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HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Bergen advice
09-06-2003 01:25 PM  14 years agoPost 1

rrElite Veteran


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Ive just read in the Aus heli forum that someone in my state has been appointed a Bergen dealer.
We dont have one in this state till now.

In light of that Im now interested in purchasing a Bergen Observer cam ship.
I built the Ergo because JR was the only one with dealers in my state and I need after sales support, not interested in operating without it.

While I enjoy tinkering, I enjoy making money more.
The bottom line is the work I do on the Ergo is so I can fix it when it breaks with parts I know I can get.

Now we have a Bergen dealer the reasons above no longer exist to not own one.
Or to be spending my time fixing and twidling not working.
I also have work waiting where I did not before, and other work hinging on impressing a corporate audience.
A new Bergen and Cam should help..

Also means I can sort the Ergo at my leasure and possible spending less on it getting it up to scratch..
Not a matter of not having the funds to spend on it I just dont beleive in throwing good money after bad even if I had a pile of cash to waste.
And that investment in tools means they have to pay from themselves or they are not worth having other than to amuse yourself with.
20+ years a mechanic I have no doubts on that.

I know I can get my return on a Bergen even if much of that is simply impressing the customer in the look of it and now I have a Bergen agent here Im happy to do it.

What Bergen do we need for our new Helicam rig ?
Ill have a read around here and see what yer all running.


09-06-2003 03:16 PM  14 years agoPost 2

rrElite Veteran


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Quoted a good deal on Observer kit with modified 3.3 Zenoah G-23
I see thats a popular choice here.

09-06-2003 08:48 PM  14 years agoPost 3

rrElite Veteran


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I take all the points you make there.
I am looking at the Observer but also doing much homework first and Im reading about some various issues.
Cleary they do need some dialing in and this is kind of what I am doing with my Ergo, and close.

If it wasnt for the shake that twists the cam Im sure we can now fix, the mount and silicone dampening seems to surpass expectations and barring the twists I get every few I can run extremely low speed on the cam.

This is something I am forced to do by the senior cam guy Greg and I dont get a say in that.
If it cant do the slow speeds he cant use it and thats just the type of stuff he does. That said I dont get a lot of work from him and its all pro work (much fuss, ado and reshoots) and not fast money.
Some time ago I intended to attract more of his type but that changed a bit since.

Im now looking at some fetling time on the Bergen, more than planned and it might mean I wait a while longer and get some work out of the way first with the Ergo.
I was not aware of this issue before.
Not to take away the benefits of the Bergen, there is the HF vibes mentioned a bit which for me with stills is not something I want to take a backward step with and then have to deal with as I did on the Ergo anyway...

The better the Ergo works the less I need to replace it but if its for something that will reduce my tweaking (I expect to do the average tweaking) and testing time and impress the natives it is worth buying.
Just adding the ability to carry a bit more with a safety margin is what Im after and the observer was the first choice for that end.

Ive had a discovery in trying to get silicone tube to try on this ergo spindle and found a guy locally who can make any mount moulding with liquid silicone which has opened up option to replace my CD player mounts with a much sturdier single mount unit that allows free movement from a single pivot point dampened and suspended by the liquid silicone.
Ill have to figure how much hassle that will entail to see if its an option.

My legal maximum here in Aus is 25kg take off.
Airfoil mount is and always has been a considered option for Video one reason is weight.
Im still faced with getting a gasser here in Aus with 800mm rotor setup etc..
The other option is it can actually be fitted the an empty stills rig to do the video if the video is not too heavy being the still rig has 710's or the like.
Yeah itll reduce the payload capacity but thats the downside.
Points Im juggling.

A main issue.
Im in Australia and I am, for reasons of past experiences before helis, not keen to buy gear I dont have a local agent for after sales support.
It might not seem as important to some there but to me here dowunda it is.
Having a Bergen dealer here now makes a diff to me in that respect and dealing with a company without a local agent runs later on the list.

What I like about the Airfoil is that it obviously has good dampening for the Video as you need (and Ive found out more so recently) and for me that would not be a back step on the dampening.
In that, I like my mount because it soaks it up all bar the worst slow shake and dont want more vibe and have to live with it.
The Bergen may leave me resolving this and tweaking head speeds and "stuff".
The TRV video doesnt have any trouble on my mount either which is a situation Im happy to maintain.

The gyro is a ball kicker for the video.
The bit of concern there is not the mount to have shipped to the arse end of the planet so much, as the gyro, and is there an Aus agent for the gyro that can provide support down this way..

Ill say If I lived in the USA I wouldnt have to make half the decisions and would probably just get both and see what they do for me.
But thats life and Im here so all this other stuff comes into deciding what to do.

Youve made valid points on the options.

re the hornets nest
We could be talking about race cars or football teams, it comes with the topic..
Everyone has their fav gear and the reasons why, nothing wrong with making a case for what you use, the fact some might not agree with other or see it as critical of that they use I think is just incidental to this subject..

09-06-2003 11:03 PM  14 years agoPost 4
Ford Rollo


Surprise, AZ

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Best of Both Worlds

Why not simply buy a Bergen Intrepid Gasser and attach the AirFoil mount? Would solve both of your problems. I've seen the AirFoil rig on a friend's heli. It's not too impressive from a construction and design point of view but it does work as advertised.

I'd seriously give this option some thought. I've never heard a bad thing about the Bergen Intrepid Gasser.

Good luck.


09-07-2003 12:51 AM  14 years agoPost 5



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"It's not too impressive from a construction and design point of view but it does work as advertised."

I couldn't disagree more. Yes, the mount looks simple but it works excellent, is trouble free, and is LIGHT! In my opinion that is indeed a very good design. I just bought the gyro from John last week and it has been the best money I've spent since buying the mount. The video absolutely blows my mind. I'll post some soon.

As far as the Bergen goes, I've heard they make a great gasser but I've heard nothing but bad about the observer. It might be okay for stills (and I'm not even sure about that), but I've never seen any good video from one. I've seen some bad video from some for sure.

After getting the gyro on my mount I know I will never be without one!


09-07-2003 07:38 AM  14 years agoPost 6

rrElite Veteran


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Thanks guys

I think for my needs the observer may be off the menu.
Seems to be the concensus on the video Brad, I wasnt aware of that before and its put a big dent on that idea it has to do video.

Ford I did have that thought, yes we need a gasser and the Intrepid I would be happier with than an Xcel.
Nothing against Xcell but the dealer here doesnt deserve to sell them to Helicam operaters after the UAV stunt he tried on all of us.
Xcel dealer is persona non grata for me here in Aus.

The new Bergen agent is a nice bloke, known and respected and is not so far away.
Id like to do business with him and he can do as well with an intrepid on the price..

And on the frame I can see it does what it needs to and has no excess off it, doesnt have to look like the eifel tower to work.
My issue is the gyro like I say being thats the kind of thing id be concerned about getting serviced or repaired in my country.
For those reasons we may have to look locally for such a gyro unit.

Once Ive been to this silicone mounting guy and had a talk and a look at what he has Ill be able to decode where we go, be that biulding on the intrepid or going for something strap on.


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