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Afton Grant

Master Series Overhaul

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A recent gig in Haiti exposed my rig to some of the finest dirt it's ever seen. So fine, in fact, I perhaps could've just left it alone and let the dirt act as a lubricant. Needless to say, I didn't. When I got home, I set out to completely disassemble the sled and give it a badly needed cleaning. This turned into a complete overhaul of the entire sled.

 

All wiring was replaced. All video wiring and connectors were replaced with 75 Ohm parts, making it HD ready (still using an SD monitor). A VDA was added, along with a voltage regulator giving me 5V out of one of the connectors on the base. Back in the fall, I did half this job - removing all electronics to be left with just simple wires. This time, I removed everything and started from scratch. I also gave the gimbal a good soaking and oiling for the first time in its life!

 

It took about 3 days to do. The biggest problem was a physical one.... just getting stuff to fit. That K section looks big, and it is, but there's a lot of structural stuff going on in there that make for some awkward spaces in which to work. Also, after soaking the gimbal in denatured alcohol and applying two drops of Arri oil, I feel it spins better, however, it seems to be a little louder than before. It doesn't sound bad... I think I can just hear the bearings rolling. That, however, is only when I give it a lightning fast spin detached from the post. Any pans on the rig will be a fraction of the speed and are unlikely to produce any sound.

 

Anyway, I wanted to share this, letting fellow Master rig owners know there's a lot of life left in those rigs. I'm no longer afraid of taking my rig apart or even.......... field servicing!!! Gasp! Never thought I'd see the day. Below is a picture of the junction box embedded in the base of the rig now.

 

post-1274-0-79324100-1300545801_thumb.jpg

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I miss that rig. Made me plenty of money, and paid for itself numerous times over. Glad to see your doing the same.

 

Michael Sutton

twitter @MNS1974

 

 

A recent gig in Haiti exposed my rig to some of the finest dirt it's ever seen. So fine, in fact, I perhaps could've just left it alone and let the dirt act as a lubricant. Needless to say, I didn't. When I got home, I set out to completely disassemble the sled and give it a badly needed cleaning. This turned into a complete overhaul of the entire sled.

 

All wiring was replaced. All video wiring and connectors were replaced with 75 Ohm parts, making it HD ready (still using an SD monitor). A VDA was added, along with a voltage regulator giving me 5V out of one of the connectors on the base. Back in the fall, I did half this job - removing all electronics to be left with just simple wires. This time, I removed everything and started from scratch. I also gave the gimbal a good soaking and oiling for the first time in its life!

 

It took about 3 days to do. The biggest problem was a physical one.... just getting stuff to fit. That K section looks big, and it is, but there's a lot of structural stuff going on in there that make for some awkward spaces in which to work. Also, after soaking the gimbal in denatured alcohol and applying two drops of Arri oil, I feel it spins better, however, it seems to be a little louder than before. It doesn't sound bad... I think I can just hear the bearings rolling. That, however, is only when I give it a lightning fast spin detached from the post. Any pans on the rig will be a fraction of the speed and are unlikely to produce any sound.

 

Anyway, I wanted to share this, letting fellow Master rig owners know there's a lot of life left in those rigs. I'm no longer afraid of taking my rig apart or even.......... field servicing!!! Gasp! Never thought I'd see the day. Below is a picture of the junction box embedded in the base of the rig now.

 

post-1274-0-79324100-1300545801_thumb.jpg

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I miss that rig. Made me plenty of money, and paid for itself numerous times over. Glad to see your doing the same.

 

Michael Sutton

twitter @MNS1974

 

Ditto. Enjoyed my old MS Elite rig day in and day out till the day I stopped using larger rigs. By design it was plug and play for the Video D/A, Frameline generator and Power management. IC chips mounted on rigid plastic boards to be pulled in the field and replaced if need be. Great feature- I did have my Video D/A go down once. Since I owned spare boards, it took me less than 10 minutes to be up and flying again.

 

There is an enormous amount of field-serviceablity by design in the Tiffen Steadicams. Always useful to know how to do emergency maintenance in the field with your particular rig.

 

Best to all,

 

Peter Abraham

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Hi Afton

 

I love my Master Series Broadcast and the only thing I have issues with is the FLG. It has a wonky PCB and in order to give me a full range of adjustments, I've had to wedge a small block of perspex between an IC mount and another component which then bends the board just the right amount to work. I've had a Marell FLG board sitting on the shelf and would love to rework the innards to make a neat package like yours, any chance of getting some info/diaghrams on what you did?

 

Cheers

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Here is the wiring diagram, at least. The rest of the process is really just figuring out how to physically run the cables and make the connections. I don't have any specific words of advice for that process, other than to make sure you've got a good few days of down time available. Hit me up with specific questions if you've got them!

 

Best of luck,

Afton

SteadicamWiring.pdf

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