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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #1
aridan
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Default Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

As the warm season is nearing, some of us here are trying to DIY our own rigs. I for one, am actively working on one as we speak but I'm still shopping around for the right mounting elements (magnets vs. suction cups).

I did a search but could not find a single thread, which incorporated all the info in it. Sure, there is information scattered around in individual threads that some of the members here so generously put together; but I thought it would be a good idea for people who built their own rigs to post their DIY info (if they are kind enough to do so). Some other members have been reluctant to do it for reasons that are beyond me. I know that I will be back with my own instructions and setup photos as soon as I have my rig all ready to go.

UPDATE: MY RIG

Also, any links to online stores for equipment/parts are very welcome.

Let's not try to link other threads in here but rather incorporate the info right into this thread so people don't need to click around and open up 20 browser windows.

So let's get the tread going....

TIA
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Last edited by aridan : 11th of January 2009 (Sun) at 08:50.
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #2
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

I'll start.

I decided to improve the rigidity of the rig I built yesterday by adding some rear counter weight and a spreader and wire. It helped a lot. The rig barely vibrates now. I didn't shoot any shots of the Z 'cause it's raining outside but here are some shots of the rig itself.









This is the view with the camera mounted on the rig.









I didn't really "plan" it per se, rather I just started building. I based it on designs I have seen here and elsewhere. I had purchased the suction cup mounts a few weeks ago so I had already had those ($106 for two w/1/4" mounting threads)

Yesterday I bought an 8' section of square tube aluminum ($27) and some fasteners ($4) and built the rig. I also had a Bogen ball head that fit my monopod. I simply unscrewed that and used a 1/4" x 1.5" bolt to mount it to the 8' tube. The first rig was simply the 8' tube with two suction cups mounted on one end and the ball head on the other. It worked ok but it had too much "bounce" for my tastes. The test shot was shot at 1/2 sec. I wanted a rig that would handle 1-3 second exposures so I set about to make it more rigid.

Today I bought 2-3' perforated steel angle plates, a 3' aluminum square tube, eye hooks, cable, T bracket and a bunch of nuts and 2" bolts. (Total cost for this material was $114.) I built the rig in the pics with this. The steel plates extends the length of the 8' pole by another 3' but more important, it acts as a counter weight (the reason I chose steel). Adding the spreader and tension wire acts to dampen any "spring" to the rig.

The suction cups hold quite well but I just ordered three industrial magnets with 115 lbs of pull each ($45 total) to add to the rig when I want to mount it under a car rather than on the hood. I'll also need to figure out how to make an adjustable joint so I can angle the 8" tube up. I'll secure the joint with bolts and a cable tensioner.
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #3
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

This is a test of the original rig I Used the wife's car for a test subject.




Un-retouched shot


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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #4
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

Awesome! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #5
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

Also, I was wondering what the general consensus was with regards to the pros/cons of magnets (under-body setup) vs. suction cups (off-body setup)...
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #6
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by aridan View Post
Also, I was wondering what the general consensus was with regards to the pros/cons of magnets (under-body setup) vs. suction cups (off-body setup)...
I think they both have their merits. That's why I ordered three magnets last night. I want to be able to convert my rig to underbody as well as suction cup mount.
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #7
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

I have 3 Cullmann Suction cups and 3 Manfrotto Superclamps

All I need is to find some sort of telescopic pole or sections or tubing that I can connect

Everything I've tried so far has waaaaaaaaaaaay too much bounce as soon as any real length is used.

jcolman - I quite like your cantilevered design. Where did you get the wire from?

Most of the cars I shoot are too low to go under the car, so suction cups are the only option for me
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay McLaughlin View Post
I have 3 Cullmann Suction cups and 3 Manfrotto Superclamps

All I need is to find some sort of telescopic pole or sections or tubing that I can connect

Everything I've tried so far has waaaaaaaaaaaay too much bounce as soon as any real length is used.

jcolman - I quite like your cantilevered design. Where did you get the wire from?

Most of the cars I shoot are too low to go under the car, so suction cups are the only option for me
Thanks. I took a cue from my sailing days.

The wire came from Lowes. Home Depot also carries it. You can buy it by the foot, cut it and crimp it in the store. It really helps to control bounce.
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #9
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread















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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #10
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #11
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

Ah i'd love to have one of these. No idea how to go about it though.
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #12
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by catz1ct View Post
Ah i'd love to have one of these. No idea how to go about it though.
The pics are pretty self explanatory. Go for it.
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #13
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

I think I'm gonna revisit my rig tomorrow and try and go down the cantilevered route.

Main thing for me is having something I can easily transport
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #14
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

Some quick and dirty test shots of my rig in action. I was testing to see if I could get a 3 second exposure without blurring the car. The best time is still around 1-2 seconds. Anything after that and I pick up too much camera motion.











and a quick PS image






I'm going to build a magnetic under the car rig next.
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Old 21st of April 2008 (Mon)   #15
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Default Re: Official Automotive Rigs - DIY Thread

jcolman: Have you tried mounting the rig towards the rear of the car for longer exposures? Cutting down on the engine vibration may help. Finding a smooth road couldn't hurt either.
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