So, those of you who are used to me are probably going ‘where are the videos with Kate running around with her new stabiliser toy’? The reason they haven’t appeared is, and it pains me to say this, that it didn’t really work.
It was better than just holding the camera. It was definitely an improvement. But it was no steadicam. It wasn’t sufficient of an improvement to get me playing around with it that much. However, it did give me an idea. But it wasn’t a dead loss.
Perhaps, I thought, I could use the pipe-creation to make a better camera stabiliser.
So I had a look around at the silver flyer type stabilisers, and decided that I could achieve much of the same result, with more ‘adjustability’ by mounting the stabiliser type handle on my existing frame. Cue Kate’s ebay trawling; and lo:
That’s a skate bearing and a Traxxas 1651 remote control car gimbal. That, there, is the most expensive bit of the thing, costing about 10 quid all in (although I’ve got a second gimbal for when I get around to making the next iteration of it, when the 3D printer arrives). Also, by random fluke, the bits of wood that we didn’t use when assembling our winerack in Slough, which we kept around because we’re both incapable of throwing such things away, well they happened to make:
A) What I thought would be a nice handle
B) An adjustable weight that fit very nicely into the existing ‘handle’ of the stabiliser allowing better counterbalancing.
With the application of sufficient sandpaper and care (yes, yes, putting it on a lathe would have been better. I don’t have a lathe) the gimbal was ‘adjusted’ to fit snuggly into the bearing:
And with the application of a little drilling, the bearing was made to fit into the handle:
Now, I have to admit, that is a bit of a sloppy fit. The bearing appears to be 22mm (I should really get my micrometer on it, but that’s its rough size). The spade drill I used to drill out the handle is 22mm, my other option being 20mm. Now, if I decide the thing is working well then I’ll consider bonding the bearing into the handle, at the moment it’s merely a push-on-fall-off thing. A snugger fit would have been nice.
The head of the gimbal was then inserted into the old stabiliser:
That, by the way, is a lovely fit.
However, it is also a bit ‘tricksy’ because whilst it’s pretty much in the middle, the thing isn’t perfectly balanced and I’ve had “some fun” this evening playing with counterweights on it because it had a marked tendency to spin when I was testing it. More playing will be necessary.
Anyhow, this is the final object (less the hodgy counterbalancing of its own weight (currently a battery elastic-banded to it)):
And you’re all going so now where’s the video?
Well, err, I shot some, but it’s fairly low-light and, err, you could see our pile of recycling in it, and it was before I’d sussed the counterbalancing so it sort of gently twirls leftwards. So, um, no, you can’t have it. But soon. Yes.
Instead, have a look at my Kintsugi:
I’m really quite pleased with the inside, as it happens. The outside’s not quite so well done, but the inside looks pretty darn nifty, if you ask me.