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Making a Pan-bar system


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#1 Rob van Gelder

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 10:28 PM

I am in the process of making a Pan-bar system, for our PowerPod 2000.
It is very difficult to find any info on this, except from professional and incredible expensive solutions, while in principle it should not be too hard.

Is there any grip who has done this or had people do this for a similar system?
any info appreciated.

Rob
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#2 Warwick Hempleman

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 03:56 PM

Hi Rob,

The most expensive single part is of course the fluid head. They cost what they cost, if you want quality. For the Power Pod 2000 you'd want a good solution. There's a lot of proprietary stuff in the Power Pods, and fairly large variations in the "guts" (Hardware & Software) from one production series to the next. Have you tried contacting A & C directly? Frank and Dave are usually very helpful, and they show up early in the day (UK time), or they used to anyway :)

Good luck,

Warwick Hempleman
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#3 Rob van Gelder

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 01:37 AM

Hi Warwick,

Yes, I have contacted Frank at A&C, they are very helpful indeed.
However, their current version of the Panbar system makes our current console/computer obsolete, we basically have to buy complete new electronics which will be attached to the Panbar.

Also, this new system is mainly geared towards one-man operating video style, so not only the pan and tilt functions but all camera controls are incorporated as well.
Splitting the system so that we can use part of our current equipment, like the hand unit for the lens/camera control only raises the costs which is already very high (14000++ GBP).
Our use is mainly film-style, so a separate assistant for the focus/zoom/iris, therefore our pan-bar system should be limited to only pan and tilt.

I am figuring out how to do this, the handwheel-units only contain an encoder (and friction unit), transferring them (or equivalent) to a fluid head is of course a mechanical challenge, but possible.
I am just hoping someone did something similar before.....

regards,
Rob
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#4 Warwick Hempleman

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 02:43 PM

Take a look at the older CAMS (i.e., analog) heads. The core is a Cartoni fluid head, but the encoders and belt drives for them look pretty easy to retrofit.

Wick
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#5 Rob van Gelder

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 04:29 AM

After some thinking and experimenting I found the right encoders and had a small metal workshop make the housings.
The pan-bar works flawless, a very slight delay, probably because of the (adjustable) damping factor. The damping can be set to 0, but than the moves become too harsh. The smoothing does a good job.

There is a little demo on youtube:

http://es.youtube.co...h?v=WtkLvQs9rms

This is made around a Cartoni head.
The monitor stand is connected to the Pan-axis, but free from the tilt.

Rob

Attached Images

  • Panbar_Powerpod2000_1_1_1.JPG
  • Panbar_Powerpod2000_2_2_1.JPG

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#6 Warwick Hempleman

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 04:58 AM

Rob,

The video looks good, as does the rig. Well done! I like your solution to the monitor weight problem. Is the master / slave response always 1:1, or can you vary that, i.e., have a 1/4 turn on e control equal a 1/2 turn on the remote head?

Wick
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#7 Rob van Gelder

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 02:57 AM

Thanks for the compliment, It is amazing what you can do with a program like SketchUp from Google and some spare time.... :)
and you need a good metal workshop of course.

The ratio is adjustable on the original Powerpod 2000 console. I adjusted it here so they move 1:1, but on the fastest speed setting it will go 2:1.

This is very good if you want, as example, a motor rider riding towards and under the crane and follow it (upside down) when it drives away.
Then we use the maximum tilt backwards on the panbar, while the camera is level (did I mention the freeze-button to adjust the panbar without moving the head?) and tilt the panbar all the way forwards. This is a maximum of 100 degrees on the tilt but the camera head moves more than 200 degrees! It is possible to set limits for this on the console to get your exact start and stop.

I found that only with very violent and irregular/fast moves of the panbar, the electronics of the console cannot keep track of the encoder output and will skip part of the movement, but this is pushing it to extremes.

As we already had this Cartoni head, which nobody wants to use anymore for normal shootings (O'Connor is favored) the investment is minimal, compared to the original design of A&C.

The support of the monitor platform can be detached, for shipping. Than the monitor tray can be mounted on the panbar for those cameramen who prefer to move the monitor with the tilt as well (personally I see no gain in that or reason to do so... but there are always others who think differently....)

People who want a similar panbar for their remote head can contact me.
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#8 Onno Perdijk

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 04:03 PM

Dear Rob,

I am impressed by your achievement, echt waar! The movement looks very smooth and I can assure you that the brutal moves with some "off-fabric-panbarsystems" does not work very smooth as well.
Allhough I use AutoCad myself sometimes sketchup is faster to get your drawings done, i do admit

Congrats!


BTW: Did you find a KeyGrip willing to come over? (not that I am soliciting..., I am Happy in Holland)

Best regards,

Onno Perdijk
KeyGrip
Amsterdam Holland
www.solidgripsystems.eu
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