Jump to content



Photo

Developing product to simplify rig - "umbilical" or "snake"


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Benjamin Holland

Benjamin Holland

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago

Posted 04 December 2018 - 02:01 PM

Hi all,

 

After putting one together for my own use, I'm toying with the idea of developing a product that I have found to be very useful for some situations on set. It is a small box that mounts on the back of the camera and connects to various inputs/outputs of the camera/evf. It then has a jack for a simple, relatively thin and light umbilical cord that goes to a bag (I use a small sound bag) that contains teradek, timecode, camera hop, battery, etc. This bag can be worn on the back of the operator, held by the ac, etc. The cord can be easily connected/disconnected with one hand. It's as easy as plugging in a microphone cord. Advantages of this approach to rigging include:

 

1. Reduced time building/tearing down camera on set. The bag of accessories can be easily pre-built and, much like sound kits, can really stay wired up permanently if someone owns all of it.

2. Time, money, and back pain savings due to lighter, simpler, and smaller camera rig. Sliders, jibs, etc. can all be smaller, less expensive, easier to transport, etc.  Multiple cord lengths are possible for different scenarios. The camera can also be more easily rigged in difficult to reach places while allowing access "on the ground" to many of the things that might require adjustment. Very light-weight shoulder setups become possible. My own go-to kit for small jobs is an Fs5 with a Fujinon MK 18-55. Without all of the accessories, it is a feather that I can carry on the shoulder all day without discomfort. Also, the camera without all of the accessories can much more easily be thrown into a bag for mid-day transportation.

3. Easy camera switching for shoots that contain alternate camera options, or even just multiples of the same camera for fast switching from one rigging scenario to another. Rather than building two entire rigs, or switching every accessory over one by one and rewiring, you simply disconnect the umbilical from one rig and plug it into the other. Done.

4. Instant transition from rigged to un-rigged camera setups. You don't have to choose between the ultra light weight of, say, a naked fs5 or c200, and the capabilities of a fully rigged system. One plug can make the transition. So If the operator needs to run grab a quick shot in a car alone, say, they can pull the plug, grab the newly tiny camera, and go. 

 

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you in advance!


  • 0

#2 Chris Steel

Chris Steel
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 52 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • London

Posted 09 December 2018 - 07:57 AM

Certainly sounds interesting. Beats making up 2m cables for everything and strapping them together.

Is the umbilical relatively light and flexible?

What outputs can be put on the end?


  • 0

#3 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 12349 posts
  • Other

Posted 09 December 2018 - 06:51 PM

We made something like this for quick disconnects some while ago. It was designed for ENG situations and had the two XLRs, hirose power and headphone monitoring down a single cable, via a multipin lemo.

 

Worked quite well.

 

P


  • 0

#4 Benjamin Holland

Benjamin Holland

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago

Posted 09 December 2018 - 08:29 PM

Certainly sounds interesting. Beats making up 2m cables for everything and strapping them together.

Is the umbilical relatively light and flexible?

What outputs can be put on the end?

The latest prototype's cable is relatively light, but only moderately flexible. I'm working on finding more options for multi-conductor cables with the right contents and higher flexibility. The most difficult part, in terms of capacitance, is SDI, so it's a matter of finding the right multi-conductor cable that has proper 75 ohm, low capacitance coax lines.

 

Currently, I have power, one channel of audio (I never use more than one channel camera hop, so I don't see the need for more; please correct me if wrong.), and 3 sdi lines. Of course any of these can be used for Timecode, Genlock, etc., like any other 75 ohm coax cable.

 

My dad, who is an audio engineer, suggested I make my own "multi-conductor cable" using the ol' braided sheathing and adhesive lined shrink tube method. For a short run that is a possibility, and would allow more flexibility with the precise types of cables included in the "cable."

 

What would be your dream list of available connections?


  • 0

#5 Benjamin Holland

Benjamin Holland

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago

Posted 09 December 2018 - 08:40 PM

We made something like this for quick disconnects some while ago. It was designed for ENG situations and had the two XLRs, hirose power and headphone monitoring down a single cable, via a multipin lemo.

 

Worked quite well.

 

P

Interesting. I was wondering if I would run into anyone who had made something like this.


  • 0


Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Visual Products