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chris fawcett

Steadicam M1 Volt

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The big plan is to make the M1-V as widely available as possible.

 

Older sleds like Archer or Ultra (original and 2), Clippers, Shadows, etc. will all be able to have their gimbals modified to accept the M1-V.

 

Final details and prototypes should show up at NAB. Patience!

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With the M1 Volt Is it still possible to put the sled on our soulder in rest position?

I forgot to test that :-(

If it is not possible do you have other rest position to suggest when we are far from our docking bracket?

Thanks.

Grégory

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Gregory, yes it it possible. In the early firmware, you had to flip the "pause" switch but now the Volt fades out the tilt at a certain point figuring you're trying to tilt. Your standard rest position is beyond that point.

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Hi Jerry and others,

I have a few questions about the Volt system. Unfortunately I haven't the opportunity to get to a trade show to ask some questions and try it in person.

 

1. I notice that the Volt gimbal doesn't have the remote control for the motorized stage, I think I understand why but can you clarify that the functions that the remote (side to side, for and aft and GoTo buttons) gave you previously are now no longer required with the Volt gimbal?

 

2. Understandably having a dynamically balanced sled is preferable but to what extent can the Volt gimbal handle a sled that is not dynamically balanced when panning?

 

3. What is the un-assisted speed or virtual drop time the tilt function of the gimbal can give you? . So for example, How many seconds does it take to tilt from a 45 degree tilt to vertical? Can this speed be varied?

 

4. Reading a previous comment above from Gregory, re Resting position on the shoulder, at what degree of Tilt does the system switch off ?

 

5. In relation to the above question, at what degree does the Roll function of the system switch off ? Does the tilt and roll function switch off simultaneously?

 

5a. If a shot begins by looking straight up a skyscraper and then tilting down to find a person exiting the building, how long does the system take to engage and realize that you are not resting the rig on your shoulder but doing a shot?

 

6. I can see that the amount of strength the gimbal motors can exert can be varied, what is the maximum strength ? How many pounds of pressure from say wind blowing on the rig can the system hold the rig stable?

 

7. Can the system become confused in any way? As an example, if the system is in the tilt and hold setting and you have to do a slow switch with the rig tilted up, the tilt bearing of the gimbal progresses to be the roll axis and back to the tilt axis, similarly the roll bearing progresses from roll axis to the tilt axis and back to roll axis.

 

8. Can the motors be damaged if the Volt is set to hold the rig vertical and you hold the rig in a non-vertical position for an extended period?

 

9. Maintenance? I notice that the two drive gears with toothed belt is exposed, why is this component not covered? Does it need constant adjustment? How susceptible is this system to dust and moisture? How many hours of operation can we expect before having to replace motors, belts etc.

 

10. What is the power consumption of the system?

 

11. Gimbal centering, it would seem that the simple system of previous gimbals to center the gimbal isn't obvious in the Volt gimbal, can you comment on how this is done in the Volt or is this now a non essential adjustment?

 

12. Is it foreseeable that future versions of this Volt system could offer a virtual Pan inertia as well, which could be an alternative to using gyros?

 

Many thanks for your time to reply

Regards

Geoff Owen

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1. I notice that the Volt gimbal doesn't have the remote control for the motorized stage, I think I understand why but can you clarify that the functions that the remote (side to side, for and aft and GoTo buttons) gave you previously are now no longer required with the Volt gimbal?

not required but if you already have it (U2 for instance) you can still have it and use it.

2. Understandably having a dynamically balanced sled is preferable but to what extent can the Volt gimbal handle a sled that is not dynamically balanced when panning?

A lot. handles out-of balance sleds, gimbals. Better if all true and balanced, especially for big moves, whip pans. Your skill as an operator matters

3. What is the un-assisted speed or virtual drop time the tilt function of the gimbal can give you? . So for example, How many seconds does it take to tilt from a 45 degree tilt to vertical? Can this speed be varied?

quite variable from infinite to quite fast in either tilt or roll and independent in each axis

4. Reading a previous comment above from Gregory, re Resting position on the shoulder, at what degree of Tilt does the system switch off ?

It rolls off gradually around 45 degrees

5. In relation to the above question, at what degree does the Roll function of the system switch off ? Does the tilt and roll function switch off simultaneously?

close to 5 degrees

5a. If a shot begins by looking straight up a skyscraper and then tilting down to find a person exiting the building, how long does the system take to engage and realize that you are not resting the rig on your shoulder but doing a shot?

instantly, and gradually increasing

6. I can see that the amount of strength the gimbal motors can exert can be varied, what is the maximum strength ? How many pounds of pressure from say wind blowing on the rig can the system hold the rig stable?

That would depend on the wind shadow of the rig. It helps. Good on vehicles.

7. Can the system become confused in any way? As an example, if the system is in the tilt and hold setting and you have to do a slow switch with the rig tilted up, the tilt bearing of the gimbal progresses to be the roll axis and back to the tilt axis, similarly the roll bearing progresses from roll axis to the tilt axis and back to roll axis.

Beauty of it, it rarely gets confused. I haven't ever seen it, but I suspect that with very, very long continuous accelerations, like on a merry-go-round, would cause level drift. But you can ALWAYS hold the rig to any angle you want.

8. Can the motors be damaged if the Volt is set to hold the rig vertical and you hold the rig in a non-vertical position for an extended period?

Nope.

9. Maintenance? I notice that the two drive gears with toothed belt is exposed, why is this component not covered? Does it need constant adjustment? How susceptible is this system to dust and moisture? How many hours of operation can we expect before having to replace motors, belts etc.

Most of the time the motors and belts, etc. are doing almost no work, barely move, and are under no big strain ever. Belts of this type should last well nigh forever, but are easily available all over the world. Tensioning is easy. Needs to be covered (with a temporary "skirt") for conditions where you would also cover your camera.

10. What is the power consumption of the system?

Almost nothing most of the time - the neutral balance and dynamic balance and inertia of the sled is doing most of the work. I think you won't notice it in terms of battery replacement. I believe it can draw 2 amps if it needs to (not sure when it would, and certainly not for any length of time).

11. Gimbal centering, it would seem that the simple system of previous gimbals to center the gimbal isn't obvious in the Volt gimbal, can you comment on how this is done in the Volt or is this now a non essential adjustment?

It's set at factory - centering matches the system for the M1. It can handle out-of-center gimbals as well (a little more power draw, of course).

12. Is it foreseeable that future versions of this Volt system could offer a virtual Pan inertia as well, which could be an alternative to using gyros?

Not contemplated at this time. Thought about it, of course - the little Volt for smart phones has motors for pan as well. Increasing pan inertia with weights and/or Antlers would be useful up to a point, then one could add gyros for the odd shot.

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