Introduction: MPT1100-SS Pan and Tilt - How to Mount to a Jib Crane

The MPT1100-SS is a compact open loop pan and tilt system that is nice for DSLR cameras, camcorders and similar sized cameras. The round base has been designed so that it's easy to attach to most jib cranes using the jib mounting kit (mid way down on the page).

Step 1: The End of the Jib Crane

The ends of jib cranes are a little like snowflakes as every manufacturer designs them a little bit different. Some jibs (like the EZFX EZ-Jib shown) have a cup on the end for a ball head to fit into while others have a simple horizontal plane to attach to. The round base plate on the bottom of the MPT1100-SS is approximately 90mm in diameter which fits well in most jibs that have the cup intended for a ball head to fit into.

If your jib just has a horizontal surface you'll want to drill a 1/2" (approximately 13mm for those who prefer metric) hole through the plate and you'll be ready to attach the pan and tilt. I recommend a 1/2" hole over a 3/8" hole so that the square neck of the carriage bolt will pass through the first part of the hole and allow the pan and tilt to tighten up to the plate nicely.

Step 2: Make Room for the Carriage Bolt

The jib mounting kit is pretty simple. It consists of a 3/8-16 carriage bolt, an ABS disk, a 3/8" fender washer and a 3/8-16 wing nut. The head of the carriage bolt matches the square cut-out on the base of the MPT1100-SS. To drop the carriage bolt into the base of the MPT1100-SS you'll need to unplug the motor wires from the back of the CAT6 board. Keep tabs on where the wires are plugged in so that you can plug them back into the same locations.

picture #1: wires plugged in, no carriage bolt

picture #2: wires unplugged, ready to install carriage bolt

picture #3: wires unplugged, carriage bolt installed

picture #4: wires plugged back in, carriage bolt installed

Step 3: Mount Your Pan and Tilt to the Jib

Once you have the carriage bolt in place and the wires plugged back into the back side of the CAT6 board, you're ready to hang the head from your jib. While it's not necessary for all installations I always put the ABS disk on the bolt prior to putting the bolt through the jib crane; it helps center the head in some cases. Next, poke the bolt through the cup on the jib crane (or the 1/2" hole that you drilled in a previous step). Follow up with the fender washer and the wing nut and you're ready to start shooting some footage!

Step 4: For Those of You Always on the Run

If you're a videographer that is always setting up and tearing down at different events you might consider capturing the carriage bolt so that you don't have to unplug the wires and remove the bolt each time. Here are a few different ways to consider:

For a jib with a cup:

option 1: put a 3/8-16 jam nut on the carriage bolt and tighten up. The nut will bottom out on the square neck of the carriage bolt as the square portion is longer than the round base disk is thick, however it'll keep it captured and you won't need to hold the carriage bolt when you tighten it down to your jib crane.

option 2: if it bothers you to have the slack between the nut and the round base disk you can put the ABS disk on the carriage bolt followed by a 3/8-16 jam nut. The disk will clear the square neck and take up the slack.

For a jib with a horizontal plate:

Put a 3/8-16 jam nut on the carriage bolt and tighten up. The nut will bottom out on the square neck of the carriage bolt as the square portion is longer than the round disk is thick, however it'll keep it captured and you won't need to hold the carriage bolt when you tighten it down to your jib crane. Since you're putting the setup on a horizontal plate and you don't want the nut to be the first thing to contact the plate you can either bore out the ABS plate to fit over the jam nut or you can attach 4 standoffs to the outer 4 holes on the round base disk.

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Bio: I'm a tech at Robotzone (the makers of Actobotics®). I'll be posting helpful tutorials about how to use our products and incorporating them ... More »
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