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Ilari Sivil

DIY camera snake?

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 I have 'old school' (heavyweight) Tajima snakes (straight and curly) with break aways at both ends, can be joined together, various 'fans' etc. Very useful especially on certain types of shoot and can be repurposed easily. But a couple of years ago I had a lightweight umbilical made up: 7 pin XLR, 10 metres of Mogami (20002 AWM VM-1, o/d 5m) with only 1 breakaway. I elected to put this at the mixer end. My reasoning being: I don't like leaving 'tails' on cameras these days (and nor do the camera folk - unless they have to) as they swing about and can get damaged or dirty in some environments unless secured on a top handle of a 'beta' style camera. The other reason being, with Lopro XLR connectors going into the recorder/mixer I don't feel the need to unplug connectors for travel ('normal' XLRs I did because of the potential leverage on the recorder/mixer's I/Ps) so i wanted to leave the recorder/mixer end connected (even when travelling) so having a break away at that end means I don't have to carry 10 metres of cable around with me when I'm not sending to camera (hardwire) and i don't need to dive deep into the bag to get to the recorder O/Ps - the 7pin XLR sits in the RH pocket of stingray (with enough length on the 'tail' to sit in or hang out). If I do need to carry the umbilical, it fits into the same stingray pocket and with only 1 breakaway the amount of steel tubing I carry is reduced (btw, I would pay the extra for titanium connectors if available :-). I would not have gone for such a thin cable in my mixer to camera only days (and I still carry redundancy now). If the shoot has 10 or more crew I use the heavyweight Tajima.

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On 28 October 2017 at 11:57 PM, mikewest said:

Yep tying the the shields together perfectly OK

Also running an unbalanced return(s) no problem.

 

Ravenscourt UK make a single cable that does all this plus a coax for analogue video in the old days.

 

I used to run this out of my SQN mixer into a Ravenscourt BetaBox all the time

 

Cheers

 

mike

Unfortunately Mike the Ravenscourt solution is no more as John Pearson who owned the company closed it down about three years ago and moved to France.

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On 09/01/2018 at 10:27 AM, Malcolm Davies Amps CAS said:

Unfortunately Mike the Ravenscourt solution is no more as John Pearson who owned the company closed it down about three years ago and moved to France.

Beta box looked like a nice idea if you mainly worked on sony digi-beta for example, but didn't you need a different beta box for each type of camera? Great being able to plug and unplug 1 handed (because of the beta box solid attachment) but otherwise an expensive solution. I'd have liked a 'beta box' that fitted to a 'cold-shoe' and a 1/4" thread - keep the 1 handed thing but just 1 box fitting most cameras. Either way still need to take strain off multipin connector by hanging umbilical from camera. 

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21 hours ago, daniel said:

Beta box looked like a nice idea if you mainly worked on sony digi-beta for example, but didn't you need a different beta box for each type of camera? Great being able to plug and unplug 1 handed (because of the beta box solid attachment) but otherwise an expensive solution. I'd have liked a 'beta box' that fitted to a 'cold-shoe' and a 1/4" thread - keep the 1 handed thing but just 1 box fitting most cameras. Either way still need to take strain off multipin connector by hanging umbilical from camera. 

Wasn't it just a case of having a different set of tails if the camera didn't have XLR inputs?. Must admit that That when I used one of these boxes thirty years ago all cameras were XLR.

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3 hours ago, Malcolm Davies Amps CAS said:

Wasn't it just a case of having a different set of tails if the camera didn't have XLR inputs?. Must admit that That when I used one of these boxes thirty years ago all cameras were XLR.

it was to do with the spacing between the XLRs - which varies from camera to camera. I think ravenscourt had a box which had a bit of adjustment but not enough to allow your digibeta box to fit on a Panasonic (with XLRs). I think they also had their own (medical style) multipin connector so it wasn't a case of using your old tails.

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