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Thread: Bad Monkey Mount

  1. Default Bad Monkey Mount

    Hello all

    This is my first post so treat me gently!

    I am building a merlin type stabiliser for my Canon XM2 from 22mm copper pipe and plumbing parts I happen to have kicking around.

    Below are the designs (roughly to scale) one showing parts, one showing the build in copper and one showing how it will look when finished and sprayed black.

    My question is about balance. Should the bottom weight be the same as the camera? Or is it a case of trial and error?
    Is there a formula for calculating this?


  2. #2


    I think you'll find with a gizmo like this it's going to be trial and error. As the weight and balance of the thing it's self is an unknown. The key is balance not weight.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    Like Midnight says. The only stabiliser of this type that I've seen comes with a set of weights and you add & remove them until you get your camera in perfect balance. You wuill almost certainly need to have the same sort of flexibilty as adding different mic's, lights, filters or even changing batteries will affect the balance of the camera.

  4. Default

    Thanks guys. I had a feeling it would be trial and error.

    Fortunately, I have plenty of scrap I can use!

    Will post the results when finished

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    The only thing I can think of is that the centre of balance must be below the fulcrum or the rig will want to turn over. This doesn't mean that the weights have to be heavier than the camcorder because of the 'lever effect". A small weight on a long lever exerting more leverage than a heavy weight on a short lever.

    On the other hand I might be talking complete bollox.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Warsop, Nottinghamshire.
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    The ability to move the counter weights forward or back is important too. As a proud owner of a Glidecam X10 and Pro 4000 sled - I can tell you that even putting a tape in alters the balance point. It took a considerable amount of time to get the balance perfect on mine.

    There are no formulas for calculating that I know of simply because the distance from camera to weights is different on almost every rig. I use a Z1E with radio pack, light, shotgun mic off to one side, as well as battery and so on probably weighing about 2.5 kilos. My counterweights are about 500g.

    One thing to aim for is 'drop time'. The camera should take between one to two seconds to return to vertical from horizontal, letting it swing free.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Blog Entries


    In theory, I would have thought the heavier the better (ignoring constraints on strength and usability!). For example, pick up an empty case from the ground and the bottom will wobble. Pick up the same loaded case, and it won't. I'm no scientist, but I assume it would be as much about finding the ideal weight to comfort ratio.

    Another factor you're missing is the use of a Gimbal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This will work in tandem with the weights.

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