pain is when you want to hand off the rig right after a shot and chase the director/actors/craftie coming around with finger sandwiches and it takes a while to decable.
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#3 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 01:30 PM

Wondering how you all manage your cable(s) from the rig when you have to fly tethered. I've done F900 and Viper jobs with one very slinky cable that came off the back of the camera, velcroed to my vest, and connected to a barrell feeding a beefier setup. No real problems.

But now I'm flying the F23 with two solid core BNC's coming off the back and I'm fighting it. The one trick I came up with was to attach right angle connectors at the camera so there's some play. At first I kept the length from camera to vest with relatively short slack but realized that it was better to add significant slack so there's less chance of movement pulling the cable/camera. My latest idea is to run the cable forward and tie it off where the camera is center to the post so any pull is at the center, not at the end where it would have greater effect, but it's still not ideal.

With HD becoming more popular, my concern is growing that we all are going to have to get much more used to this BS. Sure, we may benefit from flash mags as they become available, but DP's are going to want to see the full res signal. Y(F)UCK!

Dan

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Hey Dan,
Almost every gig I do is tethered, and I am zooming and focusing. The tether is iether a Fiber cable or a triax and a PL line for. The triax has become super tiny even smaller than the slinky ones that you were talking about, the engineers can't figure out why it works on my rig . . .LOL . . .

The fiber cable is definitely bigger and about what you are describing and the PL line I have just this month made a wireless unit that works awesome.

I tether from the back of the camera to the vest over my apposing shoulder to an adapter box where the bigger home run cable attaches.

My biggest fight isn't with these cables so much as it is with my Zoom and Focus control cables.

The Stanton Zoom and Focus controler works awesome in my aplications but the cable system really sucks, so Ya I am working on that one . . . .
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#4 Anthony Violanto

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:32 PM

The Stanton Zoom and Focus controler works awesome in my aplications but the cable system really sucks, so Ya I am working on that one . . . .




When you come up with a solution for the cable running off the stanton controller, let me know! It is not only really stiff, but way too long.


~Anthony
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#5 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 12:59 AM

The Stanton Zoom and Focus controler works awesome in my aplications but the cable system really sucks, so Ya I am working on that one . . . .




When you come up with a solution for the cable running off the stanton controller, let me know! It is not only really stiff, but way too long.


~Anthony

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Anthony,
Friends of mine have cut thier cables and resoldered them to make them shorter but I'm thinking same controller but wireless . . . .I'm still working on that one . . .LOL . . .at the very least maybe some new wireing that is more flexable . I've had this conversation with Stanton and they said, "Those cable are very, very flexable" . . . .whatever, apparently they haven't ever flown a rig . . .
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#6 Anthony Violanto

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 01:06 PM

It would also be great if we could mount the controller closer to the gimbal. The mount makes the controller sit way too high

~Anthony
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#7 Dan Coplan

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 03:38 PM

...a generous loop that attaches to the shoulder, which is how I've always done it. I always thought the dual solid core BNC's would kill the precision of the operating but I haven't detected this in the results.


I think this is similar to what I did which was fine for straight line moves and body pans, but any time I had to pan the camera on axis, it would be affected to some degree by the loop. Whip pans really sucked.
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#8 Charles Papert

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 05:47 PM

Dan, what I've suspected is that it's one of those things that you sort of learn to work through over time, like a wonky gimbal etc. It's like the guys who have to deal with triax all the time; it's annoying at first but you get used to it and compensate for it. When "Balls of Fury" (first Genesis movie I did) came out I fully expected to see wobbles but it all looked fine, including shots that required stopping on a dime coming out of fast moves.
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#9 Jaron Berman

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 04:38 AM

Just a heads up - I spent the afternoon at Cooner Wire (they're a custom wire mfg whose market segment is ultra-flexible cables) checking out cables (pronounced "dorking"). They make camera power cables for Panavision, Clairmont...not sure who else. Anyways, they have a prototype coax in development that's equivalent in size to Belden 8218 (.153" outer diameter), but infinitely more flexible, and supposedly capable of carrying HD-SDI. Mark at Cooner gave me a perfectly-sized sample to try a sled-vest jumper, so if anyone can suggest a place to take the sample to crimp on some BNC's, I'll go give it a whirl and see if it indeed supports HD-SDI. If so, this could be the current solution to single or dual-link HD-SDI.

For video guys - Chris Konash got some of their 10-conductor 26ga cable to rewire his Zoe. I've used his, it's awesome - makes a MONUMENTAL difference in the feel of the rig, just switching to the flexible cable. But, they now have a new version of the same configuration, called AS-323, which is a silicone jacketed (vs. PVC) cable, and literally more flexible than string! If you're looking to rewire a Zoe or other gimbal-mounted zoom control, this is worth a serious look. I believe it's roughly $2.50/ft, but don't quote me on that.
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#10 Dan Coplan

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 04:27 PM

Jaron,

Try Ziggy at Clairmont Camera for putting a BNC to that cable. And keep us up to date. If the cable you're testing is as stable as the solid core BNC I was required to fly, I'd be really interested in getting some made up.

Dan
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#11 Jaron Berman

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 12:09 AM

Well, I took the cable to Clairmont this afternoon, and unfortunately due to traffic, I couldn't get a whole lot of testing in. However in the brief time I did try it, the cable worked as it should. The gentleman I spoke to...(I'm an idiot for not remembering his name, not Ziggy though) was pretty impressed by the cable, saying that he had known it was going to come out, but had not yet seen it. So the cable works, seems to be extremely flexible, especially when compared to solid-core coax - there's no comparison.

Fittings-wise, I used Kings 2065-11-9 (true 75ohm) crimped with Paladin 2648 die.

Anyways, when I get back in town, I'll take it over to Panavision and bring a rig to try and feel it out. So far though, I'm impressed by the cable, it's pretty transparent.
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#12 AdamKeith

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 09:40 PM

I run a thin fiber or triax down the center of the camera just in front of the gimbal. I keep the cable in front of me and attach it to the back of my vest.

Adam Keith

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#13 Amando Crespo

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 09:56 PM

Working with cables... TRIAX, BNC, RCA.... it´s like to eat a very desirable spagetti dish. YOU EVER FINISH WITH YOUR MOUTH PLENTY OF TOMATO SAUCE.... ;) .
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#14 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 10:13 AM

Working with cables... TRIAX, BNC, RCA.... it´s like to eat a very desirable spagetti dish. YOU EVER FINISH WITH YOUR MOUTH PLENTY OF TOMATO SAUCE.... ;) .

------------
HUH ? . . . . .
Armando . . you shouldn't drink and type? . . . .LOL . . . .
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#15 Jerry Holway

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 11:37 AM

Many like to wrap the cable around their operating hand/wrist right as it exits the camera, with no loop. I get the theory behind it but it freaks me out a little having my hand feel like its in bondage. It works about as well as having a generous loop that attaches to the shoulder, which is how I've always done it. I always thought the dual solid core BNC's would kill the precision of the operating but I haven't detected this in the results. The biggest pain is when you want to hand off the rig right after a shot and chase the director/actors/craftie coming around with finger sandwiches and it takes a while to decable.


Charles is probably referring to a technique I use, developed in light of a Genesis job in the cold with many stiff cables (including power), but which I use now with any cable, no matter how flexible.

The intent is to get a small loop from the camera to the gimbal which remains relatively constant as I operate, do pans and booms, etc. and to virtually eliminate any influence from the cable from the outside world - and what influence it might exert is diminished by the time it gets to the c.g. of the rig.

So it's like this: a small loop passes down from the camera just in front of the gimbal - next to the MDR/focus motor receiver and through the index and middle finger of the operating hand. This loop should be adjusted so that it is long enough not to radically change shape (or effect) as you operate. The cable that leaves you hand is wound around your forearm, and with a loose, non-critical loop attached to your shoulder (velcro, clip, stuffed under the shoulder pad, whatever you like) and then on to video village.

From the outside world, only my shoulder gets a tug, and I control the gimbal to camera minor variations with my operating hand as part of operating.

Any other loop has way too much influence, and that influence changes radically as you operate in different positions, Don Juan, booming. Big loops can also catch on things....

The more and/or the stiffer the cables, the more this technique makes sense, but for the most precise operating I suggest you experiment with this technique.

I disagree with the "works about as well" comment - or the worry about the three to five extra seconds it takes to cable or decable (wind cable around forearm, lace cable through finger at point marked with tape, and go). I used to use other methods, did pretty good work, but now it's better... could pan the Genesis all up with all possible cables including audio and composite video return... letting the gimbal do the work instead of micro-adjusting/correcting... i.e., flying the rig as if unencumbered by cables.

Jerry
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