Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ryan Forte

Balancing Issues with Aero 30 and Zephyr

Recommended Posts

In efforts to try and post more on the forum rather than Facebook.

I am new to steadicam but I do believe to have a basic understanding of balance and have worked with 3axis gimbals for years.

I have two sleds currently in my possession that are exhibiting similar but slightly different issues for what I believe to be a misalignment in the gimbal or yoke. 

Let’s forget dynamic balance for the moment.

If I am setting up for a static balance with a 2.5 second drop time and I should be able to set the Fore-Aft and  Side to Side to sit level with the lens facing forward and the gimbal 90* to the right and I rotate the rig by 90* and let the rig come to a rest the horizon shouldn’t fall left or right when static balanced correct?

My only concern with my setup is on the Zephyr I have a gold to V mount adapter That is offsetting the batter left a bit. my goldmount batteries get here Monday.

Attached are links to my links to videos I made to show Tyson at Tiffen about the Aero 30. The first one I believe my dynamic balance was pretty off and in the second video I corrected it as much as I could.

Would love to get everyone’s thoughts on this because I feel like I’m doing everything right but the equipment seems off. My lacking of experience makes me question myself to and my camera build. I had even more of an issue getting dynamic balance on the zephyr with the same camera package as in the video so I switched to a weight cage to eliminate any variables with the camera build.







Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anytime you have a rig that doesn't stay balanced when panned has one of the following three issues

The Gimbal is not centered

The post is not round

Weight is moving

Its really that simple

  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah that is exactly what I thought.

The posts are stock what comes with the kits.

Nothing is moving on the rig it’s ridged as hell! I’ve been an AC for years I never make a sloppy build especially for steadicam.

Tiffen was telling me a special tool to center the gimbal myself. Do you think that one would be capable?

Or you think they need to be sent in for repair?

Thanks for the reply.

Edited by Ryan Forte

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Ryan,

I had a very similar experience with a Flyer LE. It looks like the answer might be the same as what worked for me, though unfortunately I've come to the conclusion that my expectations for the quality and performance of my gimbal were a little higher than what was realistic. You'll find some discussions about this scattered around the forum, but the gist is that smaller and/or cheaper rigs aren't going to as perfectly fine tune-able as the big rigs. I got my Flyer gimbal bearings as dialed as I think is possible, and they're still not quite perfect with a spin test. They are much better than how they were when I got it, though.

That said, the pan bearing can be adjusted and centered pretty easily. You'll pop the two small black plastic dust caps off the side of the gimbal yoke with your finger then you'll be able to get at the bolts that center the bearing. There are a couple forum threads about how to do this, including one called "Master Series Gimbal Balancing." The theory applies to yours. 

If those centering bolts are the same as mine, you'll need a "115-6 driver spanner," which is either a screwdriver or a little driver bit with two small pins with an 1/8" gap between them. I picked up the bit for a couple bucks at a hardware store. 

The catch with this process is that you want the pins to remain spaced the same as you adjust them in tandem side to side, which is tricky to make sure is set correctly without some experience. Since your gimbal seems freshly from the factory and probably untouched since, it's probably spaced correctly and just needs to be centered. Follow that 90 test procedure and I think you'll get it.

Hopefully this helps you!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Scott,

This was incredibly helpful. I believe you were right. I am probably expecting too much from these gimbals. I will say that the Zephyr gimbal is nicer than the Aero and my limited experience with the flyer. 

It turns out I already had the tool in my Ifix it tool kit. I definately made the mistake of adjusting them seperately without doing it equally as I jumped in without understanding entirely the process, but I believe its spaced propperly now. My only concern is there is a very tiny amount of play now. I think I will attempt to tighten it a touch equally.

Between the information on the "Master Series Gimbal Balancing" and some mass distribution issues pointed out by Joel. A little more adjustment and I think I'll be back out there practicing soon.

Deeply appreciate the sharing of info here!

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Ritter Battery

    Paralinx LLC

    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

    Omnishot Systems

    Betz Tools for Stabilizers

  • Create New...