Making a Four Foot, Travel-Friendly Syrp Magic Carpet Slider

Making a Four Foot, Travel-Friendly Syrp Magic Carpet Slider

I started using Syrp for time-lapse and motion control almost a year ago and I find the system very good for what it is; a way for photographers to step into motion control at a relatively low price point. The first piece of Syrp kit I purchased was their Genie Mini and having the ability to pan was a way to add more interest in any time-lapse I wanted to create. After a month I went ahead and purchased the rest of their 3-axis kit including the Syrp 5.2' Magic Carpet Long Track Slider which has been great to use. The only issue is if you want a longer slider, Syrp doesn't make a way for you to connect two of their metal sliders together. With very little ingenuity, you can connect as many metal sliders together as you'd like at a relatively low cost.

I wanted to connect the Syrp Magic Carpet Short Track 2’ Slider with another Syrp Short Track Slider to take on a workshop trip in Wyoming but I needed to figure how to connect the two. The reason I wanted to connect two is because traveling with a large slider is expensive and having the ability for the slider to break down meant I could put it into a normal checked bag and easily take it to workshops, gigs, or on personal project trips. What Syrp has not done is allowed an easy way to connect their Magic Carpet Slider easily to another without going to their Magic Carpet Carbon Slider. This eliminates the reason I chose them initially, that they are fairly inexpensive compared to other options that offer heavy duty sliders. 

I already owned a Syrp 5.2' Magic Carpet Long Track Slider with the Magic Carpet Carriage and end caps, and I removed the carriage and end caps to place on the new two foot slidersSyrp created their metal sliders with a tube on each side of the track that the Magic Carpet Carriage attached to your camera rides on. Since these tubes are empty we should be able to connect them and the simple question is how? I took a trip to home depot with the Syrp Magic Carpet Slider and found wood dowels that would fit inside the tube and not bend. I found a 3/4 inch dowel that worked well but they only had a 36-inch length and I was flying out later that day, so I bought two dowels with the plan to figure out a way to make them fit snugly within each tube and a second slider (Travel tip: Southwest doesn't particularly care when you bring two 36-inch pieces of wood in your carry on luggage).

I had a very small amount of space between the wood dowels and the metal tubing and thought that some Gaffer's tape could easily fill that space with being a permanent modification. Gaffer’s tape has so many possibilities and I think every photographer should have a bit of it with them at all time just in case. I tried a few layers of tape, so with three strips thick worth of tape around the dowel in evenly spaced amounts, the dowel is tight enough to stay in the slider tubes but can still be slid out to break down. The two sliders are now able to be connected and have a sturdy platform between both without any flex even when you have about 10 pounds of weight moving over the joint.

You should only need to buy one 24- to 36-inch long dowel and cut it in half. I don't see any issue with only having 12 to 18 inches of dowel for each tube connection. The slider is solid and built very well while the dowel is rigid in the connection so there shouldn't be any flex at the joint. The Syrp Slider Carriage also pulls the ends together as it runs along the braided rope so this keeps the sliders from pulling apart. 

I got to try out the slider during the solar eclipse in the Bridger-Teton area at Square Top Mountain and the slider worked flawlessly. I can't say the same for my idea about catching the eclipse in a reflection of the water it was traveling over, but trying different ideas is a big part of being a creative. The two-foot sliders in the USA are $99 each and the dowels I purchased were $4.98 each. After adding a few pennies worth of Gaffer’s tape I have a solid, travel-friendly four-foot slider that works really well. Now I can bring with me a decent sized slider that travels easily and is just as valuable as my long track slider. 

JT Blenker's picture

JT Blenker, Cr. Photog., CPP is a Photographic Craftsman and Certified Professional Photographer who also teaches workshops throughout the USA focusing on landscape, nightscape, and portraiture. He is the Director of Communications at the Dallas PPA and is continuing his education currently in the pursuit of a Master Photographer degree.

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