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 meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up? 
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:55 pm
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Post meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
I haven't heard of too many complaints with these things, and I'm sure milapse wouldn't have advocated for them for so long if they weren't up to the task. I know lots of people have been using them. But once I consolidate a shoot, it's very obvious the thing isn't moving consistently. I've only got a 7D on there with a short, wide angle, nothing that I'd think would be overloading it.

Do I just have a bum head or something?


Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:52 pm
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
If the batteries are semi flat you will have problems otherwise is must be faulty

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Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:28 pm
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
That's what I thought at first but it happens with fresh batteries.

I almost wonder if counterbalancing it would help to offset the obvious leverage caused by the shape of the thing.


No problems with yours though eh?


Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:00 pm
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
I'd contact the company and get exchanged, sure it's just faulty

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Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:42 am
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
Have you got a video of the problem occurring? Is it a problem that has been there from new or has it happened recently?


Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:23 am
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
Would it be possible to show us your setup and possibly a sample of the bad footage? It's hard to tell what might be going wrong based on your description...


Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:29 am
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
I can definitely do both when I get home from work.


What I mean though is that when you watch a clip, you'll see sudden accelerations and lags through the pan. Almost like it's lagging or getting caught, and then breaking loose, moving faster to the next point to catch up.

I might try to pull it apart and see if it's binding for any reason.


I bought the head used from someone selling a telescope off ebay.....so who knows the history. The person I bought it from seemed like she barely touched it. All orignal packaging and not scratch on anything. The hand held unit still had the protective clear sheet on the display.


Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:03 am
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
The other thing to check if you are getting a surging effect in your rendered footage, is your frame rates in rendering vs timeline.
For example if you export a 24 or 25 FPS video sequences to a 30fps output, it can create a surging look to the final video depending on the software you use.

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Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:52 am
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
Are you using the open moco software? I was pushing it too much and the head would crap out and the motor would kick in to full gear and go whilly nilly on me.
Also I have a second meade head (that I have been using recently) and it came with the #495 control. I found that if you don't calibrate the motor that the controls don't respond properly.


Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:26 pm
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
Definitely not a framerate mismatch. No blended, repeated or skipped frames. I know enough to know what that looks like. Also not using the moco software, just the normal controller and a clip.

Here's what I shot two nights ago. I was trying to see how much I can manipulate exposure through AE at a heavy transition period. So the footage is garbage but you can see the motion I'm talking about.

www.kidwoo.com/vids/martis%20output_10-5-10.m2v


Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:05 pm
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
Looks like you may well have a mechanical problem would be my best guess. Possibly one of the gears is out of alignment, causing it to drag slightly then free up as tension increases/releases.
When running at a higher speed does it sound like it is running freely and at the same pitch?
You can pull the base off to check the inside by undoing the bolt underneath the battery. To get it back together you need to jiggle it a bit and also make sure the drive gear is sitting back, it will sometimes pop forward a bit on it's toggle not allowing it to re-seat.

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Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:20 pm
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
I still want to see a picture of the rig it's self.... My gut tells me your center of gravity is a little too far off causing too much lateral resistance.

Antz could be right BUT here's another theory on this one:

The encoder wheel / optical sensor... if there is something obstructing the encoder wheel (like a little cobweb) or it's lost a tooth you could potentially see weird movement like this.


Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:04 pm
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
milapse wrote:
I still want to see a picture of the rig it's self.... My gut tells me your center of gravity is a little too far off causing too much lateral resistance.

Antz could be right BUT here's another theory on this one:

The encoder wheel / optical sensor... if there is something obstructing the encoder wheel (like a little cobweb) or it's lost a tooth you could potentially see weird movement like this.



I've got it in pieces right now so it would be a messy photo. ;) Honestly though, it's no different that what you did originally with a right angle plate. The mead head is already offset so you may be onto something with draging off balance but it shouldn't be any different that what anyone else is doing without this problem. I'm still taking it apart and looking for anything odd.


Edit: nothing blocking the gears and all teeth are fine. Running through different pan speeds though, once I get slow enough, it looks and sounds like the electric motor is sticking. With my hands on the drive gears, I can definitely feel the assembly locking and then suddenly breaking loose. It's almost like the motor isn't getting consistent enough power to make a continuous motion...


Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:19 pm
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
Here's a little vid of the gears. I do a quick pan at high speed.......motor works fine. Once I go to one of the slower settings, watch how the motor lags and surges. Turn up the volume and listen to it too. Worth noting is that once I press the pan arrow button, I never let go of it......but watch what the gears do.

http://www.kidwoo.com/vids/Meadedrag.wmv


The tilt assembly doesn't do this. It's much more constant. It's definitely just the panning assembly. This is the only meade head I've had so I'd love to know if the ones you guys are using exhibit this same behavior. At the very least, the sounds this thing makes are something to compare to what's 'normal'


Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:17 am
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
Well that ain't right!
It sounds like an electronics problem. If you know someone with a spare hand controller at least you would be able to isolate it to either the controller or the base.
I bought a replacement base cct board for one of mine a while back, cost $25.

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Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:05 pm
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Post Re: meade/milapse head doesn't pan consistently...what's up?
I would assume it's in the base itself since the higher speeds work fine. Plus like I said, the tilt function runs smoothly. I really do think it's the motor dragging. Not sure where that leaves me for repairs or if it's even worth doing. I guess I could pull it apart and try to replace the motor.


Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:20 pm
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