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bmazin

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Everything posted by bmazin

  1. I'm planning to stick a sony HD handcam behind them. They are from Video Rays, and they are not optically perfect, but we'll do some tests and see how good they are. I think for a pro setup it would be better to put lights behind the domes and mount a true housing between them.
  2. 50 lbs of thrust 20 lbs dry weight 14.8V 32 Ah battery pack - 1.5x the stored energy in a NiMH X-scooter battery pack 42 minute burn time at 75% throttle Optional dual 21W HID fixed focus lamps Dual independent throttle control (Tank Drive) Separates in minutes into 2 Armjet microscooters http://jetboots.com/index_files/Page432.htm I took it out on Sunday for its maiden ocean dives. It performed really well. Easing off one of the throttles allows for very sharp turns, but it makes really nice sweeping turns at full throttle as well. We've got some minor issues to work out - we're going to improve the throttle mechanism and replace the fixed arm ring with something more adjustable before we go into production. One of the major uses I see for this platform is video. With two wide angle HIDs in the Armjets and a camera mounted in the center should be very stable and fast.
  3. Don't most modern cameras have some sort of anti-shake feature built in that would take damp out the vibrations? This could be an issue, but I guess we'll find out when we try it!
  4. I'm working on making a photo/video version of this. Picture this - 2 armjets with 21W HID equivalents in the domes (probably LEDs) attached together by 2 ~2' poles. Below these two poles in the middle you hang an HD camera housing. Each Armjet has independent throttle control, so you can drive it like a tank - extremely fast left/right turns. It should be as fast or faster than a gavin/ss/X-scooter but weighs only 20 lbs without the camera. You could mount a remote LCD in a convenient place so you can frame your shot while using both hands to control the rig. Just guessing, but I doubt there are many 4-5 knot motorized camera platforms with built in lights for ~$6k. Any video pros/documentry film makers out there think this could be useful? Here is a (terrible) sketch of what I'm thinking. More to come as this gets closer to reality.
  5. Hello all. We're introducing a new underwater propulsion device on Monday, and I thought I'd give you guys a heads up. This new scooter, named the Armjet, is a derivative of our Jetboots (J-DPS) product line but aimed more at the recreational diver. We basically took the guts of a single Jetboot thruster and half of a standard Jetboot battery and stuck them into a 5" diameter aluminum cylinder. You use the resulting DPV as a one-handed scooter, with your arm either straight out in front of you, or bent and below you (imagine the arm position of bicep curl but with your palm perpendicular to your body). You can probably hook it to a crotch D-ring by looping a cord around the base of the arm ring, but I haven't tried it yet. The resulting DPV has about 25 lbs of thrust but only weighs 9 lbs. It is pretty close to neutral in salt water. Now the best part - we made the front a dome port, so we can stick some interesting things in there - like a 10 or 21 Watt HID light running off the main battery, or a video camera. I'm thinking a Sony HDR-SR7 will hit in nicely with a bit of an extension port. This little unit is really fun. It is hard to believe something so small can put out this much thrust, especially since the battery lasts almost an hour at 75% throttle. This isn't designed for a tech diver in doubles and a drysuit, but it moves a skin diver or a person in a compact tropical rig around really well. I think this is really a new class of scooter –a microscooter. It is extremely small and portable so it easy to travel with. Doubling as a nice HID light is also nice. We're starting to take orders on Monday. The price for a place in the first production run will be $2500. Mention you're from the wetpixel and we'll take off $100. More information is available www.jetboots.com. I’ll check back here to answer any questions. Hopefully we'll have some more pictures and video up soon!
  6. While I didn't take the picture, I did build the Jetboots on the diver! From: http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/070.../gallery17.html
  7. I got burned by paypal once as well. I sold something on ebay, and the sender sent the money on paypal, so I sent the item, and got the money as a check from paypal. A month later paypal said the account was used fraudulently, and demanded the money back (and the damn $1.50 check fee, those cheap bastards). They would have sent a collection agency after me if I didn't reimburse them. It REALLY pissed me off. My mistake was that I have different user names on my paypal and ebay accounts (my accounts predate their merger) and I didn't ship to a verified address. You really need to read the fine print - there are very severe conditions for qualifying for their "protection". I filed a wire fraud complaint with the FBI (I had the address the item was shipped too, after all) - guess how much that did?
  8. I heartily disagree! Kona's reefs are rather monotonous - where it really shines is big critters in wide angle.
  9. I just finished editing up some video from a recent Jetboots trip to Kona - let me know what you think: http://www.jetboots.com/jetboots2.mov (warning: the quicktime file is pretty big at 47 Mb)
  10. I am going to be diving with DiveTek in Kona on Tuesday and Wednesday 8/31 and 9/1. I want to get some video of Jetboots (http://www.jetboots.com) for marketing purposes. If you have access to a housed 3 chip mini-DV video camera and would be interested in doing some filming I will pay for the boat trip and a reasonable fee. If interested, call me at (626)833-6530. Thanks, Ben Mazin President, MST, Inc.
  11. There is a very small pin on the black base that need to line up with a hole in the camera bottom before you screw the camera down. The only alignment problem I had was that I needed to put some electical tape on the aperture button since the screw control was not quite long enough.
  12. Some shots from catalina with canon digital rebel, Aquatica A300, 2 DS-125s, and the canon 100mm macro lens. A very rare Scythe butterflyfish - first time I've seen them, and I had the wrong lens, but you can at least ID them from this pic. The rest of the gallery is at: http://www.jetboots.com/catgal060504/
  13. A quick update - I've pretty much abandoned this plan since Aquatica seems to have gotten things working with their ICU board and this will allow me to use more powerful underwater strobes than the 550 EX. No fast pulse mode, but I'll live.
  14. Just got back from Curacao with my Drebel, A300, and 2 DS-125s. The trip went well. I had some minor issues with my beta version ICU board, so I shot manual most of the trip. The wide angle shots are with the 18-55mm kit lens behind the dome port, mostly at 18mm and around f/4.5. The macro shots are with the canon 100mm macro. The gallery can be found here: http://www.jetboots.com/curgal/index.html Some highlights are shown below:
  15. I was exhausted last night, and forgot to thank Ken Ashman of California Digital Diving for getting everything together in time for me to have some test dives before my trip - very good work, thanks!
  16. I got my A300 on Friday night, and went to Catalina today and tested it out. My current config is a Drebel with 1 Gb CF card, A300 with dual bulkheads and manual board (getting the ICU when it is ready), 2 DS-125s each on 2 12" ULCS arms with Nikonos-Ike synch cords. ChrisM took some pictures of me in the water that he will probably post - how about the good ones only, Chris. First impressions - the housing is significantly smaller than the Titan D100, and looks good. I like the fact that all the buttons are labeled! There were no instructions, so I made some errors along the way. Here are some pointers that will save you at least an hour. 1) The electro-mechanical shutter release works very well in the water, but you need to set the communication mode variable in the Drebel setup to "PTP" or most camera features will be disabled when you plug the shutter release cable in to the camera. 2) Be careful installing the strobe hot shoe - the connector is not directional and it is easy to put it on backwards. Just look and make sure the pins line up. 3) I had to add some electrical tape to the aperture screw control to make it depress the button enough. First dive was with the 8" dome port and shade, but no camera to check for leaks. Not a drop. The housing + arms +strobes was slightly bouyant. Second dive installed the camera with the kit 18-55 lens. All the WA shots in the gallery were taken on this dive at 18mm. Vis was only 20-30' with a lot of particulate, and this was my first dive using manual strobes (coming from a 4040 with Ike optical TTL), so there aren't any fantastic shots, but some decent ones showing good optical performance. On some of the sunburst tests I can see the writing on the front of the lens - I'll need to black the letters out next time. The third dive inserted a sigma 50mm macro lens. All the macro shots in the gallery were on this dive, including this business end of a sea cucumber. I'm not too fond of this lens (which I just yesterday) - the minimum focus distance is way too close. I'm going to return in and get the canon 100mm. So, overall impressions on the housing (remembering I've never used a SLR underwater before) 1) I really like no shutter lag! 2) The shutter release makes a half press easy - I like it. 3) My rig is about neutral with the 8" dome + shade, a little negative with the macro port. Perhaps the extension ring for the 100mm will bring it back to neutral for macro. 4) The 2 12" long arms might be a tad bit of overkill. 5) Manual strobes wasn't too hard, but the control layout for M mode wasn't great - the screw in control to change the dial from shutter to aperture is a bit hard to do. Too bad the Drebel doesn't have a second command dial. This isn't reallty an issue for macro where I just left the shutter at 1/200 sec. 6) I had no problems seeing through the viewfinder. 7) I'm looking forward to the ICU coming. See all the half-way decent shots at: www.jetboots.com/031304gal/index.html In this gallery there was no real image alterations. I developed them using C1 Rebel. I'll be in Curacao March 20-27th so I should have some better shots after the trip. Ben Mazin www.jetboots.com
  17. I'm going to be selling my UW camera to make room for the new digital rebel housing. I thought I'd offer the stuff here before I put it on Ebay. Olympus 4040 + 3 128 Mb smartmedia cards - $325 (excellent condition, never had any problems) Inon UWL-100 wide angle lens - $300 (near mint condition, retails $350) Inon UCL-330 macro lens - $160 (near mint condition, retails $180-245) Email me at ben at jetboots dot com or call 626 833 6530 if you're interested.
  18. It works. This was taken with a digital rebel, ST-E2 transmitter, 550EX strobe, 18-55mm EFS lens, f/4, 1/160 sec. The camera was placed at one end of a 3' long aquarium with rather crummy water quality and some algae on the walls. The aquarium is made of 3/8" glass. A bellows was constructed so all the light from the transmitter needed to pass through the aquarium to get to the strobe, which was held at the other end of the tank and pointed back towards the camera. If the strobe fired, we expect a bright light in the camera field, which we see. If E-TTL is working, it shouldn't be all that blown out, as seen. Apparently, Canon uses some kind of small flash bulb with an IR filter in front to send the info, and you can see a distinctive red flash as the strobes communicate - the wavelength is probably lower than I expected, hence the transmission easier. I tried multiple shots, and it worked perfectly every time. Since this trial was sucessful, I am going to build some housings for the strobes and a little more complicated one for the ST-E2 to allow access to the strobe balance and FP modes. Should be fun!
  19. I found this very nice canon EOS strobe faq, check it out: EOS Strobe FAQ One other thing that might be very neat about getting this scheme working would be FP flash mode, which would allow fill flash with very high shutter speeds to freeze sunrays/sunballs.
  20. Canon experts correct me if I am wrong, but I think that E-TTL only supports one wired strobe - to get multiple strobes you need to go wireless - the wired distributor based system only works on the old style stobes (A-TTL?).
  21. True, there are fiber optics specifically designed to carry IR like Ocean Optics VIS-NIR fiber, which has an attenuation of somethinge like .002 dB/m (!) at the appropriate wavelengths (my day job is a research astronomer at Caltech, so I've a bit of experience with this sort of thing) Ocean Optics Fiber This could almost certainly be made to work - a good fallback plan if the aquarium test comes up negative.
  22. Great minds thinking alike - I was planning on doing the aquarium test today. I'll have to use some black fabric to mask off the room, since the IR bounces well and could easily go around the aquarium. Stay tuned. Anyone know a source for the six pin bulkheads?
  23. First, an introduction. I take pictures underwater as a hobby, and build underwater propulsion systems as a business (www.jetboots.com). I don't post here much, but lurk frequently and have learned a lot. I've just gotten a digital rebel, and after exploring my housing options came up with what might be a neat idea. Here are the basics: 1) Take up to four(!) 550EX speedlites and house them in a mostly clear polycarbonate or acrylic housings (easy) 2) Take a ST-E2 wireless transmitter and build a clear housing for it with bulkhead connector (easy) 3) Wire the ST-E2 to any housing and mount it on top of the housing with a reflector to send most of the IR pulse in two cones directed sideways (fairly easy) Now you have a wireless strobe system with E-TTL. The only real problems I can see are: A) Getting the ST-E2 to talk to the camera well with all the connectors the signal must pass through (try and see) B) Getting enough IR transmission underwater to make the system work. My first guess is the IR transmission will work fine in reasonable vis - the IR LEDs work around 900 nm, which is only a couple of hundred nm outside the human visual range, so the transmission probably won't be down too much. The stated range of the wireless system on land is about 30' - since the light falloff is 1/r^2, and an average strobe to camera distance is about 2', we would need an attenuation of around 225x between the camera and strobe to make the strobe miss the signal - seems unreasonable if the optical vis is good enough to be taking pictures. I'm looking for some references of optical attenuation in seawater to verify this. Can you guys think of any other potential show stoppers? B&H has the two speedlites and the transmitter for $800, and I'm guessing that I could build the three housings for about $1000, for a total cost of $1800 for a two strobe system. Would the canon users out there be interested in this if it works? What if it only works right 95% of the time? What kind of strobe mounting point would you prefer? Ikelite or Nikonos bulkheads? What max depth rating is acceptable? (remember, the deeper the bulkier) Ben Mazin President, MST, Inc. ben@jetboots.com
  24. Does anyone know if there is a small, self contained mosture alarm on the market? I'm looking for a small unit to fit in a custom housing that will squeal if there is a leak. I found one at: http://www.scubacompany.nl/aquavision/Htm/Accesoi.htm but was wondering if there are any others out there, or at least US distributors for this one. Ben
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