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XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer

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Philip FassXL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 15, 2007 at 9:09:25 am

Most of the batteries available for the Steadicam Flyer are 14v. And for one of the mounts, Anton Bauer, the AB website recommends a number of 14v batteries specifically for the Canon XL-H1.

My simple/dumb question: how is it possible to power a 7v camera from a Flyer-mounted 14v battery and not fry the cam?


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Donald BerubeRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 15, 2007 at 10:37:36 am

I think Anton Bauer sells a dummy battery adaptor which knocks down the power to 7v.

- don


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Philip FassRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 15, 2007 at 12:46:05 pm

Can't find it on their website or in the catalog. I'll call them. Thanks!


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Philip FassRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 15, 2007 at 2:55:27 pm

I found it, but unfortunately it's a special XL mount. I doubt you can add this mount to the AB mount on a Flyer.


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cowcowcowcowcow
Todd at Fantastic PlasticRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 16, 2007 at 3:34:12 am

We normally use the the AntonBauer goldmount adapter on our XLH1, which contains the circuitry to cut the 12-14v down to 7.5v... so we can use the ABs for daily use, rather than the little Canon batteries (one full-size brick will power the XLH1, well, darn near forever... we always carry at least three bricks but I've never exhausted even ONE, even on a loooong shoot and even while simultaniously powering a P+S Technik converter).

For Steadicam use (we use the Steadicam SK2), we power from an A/B brick on the Steadicam sled. Then we built a special cable which goes from the Lemo power connector up on the Steadicam stage to a dummy brick which snaps onto the camera's goldmount adapter.

I probably didn't explain that very well, but hopefully you get the picture.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Philip FassRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 16, 2007 at 11:55:26 am

Todd, thanks. Does that mean you're running the camera off the Steadicam battery? If so, do you have the standard A/B mount that TIffen offers and have some way of reducing the voltage to the camera?


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Todd at Fantastic PlasticRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 16, 2007 at 3:39:50 pm

Okkkk... shoot, I figured I didn't explain that well. I wish I was in the studio today, I'd just take a picture of it and think that'd make things clear easily... but I'll try again.

First, I'll explain our "everyday" (non-Steadicam) setup.

For everyday use, we do NOT use the little Canon batteries. We have an Anton Bauer goldmount adapter on the back of our XLH1 so we can use AB bricks to power the camera. They just last so much longer. The special XLH1 goldmount adapter has the circuitry built into it which reduces the 12-14v voltage down to the 7.2v that the camera needs.

You can find that adapter here at B&H....
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/488776-REG/Anton_Bauer_QRXLH_QR_XLH_G...

Ok, second scenario... Steadicam use...

When we use the XLH1 on the Steadicam, we do NOT put any batteries on the camera itself. We put an Anton Bauer brick on the Steadicam sled, the goldmount is built in to do that on the rear of the SK2's sled. That powers the Steadicam greenscreen montior of course, but it ALSO sends juice (12-14v) up the post and out a little two-pin Lemo connector that is on the rear of the Steadicam stage. Steadicams will come with a little cable that is a Lemo connector on one end and a four-pin XLR connector on the other, for use in powering a camera. Unfortunately, that's for Betacam use, etc, so the four-pin 12-14v doesn't do us any good. Soooo... we took one of those cables, cut the XLR connector off the end of it and connected it to a dead and gutted brick battery. So now we have a cable that will fit the Lemo connector on the Steadicam stage, and will snap onto the goldmount on the rear of the XLH1, which reduces the voltage down to 7.2v.

Looking back over that, 1) that still may not be clear. And 2) that's assuming the little Flyer has a goldmount so it will take A/B bricks, AND has the Lemo connector power output at the top. I'm assuming it does, but I don't know that. I've never used a Flyer. But that's the way all the bigger rigs are built, so I will assume they built the lightweight ones the same way (I would hope so).

If that's not clear, lemme know and I'll take a third stab at an explaination.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Philip FassRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 16, 2007 at 7:13:15 pm

I think it's clear enough to be a little scary, as it involves surgery. I'm sure it works fine, but I think a more...how you say...mainstream approach would be more comfortable for me.

Maybe the simplest thing is to use 2 batteries, one on the H1 adapter and one on the Flyer. A bit heavier, but I guess that's the only drawback. And for those of us who are lucky/unlucky enough to have brand new Canon batteries that work OK, it may mean -- for now -- just getting AB batteries to run the flyer alone.


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Todd at Fantastic PlasticRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 16, 2007 at 8:42:50 pm

It's really not scary stuff, the only thing you have to be concerned at all about is making sure the polarity (+ and -) are absolutely correct.

But if you didn't have the special homemade cable, I would not use an AB battery to power the camera, and another AB barry on the Steadicam sled. I think that would be way too top heavy to get the rig in dynamic balance... and the combination of two AB bricks plus the camera plus the rig might be too much for the Flyer's arm (I don't know what the maximum rating is). For now I'd just use an AB battery on the sled, and one of the tiny little Canon batteries to power the camera to keep down the weight.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Philip FassRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 17, 2007 at 9:08:28 am

Yeah, that's what I meant. For now, I could go with any mount they offer for the Flyer, but I'm inclined to think that someday I might be happy I went with the AB mount instead of a V or NP mount. For example, if I ever move to a 14v camera.


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Todd at Fantastic PlasticRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 18, 2007 at 1:42:27 am

Oh, you haven't bought the Flyer yet? Then YES, for SURE... go with the A/B mount. The A/B goldmount is absolutely universal in the video business. The others are very camera and/or brand specific. The A/B goldmount has been around forever, ain't going anywhere... you can't go wrong with it.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Philip FassRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 27, 2007 at 12:37:50 pm

Todd, just a followup. I ordered a Flyer and discovered that, on B&H Photo website, the one with an AB mount is $600 less than either of the other two. Still not cheap, but a bargain in comparison. (You don't see the difference until you have them "email me a better price" for each of the three.)


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Todd at Fantastic PlasticRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Jun 28, 2007 at 4:44:02 pm

Great, I think you will be happy with that A/B setup.

Now, if you are not already a Steadicam operator... practice practice practice. It's defnitely not as easy as some people think. Garrett Brown himself has said he knows of only a handfull of guys in the world that he considers real "crackerjack operators." It can be tough.

I wouldn't really recommend going to one of the Steadicam workshops for the Flyer (they are expensive, and I think would be overkill), but after you play with it for a bit I would definitely recommend finding an experienced op maybe in your area that could give you a little guidance. There are some bad "Steadicam habits" that are VERY easy to fall into and do nothing but lead to fatigue and bad shooting.

If you ARE an experienced op... well, you knew all that anyway.

Shoot steady!

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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cwukokRe: XL-H1 on a Steadicam Flyer
by on Aug 9, 2007 at 12:48:40 pm

How do you connect the XL-H1 to the steadicam flyer monitor? We can't seem to get any standard def image out using the bnc connector.

Many thanks

Chris


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