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DC connector retrofit for Moviecam SL?


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#1 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 08:38 PM

So, I just picked up an ex-rental Oppenheimer Camera Moviecam SL for a song. Was wondering if it was possible to retrofit the 24v DC power connector to the modern Arri standard 2-pin Fischer to 3pin XLR so I can use Arri cables and Arri compatible block batteries?

Also, was on the lookout for compatible ground glasses. Does anyone know if the Compact GG's work?

Finally, are there 3rd party speed controls (like Cinematography Electronics) that would allow the camera to run 2-40fps like the original Moviecam Super Speed Control?

Thanks!
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#2 James Compton

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 09:29 AM

Satsuki,

 

 

  The Moviecam Super America, the Compact, Compact MKII - and the SL all have compatible groundglasses. The ARRICAM ground glasses are not backwards compatible with the SL.

 

  Regarding accesories, the MOVIECAM SL can use the following control boxes:

 

SUPER SPEED CONTROL

SYNCRO BOX

REMOTE CONTROL BOX

Moviecam Aatoncoder (timecode MTC)

Aatoncoder MK-4 (timecode ATC)

 

 

-BUT- those control boxes must be the newer type with the LCD read out.


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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 01:39 PM

Copy thanks James!
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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 08:39 PM

Had a much simpler idea - make custom cables from standard XLR3 to Moviecam XLR4. Then I should be able to use any 24v DC power source with XLR3 like a VCLX, House of Power block, 24v battery belt, etc. That should work fine, no?

Also, has anyone tried using a Cinematography Electronics Precision Speed Control 2 with the SL? Looks like it might work with a custom Lemo 12 to Moviecam interface cable. I guess Scorpio makes or used to make a Moviecam Speed Control box as well.
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#5 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 09:21 PM

Hi Satsuki,

 

didn't the camera come with power cables that work with standard 24V 3 pin XLR batteries? If not then yes you could make up your own, or make a short 2 pin Fischer to 4 pin XLR pigtail to use with Arri cables. Probably not that easy to retrofit the camera itself.

 

Unless the rental house changed the wiring, the Moviecam 4 pin XLR  DC supply socket is wired: ground to pin 1 and 24V to pins 4 and 2.

 

Not sure about the CE Speed Control sorry.


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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 11:35 PM

Hey Dom,

Nope, the camera just came with the standard Moviecam XLR4 to XLR4 cable. My understanding is that the camera originally came with specific 24v XLR4 Moviecam block and battery belts, which the seller no long had. I'm looking at my current power options right now. I'm thinking of getting an Anton Bauer belt with two Gold Mounts and XLR3 24v and XLR4 12v outs, as well as possibly a VCLX/2 or House of Power battery block system (pretty expensive, more than the camera!) Or I could always just rent VCLX's when I need them.

The camera has Oppenheimer Camera (Seattle, WA / Portland, OR) labels on it, looks like the only mods they made to the camera are: swapping the 2-pin 24v Fischer accessory port next to the PL mount to the Arri standard 3-pin Fischer 24v R/S, and changing the pin-out on the XLR4 DC input to Pin 1 Ground, 24v to Pins 2 and 3. Dunno why they did that, would that somehow make it more compatible with other XLR4 systems?

I'll probably just call Oppenheimer tomorrow to ask. See here: image.jpg
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#7 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 02:03 AM

Oppenheimer probably just changed the wiring so that the cables were more straight-forward to make up or repair - pin 1 to pin 1, pin 2 to pin 2, pin 3 to pin 3.

 

Crazy days when a battery costs more than a beautiful camera like that.  :blink: The movement is basically identical to one from an Arricam, it's a jewel of modern engineering.

 

Hope you get to use it!


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#8 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 02:06 AM

Actually, the wiring was probably changed to avoid plugging 24V into 12V appliances that use 4 pin XLRs (which are wired with pins 1 and 4).


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#9 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 01:29 AM

Thanks Dom,

Yeah she's a real beauty. I put up my Canon Compact Zooms on her today, felt real good. Have a few projects I want to shoot on 35mm, can't wait! Now if I can only find 2.35 Scope and Super35 1.78 ground glasses...

Out of curiosity, why are there two hot pins on the XLR4 delivering 24v? Wouldn't you just need one hot pin? When I make up the custom cable, would l connect only one of the hot pins on XLR4 to pin 2 on XLR3?

Thanks again,
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#10 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 02:36 AM

To be honest I'm not sure why they specified 2 hot pins, our SL is actually only wired up to pin 2 for 24V, but all the cables are wired to both 2 and 4. Can't recall if the Compact is wired the same. It might have been an idea to split the start-up current across 2 pins to reduce potential arcing damage to a single pin. Just guessing really.

 

You can take the motor side cover off fairly easily to have a look at the power socket wiring if you're curious, just make sure the mirror is turned to the door side to avoid damaging it and watch for the connector at the bottom. Or just wire up the cable plugs with 2 hot pins and be done with it.


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#11 Dan Finlayson

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 04:11 AM

I've got a Moviecam Compact and the rental house I bought it from supplied me with XLR4 to XLR3 cables.  Just make sure to very clearly label them!


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#12 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 10:38 PM

Awesome, thank you gentlemen!
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#13 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 04:58 PM

Ok, I opened her up and it turns out on the XLR4 only Pins 1 and 3 are wired up, Pin 1 Ground, Pin 3 +24v. Should be pretty easy to make up the cables.

Is there anything in here I should be lubricating or oiling regularly in here?

Also seem to be missing a few 2mm body screws near the R/S ports, looks like maybe I should replace those, making sure not to poke anything important on the other end? Or seal them up with electrical tape at least.
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#14 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:14 PM

No regular lubrication (a la Panavision cameras) required, just a periodic service which isn't really something you can do yourself. I'd contact Oppenheimer and see if they have the camera's service history, ask them when they recommend the next service. Depends also on how much film you put through it and what kind of environments you subject it to. Preventative maintenance is (was?) more of an issue for rental houses, who might be supplying large features or other productions where even a tiny camera issue can cost a lot of money, and who have a reputation to protect. You can probably be more relaxed about it. But you also don't want the movement to seize because the lubrication dried up.

 

I'd ask Oppenheimer about the missing screws, they should have spares. And yes, make sure they are the right length.

 

 


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#15 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:51 PM

Got it, thanks again Dom! If you're ever in SF I'll buy you a pint or three :)
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#16 YUSUKE YAGISAWA

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 09:07 AM

Satsuki様

もう解決された?とは思いますが、投稿テストを兼ねて投稿致します。

 

1.接続の際には電圧テスターでピン間の電圧を測って、それから特注XLRプラグを作るのが一番です。

プラグは自作が手っ取り早く且つ自分が望む形式にできますが、確実性を求めるなら近場の電気屋さんに頼むのがいいかと思います。

私はsuperamericaのバッテリーは車用のバッテリーの配線をいじって使用しています。

 

2.3. clairmontcameraがmoviecamの特注パーツを色々作っているので、一度問い合わせてみてはいかがでしょうか。

 

1. it's best way to check voltage between pin to pin to avoid breaking camera electric circuit when connecting battery and camera.

 

2. you would ask clairmont camera about groundglass and external speed control.

 

thanks!

 

YUSUKE


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#17 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 04:39 PM

Arigato Yusuke-San!
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