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Pro Arm/D Box query

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#1 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:25 AM

Im coming out of my (sort of) retirement for a few days next week but as ive sold my rig I'll be working with a rental, specifically a Pro 2 with a Pro Arm.

Having only used a Pro arm (and Pro sled) a handful of times is there anything i need to be aware of when using it? - Im thinking specifically of needing to switch cannisters in the arm (im flying a Milenium XL and a 435 with E-Series anamorphics) or switching the mating pin to go from my back mounted vest to a garfield mount. Is it a relatively self explanatory process that i can work out on the prep day or do i need to look for a PDF to guide me through the process.

Also is there much of an operational difference between the Dbox 3 (what im used to ) and the dbox 2 (what i have to use)? Or mounting gyros?

I'm so used to MK-V kit that im just trying to cover my arse a bit here...:)

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#2 Erwin Landau

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 08:43 PM

Hey Stephen,

So much for the retirement... was a little premature...wasn't it...

Every PRO rig comes with a very comprehensive Users Manual, especially the rental units. But in case it doesn't:

Your survival tool for the PRO arm is the 5/32 T-handle wrench, it's close in size to the 4 mm wrench but should not fit. All screws on the arm and the earlier pre-no-tool rigs are matched to take only that Wrench. Adjusting your spring tension as well as taking out the canisters(by removing the Drawbar retaining screw): 5/32.

I would use one black and one blue canister per arm section with will cover about 80% of the camera weight range and should be just fine for the XL and the 435. Put the Black canister on top in the fore arm and again the black on the bottom in the upper arm. That are the accessible canisters and you don't have to change your tool over to the other hand, you can reach and change tension with the right hand on both sections... and with the blacks easier accessible, you get more bang for your buck... more tension change for less turns.

Also non of the canisters as to be pre-tensioned before you put them into the chassis. Just pop them in and adjust ANY canister until it rides as you like it.

Swapping the Socket Block:
Use the the two (Golden) spanner wrenches (they are usually in the lid pocket of the arm bag) unscrew one of the caps on the socket block adapter vertical axle pin (at the vertical link A, no matter which one top or bottom whatever gets lose first). Pull out the axle pin turn over the socket block adapter and put back the axle and the cap, make sure it's tight. (Do not over tighten) Periodically check that these caps (six on the arm) are tight especially during vehicle mount shots.

If tools are required again 5/32 for Gimbal, Center Post and all Gyro mounts.

D-Box 2... Has only adjustment knobs on the dummy side of the rig and does not have a corse adjustment. Has a quick release lever but Still you need the 5/32 tighten it down.

Gyros for the PRO 2: you will get a battery rack Gyro mount, an AB Gyro mount for the front Anton Bauer plate, a camera Plate Gyro mount and at least one Post clamp gyro mount.

I usually used the camera plate mount for the top and the post clamp, so added one above and one below the Gimbal, faster for rebalancing.
The Inverter can be sandwiched between any of the AB plates and the batteries usually you also will get a Velcro patch with 2 AB plates where you can mount the inverter and a battery and velcro it to the back of your PRO vest and cable it from there, (the AB plates are wired together).

It's all the same from here, it's a steadicam rig after all and was around for a while now.

If you need PDF's let me know, I have them somewhere but I would have to dig...

I hope that helps, Good Luck.

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#3 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 05:34 AM

Great Advice Erwin thank you. And i really am almost definitely retired (sort of):)
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#4 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 02:04 PM

I actually sold my first PRO and Preston in 2006 as I was working almost exclusivley as a DP. I had done a low budget feature, a doc, quite a bit of second unit and a bunch of commercials and music videos. I was ready to DP full time.............

As it turns out, I ended up operating on 4 features and a TV series in 2007 and only DP'd about ten days the entire year. I ended up buying a totally new rig in 07 just because it stopped making sense to rent one with the ammount of steadicam I was doing.

So far, 2008 has been mostly steadicam with like 3 or 4 days shooting. To be honest, I like doing steadicam just as much (in fact more some times) as I like to shoot. If I could just figure out a way to have my gear magically show up on set, built and ready to shoot I think I'd do steadicam forever.... Do the cases actually get heavier the longer you have been operating???? It seems that way to me.

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