DIY Watchman – Wireless directors video monitor for $500

July 31st, 2012

Wireless on-set video monitors, sometimes referred to as “Watchman”, are often seen on film sets with the director or other staff members who need to see what the camera sees at any time during the shoot. If you’ve got an indie production you might be in the business to rent these things from time to time and you might know they are expensive.
Read on to see the DIY instruction:

The new Paralinx Arrow kit for example is one of the closest to professional and affordable and goes for $1200 (LINK), but you’ll have to add the monitor and rigging on top of that.

Lee Daley decided to make one of these field monitor kits on his own and the total for the stuff he used to build it is about $500, including the monitor and battery. This kit is certainly not as reliable and professional as the Paralinx, but it looks like it will get the job done.

The frame is made up of some 15mm rods and 9 single rail rod clamps with 1/4 20 holes. The clamps were from ebay about a 18 months ago, they cost almost nothing back then. There is also a mount for the monitor and the backing is just some OCZ plates you get with SSD drive’s with some Velcro to hold the receiver, it will do for now. The handles I got free when I orders a few z96 LED lights, they are not the best as they are all hollow plastic.

I compiled a list of all the stuff Delay apparently used for his setup:
Lilliput monitor (I heard the HD70HP is good) $180
WHDI 5GHz Wireless HDMI kit $160
– 2 screws for handle to clamp
CCTV battery for monitor & transmitter $16
USB to 5V cable for battery $1
– cable for usb power from your monitor & some hdmi cables

From delight-digi ebay store:
handgrips with rod clamp $20
2 add clamps f handles $36
5 add clamps for backplate $35

He powered the monitor & receiver with the 12v & 5V CCTV battery and powered the transmitter via USB through his smallHD DP4 field monitor. If you don’t have a monitor with USB out you will have to come up with a different way to power that on-camera transmitter.

There is some more information & pictures about how he built it on Daley’s blog.

via cheesycam

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