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Tom Wills

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Tom Wills last won the day on June 23

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About Tom Wills

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 02/21/1990

Profile Information

  • Rig
    M1, Wave, PRO Arm, and Klassen Harness
  • Location
    Philadelphia, PA

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  1. This is a bunch of retired parts from an old Gyro system, everything appears to be functional, but it all has seen years of use. Available are: 4x PRO 1.5” Gyro clamps - $150 each 1x PRO “Gyro System” base, which is very similar to a PRO 1 base, except with a large LEMO input on the front for the battery inputs, instead of the battery cage down below. This would be a great starting point for a custom lower sled, as it has the modern PRO threaded post connector, and a lot of room inside for new wiring. Also includes new circuit breakers, and a gyro mount that slides into the dovetail on top. Asking $400 or best offer. Email me at willsvideo@gmail.com if you’re interested.
  2. I would probably use a strap wrench. While I’m sure you could use a castle wrench, a strap wrench will be a bit more universal. Also, if you’re finding that you’re getting play between the D Box and the post, that may be from the edges of the flats on the post connector being rounded over, and I know in the past I helped someone by shimming that with some thin layers of tape to make it more solid.
  3. Larry asked me to help him get the word out about these Volt button extensions he’s been working on for months, and finally has a batch of to sell. They’re a slick little machined Delrin and black anodized Aluminum part, and fit easily into the Volt with no modifications. You can find more information, as well as purchase them here, and more information will be posted soon on installation. https://larrymcconkey.com/product/volt-button-extension/
  4. Hey Kevin, I texted this to you, but I figured it may be good information for others, so I would share it here as well. As for the Wave drifting off of level, there are a couple of things that could be at play here. The first thing I would ask is how quickly it drifts off level, and whether it’s a gradual, slow drift, like it is just slowly “settling in”, or if it seems to more quickly go off level. If it is a slow “settling in” feeling, I have found that over time my Wave developed a similar issue, but that there is an easy workaround. The first few minutes after boot-up, the Wave’s sensors seem to be warming up, and while it’s a small difference, I have found the Wave to be most stable if I let it warm up, powered up, for at least 10 minutes before I check the level and tweak it in finally. Usually, if I trim it in perfectly right as it powers up, it’ll drift subtly as it warms up, and then I have to trim it back in. Over the course of the day I don’t notice it drifting much, but it’s worth checking and periodically re-trimming in, just because there will be some drift in almost any stabilization system when we’re working down at the sub-degree levels that we are working at. To be frank with you, after all the learning I’ve done about sensors and stabilization, it’s much more of an art than a science getting drift-free, precise stabilization on the scale we’re talking. Getting a sensor package to come up with zero drift is incredibly difficult, until you get into things that are much heavier and bigger than we would be willing to fly on a Steadicam, like a Laser Ring Gyroscope. Almost evert sensor package has some drift in it, because of electronic noise, or the rotation of the earth, or tolerances in manufacturing, etc..., and the secret is all in the algorithms of how that drift is noticed and calibrated out by the sensor, and from all I’ve seen, not even the best remote heads, the best gimbals, or the best Steadicam augmentation has it exactly perfect, though it’s getting closer with ever iteration, and many people will have different tolerances for what they consider “perfect”. If the drift appears to be a quicker drift, or seems inconsistent, or is drifting far enough that you are running out of “trim” on the adjustment knob, I would be more concerned, and it might warrant a trip back to Germany, which I will say has been surprisingly fast and simple to do the few times I’ve had to send something back. As for docking, I leave the wave unlocked, unless there is going to be a lens change, a flip to low mode, or my rig will be powered off. I see no reason to be sending an off-level picture, and when the Wave is locked a lot (like by an overzealous assistant), I’ve occasionally found myself flying, trying to Dutch the rig to avoid an obstacle, and suddenly watching the horizon go horribly off, only to have to apologize to those at video village. Not fun! As for outside influences, no issues. The worst you can do is strain the motor, but when using it in studio mode, on a dolly, I’ve often flown it severely out of balance, and seen no ill side effects. I do find that lens changes are worth locking the Wave for, mostly because if your assistant is particularly brutish, or the lens mount is particularly sticky, the Wave may “give up” when rotated very hard, and it can be quite unsettling for an assistant to suddenly have the camera wiggle around in their hands.
  5. One of the main things that’s kept me using SmallHDs as my primary monitors (though I will soon be picking up a couple of the off-brand new super bright monitors as backups) has been the ability to zoom and scale the picture, along with the addition of custom, easily changeable guides. I have found that in the past couple years, there has been a proliferation of DPs wanting to use old anamorphic lenses, sometimes producing odd aspect ratios, and then cropping down the sensor to fit the proscribed aspect ratio. On one particular show last year, we were using a 2x anamorphic lens on an Alexa Mini, cropping for 16x9, but not in the center - from the side of the frame! It was truly bizarre (horizons always were oddly bent, no straight lines existed on one side of the frame, and you had to be cognizant of where you put the actor’s face to make it not get too bendy... but that’s another story), but the biggest thing for me was that after you go to anamorphic, then crop down, you end up with a tiny box of picture in the middle of a giant black area. SmallHD’s cropping and scaling tools meant that I easily had available a crop which I could toggle on and off that gave me the picture area we were using, with only a little look around on the edges. No text, no giant black bars, just my frame blown up to full screen. I don’t see how I could commit to using a primary monitor at this point that didn’t give me at least that flexible of an option, and so far, the SmallHD has seemed to be the most intuitive, easy to use version of that.
  6. Fiber jumper and a few other things have sold - please check the website linked for an accurate list of what is left and pricing! Thanks!
  7. I’m helping a friend who is retiring from Steadicam operating clear out his gear package. He meticulously cared for this equipment, and it’s all in fantastic shape, ready to get out on set. Ideally we would love to sell the whole gear package to someone who’d be able to use it to start up or upgrade, but I’m willing to entertain offers on individual pieces as well. All prices are asking prices plus shipping. Tons of pictures, prices, and contact information are available at the link below: https://willsvideo.com/used-equipment-for-sale/
  8. FYI to any interested parties - I will be taking over the sale of Rich’s gear for him, including this PRO arm. Please contact me if you’re interested: 215-796-8938 willsvideo@gmail.com
  9. Just as a little signal boost for Rich, I’ve personally operated with this arm, and it’s in wonderful shape. Testing out this arm was actually the reason I ended up buying a Titan for myself!
  10. I tend to run the inverter on the back of my Klassen harness. I’ve added a bunch of soft-side Velcro back there, which means I can just slap the inverter there, but still easily remove it when I dock (very important! Otherwise you end up stuck to the rig when you’re docked!). I power the inverter from either a block battery (I carry a shoulder strap so that my dolly grip/spotter/spare 2nd AC can carry the block behind me), or from an AB Plate with a belt clip on the back of my harness as well. I also like this as it works the same for vehicle mount and Rickshaw work, which is one of the cases where I often positively need gyros. Since the inverter is already separate from the sled, it’s no big deal to put the inverter somewhere on the vehicle (I often put it on the hard mount itself, so it’s easy to switch on and off as needed), and then run an XLR cable back to the block battery, either strapped into the vehicle or tied down to my Rickshaw. I do carry short cables with the gyro so if I absolutely need to mount it on the sled, I could, but so far, I’ve never had to.
  11. Hello Wei, From what I recall, the A-30 and Zephyr arms are identical - just different names for the same arm. The difference in weight capacities you’re noting is from the difference in what they’re saying - the A-30 arm holds 30 pounds of total payload, which includes the camera, accessories, and whole sled, while the Zephyr’s rated 23 pound payload only includes the camera and accessories. The 7 pounds remaining on there is a combination of the weight of the sled, and possibly some safety overhead, to prevent parts from being damaged. I will also note that pushing this level of rig to its absolute maximum is probably not advisable. I’ve heard many stories of people breaking gimbals and dropping cameras when they’ve overloaded their sleds. So be mindful - these are not full size rigs, and they’re not designed for incredibly heavy payloads! And also important to note - I have heard that some arms may have a slightly higher weight capacity than specced, due to variations in tolerances in the spring. Just because the arm supports the load, doesn’t mean it’s not making out a part somewhere else, like the pin that holds the tilt axis in the gimbal.
  12. I totally forgot to include the price on this post - $250 USD shipped for the pair of 2 plates. Thanks for those who let me know!
  13. Just got in a new batch of these plates, and I’m keeping the price down at the previous sale price, so hopefully these can end up in more people’s kits. These can be used for balancing a camera in the vertical axis on the Wave, or for adding a little riser to clear lens supports or anything else you might need. 1/4” rise with one plate, or stack 2 for 1/2”. Demo video here: https://youtu.be/9S0q3N0mG1A Includes: - 2 “Blue Plate” riser plates - 10 extra-long 3/8” camera screws (5 for 1 plate, 5 for 2 plates stacked) - Free USPS flat rate shipping in the US willsvideo@gmail.com 215-796-8938
  14. In the spirit of the times, in which many of us are picking up new skills, like the new 3D printers in many people's homes, I've decided to take some of my projects and parts I've done and put them out in the world, for printing, machining, or making as you see fit. Hopefully more to come soon, so watch this space. https://willsvideo.com/parts/ Good luck!
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