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Varavon Motorroid, best motor solution for sliders
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    • strong motor
    • works with any Varavon sliders (Lite, S, etc)
    • variable speed from fast to very slow
    • safety clip that allow unit to stop as it detect it
    • tension is very easy to adjust
    • works with 90 degree and 3kg weight using belt
    • 45 degree and same 3kg weight using wire
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  • 52 Replies sorted by
  • It does get a little noisy on the fastest setting or if you're over the limit with weight. I found the sound levels pretty low otherwise, barely above the slider movement itself.

    The recommended weight limit for the motor is 2.5 kilo. I found it pretty strong.

    If you watch the end of the video, like 12minute on, you can see what happens with my about 4.5kilo bmcc rig, it pulled it at 45 degrees but not any steeper.

    Almost all of the slider pulls were filmed with live audio from either a zoom h4 or the gh2 directly. Those volume levels are live. I didn't film with any audio from the bmcc, because it's audio is so bad.

    In short, for me, the audio level of the motor isn't an issue. For level pulls with loads under a few kilos, the motor plus the slider is quieter than most friction slider without a motor.

    If you stress the motor it does get loud to the point it will be an issue.

  • I have some dailies somewhere with the BMCC on-board sound but nothing from the boom or lav mics. During rehearsals our sound guy told me he was picking up the slider really well so I decided to go MOS.

    Also not sure what you mean by normal distance. If the slider goes 3ft from talent, it goes 3 ft from talent. If it goes 10ft, it goes 10 ft.

    It's fine for MOS stuff or on it's slowest setting but as soon as you ramp up the motor, it starts to whine. But I guess that is a tradeoff of not spending $5000 on kit.

    And I'm second guessing the weight limits. I tried it with my BMCC rig weighing in around 17 pounds and it loosened the bearing pretty fast.

    I'm probably just exceeding the limits of it like I've been doing with all my gear from GH2 days.

  • @vicharris

    Can you post video example, just small unedited part with lavalieres used at normal distance?

  • Just a heads up, this thing is too noisy for narrative work when you're recording audio. Also all Black Magic cameras pick up some sort of frequency interference when they are on it.

  • @marx92

    May be, but it is made for Varavon sliders.

  • Should the varavon motoroid work with the konova slider also, since the varavon and konova are so similarly built?

  • I did a pretty extensive video review of this motorized slider. And how it works with my BMCC and GH2

  • What @Vitaliy_Kiselev said. That head he's talking about is sold by many companies. I have two and I think one is from Cowboy Studios. It's what I use and it's a damn fine fluid head for the price. I also have another one on a lightweight tripod when I'm using just the camera and nothing else rigged up.

    Actually I just looked it up and every company has the same number as the model number, 717...funny.

  • May be not the least expensive, but for the price, they are very well made, very smooth, and that snap in/out system have us sold. Just bought a bunch, and so far no issues yet.

  • @jaecjaec

    I am not so sure about value.

    I suggest to check usual 717 Weifeng and also Benro heads first on ebay.

  • btw, can anybody recommend a flat bottomed fluid head for these varavon sliders?

  • Just took delivery of a Slidecam S200 (6.5ft of slider) and the Motorroid - first impressions are excellent. Working well with Naztech 15000 mAh Powerbank battery. I'll post some footage as soon as I use it in anger. I can already see how a small fluid head would work better than the ball and socket I'm currently using.

  • @donniewagner ....I just bought one of these...AA batteries are available everywhere on earth. Put in some good Lithium AA batteries and you're good for a while.

  • For ~$500 I am very happy with the combo of the Lite 600 slider and Motorroid unit found here http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/1029/catchit-deals-varavon-day#Item_1

    My battery is giving me problems but I bought a cheap one off ebay so not at all the fault of Varavon. (if anyone has a suggestion for a decent and right priced battery let me know.)

    One suggestion to Varavon is to have the Motorroid unit attach to the slider with more than one screw. If it were attached with two screws on each end, rather than one, I believe it would be more resistant to loosening. This wasn't a major issue, but was something I noticed.

    Above is the first video I did with the slider and it added a ton of production value to the short film. I probably overused the slider because I was excited about adding that slow, steady, cinematic motion to my shots. Combined with a 90 degree plate I was able to get nice looking pseudo-jib shots (the camera moving vertically instead of horizontally) in the garage and over the stone wall. I'd also suggest getting a good ball head to go between the camera and the slider to quickly be able to level up any shot. Huge benefit. The best part of using the motorroid is its ability to slide the camera very slowly, and very steadily. When I use the slider without the Motorroid, I cannot move the camera as slowly and steadily, and the "high production value" look is lost.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Donnie

  • Ordered mine last week with separate battery off eBay. Should have everything by the first or second week of April. Looking forward to posting some tests.

  • @peternap Perfect! Thanks sir.

  • @peternap Good idea. Let me know if you ever do try out the limiters and if they work for you.

    Also, what battery did you get? I'm running it off my ATC power supply for my camera but don't want to do that all the time.

  • @vicharris I'm not worried about the parts. They can be had for almost nothing. So far I love the thing. I didn't even bother putting the limiters on.

    I am going to put a clip of some kind on the belt so I can tale it off of the adapter plate without cutting the wire ties. That way I can have a seperate belt for each slider.

  • @peternap I think all power supplies have the European adapter. Mine does too but all you need is the cheap 110v plug to switch it over. As for the small screw, all it is, is a 3/8 camera plate screw. I didn't even know I was missing one till all the sudden, Varavon overnighted me one. I was just using parts that I had on the table anyways. I thought it was pretty cool that once they realized they forgot a $0.50 part, they sent it out! Let me know if you can get the limiter stops to work. Mine do not press down the little white tabs on the end to deactivate the motor. Varavon still hasn't responded back about it. Maybe I just don't have the belt tight enough but I have it cranked down pretty tight. It seems tighter than the instructional video.

    Still a fine looking and smooth motor add on, don't ya think!

  • Mine finally got here and the power supply is European and it's missing the small screw that goes in the adapter plate. Neither is a big deal and I hooked it to the Power Supply for my Lilliput. Works great. Now if my battery will just get here.

  • Looks like mine is about ready to ship. I have a small Varavon slider that I'm going to set the belt for but I also have an inexpensive 48" slider that is difficult to use. Hopefully the rope trick will work with it. Has anyone tried that yet?

  • Yeah, she put her name on it. :)