|Minsan Sauers:Renaissance Man||
|Minsan Sauers:Renaissance Man||
So after seeing how cool of an effect a slider motion can be, I thought I'd try it with what I had laying around the house. I didn't want to bother with the DSLR for this so I just used my Canon PowerShot A75 (a very old 3.2 megapixel point n' shoot). I happened to remember my Construx toys had a cool variable speed electric motor so I used that with a bit of string and a skateboard to get the effect. Obviously the footage is terrible, but you get the idea....
So for the past couple months I've been learning about shooting video with a Canon 7D DSLR camera. I've never done any serious video shooting before, but I've always enjoyed documenting events with camcorders, so it wasn't a big leap. The web is replete with sites and videos that show you how to get artistic shots and how to use the gear, so I won't repeat all that information here. Instead, I'll show what I've done, and what techniques I've used so far.
I had front row seats to this concert, so it provided a prime opportunity to get good footage with minimal interference from audience members. The concert was well lit so I started out with 800 ISO. I was shooting at 30 fps so I used a 1/60th shutter speed. I was using an EFS 18-135mm IS 3.5-5.6 lens so I made use of the zoom quite a bit and rarely got to use the 3.5 f-stop. Ergo, not much of the cool shallow depth of field, but there's a lot of movement, so this probably allowed me to stay in focus better. (the 7D can't really autofocus well in video mode so I have to manually re-focus every time I move the lens.)
The audio input was set to Auto at first so it was very hot and distorted. So, I overlayed the album audio with the live audio. Thankfully they must play to a click track so it all lined up.
This was shot with pretty much the same settings, except I remembered the audio, and manually set it down to 1 click above "off". I think it came out pretty good considering it's just the on-camera mono mic.
Some of the highlights were getting washed out, so I moved the ISO down to 400 for this segment.
Once the headline act came on, the lighting was even brighter so I moved the ISO all the way down to 100.
Finally, for the last segment, I remembered that video looks cooler at 24 fps so I changed it, as well as changing the shutter speed to 1/50th.
This year, one of our party decided to build a new stand. It involved driving across a muddy field, and carrying lots of heavy things where the trucks couldn't go, but we got it done. It may not be pretty, but it'll do the job. Hopefully his thumb will be healed up by Deer Season.
I also got to add a roof to one of my stands. It was pre-built for a different application, but we managed to re-configure it for this one.
We also managed to squeeze in some target practice and sighting in time. All in all one of our more productive prep weekends, and we had great weather for it!
I wanted to rackmount my GK Backline 600 bass amp, but didn't want to shell out the $60 or so for the factory rack ears. Thankfully my friend Mitch had the sheet metal handy to make our own. Then we decided to rebuild a homemade 6 space rack I had sitting around. Finally I coated it with truck bedliner and called it good.
One bugaboo with this amp, is that it vents out the top, so we had to cut a 3" hole in the top of the case and naturally the amp has to go in the top 2 spaces...
The Mutazu ABS Plastic saddle bags are large and cool looking, but they have a really weak mounting system. A friend helped me out by gluing sheet aluminum to the back for strength, then welding up some "L" shaped mounting brackets to bolt the bags to. I tried to show how it all works with the attached pictures.
Perhaps you've seen the leather engine guards from various vendors, and while those look and work great, they're a bit pricey. So, as an experiment we tried making our own out of plexiglass. The mounts are made out of plastic conduit clamps that dad just ground one ear off of. We made a template from cardboard first and cut the basic shape out with the sabre saw, then used the sander and files to smooth out the rest. The pictures below are fairly self-explanatory.
Problem: the cooling fan on my aging PNY GeForce 9600GT video card was going out. It was making ugly grinding noises and needed to go.
Apparently, this is nearly impossible to replace. Nobody sells the original fan and aftermarket coolers that fit the mounting holes on the board and hard to come by as well. So, I decided to improvise a solution.
First, a picture of the original cooler. Note how it's a squirrel cage blower that pushes the air across the cooling fins. The black plastic "tunnel" keeps the air from moving away from the fins.
I had a spare case fan laying around that was about the right size. I used a side cutter to nip the upper corners so I could access the lower screw holes.
I simply chose sheet metal screws that were just big enough to fit between the cooling fins and still have enough bite to hold.
I simply soldered the old end for the fan power connector and shrink wrapped the joints.
Apply a little thermal paste to the GPU.
Then mounted the cooler back to the board and connected the fan.
I re-installed the card and it all works good. PC Wizard says it's running at 50c when idle, and 63c when playing a game. The only downside is that the fan is too big for any other cards to be installed in the computer. Thankfully I don't plan on adding any modems or anything.