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Rachel Cameron

416 Windscreen/Basket to CMIT conversion

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..a few pics of a recent little DIY project...

 

Got a CMIT. I didn't feel like buying a new basket/windjammer, and hauling two around, so I DIY'd the parts I needed. The old black one on the left held the 416. The newly minted one next to it holds the new lime flavored CMIT.

 

The durometer of the rubber bars was a trick to match, and I broke it three times in search of an adhesive that would bond the rubber bars securely to the nylon and aluminum (I'll skip the aluminum on the next one). The two rails are made of thick walled stainless steel tubing, and are seriously strong. All of my mismatched 1/4"-20 set screws bug me. 

 

The wind's howling here in Tampa right now. 15 feet up, no windrush at all. Just for fun, I had to swing the boom around rather wildly to hear any windrush at all, something that's very unlikely to happen when it matters.  It sounds great. I expected more handling noise, but it's the about the same as with the 416.

 

So I'm very pleased. One basket and black cat does both mics now. Travel light. My new motto. 

 

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Looks good! Finding the right adhesive was the original challenge for Les Drever (the founder of Lightwave Systems) as well as a rubber that would be the right compliance for the most common microphone, the 415 (later 416). I hope the shockmount can actually do its job with the CMIT, a considerable lighter weight microphone.

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I was going to say that that looked like an old Lightwave pivot/mount.  Re-purposeing  old windscreen parts into new rigs is a very cost-effective way of getting exactly what you need for the mic you want to use in the manner you need to use it.   Those (metal?) mounts look like they will last forever!   I have a pile of Rycote, Lightwave and Rode zep parts that I assemble "special use" rigs from--very handy to have around.  Well done!

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2 hours ago, Jeff Wexler said:

Looks good! Finding the right adhesive was the original challenge for Les Drever (the founder of Lightwave Systems) as well as a rubber that would be the right compliance for the most common microphone, the 415 (later 416). I hope the shockmount can actually do its job with the CMIT, a considerable lighter weight microphone.

 

Yes, I can see why, especially back then. But on this attempt, I can actually lift the whole boom pole by the aluminum hoops. I think they're going to hold. 

 

..at 170g, the 416 moves a bit more than the CMIT (95g) does. I matched the 40 durometer of the original, but I wonder if this means I could have gone with less, like 30 or even 20. I also wonder how that relates to any handling noise - less or more. 

 

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great DIY Rachel!

 

however, ain't your 1/4"-20 screws which are actually working like grub screws holding the mic in place... shuddering because of what is happening to the contact space of the screws on the mic body.... 

 

-vin

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15 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

I was going to say that that looked like an old Lightwave pivot/mount.  Re-purposeing  old windscreen parts into new rigs is a very cost-effective way of getting exactly what you need for the mic you want to use in the manner you need to use it.   Those (metal?) mounts look like they will last forever!   I have a pile of Rycote, Lightwave and Rode zep parts that I assemble "special use" rigs from--very handy to have around.  Well done!

 

Thanks Philip, I had the pistol grip milled off a few years back, and a helicoil inserted for the boom. That made it lighter, and I never used that grip anyway. And I'm glad I made this new mount, as I know the windscreen, I can move fast with it, and it's really solid. It all came in around 80 dollars. There's almost no Lightwave stuff left anywhere. I think I got [the windscreen] just as the company was going away..1998 or 97.

 

Jeff mentioned a little bit of history on the video chat, but what happened to Lightwave in general? One previous Lightwave user I know didn't like his, as the rubber bars broke off. But it appears that was worked out. I was able to. Was that it for Lightwave?

Edited by Rachel Cameron
clarification

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Speaking for myself, I liked my Lightwave zeps but they seemed to need a lot more maintenance and fixing than my Rycote stuff.  The rubber in the mic mounts for sure, the fabric that was the basis of the furry covers and the fabric that acts as a liner inside the screen all tended to fail over and over.  I replaced the furries a few times and finally gave up on them, adapting a Rycote "rat" to the Lightwave zep.   For the mounts I just kept re-gluing them, to the point that I should now do what you did and just make all-new mounts.  The liner has to be re-glued to the mesh.  But the size was very handy (esp for a large mic such as a Neumann stereo shotgun) vs the competition for when I was working alone and having to do a lot of hiking with my rig.  I definitely got my money's worth out of mine, and continue to tinker with what's left of them.   I haven't heard of Lightwave or seen their gear stocked by "the usual suspects" in many years....

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8 hours ago, Rachel Cameron said:

Jeff mentioned a little bit of history on the video chat, but what happened to Lightwave in general? One previous Lightwave user I know didn't like his, as the rubber bars broke off. But it appears that was worked out. I was able to. Was that it for Lightwave?

 

Didn't Rycote buy Lightwave like 15-20 years ago?

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12 hours ago, soundtrane said:

great DIY Rachel!

 

however, ain't your 1/4"-20 screws which are actually working like grub screws holding the mic in place... shuddering because of what is happening to the contact space of the screws on the mic body.... 

 

-vin

 

Good call, Vin. You can't see it in the pic, but I've a little square of electrical tape on the mic. I carefully snugged the screw into the tape, but not so much as to even distort it. I worked with the anodized blue one before, and it scratches pretty easily, but it doesn't chip. Conversely, this new lime green one is difficult to scratch, but chips pretty easily, so the screw would have surely screwed up the finish. Oh. It also glows under a blacklight. That might be a first.

 

The original grub screws were plastic, so they would break easily if you bumped them. I broke one a few years ago, and the other survives.

 

(I've just located a bag of twenty, and they're on the way. Thanks for the impetus.)

 

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20 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

Speaking for myself, I liked my Lightwave zeps but they seemed to need a lot more maintenance and fixing than my Rycote stuff.  The rubber in the mic mounts for sure, the fabric that was the basis of the furry covers and the fabric that acts as a liner inside the screen all tended to fail over and over.  I replaced the furries a few times and finally gave up on them, adapting a Rycote "rat" to the Lightwave zep.   For the mounts I just kept re-gluing them, to the point that I should now do what you did and just make all-new mounts.  The liner has to be re-glued to the mesh.  But the size was very handy (esp for a large mic such as a Neumann stereo shotgun) vs the competition for when I was working alone and having to do a lot of hiking with my rig.  I definitely got my money's worth out of mine, and continue to tinker with what's left of them.   I haven't heard of Lightwave or seen their gear stocked by "the usual suspects" in many years....

 

Sucks that the rubber kept coming apart. Mine never did. I'd heard others that did too. I bet I got mine at the end, when the company must have been on the way out, but that particular adhesive issue had been solved. I've surely been hard on this mount over the years. It should have come to pieces already.  I never knew why it didn't. I kept watching for it on mine, while everyone else had gone to using Rycote.

 

Incidentally, I love the DIY route, because I can attempt to improve the flaws that might have been the fatal flaws in the original design. That's the challenge, anyway.

 

The machine shop saved the drawing of this particular mount. These guys are happy to make just one. I'm sure you have someone out there that could work with you, but if your needs are anything like mine, making another would be really inexpensive. I also doubt you need one of these exact mounts...but if you (or anyone here does), I'd gladly help. 

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The final mod. I rotated and re-glued the mic cuffs. They just seemed safer, off to the side. Formerly on the top, they were more prone to be knocked, which is what happened to the original nylon grub screws. They were so extremely fragile, and they'd shear off at the slightest bump.

 

So I found these online. They were too long. When I shortened them, I realized that these were formed of a much stronger compound, so I'll likely never have them shear off again. They were so difficult to shorten and dress.

 

Thanks to vin and mark kirchner for the impetus on the nylon versions. I was just being lazy.

 

 

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