Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 07 2004


UPDATE: After adjusting the weight system, i.e. using fishing weights in the compartmentalized little box at the bottom of the frame, I think I’ve just about got it balanced (it looks better, too). I’ve updated the pictures and will try to have some test footage up soon.

I picked up the handle assembly today. We couldn’t find a decent gimbal mechanism here in Taiwan, but one day I was looking around Metalworking Street when I saw some universal joints, so I decided to try that approach. We instructed the guy to weld a handle on one end and a rotating base to the other, then attach the whole thing to a metal plate we could stick on the aluminium assembly we got last time.

After work I took the handle over to Dean’s, where he attached it to the frame. I took it home, put the camera on, and watched it flop over to one side. I adjusted the arms as well as I could to compensate for the fact that the camera’s center of gravity is not directly over the handle, but I couldn’t get it to work. The camera kept wanting to fall over, so I added some weight. No dice. I added some more weight in the form of my wallet taped to the bar. Still not so good. Then I took a soda bottle, filled it with water and taped it to the bar as well.

Bingo. This time it was relatively steady, although I may have added too much weight to the bottom; the camera was prone to rocking like a ship at sea. It is also slightly tilted to the right as the camera is heavier on that side. I’ll play with the weight system and get it just right. At the most all it needs is perhaps some adjusted mounts.

I also need to practice using the thing, especially guiding it without having too great an influence on other movement. I made a few test runs through my apartment, and it came out looking pretty impressively smooth considering it was my first time using it and it wasn’t entirely balanced, certainly smoother than many “glidecam” tests I’ve seen on the Internet.

Pay no mind to the messy weights...it works!

We used a rotating universal joint for the handle

This should be an excellent tool. I’m glad I only had to spent less than NT$2,000 instead of the over NT$20,000 the folks at Glidecam Industries wanted.

Now if I only had a crane. Hmmm…

posted by Poagao at 5:46 pm  


  1. looks cool. I look forward to seeing the test footage. Is it heavier than you thought it would be?

    Comment by Darrell — September 8, 2004 @ 12:37 am

  2. No, it’s about what I expected. I’m not sure how it will be for longer shots or ones with more motion as the screws in the arms can’t get tight enough to keep them from moving, but once I get it more or less balanced we’ll find a way to get them fixed.

    Comment by TC — September 8, 2004 @ 2:48 am

  3. Nice rig. How about you send some pictures over at Homebuiltstabilizers.com website to join the rest of the crew?


    Comment by Anonymous — September 8, 2004 @ 5:15 pm

  4. Thanks. I’d like to get the weight issue and balance completely worked out first, but I do plan to post some pictures over there.

    Comment by TC — September 8, 2004 @ 5:17 pm

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