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My arm is stuck at the top of its boom

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#1 Mark Sparrough

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 05:45 PM

Hello Everyone,

I'm having trouble with my new Ultra 1 arm. I bought the last brand new Ultra 1 system that Tiffen had. I got it last week and have been having a really hard time getting it to float next to me. It wants to jump up over my head. It is incredibly difficult to twist the two adjustment knobs. I set up the rig every day and get ready to practice and when the sled is on I still can't loosen the knobs. This means that I have to put an inordinate amount of pressure on the arm to boom down. Any ideas as to what may be going wrong. This has been a problem ever since I got the system. Any input would be very appreciated.


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#2 Jamie Hammond

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 07:10 PM

Hi Mark,
The arm screw will only adjust the tensioning when it is in an optimum position and weighted. You find the biting point of the arm for both sections of the arm by booming each section individually and try the adjusting screw until it becomes easy to turn. You will probably find it is approx half way between each section of the arms range. Once you know where it is on both sections it should be very easy to turn and easy to find the next time you need to adjust. This isn't mentioned in the operators manual strangely.

hope this helps

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#3 Afton Grant

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 07:16 PM

Hi Mark,

Please take a read through the forum rules where you'll find instructions on changing your username - we all use our full names here. Regarding your arm, the common "adjust position" seems to be slightly above horizontal for each section. Any other position and the knobs won't turn. The turning should be very easy when in the right position, so don't try to force anything.
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#4 Mark Sparrough

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 09:32 PM

Thanks a lot Jamie and Afton. I have changed my username, so there shouldn't be any problem. As for the arm, could the screw have been put in on an angle? It looks a little cock-eyed. Just to make sure, the arm should normally float the camera in the middle of the boom range, right? I shouldn't have to put any pressure on the arm to get the camera to stay in the middle of the arms range if I have adjusted the screws on the arm correctly. Please get back to me. Thanks again,

-Mark Sparrough
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#5 RobinThwaites


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Posted 31 March 2008 - 04:05 AM

Hi Mark

As per Jamie's post, push the arm down until it is nearly horizintal before trying to turn the adjusters, optimum is when the cables are close to horizontal. Adjust only with the weight on, and yes the adjusters are likely to look slightly angled, this is normal. The key with these arms is to harmonize the two sections so that they work together properly.

Robin Thwaites
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#6 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 08:34 AM


Do you have the Workshop Workbook that came with your Workshop purchase?

Well, you know the answer to that one.

At any rate, here is how the Ultra Arm is adjusted.

You must load up the arm with a loaded sled and camera to be able to adjust it to float properly.

Once wearing the rig, you must move the arm sections up and down VERY slowly to find the point at which the adjustment screws will move freely. This is a very subtle place you must find. Move the arm lightly up and down until you find that position. Try adjusting the upper arm section first and then match the lower unit to it's performance.

The outer arm section should "lead" the inner arm section in both directions. You must make small adjustments in the arm sections and try to sneak up on this performance attribute.

I can not stress enough how subtle this adjustment and settings result is. Take your time and work empirically. Make notes and try to make a pattern to how you analyze and adjust the arm sections.


Brant S. Fagan, SOC
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#7 Colin Donahue

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 11:30 AM

I have the G50 arm and when I first got it I found the knobs very difficult to turn even when the arm was in the "sweet spot". Over time they have been much easier to turn.

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#8 Nikolay Kerezov

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 06:11 AM

Hi Mark,
"It wants to jump up over my head."
Are you using a weight cage for practicing?I think you must have at least 7-9 kilos on the sled with this arm,with less the arm will always jump over youre head( :ph34r: I tink)
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